East Area Plan

Overview

City Council adopted the East Area Plan in 2020, the culmination of three years of hard work by community members in South Park Hill, Hale, Montclair and East Colfax whose efforts and input resulted in a truly community-driven long-term vision for these neighborhoods.

From surveys and pop-up events to large community meetings and the formation of new neighborhood advocacy groups, East Area residents, business owners and advocates worked hard to make their voices heard, to bring more neighbors and stakeholders to the table and to lay a foundation for continued participation to ensure implementation includes the community’s voices. The result is a draft plan that reflects the ideas and vision of thousands of community members and honors what makes East Denver special to so many. 

What does the plan do?

The plan addresses key neighborhood needs—helping local businesses remain and thrive, affordable housing, preserving the diversity of East Colfax Avenue as well as neighborhood architecture, trees and open spaces, and making it easier and safer to get around—by providing policy recommendations that will guide city decision-making over the next 20 years.

East Area Plan and appendices

Key plan recommendations

  • Help current residents and small businesses stay in the community long-term by connecting them to resources and making more housing options available and affordable to families and individuals. 
  • Ensure the East area is an inclusive place in the future by increasing the amount of affordable housing using all available methods. 
  • Make Colfax Avenue a street that brings the East area’s diverse community together. 
  • Celebrate the architectural history of East Area neighborhoods by encouraging the preservation of existing homes and requiring complementary design of new housing. 
  • Preserve trees and landscaped areas. Create new parks and community-gathering spaces and use green approaches to storm-water management to make the East area safe from flooding, healthier, and more climate resilient. 
  • Save lives and reduce pollution by making streets safer, slowing down traffic, adding protected bike lanes, completing the sidewalk network, and improving bus connections and reliability. 

Why the plan is needed

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for our neighborhoods and further highlighted pre-existing inequities. More than ever, we need plans and policies that promote equity, support the health of our residents and our planet, keep community members and small, independent businesses connected to the services they need and help address the short- and long-term economic challenges the city and its residents will be facing in the wake of the pandemic. Several of the priority policy recommendations in the East draft plan, such as assistance to locally owned businesses, preventing involuntary displacement of low-income residents, and ensuring the East Colfax corridor’s diversity is preserved are now even more important. 


Community engagement

  • 9 community-wide workshops and open houses
  • 17 focus group meetings with local subject matter experts on key issues, such as small business
  • 11 online surveys and activities
  • 24 steering committee meetings open to the public
  • 49 RNO meetings, community group meetings, and targeted engagement where we shared information on the plan and gathered feedback
  • 9 office-hours sessions
  • 11 field surveys with community members
  • 38 newsletters to the plan email list
  • 4 informational items presented to the Denver Planning Board and broadcast on Denver 8
  • Over 150 locations and pop-up events provided with flyers and other printed materials advertising how to get involved in the process
  • An area-wide mailer to over 15,000 households and the additional distribution of flyers and posters to local schools, residences, and businesses by our community partners.

Since the summer of 2017, planners have sought to engage the community in each of the East Area neighborhoods in a way that offered multiple convenient and accessible avenues for participation—in person at traditional meetings, at events where community members congregate naturally, as well as online. We surveyed participants and conducted research to ensure we were reaching every corner of these neighborhoods in all their geographic and demographic diversity, and when we have noticed gaps, we took specific steps to address them. Spanish language interpretation, food and childcare were provided at every community workshop. During the planning process, several groups organized themselves to better advocate for neighborhood interests, and members of the planning team met with these groups regularly, responded to their feedback and questions at each step of the process and posted their input on the project website.

We have also sought to be responsive to the substance of community concerns, adding an additional opportunity to review plan recommendations before they were incorporated into a draft plan. Additional time for community review and input was provided throughout the process, culminating in over 2,600 attendees at in-person and virtual events, over 4,000 participants in online surveys and emails, and more than 8,500 comments. 

 

 

Implementation

Adaptive Reuse

Through the East and East Central neighborhood planning efforts, community members identified adaptive reuse as an important piece of their community vision and priorities, particularly for older commercial buildings along East Colfax. Reusing an existing building, rather than demolishing the building, can help keep tenant rents lower than in a brand-new building, is more sustainable for the environment, and helps retain a neighborhood’s look and feel. The East and East Central area plans emphasized the need for dedicated technical assistance, among other tools, to support future adaptive reuse projects along Colfax. In response to this public input, Community Planning and Development began budgeting for an adaptive reuse program in 2022.

Download initial strategy report(PDF, 30MB)

About the East Planning Area

East area mapThe East Planning Area includes the statistical neighborhoods adjacent to Colfax Avenue between Colorado Boulevard and Yosemite Street (Denver's eastern city limit), including South Park Hill, Montclair, Hale, and East Colfax. The area contains many great community assets, such as historic parkways, the Rose Medical Center, Johnson and Wales University, and many unique, locally-owned businesses. The area is experiencing some significant changes, such as the 9th and Colorado mixed use project, as well as plans to add Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Colfax Avenue. Two of the four neighborhoods, South Park Hill and East Colfax, have out of date plans, while Hale and Montclair have no plans at all. The Neighborhood Planning Initiative provides a great opportunity to establish the community’s vision for maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in these neighborhoods for decades to come.

Read the East Area Plan Area Existing Conditions Briefing Book (PDF)(PDF, 31MB)

Current Zoning Context

Currently, the East planning area is zoned according to the following breakdown:

58% Urban edge context
30% Urban context
5% Former Chapter 59 (Old Code) Zoning
5% Other (Campus, Open space, Urban center contexts)
5% General Urban context

Planning Need Indicator Scores

To help inform the NPI Strategic Plan, the city developed data-based indicators of planning need at the neighborhood scale. Click here  to read more about the indicators.

Additional Information

Statistics
  • Area: 4.55 square miles
  • Population: 31,173 people
  • Housing units: 15,434 units
Regional destinations
  • Rose Medical Center
  • Johnson and Wales University
Natural features
  • Lindsley Park
  • Mayfair Park
  • Montclair Park
  • Westerly Creek
Key corridors
  • 23rd Avenue
  • Montview Boulevard
  • 17th Avenue
  • Colfax Avenue
  • 13th Avenue
  • 6th Avenue
  • Colorado Boulevard
  • Monaco Parkway
  • Quebec Street
  • Yosemite Street


 

Project Archive

Legislative Review

City Council Public Hearing 
5:30 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2020 

 

Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Meeting
10:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Denver Planning Board Public Hearing 
3 p.m., Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Virtual meeting via Zoom

Community Meetings

Below are listed all the community meetings, workshops, office hours and pop-up events hosted by the planning team. Unlike traditional meetings and workshops, pop-up events are intended to reach hard-to-reach communities where they live and involve only paper materials and on-the-street interviews. 

Street Fraternity pop-op
October 17, 2017

Hidden Brook Apartments pop-up
October 18, 2017

South Park Hill Listening Session
6-8 p.m., Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Park Hill Masonic Lodge, 4819 Montview Boulevard
Presentation(PDF, 4MB) 

Avenue 8 at Mayfair pop-up
January 17, 2019

Shephard’s Motel pop-up
February 14, 2019

Hidden Brook Apartments pop-up
February 14, 2019

Regal Café pop-up
February 16, 2019

Area-Wide Community Workshop #1
6-8 p.m., Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Park Hill Masonic Lodge, 4819 Montview Blvd
Meeting materials available at online workshop

Neighborhood Workshop #1 – Hale
6-8 p.m., Thursday, February 21, 2019
Friendship Baptist Church, 880 Fairfax Street
Meeting materials available at online workshop

Neighborhood Workshop #2 – South Park Hill
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Park Hill Masonic Lodge, 4819 Montview Blvd
Meeting materials available at online workshop

Neighborhood Workshop #3 – Montclair
6-8 p.m., Thursday, February 28, 2019
Friendship Baptist Church, 880 Fairfax Street
Meeting materials available at online workshop

Xenia Village Apartments pop-up
March 5, 2019

Neighborhood Workshop #4 – East Colfax
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Ashley Elementary School, 1914 Syracuse Street
Meeting materials available at online workshop

Street Fraternity pop-up
March 27, 2019

Hidden Brook Apartments pop-up
April 3, 2019

East Area Community Workshop
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, 2019
9th & Colorado Development Office
1000 Colorado Boulevard, Denver
Presentation(PDF, 9MB) 

Drop-in Office Hours 
6-8 p.m., Thursday, July 25
Art Gym Denver
1460 Leyden Street, Denver

Drop-in Office Hours 
5-8 p.m., August 1, 2019
Friendship Baptist Church
880 Fairfax Street, Denver

Drop-in Office Hours
5-8 p.m., August 6, 2019
East Montclair Community Center
6740 E. Colfax Ave., Denver

Community Office Hours: Park Hill Branch Library
12:30-5 p.m., Tuesday, December 3, 2019
4705 Montview Boulevard, Denver

Community Office Hours: Ashley Elementary School 
6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, December 10, 2019
1914 Syracuse Street, Denver

East Area Community Workshop
10:30 a.m., Saturday, November 23, 2020
Johnson & Wales University Academic Center
1900 Olive Street, Denver
Presentation(PDF, 9MB) 

East Area Virtual Community Workshop
6 p.m., Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Use the links below to watch a recording of the May 12 virtual open house. 

Community Office Hours
3-4 p.m., June 11, 2020
Virtual meeting

Community Office Hours
6-7 p.m., June 17, 2020
Virtual meeting

Community Office Hours
3-4 p.m., June 18, 2020
Virtual meeting

Community Office Hours
3-4 p.m., June 25, 2020
Virtual meeting

East Area Virtual Community Workshop
6 p.m., Thursday, September 10

Focus Groups

Listed below are focus groups hosted by the plan team for the purpose of topic-specific discussions with local stakeholders with subject-matter expertise and experience. 

Focus Group #1: Affordable housing, social services, & financial stability 
January 8, 2019
Carla Madison Recreation Center 

Focus Group #2: Small business retention, real estate/transit oriented development, & healthy food
January 9, 2019
Carla Madison Recreation Center 
Meeting notes(PDF, 195KB) 

Focus Group #3: Mobility & access
January 15, 2019
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street

Focus Group #4: Green infrastructure, recreation, open space
January 17, 2019
Carla Madison Recreation Center

Focus Group #5: Design quality & character preservation
January 29, 2019
Carla Madison Recreation Center
Meeting notes(PDF, 172KB) 

Focus Group #6: Small business retention, real estate/transit oriented development, & healthy food 
6-8 p.m., April 2, 2019
Carla Madison Recreation Center
Presentation(PDF, 4MB) 

Focus Group #7: Green Infrastructure 
6-8 p.m., April 4, 2019 
Carla Madison Recreation Center
Presentation(PDF, 4MB) 

Focus Group #8: Mobility 
6-8 p.m., April 17, 2019 
Carla Madison Recreation Center
Presentation(PDF, 2MB) 

Focus Group #9: Design Quality and Character Preservation 
6-8 p.m., April 18, 2019 
Carla Madison Recreation Center
Presentation(PDF, 28MB) 

Focus Group #10: Affordable housing, social services, & financial stability 
6-8 p.m., April 23, 2019 
Carla Madison Recreation Center
Presentation(PDF, 3MB) 

Other Neighborhood Meetings and Events

Listed below are (1) meetings hosted by East Area neighborhood groups and organizations, or other City of Denver departments or teams that East Area Plan team members attended, (2) community events at which the plan had a booth/table or was part of a larger booth or table representing the City of Denver, and (3) stakeholder conversations convened or hosted by East Area organizations. 

  • 8/26/2017 - Mayor's Cabinet in the Community
  • 8/26/2017 - Mayfair Concert in the Park
  • 8/30/2017 -  Upper Montclair Basin community meeting
  • 9/6/2017 - Colfax Mayfair BID board meeting
  • 9/10/2017 - Park Hill Home Tour and Street Fair
  • 9/15/2017 – Seniors In September Educational & Resource Fair at Denver Botanic Gardens
  • 9/21/2017 -  Blueprint Denver Workshop
  • 9/27/2017 - Quebec Alternatives Open House
  • 10/3/2017 - Mayfair Neighbors, Inc. general meeting
  • 10/12/2017 - Councilwoman Susman Town Hall
  • 10/17/2017 - East Colfax Neighborhood Association meeting
  • 10/18/2017 - Historic Montclair Community Association, Inc. meeting
  • 10/24/2017 - Fax Partnership board meeting 
  • 11/2/2017 - Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. meeting
  • 11/8/2017 - Upper Montclair Basin community meeting
  • 11/28/2017 - Bellevue Hale annual membership meeting
  • 12/4/2017 - WTF is BRT?
  • 12/6/2017 - Upper Montclair community meeting
  • 3/15/2018 - Blueprint Denver workshop
  • 3/20/2018 - Colfax Grit & Glory, Historic Denver
  • 4/19/2018 - Councilwoman Susman Town Hall
  • 5/10/2018 - DURA, East Colfax Corridor URA Info meeting
  • 9/6/2018 - Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. meeting
  • 10/17/2018 - Historic Montclair Community Association, Inc. meeting
  • 2/3/2019 – Immigrant/refugee service providers meeting
  • 3/3/2019 – Small business owners meeting
  • 3/19/2019 – Hospitals meeting
  • 4/10/2019 – Development focus group
  • 4/17/2019 – Social service providers meeting
  • 4/17/2019 - Colfax Mayfair BID board meeting
  • 4/27/2019 - Mayor's Cabinet in the Community
  • 5/10/2019 - East Area Businesses Forum
  • 5/15/2019 - Colfax Mayfair BID board meeting
  • 5/22/2019 – Small business owners meeting
  • 5/28/2019 - Fax Partnership board meeting
  • 5/30/2019 - East Colfax Neighborhood Association meeting
  • 6/3/2019 - Mayfair Neighbors, Inc. general meeting
  • 6/5/2019 - East Side RNO meeting
  • 6/5/2019 - Fax Partnership Open House
  • 6/11/2019 - Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. meetin
  • 6/19/2019 - Historic Montclair Community Association, Inc. meeting
  • 6/19/2019 – Immigrant/refugee service providers and East Colfax Neighborhood Association meeting
  • 7/16/2019 – Meeting with Locust Street neighbors
  • 9/30/2019 - East Area Business Forum
  • 10/1/2019 – Mayfair Neighbors, Inc. general meeting
  • 10/10/19 – Denver East Neighborhoods First meeting
  • 12/9/19 – Street Fraternity meeting
  • 12/11/19 – Denver East Neighborhoods First meeting
  • 1/25/2020 - East Colfax Community Collective (ECCC) Workshop
  • 2/18/20 – East Colfax Neighborhood Association meeting
  • 2/22/20 – East Colfax Community Collective meeting
  • 2/24/20 – East Colfax Community Collective meeting
  • 7/16/20 – East Colfax Community Collective Meeting
  • 7/29/20 – East Colfax Community Collective Meeting
  • 8/20/20 – East Colfax Community Collective Meeting
  • 8/20/20 – Denver East Neighborhoods First Meeting
  • 9/3/20 – Greater Park Hill Community RNO
  • 9/16/20 – Historic Montclair RNO
  • 9/29/20 - Bellevue-Hale Neighborhood Association Meeting

Newsletters

2017

2018

2019

2020