Near Southeast Area Plan

Latest News

Take our online surveys to review and weigh in on draft recommendations   

The Near Southeast Area planning team has reviewed and analyzed comments from community members who participated in public input opportunities earlier this year. We have drafted recommendations based on that input. Those recommendations will serve as the foundation for the Near Southeast Area Plan and will be available for review at upcoming office hours sessions in the community. Additionally, surveys on each of the major plan topics are now available for everyone to share feedback.

Meet with us in person

Use the links below for details on upcoming opportunities to talk with planners. Participants will get the chance to learn more about the draft recommendations and share their thoughts.  

Community office hours July 27, August 3 and August 10

Watch the replay of the virtual event held July 13


View the summary of community input

The draft recommendations currently under review were crafted from what city planners have heard from community members throughout the planning process, starting with the kickoff phase in 2021. In spring 2022, public input focused on helping define issues and develop initial recommendations. These were the key themes that emerged from that community engagement:

  • Growth should go to appropriate areas and be accompanied by better design, improved mobility, and more community amenities
  • Housing options should be added in neighborhoods when they are appropriately scaled, served by infrastructure, and improve affordability
  • Affordable housing options should be improved for families and those looking to buy, and services for those experiencing homelessness should prioritize providing housing and treatment
  • Desired businesses, like restaurants, local shops, and entertainment options, should be supported through local business associations and other programs
  • Mobility safety should be enhanced with improvements at key intersections and along major corridors
  • Walking and biking networks should have improved connectivity and amenities
  • Landscaping should be improved in parks, streets, and private property to be more sustainable and resilient and provide better habitat for wildlife and pollinators 
  • Reduced water and energy use, reduced heating, and improved air quality should be achieved through a range of actions by individuals, businesses, developers, and the city

For a full recap of community engagement during phase 2 of the planning process, visit the Process and Timeline section of the project webpage.

Read the full summary of public input(PDF, 12MB)

Read the summary of intentional engagement(PDF, 74KB)  

 


 

 

How to Get Involved

   


Find us in your neighborhood

Members of the planning team will be attending the following in-person community events and will be and available to take public input and answer questions.   

  • Wednesday, August 3, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Community office hours
    Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 S Dahlia Street
  • Wednesday, August 10, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
    Community office hours
    University Hills YMCA, 3901 Yale Avenue

Hosting a neighborhood meeting or event? Let us know! City planners can provide presentations about the plan, set up a booth and/or provide materials. 


 

 

Area Information and Resources

The Near Southeast Planning Area is made up of Washington Virginia Vale, Virginia Village, Indian Creek, Goldsmith and the area of University Hills north of Yale Avenue. It includes a variety of housing types, significant commercial corridors including Colorado Boulevard and Leetsdale Drive, and amenities like sections of the Cherry Creek Greenway and the Highline Canal. Several major redevelopment projects in the area have highlighted the need to work with the community to update outdated neighborhood plans or provide planning guidance in areas where no neighborhood plan exists.  

Near Southeast Briefing Book cover

Existing conditions

Before public outreach begins, the planning team begins collecting data on the neighborhoods in the planning area to understand the current context. This data includes everything from the demographics of the area and its geography, to how land is being used now, what types of jobs and industries exist in the area and whether residents or businesses are vulnerable to involuntary displacement. This information is collected in the Near Southeast Briefing Book, which is intended to serve as a resource throughout the planning process. 

To review the findings, view the interactive story map or download the full briefing book

Storymap button

Current Zoning Context

  • Suburban - 54%
  • Former Chapter 59 - 24%
  • Open Space - 10%
  • Industrial - 6%
  • Other (Urban Edge, Campus, General Urban, Urban Center, Open Zone District) - 9%

Planning Need Indicator Scores

To help inform the neighborhood planning process, the city developed data-based indicators of planning need at the neighborhood scale. 

Each Near Southeast Area neighborhood was scored from low planning need to high planning need in five categories.

Neighborhood Livability Investment Policy & Regulation Economy Demographics
Goldsmith Medium high Medium Medium High Medium low
Indian Creek Medium high Medium Medium high Medium high Medium
Virginia Village Medium high Medium low Medium low Medium Medium
Washington Virginia Vale Medium Medium low Medium Medium high Medium low

  

Read more about the indicators and scoring



Previous Plans and Projects

Area Statistics and Other Information

Statistics

  • Area: 5.03 square miles
  • 2018 Population: 34,778
  • Housing units: 18,597
Regional destinations
  • Cherry Creek Trail
  • Colorado Center
Natural features
  • Cherry Creek
  • Cook Park
  • High Line Canal
Key corridors
  • Interstate 25
  • Colorado Boulevard
  • Dahlia Street
  • Holly Street
  • Monaco Parkway
  • Cherry Creek N/S Drive
  • Quebec Street
  • Alameda Avenue
  • Leetsdale Drive
  • Louisiana Avenue
  • Florida Avenue
  • Jewell Avenue
  • Evans Avenue
  • Yale Avenue


Boundaries

  • North: Alameda Avenue
  • East: Quebec Street and city limits
  • South: Yale Avenue
  • West: Colorado Boulevard and Interstate 25 

Near Southeast Area map



 

Demographic Information

Click on the images below to zoom in. 

 


Process and Timeline

Near Northwest Planning Process Timeline  

The Neighborhood Planning Initiative provides a model for area planning that is intentional, equitable and measurable. The planning process is guided by a multi-pronged outreach and communications strategy with an expected timeline of 18 to 24 months from kickoff to adoption. For a detailed overview, visit How We Plan. For details on the planning process is being applied in the Near Southeast Area, see below.   

Planning Process Phases

  • Understand the Area
  • Define the Issues and Develop Initial Recommendations
  • Refine Recommendations
  • Community Review of Draft Plan
  • Adoption Process 

Current Phase: Refine Recommendations  

What the planning team is working on
  • Finalizing the vision statements
  • Developing draft recommendations and alternatives, including neighborhood-specific recommendations
  • Identifying focus areas and transformative projects
  • Continuing to work with the community steering committee
  • Continuing to spread the word about the planning process  
What we are asking the community?
  • How can the draft recommendations be improved?
  • Which development alternatives do you prefer?
  • Which recommendations should be the highest priorities?
How the public can participate 

 


Completed Phases

Phase 2: Define the Issues and Develop Initial Recommendations

Phase 2 of the planning process involved further understanding the issues and opportunities that were identified in Phase 1 and asking the community how they should be addressed in the plan.  

What the Planning Team Worked On
  • Hosted meetings, conducted surveys, and attended community events (virtual and in person) to share information and collect input
  • Issues and opportunities analysis
  • Regular meetings with the community steering committee
  • Used multiple channels to get word out about plan launch
    • Project website and email list
    • Social media
    • Traditional media outreach
    • Registered neighborhood organizations and other neighborhood groups
    • Schools
  • Went into the community to get the word out about the plan
    • Virginia Vale/Ellis RNO meeting
    • Indian Creek Neighborhood Association meeting
    • Winston Downs Community Association meeting (w/ Hilltop RNO attending)
    • McMeen Elementary Dia del Niño event
    • McMeen Elementary Multicultural Night
    • Schlessman YMCA pop-up
    • University Hills Spring Market
    • Cook Park Soccer Fields pop-up
    • Shakespeare in the Spring at Cook Park
    • Bible Park Playground pop-up
  • Flyers were distributed at:
    • University Hills Plaza
    • Park Plaza Shopping area
    • Wellshire Plaza
    • Colorado Center (JE Dunn; Stantec; PCL Construction HQs)
    • Shops between Iliff Avenue & Warren Avenue. on E. side of Colorado Blvd.
    • Shopping Center at 1550 S. Colorado Blvd.
    • Century 21 Plaza
    • Square One Center
    • Leetsdale Marketplace Shopping Center
    • Shops at Leetsdale and Monaco (N. side of Leetsdale Drive)
    • Monaco Square
    • Villa Monaco
    • Virginia Village shopping center (NW corner of Florida & Holly) including Unravel Coffee
    • Virginia Shops (SW corner of Florida & Holly) including Sojourners Coffee
    • Holly Shops/Esters Neighborhood Pub
    • South Lowry Marketplace at SE corner of Leetsdale & Quebec
    • Shops at Leetsdale & Oneida
    • Shops at Leetsdale& Holly (N/S of Leetsdale on east side) 
What We Asked the Community
  • Do the draft vision statements reflect the community’s goals for the area?
  • How should Near Southeast grow and what elements of complete neighborhoods should be prioritized to ensure equity in that growth?
  • What affordable housing options should be prioritized?
  • What amenities and services are most desired in the area?
  • Where should mobility safety improvements be prioritized?
  • How can parks, trails, and landscaping better serve the community?
  • How should sustainability and resiliency be incorporated into recommendations?
Key Takeaways
  • Growth should go to appropriate areas and be accompanied by better design, improved mobility, and more community amenities
  • Housing options should be added in neighborhoods when they are appropriately scaled, served by infrastructure, and improve affordability
  • Affordable housing options should be improved for families and those looking to buy, and services for those experiencing homelessness should prioritize providing housing and treatment
  • Desired businesses, like restaurants, local shops, and entertainment options, should be supported through local business associations and other programs
  • Mobility safety should be enhanced with improvements at key intersections and along major corridors
  • Walking and biking networks should have improved connectivity and amenities
  • Landscaping should be improved in parks, streets, and private property to be more sustainable and resilient and provide better habitat for wildlife and pollinators 
  • Reduced water and energy use, reduced heating, and improved air quality should be achieved through a range of actions by individuals, businesses, developers, and the city

See more about what we heard in the Community Input Summary. 

How the Community Participated
  • 260 joined the project’s email list in Phase II (total is 847)
  • 199 attended the community workshops
  • 719 took the online surveys
  • 218 community members met planners at 9 community events
  • Steering committee held 7 meetings
  • 32 participants joined focus group meetings
  • Intentional outreach and participation has been conducted or started with the following partners:
    • African Community Center
    • First Universalist Church
    • Oaks Community Church
    • Renters
    • Schools
    • Latino Community Foundation of Colorado
    • Mexican Cultural Center
    • Denver Islamic Society
    • Celebration Community Church
    • Jewish Family Services
    • Advocacy Denver
    • Ability Specialists, Inc.
    • Denver Disability Law
    • Colorado Cross Disability Coalition
Results and Resources
  • Understanding the Area report(PDF, 12MB)
  • Community Input Summary
  • Intentional Engagement Summary(PDF, 74KB)
  • Available in project archive:
    • Meeting presentations, meeting summaries/notes and handouts for public meetings, focus group meetings and steering committee meetings
    • Complete listing of neighborhood meetings and community events attended by staff
    • Past project newsletters
    • Links to media articles
    • Past survey information (full data downloads)
    • Comment logs

 

 


Phase 1: Understand the Area

Phase 1 of the planning process involved kicking off the project with the community through a variety of virtual and in-person events, raising awareness about the plan and learning how the community views the Near Southeast area and what they would like it to be in the future. 

What the Planning Team Worked On
  • Hosted meetings, conducted surveys, and attended community events (virtual and in person) to share information and collect input
  • Issues and opportunities analysis
  • Regular meetings with the community steering committee
  • Used multiple channels to get word out about plan launch
    • Project website and email list
    • Social media
    • Traditional media outreach
    • Registered neighborhood organizations and other neighborhood groups
    • Schools
  • Went into the community to get the word out about the plan
    • Virginia Vale/Ellis RNO meeting
    • Indian Creek Neighborhood Association meeting
    • Winston Downs Community Association meeting (w/ Hilltop RNO attending)
    • McMeen Elementary Dia del Niño event
    • McMeen Elementary Multicultural Night
    • Schlessman YMCA pop-up
    • University Hills Spring Market
    • Cook Park Soccer Fields pop-up
    • Shakespeare in the Spring at Cook Park
    • Bible Park Playground pop-up
  • Flyers were distributed at:
    • University Hills Plaza
    • Park Plaza Shopping area
    • Wellshire Plaza
    • Colorado Center (JE Dunn; Stantec; PCL Construction HQs)
    • Shops between Iliff Avenue & Warren Avenue. on E. side of Colorado Blvd.
    • Shopping Center at 1550 S. Colorado Blvd.
    • Century 21 Plaza
    • Square One Center
    • Leetsdale Marketplace Shopping Center
    • Shops at Leetsdale and Monaco (N. side of Leetsdale Drive)
    • Monaco Square
    • Villa Monaco
    • Virginia Village shopping center (NW corner of Florida & Holly) including Unravel Coffee
    • Virginia Shops (SW corner of Florida & Holly) including Sojourners Coffee
    • Holly Shops/Esters Neighborhood Pub
    • South Lowry Marketplace at SE corner of Leetsdale & Quebec
    • Shops at Leetsdale & Oneida
    • Shops at Leetsdale& Holly (N/S of Leetsdale on east side) 
What We Asked the Community
  • Do the draft vision statements reflect the community’s goals for the area?
  • How should Near Southeast grow and what elements of complete neighborhoods should be prioritized to ensure equity in that growth?
  • What affordable housing options should be prioritized?
  • What amenities and services are most desired in the area?
  • Where should mobility safety improvements be prioritized?
  • How can parks, trails, and landscaping better serve the community?
  • How should sustainability and resiliency be incorporated into recommendations?
Key Takeaways
  • Growth should go to appropriate areas and be accompanied by better design, improved mobility, and more community amenities
  • Housing options should be added in neighborhoods when they are appropriately scaled, served by infrastructure, and improve affordability
  • Affordable housing options should be improved for families and those looking to buy, and services for those experiencing homelessness should prioritize providing housing and treatment
  • Desired businesses, like restaurants, local shops, and entertainment options, should be supported through local business associations and other programs
  • Mobility safety should be enhanced with improvements at key intersections and along major corridors
  • Walking and biking networks should have improved connectivity and amenities
  • Landscaping should be improved in parks, streets, and private property to be more sustainable and resilient and provide better habitat for wildlife and pollinators 
  • Reduced water and energy use, reduced heating, and improved air quality should be achieved through a range of actions by individuals, businesses, developers, and the city

See more about what we heard in the Community Input Summary. 

How the Community Participated
  • 260 joined the project’s email list in Phase II (total is 847)
  • 199 attended the community workshops
  • 719 took the online surveys
  • 218 community members met planners at 9 community events
  • Steering committee held 7 meetings
  • 32 participants joined focus group meetings
  • Intentional outreach and participation has been conducted or started with the following partners:
    • African Community Center
    • First Universalist Church
    • Oaks Community Church
    • Renters
    • Schools
    • Latino Community Foundation of Colorado
    • Mexican Cultural Center
    • Denver Islamic Society
    • Celebration Community Church
    • Jewish Family Services
    • Advocacy Denver
    • Ability Specialists, Inc.
    • Denver Disability Law
    • Colorado Cross Disability Coalition
Results and Resources

To be posted soon:

  • Understanding the Area report
  • Community Input Summary
  • Intentional Engagement Summary
  • Available in project archive:
    • Meeting presentations, meeting summaries/notes and handouts for public meetings, focus group meetings and steering committee meetings
    • Complete listing of neighborhood meetings and community events attended by staff
    • Past project newsletters
    • Links to media articles
    • Past survey information (full data downloads)
    • Comment logs

 

           


 

 

Near Southeast Area Team

Planning is a collaborative, community-driven process facilitated by city staff with the support of City Council offices, partner agencies and guided by a steering committee of residents, local businesses, neighborhood groups, community-serving organizations and other constituencies from every neighborhood in the planning area.

City Planners

Scott Robinson
Senior City Planner
scott.robinson@denvergov.org

Libbie Adams
Associate City Planner
libbie.adams@denvergov.org  

Jason Morrison
Senior City Planner
jason.morrison@denvergov.org

City Council Offices

Council District 4
Councilwoman Kendra Black
kendra.black@denvergov.org


Council District 5
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer
amanda.sawyer@denvergov.org
 


Council District 6
Councilman Paul Kashman
paul.kashman@denvergov.org

Steering Committee

Members of the steering committee for the Near Southeast Area Plan were selected from the more than 100 community members who submitted the interest form. The group is intended to be a cross-section of the neighborhoods that make up the planning area, including residents, local business owners and property owners. In bringing the group together, the planning team consulted with City Council Offices for Districts 4, 5 and 6, considered the area’s demographics, and sought out a diversity of interests, experiences and areas of expertise as well as voices from traditionally under-represented communities.

Steering committee members will help guide the planning process, support public engagement efforts and help create consensus at key points in the process. The committee meets on the second Wednesday on the month. Meetings are open to the public, and meeting materials will be available online after the fact.

Steering Committee meeting information

 Name Neighborhood, affiliations and interests 

Nancy Barlow

Lives in Cook Park, is a business owner and president of East Evans Business Association. Key issues of interest are building design, local businesses and jobs, and mobility.

Dustin Browne

Lives in Goldsmith. Key issues of interest are trees, parks and green space; mobility; and traffic.

Scott Caldwell

Works in University Hills North and is a property owner representative for the Colorado Station Area.

Guadalupe Cantu

Lives in Virginia Village. Key issues of interest are building design, affordable housing and involuntary displacement.

Harvey Cohen

Lives in the Winston Downs area of Washington-Virginia Vale. Key issues of interest are building design, density, trees, green space and proximity to parks.

Lisa Foreman

Lives in Indian Creek. Retired in 2018 after career in real estate development, primarily finance in the multi-family sector. Key issues of interest are affordable housing, trees, parks and green space and mobility.

Scott Kilgore

Lives in Washington Virginia Vale and is on the board of the Preservation of South Hilltop Neighborhood Association.  Key issues of interest are mobility, sustainability, design, affordable housing and anti-displacement, parks, and local businesses. 

Adrian Kinney

Lives and works in Virginia Village. Self employed in a passion-turned-career of all things Mid Century Modern. Key issues of interest: building design/cohesion, accessibility, equity

Judy Anne Kriss

Lives in Indian Creek, serves as President of the Indian Creek Neighborhood Association and is a retired member of the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority. Key issues of interest are mobility, traffic, safety and the increase in crimes of opportunity in Indian Creek, and creating a working relationship with Unincorporated Arapahoe County on shared concerns.

Jared Mackey

Lives in Washington Virginia Vale and is invested in increasing the quality of life, mobility, and business opportunities for his neighbors and neighborhood.

Erika McCallin

Lives Goldsmith and is a mother of two, a small business owner and a member of the Bradley International School PTO. Key issues of interest are community design; beautification of roadways, retail centers, parks and green space; and walkability. 

Miranda Meadow

Lives in Virginia Vale. Key issues of interest are mobility, traffic, and trees, parks and green space, as well as maintaining and enhancing economic/racial diversity.

Joe Miklosi

Lives in Wellshire, serves as president of the Holly Manor Condos HOA and is a former Colorado Representative from southeast Denver and a former Denver Southeast Rotarian. Key issues of interest are preservation of local parks, local businesses and jobs, and affordable housing.

Jennifer Neuhalfen

Lives and works in University Hills North and is a board member of the University Hills North Community RNO and newly appointed board member of the Colfax Business Improvement District. Key issues of interest are, mobility, affordability, housing diversity, building design and planning for an inclusive future.

Maria Jose Torres

Lives in University Hills North. Key issues of interest are affordable housing; trees, parks and green space; and mobility.

Spencer Stephens

Lives in Virginia Village and is the Zoning and Development Chair for the Virginia Village Ellis Community Association. Key issues of interest are building design, local businesses and jobs, and safety.

Sara E. Stewart

Lives in Washington Virginia Vale and is a business owner and advisory board member for the Dahlia Campus of the Mental Health Center of Denver. Key issues of interest are safety, infrastructure and healthy food access.

Jim Stone

Lives in the Cook Park area of Virginia Village and is a Board Member of the Cook Park Neighborhood Association. Key issues of interest are keeping near SE Denver a "true neighborhood area" with appropriate building heights, providing adequate and reasonable setbacks for new building structures, and continuing to provide safety in all areas of concern.

Chris Viscardi

Invests in Virginia Village and is a property owner representative of the former CDOT headquarters and CDOT region one. Key issues of interest are affordable housing, building design, healthy food access and mobility.

 

Consultants, Partner Agencies and Other Organizations

  • Kimley-Horn – Eric Bosman, Project Manager 
  • Otak – Cliff Lind, Project Lead/Manager 
  • Peter J. Park, LLC – Peter Park, Principal 
  • Root Policy Research – Heidi Aggeler, Managing Director 
  • Metta Urban Design – Samantha Suter, Principal 
  • GBSM – Miles Graham, Principal
  • NHN Consulting – Nora Neureiter, Principal 

 

  

 


 

 

Project Archive

Community Meetings and Office Hours

 The events listed below were organized by the planning team to share information with the community and gather input.

Public Meetings

Community Kickoff (1) 
6-7:15 p.m., Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Virtual Community Workshop (2) - Land Use and Housing
6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 1
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Virtual Community Workshop (3) - Parks and Mobility
6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 10
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Virtual Community Workshop (4)
6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 13, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

In-person Community Workshop (5)
6-6:30 p.m., Thursday, July 21, 2022
Four Mile Historic Park, 4846 E. Exposition Ave.

 

Targeted Engagement Event
10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday, July 23, 2022
Frances Weisbart Jacobs Park, 1101 S Quebec St.

 


Pop-up events 

  • Friday, August 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Four Mile Historic Park
  • Friday, August 13, 2:30-5 p.m. at Cook Park Pool 
  • Saturday, August 14, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., University Hills Farmers Market, University Hills Plaza
  • Tuesday, August 24, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Colorado Station
  • Wednesday, August 25, 3-5 p.m., Jewish Community Center
  • Saturday, August 28, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., University Hills Farmers Market, University Hills Plaza 
  • Tuesday, September 7, 4-6 p.m., Avenir Apartments, 1211 S. Quebec Way
  • Saturday, April 16: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at University Hills Spring Market, 2500 S. Colorado Blvd.
  • Tuesday, April 26: 4-6 p.m. at Schlessman YMCA, 3901 E. Yale Ave.

 


Focus Groups and Stakeholder Interviews

Steering Committee Meetings

Steering Committee Meeting 1
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 2
6-8 p.m., Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 3
6-8 p.m., September 8, 2021
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 4
6-8 p.m., October 13, 2021
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 5
6-8 p.m., November 10, 2021
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 6
6-8 p.m., December 8, 2021
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 7
6-8 p.m., January 12, 2022
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 8
6-8 p.m., February 9, 2022
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 9
6-8 p.m., April 13, 2022
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 10
6-8 p.m., May 11, 2022
Virtual meeting

 

Steering Committee Meeting 11
6-8 p.m., June 8, 2022
Virtual meeting

 

 

 

Other Neighborhood Meetings and Events

2019

  • 12/7: Council District 1 Town Hall, Cook Park Recreation Center

2020

  • 12/15: University Hills North Community RNO, virtual meeting via Zoom

2021

  • 2/16: Cook Park RNO meeting, virtual meeting via Zoom
  • 6/9: Lynwood Neighborhood Association meeting, virtual meeting via Zoom
  • 7/31: Virginia Village Library Denver Days event
  • 8/3: National Night Out, Cook Park
  • 8/21: South by Southeast, Bible Park
  • 9/14: Virginia Village Ellis Community Association meeting, virtual meeting via Zoom 
  • 10/27: District 4 Town Hall, Hebrew Educational Alliance 

                              

 

 

 

 

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