Near Northwest Area Plan

Latest news

Weigh in on key issues in your neighborhood!

The Near Northwest Area team is reaching out to community members once again. Get involved to comment on draft vision statements, key issues and opportunities, and develop initial recommendations. Your input will help craft the community's shared vision and specific strategies to make that vision possible. Get started by watching this recap of what we will be talking with the community about over the next few months.


Share your voice: Take topic-focused online surveys

Community members can participate by taking the following surveys, which use maps and visuals to collect information on the community's priorities and potential trade offs. Each survey will take about 20 minutes. Complete the ones that most interest you or all four of them. 


Share your voice: Join upcoming events

Discussions and workshops focused on each Near Northwest neighborhood will take place throughout the spring.

Virtual meetings will be held in both English and in Spanish on these dates:

  • April 21 - Chaffee Park
  • April 28 - Sunnyside
  • May 5 - Highland
  • May 12 - Jefferson Park

Register for virtual neighborhood discussions

Talk to city staff face-to-face at drop-in events happening on these dates:

  • April 23 - Chaffee Park
  • April 27 - Sunnyside
  • May 4 - Highland
  • May 11 - Jefferson Park

Sign-up for in-person neighborhood workshops


Topics for discussion

This phase will focus on topics based on public input received at the start of the planning process. They reflect the community's priorities and goals:

  • Improving access to healthy food and resources like libraries, emergency housing, healthcare, and affordable childcare.
  • Exploring the future of the area’s industrial land.   
  • Promoting high-quality design and preservation in both our residential and commercial/mixed-use areas.
  • Prioritizing streets that are safe and comfortable for everyone and support natural ecosystems
  • Expanding housing affordability and promoting stability and wealth-building opportunities for area residents at-risk for displacement.
  • Supporting local businesses. 

For more detail on the primary issues and opportunities that the public identified in the area, read the Issues and Opportunities Summary. The summary brings together previous community input and existing conditions analysis. During this phase of the project, community members can take a deep dive into each topic and develop initial recommendations.  

Download Issues and Opportunities Summary(PDF, 21MB)


 

 

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.   

Additional events will be added, so check back for more opportunities.

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. 


Tell your neighbors!

We want as many people as possible to take part in creating a vision for their neighborhoods.

  • Download our postcard about the plan to help spread the word and encourage other community members to participate. 

Near Northwest Phase 2 flier(PDF, 722KB)

Download flier(PDF, 722KB)


 

 

Area Information and Resources

The Near Northwest Planning Area is made up of the neighborhoods of Chaffee Park, Sunnyside, Highland, and Jefferson Park. It includes a variety of housing types, commercial corridors, local shopping destinations, and industrial areas in the northeastern portion of the planning area.   

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 Northwest Briefing Book, which is intended to serve as a resource throughout the planning process. 

Issues and opportunities

The Issues and Opportunities Summary together previous community input and existing conditions analysis and to provide a detailed look at the primary issues and opportunities that the public identified in the area.  

 

Current Zoning Context

  • Urban - 46%

  • Urban Edge - 13%

  • Industrial - 11%

  • Urban Center - 11%

  • General Urban - 8%

  • Other (Former Chapter 59, Open Space, Campus Zone Districts) - 11%

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 Northwest Area neighborhood was scored from low planning need to high planning need in five categories.

Neighborhood Livability Investment Policy & Regulation Economy Demographics
Chaffee Park Medium high Medium low Low Medium Medium low
Sunnyside Medium Medium low Medium Medium Low
Highland Medium Medium high High Medium high Medium
Jefferson Park Medium low Medium Medium high High Medium

  

Read more about the indicators and scoring



Area Statistics and Other Information

Statistics

  • Area: 3.8 square miles
  • 2018 Population: 24,581
  • Housing units: 11,591
Regional destinations
  • Children’s Museum of Denver
  • Downtown Aquarium
Natural features
  • South Platte River
  • Crescent Park
  • Jefferson Park
  • City of Cuernavaca Park
  • Chaffee Park
  • Ciancio Park
Key corridors
  • Speer Boulevard
  • Federal Blvd
  • 32nd Avenue
  • 38th Avenue
  • 44th Avenue
  • Navajo Street
  • Interstate 25
  • Interstate 70


Boundaries

  • North:City limits
  • East:Railroad
  • South:West 29th Avenue, Speer Boulevard and Platte River
  • West: Federal Boulevard 



  


 

  

Process and Timeline

Project 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 Northwest 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: Define the Issues and Develop Initial Recommendations

What the planning team is working on
  • Refining draft vision statements based on community input from Phase 1
  • Confirming issues and opportunities the plan should address based on community input from Phase 1
  • Developing draft recommendations and collecting feedback
  • Continuing to work with the community steering committee
  • Continuing to spread the word about the planning process
What we're asking the community
  • What do you think about the draft vision statements and recommendations?
  • What do you think about the identified issues and opportunities?
  • Are we hearing you right?
How the public can participate
Results and resources

 


Completed Phases

Phase I: Understand the Area

Planning for the Near Northwest neighborhoods of Jefferson Park, Highland, Sunnyside, and Chaffee Park began in early summer 2021. Phase I of the planning process involved kicking off the project with the community through a variety of virtual and in-person events, building awareness of the planning process, and hearing from a wide variety of stakeholders about what they liked and disliked about the area, and their ideas for the future.  

What the Planning Team Worked On

The planning took the following steps to engage the community.

  • Hosted meetings, conducted surveys, and attended community events (virtual and in person) to share information and collect input
  • Existing conditions research
  • Launched the project website to provide updated information, resources, and results to the public throughout the planning process. The website includes a sign-up for email updates.
  • Convened a 24-member community steering committee to help guide the planning process, engage the community, and provide feedback at strategic intervals throughout the planning process. 
  • Developed a Community Engagement Strategy, which was informed by community and reviewed by the steering committee, and is intended to evolve throughout the planning process. 
  • Used multiple channels to get word out about about plan launch 
    • Project website and email list
    • Social media
    • Traditional media outreach
    • Registered neighborhood organizations and other neighborhood groups
    • Schools
  • Distributed bilingual fliers with plan information at 41 community-serving locations
    •  2914 Coffee
    • East Foyer Coffee Bar
    • Sapor Coffee & Concepts
    • Metropolis Coffee
    • Rush Bowls - Smoothies
    • Little Man Ice Cream
    • Avanti
    • Method Collective - Coffee
    • Menchie's Frozen Yogurt
    • Panaderia Rosales
    • Taqueria La Familia
    • La Grande Mexicana
    • Ashland Rec Center
    • Pinwheel Coffee
    • Blackeye Coffee
    • Leevers Locavore - Grocery Store
    • Cherry Bean Coffee
    • Pochito Tortilla Factory
    • Aztland Rec Center
    • The Radiator Denver
    • Starbucks
    • Quigg Newton Community Center
    • Chaffee Park Senior Residences
    • Save-a-Lot
    • Mamahood
    • Safeway
    • Starbucks
    • Taco Bell
    • Terreno Macizo Nightclub
    • Crock Spot
    • Shift Cycle
    • Denver Market
    • Marisela's Night Club
    • Bienviendos Food Bank
    • Happy Camper
    • Safeway
    • Starbucks
    • Jefferson Park Pub
    • Fox and Jane Salon
    • Parkside Liquors
    • Awake
What We Asked the Community
  • What do you like or dislike about your neighborhood?
  • Where are the opportunities?
  • What are the areas of concern?
  • What do you want to see for the future of your neighborhood?
  • How do you want to get involved in the planning process?
Key Themes from Community Input
On Land Use and Built Form
  • Top Likes
    •  Mix of uses and density close to transit and Downtown Denver
    • Architectural variety and Historic and old homes
    • Diversity and culture of the neighborhood, including Chicano and Italian history 
  • Top Dislikes
    •  Scrapes and new construction that is overpriced, poorly built, and out of character and scale with the neighborhood
    • Losing identity and sense of place
  • Top Ideas
    • More Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
    • Encourage new builds to look more in character with the neighborhood to modernize but preserve character
    • Incentivize ground floor commercial uses in mixed use buildings (e.g. grocery, ‘bodegas’) and other services that the community has said are important   
On Economy and Housing
  • Top Likes
    • Independent retailers and restaurants and neighborhood-serving retail
    • Former streetcar commercial nodes (like 32nd Ave and 44th Ave)
    • Energetic vibe
  • Top Dislikes
    • Gentrification and long-standing residents being pushed out with housing and property taxes becoming very expensive
    • Older “affordable” housing being torn down and replaced with large expensive new homes
    • Loss of small businesses
  • Top Ideas
    • More services, commercial nodes, entertainment options, particularly in Chaffee Park
    • Preserve local businesses  and less expensive shopping options
    • Maintain existing and create more affordable housing options (inc. ADUs, tiny homes, etc.), including affordable housing interspersed through the community
On Mobility
  • Top Likes
    • Walkable and bikeable to parks, shopping, and schools 
    • Access to Downtown Denver (pedestrian bridge is good)
    • Access to light rail, highways
  • Top Dislikes
    • Dangerous intersections and streets, not safe for pedestrians to use or cross, due to inadequate sidewalks, speeding cars that result in major barriers
    • Inadequate bicycle facilities and transit options
    • Traffic increasing due to density, parking concerns in busy areas
  • Top Ideas
    • Traffic calming, wider sidewalks, and better crossings
    • Transit enhancements (Federal Blvd., 38th Ave, Speer Blvd.), more protected bike lanes
    • Better connection across I-25, I-70 and railroads for pedestrians and cyclists  
On Quality of Life
  • Top Likes
    • Great neighborhood parks (e.g. La Raza Park, Chaffee Park, Hirshorn Park, Jefferson Park) with picnic areas, trees, open space, views of Downtown Denver
    • Open space and Running and biking paths along the river
    • Tree lined neighborhood streets
  • Top Dislikes
    • Lack of space and amenities in parks (bathrooms, sports fields, trash receptacles, seating) with outdated play structures, and recreation centers are dated and inadequate
    • Lack of convenient and affordable grocery store options; Chaffee Park is a food/grocery desert
    • Highway pollution and noise; Drug activity, violence, and gang culture; Property crime (porch pirates, car break ins, bike theft, robberies)
  • Top Ideas
    • More green space and parks, improve access to parks and open space, including dog park; upgrade existing parks with bathrooms, seating, trash receptacles
    • New and better amenities, including Community Center, places for youth to gather, indoor and outdoor pool, sports courts, indoor skate park
    • More food options

Download complete Phase I Community Engagement Summary(PDF, 6MB)

How the Community Participated
How the public participated
  • 658 people joined the email list  
  • 52 people attended the virtual kick off meeting on July 27th, 2021 
  • 555 people took the online surveys 
  • Steering Committee held 5 meetings
  • 22 community partners participated in stakeholder interviews plus additional informal conversations 
  • At least 580 community members talked with planners at 22 community meetings or events
  • Intentional engagement has begun with the following partners:
    • 513 youth participated through focus groups, youth-led engagement projects, classroom visits, youth surveys and in-class writing activities.

Results and Resources
Results and resources

 

 

 

 


Near Northwest 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

Sung Han - Project Manager
Senior City Planner 
sungwon.han@denvergov.org

Ella Stueve
Senior City Planner
ella.stueve@denvergov.org

Edson Ibanez - Habla español
Associate City Planner
edson.ibanez@denvergov.org
720-865-3266

City Council Offices

Council District 1
Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval
districtone@denvergov.org

Steering Committee

Members of the steering committee for the Near Northwest Area Plan were selected from the more than 140 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 the Council District 1 office, 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 help guide the planning process, support public engagement efforts and help create consensus at key points in the process. Meetings take place the fourth Tuesday of the month. They are open to the public, and meeting materials will be available online after the fact.

Steering Committee meeting information

Name

Neighborhood, affiliations and interests

Ashton Altieri

Lives in Jefferson Park and is a board member of Jefferson Park United Neighbors. Key issues of interest are land use, zoning, and pedestrian and bike mobility.

Ramon C. Bargas

Lives in Sunnyside, is officed in Highland and works throughout the Denver metro area, with a focus on Near Northwest communities. Key issues of interest are building design, safety, green spaces, parks and trees, and serving as a voice for planning in the community and support neighborhood initiatives that preserve cohesive planning, neighborhood maintenance and rejuvenation initiatives and personal connections with neighbors.

Charlie Berger

Is a business owner in Sunnyside and Highland. Key issues of interest are trees, parks and green space; building design; and local businesses and jobs.

Tim Boers

Lives in Highland, is an architect and chair of Highland United Neighbors (HUNI) Planning & Community Development Committee. Key issues of interest are building design, affordable housing, and trees, parks and green space, transportation, and preservation.

Benjamin Chavez

Lives in Jefferson Park. Key issues of interest are involuntary displacement, improving access to opportunity and affordable housing.

William Dana

Lives in Jefferson Park and is a frequent user of parks in the Near Northwest area. Key issues of interest are trees, parks and green space; local businesses and jobs; and building design.

Mike Falbo

Works in Highland. Key issues of interest are building design, affordable housing and involuntary displacement.

Esteban Gomez

Lives in Sunnyside. Key issues of interest are affordable housing, involuntary displacement and improving access to opportunity.

Nita Gonzales

Lives in Chaffee Park and is a trustee for Regis University. Key issues of interest are affordable housing, involuntary displacement and improving access to opportunity.

Tim Hernández

Teaches at North High School and lives just outside the Near Northwest Area in West Highland. Key areas of interest include affordable Housing, anti-displacement, and improving access to opportunity.

Rebecca Hunt

Lives in Highland. Key issues of interest are building design, affordable housing, sustainability, and historic preservation.

Adeel Khan

Lives in Jefferson Park and is a Denver Public Schools principal. Key issues of interest are building design, affordable housing and trees, parks and green space.

Emily Kleinfelter

Lives in Highland and is a member of Denver Streets Partnership. Key issues of interest are equitable mobility, safe streets, progressive land use and zoning policies, and advocating for anti-racist planning.

Sheila Martinez

Lives in Sunnyside. Key issues of interest are involuntary displacement, improving access to opportunity, building design, and creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community.

Renee Martinez-Stone

Works for the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative at Denver Housing Authority (DHA). Lives just outside the Near Northwest Area in West Highlands. Key issues of interest are affordable housing, accessory dwelling units, building design and involuntary displacement.

Nola Miguel

Lives in Chaffee Park and is a member of the Chaffee Park Neighborhood Association. Key issues of interest are involuntary displacement, improving access to opportunity and affordable housing.

Juan Padro

Is a business owner in Highland. Key issues of interest are local businesses and jobs, affordable housing and involuntary displacement.

Garrett W. Phillips

Lives in Sunnyside and is active in many community organizations including the Denver Elks Lodge in Jefferson Park. Key issues of interest are involuntary displacement, improving access to opportunity and building design.

Lorenzo J. Ramirez

Lives in Highland and operates a cultural arts nonprofit organization in Highland. Key issues of interest are historic neighborhood sites and building preservation, new building design, affordable housing and involuntary displacement of native and long-time residents.

Lexi Steinhauer

Is on the board of a Sunnyside-based non-profit organization, lives and works in Highland, and is a member of Highland United Neighbors Inc. Planning & Community Development committee. Key issues of interest are building design, affordable housing, and trees, parks and green space.

Trupti Suthar

Lives in Sunnyside and is president of Sunnyside United Neighbors Inc. and an at-large board member of Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation. Key areas of interest include development and land use, climate and resiliency and community organizing and empowerment.

Leslie Twarogowski

Is executive director of the Federal Boulevard Business Improvement District in Jefferson Park. Key issues of interest are affordable housing, involuntary displacement, improving access to opportunity, supporting a commercial corridor filled with diverse, locally owned businesses and property owners, and safety for all the ways people get around.

Nancy Vallejo

Lives in Chaffee Park and works at Beach Court Elementary. Key issues of interest are healthy food access (including a community pantry in Chaffee Park), affordable housing, involuntary displacement, empowering Spanish-speaking residents to become part of community conversations and increasing representation of Latinx residents.

Emily Weiss

Lives in Chaffee Park and is a member of the Chaffee Park Neighborhood Association. Key issues of interest at affordable housing, involuntary displacement, improving access to opportunity, racial justice, environmentalism, and ensuring voices are heard equitably from all community members.



Consultants, Partner Agencies and Other Organizations

  • Progressive Urban Management Associates - Brad Segal, President
  • Studio Seed - Cheney Bostic, Principal/Owner
  • Colorado Changemakers Collective - Maricruz Herrera, President
  • Grace Herbison, independent consultant - facilitation
  • Studio CPG - Heather Noyes, Principal
  • ALTA Planning & Design - Jennifer Bartlett, Senior Planning Associate
  • ArLand Land Use Economics - Arleen Taniwaki, Principal
  • Ben Kelly, independent consultant - engagement

 


 

 

Project Archive

Community Meetings and Office Hours

Community Kickoff Meeting
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Youth Focus Groups at North High School
Thursday and Friday, October 21 and 22, 2022


Virtual Community Discussion on Health and Environment
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Virtual Community Discussion on Industrial Future
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Virtual Community Discussion on Design Character and Preservation
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Virtual Community Discussion on Complete and Green Streets 
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Virtual Community Discussion on Affordable Housing and Wealth Building
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Pop-up Events

  • Saturday, August 21, 10 a.m.-noon, Federal Coffee, 2307 Federal Blvd. 

Steering Committee Meetings

Steering Committee Meeting #1
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #2
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #3
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #4
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #5
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #6
6-8 p.m., Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #7
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #8
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #9
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

Steering Committee Meeting #10
6-8 p.m., Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom

 

 

Other Neighborhood Meetings and Events

2021

  • 7/15: Registered Neighborhood Organization Leadership meeting
  • 7/22: Quigg Newton Leadership Resident Council
  • 7/28 and 7/31: Sunnyside Conservation Overlay Town Hall
  • 7/29: Sunnyside United Neighbors Inc Quarterly General Membership Meeting and BBQ, 3845 Lipan Street. 
  • 8/5: Jazz in the Park, Chaffee Park
  • 8/6: Movie in the Park, Regis University
  • 8/20: Movie at the Park, Zuni Park
  • 8/21: Coffee Chat at Federal Coffee
  • 8/26: Quigg Newton Leadership Resident Council
  • 9/8: North Side Pride, North High School
  • 9/11: Sunnyside Music Festival, Chaffee Park 
  • 9/14: Back to School Night, North High School
  • 9/16: Back to School Night, Sandoval Elementary
  • 9/17: Back to School Night, CEC Early College
  • 9/18: 3V3 Basketball Tournament, Aztlan Recreation Center, 4435 Navajo St.
  • 9/19: Fun on Federal, 2406 Federal Boulevard
  • 9/26: Jefferson Park United Neighbors Broncos Tailgate
  • 10/6: Registered Neighborhood Organization Leadership meeting
  • 10/13: Bryant Webster Festival de Otoño 
  • 10/21 and 10/22: North High School class engagement (11 classes attended)
  • 10/31: Highland United Neighbors Inc. Halloween Event