Near Southeast Area Plan

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What do you like about your neighborhood? Here's what you told us

The first phase of the Near Southeast Area Planning Process has come to a close! After a successful kickoff and great conversations about the future of Goldsmith, Indian Creek, University Hills North, Virginia Village, and Washington Virginia Vale, we're ready to start crafting a vision for these neighborhoods based on community input. For an in-depth look at the work completed during Phase 1, visit the Process and Timeline section for a run-down on outreach efforts, what questions we asked the community, how residents and stakeholders participated, and more.     

So what did the community have to say? Read the full community input summary(PDF, 1MB) for a deep dive or take a look at the overview of high-level themes below.  

Key Themes from Community Input

  • Desire for improvements to commercial corridors, particularly Evans Avenue, with better design, walkability, and shopping, dining, and entertainment options
  • Better and safer mobility options for all modes
  • More diverse and affordable housing options
  • Preserve and improve parks, trails, green spaces, and landscaping 

On Land Use and Built Form

Top Likes

  • Mix of urban and suburban feel
  • Scale and location of the area Top Dislikes

Top Dislikes

  • Impacts of new development, traffic, loss of green space
  • Areas in need of revitalization, Evans corridor

Top Ideas

  • Sensible and sustainable growth that preserves what people like
  • More mixed-use areas with businesses/services/entertainment options to walk/bike to 

On Housing

Top Likes

  • Nice homes on large lots
  • Quiet neighborhoods

Top Dislikes

  • Increases in housing costs
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Limited middle-income housing options

Top Ideas

  • High quality affordable housing
  • Housing assistance
  • Housing that will lead to a diverse population

On Local Economy

Top Likes

  • Easy access to shops/restaurants, downtown/DTC, and highways
  • Most essentials can be found in the neighborhood (grocery, pharmacy, etc.)
  • Proximity and quality of public schools

Top Dislikes

  • Rundown buildings and strip malls along Evans and other corridors
  • Lack of gathering places (entertainment, breweries, bars, plazas, etc)
  • Increase in homeless population

Top Ideas

  • More community gathering places for neighbors to connect
  • Walkable goods and services
  • Revitalize Evans Ave. 

On Mobility

Top Likes

  • The central location of neighborhoods and proximity/accessibility to local amenities and regional destinations like Downtown Denver
  • Access to Cherry Creek Trail and ability to walk/bike with family to local parks, including Four Mile Historic Park

Top Dislikes

  • While there are plenty of sidewalks, the area is generally not pedestrian friendly when it comes to comfort and safety
  • Lack of protected bike lanes and bike signals at intersections and overall safety prevent people from biking
  • Evans Avenue, Leetsdale Drive and Colorado Boulevard are dominated by vehicles and major intersections are unsafe

Top Big Ideas

  • Connect neighborhoods with more pedestrian and bike infrastructure, and invest in mass transit for the major arterial roads
  • More time to cross the street and wider sidewalks with street trees and landscaping to act as a buffer from vehicles
  • Less car-centric and more incentive to use alternative modes of transportation

On Quality of Life Infrastructure

Top Likes

  • Trees, large open spaces to gather and do activities, and other amenities in parks
  • Cherry Creek, Highline, and Goldsmith Gulch trails for green space and mobility

Top Dislikes

  • Need more park amenities, better access
  • Appearance of more trash and neglected streets and properties in the area, especially along major arterial corridors

Top Ideas

  • More culturally significant events and festivals in the exiting parks, more activities, better rec leagues
  • Improved and better-maintained landscaping, climate appropriate and less water-intensive

Download the community input summary(PDF, 1MB)  

Next Steps 

For the rest of the year, the planning team will be transitioning to the next phase of the planning process, which will include the following tasks. More opportunities to participate will be available early in 2022. 

  • Finalizing the engagement strategy
  • Developing draft vision statements
  • Identifying issues and opportunities the plan should address
  • Developing draft recommendations 



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.   

  • No events currently scheduled. 

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 Southeast Area Plan General Postcard

Download PDF version(PDF, 645KB)



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


  • 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


  • 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 

Completed Phases

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
  • Existing conditions research 
  • Convening 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
    • Cook Park Recreation Center
    • Denver Public Library: Virginial Village Branch Library
    • Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center
    • Four Mile Historic Park
    • The Sojourners Coffee & Tea
    • Istanbul Café and Bakery
    • Barakah Halal Market
    • Sinclair Gas Station
    • Spyglass Creek
    • Mosaic Apartments
    • Yale Station Senior Apartments
    • Granville Townhomes
    • Denver Kinder Care
    • Little Spark Learning Center
    • Sunflower Hill Child Care
    • Colorado Station RTD Park and Ride
    • Yale Station
    • Ace Hardware 
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 Takeaways
  • Desire for improvements to commercial corridors, particularly Evans Avenue, with better design, walkability, and shopping, dining, and entertainment options
  • Better and safer mobility options for all modes
  • More diverse and affordable housing options
  • Preserve and improve parks, trails, green spaces, and landscaping

See more about what we heard in the Community Input Summary(PDF, 1MB)

How the Community Participated
  • 587 joined the project’s email list 
  • 128 attended the Virtual Community Kickoff meeting
  • 523 took the online kickoff map-based survey
  • 228 took the youth-focused survey
  • 331 community members met planners at 9 community events 
  • Steering committee held 4 meetings 
  • 20 community partners participated in stakeholder interviews
  • Intentional outreach and participation has begun with the following partners:
    • Over 288 youth participated across two semesters and 13 classes at George Washington High School 
    • African Community Center
    • Mexican Cultural Center
    • Denver Islamic Center 
Results and Resources

Next Phase: Define the Issues and Develop Initial Recommendations  

What the planning team will be working on 
  • Finalizing the engagement strategy
  • Developing draft vision statements
  • Identifying issues and opportunities the plan should address
  • Developing draft recommendations 




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

Libbie Adams
Associate City Planner  

Jason Morrison
Senior City Planner

City Council Offices

Council District 4
Councilwoman Kendra Black

Council District 5
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer

Council District 6
Councilman Paul Kashman

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

To be named. 





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
6-7:15 p.m., Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Virtual meeting via Zoom

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   

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


Other Neighborhood Meetings and Events


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


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


  • 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