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January 2016

Mary Beth's Memo

Table of Contents
Meet with Mary Beth
In-District Office Hours
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

January 7
Steep Cafe
4100 E 8th Ave

January 14
Centerpoint West Community Room
Centerpoint Community Center
595. S Clinton St

January 21
Einstein Bros Bagels  
Lowry Town Center
REMINDER

City buildings will be closed on January 18th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Related Links

Denver City Council
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Contact Us

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Denver CO 80202

Phone: 720.337.5555

Email:
Council District 5

Website:
Denvergov.org/
MaryBethSusman


Council Aides:
Genny Kline
Luke Palmisano
 

 

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Safety & Well-Being Committee
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Wishing you the best in 2016!
Dear Friends,

Wow! 2015 saw some exciting things happening in District 5. Following the municipal elections in July I welcomed parts of Bellevue-Hale and Washington Virginia-Vale into my district while I said a reluctant goodbye to Park Hill (now under the capable hands of Councilman Chris Herndon).

The 9th and Colorado project saw a number of important milestones this past year. Continuum formally took possession of the property, secured $47.9 million in tax-increment financing for the $419 million project, and began demolition work. On August 29th Continuum Partners, in conjunction with Saunders Construction, imploded the Bio Research Building. It was a sight to see! Colorado Blvd and surrounding streets were shut down for about nine hours to ensure that everyone would be safe. Compare this to four months of noise, dust, and partial road closures that would accompany conventional demolition and I think the community got quite a deal. Click http://www.9thandcolorado.com to follow the progress in the upcoming year.

Denver Parks & Recreation and the Urban Drainage & Flood Control District launched the Westerly Creek Channel Restoration Project. This project is looking at opportunities to enhance Westerly Creek from 11th to 13th Avenues. The Westerly Creek project team received positive feedback from neighbors about the channel and trail concept and took suggestions on other design items including seating, art, landscaping, and safety. Later this spring they will share updated plans with the community.

The Colfax Mayfair Business Improvement District launched their streetscape design project. With input from the community, planners have considered pedestrian improvements such as better sidewalks, lighting and benches; transportation amenities such as bus shelters and bicycle racks; landscape items such as planters; and community spaces for events. I look forward to the progress this section of East Colfax will see.

I am working with the East Montclair neighborhood to improve Colfax issues farther east from the Business Improvement District (which just goes from Elm to Monaco). There are dire needs to control crime and zoning code infractions in this area, as well as opportunities for more neighborhood-friendly businesses and with a team from the neighborhoods, DPD, city inspectors, and Fax Partnership, we’re tackling the issues on all fronts.

Save Our Sundial, a project of The Park People, continued its efforts to raise sufficient funds to restore the Sundial and Sundial plaza to its original glory, with a keen eye toward historic preservation and a plan for responsible maintenance going forward. 

This past fall, Council outlined their budget priorities for the coming year. Council’s top budget priorities are better intra-city transit, walkability, bikeability, safety, affordable housing and community planning. Council will continue efforts to improve multi-modal transit options city-wide. This includes bolstering critical connections between the four quadrants of the City and infrastructure that supports walkability and bikeability city-wide.

Council also advocated for increased staffing in the Denver Police, Fire, and Sheriff Departments. We will continue to find and dedicate a sustainable source of annual funding for mixed income, affordable housing in conjunction with the priorities outlined in the “Housing Denver” strategic plan.

Council will also be supporting efforts to address staffing and resource shortages in the Community Planning and Development Department to more efficiently and equitably respond to the growing needs of the city. This effort includes providing additional staff in Permitting to process the increasing number of requests. We also earmarked funds to build Small Area Plans in all neighborhoods across the city so residents can create a common vision for their neighborhood.

Construction on the first homes began in Boulevard One. If you haven’t driven by recently take a look to see the progress. There are already families moved into some of the homes!

Storms ravaged parts of Mayfair and Montclair this summer and I am very thankful to the team from Denver Storm Water who met with neighbors about flood proofing and plans for mitigation of our perennial flooding issues.

Looking ahead, my work on short-term rentals will finally come to a head as council will consider a package of ordinances that seek to bring our zoning code and licensing processes to the issue.  We will have a large community outreach process to review suggested concepts for the code and get neighborhood feedback later this month and in February. See below for times and dates.

Council will also be taking up several issues concerning recreational marijuana in the coming months to review the data we have and how our ordinances might be improved.

On another front, I continue to work on finding solutions to transportation needs in our inner city areas. You have read our information about talks with a company out of Boston called Bridj (Bridj.com) which provides a bus-on-demand seeking to expand their service to Denver. I’m still hopeful they can do a pilot service to see if it works here. 

East Montclair Wins P.S. You Are Here Program Grant

Congratulations to East Montclair! The neighborhood was selected as part of the PS You Are Here! campaign to receive matching funds to install a sidewalk mural/art project at the 8200 block of E. Colfax Ave. Stay tuned for further information as this project begins in 2016.

East Montclair Joins Sustainable Neighborhood Program

The East Montclair/East Colfax neighborhood has been chosen by the City and County of Denver to participate in the Sustainable Neighborhoods Program! With support from the City, neighbors will work together on projects like enhancing walkability and bikeability, installing native landscaping and reducing water use, organizing neighborhood clean-up days, exploring opportunities for community solar, and more.

East Montclair/East Colfax residents are invited to a neighborhood-wide meeting on Saturday, January 23rd from 10 am to 12 pm, at the East Montclair Community Center (6740 East Colfax Avenue). This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the program and how you can get involved. Snacks and beverages will be provided and there will be kids’ activities. For more information please visit SustainableNeighborhoodNetwork.org/Denver

Preschool Showcase

The Denver Preschool Program (DPP) will host its 4th annual Preschool Showcase on Saturday, January 9th at two locations: Green Valley Recreation Center and the Studios at Overland Crossing. The Showcase is a once-a-year opportunity for families to find and compare quality preschool options for their child, discover the dollar amount they can get in tuition support from DPP, and apply for tuition support. The showcase will feature:

-       Light refreshments

-       Family-friendly activities and entertainment

-       Online Preschool Locator demonstrations 

-       Photo opportunities with PBS characters Clifford and Curious George

The Preschool Showcase is hosted by the Denver Preschool Program (DPP), a nonprofit, tax-funded organization that was created to increase Denver children's access to high-quality preschool. This is accomplished in two ways: one, by providing tuition credits to Denver's families to help make preschool more affordable, and two, by providing resources to participating preschools to help improve their quality. For more information about DPP, please visit www.dpp.org.

New Composting Routes Coming to District 5

Starting this month, the Denver Composts program will add one more route and then two more routes in the summer of 2016. The Denver Composts program is a fee-based service that collects residentially generated organic materials like yard debris, food and non-recyclable paper. These materials are collected weekly and taken to a commercial composting facility that turns these materials into a soil amendment known as compost.

Organic material is the single largest item that is thrown away by Denver households and accounts for more than 50 percent of what is taken to the landfill. Residents participating in the compost program have reported that with recycling and composting, they have been able to reduce the amount of trash they throw away by 50 to 75 percent.

To find out if your home is eligible for service and to sign up visit http://DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles or call 311.

New Boulevard One Park

A lot of homes are going up on the Boulevard 1 site, but beautification projects are being added as well! In November, grass and other landscaping was installed for Linear Park between Niagara Street and Oneida Court. A sculpture was also added to the top of the berm along Monaco Parkway. The sculpture is part of “Wildlife Weave” – an installation that will include a walking path, other art elements, and native landscaping designed to support bird life in the area.

TreeCycle

Tis the season to give your Christmas tree a second life and recycle it through the Denver Public Works Treecycle program!  The program begins January 4 and runs for two weeks. Recycling your tree reduces waste and greenhouse gas emissions. It also creates mulch, which is made available to Denver residents for FREE at the city’s annual Mulch Giveaway in the spring!

Recycling a Christmas tree is as easy as one, two, three! Denver residents just need to follow these steps to ensure their trees are recycled properly:
  1. Remove decorations, lights and the tree stand. Real trees only. No artificial or flocked trees.
  2. Set your tree out for collection during the two week Treecycle period only (January 4th to 15th).
  • Manual & Cart Customers:  Trees will be collected on your regular trash collection day during the week of January 4 and the week of January 11. Set out trees by 7:00am in your normal trash set out location.
  • Dumpster Customers: Set your tree out on your side of the alley by 7 a.m. on Monday, January 4th, or Monday, January 11th, and the tree will be removed during the week.
  1. Pick up free mulch made from the recycled trees at the Annual Mulch Giveaway in the spring!
Do not place trees in trash carts or dumpsters and please set the trees at least two feet away from trash or recycling containers, cars, and other obstacles.
For more information about Treecycle, the Annual Mulch Giveaway and Compost Sale, or other Denver Recycles programs, please call 311 (720-913-1311) or visit us online at DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles

Bus Rapid Transit on Colfax

The Colfax Corridor Connections team invites you to attend a fourth round of public meetings to discuss findings and gather input on recommendations to address transit mobility and accessibility in the Colfax Avenue corridor between I-25 and I-225.
 
The team is excited to share with the community the results of a focused, 1.5 year-long environmental analysis of Bus Rapid Transit. Public meetings will be held on January 20th in Denver and January 21st in Aurora. Briefings by the team, along with informative displays, will help educate the community about the findings of the environmental analysis as well as next steps for the project. Both meetings will present the same information and provide opportunities for community members to submit feedback to the project team.
 
Denver Public Meeting
Wednesday, January 20
5:30-7:30
Knights of Columbus Hall
1555 Grant St, Denver 80203
 
Aurora Public Meeting
Wednesday, January 20
5:30-7:30
North Middle School
12095 Montview Blvd, Aurora 80010
 
Learn more at www.colfaxcooridorconnections.com You can also email info@colfaxcorridorconnections.com or call 303-223-6595 for more information.

Short-Term Rentals Town Halls

As I mentioned above, the City of Denver is currently developing a framework to license and regulate short term rentals (STRs) in Denver and we want to hear from you. Along with staff from Excise and Licensing and the Community Planning and Development Department, I will be hosting the following events later this month and in February. I hope you will join us and share your thoughts.
  • Presentation to Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation Zoning and Planning Committee; January 23rd, 9:30 to 10:30am - 1201 Williams Street (19th Floor)
  • Community Town Hall; February 3rd, 6:30 to 8:30pm – South High School, 1700 East Louisiana Avenue
  • Community Town Hall; February 11th, 6:30 to 8:30pm – East High School, 1600 City Park Esplanade
  • Community Town Hall; February 17th, 6:30 to 8:30pm – North High School, 2960 Speer Boulevard
  • Community Town Hall; February 25th, 6:30 to 8:30pm – Christ Church United Methodist, 690 Colorado Blvd

Change in Street Sweeping Alerts

Denver is deactivating the street sweeping reminder service to which you are currently subscribed and is now providing the service ONLY through www.pocketgov.com.

Please go to www.pocketgov.com to create a user profile and sign up for notifications so that you will continue to receive reminders when the street sweeping season starts again in April 2016. Through Pocketgov, you can receive email and text reminders about street sweeping, as well as reminders about your trash and recycling collection days.

Plus Pocketgov has many other cool features, allowing Denver residents to ask questions about city services, report problems, and make payments on parking tickets, boot fees, and DMV renewals.
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