Happy Holidays 2017 from Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods celebrated the beginning of the holiday season with our annual Holiday Open House on Wednesday, December 6th. The Tears-McFarlane House was decorated to the rooftop by party chair, and VP of Fundraising, Shirley Howson and her team of volunteers. They proved again what a success can be created by neighbors working together.
Generous local shops and restaurants donated some delightful, delicious treats. We are thankful to Odyssey, gRind Kitchen, The Goods Restaurant, Peculiar Delights and Sexy Pizza. If you haven't tried them, please do and pass along your appreciation for their generous support for CHUN. They are great neighborhood assets.
Thanks are also due to the Denver Gay Men's Chorus, which provided entertainment, and to Santa Claus, who - not surprisingly - was a big hit with the many children and their parents who came to the party.
We were able to collect some helpful donations for The Gathering Place and Safe House Denver. The Gathering Place was also on hand to offer cards and scarves designed by their "artists."
Calling for 'Good Neighbor Award' Nomination
Each year at our annual meeting, Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods recognizes individuals, businesses, and community agencies doing important work.
Please take a moment to let us know who you believe is deserving of this recognition by completing a short nomination form.
Click for more information about the Good Neighbor Awards and to nominate
Volunteers made 2017 a success
This year was a year of transition for Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods. Since the beginning of 2017, Board members and community volunteers have been invaluable as we worked to refine our operations and deliver core programs including:
We also had some wonderful financial support from our community. We owe everyone who made a donation to CHUN a big "Thank You." We are especially thankful to our District 10 City Councilman, Wayne New, who has been especially generous to CHUN this year by funding some much-needed infrastructure work, including plumbing and (coming soon) repaving the parking lot.
It is extremely gratifying to know that we are entering 2018 in solidly financial position. Now we can rededicate ourselves to our mission: Preserving the Past, Improving the Present and Planning for the Future of Greater Capitol Hill. 2018 is shaping up to be a very busy year. We hope you will join us by participating in one of our committees, attending one of our events, renting space for one of your own events, keeping up with what's going on through Facebook and Twitter and, of course, turning to CHUN for help if we can be of assistance on issues in your particular part of Greater Capitol Hill.
Join Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods for the Annual Meeting, January 11th
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods 2018 Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place at the Warwick Hotel, 1776 Grant St. on January 11th at 7 p.m. We hope you'll join us to:
Denver to begin inspecting sidewalks in Capitol Hill
Did you know homeowners are responsible for sidewalk repairs? Beginning in 2018, the city of Denver will be inspecting sidewalks in Capitol Hill and will also start issuing homeowners citations for neglected, broken, and dangerous sidewalks.
Read this Denver Post article for more details.
And for more about this important issue please visit WalkDenver. Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods has partnered with WalkDenver to educate our members and neighbor residents about issues of mobility that impact our neighborhoods.
Historic Preservation Committee
The Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Committee met on November 28, 2017 at 1201 Williams Street with 20 persons in attendance.
Background: RAFMO, LLC., is an experienced hotel developer based in New York City. It owns the properties which are the subject of this variance request at 1840 Grant Street (the former Cathedral High School and convent), 1835 Logan Street (the historic former Oscar Malo, Jr., Memorial Gymnasium) and 1855 Logan Street (a parking lot). It proposes to redevelop and re-use the historic properties as a hotel and event-conference center and to construct an 11-story new building on the parking lot which will contain 2 levels of underground parking, 2- levels of co-work office spaces and 8 levels of additional hotel rooms. There will be a total of 188 hotel rooms and 2500 square feet of retail/restaurant space.
The Zoning Code would require that 124 parking spaces be provided for the entire development. However, due to the fact that the 2 historic properties cannot be disturbed to provide above-ground or underground parking, only 65 parking spaces can be physically provided below the existing parking lot. Additional underground parking cannot be provided because requiring deeper shoring would endanger the structural stability of the historic structures. The zoning variance requested is to provide 65 instead of 124 parking spaces. The developer has agreed to provide valet parking and/or lease adjacent parking spaces and to institute operational parking management controls to minimize parking problems for the surrounding neighborhood.
In 2011, CHUN and Historic Denver, Inc., partnered to persuade Cathedral Parish and the Archdiocese of Denver not to demolish the historic buildings and to make them available for re-use by interested parties. The high school/convent was built in 1915 and designed by prominent Denver architect Harry Manning. The gymnasium was built in 1928 and was designed by prominent Colorado architect Eugene Groves. The developer and its architects have met with the CHUN Historic Preservation Committee on 3 occasions to discuss the redevelopment plans as they evolved.
The committee met December 6 at 7 p.m. in the 19th floor party room at 1201 Williams St.
It is partnering with Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) to provide housing for persons and families experiencing mental illness and homelessness.
The buildings would have classrooms, continual on-site staffing and rooms available to the community for meetings. MHCD, with 30 years of experience, has recently opened a similar apartment property in Denver, the Sanderson Apartments that serves homeless persons and families in similar circumstances.
The church has held meetings with surrounding neighborhoods including nearby high rise residential buildings. The concerns raised included more homeless persons coming into the area. However, MHCD expressed that it has not identified any reports supporting this concern. The church and MHCD expressed that they are available to speak with community members at their neighborhood gatherings. For more information on this project see Saint Andrews Church’s page at www.standrewdenver.org/buildingourvision
Community Issues, News and Events
Community Meeting Votes on MMJ Social Consumption License at Cap Hill Location
Four registered neighborhood organizations within Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods boundaries met December 5th to consider the proposed cannabis consumption permit for Utopia All Natural Wellness Spa and Lounge with an anticipated location at 1244 Grant Street. The neighborhood organizations represented were The Unsinkables, Cultural Arts Residential Organization, The Shire on Capitol Hill and Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods.
The applicant for Utopia is Cindy Sovine. She has been a small business owner since 2006 and has worked extensively with the Colorado legislature. The neighborhood assembly was well attended and those attending asked many questions including about the nature of the designated outdoor cannabis consumption area. A vote was taken to determine if the neighborhood wished to support or oppose the applicant’s efforts to apply for a cannabis consumption permit. The vote was 16 in favor, none opposed, 3 abstentions. A Good Neighbor Agreement was drafted for the approval and signature of the four registered neighborhood organizations and the applicant and was voted on and accepted by the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Board of Delegates at a meeting on December 14th. Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods will advise its members if and when the permit is approved.
The group attending had hoped that Ms. Sovine would be the first applicant to apply for a cannabis consumption permit. However, we subsequently learned that a coffee shop in Lincoln Park was the first business to apply for a consumption permit. Ms. Sovine plans to apply for a consumption permit by the end of December.
The focus of the spa that she intends to operate will be to assist individuals with pain. She will also feature a line of natural products and will offer classes such as yoga, acupuncture, meditation counseling, healing circles and patient-support networking groups.
Denver Rec Centers Offering Free Access to Citizens 60+
Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver Parks and Recreation, and the Denver Commission on Aging has announced the launch of MY Denver PRIME, a new program that provides residents ages 60 and older with FREE access to Denver’s recreation centers and pools, including drop-in fitness classes and clubs, beginning on January 2, 2018. In the meantime, all adults age 60 and older can access all Denver Recreation Centers free-of-charge for the remainder of December. “Denver’s active lifestyle knows no age limit, and our older adults and seniors are just as active as anyone,” Mayor Hancock said. “By investing in the health of our seniors, we are investing in the health of our neighborhoods and our entire community.”
Denver Parks and Recreation is dedicated to supporting healthy lifestyles through access to programs and facilities that enhance the wellbeing of residents. Just like the MY Denver Card gives youth free access to the city’s recreation centers and pools, the free MY Denver PRIME membership, announced in the Mayor’s State of the City Address back in July, provides older adults with opportunities to be active and connect with their communities through recreation. “Membership cost should not be a barrier to accessing services that add value to both physical and social health,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “Increased access to recreation centers provides the aging adult population with tools to improve and maintain their overall wellbeing.”
Starting January 2, Denver residents who are 60 or older can sign up for their free membership by taking proof of Denver residency and a photo ID verifying age to front desk staff at any Denver Recreation Center. Individuals who are not already eligible for another discount program, such as Silver Sneakers or Denver Health Medical Plan (DHMP), qualify for MY Denver PRIME.
Denver has one of the fastest growing senior populations in the U.S., and over the next two decades a quarter of the city’s population will be 60 or older. In addition to the growing number of seniors from the baby boom generation, advances in health care mean a longer life expectancy for everyone. As the number of seniors is set to grow in the coming decades, Denver is investing in programs that provide older adults with opportunities to maintain and improve overall wellness, increasing the likelihood of healthy aging.
Learn more about MY Denver PRIME at www.denvergov.org/ mydenverprime
Climate Action Group Expands Efforts - Join in!
by OliveAnn Slotta, ANCA Committee member and event emcee
The Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action (ANCA) Committee marked its 2017 program year with a First Year Interactions and Celebration Event on December 7th at Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Tears-McFarlane Mansion.
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Board Delegate and ANCA Committee member Jim Slotta welcomed everyone and provided context for the program’s past year. It was a spectacular, celebrative setting; the mansion was beautifully decorated for the holidays. Two food tables overflowed with holiday appetizers and treats including six champagne bottles donated by Bayon Liquors and gold glitter champagne flutes. Chick-fil-A provided plentiful, hot chicken bites and committee members provided additional food and desserts.
Taylor Moellers, director of the City of Denver’s Sustainable Neighborhoods Program and ANCA Committee member, described how Denver's and the ANCA's programs inter-relate.
After Moellers' presentation there was a highly enthusiastic comparison of the 13 action plans that were created by four ANCA Forum events between October 2016 and October 2017, among them:
Metro State University was proudly represented by students and former students who have assisted with the set-up and delivery of forum events. MSU graduate Olivia Blu provided entertainment with her personally created sustainability lyrics and music – very beautiful and enthusiastically received.
Attendees identified the three groups of action plans and new titles, that are common across the three neighborhoods:
Greg Sorensen (Cheesman) observed that in 2018, cross-neighborhood workshops might be held on each of these three topics to streamline the results. Toasts and Promises claimed for the next program year ended the evening. One of the many reflective comments and promises for the future that inspired awe in the attendees was by Cheesman reporter Greg Sorensen: (We will) Make America Green Again.”
January 9, 2018, 11 a.m. Wellington Webb Bldg., 201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 2.H.14 - Case # 202-17; Appeal of a denial for a multi-unit hotel deficient the required number of parking spaces at1855 Logan Street, Denver, 80203. (See above Historic Preservation Committee report for details).