The East Central Area Plan in Denver is back in motion. This plan includes Capitol Hill, North Capitol Hill, City Park, City Park West, Congress Park, and Cheesman Park.
This process began probably two years ago, but it is back. An email a couple of days ago included a lot of links as well as a copy of the current plan document on which you can add comments. The deadline is July 1. That also is the deadline for the East Area Plan, a totally diverse set of neighborhoods that provoked a lot of anger when it had been launched. The West Area Plan page on the city’s website has not mentioned a deadline, but that plan was put out for discussion later than the two on the east side.
What’s problematic here is that we have gone through more than two months of caution as well as anxiety, from COVID-19 and now almost a week of peaceful protests that are meaningful, but then followed by riots involving agitators.
Trying to read this plan makes me want to say, “Hey, pull it back at bit more for a while.”
Everything now is done via email and on-line comments, and that is understandable, but I would say that many of us are just not ready for this. But apparently time marches on, even though some members of one of our Registered Neighborhood Organizations asked the planners to put it aside for a while. But, planners gotta plan, I suppose, even though the concept of creating a plan to be in place for at least 20 years somehow seems unfortunate.
The email about the East Central Area Plan included these two paragraphs below, which give a nod to what has been going on — including this area:
“Given that East Central neighborhoods have been directly affected by this weekend’s protests, we know there will be questions about the ongoing planning process. From the start, our goal has been to be flexible and responsive to community needs and that remains true now. In response to community feedback, we extended the public review period for the draft plan several times, added opportunities for input and are now making a second draft of the plan available to give community members a chance to see how the document was updated according to your feedback.
“These last few months have shown us that, now more than ever, we need to continue the work of creating equity in our city and complete neighborhoods that offer quality-of-life amenities and housing options for all people, safe streets and sidewalks, and access to opportunity, from schools to healthcare to healthy food choices to recreation centers, parks, and libraries that offer innovative programming and great facilities that promote participation and better health outcomes – particularly in underserved neighborhoods. Thank you for your partnership and we look forward to continuing to collaborate on your vision for the East Central Area.”
In the second paragraph, it is so interesting that “we need to continue the work of creating equity in our city and complete neighborhoods that offer quality-of-life amenities and housing options for all people,” etc. etc. etc. I would think we all would want to create equity in Denver, but when the developers are still cherry-picking, what does that mean? Besides, as the plans move along in the pipeline, I wonder who will take the time to read a plan with more than 270 pages.
Below are links to the East Central Area Plan and other aspects about that plan. As well, this is the last blog post for a while, so my poor bedraggled laptop can be cleaned up in the computer hospital. Be well!