Denver District 5 | December 2021
720-337-5555 |  DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org
Senior Aide: Logan Fry | Aide: Jenn Gross | Aide: Felicia Rodriguez | Aide: Sara Visser
Dear Neighbors, 

Happy Holidays to everyone! We sincerely hope that however you spend your end-of year, it is with joy and friendship.

If you haven't already done so, please complete our Resident Survey so we can plan and prioritize for 2022 and beyond with your feedback in mind. Click here to complete the Survey by December 31.

During these busy winter holidays, I hope you'll patronize local businesses as much as possible. Community members tell me time and again that they value locally owned businesses and want to see them survive and thrive for years to come.

I look forward to 2022 and am excited for all that we can accomplish together! As always, feel free to reach out if the D5 Team can be of assistance.

Gratefully,

Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer
District 5
Speak with CW Sawyer about the issues on your mind! Due to the uptick in COVID cases, Office Hours will be held (mostly) virtually by private phone or Zoom appointment. Occasionally, CW Sawyer will hold in-person Office Hours at a local D5 business. In-person Office Hours are by appointment only. Please email our office or call 720-337-5555 to reserve an appointment. If you're unavailable for these dates, please contact our office to schedule an appointment at another time. 
 
  • No Office Hours the weeks of December 17, 20 and 27.
  • Thursday, January 6, 9:30am-11:30am
  • Thursday, January 13, 11:00-1:00pm
CW Sawyer and Aurora CM Gardner to Launch Gun Buyback Program
In late November, CW Sawyer and City of Aurora At-Large Councilmember Curtis Gardner announced a Joint Community Gun Buyback Program that will launch early next year to help reduce the incidence of gun violence in both cities. RAWtools, a Colorado Springs-based non-profit organization that works with municipalities and faith-based community partners, will host drive-through gun buyback events at soon-to-be identified churches, synagogues and/or other community gathering places. Four events are planned in Denver and four in Aurora, and locations, dates, and times will be announced in January.

Residents can anonymously turn in firearms for destruction. Trained volunteers then destroy recovered firearms to ATF standards and convert them into garden tools and jewelry. While we know that individuals participating in criminal activity will not typically turn in their firearms at a buyback event, working to reduce the number of available guns in our communities is part of an overall strategy to address gun violence.
Good Things Come to Those Who Shop Local
Some data indicates that for every dollar spent at a local business, about 80-cents stays in the community. We are lucky to have many fantastic local businesses in D5! Click here to find out about just some of the businesses along E. Colfax. And if you can, take some time to explore the micro-shopping areas near your neighborhood!

One D5 family-run business that gives back is Stargazer Fine Chocolates and Coffee, located at 700 Colorado Blvd. Mention "support our local schools" when making a purchase and a 10% donation is made to local public schools. Please consider supporting Stargazer and all the locally owned businesses in D5!
D5 Traffic Studies: 8th Ave. Final Recommendations; Announcing Two New Studies and Community Meeting Dates
Thank you to everyone who participated in community engagement for the 8th Avenue Traffic Study. Click here to see the final recommendations. Some improvements can be funded in 2022 and others will need to wait until 2023. We will update you as information becomes available.

Our office will again partner with local traffic engineering firm Fehr & Peers and surrounding neighborhood organizations to conduct two additional traffic studies: 6th Ave. from Colorado Blvd. to Quebec St., and Dayton St. from Alameda Ave. to Mississippi Ave. These two studies will include surveys, data collection, and community meetings.
Sign the Virtual Holiday Cards for 911 Dispatchers and DPD D3 Officers by December 17
Here's an opportunity to send a message of support and good wishes to our Denver 911 Dispatchers and DPD District 3 Officers who work so hard for our communities. If you have a greeting or messages for one or both of these Virtual Holiday Cards, please click here to send an email by December 17. Please sign your greetings/messages with your name, or identifying group/business, or nothing, if you wish to remain anonymous. If your child would like to draw a picture for our Dispatchers and Officers, please take a picture of their drawing/cards and email image. DPD wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!
D5's Annual #SEDenverGivesBlood Drive starts January 1 - Schedule Your Appointment Today!
One way to help support our neighbors in need is to take part in D5's Annual Southeast Denver Gives Blood DriveOur office is again partnering with Lowry business Vitalant Blood Donation to collect 75 blood donations in January, which will save as many as 225 lives. Vitalant's Lowry location is at 717 Yosemite St., just north of Great Lawn Park. Throughout our state Vitalant must collect more than 3,000 blood donations each week to meet the demands of their hospital partners. Click here to learn more about current national and regional blood supply. You can give blood at any Vitalant location and still participate in the Southeast Denver Gives Blood Drive. Click here to learn more, find out if you're eligible to donate, how to donate funds, and more. Thank you!

Denver Water Pipe Replacement Project in Washington Virginia Vale & Hilltop
Denver Water will begin a water main replacement project in the Washington Virginia Vale and Hilltop neighborhoods beginning in early January to replace more than 7,500 linear feet of aging water mains underneath the road. The project will last about five months, and work hours are typically Monday-Friday, 7:30am to 5:30pm, and some weekend work may be required. Denver Water says that if they encounter customer-owned water services lines that contain lead, they will coordinate directly with the property owner to replace the lead service line with a copper service line at no direct cost to them.
 
To see which areas are impacted, check out the map to the right or click here for a pdf you can download. Crews will work from south to north, completing all work south of E. Alameda Ave. and in East Alameda Avenue, to accommodate upcoming paving there. If you have questions about the project, call Denver Water Customer Care at 303-893-2444.

Stoplight at Newport St. & Alameda Ave. Approved
Last week, City Council approved the construction contract for a new stoplight to be installed at Newport St. and Alameda Ave. Our hope is that this light will help alleviate some of the challenges that pedestrians have when trying to cross Alameda Ave. between Quebec St. and Monaco Pkwy.
$75,000 Grant Provides Safety and Aesthetic Improvements to Four Locally Owned Businesses on E. Colfax
The Fax Partnership and Wells Fargo have joined together to provide safety and beautification improvements to a few businesses in the E. Colfax neighborhood through Wells Fargo “Hope, USA” which contributed $75,000 to the effort.. This week, CW Sawyer was honored to be part of an event at Restaurante El Tamarindo (East Colfax & Syracuse) showcasing the improvements. Big thanks go to The Fax, Wells Fargo, and the Wells Fargo employee volunteers whose hands-on work helped to make these improvements happen.

Specific businesses and upgrades include:
  • Restaurante El Tamarindo: new exterior signage and the addition of outdoor seating and a mural painted by Denver artist Tom Ward.
  • Famous Buffalo Wings & Things/East Colfax Liquor (East Colfax & Uinta): window replacements and the installation of safety cameras.
  • East Fax Tap (East Colfax & Tamarac): a new Colfax-themed mural by Denver artist Ratha So.
High Line Canal Underpass Construction Update
Work continues on the High Line Canal Trail Underpass project at E. Mississippi Ave. and Parker Rd,, to continuously connect the Canal Trail and make it safer for people utilizing that section of the Trail. With project teams pausing work for a few weeks this summer to allow for additional quality control and safety reviews, Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is moving the project’s expected completion date to spring 2022. While work is underway, remember that portions of the High Line Canal Trail will remain closed with detours in place.
Lights to be Added to Staircase Near S. Oneida & Leetsdale Dr.
Our office has received many complaints about crime, graffiti, and trash along the staircase that leads down the hill from about Exposition Ave to about Leetsdale Dr. on S. Oneida St. There are currently no lights along the staircase and that is likely a contributing factor to the derelict condition. When our office asked the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) what could be done, they partnered with Xcel Energy to find a solution. We are pleased to report that two lights will be added to the staircase in 2022. Thank you to the residents who brought this to our attention and to DOTI and Xcel!
From the D5 Inbox: Why Doesn't D5 Have Pickleball Courts?
Yes, pickleball is sweeping the City - read this recent Westword article - and our office has fielded several inquiries about adding pickleball courts in D5. There are currently no pickleball courts in our district for two reasons: (1) tennis courts that could be used for pickleball are all in single family zoning, and because the noise from pickleball has brought resident complaints, DPR has made a policy that they won’t add pickleball courts to single family zoned areas; (2) tennis courts where USTA league and tournaments are played cannot be have pickleball striping. DPR wants us to know that high demand for more pickleball will be part of future planning. Click here to see where you can find pickleball courts around Denver.
It's RNO Renewal Time - Deadline is January 31
If you're active in your Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO), the D5 Team thanks you for the time and dedication you invest in your community! We also want to remind you that all RNOs must submit an online renewal form by January 31 to be considered in good standing for the 2022 calendar year. New organizations may also register during this period. Click here to access to forms or to find your RNO on an interactive map. A few updates of note:
  • New fields have been added to better reflect the eligibility requirements listed in the RNO ordinance,
  • The option to skip the form if contact information remains the same has been removed - all organizations must complete the full form this year.
Reminder: Trash, Recycling & Compost Routes Changing Jan. 3
The update about trash, recycling and compost pick up day changes was by far the most-read item in the November D5 Newsletter. To learn more about the changes, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) recommends residents check their mailboxes for the Wastewise within the next couple of weeks. DOTI also launched a new online resource where you can find 2022 collection schedule information and a link to a searchable map. You can also download the “Denver Trash and Recycling” mobile app - current collection days are now shown, new schedules will be loaded in January.
If you are interested in commenting during a hearing, please review the guidelines and FAQs, and sign up to speak here. Sign-up begins 45 minutes prior to the Committee’s scheduled start time and ends 15 minutes before the meeting begins. Click here for information about how to participate virtually.

There are currently four open rezoning requests and one Legislative Rezoning proposal in District 5. Click here for more information and updates.


Upcoming hearings on re-zoning requests in other Denver Districts are listed below, dates are subject to change. For more information on proposed re-zonings around the City and their public hearings visit the Denver Community Planning and Development website. If you don't have internet access, you can still attend Council meetings by phone. Call 720-928-9299 and enter the Meeting ID of the meeting you wish to listen to. Click here to learn more and to see a Meeting Calendar.

December 20
  • 901 Navajo St.
  • 4736 Pennsylvania
  • E. Colfax ADU Legislative Rezoning
  • Text Amendment: ADU Building Form Correction

No City Council Meeting on December 27

January 3
  • 2137 Glenarm Pl
  • 4525 & 4517 N. Yates Street

January 10
  • 1200 Eudora Street
  • 8890 E. Lowry Boulevard
  • 4151 N Fillmore St.
Give the Gift of Warmth: Giving Tree Campaign is Underway
Help warm the heads, hands and hearts of a Denver family in need through Mayor Hancock’s annual Virtual Giving Tree Campaign. Donations can be made through Giving Tree donation wish lists found on Amazon and YouGiveGoods. Both online giving options feature warming and hygiene items at various price points for purchase. Purchased items will be delivered directly to the Denver Human Service’s GIVE Center. Thank you in advance for your generous support!
Early Education Programs Are Available at No Cost for Families with Children Ages 0 to 5
Denver's Office of Children's Affairs' Early Head Start program serves pregnant moms, infants and toddlers ages 0 to 3, and the Head Start program is for children ages 3 to 5 throughout the metro community. Families must be eligible and meet specific qualifications to enroll their child.

Updates from CASR
The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency (CASR) shares news on their work with our office monthly. Here's some of the latest. Click here to learn more!

November was an exciting month for climate action in our city with the official release of the Climate Protection Fund’s Five-Year Plan, passage of the Energize Denver Building Performance Policy, approval of two major contracts for solar and building electrification, the awarding of six green jobs contracts, and the release of a new funding opportunity to support solar, EVs, and battery storage for Human Service Providers. Stay engaged with CASR in the new year to learn how our city is leading the charge in climate action.
 
CASR is hiring!
Update: Park Hill Golf Course Visioning Process Continues
Since January 2021, city planners from Community Planning and Development (CPD) and Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) have been hearing what residents have to say about the future of the golf course property. Residents expressed the most support for these priorities:
  1. Create a new, large park and community gathering places 
  2. Stand up an oversight committee to guide future planning and development 
  3. Preserve/expand the tree canopy to combat urban heat island effects in this area 
  4. Add youth and recreational sports opportunities 
  5. Include a variety of affordable (income-restricted) housing options, including for-sale units 
  6. Address food insecurity by including space for grocery and fresh food choices 
  7. Create space for local businesses and businesses owned by people of color 
  8. Employ strategies to mitigate involuntary displacement 

Winter Watering Guide: Caring for Trees During the Winter

Why is winter watering vital? In the fall and winter, trees drop their leaves and become dormant as they prepare for colder temperatures. However, newly planted trees experience the greatest growth in their root system during this time. Not watering throughout the winter is the largest contributing factor to the mortality of newly planted trees. It is best to slowly give any newly planted trees 10-15 gallons of water before putting the hose away for the winter and to supplement with 10-15 gallons of water during dry periods and when temperatures are above 40 degrees. Do not water when temperatures are near or below freezing. This Colorado State Forest Service article (also linked to in our article) has some good information on general winter tree watering.
Events Around Denver and D5
The D5 Team brings you just a few of the events going on in our city. To stay up-to-date on more happenings, you can sign up to receive Denver's Office of Special Events' monthly newsletter.
2nd Annual Cherry Creek Holiday Market
November 18 - December 24
Sunday-Wednesday, 11:00am-7:00pm
Thursday-Saturday, 11:00am-9:00pm
Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, 11:00am-2:00pm
Mile High Tree
Through January 1
110-foot-tall immersive art installation, music and lights show every night on the 16th St. Mall at Welton St
Downtown Denver New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Friday, December 31, 9:00pm to midnight
Free to attend! For the best viewpoints, stand along the 16th Street Mall. Click here for more information about this and other Downtown NYE events.
National Western Stock Show Kick-Off Parade
January 6, Noon-1:00pm
The Parade launches 16 days of the National Western Stock Show. Click here for more information about the parade and all the NWS events..
Denver District 5 Neighborhood Organizations
Denver is a unique city in promoting greater citizen involvement through organized neighborhood associations. Currently, there are 78 statistical neighborhoods represented by more than 200 registered neighborhood organizations (RNOs), Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Homeowner Associations (HOAs).

In its defined geographic area, an RNO will normally address neighborhood quality of life issues - such as traffic, development and zoning, crime, communication and licensing, and promote social activities to enhance residential spirit, developing a sense of community, and encourage resident participation. RNOs meet regularly and many send out newsletters to keep residents informed on neighborhood issues and events.

Get more involved in your community by joining your Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO). Below is a list of Council District 5 community organizations. You can also find out which RNO you belong to by entering your address or selecting a location on the map.