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

Summer has arrived, and in so many ways, life feels a bit more familiar and predictable. Kids' camps are back in session, concerts and events are happening and outdoor pools are opening. I am so proud of how our D5 community has weathered recent storms, and how we continue to look for ways to improve and connect with our community. Make sure to read to the end of our newsletter to find out about just a few of the local events happening over the next month. If you'd like us to promote an event your community is hosting, feel free to send us the information.

A HUGE thank you to the 70 volunteers who came out on a chilly Sunday morning for the D5 2021 Spring Parks Clean-Up Day on May 16. Some of you even cleaned two parks! We'll again tidy the other half of the District's city-managed parks at the D5 2021 Fall Clean-Up Day, planned for Sunday, October 10. When the list of parks and the sign-up are finalized, we'll get out the information through this newsletter and D5 social media channels - links for these are at the very bottom of this newsletter.

As always, the District 5 team is here as a resource for everyone in the District 5 community. Please be in touch if there is anything we can do to assist you.

Gratefully,

Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer 
District 5 
Speak with CW Sawyer about the issues that are on your mind! As Denver begins easing restrictions, CW Sawyer will hold occasional face-to-face, drop-in meetings at locations in D5. Unless otherwise indicated below, Office Hours will be held virtually by private phone or Zoom appointment. Please email our office or call 720-337-5555 to reserve a virtual meeting time. If you're unavailable for these dates, please contact our office to schedule an appointment at another time. Dates and times are subject to change.

  • Thursday, June 17, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Friday June 25, 10:00am - noon
  • Thursday, July 1, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Week of July 5 - D5 Office is closed - no Office Hours this week
  • Thursday, July 15, 11:00-1:00pm
The D5 Team Welcomes Felicia Rodriguez!
Please help us welcome Felicia as an Aide in our office! Felicia has worked with the City for more than 15 years, most recently with Denver Parks & Rec, where she oversaw facility operations and program management at Montbello Recreation Center in Far Northeast Denver. Felicia has worked in several neighborhoods across Denver and has thus far dedicated most of her career to positive youth development in recreation programs and services. In 2011 Felicia was an integral part of the opening team at Central Park Recreation Center, which later earned her team Denver’s 5281 Employee Recognition Award for outstanding service and dedication. Felicia is passionate about community engagement and looks forward to working with our D5 constituents!
Everyone is Welcome at the New Freedom Park Art Installation Celebrations on June 17 & 18
The Trust for Public Land has been working with Denver Urban Gardens, Denver Parks and Recreation, and the community on an art project to be installed at New Freedom Park. On Thursday, June 17 at 3:15pm, a celebration and dedication of the sculpture: "For the Children", created by local artist Robert Tully, will be held at the park. Click here for a full project description.

The dedication will include Burmese, Swahili and Karen interpretation. In addition, community members have designed boxes that will be on display in New Freedom Park. Grace Housing will provide snacks and water and a community resource table will be available which will distribute information on East Colfax happenings and other resources. On June 18, the art will again be displayed and there will be games and treats.
Bus Rapid Transit on East Colfax Moves Forward: Attend Community Workshops in July and September
The City of Denver is taking steps to move forward in bringing center-running Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to East Colfax Avenue. As Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) says, "Building on years of study, planning and significant community input, the project team will now complete the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and preliminary design of the project. These elements will be critical in the pursuit of additional grant funding, final project planning and the ultimate construction." 

You may be aware that many D5 residents have voiced considerable concerns about how this project will affect our community, particularly just south of Colfax Ave. Click here to learn more about the project and sign up to receive email updates and see the graphic below for an overview. If you would like to voice your thoughts and feedback, DOTI wants to hear from you, so plan to attend one or both of these Community Workshops:

Community Workshop #1
Wednesday, July 21
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Community Workshop #2
Wednesday, September 15
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Council Will Convene Public Safety Working Group In Response to Mayor's Strategy for Public Safety Recovery
On May 24, Mayor Hancock announced a new collaborative, community-based approach to address violent crime in specific areas of the City, as well as a plan to build on years of reforms and continuously improve policing. Click here to read the press release. In collaboration, on May 26, City Council President Gilmore announced that Council will convene a Public Safety Working Group to review and determine next steps based on the Denver Task Force to Reimagine Policing and Public Safety’s community recommendations.
 
The Council Working Group will be chaired by CM Paul Kashmann. CW Pro Tem Jamie Torres will serve as the Vice Chair and will initially be seated with CMs Candi CdeBaca, Kevin Flynn, Robin Kniech, and Amanda Sawyer. Meetings will be noticed and open to the public. Public Safety Working Group will have its first meeting on Monday June 28 at 1:30pm and the second meeting will be on July 12. Click here for information on all Committee Meetings. The working group will also look to the Office of Social Justice and Innovation for partnership to help evaluate and dismantle racism within our city’s institutional and structural government systems, policies, and practices. 
Share Your Thoughts About the Proposed 12th Ave. Bikeway
Concept designs for the proposed neighborhood bikeway on E.12th Ave. - between Madison St and Yosemite St - are online and open for community feedback through Friday, June 18. Click here to learn more about this project and other "Backbone Connection" projects that are ongoing through Elevate Denver
Highline Canal Underpass Construction Noise Variance Extension Approved
Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) approved an application from Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Company, LLC requesting an extension to their current noise variance for nighttime work associated with their Highline Canal Underpass Project, a pedestrian underpass at the High Line Canal near the intersection of E. Mississippi Ave. and S. Parker Rd. in Denver. While the timeline to complete the work has been extended into September, the overall number of nights of the work hasn't changed.

Noise variances are necessary when nighttime construction work is being proposed and noise levels above existing conditions are expected. Occasional night work began on this project in November 2020 and was originally scheduled to be completed by June 30 but has been extended due to staffing and logistical impacts from COVID-19 and various weather events. Questions? Click here to email BPHE staff or call 720-865-5364.
DOTI Roadwork at 14th & Jackson St., 17th & Colorado Blvd.
You may have noticed that two stormwater improvement projects near the northwest part of District 5 are creating traffic headaches for some and causing cut-through traffic on local streets. Like some of us on the D5 Team, you may say that is an understatement.

Some roads are closed near E. 14th Ave. and Jackson St. allow Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) to install larger underground stormwater pipes to more effectively manage the significant amounts of stormwater that flow through this area, and increase flood protection for residents and businesses (see photo from 14th & Krameria during 2015 flooding). DOTI hoped to complete this project in early May, but late snow and frequent rainstorms have resulted in a delay because it is unsafe for this construction work to take place during or shortly after such weather events. Work is now expected to be completed at the end of June.

At the same time, it was important that DOTI stay-on schedule and start work on another stormwater improvement project in the area with a goal of increasing safety. This project is also installing larger stormwater pipes - these will run east/west under Colorado Blvd. and will also better manage stormwater. The first phase of this project has closed E. 17th Ave. just west of Colorado Blvd. for four to six months. Throughout 2021, this project will move to the east side of Colorado Blvd. as pipes are installed there.

 
DOTI says, "We ask for your patience as we make these critical safety improvements and hope you will recognize the significant investments the city is making in these areas of town most at risk for flooding. We know it can be frustrating when travel is impacted."
Denver Water Updates: Community Meetings on Lead Reduction Program; Citizens Advisory Committee's Open Position
Lead Reduction Program Community Outreach:
Four Meetings
Have you heard about the Lead Reduction Program but want more information? Have you received a water pitcher and filter from Denver Water and are wondering how to get the most out of your water pitcher and filter? Denver Water is hosting four virtual community meetings to answer your questions about the Lead Reduction Program and share tips to help you get the most out of your water pitcher and filter. While each meeting is targeted to a different part of the city, meeting content will be consistent. Meetings will be from 5:00pm - 6:00pm on the dates below. Click here for more information and to sign up. Spanish interpretation will be available. 
  • June 17
  • June 22
  • July 13
  • July 20

CAC Position Available
Denver Water’s 10-member Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) is seeking a new Denver citizen representative for a three-year term. This volunteer committee advises the utility and its board on a range of issues while encouraging and coordinating public participation in policy development. Applications are due Wednesday, July 14 by 5:00pm. Questions? Contact Ashley Denault, Denver Water staff liaison to CAC at 303-634-3429.
Save the Date to Celebrate Eisenhower Chapel's 80th Birthday Extravaganza on August 21
Did you know that the Historic Eisenhower Chapel in Lowry is turning 80 years old this year? A 1940s-style celebration is planned for Saturday, August 21, 4:00pm - 8:00pm. Click here for tickets and more information. The party will feature:

  • Bianca & the Flyboys, a live 1940s style band
  • World War II reenactors & vehicles
  • Ceremony to hang "Chapel 1" and "Building 27" signs
  • A Proclamation from the City & County of Denver
  • Battlin' Betties Colorado Platoon
  • A special exhibit from the Eisenhower Presidential Library
  • Food & Cash Bar
  • Dance Lessons
Your Trash, Recycling and Compost Pick-Up Day May Change Beginning August 2
Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is adjusting trash, recycling and compost collection routes to operate more efficiently. In late June/early July, DOTI will notify those affected customers that beginning on August 2, their collection day will change. Some residents won’t experience any change at all. Extra trash collection services will not change in 2021 as a result of these routing improvements

After the initial notice in June/July, DOTI will mail a Wastewise newsletter to all customers, indicating what day of the week they will set out their bins, starting August 2. In July, a second reminder will be mailed only to customers whose collection day is changing. Click here to learn more, check your recycling schedule and get reminders about collection days, Or download the Denver Trash and Recycling app.
ECLT Working to Bring Homeownership to D5 and Colorado
June is Homeownership Month and Elevation Community Land Trust (ECLT) is celebrating, in partnership with the City of Denver. In D5, ECLT has worked to bring the stability and opportunity of homeownership to communities, and to promote racial equity through the creation of intergenerational wealth. 55% of ECLT homeowners are households of color. Click here to learn more about the individual and community benefits of ECLT homeownership

In District 5 ECLT has: 
  • 2 Homeowners (72 statewide) 
  • 3 additional homes for sale or under development (210 statewide) 
Reminder: Disposable Bag Fee Goes Into Effect July 1
Remember to bring your own bag when you shop! Starting July 1, Denver’s Bring Your Own Bag program will require all retail stores to charge 10 cents for each disposable carryout bag provided at checkout. The mandatory fee will apply to paper, plastic, and even compostable bags to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags and help reduce the number of disposable bags that are used, littered, and landfilled. Click here for more information, including a list of bag giveaway sites and events. Our office will have bags to hand out at SLOW DOWN sign pick-up sites/dates listed below.
Pick Up Your SLOW DOWN Sign and a Free Reusable Shopping Bag at Palmer elementary on June 14, 4pm-6pm
Our office has more SLOW DOWN signs, and you can pick up yours, as well as a free shopping bag on June 18, 4:00pm-6:00pm at Palmer Elementary, 995 Grape St. Remember to adhere to Denver's sign ordinance, including rules to keep signs in good repair and out of the right-of-way. If you're replacing an old or damaged sign, please consider recycling it or any other yard signs to keep them out of the landfill.
Current City of Denver Public Comment Opportunities
If you are interested in commenting during a hearing, please take a look at 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.

There are currently three open rezoning requests and one Legislative rezoning proposal in District 5:
  • Rezoning application at 10353 E Mississippi was denied by Council on June 7
  • 10 "Yes" votes are required and it received 9.
  • Rezoning application at 1091 S. Parker Rd. & 7400 E. Mississippi Ave was filed on February 10, 2021.
  • No additional information is currently available. Click here for updates.
  • Rezoning application at 5350 Leetsdale Drive was filed on April 19, 2021.
  • No additional information is currently available. Click here for updates.
  • Legislative Rezoning of East Colfax for ADUs, proposal led by CW Sawyer and CM Herndon. Click here to learn more and see updates.

Upcoming hearings on re-zoning requests in other Districts are listed below - dates are subject to change. For more information on proposed rezonings 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.

June 21
  • 1718 Tamarac Street

June 28

July 5 - No Council Meeting due to 4th of July Holiday

July 12
  • 3625 Krameria St.
  • 4785 Tejon St
  • 1880 S Monroe Street
  • Safe Outdoor Space Extension
Mayor Hancock Nominates Phil Washington as DEN CEO
On June 7, Mayor Hancock nominated Phil Washington to be the next CEO of Denver International Airport (DEN), pending City Council approval. Washington most recently led Los Angeles County’s regional transportation authority and before that he headed up metro Denver’s Regional Transportation District. Click here to learn more. CW Sawyer has called this nomination out off consent in order to have a conversation with this nominee the during Business, Arts, Workforce & Aviation Services Committee meeting, tentatively scheduled for June 28 at 1:30pm. Click here for more information. 
DOTI Kicks Off Denver Moves Everyone 2050
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) has launched the Strategic Transportation Plan, Denver Moves Everyone 2050 (DME), a citywide plan to identify ways to make it easier for Denver residents, employees, and visitors to get where they want to go. DME seeks to be a visionary transportation plan, looking 30 years into the future, that will result in a fiscally constrained investment program, as well as unconstrained project, program and policy recommendations. Click here to see a full briefing presentation. The plan will take approximately two years to complete, beginning in early 2021 and finishing in late 2022 - see timeline below. Click here for more information and to sign up for email updates or email Sam Piper, Principal City Planner with DOTI
DPS Resources: Meal Pick-Up Info & Summer Support Guide
Food Distribution Schedule for Summer 2021
Breakfast and lunch will once again be available for pick-up at school sites across Denver Public Schools (DPS). Click here to for guidelines and a full list of summer food distribution sites and schedules.

Summer Resource Guide
Looking for opportunities to learn, volunteer, or create this summer? Do you need support with basic needs, such as food, housing, mental health resources, COVID-19 or internet access? Click here to access DPS' Summer Resource Guide, and click here for more Family and Community Resources on the Equity and Engagement website.
Give Your Input on Housing and Homelessness Strategic Plan Goals: Take the Community Survey by June 24
Earlier last year, Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) began a five-year strategic planning process to help set the direction of the city’s work on affordable housing and homelessness resolution. Through significant stakeholder input, HOST has identified initial goals and wants your input to help shape the plan and their priorities. Click here to take the community survey - open through Thursday, June 24 - and provide input on initial strategic planning goals. The survey is available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese. Click here for more information on the planning effort and to sign up for updates on the process.
Denver's Groundbreaking Behavioral Health Solutions Center Opens
The new Behavioral Health Solutions Center (BHSC) at 2929 W. 10th Ave. in West Denver is the City's first multifunctional facility to address the well-being of all residents via first responder referrals. This removes barriers and improves care coordination while promoting equity in mental health and substance-misuse care systems. The center will provide urgently needed assistance as people recover from a behavioral health crisis through brief inpatient stays, transitioning to treatment of up to thirty days. The BHSC is operated by the Mental Health Center of Denver under contract to the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment.
Denver Days Returns!
One of our city's most popular community-building programs is back for 2021! Registration is open to host block parties, picnics, and service projects with the focus on small, organic gatherings, this year from Saturday, July 31 - Sunday, August 8. During this week, the City will once again waive the cost of permits and provide free barricades to close off streets. Click here to learn more, register, and begin the permit processing.
Virtual & In-Person Events
LCMA's Food Truck Tuesdays
Food Trucks will be at these Lowry parks, 5:00pm-8:00pm with food to purchase - picnic in the park or grab & go! Click here for updated info on food trucks.
Virtual Meeting: Denver's New Mountain Park
Thursday, June 24
5:30-6:30
Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) will hold a virtual public meeting about the donation of Axton Ranch Gilpin County and Jefferson Counties.
Virtual Town Hall: What Was Accomplished at the 2021 Legislative Session?
Wednesday, June 30
6:30pm - 7:30pm
This Zoom meeting is hosted by Lowry United Neighbors, with these guest speakers: State Senator, Chris Hansen State Representative Steve Woodward and D5 Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer.
Community Picnic & Fireworks at Cranmer Park
Friday, July 2
6:00pm - 10:00pm
Co-hosted by Cranmer Park/Hilltop Civic Association and CW Sawyer: food trucks, Denver Fire Department engine for kids to check out, a view of the Glendale fireworks, and a concert by The Denver Municipal Band. Click here for more information, including updates and specific food trucks.
Colorado Rockies Baseball 2021 Senior Days!
Groups of 10 or more community members aged 55+ can purchase specially priced tickets to select Rockies Games throughout the 2021 Season.
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 and entering your address or selecting a location on the map.