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

Wow! What a storm. Although it may have started off slowly, Denver got over 24" this weekend and it was the 4th largest storm in our history! We hope you and your loved ones stayed safe!

While the snow didn't materialize until late Saturday, it was a busy day in Denver! INC held its annual Neighborhood Stars Awards on Saturday morning. District 5 had three honorees at the event. Huge congratulations to The Spring Institute, George Washington High School's Eye-to-Eye program, and Lowry United Neighborhoods Board member Paul Vranas for winning. Thank you for all you do for our neighborhoods! You are truly Stars, and we're grateful for all you do for our community.

Year-round, and certainly in the warmer months, our community parks provide space for recreation and respite, and are treasured by community members of all ages. Let's join together to give them some attention and tidying. The Spring District 5 Parks Clean-Up Event, planned for Sunday, May 16, 8:30am -11:00am. Click here to access the volunteer sign up, where you’ll see a list of the parks, specific meet-up spots, available volunteer slots, and other guidelines. Last October, the D5 Team was thrilled to see more than 80 volunteers show up to help tidy about half of our District’s parks. We have no doubt that our community members will again step-up to lend a hand for the spring event. We hope you'll join us and thank you!

Also, please Save the Date for the District 5 Spring Community Town Hall to be held virtually on April 29, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Based on the 1,141 responses to our D5 2020 Annual Survey our constituents' primary concerns are, and our agenda topics will be: Crime and Safety; Traffic, and Development. We hope you can attend to hear the updates. Click here to register.

As always, the District 5 team is here as a resource for everyone in the District 5 community. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do to assist you.

Gratefully,

Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer 
District 5 
Community Office Hours With Councilwoman Sawyer
Speak with Amanda to discuss the issues that are on your mind! Out of an abundance of caution during the current public health crisis, the Councilwoman will not be holding in-person community office hours for now. She will instead offer private phone or Zoom appointments. Please email our office or call 720-337-5555 to reserve a time. If you're unable to make any of these dates, please contact our office to schedule an appointment at another time. Dates and times are subject to change.

  • Thursday, March 18, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Thursday, March 25, 11:30am - 1:00pm
  • No Office Hours the week of March 30th due to Spring Break
  • Thursday, April 8, 11:00am - 1:00pm
Thank You to Everyone Who Stepped Up to Support Our JAG Application to Help Stem Crime on E. Colfax
You may have heard that our office, in partnership with Denver Police Department District 2, has been working on a State of Colorado Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) application. The grant would fund staffing and supportive services, implementing a community policing model along E. Colfax from Monaco to Yosemite. If awarded, it would not only reduce crime along the East Colfax corridor, but also create a more positive relationship between DPD and the residents of the neighborhood through community classes and services, and a victim services coordinator to assist to those who have experienced trauma and violence. On March 12, our JAG application was submitted.

During this lengthy and detailed process, the D5 Team has been truly overwhelmed with the outpouring of community support. We give a huge "THANK YOU!" to everyone in the community who participated on behalf of this effort: individual community members who wrote letters; 222 individuals who signed the online petition; and the small business owners, Registered Neighborhood Organizations, Business Improvement Districts, City Councilmembers, and City and other agencies who spoke out in support of our JAG application, including:
  • Ace on the Fax
  • All Pro Auto Repair
  • Avalon Motorsports
  • Brothers Redevelopment
  • Denver City Councilmember At-Large, Debbie Ortega
  • Denver City Councilmember District 4, Kendra Black
  • Denver City Councilmember District 5, Amanda Sawyer
  • Denver City Councilmember District 8, Chris Herndon
  • Denver Department of Public Health & Environment
  • Denver Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization Team
  • East Colfax Community Collective
  • The FAX Partnership
  • Fiction Beer Company
  • Greater Park Hill Community
  • Historic Montclair Community Association
  • Officer Heidi Lewis
  • Hope Communities
  • Jambo Motors
  • Lowry Community Master Association
  • Lowry United Neighborhoods
  • Mayfair Neighbors, Inc.
  • RTD Director Kate Williams
  • Street Fraternity

We worked hard to find a balance with this application, recognizing that many community members have concerns about over-policing. We feel confident that this is we have created a community program that is rooted in partnership with residents, not exerting power over residents. The JAG recipients should be announced this fall and we will keep you updated. Click here for more information on JAG Funding,
New AMC Movie Theatre in D5 Now Open!
The AMC movie theatre at the 9+CO development is now open and offers recliners, reserved seating, adult beverages and concessions of all kinds. AMC Theatres continue to keep their maximum capacity at 50% as set by Colorado COVID-19 guidelines. Click here to see how AMC Theatres is keeping guests safe.

Want to see a movie, but concerned about safe social distancing? Consider renting a theatre for up to 20 people for a private showing. Click here to visit AMC’s website and for a list of movie options and prices for these private showings.
Learn More and Share Your Opinions: Surveys and Upcoming Town Hall Meetings About Issues in D5 and Around the City
We know that District 5 residents are among the most civically engaged in the City of Denver. It is one of the things that make it an honor to represent D5! With that, we hope you'll take a few minutes to review this somewhat lengthy list of upcoming meetings and survey links for issues that interest you. If you can we hope you'll make time to attend one or more of the meetings (many of which will be recorded for viewing after they are held) and complete one or more of the surveys. Thank you for your interest and participation!

Potential Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products: Webinar Tuesday, March 16, 5:30pm and District 5 Survey
Lowry United Neighborhoods (LUN) invites you to learn about a proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco in Denver. This webinar for Lowry residents will feature advocates in favor and opposed to the ban. Following the meeting, all attendees will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not Lowry United Neighborhoods should endorse the proposal. Click here to learn more and register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email.

Click here to take D5's 1-question survey about the potential ban on flavored tobacco products. The central question with this proposal is how do we balance public health factors and safety of our children with the potential negative impact on businesses who currently sell these products? Tell us what you think!
Proposed Kearney St. Bikeway: March 17 Virtual Meeting, Take the Survey by March 25
Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) invites the community to attend a virtual meeting on March 17, 5:30pm-6:30pm for you to hear updates and share your thoughts regarding changes being considered for the proposed bikeway on Kearney Street. DOTI is also gathering feedback from the community regarding this bikeway project and encourages interested community members to take their concept design survey.

Click here to take the survey by March 26, and you'll also see the proposed route for the bikeway - beginning at Smith Rd and continuing south of Crestmoor Park.
Verbena Park Improvements: Community Meeting on Thursday, March 18, 5:30pm
Join Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) for virtual meeting to discuss planned improvements to the playground and basketball court at Verbena Park. Spanish and Burmese interpretation will be available from The Interpreter Network at Spring Institute.

The project is funded by DPR's Capital Improvement Program; is currently in the conceptual design phase with construction scheduled to begin in early 2022; and will include accessibility upgrades for the playground, athletic field drainage, and improvements to picnic facilities as budget allows.

Click here to join via Zoom or join by phone: 720-928-9299; Meeting ID: 812 8212 5493.
Remote Meetings Ordinance: Survey for Residents & Community Partners
After the passage of Ballot Measure 2F in November, the District 5 office, in partnership with the Mayor's Office and other city department/agencies, has convened a stakeholder group to formalize Denver's Remote Meetings ordinance. Take the Denver Meetings Survey - Residents & Community Partners to share your thoughts about how the city can make changes to meetings in Denver, balancing the need for accessibility for residents, staff safety and the potential to work remotely in an emergency situation.
Park Hill Golf Course: Virtual Public Open House on Thursday, March 25, 5:30pm
City planners from Denver Parks and Recreation and Community Planning and Development will provide a public update on the Park Hill Golf Course visioning process and will answer questions. Everyone is invited to join the open house and share their thoughts. This event will be recorded.
8th Ave. Corridor Traffic Study: Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, April 7, 6:30pm, Take the Survey
If you’ve lived in East Denver for more than a few years, you have seen first-hand how much the area has grown. With this expansion and demographic shifts, as well as through-traffic from the surrounding communities, increased safety concerns have also arrived. 8th Ave. between Colorado Blvd. and Quebec St is significantly impacted. To address these issues and increase safety for those who live and work in the area, our office has partnered with District 5 Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs) and local traffic engineering firm Fehr & Peers to conduct a traffic study of this area.
Click here to register for the Town Hall webinar. Call-in (phone only) at (720) 928-9299.
Landlord & Renter Survey
Denver has thousands of impending evictions that are only compounding under an eviction moratorium that will expire on March 31. One out of every four Coloradans are facing eviction right now. Councilwoman CdeBaca's office is exploring ways to ensure that we avoid as many possible evictions (that will translate to homelessness) as we can once the eviction moratorium is lifted. Please complete this survey to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the issues, concerns and experiences of renters and landlords in our city to help craft a bill that meets as many needs as possible on both sides of the issue of displacement.
Proposed Marijuana Law Revisions: District 5's 1-Question Survey
Denver's Excise and Licenses Department is seeking to: revise Denver’s Marijuana Code provisions using an equity lens and create opportunities for Social Equity Applicants; align Denver’s Marijuana Code provisions with the Colorado Marijuana Code and state rules; modify distribution of existing store and cultivation licenses by removing the location cap and location lottery requirements; create a Denver Marijuana Delivery Program; and establish a Marijuana Hospitality Program to allow lawful consumption establishments. Click here to see the Power Point presentation from the March 2 Finance and Governance Committee meeting. The topic is scheduled to be discussed again in the Finance and Governance Committee on Tuesday, March 16 and could be up for a vote as soon as the April 5 Council Meeting.

DPR's Draft Recommendations for the Strategic Acquisition Plan: Survey
Building off Game Plan for a Healthy City and the Legacy Fund Five-Year Plan, the Strategic Acquisition Plan will guide the growth of an equitable, sustainable and resilient parks and recreation system for a healthier Denver.
Update on E. Dakota Ave. Storm Sewer System Construction
On March 8, the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) provided this update on the Crestone Peak General Storm sewer construction in E. Dakota Ave.:
  • Installation of the new storm water pipe in the intersection of E. Dakota Avenue and S. Jasmine Street has been completed. The intersection will remain closed for approximately one to two more weeks as crews install ADA curb ramps and restore landscaping. Work will then proceed west on E. Dakota Avenue toward S. Jersey, with one city block and two intersections closed at a time.
  • Access to driveways will remain open to residents during construction.
  • Signage has been set up at the intersections of S. Holly Street and E. Dakota Avenue and S. Monaco Avenue Parkway and E. Dakota Avenue to alert travelers to the road closure on E. Dakota.
  • Crews have placed protective fencing around all trees in the immediate project area. 
  • The project team anticipates generally working from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday work may occasionally be required, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • The project team continues to monitor construction vibration levels to ensure compliance with state requirements.
Construction is expected to be completed by late summer. DOTI asks that we please keep in mind that plans and schedules are subject to change due to weather and other factors. Click here for more information and the latest construction updates.
SLOW DOWN Signs Are Back! Sign Up for Yours Now!
Due to popular demand - translation: Logan got a boatload of emails and phone calls asking for more - our office has placed an order for 500 additional SLOW DOWN signs. We will begin distributing them late April/early May. Click here to sign up for a sign and we'll update you about where and when to pick it up.

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.
DPD: Catalytic Converter Thefts Spike; Ways to Secure Your Car
Denver Police report that over the past few months, they have seen a huge increase in the theft of Catalytic Converters from vehicles. A catalytic converter is a critical component of your car's exhaust system and are expensive to replace. Thieves target this specific part because it contains expensive metals and can be removed quickly. Vehicles that are parked outdoors overnight can be prime targets, with Honda Element and Toyota Prius topping the list of makes/models. Here are some way you can protect your catalytic converter:

  • If your converter is attached with bolts, weld the bolts in place or cut the heads off. This makes it nearly impossible for the bolts to be loosened. Get your converter etched or engraved with your information. Thieves like to steal converters and sell them to scrap yards. If your converter has your info on it, and not the thieves, it could keep them from even taking it because this makes it harder to sell.
  • Park your vehicle strategically, in a well-lit area and utilize a secure garage when possible.
  • Make use of a car alarm system, if possible.
  • There are also several catalytic converter theft prevention kits on the market that create a care around your converter, making it harder for thieves to steal them. Check online for options.

Remember, we are each other's keeper. If you see suspicious behavior or suspect a theft may be in progress, please report this to 911, with a detailed description of the suspect, the vehicle, location and direction of travel if the suspect is on the move.
DOTI Updates: Paving and and Street Sweeping Resumes; Vehicle Registration Enforcement; License Plates
Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) will kick off its street paving season March 22, weather permitting, and enforcement of posted street sweeping on April 1. Both programs require people to move their cars for crews to effectively operate and serve the city’s residents.

Denver residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their street sweeping day, as indicated by the red and white signs posted on their block and sign up for sweeping reminders to avoid a $50 ticket for parking in a tow away zone. Street sweeping keeps dirt and debris out of our air and water and prevents flooding caused by clogged storm sewer inlets. Because dirt/debris gathers primarily in the curb line of the street, DOTI asks residents to move their cars so that street sweepers can get all the way to the curb. As our office previously alerted residents, new street sweeping signs will be installed in areas of Mayfair this spring as well.

In addition, with the State of Colorado indicating to county motor vehicle offices that it will be resuming timely processing of requests for new, standard (green and white) license plates by the end of March - clearing its backlog of work - the City will restart enforcement of vehicle registrations laws on April 1. Drivers who don’t address their plate/registration situations by April 1 may receive a ticket and can contest the citation if they believe they received it in error.

Mayfair Mirror Spring Issue Will be Mailed Mid-March
After an online winter issue, the spring issue of the 2021 Mayfair Mirror will be printed and should be in Mayfair mailboxes in mid-March. If you would like would like to receive a copy or have other questions about The Mirror or MNI, send an email to the MNI Board of Directors.
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 two open re-zoning requests in District 5:
  • Rezoning application at 10353 E. Mississippi was filed on October 1, 2019, and a revised application was received on December 1, 2020.
  • Planning Board Hearing April 7
  • Rezoning application at 1091 S. Parker Rd. & 7400 E. Mississippi Ave was filed on February 10, 2021.
  • No additional information is currently available

Upcoming hearings on re-zoning requests in other Districts are listed below - dates are subject to change. For more information on proposed rezonings and their public hearings visit the Denver Community Planning and Development website.
March 15
  • 2650 Arkins Ct,
  • 3280 Denargo St.
  • 2700 Wewatta Way
  • 3205 Denargo St.

March 30
  • Bungalow Overlay: multiple properties in the Berkeley Neighborhood
  • Bungalow Conservation Overlay
  • Tennyson multiple properties Design overlay

April 5
  • 1576 S Josephine St.
  • 4410 N Fillmore St
  • Group Living Chapter 59 Bridge Amendment (see information below)

April 12
  • 2070 Colorado Blvd

If you don't have internet access, you can still attend all Denver City 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.
Resources to Help You Find Your COVID-19 Vaccine
On March 5, people in Colorado's Group 1B.3 became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. This group includes people age 60+, frontline essential grocery and agricultural workers, and people age 15-69 with two or more high-risk conditions. Click here for more information about Group 1B.3, 1B.4 and future eligibility. Last week, our office sent out an update with resources to help you find your vaccine:
Here are additional resources to help you find your vaccine:

Reminders:
  • If have access to a computer and/or devices with an internet connection, please sign up online and leave phone lines open for those who don't have internet access

  • COVID-19 vaccinations are free. Tell your friends and family these tips and report suspected fraudDo not give your personal or financial information to:
  1. anyone who calls, texts or emails promising a COVID-19 vaccine for a fee.
  2. anyone who offers to put your name on a list to get the vaccine for a fee.
  3. anyone who asks you to pay to get early access to the vaccine.

Great News! DPR Announces Phased Reopening of Rec Centers and Activities, Including Softball and Some Summer Camps
Last week, Denver Parks and Recreation announced a phased reopening of recreation centers, pools, registered programs and additional activities. Precautionary measures will be in place to prioritize the safety of visitors during each phase of reopening. Operating within state guidelines, facility and activity capacity will vary by location to maintain social distancing.
 
Below is an overview of planned re-opening dates and activities. Click here for information about specific locations and services, hours, how to make reservations and more. Information will be updated as it become available. Additional rec center sites, indoor pools and other activities will continue to open during the summer and throughout the rest of the year. Prices vary based on activity and many are free for MY Denver, MY Denver Prime, SilverSneakers and Renew Active members.  
 
CityWide Sports is offering spring softball, and registration will soon be announced for activities including Arts and Culture, Indoor, Outdoor and Adaptive Recreation, Active Older Adult, Fitness, MY Denver and summer adult sports leagues throughout the city. 

May 3
  • Weight room and cardio spaces at select recreation centers available by reservation.
  • Several other rec centers will offer indoor and outdoor activities at limited capacity.
  • MY Denver will begin activities
  • Tasty Food Meal Program will continue afternoon meals to youth ages 5-18
 
June 7
  • Eight Outdoor Pools are scheduled to open for the summer for aqua aerobics, lap swim, group swim lessons and open swim.
  • Seven Summer in the Parks youth day camps/Youth Sports Camp will begin.
  • Park space will be available to non-profits to offer free youth programming.
 
August 16
  • Some indoor pools will reopen
Councilwoman Gilmore Sponsors Bill Focused On Neighborhoods Under Chapter 59 "Old Zoning Code"
City Council President Stacie Gilmore is sponsoring a bill to make the Denver Zoning Code’s recently-updated definition of “household” - five unrelated adults living in one residence - effective citywide. Specifically, this bill would affect the approximately 20% of the city still under Former Chapter 59, or the "old code,” which was the city's primary zoning policy document before the 2010 adoption of the Denver Zoning Code. The proposed “bridge amendment” would mean that all households citywide would be under the same rules for how many people can live together. Click here to learn more about the Bridge Amendment and read FAQs.
Denver Public Library Re-Opened Nine Branches on March 9
As part of its phased approach to reopening safely Denver Public Library (DPL) has reopened these branches for public use: Bear Valley Branch Library, Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, Green Valley Ranch Branch Library, Hampden Branch Library, Sam Gary Branch Library, Ross-University Hills Branch Library, Valdez-Perry Branch Library, and Westwood Branch Library. Click here for branch hours and more information, including requirements to enter DPL branches.
Council Approves Funds for Housing, Shelter and Services for Unhoused Community Members
On Monday, March 8, Denver City Council approved a series of contracts, totaling $15,642,843, to provide much-needed housing, shelter and services for people experiencing or transitioning out of homelessness. The contracts, administered by Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST), include some of the first expenditures resulting from the new Homelessness Resolution Fund approved by Denver voters last November through ballot measure 2B. Click here to see the contracts approved to assist persons experiencing or transitioning out of homelessness.
Virtual & In-Person Events
Brain Breaks with the Opera Colorado
Through Monday, May 31
Available as a series of ten short episodes.
Short, interactive sessions designed to get your child up and moving, and learning about music and the arts. Learn more and let the creativity begin!
Denver Public Library Tax Resources Open House
Saturday, March 20
11:00am
If you have questions about your taxes, join this discussion focused on tax resources that you can access at the library, as well as local resources for tax help and tech questions related to doing taxes online. Click here for more information and to add the event to your calendar.
Historic Denver Walking Tours
Explore Denver from the comfort of your own home or in small, in-person groups. Tours include LoDo, Capital Hill, 16th Street, Larimer Square, and more. Click here to access the calendar of tours and purchase tickets.
Jewish Baby University
Spring Session: April 11-May 3 (baby due June 1– August 31)
Series of six classes, virtual until further notice
Designed for expectant parents, JBU combines childbirth education with an exploration of the Jewish traditions and rituals connected with pregnancy, birth and parenting. Co-created by the JCC and Rose Medical Center.
Central, East Central & Southeast Elected Officials Town Hall Meetings on Zoom and Facebook Live
Thursday, March 25
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Analiese Hock, Community Planning and Development Principal City Planner, will discuss changes to the Affordable Housing Plan.
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 are 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.