Denver District 5 | November 2020
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer | District 5
720-337-5555 |  DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org
Chief of Staff: JoyAnn Ruscha | Senior Aide: Logan Fry
Aide: Sara Visser | Aide: Jenn Gross
Dear Neighbors, 

November is traditionally a month when our hectic lives slow down a bit, and we take a moment to be grateful for the blessings in our lives. November 2020 feels a bit different because it has been such a tough year for everyone. But I am truly grateful for the opportunity to represent the residents of District 5 on Denver City Council.

If you haven't already done so, please also take a few minutes to complete our second annual resident survey by clicking here. The questions are the same as the ones we asked last year - with the exception of our COVID question. This survey is one important way we can track District 5 resident feedback over time to ensure that we are meeting your needs and advocating for the things you care about in our community, and we truly appreciate your participation.

Our staff looks forward to continuing to serve you, and carrying the voices of District 5 into our local government. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do to assist you. I wish you and your loved-ones health and safety during this time.

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 contact the office at denvercouncil5@denvergov.org or 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, November 19, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Monday, November 23, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
  • Thursday, December 3, 11:00am - 1:00pm
  • Thursday, December 10, 11:00am - 1:00pm
East Area Plan at City Council TOMORROW, November 16
The East Area Plan will come before City Council on November 16th. Public comment and translation services will be available at the hearing.

You can also email your comments to all members of Council - and they will be included in the official record - by sending them to dencc@denvergov.org.



9+CO Continues to Open
Although much of the rollout has been delayed due to COVID, the shops and restaurants at the 9+CO development are coming online. This month, Hopdaddy Burger Bar joins the scene. Other stores now open include Frank & Roze, Gelato Boy, Postino, Pizzaria Locale, and CAVA. M. Vince Nail Spa is also open and running a 20% off special this month. Stay tuned, other stores and restaurants will be opening soon. And if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, when it is safe and you feel comfortable doing so, please come support our local businesses!
Updates on Montclair Park Tennis Court Upgrades
As you may recall, updates to to the tennis courts at Montclair Park, funded by the Elevate Denver Bond program, were set to begin with demolition this fall, moving to full park renovation work starting in late Q1 or Q2 of 2021.

When Parks & Rec began investigating the area to determine the scope of the work, they discovered that there is asbestos in the tennis courts. This means that the demolition is going to take significantly more work and be a significantly more delicate procedure than originally anticipated. Unfortunately this means the process is delayed while Parks & Recreation determines how to move forward with this demolition in a safe way. Our office will provide updates as they become available.
Yes! You Can Recycle Your Plastic, Corrugated Election Signs
Some estimates indicate that more than 4 tons of yard signs could end up in Denver-area landfills following this year's high-profile election season. Please do your part by utilizing one of three recycling solutions for your yard signs, and THANK YOU!

  • Denver Recycles' Cherry Creek Recycling Drop Off, 7352 Cherry Creek S Dr will take sign through November 17. Signs must be separated from their stands. Corrugated plastic signs can only be accepted at the Drop-Off; residents should not put them in their purple carts. Signs made from soft plastic, plastic film, or plastic coated paper are not accepted for recycling at either the Drop-off or in recycle carts. 
 
  • GFL Environmental of Colorado will accept the "rigid, corrugated plastic" signs at its recycling plant at 645 W. 53rd. Ave. now through November 17. Hours of operation are 8am-4pm, Monday through Friday.

  • Sustainability accepts corrugated plastic yard signs and their metal stands; they do not accept the flexible plastic signs. The $2 entrance fee covers this service. Visit their website for a list of other hard-to-recycle items that Sustainability takes.
Highline Canal Closed for Underpass Construction at Parker and Mississippi
Beginning on November 9, you may have noticed a small segment of the Highline Canal was closed near Valentia Street, north of Parker Road (see the graphic below). The section will be closed for approximately 10 months for the construction of the Parker and Mississippi trail underpass.

The Canal trail will remain open between Valentia Street and the southern edge of Fairmount Cemetery. However, a detour route will be in place for users to go south on Valentia and then west on Mississippi to connect to the High Line Canal heading south. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) tells us that there will be two weekends, in January or February, where Parker Road will be closed to vehicular traffic.

Click here for more information about the project, and to receive updates, including any road closures, via email. For information about other current projects along the High Line Canal, click here.
Robinson Park's Playground Fundraiser - Goal Reached!
Congratulations and thank you to 170+ individual donors, foundations, businesses, schools, as well as the Cranmer/Hilltop Civic Association, whose contributions helped exceed the fundraising goal to upgrade Robinson Park Playground! At last count, more than $65,000 was raised, far surpassing the $50,000 target.

All funds raised will support the new Robinson Park Playground, as construction bids have come in higher than the City had estimated. This partnership between neighborhood residents, Denver Parks and Recreation and The Park People highlights the strength of our communities when we come together for a common cause. This project is also funded by the Elevate Denver Bond Program and with additional funds from the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). After surveys and input from the community for the design, the new playground, is expected to break ground early 2021 and be completed by fall 2021.
Reminder: The Mayfair Mirror Moves Online for Winter Issue
The Mayfair Mirror quarterly newsletter will return in early December with an online Winter issue. Click here to check out past issues of this popular neighborhood publication and learn more about the Registered Neighborhood Organization, Mayfair Neighbors, Inc., If you have questions, click here to send an email.
Current City of Denver Public Comment Opportunities
If you are interested in commenting during a hearing, please click here for guidelines and FAQs, and click here to sign up. 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 re-zoning requests in District 5:
  • An ADU at 1055 Locust St. was filed on July 8th.
  • Council Hearing date is set for December 7
  • Public comment will be available at the hearing
  • An ADU at 1112 Verbena Street was filed on August 20th.
  • There is no further information or staff report available at this time
  • Rezoning application at 10353 E. Mississippi was filed on October 1st.
  • There is no further information or staff report available at this time
  • The East Area Plan will have a public hearing at Council on November 16th
  • Public comment and translation services will be available

Upcoming re-zoning requests in other Districts are listed below. For more information on proposed rezonings and their public hearings visit the Denver Community Planning and Development website.

Upcoming City Council Hearings (dates subject to change):
November 23
  • 1010 & 1050 W Colfax Ave & 1443 Kalamath St
  • 2655 Downing St.
  • 4820 W Hayward Pl.
November 30
  • 2483 Josephine Street
  • 1634 Xenia Street
  • 2580 S. Clarkson
December 7
  • 28 S. Garfield St.
  • 1055 Locust st.
  • 2201 Arapahoe
December 14
  • 3225 Denargo Street
  • 3161 Walnut
  • 3601, 3603, 3605, 3607 N. Race Street
Nominate A Candidate for My Brother's Keeper Emerging Leaders Award by Tomorrow, November 16
Nominations for Denver's My Brother's Keeper MBK25 Emerging Leaders, which honors 25 young men of color, are due in November 16. Nominees must be between the ages of 13-24 and reside in the City and County of Denver.

MBK seeks to address the issues that most often keep boys and young men of color from achieving success, designing comprehensive strategies to help change their paths and eliminate gaps of opportunity, so they can reach their full potential. 

Click here to learn more about My Brother's Keeper Denver and to submit your nomination by Monday, November 16.
Do You Know a Family Who Wants Help With Preschool Tuition? The Denver Preschool Program Covers Up to 100% of Costs
Denver Preschool Program (DPP) has furthered its efforts to address affordability and support Denver’s lowest-income families by covering up to 100% of tuition costs for families – this means FREE preschool! As always, DPP, in collaboration with more than 250 Denver schools, continues to offer preschool tuition support to all families - regardless of income - who live in the City and County of Denver and have a 4-year-old enrolled in a DPP-participating preschool in their year before kindergarten.

Click here for more information, to find a participating preschool, and to apply for tuition credit. The Denver Preschool Program makes quality preschool possible for all Denver families through a dedicated sales tax first approved by voters in 2006 and renewed and extended in 2014.
Join the Conversation About Park Hill Golf Course Land Use
As you may recall, the Park Hill Golf Course, located in northeast Park Hill, used to be owned by Clayton Early Learning and operated by Arcis Golf. The golf course closed in 2018, and in 2019, Clayton sold the land to Westside Investment Partners in a private sale. As part of the purchase, Westside inherited an outstanding lawsuit between Arcis and the city. The settlement agreement reached allows for a public planning process - for the purpose of bringing neighbors together to discuss what should come next for this land. This process will move forwared in 2021.

Click here to learn more about this history of the project, and/or:
  • Apply to join the steering committee
  • Stay updated on the steps in the engagement process
  • Sign up to receive email updates related to, and receive invitations to participate in, the community visioning process.
  • FAQs from the City Attorney’s Office on the conservation easement and settlement agreement
Facing an Eviction? Resources are Available to Help Navigate Next Steps
The City and County of Denver is committed to providing residents with the tools, resources, and supports they need to thrive. For our neighbors who are facing an eviction, two resource documents were recently created – a “How to Handle an Eviction” one-sheeter designed to provide residents with a clear next step and phone number to call when they are served an eviction notice, and a longer “How to Handle an Eviction” booklet outlines the eviction process and the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, and provides a robust list of eviction assistance resources available in the community.

Click here to access these resources, which are available in English and Spanish and will be made available in French, Burmese, and Vietnamese in the coming weeks.
City Council Approves Mayor's 2021 Budget, Mayor Agrees to Fund Over $5 Million in Council Priorities
After budget presentations from 21 different City offices and agencies, three dedicated budget working sessions, and listening to constituents during a public hearing, Denver City Council asked the Mayor’s office for just over $5 million to fund budget priorities supported by the majority of council. Mayor Hancock identified funding for the Council requests listed below, and the budget was approved by Council on Monday, November 9. Click here to learn more about the budget process, and to download a copy.

  • STAR (Support Team Asssited Response) expansion: An additional $395,000 for Denver Department of Public Health and Environment for the STAR program for a total of $1.4 million in city funds. Once the STAR Expansion Work Group evaluates the pilot for evidence-based recommendation on the expansion of the program, the Mayor will support a total investment of $2.8 million through 50% matching of funds from the Caring for Denver program. The STAR program seeks to respond to some 911 calls with a Denver Health paramedic and a social worker from the Mental Health Center of Denver instead of a police officer. Click here to learn more.

  • Transportation management association memberships: Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) will utilize 2020 budget savings to fund these memberships totaling $220,000 to support these important public-private partnerships that help the city implement programs that improve our air quality and reduce our congestion.

  • Digital inclusion: $300,000 of funds in the city’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Special Revenue Fund will be set aside to support the need for digital technology for families and individuals in under-resourced communities, including those experiencing homelessness.

  • Citizen Oversight Board: $71,700 for a full-time position for Citizen Oversight Board will be funded from a vacant position from the Executive Director of Safety. The administration will initiate an ordinance to shift the appropriation to the Office of the Independent Monitor following budget passage.

  • Office of Aging grant position: The Administration will initiate an ordinance to use contingency to fund the balance of $50,000 for the 2021 position, contingent upon the completion of the legislative process.

  • Eviction legal defense and prevention: Due to the increased risk of eviction caused by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, $1 million in funds from the city’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Special Revenue Fund will be set aside to support residents facing eviction.

  • Parks restrooms: Parks will identify $365,000 of Parks 2A funds needed to ensure restrooms are open and operational for their full 2021 season, as well as to provide portable facilities in parks without permanent restrooms and where plumbing cannot be operated during winter months.

  • Rental registry program: Mayor Hancock will support a supplemental appropriation of $391,800 after the completion of a thorough community process and the passage of enabling legislation.
Take the Survey by November 20: Share Your Thoughts with Denver Parks & Rec
Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) wants to grow the parks system and hear what matters most to you! Take the survey to help direct the upcoming Strategic Acquisition Plan, which was launched based on Game Plan for a Healthy City and the Parks Legacy Fund Five-Year Plan - thanks to voters in 2018. The survey should take about 10 minutes, is in English and Spanish, and closes on November 20. Thank you!
Denver Non-Profits: Please Share Your Valuable Insight With the City
Every two years, Radian, a nonprofit architecture and urban design group, partners with Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships to collect data to learn more about displacement pressures and real estate needs in Denver. All nonprofit organizations, community-serving for-profits, and social enterprises are encouraged to participate in this survey. This year, nonprofits are highly vulnerable to involuntary displacement due to rising real estate costs and COVID-19 uncertainties, leaving the communities they serve at risk of not having access to critical services.
November 23 Deadline to Apply for Position on Mayor's Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Are you interested in how people move around the city, especially pedestrians? Do you have a passion for walking and safety? Do you want to make a positive difference on city policies and procedures? The Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee (MPAC) is looking for a new member from District 5 to bring ideas and energy to this important committee.

Click here to learn more about the Committee, including when and how often it meets, and/or to complete the application. Questions? Click here to send an email.
Upcoming Events - Virtual and In-Person
Denver Restaurant Week 2020

November 13-22
Dine-in or ToGo

Classic, Reimagined Winter Events are Happening in Downtown Denver!

Sparkling lights, music, food, festive decorations, entertainment, and more.
Parade of Lights, November 27-December 31
Grand Illumination, November 20
Christkindl Market, November 20-December 23
Click here form more information and check back all winter for more winter happenings.
District 5 Group Living Town Hall Tuesday, December 8th at 6 pm via Zoom and Facebook Live

The proposed citywide Group Living amendments are being discussed at Council's Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. City Planner Andrew Webb will present the updates resulting from these discussions for District 5 residents. The Zoom meeting can host 100 residents at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83081997308, and all others can watch and ask questions via Facebook Live at Facebook.com/DenverCouncil5.
Central, East Central & Southeast Elected Officials Town Hall October Meetings on Zoom and Facebook Live

For all Town Hall meetings:

Thursday, December 10
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Featured speakers: Southeast Denver State leaders - Senator Chris Hansen, Senator Robert Rodriguez, Speaker Alec Garnett, Representative Steven Woodrow, and Representative Emily Sirota - will discuss the results of the state ballot measures and their plans for session once it begins in January.
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 community organizations. You can also find out which RNO you belong to by clicking HERE and entering your address or selecting a location on the map.