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

I was thrilled to help celebrate the upgrades to Robinson Park as part of the Cranmer Park-Hilltop Community Association's Halloween Parade. Members of the D5 team were joined by many of you from the community - so many great costumes! The new playground, basketball court, and picnic areas will be enjoyed by all of us for years to come! Thank you to everyone who contributed funds to fulfill the complete vision for the park and to the Elevate Denver Bond Program, Denver Parks & Recreation Legacy Fund, The Park People, Telluride Stone, and the LuBird’s Light Foundation. A few photos from the event are below.

Reminder: the District 5 Annual Mailer went out in September. Please take a few minutes to complete the Resident Survey, open until December 31. The results help us plan and prioritize our 2022 office work plan with your concerns in mind.

The Winter Holiday Season is here! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to learn about some of the upcoming events in D5 and around Denver. I wish everyone a meaningful and joyful Thanksgiving Holiday! I continue to be extraordinarily grateful to represent everyone in Denver District 5. Thank you for your trust and confidence, as well as your passionate participation in municipal governance. 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. 
 
  • Thursday, November 18, 11:00am-1:00pm
  • No Office Hours the week of November 22, and the D5 office will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • Thursday, December 2, 10:00am-noon in-person at Kochi Cafe 4100 E 8th Ave.
  • Thursday, December 9, 10:00am-noon
Final 8th Ave. Traffic Study Meeting is Tomorrow, November 16
As you may know, our office is partnering with local RNOs and engineering firm Fehr & Peers to conduct a traffic study of 8th Avenue from Colorado Blvd. to Quebec St. to enhance safety and quality of life for those who live and work here. At the October meeting, we discussed the data collected - Click here to access a video of the meeting in the Video section of the D5 Facebook page. During the November 16 meeting, we'll join Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) to determine the best locations to install traffic calming measures.
DOTI Trash Recycling and Compost Routes Changing January 3
To keep up with collections, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) crews are working overtime during the week and on weekends. To preserve existing driver resources and maintain service standards and cleanliness in the City, DOTI plans to implement new routes starting January 3. For about 70% of residents, trash, recycle and compost bins will be set out on a different day than the current schedule. Changing customer collection days is not uncommon in the private/public sector; yet this is the first time in more than 15 years that DOTI has made significant routing adjustments, while the City has grown by about 200,000 people in that same time period. DOTI says that, "updated routes will help DOTI maximize its existing resources, reduce transportation costs, and improve customer service." Residents will begin hearing about reroutes in December. Click here to see the Reroute Fact Sheet for FAQs and additional information.
Children Ages 5-11 Are Now Eligible for The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine: Resources to Help Find Your Child's Vax
Children age 5 years and older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine. The State of Colorado website states that, "Vaccines are the strongest layer of protection we can offer children against COVID-19. This fall, COVID-19 rates have been higher in school-aged children than adults. While fewer children get severely ill with COVID-19 than adults, they still can get sick with the virus and spread it to other people. Some get sick enough to need hospitalization. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help your child stay healthy, keep them in school, and protect your family and community." Click here for more information from Denver Health about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine for children.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free. You don’t need ID or insurance for you or your child to get vaccinated. Vaccine Resources:
Participatory Budgeting to be Piloted in the East Area Plan Neighborhoods
Help Direct How Funds Are Spent In EAP Neighborhoods!
Denver's first Participatory Budgeting Program (Denver PB) wants to give residents of some D5 Neighborhoods direct decision-making power over part of $1.7 million budgeted capital funds. The four neighborhoods that make up the East Area Plan - Bellevue-Hale, Montclair, East Colfax and South Park Hill - will be included in piloting Denver PB, where residents will propose, deliberate, and vote on infrastructure projects there. Denver PB will compensate people through both two way:

EAP Neighborhood Residents can receive up to $700 for their time and participation on the Community Steering Committee, which will set the rules for the first cycle of Denver PB and will oversee the phases of the program.

Community organizations and non-profits can receive a Community Connector Mini-Grant to pay residents and organizations to help with neighborhood outreach. Individuals can earn up to $1,000 for materials, supplies, and their time. Mini-grants to individuals will be given out on a rolling basis throughout the program. Non-profits, grassroots organizations, and community groups can earn up to $7,000 for their support throughout the first cycle of Denver PB.

D5's Annual #SEDenverGivesBlood Drive Coming in January - Schedule Your Appointment Today!
One way to help support our neighbors in need by 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. It’s not too early to schedule your appointment for a date between January 3 to January 31 to ensure your donation count towards our virtual blood drive.


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. Stay tuned for more information through our office updates and social media channels. Thank you for joining us in the effort!
Denver Water Rate Increase Goes Into Effect January 1
The Board of Water Commissioners approved the proposed rate increase earlier this month, which will be effective January 1. The increase will help pay for critical upgrades and projects to keep this system operating efficiently. How that rate increase will affect individual customer bills will vary depending on where the customer lives in Denver Water’s service area and how much water they use. Click here to read more.
Denver Rec Center Annual Memberships Are Discounted 45% Through the End of November
To celebrate the reopening off all 30 Denver recreation centers and thank customers for returning to their local centers, Individual Annual Memberships at Denver Rec Centers are discounted by 45% in November! Click here to learn more and get your Regional, Local or Neighborhood Level Membership.

Membership includes access to rec centers, drop-in fitness and aqua fitness classes, and all outdoor pools during the summer months. Rec center membership is free to Denver students, ages 5-18, through the MY Denver Card and MY Denver Prime for residents 60+. Click here for more information about all Denver Parks & Rec activities, programming, and more.
In Case You Missed It! Catch up on Colfax Bus Rapid Transit
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) thanks everyone who attended the East Colfax Bus Rapid Transit station design workshops. They received invaluable input from members of the aging and disability communities as well as business interests along the corridor on ways to enhance center-running station design to improve safety, local appeal, comfort and equitable access for all riders. They also heard that enhancing public spaces and supporting businesses continues to be important to the success of the project. As a next step, the design team will incorporate many of the ideas from the workshops into a revised set of station designs, and seek feedback from the community on the revised designs in early 2022. We look forward to your continued engagement in the East Colfax BRT Project. Stay tuned for future updates and upcoming workshops.

If you weren't able to attend one of the station design workshops, you can still provide your feedback on early design concepts by completing the station design survey, open until the end of the year. Click here for more information about the project, explore the interactive Virtual Engagement Hub or click email reach out to the project team.
Find Afterschool and Summer Programs for Youth of All Ages with Youth Program Locator
Search for hundreds of free and low-cost afterschool and summer programs for youth of all ages and interests. Find your kid's next adventure!
Coat Drive to Benefit Rocky Mountain Communities in D5
Our office is helping to spread the word about a Coat Drive organized by Diverse Talent, benefitting the residents of Rocky Mountain Communities, including supportive housing in East Colfax in D5. If you have coats and other winter outerwear donations, bring them to Diverse Talent's office at 1410 N. High St. November 29-December 3, 9:00am-4:00pm. Thank you!
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 three open rezoning requests and one Legislative Rezoning proposal in District 5. Click here for more 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.

November 15 & 22 No Public Hearings are scheduled.

November 29
  • 4301 W 35th Ave
  • 3600 Cook St.
  • DURA Hearings & Co-op Agreement

December 6
  • 4124 E 18th Avenue

December 13
  • 3405 W 37th Ave
  • Pancratia Hall
  • East 7th Ave. Historic District Steele St. Extension
Share Your Opinion: Should Speed Limits be Reduced From 25mph to 20mph?
Denver City Council is considering an ordinance that would reduce speed limits on all neighborhood streets in the City from 25 mph to 20 mph. The Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) looked at speeds on neighborhood streets, school zones, and areas identified “slow zones” like those around recreation centers, which typically have a lot of foot traffic. Thank you for your time and feedback on this issue!
Denver Moves Everyone Seeks Public Input On Next Phase, Hosting Virtual Community Meeting on Wednesday, November 17
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is seeking your feedback for the next phase of Denver Moves Everyone, the citywide plan for the future of transportation. Click here or below to give feedback on your preferences for the future of transportation in Denver. This input will be used to define the future transportation system we desire in Denver, and the investments we need to make to reach our goals. Click here to see a flier with more info in English and Spanish.
Denver to Create New Permanent Outdoor Dining Program
More than 370 bars and restaurants participated in an innovative program launched last year which streamlined approval and permitting processes, allowing restaurants to quickly expand operations amid social distancing guidelines. The program helped keep businesses afloat, generated sales tax revenue for the City that might have otherwise been lost, and provided residents enjoyable, safe outdoor dining options. Under the temporary program, adjustments were reviewed for public safety and accessibility, but didn't have specific or dedicated zoning and design standards.

Early next year, Community Planning and Development will launch a public process to develop the zoning standards that would apply under a permanent program. after the temporary program ends in October 2022. In the coming months, DOTI will establish processes around the permanent outdoor dining program, likely transitioning from a quarterly to annual permit renewal process and outlining requirements that maintain public safety and mobility. Criteria/limits for using parking lanes and travel lanes for dining will be established to ensure safety for all. Additionally, a permanent outdoor dining program will require amendments to the Denver Zoning Code, which regulates private property in Denver. Click here for updated information, design guidelines, eligible areas, and more.
Check out the New City Park Playground & Picnic Areas!
Thank you, Denver voters! Long-awaited updates to City Park's playground, enhanced picnic sites and walking areas were funded by the Elevate Denver Bond, approved by voters in 2017. Community input defined playground design which includes open air pavilions and picnic areas, dragon and castle climbing structure and slide, towers and rope bridge, under-five play area, wavy walk, spinners, accessible swing and spinner merry-go-round. Click here for information on this and other park projects.
Introducing a Grant Program Focused on Park Improvement
The Denver Park Trust's new Community Grant Program supports community-driven park improvement projects, programs or initiatives that make Denver parks demonstrably better in historically underserved neighborhoods. Help spread the word! Neighborhood groups, associations or organizations that have a well-defined park improvement project, a detailed budget and some established financial support are encouraged to apply. This program is designed to encourage community stewardship of parks, and to bring community vision and input into the park system. Click here for more information and to learn about the application process.
Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 7 - Schedule Your Donations Today!
As year-end approaches, you may be thinking about charitable donations to make before 2022 rings in. Since 2007, Community First Foundation and ColoradoGives.org have made giving simple - from finding a cause you care about that has been fully vetted, to centralizing your giving history to easily access later. Plus, donations made for Colorado Gives Day through coloradogives.org get a boost from the $1.6 million Incentive Fund, making your donation worth even more. Click here to learn more, search non-profit organizations and schedule your donations. #COGivesDay
Flying Out of DEN During the Winter Holidays? Get Updates at flydenver.com
If you're headed to Denver International Airport (DEN) in the near future, we strongly advise you arrive at least two hours before your flight. Click here to get the latest on flight departures and arrivals, parking availability, new ticketing areas, self-bag check locations, security updates, shops restaurants and more. Remember that Federal Law requires that everyone wear a mask at all times at DEN. We wish you have smooth and safe travels!
Proposal to Require Affordable Homes in Large Residential Developments
Denver Community Planning & Development (CPD) and the Department of Housing Stability (HOST) have released a draft policy proposal aimed at creating more affordable homes in Denver. The proposal responds to recent changes in state law to allow municipalities greater freedom in addressing local housing needs. The City’s draft proposal would require large residential developments of eight or more rental units to designate 8%-12% of the apartments as affordable for a period of 99 years. In higher-cost areas of the City, such as downtown, developers would need to provide 2%-3% more affordable units. The exact percentages contained in the policy proposal vary based on the level of affordability offered. Several community meetings have been underway this month. Click here to learn more and read the draft policy proposal
LeafDrop Continues! Drop off Leaves for Composting Through December 3 - Paper Leaf Bags are Preferred
Compost created through LeafDrop is available to purchase at a discounted rate in the spring. The LeafDrop location closest to D5 is the Cherry Creek Transfer Station at 7301 E. Jewell Ave.:
  • Enter on E. Jewell Ave.
  • Open only on weekdays 8:00am-2:00pm- dropping off leaves at other times is considered illegal dumping.
  • This is the only location accepting loose leaves.
  • Paper bags are preferred - they can also be composted!

Denver Human Rights and Community Partnerships is Hiring a Director of the Division of Disability Rights
Click here for more information and to begin the application process. The Division of Disability Rights is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) within City government. Title II of the ADA ensures that individuals with disabilities have equal access and opportunities to all governmental activities, programs, and services. DDRD also works closely with various community members and groups pertaining to issues related to people living with disabilities. Individuals living with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Events Around Denver and D5
Free Public Art Tour of the Colorado Convention Center
Explore your Denver Public Art collection in-person and learn some of the stories behind the art. Click here to RSVP - space is limited. Click here to see all guided, self-guided and virtual tours through Arts & Venues.
Denver Union Station Grand Illumination Holiday Kick-Off
Friday, November 26, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Music, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the lighting of the station’s outdoor 40-foot-tall Christmas tree and exterior façade. Outdoor lightings will continue through December 27, from 5:00pm -10:00pm each night. More info and tickets here.
Hanukkah Begins at Sundown on November 28 - Celebrate With Events and Food From the Jewish Community Center!
Latke-Palooza
Thursday, December 2, 6:30pm
JCC Phillips Social Hall, 350 S. Dahlia St.
Taste latkes from Rosenberg’s, Safta, Latke Love, Rye Society. More info and tickets here.

The Klez Dispensers Free Hanukkah Concert
Friday, December 3, 10:00am-11:30am
JCC Phillips Social Hall, 350 S. Dahlia St.
Traditional klezmer music - donations greatly appreciated! More info here.

Pre-order Bob's Babka Ice Cream from D5's High Point Creamery through November 21. All proceeds benefit J programs. Order Olive & Finch's Chanukah Cookie Kit -Mention JCC and 10% goes back to the J.
Christkindl Market
Friday, November 19-Thursday, December 23, Open Daily
Holiday food, drinks and shopping! Click here to learn more.
Lowry 2050 Visioning - Virtual Meeting #3
Thursday, December 2, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
The next phase of community planning for Lowry. Click here to send an email to Paul Vranas for more info.
Parade of Lights
Saturday, December 4, 6:00pm
Free! Floats, balloons, cultural performing groups and marching bands. Click here for the Parade route map and where the floats will be throughout December.
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.