First, to my tbergen12 friend to the South at West Colfax, it is easy for those who are less discerning to paint those who are with a broad brush of being against everything and especially any thing new. Many of us who live in NW Denver have been here for years and were catalysts for the positive changes you see today in the development of Tennyson Street, LoHi and Highland Square. Those areas did not develop the way they did because we let just anything happen. NW neighborhood organizations and businesses have played an important role in how these business districts developed and bad development actors had to be stopped from time to time.
Regarding your "housing envy" comment regarding the "800k homes across the lake in the Sloan's Lake neighborhood", most of us lived in the neighborhood when the homes were no more valuable that those on West Colfax. Many of us as individuals poured our own money, hard earned "the American way" into these homes when people said we were crazy to do so in this neighborhood. We did not wait for speculators with government sponsored, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to increase the value of our property. We pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps and created a better neighborhood.
West Colfax is the last frontier to be developed and it belongs to you, to all the neighborhoods to the south and to the north and, hopefully, to people coming from downtown and all around the City. If we didn't care about this most beautiful development site and its potential, we wouldn't have poured our hearts into a nearly two year public process that came up with a perfectly fine and economically viable plan, thank you.
Second, to veteran Westword "commentor", Philo66, me, the "commentee" who you evidently find annoying, wish to categorically disagree with your comment that "The number of people opposing the development are much smaller than the number who support it."
Here are the facts: 2/3 of the 67 comments submitted to the Denver Planning Office after the first public GDP meeting on June 26, 2013 were opposed to either the massive density, the location and/or height of the buildings and/or the lack of open space.
It was clear from audience applause and reactions that a majority of the people who attend the second public GDP meeting on December 3, 2013 were opposed to the same problems with the plan even after the developer presented their plans for more than an hour. A majority of the written comments submitted to the Denver Planning Board prior to their December 18 hearing were opposed to the same issues.
At the hearing itself, nearly 100 people took badges expressing opposition to the current General Development Plan. Only a handful, perhaps 7 people, spoke in favor of it, while more than 30 spoke in opposition, A petition posted online gathered very close to 700 signatures in only 5 days in opposition to the location and height of the tallest buildings and the woeful lack of open space.
Much to do was made of the West Colfax Association of Neighbors' (WeCAN) support of the plan. City Councilwoman Susan Shepherd, made much of giving more credence to the 550 WeCAN members who live closest to project vs. those far away residents on the Lake and to the north.
WeCAN has now revealed how its “550” members expressed their “strong” support for the project. Turns out that anyone on the 550 WeCAN email list is considered a member. Ironically, I didn't realize when I received the December email from WeCAN that I was one of those 550 people! And here is how took an official vote....by Survey Monkey. Yes, anyone could have weighed in. Even me had I known it! Here is the question in the WeCAN email upon which, according to Councilwoman Shepherd, the entire NW Denver public opinion and fate of the GDP hinged.
One Question Survey on St Anthony's Redevelopment
WeCAN wants to know what you think about the proposed General Development Plan for the former St. Anthony's Hospital.
The following is a link to our online poll: Link to Poll
Please respond by Dec 13th.
Here is the question on Survey Monkey:
WeCAN wants to know what you think about the proposed General Development Plan for the former St. Anthony's Hospital. Do you:
Support the plan
Support the plan but have concerns (list below if you'd like)
Do not care one way or another (are neutral)
Oppose the plan
Do not have enough information at this time
Here are the results of the WeCAN “vote”:
Of 40 Respondents (not 550) here are the results:
21 said they supported the plan
7 said they supported the plan but had concerns - most concerns listed dealt with height
0 were neutral or didn't care one way or the other
8 were opposed and
4 didn't have enough information
So there is your maximum number of people supporting the development. Twenty one or perhaps twenty two countable people who expressed their support in some manner. I suspect that some of the comments for the plan here in Westword are coming from a few of these same, small group, who claim to have had their voices silenced.
One more time, none of us who opposed this specific plan, are anti-development nor do we not want West Colfax to revive and go beyond its former glory. We merely objected to the precedent of allowing this massively dense development to have so little open space and to have such tall buildings built right on the Park. We wanted to amend the plan, not necessarily stop it. And we thought it lacked the comprehensive vision that was expressed in the St. Anthony's Redevelopment Task Force Plan in which more than 100 business, community and City representatives participated in 2006. Just because we opposed to these flaws in the plan, we are being painted as villains. DISCERNBY's yes, NIMBYs no.
I am sure, that by responding to you, your opinion that I am "vocal and annoying" will be reconfirmed. I was publicly called a liar by a WeCAN Co-president. Being annoying is relatively a compliment.