Denver Development

Denver City Council Adopts Plan to Guide Growth of Northeast

Residents of Districts 11 and 8 celebrate the passage of the Far Northeast Area Plan.
Residents of Districts 11 and 8 celebrate the passage of the Far Northeast Area Plan. Conor McCormick-Cavanagh
Denver's northeast neighborhoods have a new plan for development and growth for the next twenty years.

On Monday, June 10, Denver City Council unanimously adopted the Far Northeast Area Plan, which will serve as overarching guidelines for growth for Montbello, Gateway-Green Valley Ranch, and the southern portion of the Denver International Airport neighborhood.

A culmination of two years of work, the plan aims to preserve the character of the neighborhoods and manage,  through partnerships between the city, private groups and nonprofits, the high rate of growth expected in the next two decades. As part of the plan, the Montbello neighborhood will break ground on a grocery store in the coming months, and a busy strip of Peoria Street in Montbello will become friendlier for pedestrians.

A twenty-person steering committee led the effort, holding five public meetings that brought together about 550 attendees. Denver Community Planning and Development also went to over fifty community events as part of the planning process.

The northeast encompasses seventeen square miles of land and is a relatively new part of the city; Montbello, the oldest of the neighborhoods, became a part of Denver in the 1960s. The area includes large Latino and African-American populations.

The neighborhood guidelines will complement Comprehensive Plan 2040, Denver's overarching strategy for the next twenty years that city council adopted in April. At the council meeting yesterday, members Chris Herndon and Stacie Gilmore praised the Far Northeast Area document.

"We are finally here," said Herndon, who represents District 8, which encompasses part of the northeast.

Residents of the region mostly expressed support for the plan at the meeting and spoke of how engaged they were in creating it. "This process really exemplifies what it means to have community-informed and community-led initiatives at the neighborhood level," said Donna Garnett, executive director of the Montbello Organizing Committee, at the meeting. For years, Garnett's committee has been pushing for a grocery store in Montbello, which currently doesn't have a full-service option.
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.