The Denver Rescue Mission will soon resume construction on its 11,000-square-foot community center after the Denver Board of Adjustment for Zoning confirmed the city's approval of the project this morning.
Construction of the new facility had been stalled after the Ballpark Neighborhood Association filed an appeal that the board heard at last month's meeting.
"We are grateful and very appreciative of this decision," says Dave Schunk, DRM's chief financial officer. "We are also excited to be able to move forward with this project that will not only help those most in need, but also make the neighborhood a better place to live and work."
The Ballpark Neighborhood Association had challenged the zoning department's approval of the new community center, claiming that the city advised the DRM to change the language describing the new development from an expansion of current services to a "community center," which the association believed was done so that the project could avoid having to hold a public hearing. But in its decision released today, the board said that assertion was unfounded, because the city is encouraged to advise any applicants on dealing with zoning issues.
As envisioned, the new center, which is expected to be completed in July 2015, will include a larger kitchen and dining hall that could feed about 220 individuals per meal, a courtyard for daytime shelter, bathrooms and showers. It would not include additional shelter beds.
Judy Schneider, president of the Ballpark Neighborhood Association, says the fight to prevent the DRM's development is not necessarily over. "We are disappointed in today's decision by the Board of Adjustment, but not entirely surprised. We are exploring all of our options, including filing suit in Denver District Court to have this decision reviewed and reversed," she says. "It seems that everyone knows that this is an expansion of the Denver Rescue Mission except the Denver Board of Adjustment that thinks it's some mythical 'Community Center' that has no relationship to the Denver Rescue Mission."
The Ballpark Neighborhood Association will host its annual Neighbor of the Year award at 6 p.m. tomorrow, November 19 at the Spruce Tap House. We've got a pretty good guess for who won't be winning this year....
Have a tip? Send it to email@example.com
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.