Denver Development

Denveright's Plans to Guide Growth Over 20 Years Moves Ahead Before Election

Denveright's Plans to Guide Growth Over 20 Years Moves Ahead Before Election
Chris Walker
Nearly three years after Mayor Michael Hancock and other city-department leaders unveiled the Denveright Campaign — an effort to draft or update five master plans, including the Comprehensive Plan 2040 and Blueprint Denver — to guide the city's growth over two decades, his administration is submitting final versions to City Council for consideration.

At a news conference held on March 19 in his executive office, Hancock said that 25,000 residents had submitted feedback for the planning documents during the past few years, including at community events that were held around the city.

“This is your plan, Denver,” Hancock declared. “A document of this magnitude is not created in a matter of days or weeks.”

Full descriptions of the plans can be found on the city's Denveright website, but on Tuesday, Hancock highlighted how the five master plans will:

-Direct new housing and commercial growth to dense areas and transit coordinators
-Protect historic buildings and architecture
-Expand affordable housing options near transit
-Mitigate displacement of homeowners in areas where city development projects are occurring
-Allow for accessory housing units (secondary buildings on properties)
-Increase Denver's tree canopy
-Ensure that parks and recreation centers are within a ten-minute walk of all homeowners.

“We heard loud and clear that the community wants to see their ideas turn into action,” the mayor said.

The decision comes after Denver’s Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation Registered Neighborhood Organization (better known as Denver INC) passed a resolution urging the mayor and City Council to delay adoption of the plans until after the May 2019 municipal election.

“The incoming Mayor and City Council members cannot be held accountable for the Denveright plans passed immediately prior to their election,” the resolution stated.

Asked about the calls for a delay, Hancock said on Tuesday, “[Denveright] started with this mayoral administration and City Council, and it should end with this mayoral administration and city council....We don't pass the buck.”

He added that plans must be put into place sometime, and that similar calls were made — and not heeded — to delay proposed changes to Denver's zoning in 2010 past that year's municipal election.

“Now is the time to continue what we've always done: Plan for the future,” he said.

Two Denveright plans — Denver Moves: Transit, and Denver Moves: Pedestrians and Trails — do not require City Council adoption. (Although when asked about funding, the mayor conceded that up to $2 billion would need Council approval, although some could come from the state.)

Today, March 20, the Denver Planning Board will hold its first hearing on the Comprehensive Plan 2040 and Blueprint Denver, and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will hold a hearing for Game Plan for a Healthy City (which covers parks and recreation centers) on April 10. Once the plans pass that phase, they will move to City Council on April 22.
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Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker