Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Planners to unveil light-rail station neighborhood design Nov. 13

For nearly 11 months, Denver city planners have been wrestling with how to plan the future of three prominent neighborhoods near the Evans Avenue light-rail station.

They’ve fielded comments from hundred of citizens at public meetings and harnessed the expertise of residents in a focus group that has met regularly since spring.

The end is in sight.

On Nov. 13, the public will have its first chance to inspect the vision for the station area being put together by the Denver Community Planning and Development. They’ll also have a chance to evaluate, comment and have an impact on the final plan.

The challenges have been immense.

“How can we maintain neighborhood character if we don’t even know what it is?” Senior City Planner Barbara Frommell queried focus group members at an October meeting.

The answer came in a roll-your-sleeves-up attempt to define that character and identify which parts of neighborhoods should be preserved and which could be able to accommodate change. The neighborhoods under the microscope were Overland, both east and west of Sante Fe Drive, Rosedale and Platt Park, specifically within a short walking distance of the Evans station.

The group tackled sticky items, such as which neighborhoods should have townhomes, duplexes and low-rise apartments and which should be limited to single-family homes or homes with Accessory Dwelling Units. These units, known as ADUs, include carriage houses, finished basements and residential garages.

The group also agonized over sidewalks, alleys, setback distances from the street, building heights and how much of the lot should be occupied.

The information will come together in a tentative plan the public can learn about and review at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at John Collins United Methodist Church, 2320 S. Bannock St.

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