University Park Community Council General Meeting
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013, 7pm
Before the meeting was social time and time about volunteer opportunities and neighborhood questions. Thank you to Peepers Optical for hosting the social hour from 6:30-7pm. There were about 45 people in attendance for the meeting.
Jennifer Schmidt opened the meeting by passing out volunteer sign-up boards for all open positions. Jennifer and Traci presented a thank you to Dana O’Connor for her years of service from 2007-2013. Dana retired early from the UPCC board last month, and Jennifer Schmidt stepped in to be President for the remainder of her term. UPark Elementary walk to School Day is Oct 9th, with a dedication from Transportation Solutions for Mary Meyers. UPark United Methodist is hosting an Electronics Recycling Oct 19th. Debbie passed out a flyer in regards to this. The Liquor/Marijuana License upcoming applications are going to be posted in the future on the UPCC website. If anyone has concerns with the applications, Jennifer is hoping make a few good neighbor agreements for some of these places where there is a large concern.
Diana Helper updated about our parks. At this time there is a weeding person assigned to help clear out the Prairie Park. On Monday October 7th, from 4:00 on the weeding will begin. Neighborhood help would be greatly appreciated with this. The Observatory Park garden received high marks from Denver and Diana is very proud and hopes to continue this for years. Also, should anyone be interested in attending any INC meetings, please see Diana or Jennifer.
Will Jones the External Communications Manager from DU wanted to make sure that the neighborhood knows he is here to help, and if he cant he will find the answers if you need. Examples are: Liquor License, Parking, Homecoming – etc. A Pioneer Festival/Carnival is scheduled for 10/26 from 4-6:30p in front of the Law School. Admission is free. The Taste of DU is also that day from 5-7pm and costs $15. There was another person struck by a car on University Blvd. recently – please be aware and be safe. DU is trying to also help with banners and posters about keeping their “heads up”, and not texting – etc. New signs and more police near and around Evans and University have been requested to help with traffic concerns. And some have asked about the Mascot for DU. The mascot will be changed and no longer be “Boone” – they are in the 2nd round of ideas and hope to have a solution soon.
Samantha Padilla Scheitler of the Denver Auditor’s Office is in the middle of a community engagement campaign. The current Auditor, Dennis Gallagher will be at term limit in 2015. There are 2 parts to help get the information out about the Auditors office as well as finding a replacement for Dennis. 1st is a grass roots effort, 2nd is a social media effort. In 2007 the focus changed from being the cities bookkeeper to enhancing auditing capabilities. Dennis hopes that the Audit Model he has set up will continue on in the future with the new candidate, and Samantha agrees. Her information is available to learn more.
Neil Alderson, Executive Director of the Schlessman YMCA gave some updates on the new expansion plans. The time table has changed a bit due to all the elements involved including costs going up. The new construction timeline is to start in February 2014 instead of this October as originally planned. One comment was made about the Harvard Gulch trail improvements, and the YMCA has no control over this trail, and it appears to be a Wastewater management area, and there is a small committee trying to help push for improvements on the community path.
Pat Cashen, the UPCC Zoning Chair gave the group an update on the zoning and status of 2400 S. University Block. There was a bit of information about how zoning works within Denver from the 1950’s until it changed in 2010 to get everyone up to speed. Currently the owner has not yet applied for re-zoning but they are still meeting with the neighbors. The UPCC has not attended these meetings due to the fact the investors have no interest in keeping with the current zoning, nor are they in keeping with the family and community feel. Pat turned the floor over to Chris Shears who is spearheading the re-zoning proposal.
Chris Shears who is the Architect for the 2400 block of University Blvd. wanted to remind everyone of that the property location is roughly 500’/150’ with about a 20’ drop in elevation. In their opinion this makes for a challenge in design. The property has been owned about 38 years from a company based out of New York. The last individual property in this was purchased this last spring. They were reluctant to develop or attend re-zoning meetings in 2010 not knowing if this last parcel of land would become theirs. GMX3 is the current zoning. Michael Hicks became the primary chair along with other neighborhood people to make up a working group This group will continue to work together throughout the design and build. Phases. They are not required to have neighbor input, but feel in all their projects it is necessary. In their opinion a larger building allows for underground parking within their money formula. The next step is to submit a zone map amendment in 2 weeks for a CMX6 or CMX8. They want to go to 75’, which is the maximum height due to the fact that it backs to a residential neighborhood. The set back hopes are for 30 feet from the alley. There will be a concept design and that can take up to 6-8months. Questions were unable do to a time constraint, but some hallway discussions took place after the meeting.
Written by, Traci Samaras – Secretary for the UPCC