City Council - Study Session
Jun 15, 2020 6:30 pm

Public Hearing Information
Item No. 1 - Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Engagement
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Item No. 1 - Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Engagement

Provide an update on the Council-adopted 2019 Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy priority recommendation for focused neighborhood engagement.
This is a recording of the June 15, 2020 City Council Study Session.

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Staff Memo ( 0.64 MB )

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re: Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Engagement Implementation

The proposed plan is well and good, but it isn't enough. Even if everything proceeds as hoped, it will take time to show results. Meanwhile, many of us have already made our feelings known, most obviously during the last election when we decisively turned down a proposed high density development. The City Council needs to take actions that will prove its intent to listen. Namely, ...

1) Delay passing any ordinance that is likely to irritate a significant portion of the neighborhood.
• Respect the rights of neighborhood residents and property owners. We need the opportunity to provide meaningful input during the decision making process. True, the developers have made an investment in property, but so have all of the property owners in that neighborhood. It's more important to listen to the residents than to a developer.
• Acknowledge that it is virtually impossible for residents to collect the necessary signatures in the stipulated time under the present 'safer at home' conditions. The usual process would put all of the petition carriers at risk, and would be a health risk for the residents as well.
• City Council has already acknowledged the petition problem with respect to liquor licenses, the same courtesy needs to be extended to citizens.
• Show respect for residents by not passing any ordinances that involve a zone change while Coronavirus safeguards are in effect.

2) Take actions that prove citizens have been heard.
We've spoken at City Council meetings, we've written letters, we've had a successful referendum, and yet as far as we can tell, the City is ignoring us.
•. Some positive steps could be taken immediately. For instance, increase set backs, limit heights on infill proposals, address bulk plane concerns, require vegetation on every site, and respect residential zones.

3) For every proposal that comes before City Council, there needs to be feedback from a minimum number of neighbors. (That number would depend on the potential impact of the project.)
• Instead of passively waiting for citizen input, it's the responsibility of the City to reach out to people, making sure that they're aware of what's being proposed.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these matters.
Thank you.

06/15/2020 10:18 am
Judy Capra

I am pleased to learn that the Wheat Ridge Neighborhood Revitalization Study (NRS) is about to move forward and am hopeful that the City and its planning staff meeting with individual neighborhoods will provide a road map for future (and current) re-development within our city.

There are several current, in-progress re-zoning and re-development projects that have many of our City's residents concerned, namely the re-zoning at 38th Avenue and Kipling from Residential to a Planned Residential Development (PRD), and changes to height restrictions at Clear Creek Crossing to enable SCL-Lutheran Medical Center to build a rooftop helipad and to allow for higher ceilings within the hospital's complex. Since the City is beginning its NRS project, I would like to see both of these projects opened for consideration by the NRS staff and neighborhood participants. Doing this would disallow any thought that these projects are being rushed through City Council, during the current pandemic, in order to avoid either NRS consideration or a referendum.

I have often heard, at City Council and Planning Commission meetings, that rezoning decisions must be accomplished expeditiously in order to accommodate contractors' schedules, or the current real estate market, or the hiring of sub-contractors. However, I think this is the time to accommodate the needs and wishes of those of us who live in these neighborhoods. The NRS project seems designed to do just that.

I do not understand why a developer, or a hospital board, or any other real estate purchaser, would buy property to develop before the zoning necessary for the developer's use is determined, and yet that happens over and over here in Wheat Ridge. Repeatedly we citizens hear that "if this rezoning application is denied, I won't be able to utilize my property." Or, the "only profitable way to utilize this property is by building high density, attached housing." If property is purchased for a use other than for what it is zoned, then the purchaser takes a chance that rezoning won't happen. The City is under no obligation to insure that a real estate purchase is profitable to the purchaser. I do, however, see an obligation for the City to insure that zoning rules and regulations, codified by City Council and its citizens, and relied upon by its citizens, is properly enforced.

In closing, let's give the new NRS a chance to do its work, starting with these mentioned projects.

Thank you,

Kathy Havens

06/15/2020 11:32 am
Kathryn Havens

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