...Newton Street, as well as a non-permanent installation of a pedestrian refuge island at 26th Avenue and Tennyson Street. Very recently, a temporary pedestrian refuge island was added near Brown International Elementary School. Pedestrian...
Resolution of the Sloan's Lake Neighborhood Association on the Zocolo 17th and Newton Rezoning Term Sheet The Sloan's Lake Neighborhood Association has been meeting and working for the past one and one half years with Zocolo Community Development to create a plan responsive to the community needs and desires, the residential character of the Sloan's Lake neighborhood and the marketplace and to maximize the benefits to one of the City's greatest assets, Sloan's Lake Park. It is the position of the membership of SLNA RNO that: Whereas, the proposed development site includes the Sloan's Lake Medical Center which is a long time, neighborhood compatible, health care facility that currently houses a long-term care facility, an acute care center and a rehabilitation center; and Whereas, the current PUD Zoning of this site was developed and approved by City Council in 1978 and anticipated the expansion of medical and health care uses; and Whereas, although there have been many changes in the neighborhood surrounding the site and the use of the site has changed from hospital to other health and wellness uses, with the exit of St. Anthony Central Hospital, the need for health and wellness, related uses has actually increased rather than become outdated, and Whereas, the existing PUD incorporates two blocks plus one half block to the south; covering three parcels: The first block, which now has 145,400 square feet of development (the existing medical building), allows for an additional 86,600 square feet of development for a total of 232,000 square feet; A second (undeveloped) block (the parking lot) allows for 283,600 square feet of development net of parking; A third one half block parcel to the south that allows for 160,000 square feet for a parking structure; and Whereas, from the first block, in the planned new PUD, Zocolo transfers the 86,600 square feet of development to the second undeveloped block, thus adding it to the allowable 283,600 square feet of development and resulting in 370,000 square feet of development on the second block plus an undisclosed amount of parking; and Whereas, the proposed new PUD excludes the third one half block to the south currently included in the existing PUD, but nonetheless relocates the 160,000 square feet of parking onto the first block upon which there is now 145,400 square feet of development which will result in total development of 305,400 square feet of structures on that one block; and Whereas, the total amount of development allowed for under the existing PUD is 515,000 square feet net of parking; and Whereas, the total amount of development on both blocks under the planned new PUD will result in 675,000 square feet of development, more than 160,000 square feet in excess of what is allowed under the current PUD, and Whereas, the amount of traffic generated by the 180 unit condominium, 170 unit affordable housing development and the existing health care facility uses from one exit onto and entrance off of Meade Street onto 17th Avenue will be far in excess of what the intersection and 17th Avenue can accommodate will cause more congestion than it is capable of handling; and Whereas, the siting, size and scale of the proposed affordable housing, the discernible lack of on-site and on-street parking and the location and access to its parking structure to the east to be shared with the existing health care facility is certain to cause significant parking issues in the adjacent residential neighborhoods; and Whereas, the planned new PUD calls for massive density and height, it is not part of a Transit Oriented Development, is more than a half mile from the closest light rail station and is, therefore, inconsistent with Denver's stated goal of promoting such density as part of transit oriented development; and Whereas,, the planned PUD would allow for buildings up to 16 stories which is six stories taller than what is allowed under the current PUD, is in the middle of a single family residential neighborhood and is significantly out of context with the character of the surrounding neighborhoods; and Whereas, Zocolo has failed to take advantage of the proximity to Sloan's Lake Park by providing adequate open space at the edges of its development to make a visual and functional connection; and Whereas, the planned PUD fails to incorporate any significant open space, either publicly or privately accessible for the hundreds of residents, visitors and patients in the health care facility; and Whereas, the planned PUD would change equally marketable and needed health care related uses to exclusively residential uses, fails to address the needs of the community yet meets the needs of Zocolo by providing its own company office space; and Whereas, Zocolo has stated that the Sloan's Lake Park will provide adequate open space for the residents and visitors to their massive development without any offer of replacement of per capita public open space being taken from existing residents; and Whereas, the West Colfax and South Sloan's Lake areas have experienced rapid gentrification and displacement resulting from people moving into the neighborhood with higher income than those of lower-income, long-term residents, and Whereas, because the proposed affordable rental housing is “separate and unequal” to the luxury market rate condominiums and segregates residents by access, parking, income and class, the plan is contrary to currently accepted best practices to integrate such housing and is discriminatory in nature, and Whereas, the proposed PUD will stimulate even more higher priced exclusive housing further gentrifying the area and displacing more and more lower income residents; and Whereas, although under the planned new PUD, the developer is being allowed a more than 30% increase in development rights than what is allowed on the site under the current PUD, is being allowed to build 10 stories taller than the existing buildings, is asking the City of Denver for direct and large tax increment subsidies in order to include affordable rental units segregated from its high rise condominium; and Whereas, tax increment financed development was legislatively intended for renewal of blighted urban areas where property tax funded city services, such as transportation, fire, police and schools would not be adversely impacted; and Whereas, the use of Tax Increment Financing, will forfeit property taxes from this Zocolo development for such city services for a period of 25 years placing additional tax burdens for these city services on all other Denver residents; and Whereas, Zocolo is providing no affordable housing units for purchase, and has made no study to determine the effect of such a massive luxury condominium project on gentrification, displacement and overall housing affordability in the existing neighborhood; and has made no effort to determine if the affordable housing being provided will offset the effects of displacement of long-time residents; Now therefore, does the Sloan's Lake Neighborhood Association oppose Zocolo Community Development's current terms for a new PUD under its January 2018 17th and Newton Rezoning Term Sheet but also does state its intention to work with Zocolo in good faith to develop a PUD responsive to neighborhood concerns, needs and desires. Approved by Acclamation: February 22, 2018
For those of you who missed the December 2017 SLNA Meeting attached are the Meeting Minutes. David Zucker of Zocolo Community Development presented elevations (drawings) of his 10 and 16 story high rise development being planned on the block bounded by 17th and 16th Avenues and Meade and Newton Streets. He denied our request for copies of these planning documents saying that "he didn't want to have residents think they were drawn in stone". Presumably pictures of what is being planned will be made available after he has made his final decision.