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Denver comprehensive plan 2000

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Denver comprehensive plan 2000
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City and County of Denver
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Denver, CO
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City and County of Denver
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English

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City planning
Master plans

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Auraria Library
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Copyright [name of copyright holder or Creator or Publisher as appropriate]. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
2 000
Plan


Introduction
Thefundamental thing we want Denver to both be and become is a city that
is livable for all its people. A city in which they can learn, move about,
work and play in safety, comfort, with pleasure and pride, and in a spirit
of openness and opportunity. It is essential that quality of life
for all the people of Denver be perceived
as this Plans central purpose.
~ The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan




Vision
Among Denvers legacies are a strong civic
spirit and identity as a green oasis
An overall plan for a great city must answer this fundamental question posed
by the 1989 Comprehensive Plan: What do we really want this city to be, and
to become? This question has no single, simple answer, but many complex
answers, each shaped by elements of an evolving identity. Some of this
identity for Denver is created by a timeless and immutable geography that
bequeaths to us a moderate and arid climate, nearby mountains, great open
spaces of land, and the citys transportation and communications
possibilities.
Then there are the legacies created by the human will and ingenuity of
preceding generations and woven into Denvers urban environment: the green
oasis of magnificent parks and tree-lined parkways; sturdy and well-designed
civic buildings, monuments and public spaces; attractive residential
neighborhoods; and well-maintained infrastructure and facilities for mobility
and economic growth. Most significant to Denvers identity is the civic spirit
expressed by the majority of its people in everyday fife. Among these
expressions are demonstrably high standards for local and state governance,
a hard-charging business and economic development philosophy in the
private sector, a special concern for children and youth, and a civic climate
that supports cultural diversity and an ever-growing population. And in both
the private and public sectors, there is a strong charitable and philanthropic
compassion for people in need, with corollary insistence on fair treatment and
equal opportunity for all.
All Denverites view their city through different lenses of experience, interests
and values. For many, the dominant lens is that of family and neighborhood.
Others emphasize Denver as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains and
outdoor recreation. Many here were born to economic opportunity or came
seeking it, and hard work is their central focus. Many others simply cherish
the variety and the vibrance of a healthy and thriving city. For an unusually
high number of residents, Denver is a work in progress, with problems to
solve and challenges to face.
Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is the effort of hundreds of these residents,
looking through their differing lenses, to agree on the Citys long-term
purposes, to think through Denvers special inheritance and its effect on those
purposes, and then to suggest strategies that will buy that inheritance as
much long-term insurance as possible to sustain it for the future.
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Guiding Principles
When we think about our personal obligation to the survival of the species, we
think about the instruction given to us by our chiefs: Make our every decision on
behalf of the seventh generation to come. To think not of ourselves, nor even of
our own generation, but on behalf of those faces looking up from earth each
generation waiting its turn.
Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation
The question Does this action improve the quality of life for people? is the
challenge Plan 2000 poses to both public and private civic leaders as they go
about their leading. And if that livability is the what of Plan 2000, then
sustainability must be the how.
Sustainability refers to the long-term social, economic and environmental
health of a community. A sustainable city thrives without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their needs. A sustainable city manages
resources efficiently and effectively by using only what is needed, replacing as
much as possible, encouraging everyones contributions, and distributing
opportunities and risks equitably.
The beautiful and historic Daniels and Fisher
Tower on the 16th Street Mall
Building a sustainable Denver depends on a common understanding that
people, nature, the built environment, the economy and the social structure
all depend on each other. A sustainable city is one where most citizens most
of the time unite in the common understanding that people and things
depend on each other. That uniting in common to sustain their city is the
meaning of community.
Plan 2000 stresses that planning and policy decisions should be considered
for both their short-term and their long-term impacts on the human and
physical environments. Implicit is an approach to policy-making that is both
flexible and disciplined flexible to accommodate new information and
techniques, disciplined to think about the long-term implications of decisions.
The following guiding principles Economic Opportunity, Environmental
Stewardship, Equity and Engagement are the core values of Plan 2000.
Taken separately, none of these principles alone can lead Denver to become a
livable city for all, now and in the future. Taken together and in balance, they
can lead toward a shared community commitment to a sustainable future.
Economic Opportunity and Security
A Denver that is focused on the quality of life for all of its people must be a
Denver that is economically healthy, with a broad mix of good jobs.
Livability and economic activity are permanently linked neither improves
without the other.
C O M R RLA.N 2000
5
INTRODUCTION


Environmental stewardship is a guiding
principle of Plan 2000 the Denver Digs
Trees program reforests the city
Denver must capitalize on its unique geographical opportunity as a
national transportation and technology center, the gateway to the Rocky
Mountain recreation and natural resources empire, the nations most
central port of the air age, and the most populous western intersection of
the interstate highway system.
Particular priority must be given to educational excellence at all levels, for
the quality of education is the cornerstone of a citys spirit and each
individuals capacity to contribute and progress.
Environmental Stewardship
Denvers relationship with the environment is above all a matter of
balance. Clean water, clean air, clean parks and streets, efficient use and
reuse of resources, and protection of the mountain parks and open spaces
must be abiding goals. Our arid environment, pressed by an ever-growing
population, could not have supported and cannot support in the future
a major city without careful reengineering of the natural environment to
harness natural resources, especially water, which makes possible
commerce and industry as well as Denvers verdant landscape.
Until recently, less foresight was exercised with regard to air quality and
land use. In the early 21st century, the most significant environmental
challenges for Denver and its metropolitan neighbors will be the related
issues of sprawl, traffic congestion, air quality, and water quality and
supply. Sustainable solutions call for the integration of land-use strategies
and transportation systems that balance the need for a variety of
residential and commercial development types while ensuring mobility
and quality of life.
Equity
Denver must be a city that means what it says when it comes to providing
all its residents with equal opportunity to share in its livability. Whether
the concern is safety, adequate housing, excellent education, convenient
mobility, solid family life, public health and safety, neighborhood
investment, or diverse recreation, Denver must be a city that cares and
shares, with compassion and equity. Despite the prosperous economy of
the 1990s, some Denver neighborhoods have not thrived, and their
residents have not benefited proportionally.
Plan 2000 calls for distribution of resources and benefits that result in more
equitable outcomes to areas of the city that have been socially or
economically marginalized. Denver must continue to reach out and embrace
its cultural diversity as an asset, preserving the best of its heritage while
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
enabling social, economic and physical mobility for all. Especially in an era
of expanding global connections, Denver has the opportunity to use cultural
and linguistic diversity as a bridge rather than a barrier.
Engagement
Sustaining a high quality of life is as much about building good human
relationships as it is about performing tasks or creating things. Relational
values participation, communication, collaboration and partnership
are implicit in many of Plan 2000s goals, objectives and strategies. The
City will continue to promote the involvement of and communication
among residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, associations and
governments at all levels in the life of the city.
The Plan encourages partnerships to innovatively and creatively tackle
issues and solve problems that no individual party can easily resolve
independently. In addressing specific objectives and strategies in Plan
2000, the City should structure partnerships among interested parties,
combining resources to reach shared goals.
Center city residents harvest their crops in a
Denver Urban Gardens neighborhood plot
Sustaining Denvers future depends on its being a successful regional
partner and collaborator. Interdependence, not competition, must become
the dominant theme of the regional political dialogue. Denver and its
neighbors have created a number of highly successful models of
cooperation that can help guide future engagement among jurisdictions. In
this regard, Denver City Council in August 1999 incorporated by ordinance
into Denvers Comprehensive Plan the MetroVision 2020 Plan of the Denver
Regional Council of Governments, a major step forward toward stronger
regional partnership.
C O M R
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2 0 0 0
7
INTRODUCTION


Key Issues and Challenges
Denver will reap tremendous benefits in the increased utility and efficiency of
the physical city, as well as achieving large savings of money, which without
comprehensive plans is frequently spent on ill-advised or impractical projects.
Above these considerations is the incalculable benefit to be derived from making
Denver a far more beautiful and inspiring place to live than it can ever be if
permitted to grow haphazardly without forethought and orderly plans. The city
planner sees the destiny of the city as a great meeting place of commerce and art.
... He sees the ideal city as a place where the citizens can carry on their business
with the least inconvenience and greatest economy while they may enjoy to the
fullest extent the benefits of recreation and the inspiration of civic beauty.
The Denver Plan, volume 1, A Report by The Denver Planning Commission,"
December 1929
We are challenged to shape the built
environment through land-use For organizational purposes, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is subdivided
policies and strategies
into three sections: Our Long-Term Physical Environment, Our Long-Term Human
Environment and Metropolitan Cooperation. The connections between and
among these sections and their chapters are clearly identified to signify the
importance of viewing Plan 2000 as an integrated whole.
Our Long-Term Physical Environment
Environmental Sustainability I Most basic to a sustainable quality of
life in Denver and the region are the land we live on, the air we breathe, the
water we drink and the natural beauty we enjoy. The greatest challenge to
our environment in the early 21st century will be better management of
inevitable population growth. We must avoid its potential for the excessive
loss of open space, overconsumption of resources, ever greater congestion,
and the added human stress created by unmanaged urban sprawl. The
public policy challenge is to develop and implement balanced and
sustainable growth strategies.
Land Use I The ability to meet our needs from the natural environment
and to enjoy its wonders depends on how we shape the built environment
through land-use policies and strategies. Rapid economic growth in the
1990s and the availability of 12,000 acres of land for redevelopment and
development within Denver at Lowry, Stapleton, Gateway and the Central
Platte Valley offer exciting opportunities. But these opportunities pose
tremendous challenges to Denvers land-use regulatory system.
Mobility I Increasingly, transportation must support land-use strategies
and vice versa to provide a greater range of living and mobility options. The
root of the problem is a society overly structured to accommodate
automobiles, without providing a range of other mobility choices for residents,
from neighborhood pedestrian connections to crosstown transit. The challenge
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
is to hold steady the number of auto trips or at least slow the rate of growth
to that of population, in part by promoting alternative ways of doing business
and living that are less dependent on single-occupant vehicles.
Denvers Legacies I Urban design, parks and parkways, and urban
connections he these three previous elements of Denvers physical
environment together, while historic preservation serves our aesthetic and
cultural needs to connect with our past while sustaining our building and
landscape resources. A main challenge of the early 2fst century will be to
maintain the high quality of existing legacies and integrate their management
and maintenance into the civic system as the Citys inventory of parks, open
space and public amenities undergoes rapid expansion.
Housing I Housing links to all of these core areas, because a sustainable
community strives to integrate all of its members, wherever they live, into a
shared community of homes and neighborhoods, transportation,
environmental quality, employment, recreation and open space. Home
ownership is increasingly a challenge for low- and middle-income households.
Rentals for families are very difficult to find, and economic segregation is an
unfortunate reality that must be addressed.
Economic opportunity is one of
Plan 2000s guiding principles
Our Long-Term Human Environment
Economic Activity I Simply stated, economic activity is how our City and
the people who live here earn a living. Work is not a choice for most people. It
is a vital need to provide the necessities of life, to support our loved ones, and
to give meaning to our lives. A main challenge in the early 2fst century will be
filling available jobs with qualified workers, particularly in Denvers rapidly
growing high-tech markets. Another significant challenge is educating and
training people who lack the skills demanded by the mainstream economy. A
less obvious challenge is to avoid complacency in the midst of long-term
economic growth. An optimist without the benefit of hindsight may believe
that the good times are destined to roll on and on. They are not so destined,
and foresighted Denver policy makers should consider slower or declining
growth as possible economic scenarios for the future.
Neighborhoods I Our homes are our refuge. For many residents, our home
fives extend onto the front porch, down the street, and around the corner.
Many residents feel a much stronger bond with their neighborhoods than with
the City. That can mean tension between City agencies and neighborhood
groups. An ongoing challenge is to strengthen trust and communication
between the City and neighborhoods in planning, crime prevention and
reinvigorating neighborhood schools. An especially acute challenge of Plan
2000 is the siting of community facilities through processes that are open, fair
C O M R RLA.N 2000
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INTRODUCTION


Denvers aging population is likely to live on
fixed incomes and need assistance
to remain independent
and responsive to neighborhood concerns. The commonplace neighborhood
attitude Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) suggests a need for broader
understanding that the city, as a whole, is our home.
Education I Striving to constantly improve the quality of education within
the community will one day help our children sustain themselves and their
society. The return to neighborhood schools in 1995 has reshaped interest in
schools and education, and the Denver school census is growing again. The
challenge for K-12 education in Denver is to even more effectively address the
needs of todays student population, of which nearly 75 percent are children
of color, and more than one-third of which are growing up in poverty. For the
City, the key challenge is to help strengthen the role of schools as
neighborhood centers while continuing to play a leadership role in supporting
early childhood and lifelong education programs that fall outside the scope of
the regular K-12 system.
Human Services I Compassion, formalized and informal, can sustain
communities; if it is not present, the fabric of community is shredded. A key
challenge in the early 21st century will be to review the impact of welfare
reform and its efforts to move recipients from welfare to work. In the short
term, public and private human service organizations must also engage in key
issues such as child care, transportation, job-readiness, counseling and
rehabilitation, housing, and other individual and family needs that in part
have defied systemic management.
Arts and Culture I Arts and cultural programs sustain the intellectual and
spiritual life of the community, its thought and its basic humanity. A
community without arts and culture withers or hardens. With a strong
economy, Denvers artistic and cultural environment has flourished during
the 1990s. One key challenge for the future will be to sustain the Citys
vibrant artistic and cultural life in less vigorous economic times. Another is to
continue making arts and culture part of the everyday experience of residents,
particularly children.
Our Relations Within the Region and State
Metropolitan Cooperation I Denvers relationships with its suburban
neighbors have been complex and often difficult. Just 23 percent of the
metropolitan areas 2.3 million people live in Denver. While in previous
decades problems such as traffic congestion, blight, violence and air pollution
were viewed as problems of the inner city, almost every community in the
metro area now faces them, creating more opportunity for cooperation. Denver
and its metropolitan neighbors have cooperated successfully in several areas:
enriching the artistic and cultural environment, building sports stadiums,
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
seeking solutions to social problems such as homelessness and youth
violence, and developing a shared economic development initiative.
This growing cooperation has recently been formalized in Denvers adoption
of the MetroVision 2020 Plan as part of Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000.
Some of the toughest challenges of the early 21st century sustainable
development, environmental quality, and services to the needy
necessarily involve metropolitan neighbors working together with shared
long-term goals in mind.
The physical and cultural diversity of the many communities which comprise
the Denver region creates the opportunity for a wide variety of economic
development initiatives and living styles. Individual communities should prosper
by contributing to regional efforts in regional facilities, transportation, air
quality, water quality, water supply, waste management, provision of open
space, and land-use mix. In turn a stronger, more livable region will serve to
strengthen and sustain its individual communities.
MetroVision 2020 Plan
In Denver we have not forgotten the joys of
playing outdoors in a City Park fountain
C O M R RLA.N 2000
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INTRODUCTION


Among the conditions shaping Plan 2000
are the health needs of the elderly
Significant New Conditions and Influences
The following conditions during the 1990s have especially influenced the
content and shape of Plan 2000. These were foremost among hundreds of
issues and themes considered by members of the 11 Plan 2000 task forces as
they formulated the goals, objectives and strategies of the Plan.
Growth and Change in Population
Return to the city I Denver began gaining population again in the 1990s
after nearly two decades of losing residents. Although Denver gained an
estimated 34,090 residents between 1990 and 1998, the citys population is
not growing as rapidly as in surrounding jurisdictions. But that really isnt a
very significant factor in considering the citys future. Its long-term future will
be shaped by cooperating in the management of the exploding growth in the
metropolitan region as a whole, for it is that total population growth which
results in the significant pressures on the core city.
Who lives here I Denvers residents are increasingly diverse in race,
ethnicity and cultural background, a trend that will continue. Denvers overall
population was 61.6 percent non-Latino whites in 1990, but a sign of increase
is the new fact that 75.5 percent of Denver Public Schools 1998 student
population are children of color. This included Hispanic (49.4 percent),
African-American (21.3 percent), and other races (4.8 percent). Increasing
diversity obviously calls for greater sensitivity, flexibility and adaptation by
institutions operating in the public interest.
Growing older I Denvers population is also aging. The number of
people over the age of 85 increased 27.5 percent between 1990 and 1998.
The proportion of Denvers population over the age of 60 is expected to
increase from 18 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 2020. The implications
of an aging population are that the number of Denver residents not in the
workforce are more likely to live on fixed incomes and to need assistance
to remain independent.
Where people live I Like many American cities, Denver is experiencing a
renaissance of growth in its core area, with more people committed to an
urban lifestyle. Many older Downtown commercial buildings have been
transformed into residential housing, thanks in large part to an active historic
preservation movement. Near-Downtown neighborhoods have experienced a
resurgence of interest. More multi-unit housing is being built in the core city
to accommodate market demand in all price ranges. More middle-income
families are choosing to live in Denvers neighborhoods for many reasons,
including the end of court-mandated busing for school integration. As more
middle- and upper-income residents move into the heart of the city, higher
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
real estate prices threaten to displace low- and fixed-income residents. In
addition, the availability of adequate housing for middle-income homeowners
and families is a growing challenge.
Variety in housing I A strong economy and a rebirth of interest in Denver
urban life have created an upward spiral in housing costs, for both home
buyers and renters. Some Denver neighborhoods that have long prized the
economic diversity within their communities are now threatened with market
conditions that could force lower- and middle-income residents and growing
families to leave. To encourage a healthy mix of diversity in Denver, the City
must try to ensure housing opportunities in a range of types and prices
throughout the city. Housing policies must address the needs of people of
diverse incomes, household sizes, ages and lifestyles. Adequacy and variety of
housing close to work also protect the environment by reducing driving.
The new Denver International Airport is
among the busiest airports in the world
Growth in Land and Dnvnlopmnnt
In 1989, Denver was landlocked on all sides. In 2000, Denver is in the
process of redeveloping more urban land than any other major city in
America, the following areas being cases in point:
DIA/Gateway I Denvers land area grew by 40 percent with the annexation
of former Adams County land for Denver International Airport (DIA). The
4,500 acres of privately owned land within the Gateway provide opportunities
for significant new housing and commercial development. The adopted plan
for the area was the first to focus on the benefits of mixed-use development.
Stapleton I The relocation of the airport to DIA left 4,700 acres, an area
one-third the size of Manhattan, for redevelopment at the former Stapleton
Airport site. Stapletons comprehensive master plan includes 1,700 acres of
open space, a 273-acre business center that will eventually offer 30,000 to
35,000 jobs, and housing for 25,000 residents from a wide range of income
levels. Build-out is expected to take 30 years. The Stapleton Redevelopment
Plan, which is part of the Denver Comprehensive Plan, shares the sustainable
city guidelines of mixed-use development, and substantial open space and
environmentally oriented facilities.
Lowry I The end of the Cold War brought downsizing to the U.S. military
nationwide. Lowry Air Force Base, located in both Denver and Aurora,
closed in 1993, creating an economic void in surrounding neighborhoods,
as well as the opportunity to create a well-planned, mixed-use
neighborhood on Denvers eastern flank. At Lowry, 1,800 acres are under
redevelopment, including more than 4,000 housing units, a 185-acre
high-technology campus and training center operated by the Colorado
Community College and Occupational Education System, and 800 acres of
C O M R RLA.N 2000
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INTRODUCTION


The building boom of the 1980s changed
the Downtown skyline
open space. Lowry was planned and development begun under a
cooperative arrangement between Denver and Aurora.
Central Platte Valley I Denvers former railyards have been cleared and
rezoned for a mixed-use residential and commercial development that will
extend the density and vitality of Downtown northwesterly to the banks of the
South Platte River. A number of regional attractions have already been
developed, including Six Flags Elitch Gardens amusement park, Colorados
Ocean Journey, Coors Field for baseball, the Pepsi Center arena for basketball
and hockey, and the replacement of Mile High Stadium for football. A new
65-acre urban neighborhood is planned, featuring more than 2,000 housing
units and 4 million square feet of retail, office and hotel uses.
Perhaps the most significant development in the Central Platte Valley is the
Platte River restoration. Denvers historic waterway has been reclaimed
from a century of neglect and abuse. It is well on its way to being the
centerpiece of an extensive riverfront park and trail system linking the
center city with its northern and southern neighborhoods. The Platte Valley
is again becoming a dynamic example of both urban environmental
protection and sustainable economic development.
A Thriving Economy
The strong economy of the late 1990s offers the starkest contrast in
background conditions between the 1989 Comprehensive Plan and those
prevalent during the writing of Plan 2000. The late 1980s economic downturn
was the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. By contrast, the late
1990s economy is the best in memory for many in todays workforce, thanks
in part to the following developments:
Computer and communications technology I The rapid spread of
computer and communications technologies to workplaces and homes has
fundamentally changed how Denverites, as well as all Americans, work and
do business. These technologies contribute vastly to productivity, mobility
and access to information. As a thriving center for technology industries,
Denver offers exceptional career opportunities; however, many employers
must still recruit from outside the region to find qualified high-tech
employees. The demands of a technology-driven society include educating all
children in the use of computers, and making technology and instruction in
its use available to economically disenfranchised communities. Broader
technology training is a key economic development objective for the early
21st century.
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Jobs and income I The strong economy boosted general employment to
record levels during the 1990s, with more than 49,000 jobs created in Denver
and unemployment falling to historically low levels. Consequently, competition
for qualified workers increased, pointing out a more pressing need to fink
education and training to the job market.
Economic development I Since the late 1980s, business and government
leaders have spearheaded major efforts to diversify the regions economy,
specifically concentrating on retaining and attracting growth industries of the
future that offer higher-paid employment. The Denver Chamber of Commerce
reorganized as the Denver Metro Chamber and stimulated a private-public
partnership, the Greater Denver Corporation, which invested more than $14
million in seeding economic development initiatives, including most
prominently the new Denver International Airport (DIA). The success of DIA
ranked the nations sixth busiest airport, with nearly 37 million passengers in
1998 has cemented Denvers stature as a national and international
transportation center. During the 1990s, Denver also gained international
recognition as a center for major high-technology communications companies.
Retail turnaround I During the 1980s and early 1990s, four Denver
department stores closed branches along Downtowns 16th Street Mall;
numerous empty storefronts were called the missing teeth of the central
business district. University Hills Mall on Colorado Boulevard closed in the
early 1990s. Meanwhile, shopping centers and big box warehouse stores in
the suburbs were drawing Denver shoppers and sales-tax dollars in droves.
The sculpture Lao-Tzu by Di Suvero stands
in the busy plaza between the Public
Library and the Art Museum
Today, sales-tax revenues for Denver show a remarkable reversal of that
former trend, a turnabout due largely to the spectacular success of Cherry
Creek Shopping Center and its surrounding retail district. Also contributing to
the revival are the popularity of Lower Downtown and the 16th Street Mall for
shopping and dining. In addition, denser retail corridors along Colorado
Boulevard and South Broadway brought discount and warehouse retailers
closer to thriving Denver neighborhoods.
Downtown revitalized I Nowhere is Denvers economic revival more
apparent than in Downtown, where the commercial vacancy rate stands at
under 10 percent, compared to nearly 30 percent in the late 1980s. With the
Colorado Convention Center (opened in 1990), the Denver Performing Arts
Complex (the second largest in the U.S.), Coors Field baseball stadium, and
the Denver Pavilions shopping center as major attractions for residents and
visitors alike, Downtown has transformed itself from a daytime workplace to a
24-hour city offering an expanding array of restaurants, shopping,
entertainment, housing and employment. Continuing to strengthen and
diversify Downtown retailing remains a challenge.
C O M R RLA.N 2000
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INTRODUCTION


Kids from throughout the metro area are
among those who benefit most from the
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
Investment in Penple
Caring for children I In concert with national trends, Denver family life
has changed significantly over a generation. Many parents spend much more
time in the workplace; consequently, many more children and youth are
either unsupervised or spending their time in child care centers, schools and
before- and after-school programs.
Meanwhile, research clearly demonstrates that to thrive intellectually and
emotionally, children need strong, continuous connections to caring adults
from birth through adolescence. While the U.S. economy benefits from the
labor of almost every adult who wants or needs to work, parents alone bear
the responsibility for their childrens care financially, emotionally and in
trying to balance family needs with employment demands.
In Denver, as elsewhere, social and economic structures have been slow to
adapt to these changing life circumstances of children and families.
Consequences range from parents coping with a persistent sense of inadequacy
to children behaving violently and self-destructively. Particularly for low-income
families, choices for nonparental care and supervision of children are too few,
too expensive and too inaccessible. City social policy and planning must more
closely embrace the care and well-being of children and youth if Plan 2000s
vision of sustaining a community livable for all of its people is to be realized.
Welfare reform I Federal welfare reform legislation in 1996 set new
policies, focusing government assistance on moving welfare recipients into
paid employment. Responsibility for welfare reform shifted from federal to
local government. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was
replaced with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), with
limitations on cash benefits. While the number of families on welfare has
declined significantly both locally and nationally, welfare reform has
fundamentally altered the structure of human service delivery, now geared
toward supporting parents transition from welfare to work.
The long-term impact of this transition on low-income families and human
service providers is unknown, especially if the economy weakens and
unemployment rises. Since Denver has Colorados highest concentration of
low-income households, the greatest impact will be felt in the city. A principal
concern of Plan 2000 will be the careful monitoring of this impact during the
early years of the 21st century.
Changing Ties tn the State and Reginn
Political status I Historically, Denver operated with more financial and
political autonomy within the state and metropolitan region than it enjoys
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
today. The core citys political power has somewhat diminished, with Denvers
state legislators representing less than 25 percent of metropolitan and less
than 15 percent of state population. Consequently, political control over
Denvers future must be enhanced by stronger partnerships on statewide and
metropolitan issues. For example, several metropolitan funding partnerships,
such as RTD, SCFD and the Metropolitan Stadium District, demonstrate how
Denver has benefited from collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions.
TABOR I In 1992, Colorado voters passed Amendment 1, the Taxpayer Bill
of Rights (TABOR), which places legal restrictions on the ability of state and
local governments to tax and spend. The intent of TABOR was to control the
rate of increase in government revenues and to encourage government
efficiency. However, for some local governments, TABOR reduces their
flexibility to cope with variations in the economy, changing public needs that
require public investment, and long-term municipal planning.
Climate and recreational amenities, such as
a peaceful evening at Washington Park,
are favorites among residents
Since TABOR was enacted, Colorados economy and its tax revenues have
continually grown, and Denver had not exceeded its TABOR revenue limit at
the time Plan 2000 was written. But the lull implications of TABOR will be
more evident during an economic downturn. In that event, City revenue
needed for public investment to spur recovery and redevelopment may be
limited, and general fund balances will have been reduced by the law.
Metropolitan funding partnerships I Denver, its metropolitan neighbors
and their principal businesses have learned the value of teamwork in creating
facilities, supporting institutions, and providing services for residents and
visitors to the six-county metropolitan area. For example, since the 1970s,
a 6c regional sales tax has supported public transportation through the RTD
(Regional Transportation District). Metropolitan voters have twice approved a
one-tenth-cent sales tax for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
(SCFD) to support artistic, cultural, and scientific programs and institutions.
Metropolitan voters have also approved a one-tenth-cent sales tax for the
Metropolitan Stadium District, initially created to oversee construction and
operations of a major league baseball stadium, and later extended to
construct a new professional football stadium.
These remarkably successful metropolitan tax-district initiatives offer
models for future metropolitan cooperation. Also, from the private sector,
Denver businesses pitched in for a $14 million economic development fund
in the late 1980s, and private foundations partnered with the City in
funding, planning and beginning to redevelop the Platte River Greenway and
old Stapleton Airport.
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INTRODUCTION


Denver streets from earlier days
A Brief History of Denver
In 2008, Denver will celebrate its sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of
its founding as a rowdy mining camp at the confluence of Cherry Creek and
the South Platte River. The ideas and concepts of Denver Comprehensive Plan
2000 will help shape the historical context in which the people of Denver
celebrate this milestone.
To understand where Plan 2000 fits into Denvers timeline, it is appropriate to
conclude this Introduction with a brief recollection of the citys progress from
its 19th-century beginnings. For we are mindful that this Plan does not start
us on a new adventure, but continues a journey that many people began
years ago and are making together. And we journey not just because we must,
but because we want to and we can.
Still a Young City
Entering the 21st century, Denver is still young and robust as major cities
go. Its handsome, energetic, enterprising, gregarious, determined and often
self-absorbed. It is a city endowed with bountiful natural and physical assets
that are carefully groomed and tended. It is a city poised on the cusp of
maturity, strong and fit from alternately wrestling with limitations and
sprinting toward opportunities. It is a city that yearns to live long and well
and that is beginning to understand it must manage its good fortune with
discipline and wisdom.
For much of the 20th century, Denver has been a smart city well educated,
broad-minded, concerned with quality and civilized. But Denver has also
inherited a bit of a roguish streak from its earliest days.
Denver went from mining camp
to regional center within one generation
Denver began as one of what University of California historian Gunther Barth
calls instant cities of the western mining frontier. These are human
settlements that are born to a single purpose, usually to exploit, accumulate
and move on. When the central purpose disappears, so may the cities that
grew up to serve them. Instant cities attract people who are highly
entrepreneurial, energetic, ambitious and fiercely independent. These cities
develop a culture of expediency, one that thrives on growth, novelty and
exploitation of resources. When the resources are gone, or when luck runs
out, theres always another opportunity somewhere else.
Boomtown to City Beautiful
Like some of the boomtowns of the western gold rush era, Denver went from
mining camp to regional center within one generation. By 1890, Denver was a
bustling frontier town with 100,000 residents and already taking shape as a
city of uncommon grace. But the boom went bust in 1893, with the crash of
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the silver market. Many thriving mineral-rich instant cities in the West
dwindled and disappeared almost as rapidly as they had appeared. Others,
like Denver, hung on.
By the end of the 19th century, Denver could survive because it had begun to
diversify its economy as a center for rail transportation and agriculture and as
a supply and service depot for the surrounding region. But Denvers
fundamental purpose remained essentially economic. During its early years,
Denver was a collection of disconnected newcomers from everywhere else,
often moving on to somewhere else with the ebb and flow of a boisterous
economy. Always, though, some people remained, planting their roots in the
arid soil and raising the first generation who could call Denver home.
Denver Squares were built in many
of the citys core neighborhoods
By the early 20th century, Denver had already developed a strong sense of
place, with trees, parks, gardens, grand public and commercial architecture,
and distinctive neighborhoods. All were connected by a streetcar system that
allowed residents access to all parts of the growing city. The City Beautiful
Movement championed by Mayor Robert Speer instilled in Denver neoclassical
urban design standards shared by few cities west of the Mississippi.
Meanwhile, a growing middle class took up residence in miles of brick
bungalows that grew up along city streets and streetcar tracks in thriving
neighborhoods farther and farther from Downtown.
After the War
Development slowed significantly during the Great Depression, although with
the help of the federal governments New Deal, significant new public
facilities were built. But, at the end of World War II, Denver was still just a
regional city poised for its major breakthrough toward dramatic economic and
social growth. Earlier civic leaders had focused efforts on building Denver as a
regional headquarters for the federal government. Denver was a magnet for
thousands of returning servicemen connected to the top economic
development initiative of that era, military defense and its related industries.
They started families, moved into new houses in new neighborhoods, earned
college degrees and prospered.
From the mid-1940s through the 1960s, Denvers character became
increasingly suburban and its residents increasingly mobile. Its economic
character focused more and more on technology industries, setting a pattern
that continues today. How people lived also changed. Newer neighborhoods
were for houses, not for hardware stores or places of worship or burger joints.
Whatever one needed to do, one had to drive to get there. Three generations
later, that driving habit is deeply ingrained, some say a permanent trait.
Lowry Air Force Base
was an active base spanning both
Denver and Aurora until the mid 1990s
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INTRODUCTION


Urban renewal in the 1960s next to
the D&F Tower in Downtown
The late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s also saw the rise of better government in
Denver. The earlier system of individualistic patronage was replaced when
Mayor Quigg Newton brought reform to City Hall, including an emphasis on
human rights. It was a time of growth as Denver became the hub of the Rocky
Mountain region with rapid improvements in communications, the interstate
highway system, and the growth of air traffic at Stapleton Airport. It was also
a time of rising expectations for city services, and they were delivered thanks
to the advent of professional government administration in Denver.
Urban Renewal
Nevertheless, during the 1960s and 1970s, Denvers central neighborhoods
gradually became older, less affluent, dilapidated and, in some Downtown
areas, bulldozed. Within these Downtown neighborhoods, swaths of streets,
homes and older commercial buildings were razed to be replaced by
skyscrapers, freeways and the other trappings of a truly modern city. Some
neighborhoods became traffic corridors for commuters. Urban renewal of the
1960s and 1970s, a valued concept at that time in the citys history, emptied
more than two dozen Downtown Denver blocks of their Victorian-era
commercial buildings. These were often replaced by parking lots as a buffer
zone between Downtowns retail and financial districts and Lower Downtown,
Denvers version of Skid Row. In 1974, court-ordered busing to end racial
segregation in Denver Public Schools sent thousands more middle-class
families over the borders to suburbia. They wanted to raise their children in
safe neighborhoods and send them to nearby schools. Denvers population
dropped rapidly in the 1970s, leaving a higher concentration of elderly and
poor people. Compounding the problem was the Poundstone Amendment to
the state constitution, which limits Denvers powers to annex land.
Suburban tax districts were thriving while Denver, with proportionately less
revenue, pushed on as the workhorse of the metropolitan area, providing
ever more services, infrastructure, facilities and cultural amenities.
Rocky Mountain High
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an energy boom, and its related effect on
real estate, sent Denvers fortunes skyrocketing once again. The citys skyline
was busy with as many as two dozen cranes pulling skyscrapers upward
from the sea of Downtown parking lots. Denvers first outdoor cafes began to
appear along the newly constructed 16th Street Mall, which from a retail
viewpoint initially seemed like a major mistake. Rather than strengthening
Downtown retail, it seemed to kill it. Denvers main street was changing, with
shoe stores and clothiers disappearing little by little, replaced by ice cream
and sandwich shops, specialty retailers, souvenir stores and food courts.
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Plentiful jobs, low rents, mountain recreation and a laid-back lifestyle
attracted tens of thousands of newcomers once again as baby boomers came
in quest of the Colorado Rocky Mountain High. They moved into declining
neighborhoods Capitol Hill, Congress Park, Broadway Terrace and
invested sweat equity in the sagging Queen Annes and prim Denver Squares.
Little by little, entire neighborhoods began sprucing up. Throughout Denver,
bands of urban pioneers began holding meetings, trying to figure out how to
get the City to stop putting in one-way streets or to put more police on beat
in their part of town. Upstart neighborhood groups began to matter in City
Hall, especially when effective neighborhood organizers began running for,
and getting elected to, City Council.
A 1970s ribbon cutting for a new
Downtown building
New Energy, New Investment
By the early 1980s, Denver had become increasingly diverse, its physical
infrastructure was beginning to wear out, and the economy was still subject
to its historic boom-and-bust cycles, symptomatic of an economy with
employment and investment concentrated in too few industries. Predictably,
the oil boom that began the 1980s came to an abrupt end about midway
through the decade, with falling oil prices and changing federal policies
shoving the oil business southward. All the new office towers built to house
the elusive boom were suddenly no longer filled to their brims. As the decade
progressed, office vacancy exceeded 30 percent in Downtown. Worse,
Downtowns two largest department stores, The Denver Dry and May D&F,
both founded in Colorados gold rush days, closed their Downtown doors
forever, abandoning their architecturally distinctive and historic homes.
In the mid-1980s, Downtown business leaders and City officials joined forces
to develop a plan to revive the fortunes of a rapidly plummeting Downtown
economy. The Downtown Area Plan was published in 1986, improbably
suggesting a sweeping economic revitalization of Lower Downtown, a major
retail center covering several blocks on the southeast end of the 16th Street
Mall, and an ambitious mixed-use development in the Central Platte Valley.
Ridiculous as it seemed at the time, someones wild idea of a Downtown
amusement park was even drawn into that plan.
Today, Lower Downtown is an attractive and vibrant mixed-use
neighborhood. Denver Pavilions opened on the southeast end of the 16th
Street Mall in 1998, bringing attractive retail and entertainment to two full
blocks formerly serving as surface parking lots. The Central Platte Valley has
become an epicenter of major attractions, including Colorados Ocean
Journey, the Pepsi Center, Commons Park Open Space and Six Flags Elitch
Gardens, the only downtown amusement park in America. Soon, new
C O M R RLA.N 2000
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INTRODUCTION


The 16th Street Mall under construction
in 1981
commercial and residential development will take root in the former
railyards, extending the vitality of Downtown northward and linking the
center city more closely to Northwest Denvers neighborhoods.
The Downtown Area Plan became the prototype for The 1989 Denver
Comprehensive Plan encompassing the whole city, particularly the
participatory process that brought businesses, developers, neighbors,
environmentalists, working moms and other professional and
nonprofessional planners together to envision Denvers future. The 1989
Denver Comprehensive Plan was a significant turning point for Denver in
modern times. It connected many different streams of thought into a single,
unifying vision: A city that is livable for all of its people.
There were, of course, many diverse views on how to fulfill that vision, but a
unifying force in 1989 was economic adversity. Hence, the predominant
theme of the 1989 Plan was strengthening the economy. Prolonged harsh
economic conditions called for dramatic action. The Plan emphasized the
need for partnerships between government and business to shape a
diversified economy less vulnerable to Denvers perennial boom-and-bust
cycles. Civic and business leaders rallied around the 1989 Plan and its
ambitious agenda, which called for substantial public investment to fuel an
economic turnaround.
That turnaround began in the early 1990s, with massive public investment
in the construction of Denver International Airport, the opening of the
Cherry Creek Shopping Center, followed shortly thereafter by the opening
of the long-awaited Colorado Convention Center. In 1989 and 1991,
building on the communications momentum of the planning effort, Denver
voters approved nearly half a billion dollars in general obligation bonds for
infrastructure improvements throughout the city, including a new Central
Library and investments in neighborhood branch libraries. Simultaneously,
the infusion of Scientific and Cultural Facilities cash into Denvers arts and
culture scene, the replacement of streets and bridges, the improvements at
city parks, and the push for a new Downtown baseball stadium all
signalled good times ahead. Meanwhile, a revolution was occurring in the
national and global economy, with high-technology stocks soaring and
many of that markets biggest and best-positioned companies filling up
long-vacant office space.
The prosperity of the 1990s has allowed Denver to fulfill many elements of
the visions set forth earlier and to create permanent legacies for future
generations, many of these achievements being noted in the body of this Plan
2000. The 1990s also presented many new challenges and opportunities not
anticipated by the 1989 Plan. The Central Platte Valley has been extensively
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
redeveloped and rezoned for future development as a mixed-use, center-city
neighborhood. More than 10 miles of South Platte riverfront has been
revitalized as parks, open space and natural areas. The redevelopment of
Stapleton and Lowry are well under way. Successful youth crime-prevention
programs have helped turn lives around. With the completion of a new Mile
High Stadium in 2002, three professional sports stadiums will have been
built within the decade in Downtown.
At the end of the 1990s, the regions economic renaissance also reveals
another side: urban sprawl, congestion, increasing social and economic
disparity, and persistent tensions between entrepreneurs who want to shape
new opportunities their own way and communitarians who uphold their
concept of the greater good. And as part of metro Denvers increasing
integration into the high-tech global economy, Denvers ownership structure
began shifting dramatically, as the population began to grow and grow.
Cognizant of our history, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 strives to identify
the opportunities and challenges of our times, and to set a course for the
future that reconciles many diverse aspirations into another coherent and
compelling vision of what metropolitan Denver might become.
The Ritchie Center at the University of Denver
a grand, new building nears completion
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
2 000
Plan


Introduction
Thefundamental thing we want Denver to both be and become is a city that
is livable for all its people. A city in which they can learn, move about,
work and play in safety, comfort, with pleasure and pride, and in a spirit
of openness and opportunity. It is essential that quality of life
for all the people of Denver be perceived
as this Plans central purpose.
~ The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan




Vision
Among Denvers legacies are a strong civic
spirit and identity as a green oasis
An overall plan for a great city must answer this fundamental question posed
by the 1989 Comprehensive Plan: What do we really want this city to be, and
to become? This question has no single, simple answer, but many complex
answers, each shaped by elements of an evolving identity. Some of this
identity for Denver is created by a timeless and immutable geography that
bequeaths to us a moderate and arid climate, nearby mountains, great open
spaces of land, and the citys transportation and communications
possibilities.
Then there are the legacies created by the human will and ingenuity of
preceding generations and woven into Denvers urban environment: the green
oasis of magnificent parks and tree-lined parkways; sturdy and well-designed
civic buildings, monuments and public spaces; attractive residential
neighborhoods; and well-maintained infrastructure and facilities for mobility
and economic growth. Most significant to Denvers identity is the civic spirit
expressed by the majority of its people in everyday fife. Among these
expressions are demonstrably high standards for local and state governance,
a hard-charging business and economic development philosophy in the
private sector, a special concern for children and youth, and a civic climate
that supports cultural diversity and an ever-growing population. And in both
the private and public sectors, there is a strong charitable and philanthropic
compassion for people in need, with corollary insistence on fair treatment and
equal opportunity for all.
All Denverites view their city through different lenses of experience, interests
and values. For many, the dominant lens is that of family and neighborhood.
Others emphasize Denver as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains and
outdoor recreation. Many here were born to economic opportunity or came
seeking it, and hard work is their central focus. Many others simply cherish
the variety and the vibrance of a healthy and thriving city. For an unusually
high number of residents, Denver is a work in progress, with problems to
solve and challenges to face.
Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is the effort of hundreds of these residents,
looking through their differing lenses, to agree on the Citys long-term
purposes, to think through Denvers special inheritance and its effect on those
purposes, and then to suggest strategies that will buy that inheritance as
much long-term insurance as possible to sustain it for the future.
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Guiding Principles
When we think about our personal obligation to the survival of the species, we
think about the instruction given to us by our chiefs: Make our every decision on
behalf of the seventh generation to come. To think not of ourselves, nor even of
our own generation, but on behalf of those faces looking up from earth each
generation waiting its turn.
Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation
The question Does this action improve the quality of life for people? is the
challenge Plan 2000 poses to both public and private civic leaders as they go
about their leading. And if that livability is the what of Plan 2000, then
sustainability must be the how.
Sustainability refers to the long-term social, economic and environmental
health of a community. A sustainable city thrives without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their needs. A sustainable city manages
resources efficiently and effectively by using only what is needed, replacing as
much as possible, encouraging everyones contributions, and distributing
opportunities and risks equitably.
The beautiful and historic Daniels and Fisher
Tower on the 16th Street Mall
Building a sustainable Denver depends on a common understanding that
people, nature, the built environment, the economy and the social structure
all depend on each other. A sustainable city is one where most citizens most
of the time unite in the common understanding that people and things
depend on each other. That uniting in common to sustain their city is the
meaning of community.
Plan 2000 stresses that planning and policy decisions should be considered
for both their short-term and their long-term impacts on the human and
physical environments. Implicit is an approach to policy-making that is both
flexible and disciplined flexible to accommodate new information and
techniques, disciplined to think about the long-term implications of decisions.
The following guiding principles Economic Opportunity, Environmental
Stewardship, Equity and Engagement are the core values of Plan 2000.
Taken separately, none of these principles alone can lead Denver to become a
livable city for all, now and in the future. Taken together and in balance, they
can lead toward a shared community commitment to a sustainable future.
Economic Opportunity and Security
A Denver that is focused on the quality of life for all of its people must be a
Denver that is economically healthy, with a broad mix of good jobs.
Livability and economic activity are permanently linked neither improves
without the other.
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INTRODUCTION


Environmental stewardship is a guiding
principle of Plan 2000 the Denver Digs
Trees program reforests the city
Denver must capitalize on its unique geographical opportunity as a
national transportation and technology center, the gateway to the Rocky
Mountain recreation and natural resources empire, the nations most
central port of the air age, and the most populous western intersection of
the interstate highway system.
Particular priority must be given to educational excellence at all levels, for
the quality of education is the cornerstone of a citys spirit and each
individuals capacity to contribute and progress.
Environmental Stewardship
Denvers relationship with the environment is above all a matter of
balance. Clean water, clean air, clean parks and streets, efficient use and
reuse of resources, and protection of the mountain parks and open spaces
must be abiding goals. Our arid environment, pressed by an ever-growing
population, could not have supported and cannot support in the future
a major city without careful reengineering of the natural environment to
harness natural resources, especially water, which makes possible
commerce and industry as well as Denvers verdant landscape.
Until recently, less foresight was exercised with regard to air quality and
land use. In the early 21st century, the most significant environmental
challenges for Denver and its metropolitan neighbors will be the related
issues of sprawl, traffic congestion, air quality, and water quality and
supply. Sustainable solutions call for the integration of land-use strategies
and transportation systems that balance the need for a variety of
residential and commercial development types while ensuring mobility
and quality of life.
Equity
Denver must be a city that means what it says when it comes to providing
all its residents with equal opportunity to share in its livability. Whether
the concern is safety, adequate housing, excellent education, convenient
mobility, solid family life, public health and safety, neighborhood
investment, or diverse recreation, Denver must be a city that cares and
shares, with compassion and equity. Despite the prosperous economy of
the 1990s, some Denver neighborhoods have not thrived, and their
residents have not benefited proportionally.
Plan 2000 calls for distribution of resources and benefits that result in more
equitable outcomes to areas of the city that have been socially or
economically marginalized. Denver must continue to reach out and embrace
its cultural diversity as an asset, preserving the best of its heritage while
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
enabling social, economic and physical mobility for all. Especially in an era
of expanding global connections, Denver has the opportunity to use cultural
and linguistic diversity as a bridge rather than a barrier.
Engagement
Sustaining a high quality of life is as much about building good human
relationships as it is about performing tasks or creating things. Relational
values participation, communication, collaboration and partnership
are implicit in many of Plan 2000s goals, objectives and strategies. The
City will continue to promote the involvement of and communication
among residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, associations and
governments at all levels in the life of the city.
The Plan encourages partnerships to innovatively and creatively tackle
issues and solve problems that no individual party can easily resolve
independently. In addressing specific objectives and strategies in Plan
2000, the City should structure partnerships among interested parties,
combining resources to reach shared goals.
Center city residents harvest their crops in a
Denver Urban Gardens neighborhood plot
Sustaining Denvers future depends on its being a successful regional
partner and collaborator. Interdependence, not competition, must become
the dominant theme of the regional political dialogue. Denver and its
neighbors have created a number of highly successful models of
cooperation that can help guide future engagement among jurisdictions. In
this regard, Denver City Council in August 1999 incorporated by ordinance
into Denvers Comprehensive Plan the MetroVision 2020 Plan of the Denver
Regional Council of Governments, a major step forward toward stronger
regional partnership.
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Key Issues and Challenges
Denver will reap tremendous benefits in the increased utility and efficiency of
the physical city, as well as achieving large savings of money, which without
comprehensive plans is frequently spent on ill-advised or impractical projects.
Above these considerations is the incalculable benefit to be derived from making
Denver a far more beautiful and inspiring place to live than it can ever be if
permitted to grow haphazardly without forethought and orderly plans. The city
planner sees the destiny of the city as a great meeting place of commerce and art.
... He sees the ideal city as a place where the citizens can carry on their business
with the least inconvenience and greatest economy while they may enjoy to the
fullest extent the benefits of recreation and the inspiration of civic beauty.
The Denver Plan, volume 1, A Report by The Denver Planning Commission,"
December 1929
We are challenged to shape the built
environment through land-use For organizational purposes, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is subdivided
policies and strategies
into three sections: Our Long-Term Physical Environment, Our Long-Term Human
Environment and Metropolitan Cooperation. The connections between and
among these sections and their chapters are clearly identified to signify the
importance of viewing Plan 2000 as an integrated whole.
Our Long-Term Physical Environment
Environmental Sustainability I Most basic to a sustainable quality of
life in Denver and the region are the land we live on, the air we breathe, the
water we drink and the natural beauty we enjoy. The greatest challenge to
our environment in the early 21st century will be better management of
inevitable population growth. We must avoid its potential for the excessive
loss of open space, overconsumption of resources, ever greater congestion,
and the added human stress created by unmanaged urban sprawl. The
public policy challenge is to develop and implement balanced and
sustainable growth strategies.
Land Use I The ability to meet our needs from the natural environment
and to enjoy its wonders depends on how we shape the built environment
through land-use policies and strategies. Rapid economic growth in the
1990s and the availability of 12,000 acres of land for redevelopment and
development within Denver at Lowry, Stapleton, Gateway and the Central
Platte Valley offer exciting opportunities. But these opportunities pose
tremendous challenges to Denvers land-use regulatory system.
Mobility I Increasingly, transportation must support land-use strategies
and vice versa to provide a greater range of living and mobility options. The
root of the problem is a society overly structured to accommodate
automobiles, without providing a range of other mobility choices for residents,
from neighborhood pedestrian connections to crosstown transit. The challenge
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
is to hold steady the number of auto trips or at least slow the rate of growth
to that of population, in part by promoting alternative ways of doing business
and living that are less dependent on single-occupant vehicles.
Denvers Legacies I Urban design, parks and parkways, and urban
connections he these three previous elements of Denvers physical
environment together, while historic preservation serves our aesthetic and
cultural needs to connect with our past while sustaining our building and
landscape resources. A main challenge of the early 2fst century will be to
maintain the high quality of existing legacies and integrate their management
and maintenance into the civic system as the Citys inventory of parks, open
space and public amenities undergoes rapid expansion.
Housing I Housing links to all of these core areas, because a sustainable
community strives to integrate all of its members, wherever they live, into a
shared community of homes and neighborhoods, transportation,
environmental quality, employment, recreation and open space. Home
ownership is increasingly a challenge for low- and middle-income households.
Rentals for families are very difficult to find, and economic segregation is an
unfortunate reality that must be addressed.
Economic opportunity is one of
Plan 2000s guiding principles
Our Long-Term Human Environment
Economic Activity I Simply stated, economic activity is how our City and
the people who live here earn a living. Work is not a choice for most people. It
is a vital need to provide the necessities of life, to support our loved ones, and
to give meaning to our lives. A main challenge in the early 2fst century will be
filling available jobs with qualified workers, particularly in Denvers rapidly
growing high-tech markets. Another significant challenge is educating and
training people who lack the skills demanded by the mainstream economy. A
less obvious challenge is to avoid complacency in the midst of long-term
economic growth. An optimist without the benefit of hindsight may believe
that the good times are destined to roll on and on. They are not so destined,
and foresighted Denver policy makers should consider slower or declining
growth as possible economic scenarios for the future.
Neighborhoods I Our homes are our refuge. For many residents, our home
fives extend onto the front porch, down the street, and around the corner.
Many residents feel a much stronger bond with their neighborhoods than with
the City. That can mean tension between City agencies and neighborhood
groups. An ongoing challenge is to strengthen trust and communication
between the City and neighborhoods in planning, crime prevention and
reinvigorating neighborhood schools. An especially acute challenge of Plan
2000 is the siting of community facilities through processes that are open, fair
C O M R RLA.N 2000
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INTRODUCTION


Denvers aging population is likely to live on
fixed incomes and need assistance
to remain independent
and responsive to neighborhood concerns. The commonplace neighborhood
attitude Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) suggests a need for broader
understanding that the city, as a whole, is our home.
Education I Striving to constantly improve the quality of education within
the community will one day help our children sustain themselves and their
society. The return to neighborhood schools in 1995 has reshaped interest in
schools and education, and the Denver school census is growing again. The
challenge for K-12 education in Denver is to even more effectively address the
needs of todays student population, of which nearly 75 percent are children
of color, and more than one-third of which are growing up in poverty. For the
City, the key challenge is to help strengthen the role of schools as
neighborhood centers while continuing to play a leadership role in supporting
early childhood and lifelong education programs that fall outside the scope of
the regular K-12 system.
Human Services I Compassion, formalized and informal, can sustain
communities; if it is not present, the fabric of community is shredded. A key
challenge in the early 21st century will be to review the impact of welfare
reform and its efforts to move recipients from welfare to work. In the short
term, public and private human service organizations must also engage in key
issues such as child care, transportation, job-readiness, counseling and
rehabilitation, housing, and other individual and family needs that in part
have defied systemic management.
Arts and Culture I Arts and cultural programs sustain the intellectual and
spiritual life of the community, its thought and its basic humanity. A
community without arts and culture withers or hardens. With a strong
economy, Denvers artistic and cultural environment has flourished during
the 1990s. One key challenge for the future will be to sustain the Citys
vibrant artistic and cultural life in less vigorous economic times. Another is to
continue making arts and culture part of the everyday experience of residents,
particularly children.
Our Relations Within the Region and State
Metropolitan Cooperation I Denvers relationships with its suburban
neighbors have been complex and often difficult. Just 23 percent of the
metropolitan areas 2.3 million people live in Denver. While in previous
decades problems such as traffic congestion, blight, violence and air pollution
were viewed as problems of the inner city, almost every community in the
metro area now faces them, creating more opportunity for cooperation. Denver
and its metropolitan neighbors have cooperated successfully in several areas:
enriching the artistic and cultural environment, building sports stadiums,
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seeking solutions to social problems such as homelessness and youth
violence, and developing a shared economic development initiative.
This growing cooperation has recently been formalized in Denvers adoption
of the MetroVision 2020 Plan as part of Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000.
Some of the toughest challenges of the early 21st century sustainable
development, environmental quality, and services to the needy
necessarily involve metropolitan neighbors working together with shared
long-term goals in mind.
The physical and cultural diversity of the many communities which comprise
the Denver region creates the opportunity for a wide variety of economic
development initiatives and living styles. Individual communities should prosper
by contributing to regional efforts in regional facilities, transportation, air
quality, water quality, water supply, waste management, provision of open
space, and land-use mix. In turn a stronger, more livable region will serve to
strengthen and sustain its individual communities.
MetroVision 2020 Plan
In Denver we have not forgotten the joys of
playing outdoors in a City Park fountain
C O M R RLA.N 2000
11
INTRODUCTION


Among the conditions shaping Plan 2000
are the health needs of the elderly
Significant New Conditions and Influences
The following conditions during the 1990s have especially influenced the
content and shape of Plan 2000. These were foremost among hundreds of
issues and themes considered by members of the 11 Plan 2000 task forces as
they formulated the goals, objectives and strategies of the Plan.
Growth and Change in Population
Return to the city I Denver began gaining population again in the 1990s
after nearly two decades of losing residents. Although Denver gained an
estimated 34,090 residents between 1990 and 1998, the citys population is
not growing as rapidly as in surrounding jurisdictions. But that really isnt a
very significant factor in considering the citys future. Its long-term future will
be shaped by cooperating in the management of the exploding growth in the
metropolitan region as a whole, for it is that total population growth which
results in the significant pressures on the core city.
Who lives here I Denvers residents are increasingly diverse in race,
ethnicity and cultural background, a trend that will continue. Denvers overall
population was 61.6 percent non-Latino whites in 1990, but a sign of increase
is the new fact that 75.5 percent of Denver Public Schools 1998 student
population are children of color. This included Hispanic (49.4 percent),
African-American (21.3 percent), and other races (4.8 percent). Increasing
diversity obviously calls for greater sensitivity, flexibility and adaptation by
institutions operating in the public interest.
Growing older I Denvers population is also aging. The number of
people over the age of 85 increased 27.5 percent between 1990 and 1998.
The proportion of Denvers population over the age of 60 is expected to
increase from 18 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 2020. The implications
of an aging population are that the number of Denver residents not in the
workforce are more likely to live on fixed incomes and to need assistance
to remain independent.
Where people live I Like many American cities, Denver is experiencing a
renaissance of growth in its core area, with more people committed to an
urban lifestyle. Many older Downtown commercial buildings have been
transformed into residential housing, thanks in large part to an active historic
preservation movement. Near-Downtown neighborhoods have experienced a
resurgence of interest. More multi-unit housing is being built in the core city
to accommodate market demand in all price ranges. More middle-income
families are choosing to live in Denvers neighborhoods for many reasons,
including the end of court-mandated busing for school integration. As more
middle- and upper-income residents move into the heart of the city, higher
12
C O M R RLA.N 2000


DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
real estate prices threaten to displace low- and fixed-income residents. In
addition, the availability of adequate housing for middle-income homeowners
and families is a growing challenge.
Variety in housing I A strong economy and a rebirth of interest in Denver
urban life have created an upward spiral in housing costs, for both home
buyers and renters. Some Denver neighborhoods that have long prized the
economic diversity within their communities are now threatened with market
conditions that could force lower- and middle-income residents and growing
families to leave. To encourage a healthy mix of diversity in Denver, the City
must try to ensure housing opportunities in a range of types and prices
throughout the city. Housing policies must address the needs of people of
diverse incomes, household sizes, ages and lifestyles. Adequacy and variety of
housing close to work also protect the environment by reducing driving.
The new Denver International Airport is
among the busiest airports in the world
Growth in Land and Dnvnlopmnnt
In 1989, Denver was landlocked on all sides. In 2000, Denver is in the
process of redeveloping more urban land than any other major city in
America, the following areas being cases in point:
DIA/Gateway I Denvers land area grew by 40 percent with the annexation
of former Adams County land for Denver International Airport (DIA). The
4,500 acres of privately owned land within the Gateway provide opportunities
for significant new housing and commercial development. The adopted plan
for the area was the first to focus on the benefits of mixed-use development.
Stapleton I The relocation of the airport to DIA left 4,700 acres, an area
one-third the size of Manhattan, for redevelopment at the former Stapleton
Airport site. Stapletons comprehensive master plan includes 1,700 acres of
open space, a 273-acre business center that will eventually offer 30,000 to
35,000 jobs, and housing for 25,000 residents from a wide range of income
levels. Build-out is expected to take 30 years. The Stapleton Redevelopment
Plan, which is part of the Denver Comprehensive Plan, shares the sustainable
city guidelines of mixed-use development, and substantial open space and
environmentally oriented facilities.
Lowry I The end of the Cold War brought downsizing to the U.S. military
nationwide. Lowry Air Force Base, located in both Denver and Aurora,
closed in 1993, creating an economic void in surrounding neighborhoods,
as well as the opportunity to create a well-planned, mixed-use
neighborhood on Denvers eastern flank. At Lowry, 1,800 acres are under
redevelopment, including more than 4,000 housing units, a 185-acre
high-technology campus and training center operated by the Colorado
Community College and Occupational Education System, and 800 acres of
C O M R RLA.N 2000
13
INTRODUCTION


The building boom of the 1980s changed
the Downtown skyline
open space. Lowry was planned and development begun under a
cooperative arrangement between Denver and Aurora.
Central Platte Valley I Denvers former railyards have been cleared and
rezoned for a mixed-use residential and commercial development that will
extend the density and vitality of Downtown northwesterly to the banks of the
South Platte River. A number of regional attractions have already been
developed, including Six Flags Elitch Gardens amusement park, Colorados
Ocean Journey, Coors Field for baseball, the Pepsi Center arena for basketball
and hockey, and the replacement of Mile High Stadium for football. A new
65-acre urban neighborhood is planned, featuring more than 2,000 housing
units and 4 million square feet of retail, office and hotel uses.
Perhaps the most significant development in the Central Platte Valley is the
Platte River restoration. Denvers historic waterway has been reclaimed
from a century of neglect and abuse. It is well on its way to being the
centerpiece of an extensive riverfront park and trail system linking the
center city with its northern and southern neighborhoods. The Platte Valley
is again becoming a dynamic example of both urban environmental
protection and sustainable economic development.
A Thriving Economy
The strong economy of the late 1990s offers the starkest contrast in
background conditions between the 1989 Comprehensive Plan and those
prevalent during the writing of Plan 2000. The late 1980s economic downturn
was the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. By contrast, the late
1990s economy is the best in memory for many in todays workforce, thanks
in part to the following developments:
Computer and communications technology I The rapid spread of
computer and communications technologies to workplaces and homes has
fundamentally changed how Denverites, as well as all Americans, work and
do business. These technologies contribute vastly to productivity, mobility
and access to information. As a thriving center for technology industries,
Denver offers exceptional career opportunities; however, many employers
must still recruit from outside the region to find qualified high-tech
employees. The demands of a technology-driven society include educating all
children in the use of computers, and making technology and instruction in
its use available to economically disenfranchised communities. Broader
technology training is a key economic development objective for the early
21st century.
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Jobs and income I The strong economy boosted general employment to
record levels during the 1990s, with more than 49,000 jobs created in Denver
and unemployment falling to historically low levels. Consequently, competition
for qualified workers increased, pointing out a more pressing need to fink
education and training to the job market.
Economic development I Since the late 1980s, business and government
leaders have spearheaded major efforts to diversify the regions economy,
specifically concentrating on retaining and attracting growth industries of the
future that offer higher-paid employment. The Denver Chamber of Commerce
reorganized as the Denver Metro Chamber and stimulated a private-public
partnership, the Greater Denver Corporation, which invested more than $14
million in seeding economic development initiatives, including most
prominently the new Denver International Airport (DIA). The success of DIA
ranked the nations sixth busiest airport, with nearly 37 million passengers in
1998 has cemented Denvers stature as a national and international
transportation center. During the 1990s, Denver also gained international
recognition as a center for major high-technology communications companies.
Retail turnaround I During the 1980s and early 1990s, four Denver
department stores closed branches along Downtowns 16th Street Mall;
numerous empty storefronts were called the missing teeth of the central
business district. University Hills Mall on Colorado Boulevard closed in the
early 1990s. Meanwhile, shopping centers and big box warehouse stores in
the suburbs were drawing Denver shoppers and sales-tax dollars in droves.
The sculpture Lao-Tzu by Di Suvero stands
in the busy plaza between the Public
Library and the Art Museum
Today, sales-tax revenues for Denver show a remarkable reversal of that
former trend, a turnabout due largely to the spectacular success of Cherry
Creek Shopping Center and its surrounding retail district. Also contributing to
the revival are the popularity of Lower Downtown and the 16th Street Mall for
shopping and dining. In addition, denser retail corridors along Colorado
Boulevard and South Broadway brought discount and warehouse retailers
closer to thriving Denver neighborhoods.
Downtown revitalized I Nowhere is Denvers economic revival more
apparent than in Downtown, where the commercial vacancy rate stands at
under 10 percent, compared to nearly 30 percent in the late 1980s. With the
Colorado Convention Center (opened in 1990), the Denver Performing Arts
Complex (the second largest in the U.S.), Coors Field baseball stadium, and
the Denver Pavilions shopping center as major attractions for residents and
visitors alike, Downtown has transformed itself from a daytime workplace to a
24-hour city offering an expanding array of restaurants, shopping,
entertainment, housing and employment. Continuing to strengthen and
diversify Downtown retailing remains a challenge.
C O M R RLA.N 2000
15
INTRODUCTION


Kids from throughout the metro area are
among those who benefit most from the
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
Investment in Penple
Caring for children I In concert with national trends, Denver family life
has changed significantly over a generation. Many parents spend much more
time in the workplace; consequently, many more children and youth are
either unsupervised or spending their time in child care centers, schools and
before- and after-school programs.
Meanwhile, research clearly demonstrates that to thrive intellectually and
emotionally, children need strong, continuous connections to caring adults
from birth through adolescence. While the U.S. economy benefits from the
labor of almost every adult who wants or needs to work, parents alone bear
the responsibility for their childrens care financially, emotionally and in
trying to balance family needs with employment demands.
In Denver, as elsewhere, social and economic structures have been slow to
adapt to these changing life circumstances of children and families.
Consequences range from parents coping with a persistent sense of inadequacy
to children behaving violently and self-destructively. Particularly for low-income
families, choices for nonparental care and supervision of children are too few,
too expensive and too inaccessible. City social policy and planning must more
closely embrace the care and well-being of children and youth if Plan 2000s
vision of sustaining a community livable for all of its people is to be realized.
Welfare reform I Federal welfare reform legislation in 1996 set new
policies, focusing government assistance on moving welfare recipients into
paid employment. Responsibility for welfare reform shifted from federal to
local government. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was
replaced with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), with
limitations on cash benefits. While the number of families on welfare has
declined significantly both locally and nationally, welfare reform has
fundamentally altered the structure of human service delivery, now geared
toward supporting parents transition from welfare to work.
The long-term impact of this transition on low-income families and human
service providers is unknown, especially if the economy weakens and
unemployment rises. Since Denver has Colorados highest concentration of
low-income households, the greatest impact will be felt in the city. A principal
concern of Plan 2000 will be the careful monitoring of this impact during the
early years of the 21st century.
Changing Ties tn the State and Reginn
Political status I Historically, Denver operated with more financial and
political autonomy within the state and metropolitan region than it enjoys
16
C O M R RLA.N 2000


DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
today. The core citys political power has somewhat diminished, with Denvers
state legislators representing less than 25 percent of metropolitan and less
than 15 percent of state population. Consequently, political control over
Denvers future must be enhanced by stronger partnerships on statewide and
metropolitan issues. For example, several metropolitan funding partnerships,
such as RTD, SCFD and the Metropolitan Stadium District, demonstrate how
Denver has benefited from collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions.
TABOR I In 1992, Colorado voters passed Amendment 1, the Taxpayer Bill
of Rights (TABOR), which places legal restrictions on the ability of state and
local governments to tax and spend. The intent of TABOR was to control the
rate of increase in government revenues and to encourage government
efficiency. However, for some local governments, TABOR reduces their
flexibility to cope with variations in the economy, changing public needs that
require public investment, and long-term municipal planning.
Climate and recreational amenities, such as
a peaceful evening at Washington Park,
are favorites among residents
Since TABOR was enacted, Colorados economy and its tax revenues have
continually grown, and Denver had not exceeded its TABOR revenue limit at
the time Plan 2000 was written. But the lull implications of TABOR will be
more evident during an economic downturn. In that event, City revenue
needed for public investment to spur recovery and redevelopment may be
limited, and general fund balances will have been reduced by the law.
Metropolitan funding partnerships I Denver, its metropolitan neighbors
and their principal businesses have learned the value of teamwork in creating
facilities, supporting institutions, and providing services for residents and
visitors to the six-county metropolitan area. For example, since the 1970s,
a 6c regional sales tax has supported public transportation through the RTD
(Regional Transportation District). Metropolitan voters have twice approved a
one-tenth-cent sales tax for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
(SCFD) to support artistic, cultural, and scientific programs and institutions.
Metropolitan voters have also approved a one-tenth-cent sales tax for the
Metropolitan Stadium District, initially created to oversee construction and
operations of a major league baseball stadium, and later extended to
construct a new professional football stadium.
These remarkably successful metropolitan tax-district initiatives offer
models for future metropolitan cooperation. Also, from the private sector,
Denver businesses pitched in for a $14 million economic development fund
in the late 1980s, and private foundations partnered with the City in
funding, planning and beginning to redevelop the Platte River Greenway and
old Stapleton Airport.
C O M R RLA.N 2000
17
INTRODUCTION


Denver streets from earlier days
A Brief History of Denver
In 2008, Denver will celebrate its sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of
its founding as a rowdy mining camp at the confluence of Cherry Creek and
the South Platte River. The ideas and concepts of Denver Comprehensive Plan
2000 will help shape the historical context in which the people of Denver
celebrate this milestone.
To understand where Plan 2000 fits into Denvers timeline, it is appropriate to
conclude this Introduction with a brief recollection of the citys progress from
its 19th-century beginnings. For we are mindful that this Plan does not start
us on a new adventure, but continues a journey that many people began
years ago and are making together. And we journey not just because we must,
but because we want to and we can.
Still a Young City
Entering the 21st century, Denver is still young and robust as major cities
go. Its handsome, energetic, enterprising, gregarious, determined and often
self-absorbed. It is a city endowed with bountiful natural and physical assets
that are carefully groomed and tended. It is a city poised on the cusp of
maturity, strong and fit from alternately wrestling with limitations and
sprinting toward opportunities. It is a city that yearns to live long and well
and that is beginning to understand it must manage its good fortune with
discipline and wisdom.
For much of the 20th century, Denver has been a smart city well educated,
broad-minded, concerned with quality and civilized. But Denver has also
inherited a bit of a roguish streak from its earliest days.
Denver went from mining camp
to regional center within one generation
Denver began as one of what University of California historian Gunther Barth
calls instant cities of the western mining frontier. These are human
settlements that are born to a single purpose, usually to exploit, accumulate
and move on. When the central purpose disappears, so may the cities that
grew up to serve them. Instant cities attract people who are highly
entrepreneurial, energetic, ambitious and fiercely independent. These cities
develop a culture of expediency, one that thrives on growth, novelty and
exploitation of resources. When the resources are gone, or when luck runs
out, theres always another opportunity somewhere else.
Boomtown to City Beautiful
Like some of the boomtowns of the western gold rush era, Denver went from
mining camp to regional center within one generation. By 1890, Denver was a
bustling frontier town with 100,000 residents and already taking shape as a
city of uncommon grace. But the boom went bust in 1893, with the crash of
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C O M R RLA.N 2000


DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
the silver market. Many thriving mineral-rich instant cities in the West
dwindled and disappeared almost as rapidly as they had appeared. Others,
like Denver, hung on.
By the end of the 19th century, Denver could survive because it had begun to
diversify its economy as a center for rail transportation and agriculture and as
a supply and service depot for the surrounding region. But Denvers
fundamental purpose remained essentially economic. During its early years,
Denver was a collection of disconnected newcomers from everywhere else,
often moving on to somewhere else with the ebb and flow of a boisterous
economy. Always, though, some people remained, planting their roots in the
arid soil and raising the first generation who could call Denver home.
Denver Squares were built in many
of the citys core neighborhoods
By the early 20th century, Denver had already developed a strong sense of
place, with trees, parks, gardens, grand public and commercial architecture,
and distinctive neighborhoods. All were connected by a streetcar system that
allowed residents access to all parts of the growing city. The City Beautiful
Movement championed by Mayor Robert Speer instilled in Denver neoclassical
urban design standards shared by few cities west of the Mississippi.
Meanwhile, a growing middle class took up residence in miles of brick
bungalows that grew up along city streets and streetcar tracks in thriving
neighborhoods farther and farther from Downtown.
After the War
Development slowed significantly during the Great Depression, although with
the help of the federal governments New Deal, significant new public
facilities were built. But, at the end of World War II, Denver was still just a
regional city poised for its major breakthrough toward dramatic economic and
social growth. Earlier civic leaders had focused efforts on building Denver as a
regional headquarters for the federal government. Denver was a magnet for
thousands of returning servicemen connected to the top economic
development initiative of that era, military defense and its related industries.
They started families, moved into new houses in new neighborhoods, earned
college degrees and prospered.
From the mid-1940s through the 1960s, Denvers character became
increasingly suburban and its residents increasingly mobile. Its economic
character focused more and more on technology industries, setting a pattern
that continues today. How people lived also changed. Newer neighborhoods
were for houses, not for hardware stores or places of worship or burger joints.
Whatever one needed to do, one had to drive to get there. Three generations
later, that driving habit is deeply ingrained, some say a permanent trait.
Lowry Air Force Base
was an active base spanning both
Denver and Aurora until the mid 1990s
C O M R RLA.N 2000
19
INTRODUCTION


Urban renewal in the 1960s next to
the D&F Tower in Downtown
The late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s also saw the rise of better government in
Denver. The earlier system of individualistic patronage was replaced when
Mayor Quigg Newton brought reform to City Hall, including an emphasis on
human rights. It was a time of growth as Denver became the hub of the Rocky
Mountain region with rapid improvements in communications, the interstate
highway system, and the growth of air traffic at Stapleton Airport. It was also
a time of rising expectations for city services, and they were delivered thanks
to the advent of professional government administration in Denver.
Urban Renewal
Nevertheless, during the 1960s and 1970s, Denvers central neighborhoods
gradually became older, less affluent, dilapidated and, in some Downtown
areas, bulldozed. Within these Downtown neighborhoods, swaths of streets,
homes and older commercial buildings were razed to be replaced by
skyscrapers, freeways and the other trappings of a truly modern city. Some
neighborhoods became traffic corridors for commuters. Urban renewal of the
1960s and 1970s, a valued concept at that time in the citys history, emptied
more than two dozen Downtown Denver blocks of their Victorian-era
commercial buildings. These were often replaced by parking lots as a buffer
zone between Downtowns retail and financial districts and Lower Downtown,
Denvers version of Skid Row. In 1974, court-ordered busing to end racial
segregation in Denver Public Schools sent thousands more middle-class
families over the borders to suburbia. They wanted to raise their children in
safe neighborhoods and send them to nearby schools. Denvers population
dropped rapidly in the 1970s, leaving a higher concentration of elderly and
poor people. Compounding the problem was the Poundstone Amendment to
the state constitution, which limits Denvers powers to annex land.
Suburban tax districts were thriving while Denver, with proportionately less
revenue, pushed on as the workhorse of the metropolitan area, providing
ever more services, infrastructure, facilities and cultural amenities.
Rocky Mountain High
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an energy boom, and its related effect on
real estate, sent Denvers fortunes skyrocketing once again. The citys skyline
was busy with as many as two dozen cranes pulling skyscrapers upward
from the sea of Downtown parking lots. Denvers first outdoor cafes began to
appear along the newly constructed 16th Street Mall, which from a retail
viewpoint initially seemed like a major mistake. Rather than strengthening
Downtown retail, it seemed to kill it. Denvers main street was changing, with
shoe stores and clothiers disappearing little by little, replaced by ice cream
and sandwich shops, specialty retailers, souvenir stores and food courts.
20
C O M R RLA.N 2000


DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Plentiful jobs, low rents, mountain recreation and a laid-back lifestyle
attracted tens of thousands of newcomers once again as baby boomers came
in quest of the Colorado Rocky Mountain High. They moved into declining
neighborhoods Capitol Hill, Congress Park, Broadway Terrace and
invested sweat equity in the sagging Queen Annes and prim Denver Squares.
Little by little, entire neighborhoods began sprucing up. Throughout Denver,
bands of urban pioneers began holding meetings, trying to figure out how to
get the City to stop putting in one-way streets or to put more police on beat
in their part of town. Upstart neighborhood groups began to matter in City
Hall, especially when effective neighborhood organizers began running for,
and getting elected to, City Council.
A 1970s ribbon cutting for a new
Downtown building
New Energy, New Investment
By the early 1980s, Denver had become increasingly diverse, its physical
infrastructure was beginning to wear out, and the economy was still subject
to its historic boom-and-bust cycles, symptomatic of an economy with
employment and investment concentrated in too few industries. Predictably,
the oil boom that began the 1980s came to an abrupt end about midway
through the decade, with falling oil prices and changing federal policies
shoving the oil business southward. All the new office towers built to house
the elusive boom were suddenly no longer filled to their brims. As the decade
progressed, office vacancy exceeded 30 percent in Downtown. Worse,
Downtowns two largest department stores, The Denver Dry and May D&F,
both founded in Colorados gold rush days, closed their Downtown doors
forever, abandoning their architecturally distinctive and historic homes.
In the mid-1980s, Downtown business leaders and City officials joined forces
to develop a plan to revive the fortunes of a rapidly plummeting Downtown
economy. The Downtown Area Plan was published in 1986, improbably
suggesting a sweeping economic revitalization of Lower Downtown, a major
retail center covering several blocks on the southeast end of the 16th Street
Mall, and an ambitious mixed-use development in the Central Platte Valley.
Ridiculous as it seemed at the time, someones wild idea of a Downtown
amusement park was even drawn into that plan.
Today, Lower Downtown is an attractive and vibrant mixed-use
neighborhood. Denver Pavilions opened on the southeast end of the 16th
Street Mall in 1998, bringing attractive retail and entertainment to two full
blocks formerly serving as surface parking lots. The Central Platte Valley has
become an epicenter of major attractions, including Colorados Ocean
Journey, the Pepsi Center, Commons Park Open Space and Six Flags Elitch
Gardens, the only downtown amusement park in America. Soon, new
C O M R RLA.N 2000
21
INTRODUCTION


commercial and residential development will take root in the former
railyards, extending the vitality of Downtown northward and linking the
center city more closely to Northwest Denvers neighborhoods.
The Downtown Area Plan became the prototype for The 1989 Denver
Comprehensive Plan encompassing the whole city, particularly the
participatory process that brought businesses, developers, neighbors,
environmentalists, working moms and other professional and
nonprofessional planners together to envision Denvers future. The 1989
Denver Comprehensive Plan was a significant turning point for Denver in
modern times. It connected many different streams of thought into a single,
unifying vision: A city that is livable for all of its people.
There were, of course, many diverse views on how to fulfill that vision, but a
unifying force in 1989 was economic adversity. Hence, the predominant
theme of the 1989 Plan was strengthening the economy. Prolonged harsh
economic conditions called for dramatic action. The Plan emphasized the
need for partnerships between government and business to shape a
diversified economy less vulnerable to Denvers perennial boom-and-bust
cycles. Civic and business leaders rallied around the 1989 Plan and its
ambitious agenda, which called for substantial public investment to fuel an
economic turnaround.
That turnaround began in the early 1990s, with massive public investment
in the construction of Denver International Airport, the opening of the
Cherry Creek Shopping Center, followed shortly thereafter by the opening
of the long-awaited Colorado Convention Center. In 1989 and 1991,
building on the communications momentum of the planning effort, Denver
voters approved nearly half a billion dollars in general obligation bonds for
infrastructure improvements throughout the city, including a new Central
Library and investments in neighborhood branch libraries. Simultaneously,
the infusion of Scientific and Cultural Facilities cash into Denvers arts and
culture scene, the replacement of streets and bridges, the improvements at
city parks, and the push for a new Downtown baseball stadium all
signalled good times ahead. Meanwhile, a revolution was occurring in the
national and global economy, with high-technology stocks soaring and
many of that markets biggest and best-positioned companies filling up
long-vacant office space.
The prosperity of the 1990s has allowed Denver to fulfill many elements of
the visions set forth earlier and to create permanent legacies for future
generations, many of these achievements being noted in the body of this Plan
2000. The 1990s also presented many new challenges and opportunities not
anticipated by the 1989 Plan. The Central Platte Valley has been extensively
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C O M R RLA.N 2000


DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
redeveloped and rezoned for future development as a mixed-use, center-city
neighborhood. More than 10 miles of South Platte riverfront has been
revitalized as parks, open space and natural areas. The redevelopment of
Stapleton and Lowry are well under way. Successful youth crime-prevention
programs have helped turn lives around. With the completion of a new Mile
High Stadium in 2002, three professional sports stadiums will have been
built within the decade in Downtown.
At the end of the 1990s, the regions economic renaissance also reveals
another side: urban sprawl, congestion, increasing social and economic
disparity, and persistent tensions between entrepreneurs who want to shape
new opportunities their own way and communitarians who uphold their
concept of the greater good. And as part of metro Denvers increasing
integration into the high-tech global economy, Denvers ownership structure
began shifting dramatically, as the population began to grow and grow.
Cognizant of our history, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 strives to identify
the opportunities and challenges of our times, and to set a course for the
future that reconciles many diverse aspirations into another coherent and
compelling vision of what metropolitan Denver might become.
The Ritchie Center at the University of Denver
a grand, new building nears completion
C O M R
R L A. N
2 0 0 0
23
INTRODUCTION


Environment
Environment
iiiijil JJsib
IbJJiJJJlbiJ
25



It is every man's obligation to return to this world
at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.
~ Albert Einstein


f


GOAL | Preserve and enhance
The City of Denver provides curbside
recycling to neighborhoods
Sunflowers thrive in an urban garden
the natural environment.
OVERVIEW l The natural environment
in and around Denver includes assets
that are most prized by Denver residents:
clear air, a moderate climate, nearby
mountains, parks and open space, and
beautiful vistas. The greatest challenge to
the environment in the early 21st century
is managing growth slowing the loss of
land, the consumption of resources, the
congestion, and the human stress
created by urban sprawl. At the same
time, the public-policy challenge to
develop and implement balanced and
sustainable growth strategies addressing
equity, stewardship and cooperation
becomes more critical. Environmental
sustainability is not something we actually
achieve; it is something we as individuals,
as a community and as a region aspire to
achieve. DRCOGs MetroVision 2020
Plan is based on sound principles of
sustainability and offers reasonable
direction to all the communities in the
Denver metropolitan area.
28
PRESERVE A. N D ENHANCE


DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Introduction
Denver citizens treasure the natural heritage within which the city has
developed. More than one-third of respondents in the Heart and Soul of
Denver Survey cited the climate as the most important factor in Denvers
quality of life. Another 17 percent ranked the mountains and outdoor
activities highest. Citizens surveyed also indicated that three environmental
quality issues congested roadways, growth and pollution are among
the Citys top five problems. Clearly, a high-quality natural environment
within and around Denver is crucial to sustaining our quality of life, today
and in the future.
The brown cloud Denver steps
up to the challenge
Sustainability means the prudent use of our natural resources without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It implies
reclaiming, conserving and intensively managing resources to minimize the
impact of development on the environment both locally and globally. It also
means ensuring that all residents live in areas free from the unhealthy effects
of environmental pollution.
Within Denvers urban framework, environmental sustainability will be
achieved through policies and practices that reflect the congruency of
environmental, economic and equity goals. Over the long term, efforts to
prevent pollution, increase energy efficiency and conserve water will produce
economic benefits. The role of the City is to ensure that all activities
sponsored and sanctioned by the government consider their impacts on the
environment.
Changes, Challenges and Opportunities
Changes, 1989-1999
Air quality I Denver regularly complies with federal air quality
standards, mainly because of tighter tailpipe-emission standards, the
banning of wood-burning on high-pollution days, changes in street-
sweeping practices, the use of oxygenated fuels, tight controls on
industry, and voluntary trip reduction.
Water conservation I The City has implemented numerous water-saving
measures, including completion of water metering of private homes and a
revised tap-fee structure. Voluntary water conservation practices by citizens
are strongly encouraged. The Denver Water Board estimates that these
measures have saved 13,000 acre-feet of water annually. One acre-foot of
water is estimated to serve the water needs of a family of four for a year.
Water quality I The Mayors South Platte River Commission has
focused tremendous investment in improving water quality in the river
The Platte River gets a
community cleanup in the Central Platte Valley
XHE N A.T URAL ENVIRONMENT.
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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY


15,999 and less
16.000 to 42,999
43.000 to 156,999
157.000 to 315,999
316.000 and more
Colorado County Populations 1997
30
PRESERVE AND ENHANCE


DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
2 000
and its tributaries, increasing their importance as natural and
recreational assets for the City. Wastewater management facilities have
been expanded and improved. An intra-agency water quality group has
been formed to review City projects that may have potential adverse
impacts on Denvers lakes and streams.
Recycling I City-sponsored curbside recycling was available throughout
Denver by the end of 1999. The City instituted Executive Order 108, a
reduce, reuse, and recycle initiative for City agencies in early 1997.
Renewable energy I More consumers are asking for green power
alternatives such as wind energy. More than 14,500 Colorado customers have
signed up for wind energy, including the City and County of Denver.
Denvers 300-plus days of sunshine make
solar panels a favorite renewable
energy choice
Natural resources conservation I The City has promoted energy
efficiency activities through the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and
improved efficiency in City government through its Green Lights and Green
Fleets programs. These programs have saved $1.15 million a year and
reduced sulphur dioxide by 138,000 pounds, nitrogen oxides by 130,000
pounds, carbon dioxide by 20,000 tons, and heavy metals by 50 pounds.
Brownfields I Industrially contaminated sites are gradually being cleaned
up and reused.
Brownfields" is a term applied to property that is blighted and underdeveloped
due to a number of factors, including environmental contamination. For
economic reasons, businesses often seek less expensive undeveloped land
distant from the core of the city, increasing sprawl, commuting and the need
for publicly financed infrastructure.
Open space I The Citys emphasis on parks and open space has resulted in
the addition of 75 acres of new parks and open space since 1995. In the next
five years the City will develop 800 acres into parks and recreational areas.
Challenges
Identifying and measuring success I Achieving sustainable
development requires systemwide changes that are measured and have
community support. This will require significant public education and
consensus-building.
Growth management I If not properly managed, increasing population
and expanding commerce throughout the metropolitan region can consume
natural resources, reduce open space, add congestion, cause waste, and
contribute to the brown cloud. The 1990 census placed the population for the
metropolitan area at 1.8 million. In 1998 the population was estimated at 2.3
million. An additional 770,000 new residents are projected by 2020.
Community gardens are good for gardeners
and good for Denver neighborhoods
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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY


Greeley I
Denver Basin Water Aquifers
32
PRESERVE A. N D ENHANCE


DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Pro-environmental attitudes I Influencing individuals to make even more
green choices in their daily lives will require education and reinforcement
over a long period of time.
Economic pressures I Environmental protection measures often add
front-end costs to development projects, industrial production, and
consumer-oriented products and services. These costs are not perceived as
the true cost of doing business. In some cases such expenses may make
certain investments or economic activities infeasible. In other cases people
may simply not understand the long-term economic benefits.
Renewable energy I Denver, like the rest of the country, is too heavily
reliant on fossil fuels as an energy source. In 1997 and 1998, the average
Denver resident paid $517 per year for electrical service, $380 per year for
natural gas, and $750 per year for gasoline. The rising cost of a particular
energy source can have an impact on peoples behavior and encourage the
use of other renewable energy sources. (The price of electricity over the last
10 years has changed very little, while the cost of natural gas has
increased 12 percent since 1990.) Renewable energy choices such as wind
and solar power, as well as techniques to increase energy efficiency, must
increase in the 21st century to diminish demand for fossil fuels.
Residents work to improve the
environment throughout the city
Recycling costs I Comparatively low landfill fees that predominate in
Colorado weaken the cost incentives for recycling. Further, people do not
equate recycling with the need to make those materials into usable products
(i.e., its more than just putting the paper into the bin).
Opportunities
Growth management I In addition to reducing vehicular traffic, existing
bus corridors and new regional transit corridors offer opportunities to shape
transit-oriented, mixed-use developments, which encourage neighborhood
self-sufficiency. Also, Stapleton and other areas offer tremendous
opportunities for sustainable development.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
is home to a wide variety of wildlife
The redevelopment of the Stapleton site will take at least 30 to 40 years to
complete. The decisions made with respect to the site will influence the Denver
community for many generations to come.... [What] the community planned for
the Stapleton site will provide a real-world example of sustainable development
of significant scale. Sustainable development in the words of the United Nations
describes a community that can meet the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Stapleton Redevelopment Plan, 1995, an amendment to the Denver Comprehensive Plan
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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY


Denver-Area Reservoirs
34
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Pro-environmental attitudes I The Heart and Soul of Denver Survey
indicates that citizens value the natural environment and are motivated to
protect it. Denver has begun to build a successful track record of cooperation
among businesses, environmentalists, neighborhoods and policy makers on
environmental issues such as identifying ways to reduce consumption, not
just recycling.
Sustainable economics I The use of life-cycle costing leads to sustainable
development decisions.
Public policy regulation I Governmental entities are working to use
pollution prevention incentives and other voluntary programs to mitigate the
need for regulation wherever possible.
Metropolitan cooperation I Increasingly, partnerships are developing to
effectively face environmental issues across jurisdictional boundaries.
Examples include the reclamation of the South Platte River, higher water
quality standards, the metropolitan trails system, mountain parks, and the
Chatfield and Cherry Creek Dams.
Water recreation at Confluence Park
in the heart of the city
Renewable energy I Sufficient renewable energy resources exist within the
Denver region to offer viable alternatives and achieve a substantial market
share. Denver has more than 300 days of sunshine a year for solar energy,
and wind energy has already been introduced into the electricity grid. The full
value of Denver Waters hydroelectric resources has not yet been realized.
Affordable housing I Reduction of utility costs through energy efficiency
can help make housing more affordable.
Father and daughter
fish and learn about the South Platte River
*
ENVIRONMENT.
THE
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35
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY


Vision of Success
Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000s goal, objectives and strategies for
environmental sustainabiliiy will enhance the quality of life for Denver
residents in a variety of ways:
Living patterns I Residents will be able to live more self-sufficient lives
within their neighborhoods due to increased use of telecommuting policies and
technology, expanded home-based employment, and a greater varieiy of
commercial and recreational activity within neighborhoods.
Air quality I Measurements of air quality factors will continue to improve,
as well as the visual appearance of the city.
Water quality I Water quality will improve, and waterways and groundwater
will be cleaned up and greened up.
Transportation I Citizens will drive less, choosing from a greater variety of
low-impact modes of transportation that effectively connect people from place
to place and from one mode of transportation to another.
Renewable energy I Increased use of renewable energy sources will reduce
consumption of fossil fuels and, thereby, air emissions.
Health-care costs I Savings in health-care costs will be realized because of
a healthier environment.
Natural resource conservation I Eco-industrial parks will be developed in
which one or more companies make use of their own or other companies
byproducts as raw materials or inputs for their own production. Existing and
new development of all types will be more energy-efficient and water-conserving,
and will use fewer resources. Green building practices will increase.
Pollution prevention I More residents and businesses will be directly
involved in voluntary pollution prevention programs, reducing the need for
government intervention.
Water conservation I Water consumption for irrigation will decline with
increased awareness of the need to conserve water resources in Denvers
semiarid climate.
Recycling I Denver will continue to increase its recycling activity and reduce
the solid waste going to landfill.
Shared environmental responsibility I Progress will continue within the
city to share environmental benefits and burdens among neighborhoods.
Natural habitat and wildlife I Denvers natural stream corridors and
wetlands will be preserved and maintained for wildlife habitat.
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
2 000
Objectives and Strategies
Objective 1 i Burdens and Benefits
Distribute environmental burdens and benefits.
Undesirable impacts and burdens of environmental pollution such as health
problems, low property values, and community disintegration often fall heaviest
on neighborhoods where residents are likely to be people of color, low-income and
politically marginalized. In addition, such neighborhoods often lack beneficial
environmental amenities such as parks and open space. Denver supports
distributing environmental impacts and benefits fairly, rather than imposing or
ignoring negative impacts in some communities while focusing beneficial
environmental amenities elsewhere.
Strategies
|_J| Encourage redevelopment of vacant, underutilized and environmentally
compromised land known as brownfields.
Promote public-private sector involvement and cooperation with
citizens to formulate plans and actions that achieve shared
responsibilities and benefits.
|.(J Continue to implement the environmental review function as a tool to
address pollution prevention and improve environmental quality.
The City has initiated an environmental review function within its zoning
process that mitigates or avoids concentrating those uses that coidd produce
negative environmental impacts within any neighborhood.
Abjective 2 Stewardship nf Besnurces
Ensure environmental stewardship of natural resources, taking
into account the entire ecosystem, not just human needs.
Preventing pollution will be the action of first choice in
accomplishing this objective. REF: Legacies Rbj. 12
Strategies
2-A Promote environmental sustainability within neighborhoods by
educating and encouraging residents to adopt environmentally friendly
ways of living, such as recycling, water conservation, use of renewable
resources, and low-impact methods of transportation.
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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY


Renewable resources are those available from, the environment such as energy
from the sun, wind or water that can be adapted to meet the needs of people
and slow down the consumption of nonrenewable fossil fuels.
2-B Protect and improve air quality by:
I Annually remaining in compliance with all federal air quality
standards, including carbon monoxide, ozone, PM10 and PM25.
I Decreasing the number of violations of the visibility standard over the
next 10 years in accordance with the Regional Air Quality Councils
Blueprint for Clean Air.
I Reducing vehicular pollution by expanding the use of transit and
other travel alternatives, supporting telecommuting and home-based
employment, increasing the mix of uses within neighborhoods, and
expanding the use of alternative fuels.
REF: Land Use I D, 4-A; Mobility I B, 3-B, 4-E
I Working with regulatory agencies to address the issues of hazardous
air pollutants and indoor air quality to a greater degree during the
coming decade.
2-C Conserve water and improve water quality by:
REF: Legacies 12-A
I Supporting and enhancing the Denver Water Boards policies
established in Water for Tomorrow: An Integrated Resource Plan.
The Water for Tomorrow plan includes policies that (a) encourage water
conservation strategies to maintain an adequate supply and minimize future
capital needs; (b) achieve water quality that meets or exceeds federal and state
standards for drinking water, stream and surface water, groundwater, and
storm water; and (c) provide water and water services in an environmentally
sensible manner, and support citizens desires for a vital natural urban
environment and abundant outdoor recreation.
I Achieving a steady per capita water-use reduction over the next
10 years.
I Encouraging the Denver Water Board to deny water service to areas
where water-conserving landscape practices are not allowed.
I Reviewing, developing and amending City policies to allow and
encourage water-conserving landscape practices.
I Working to encourage water-conserving landscaping and building
techniques in new development areas.
I Identifying opportunities for City agencies to use native flora in
landscape designs.
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
2 000
2-Q Conserve energy by:
I Promoting energy-efficient technologies and the use of renewable
energy (including solar, hydro, wind and others) in the home, the
workplace, and for transportation.
I Leading by example to adopt policies that further the use of
renewable energy resources and creating green city buildings.
REF: Housing 1-F
Sustainable or green building considers the buildings total economic and
environmental impact and performance. Considerations include overall product
costs to manufacture, transport and maintain, as well as cost savings to
residents for expenses such as utilities. A number of home-builders build green"
in the Denver marketplace.
I Continuing the Citys efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.
I Promoting renewable energy in the marketplace.
I Adopting development design criteria that maximize energy
conservation.
2-f Conserve raw materials by:
I Encouraging the use of recycled materials in the construction
of buildings.
I Promoting efforts to adapt existing buildings for new uses, rather
than destroying them.
REF: Legacies 5-A, R-C
I Reducing per capita residential solid waste delivered to landfills by
expanding City-sponsored and private recycling practices, and by
raising public awareness of the benefits of recycling, especially by
purchasing recycled materials.
I Reducing the Citys use of materials and increasing its use of
recycled materials through purchase or reuse.
I Encouraging businesses to reduce the use of materials and increase
their use of recycled materials.
2-f Conserve land by:
REF: Laod Use 1-F, 2-A, 4-A
I Promoting infill development within Denver at sites where services
and infrastructure are already in place.
I Designing mixed-use communities and reducing sprawl, so that
residents can live, work and play within their own neighborhoods.
I Creating more density at transit nodes.
I Adopting construction practices in new developments that minimize
disturbance of the land.
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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY


I Sharing parking at activity centers.
I Protecting natural corridors, wetlands and floodplains from the
encroachment of development.
I Encouraging the redevelopment of brownfields.
2-(j Preserve and restore, wherever possible, natural habitat for wildlife and
plants native to the region, such as those at the Rocky Mountain
Arsenal National Wildlife Area, Gates Crescent Park, Grant-Frontier,
Bear Creek Park, Bear Valley Park, and the Cherry Creek corridor.
REF: Legacies 12-C
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal was a military site where war gases and pesticides
were produced. Federal and state agencies and a private company are working
together to make the area part of the National Wildlife Refuge system,
reclaiming it for future generations.
Objectives Environmental Policy
Develop environmental protection policies that take advantage
of market forces and provide for regulatory flexibility while
meeting the Citys environmental objectives. Encourage
policies and actions that consider environmental quality,
economic prosperity and social equity as complementary, not
conflicting, goals.
Strategies
3-A Establish specific measurable goals for the environment, formulate
strategies to accomplish them, and create time lines for
implementation.
J.Q Encourage decision-making throughout Denver City government that
recognizes long-term impacts on the environment, such as making life-
cycle cost analysis the basis for economic decisions.
Life-cycle cost analysis is a method of evaluating purchases or investments. The
initial cost of a particular capital investment may be higher than another
option, but it may last longer. For example, concrete costs more than asphalt for
streets, but it will usually last longer with less maintenance. The additional
front-end investment in concrete may be justified in some instances, ultimately
requiring fewer resources. The City of Austin, Texas, used life-cycle cost analysis
in designing a sustainability matrix that is used to evaluate capital
improvement requests. REF: Land flse 1-E
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
2 000
3-C Adopt procedures and regulations that are appropriate to the nature
and scale of problems and that reduce waste.
jj.fl Provide market-based incentives and tax incentives to encourage
sustainable development.
j|-( Encourage effective voluntary environmental management programs
and activities that require less government intervention. The private
sector has found pollution prevention to be profitable, and many
businesses are voluntarily embracing opportunihes to create a more
sustainable environment.
Objective 4 The Environment and the Community
Achieve environmental sustainability in all aspects of planning,
community and building design, and transportation. Encourage
implementation of recommended strategies within neighborhoods,
citywide, and throughout the metropolitan region.
Strategies
4-A Promote the development of sustainable communities and centers of
activity where shopping, jobs, recreation and schools are accessible by
multiple forms of transportation, providing opportunihes for people to
live where they work.
REF: Mobility 3-B.4-E; Land Use 1-D
1|.|] Promote energy efficiency, including the use of renewable energy, in
the design of communities and in the construction of buildings and
patterns of development.
4-C Respect, conserve and expand wildlife habitat, watersheds, open space
and other natural resources when planning, designing and building
new projects.
REF: Legacies 1H-B
Promote convenient public transit for the community, including buses,
fight rail and other alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles.
REF: Mobility 1-fl
4-E Use neighborhood development, such as Stapleton, as projects that
incorporate principles of sustainable development at the community
level. Use these neighborhoods as models to encourage sustainable
development throughout the city over time.
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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY


4|.f Introduce natural ecosystem strategies into the maintenance of our
public and private lands.
The City now uses goats instead of herbicides to keep weeds under control
in riparian areas.
Objective 5 The Environment and the Region
Encourage the broad participation and cooperation of the
entire metropolitan community on environmental
sustainability issues, including transit, air and water quality,
protection of floodways and wildlife habitat, and recreational
areas and bike paths. REF: Land Use 5-A
Strategies
5-A Support and use DRCOGs MetroVision 2020 Plan, which has been
incorporated into the Denver Comprehensive Plan.
REF: Metropolitan 1-A
jj-Q Continue Denvers leadership in metropolitan forums on smart growth,
air quality, water, energy, natural resources and wildlife, recycling,
climate, and other key environmental issues.
REF: Metropolitan 1-C, 5-R
5-C Partner with other metropolitan jurisdictions to distribute
environmental burdens and benefits.
REF: Metropolitan 1-E
g.p Encourage building the planned extensions of the regions public
transit network in a manner that is both convenient for users and
energy-efficient.
REF: Metropolitan 2-A; Mobility Rbj. 5
5-E Cooperate with neighboring jurisdictions to develop shared open space
and outdoor recreation amenities.
REF: Metropolitan 5-A; Legacies 1R-R
[j.J Maintain existing connections and develop new connections among
open space areas within Denver and with those of our neighbors.
42
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
X H E
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Environment
Mmuimi
land Use
itJiMUii


Land
Use
Neither the country nor the society we built out of it can be healthy
until we stop raiding and running, and learn to be quiet part of the
time, and acquire a sense not of ownership but of belonging. .
Only in the act of submission is the sense of place realized and a
sustainable relationship between people and earth established.
~ Wallace Stegner
Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, 1992




GOAL | Manage growth and change
through effective land-use policies to
sustain Denvers high quality of life.
Building is booming in Denver and all
along the Front Range
Denver International Airport
OVERVIEW I Rapid economic growth
in the 1990s, along with the availability
of 12,000 acres of land for development
and redevelopment at Lowry, Stapleton,
DlA/Gateway and the Central Platte Valley,
offers Denver new opportunities. At the same
time, infill development continues throughout
the city, demonstrating the need to balance
new investment with neighborhood character.
These opportunities also pose tremendous
challenges to Denvers land-use regulatory
system. An effective land-use policy is
essential to achieving many of Denvers
aspirations: accommodating additional
residents; improving economic vitality;
enhancing the aesthetics and livability of
the city; creating sustainable patterns of
development such as mixed uses and higher
density; and promoting walking, biking,
transit and other alternatives to automobiles.
TWo actions will begin implementation of
such a policy: preparation of a Citywide Land
Use and Transportation Plan, and a complete
reexamination of zoning classifications and
the zone map. The existing regulatory
system was designed to reflect the values
and aspirations of another era; today it
sometimes encumbers reasonable, healthy
development reflecting the needs, values
and vision of our times.
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Introduction
Denvers first Zoning Ordinance was written in 1925. The city was completely
rezoned in 1956 and the Zoning Ordinance recodified in response to changed
conditions. Many of the development patterns the 1956 Zoning Ordinance
reflects are the eras assumptions regarding the separation of uses, boundless
space to develop, virtually unlimited resources, and minimal suburban
competition.
Never completely static, the 1956 Zoning Ordinance has undergone more than
1,200 language amendments. The related Zone Map has been amended
hundreds of times, and dozens of new zone districts and overlay districts have
been added. However, despite these many modifications, the existing land-use
regulatory system does not wholly facilitate sustainable growth as envisioned
in Plan 2000.
The City must go beyond simply revising, updating and adapting its land-use
regulatory system by increments. Rather, Denver should proactively determine
the type, quality and amount of urban development it wishes to foster, and
develop a decisive set of policies and programs to achieve its land-use goals.
Three policies underlie sound land-use development in Denver:
I Retaining and attracting residents of all economic means.
I Enhancing the quality, diversity and stability of neighborhoods, business
districts and other areas of Denver.
I Supporting strategies that provide multiple transportation modes, giving
travelers more choices than simply using their cars.
Six Flags Elitch Gardens took up
residence in the Central Platte Valley
Alternative transportation refers to all modes of transportation except
driving a single-occupant vehicle. Included in this broad category are light
rail and bus transit, car pools, walking, biking, shuttle service and increased
use of telecommunications.
Two primary strategies have been identified to improve Denvers land-use
regulatory system. First, the land-use regulatory system needs additional
tools to achieve the Citys goals, including a City wide Land Use and
Transportation Plan to better link land use and transportation. Second, the
Denver Zoning Ordinance and related components of the Citys land-use
regulatory system should be updated, clarified and simplified wherever
possible. The updated Zoning Ordinance should be more user-friendly and
more accessible to the public via communications technologies.
USE POLICIES XO S U S X A I N DENVERS HIGH QUALIXY OE LIEE.
47
LAND USE


Development Activity Downtown and
the Central Platte Valley
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Changes, Challenges and Opportunities
Changes, 1989-1999
Economy I A strong economy has caused dramatic increases in land values
and development activity, contrasted with the 1980s, when Denvers economy
was among the most sluggish in the nation.
Population growth I The population of the Denver metropolitan area has
grown dramatically to more than 2 million people. Denvers share of that
total has declined. The Citys population in 1970 was 514,678, representing
42 percent of the six-county metro total. Denvers population declined to
467,610 in 1990, then climbed above the 500,000 mark again in 1998, which
represented only 24 percent of the metro population.
Cherry Creek North shops are
elegant and unique
Vibrant, 24-hour Downtown I The 1989 Comprehensive Plan focused on
reinvesting in a seriously depressed Denver. By 1999, Downtown had become
a showcase for the fruits of those investments. In 1990, the Downtown Denver
Partnership reported an inventory of 51 vacant or underutilized buildings,
many of them historic. By 1999, most of these buildings had been
rehabilitated as housing and hotels, giving the Downtown area a substantial
resident base to support a diversified range of restaurants, entertainment and
new retail. The Colorado Convention Center, a light rail line, Coors Field and
the Lower Downtown Historic District all illustrate this new vibrancy.
Emergence of Cherry Creek I A new Cherry Creek Shopping Center
opened in 1990 and expanded in 1998, replacing its 1956 predecessor. The g
areas in and around Cherry Creek have blossomed with reinvestment in Downtown has experienced dramatic
retail, office and many types of housing. increases in new housing development
High-quality infill development I Since the mid-1990s, Denver has
benefited from high-quality development on infill sites such as the old St.
Lukes Hospital and the former Elitch Gardens. In each case, national
developers with experience in creating mixed-use projects at difficult urban
sites have brought creativity and commitment to Denver.
Lowry Air Force Base I When Lowry Air Force Base closed in 1994, a plan
was in place for a mixed-use community that included residential
development of a variety of types and prices, educational facilities and an
employment center. Development has proceeded at a rapid pace, with
build-out expected by 2006.
Challenges
Compact development I The public appreciates the positive benefits of
appropriately located compact development more public open space, more
mobility options, nearby employment, shopping, recreation opportunities and
USE POLICIES XO S U S X A I N DENVERS HIGH QUALIXY OE LIEE.
49
LAND USE


Community
Development Areas Lowry
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
less sprawl. But few established neighborhoods welcome the higher densities
suggested by population growth and its perceived impacts. Neighborhood
resistance to denser development is a major challenge.
Local circulation I Conflicts are inevitable between the walkable character
of neighborhoods and the traffic circulation needs of Denvers auto travelers.
Equitable and workable resolutions for these conflicts will continue to
challenge the City as it seeks to better integrate its land use and
transportation systems.
Range of housing I Denver faces a shortage of housing that covers the lull
range of housing prices and types. Land-use policies must allow for increased
availability, broader distribution and an expanded variety of housing options.
Development plan and design review I The complex array of land-use
regulatory mechanisms can make the development review process confusing
at best for both applicants and interested neighbors. The Citys challenge is
to create a streamlined, efficient and predictable development review process
that ensures new development is compatible with its surroundings and
provides quality architecture and site design. Increasingly, design review is
being used as a tool to mitigate the impact of new development and
redevelopment while reinforcing the best characteristics of the community. As
with other regulatory tools, the staff time necessary to administer a program
must be balanced in a manner that benefits both the City and its residents.
A long-vacant flour mill under renovation
to lofts in the Central Platte Valley
Zone map amendments I Denvers zone maps sometimes prescribe
development patterns inconsistent with existing and desired land-use
patterns. For example, some neighborhoods comprised of single-family houses
are zoned R-3 or R-4, which allows high-rise apartments. Or a neighborhood
zoned R-l is developing at a higher townhouse-type density. Upzoning and
downzoning of private property are extremely sensitive issues, often
provoking prolonged and sometimes acrimonious debates, the results of
which may be even greater inconsistencies.
Neighborhood blight I Throughout the city, there are individual
structures or groups of structures that create a negative or blighting
influence on the immediate area. This may be as simple as a vacant house
with weeds grown high or as complicated as a derelict structure used illegally
for drug or gang activity. The need to balance the rights of the property
owner with the communitys right to real and perceived safety remains a
challenge for the City.
Houses in the Clements Park Historic
District are within walking distance of Downtown
USE POLICIES XO S U S X A I N DENVERS HIGH QUALIXY OE LIEE.
51
LAND USE


I
:
New Residential
N-' Development
Development Areas DIA/Gateway
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Infrastructure cost I By regulation, the cost of infrastructure for new
development is shared by the City and the developer. Typically, the City pays
for improvements that benefit an area or the entire city, and the developer
pays for local improvements needed by the development. The City is
challenged to improve and maintain its existing public infrastructure while
absorbing substantial additional costs of regional infrastructure required at
DIA/Gateway, Stapleton, the Central Platte Valley and other development
areas. This expanded demand for infrastructure investment requires more
funds for capital improvements, more prudent and economical investment,
and a wider range of financing alternatives for the public and private sectors.
Opportunities
Development areas I A decade ago, when it was a landlocked center city
surrounded by suburbs, Denvers growth opportunities appeared severely
limited. In a reversal of fortune, Denvers major new development areas
Lowry, DIA/Gateway, Stapleton and the Central Platte Valley offer about
12,000 acres, more than 50 years of build-out potential.
A historic trolley powerhouse is being
converted to a new retail use for REI,
a recreation outfitting company.
Mixed-Use Zone Districts I In November 1998, Denver City Council
enacted the Mixed-Use Zone Districts to create the zoning flexibility desired
by developers and property owners as well as review of development
proposals by the City and the public. This represents the first effort to
encourage mixing of uses as recommended in some of the sustainable
development strategies of Plan 2000.
Central Platte Valley I Denvers former railyard area is undergoing
substantial public and private development. The area is now home to some of
the Citys major sports and entertainment venues: Coors Field, Mile High
Stadium, the Pepsi Center and Six Flags Elitch Gardens. Commons Park is
under construction and the Platte River Greenway continues to be improved.
Exciting development projects, including the REI Flagship Store in the old
Forney/Powerhouse Building, Colorados Ocean Journey and the Flour Mill
Lofts, set the stage for new development that complements Downtown, Lower
Downtown and the adjacent Highlands neighborhood.
Surface parking lots await redevelopment
Industrial areas I Manufacturing and warehousing uses have moved
farther from the Citys core to newer facilities and better access to highways.
As these larger uses move out, opportunities are created for smaller custom
fabrication and entrepreneurial start-up businesses. Some of these former
industrial sites are quite large and contain interesting structures, but are
also polluted. New environmental policies and experience with reuse of
brownfields could create a new generation of manufacturing, service and
warehouse businesses.
USE POLICIES XO S U S X A I N DENVERS HIGH QUALIXY OE LIEE.
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LAND USE


64TH AVE
Town Center
Open Space
Industrial
Town Center
Commercial
M.L.K. BLVD
Town Center
Residential
Commercial
Open Space
Industrial
Town Center
Residential
Development Areas
Stapleton
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Vision of Success
Implementation of policies based on Plan 2000s objectives and strategies
for land use could result in the following features of Denvers future
physical growth:
Congruency of land use and zoning I Ongoing clarification of the Zoning
Ordinance in a process linked to a citywide land-use plan will eventually
result in a built environment with greater overall urban design integrity,
stronger connections among urban centers, and a richer and more diverse
mix of uses within geographically proximate areas. The linking of these
activities will be especially useful in identifying opportunities for the
development of housing, transportation, open space, necessary community
facilities and other essential uses that are more difficult to integrate.
Upgrading our infrastructure: construction
on Speer Boulevard Bridge
Information and communication I Developers, citizens and City agencies
alike will benefit from greater clarity in land-use regulatory policies, easier
access to information, and more opportunities to communicate with City
agencies and other interests about land-use policies and issues. Technology
advances such as the www.denvergov.org website will enable customers to
access all land-use regulations for a specific property via the Internet.
Compact development I Compact urban centers will meet the needs of
21st-century living while reinforcing the valued characteristics of Denvers
neighborhoods. Development and redevelopment of urban centers present
opportunities to concentrate population and land uses within a limited
geographic space. Compact development will improve neighborhood cohesion,
reduce urban sprawl and connect residents more directly to services and
amenities within their immediate living environment.
Mobility I In every part of the city, residents will enjoy a greater variety of
convenient transportation options and alternative mobility choices. Denvers
street system, with its grid and continuity, will prove highly adaptable to meet
transportation needs as they change over time.
Preservation of urban legacies I Denvers highly livable urban
environment will be preserved and enhanced through policies that support
the ongoing development and maintenance of the parks and parkways
system, preserve historic resources, and require quality urban design
consistent with Denvers traditional character. Mountain and Downtown views
from public places such as parks will continue to be protected.
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LAND USE


Open space is essential to
Denvers livability
Urban centers concentrate development within a relatively small area. They
typically encompass a wide range of land uses, including higher-density
residential, office, retail, services, entertainment and community facilities.
Urban centers vary in type, size and intensity. Their density and variety enable
a range of transportation alternatives; above all they should be walkable.
Denvers urban fabric is best understood with three types of centers:
| Downtown: This high-intensity, mixed-use core serves the entire metropolitan
area with businesses, entertainment, festivals and government. Downtown
should remain the hub of the public transportation system.
| Regional centers: These concentrations of mixed-use development focus on one
major use, such as a regional retail center (e.g., Cherry Creek Shopping Center)
or an office park (e.g., the Denver Tech Center). Regional centers offer enough
variety of uses to create an internal synergy as well as attract patrons from
throughout the region. Again, a wide range of transportation alternatives is
needed.
| Neighborhood centers: Within neighborhoods, higher-density residential and
service uses tend to locate around supermarket-based shopping centers or
historical streetcar districts, such as Old South Gaylord or 32nd and Lowell.
Patterns vary greatly depending on the age, arrangement and amount of
commercial space. Pedestrian access is particidarly important.
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2 000
Objectives and Strategies
Objective 1 Citywide Land Use and Transpnrtatinn Plan
Balance and coordinate Denvers mix of land uses to sustain a
healthy economy, support the use of alternative transportation,
and enhance the quality of life in the city. REF: Arts & Culture 2-F
Strategies
J.fl Develop a Cifywide Land Use and Transportation Plan that anticipates
growth and development patterns through 2020. Consider future needs
for housing, commerce and industry, parks, recreation and open space,
transportation, community facilities, and other identified land-use needs.
REF: Mobility 1-G; Neighborhoods 1-A, 7-C; Environmental 2-F; Housing 2-R, 4-C; Legacies 3-A
Ensure that the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan reinforces
the citys character by building on a legacy of high-quality urban design
and stable, attractive neighborhoods; encouraging preservation of
historic buildings, districts and landscapes; and maintaining the
integrity of the street grid, parks, parkways and open space system.
REF: Legacies 2-A; Neighborhoods1-A
|.(J Incorporate relevant recommendations from neighborhood, corridor and
area plans that are supplements to Plan 2000. Examples are the plans
for Stapleton, Lowry, Gateway, Federal Boulevard, Central Platte Valley
and the Golden Triangle.
Recognize the multiple transportation functions of arterial corridors, as well
as their importance for commercial activity and projecting the citys image.
REF: Mobility 3-R; Environmental 2-R, 4-A; Housing fi-A; Legacies 3-A
Arterial corridors: Many of Denvers higher-intensity uses are located along
arterial corridors such as Colorado Boulevard, Broadway, East and West
Colfax, South Wadsworth, and Interstate Highways 25 and 70. Because of the
auto orientation of these streets, maintaining pedestrian, transit and bike
connections is challenging. Colfax and Broadway are among streets with the
additional challenge of maintaining their historical streetcar character.
Use the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan as the basis for
making future decisions about City investment in transportation to
improve mobility and in utilities to provide capacity. Promote land-use
patterns and transportation systems that improve air quality over time.
REF: Mobility 1-G; Housing R-A
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LAND USE


Encourage a balance between the use and protection of natural resources
and protection of environmental quality, including air quality, within a
regional context in the City wide Land Use and Transportation Plan
REF: Environmental 2-1; Metropolitan 5-A
Reinforce Denver as the focal point of the metropolitan area in the
City wide Land Use and Transportation Plan. The Plans recommendations
must be flexible to respond to economic upturns and downturns while
maintaining high-quality development throughout the city.
REF: Economic Rbj. 4
Encourage development of housing that meets the increasingly diverse needs
of Denvers present and future residents in the City wide Land Use and
Transportation Plan
REF: Housing Rbj. R; Housing 2-1,2-F
Establish the location of existing community facilities in the Citywide
Land Use and Transportation Plan as a basis for future siting decisions.
REF: Neighborhoods 7-A
Objective 2 Denver Zoning Ordinance
Clarify and update Denvers Zoning Ordinance and related ordinances,
regulations and procedures to be consistent with the goals and
objectives of Denvers City wide Land Use and Transportation Plan.
Strategies
2-A Initiate comprehensive review and detailed revision of the Denver
Zoning Ordinance and related components of the land-use regulatory
system. The process should balance the perspectives of citizens,
neighborhoods, businesses, developers and City agencies. The proposed
revisions should ensure that the Denver Zoning Ordinance will be:
REF: Neighborhoods 1-1; Legacies 2-A, R-E
I consistent with the vision, goals and objectives of Plan 2000;
I compatible with high-quality urban design;
I flexible and accommodating of current and future land-use needs,
such as home-based business and accessory flats;
I accessible, understandable and easy to use;
I supportive of Denvers competitive economic strengths and its
interest in attracting new development of all types;
I responsive to the needs for timely communication with parties
affected by zoning procedures; and
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2 000
I enforceable through swift and fair procedures.
2-[| Make organizational changes within City government to achieve Plan
2000s goals, objectives and strategies related to land use and zoning.
The changes should:
I reduce delays in planning and development review and enforcement;
I increase cross-training and combine the functions of various City
agencies in the planning and development review and enforcement
processes; and
I concentrate permitting and enforcement agencies in one central
location.
REF: Economic 2-A
2-C Review and update City processes for enforcement of zoning and other
land-use regulations. These processes should include a consistent and
enforceable set of performance standards for the owners and operators
of all land uses and a swift, efficient and fair inspection and
compliance process.
REF: Arts & Culture 2-F
2-Q Use up-to-date information technology to keep all aspects of the
land-use regulatory system current and easily accessible to the public.
REF: Economic R-R
Objective 3 Residential Neighborhoods and Bnsiness Centers
Preserve and enhance the individuality, diversity and livability
of Denvers neighborhoods and expand the vitality of Denvers
business centers.
Strategies
3-A Complete neighborhood and area plans for parts of Denver where
development or redevelopment is likely or desirable.
REF: Economic 4-R, 5-A; Legacies Rbj. 7; Homan Services 3-R; Mobility fi-A; Neighborhoods 1-A
The template below provides a planning
framework that can help bring consistency
to the process of developing neighborhood,
small area and corridor plans.
| Process:
Research and analysis
Collaboration of stakeholders
Goals and objectives
Implementation
| Elements:
Land use and zoning
Economic development
Mobility
Urban design and historic preservation
Housing
Human services
Education
Community facilities
Financial resources and fiscal impact
USE
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LAND USE


J.J Encourage quality infill development that is consistent with the
character of the surrounding neighborhood; that offers opportunities
for increased density and more amenities; and that broadens the
variety of compatible uses.
REF: Economic 4-A
J.(J Work with the Denver Public Schools to preserve and incorporate
educational facilities as key elements of healthy neighborhoods.
REF: Neighborhoods Rbj. 4; Edncation 1-Q, IF
jj.fl Identify and enhance existing focal points in neighborhoods, and
encourage the development of such focal points where none exist.
REF: Neighborhoods 1-A, 1C
A neighborhood focal point might be a park, a school, a distinctive shopping
area, a transit station, a cultural or recreational facility any easily
recognized amenity that helps create and define a neighborhoods image.
Objective 4 Land Use and Transpnrtatinn
Ensure that Denvers City wide Land Use and Transportation
Plan and regulatory system support the development of a clean,
efficient and innovative transportation system that meets
Denvers future economic and mobility needs. REF: Mobility Rbj. 1
Strategies
4-A Encourage mixed-use, transit-oriented development that makes effective
use of existing transportation infrastructure, supports transit stations,
increases transit patronage, reduces impact on the environment, and
encourages vibrant urban centers and neighborhoods.
REF: Noosing fi-A, B E; Environmental 2-R, 2-1.; Mobility Rbj. 3,4-1,5-A; Economic 4-R; Legacies 3-R
Ensure that land-use policies and decisions support a variety of
mobility choices, including light rail, buses, paratransit, walking and
bicycling, as well as convenient access for people with disabilities.
REF: Mobility R-A
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Objective 5 Metropolitan Land-Use Planning
Pursue regional approaches to land-use planning and policy
development with Denvers metropolitan neighbors.
REF: Metropolitan 1-1; Noosing B-F; Mobility Dbj. 2; Legacies B-C, 10-D, 11-C
Strategies
5-A Seek cooperation in building a regional agenda for planning and
implementing the MetroVision 2020 Plan. Key issues for this agenda
should include growth management, reduction of sprawl, regional
transportation, open space, environmental quality, and metropolitan
distribution of community facilities and affordable housing.
REF: Environmental Bbj. 5; Neighborhoods 7-B
jj.|] Consider formulating and implementing a cooperative regional
approach to revenue-sharing and cost-sharing for significant regional
issues such as affordable housing, open space and public
transportation. Evaluate use of incentives for development or expansion
of major centers of jobs, transportation, retail and housing.
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Environment
Mmuimi
IujjjJ JJ&3
Mobility


Mobility
The facts of metropolitan congestion are undeniable: they are visible
in every phase of the citys life. One encounters congestion in the
constant stoppages of traffic, resulting from the massing of
vehicles in centers that can be kept in free movement
only by utilizing human legs.
~ Lewis Mumford.
The City in History, 1951




Denvers mild four-season weather
is good for walkers
GOAL | Anticipate and meet the
expanding mobility needs of residents,
businesses and visitors.
OVERVIEW I Roadway congestion,
traffic on neighborhood streets, and the
search for that perfect parking space add
up to lost time, lost money and lost
patience. All diminish the quality of life.
The root of the problem is a society
focused far too much on accommodating
automobiles. We do not provide a range
of convenient mobility choices for
citizens from neighborhood pedestrian
connections to crosstown transit. Denver
must address mobility in multiple ways:
providing more choices, encouraging
those that reduce impact on the
urban environment, and cooperating
with metropolitan jurisdictions and
quasi-governmental agencies on
mobility plans and projects. Perhaps
the most difficult challenge is to get
people and organizations to think in
new ways about how they get from
place to place.
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ANTICIPATE AND MEET THE EXPANDING MOBILITY


Introduction
DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
Mobility, the ability to get from place to place safely and conveniently, is a key
measure of Denvers quality of life. Most Denver residents are accustomed to
the convenience of getting places by car. Voluntarily or involuntarily, many
others experience the difficulty of navigating the city and its surrounding
areas without a car.
The planning and design of Denvers newer neighborhoods and activity
centers assume automobiles as the predominant mode of access. However,
throughout the 1990s, ever-expanding congestion on highways and streets
increased commuting time, driver frustration, business inefficiency and
pressure on neighborhoods. These pressures broadened public support for
effective, convenient solutions such as bus and rail transit, carpooling,
walking, bicycle riding and other alternatives to single-occupant vehicles.
The term mobility represents the balance that must be achieved between
the supply of transportation facilities and the demand for their use. It has
been demonstrated in city after city that government cannot afford to build
enough roadways to meet the demand for auto travel. The cost is too great
in dollars, in environmental degradation and in visual blight. Instead, local
governments will have to focus on alternative mobility solutions such as
more efficient use of the roadway system, expanded transit, and more
options for biking and walking. In addition, demand for transportation
should be lessened with greater use of telecommunications, telecommuting,
home offices, mixed-use development, and the opportunity to live and work
in close proximity.
To that end, in the early part of the 21st century, Denver must take bold
steps to address expanding mobility needs with well-integrated, multiple
modes of transportation that provide convenient access for citizens, minimize
impact on the environment, sustain quality of life throughout the city, and
support economic activity. The Citys transportation policies must
simultaneously ensure the adequacy of the existing roadway system while
aggressively developing and promoting practical alternatives that complement
automobile travel. To be accepted by the public, transportation alternatives
must be convenient, safe, affordable and comfortable.
Transportation infrastructure is expensive, and it has major impacts on how
residents live. It both influences and is influenced by development. Future
transportation plans must consider a diverse range of users, including
residents of all ages and abilities, business commuters, visitors and tourists,
special-event travelers, shopping and recreational travelers, and commercial
freight carriers. To achieve its transportation objectives, the City will work
NEEDS OE RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES AND VISI
Biking along the pathways at
Confluence Park
By 2020 over 3 million people will live,
and many will drive, in the Denver area
MOBILITY


North/Northeast
Study Area
COUNTY
Priority Regional Investment Corridors Rail Lines
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
with a complex range of stakeholders, coordinating the efforts of its own
agencies and including federal and state agencies, other metropolitan
jurisdictions, RTD, DRCOG, employers, neighborhood groups, environmental
organizations, industry associations and many others.
Plan 2000s objectives and strategies for mobility avoid any preferential
judgments about some forms of transportation over others. Residents want
and need a variety of options depending on where they are going on any given
day, or any time of day. The Plan also recognizes that walking is a part of
almost every trip, and supporting the safety and quality of the pedestrian
experience is essential. Denvers social, economic and environmental
sustainability requires that the overriding preference for automobile travel be
balanced with transportation alternatives that help increase access while
reducing impact.
The brown cloud and the highway system
Denver vehicle miles traveled (in millions |
NEEDS
OE RESIDENTS
BUSINESSES AND
VISITORS
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MOBILITY


Denver International
Airport (DIA)/Gateway
Central Platt
Valley (CPV
Denver Tech Center
Denvers Major Urban Centers and
Development Areas
THE EXPANDING MOBILITY
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
2 000
Changes, Challenges and Opportunities
Changes, 1989-1999
Roadways I Access routes to Downtown from surrounding
neighborhoods and major highways have improved with newly rebuilt
viaducts and intersections. The street grid system is being extended into
the former railyards of the Central Platte Valley (CPV), the former Stapleton
International Airport, Lowry, Gateway and other large and small
development areas. HOV/bus lanes have been constructed on 1-25 north,
US-36, Santa Fe and Broadway/Lincoln to reduce travel time for buses
and car pools.
Light rail I Since the 1989 Plan, Denvers first modern light rail line was
built by RTD and began operating between Broadway at 1-25 and 30th at
Downing, traversing the Downtown core. The Southwest Corridor light rail
extension, parallel to Santa Fe Drive, opens in 2000. Engineering for a spur
into the Central Platte Valley moves forward to opening in 2001, and
preliminary engineering is under way for a Southeast Corridor line parallel
to 1-25, as approved by voters in November 1999.
New parking structures and parking
programs attract people Downtown
2
O
CO
r
H
c
Air quality I Denvers air quality has improved, largely due to automobile
manufacturing standards for vehicle emissions. The brown cloud has not
disappeared, however. Other pollutants such as ozone, particulates, NOX
and C02 will cause additional problems as vehicle miles traveled threaten to
overtake technology.
Family structure I As family structure becomes more complex
two-worker households, dispersed employment locations, single-parent
households, children with multiple activities the demand on the
transportation system increases. Transit solutions have become more
challenging than getting dad to and from work.
ISTEA/TEA-21 | Federal funding for transportation has changed
dramatically with the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation
Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and reauthorization through the
Transportation Equity Act (TEA-21) of 1998. The federal government now
requires a coordinated, planned approach to transportation investment with
priorities for maintaining the existing system and supporting alternative
transportation over building new roadways. DRCOG has a major role in
distributing these funds to area communities.
Mixed-use neighborhoods I Some of Denvers historic neighborhoods are
mixed use, with small commercial nodes dotting residential development.
The City has had considerable reinvestment as families find advantage in
Light rail stops in
the Five Points Business District
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MetroVision 2020 Highway and Street Widening
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DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2000
neighborhoods with retail and services close to home. New developments at
Highlands Garden Village (old Elitchs), old St. Lukes Hospital and
Stapleton, to mention a few, are echoing this historical mixed-use
development pattern. Also, expanded housing in and around Downtown
increasingly allows people to live, work, shop and attend cultural events in
closer proximity.
Denver International Airport (DIA) I Denver International Airport in
1995 replaced Stapleton as Colorados major commercial service airport.
Pena Boulevard provides a freeway connection between 1-70 and the airport.
Vigorous commercial, hotel and apartment development continues in the
DIA/Gateway area.
Challenges
Roadway congestion I Streets and highways have become overcrowded,
costly and inefficient for business, and frustrating and time-consuming for
commuters. According to DRCOG projections, metropolitan population and
employment will increase by about 50 percent between 1990 and 2020, while
vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will increase by nearly 100 percent during the
same period. One result has been driver frustration and impatience that
sometimes becomes violent road rage.
Pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders I Many roadways are
designed with scant regard for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders.
Significant adaptations are necessary. For example, East and West Colfax
Avenue, Hampden Avenue and Colorado Boulevard carry significant volumes
of auto traffic and are major bus routes. But in many places, these streets
lack sidewalks altogether or have narrow, discontinuous walkways.
Behavior change I Automobile drivers will change long-ingrained habits
gradually, and only if they experience alternative modes of transport that are
comfortable, safe, convenient and affordable.
Mobility for special populations I People who must rely on public
transportation the elderly, low-income, disabled, or single parents with
children may be cut off from economic opportunity, health care, education,
and social and cultural activities.
Development patterns I Automobile transport has dominated
development patterns for most of the 20th century. Adapting multiple
modes of transportation to existing urban centers presents significant
design challenges. New development must take into account multiple
modes of access.
The City-owned Denver International Airport
is a world-class air transportation hub
Sidewalks are an important part of mobility
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Parking I Parking in Downtown and other urban centers is perceived to be
difficult to find and/or expensive. As a result, on-street parking in nearby
neighborhoods is increasing, creabng a significant impact on residents.
Funding I Expansion and improvement of the transportation infrastructure,
whether roadway capacity or mass transit, are very expensive and will require
the City to be aggressive in evaluating both traditional and nontraditional
funding. Federal, state and local dollars are inadequate to meet the
demonstrated need in Denver and the region.
Opportunities
New development I In new development and redevelopment areas that
include transit stations, transit-oriented development can support other goals
of Plan 2000, including neighborhood revitalization, local business
development, affordable housing and attractive public amenities.
Transit-oriented, development concentrates an attractive mix of housing, retail,
entertainment and commercial development near transit stops. This enables
residents to live, shop and socialize in their immediate neighborhoods while
having nearby transit access to distant urban centers.
Pro-environment and pro-health attitudes I Denver citizens are
generally health-conscious and support environmental concerns; they are
favorably predisposed to choose alternative modes of transportation if they are
practical, comfortable and convenient.
New technology I New transportation technology is continually explored.
Among the promising concepts is intelligent transportation infrastructure,
which uses computer and fiber-optic technology to provide nearly instant
information to help transportation users make more informed travel
decisions.
Public/private partnership I As with the public/private funding for the
Central Platte Valley light rail spur, the time has come for joint public and
private funding of transportation facilities.
needs o E
RESIDENTS
BUSINESSES
AND VISITORS.
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MOBILITY


Vision of Success
Walking is a part of every trip
Excellence in public transportation is a hallmark of sustainable cities in the
United States and throughout the world. Within Denver, the transportation
system must strive to become well integrated with housing, various types of
commercial development, job creation, neighborhood living patterns, and be of
service to all people in their daily lives. If the goal and objectives for mobility
are successfully implemented, the people of Denver could anticipate the
following outcomes:
Regional transportation system I The metropolitan area will have a fully
developed regional transportation system that enables individuals and
commercial users to conveniently and efficiently access all major urban
centers in the metropolitan area.
Public transit I The metropolitan area will be served by a multimodal
public transit system that will be a popular choice for families, parents with
young children, the elderly, those with special needs, local commuters and
visitors alike.
Transit-oriented development I Transit-oriented development will become
standard for development and redevelopment, and neighborhoods served by
transit stations will enjoy popular appeal for their character and convenience.
Clean air I Air quality will continue to improve due to fewer pollutants from
vehicles and reduction in vehicle miles traveled.
Biking and walking I Biking and walking will become much more
common as practical and healthy modes of transportation.
Funding I Adequate funding for all modes of transportation will manage
growth impacts by maintaining and improving operation of the regions
transportation system. As a result of adequate funding for all transportation
modes, residents of Denver and the region will have viable transportation
choices in addition to their cars.
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Objectives and Strategies
DENVER COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
2 000
Objective 1 i Diverse Mobility Options
Provide Denvers diverse residents, workers and visitors with a
choice of transportation modes that are safe and convenient.
REF: Metropolitan 2-A; Economic 1-G; Land Use Dbj. 4; Legacies Obj. 4
Strategies
J.fl Advocate transportation investments that increase mobility of people
and their connections to employment, education, shopping, cultural
opportunities and other activities. The Citywide Land Use and
Transportation Plan will inform and coordinate an investment strategy.
REF: Environmental 4-R; Land Hso I D, 1-1; Arts & Culture 2-G; Human Services 1-A
Promote public transit, both bus and rail, as a safe, attractive and
convenient choice for people who might otherwise drive to employment,
education, cultural, shopping or other destinations.
REF: Environmental 2-R
|.(J Identify areas throughout the city where transportation policies should
reflect pedestrian priorities. These include areas such as schools, child-care
centers, civic institutions, business centers, shopping districts and parks.
REF: Economic 4-A
Consider and provide for the special transportation needs of people
without cars, families with small children relying on transit, school-aged
children, people with physical disabilities, and low-income persons.
REF: Human Services 1-A
Coordinate expansion and improvement of private transportation
providers such as shuttles, taxis and specialized bus services to provide
high-quality transit for the elderly and disabled.
REF: Human Services Obj. 5,1-A
Address the transportation needs of visitors, tourists and people
attending special events and major attractions.
REF: Economic 3-A
|.(J With the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan, develop a mobility
and thoroughfare plan that defines the transportation function of
different categories of roadways based on changing land-use patterns.
REF: Land Use 1-A, 1-E
Recognize that due to the limitations of roadway size, existing sheets
must operate more efficiently to carry a greater volume of vehicles.
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Full Text

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"The fundamental thing we want Denver to both be and become is a city that is livable for all its people. A city in which they can learn,move about, work and play in safety,comfort,with pleasure and pride,and in a spirit of openness and opportunity. It is essential that quality of life for all the people of Denver be perceived as this Plan's central purpose."~ The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan

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4 VisionAn overall plan for a great city must answer this fundamental question posed by the 1989 Comprehensive Plan: "What do we really want this city to be, and to become?" This question has no single, simple answer, but many complex answers, each shaped by elements of an evolving identity. Some of this identity for Denver is created by a timeless and immutable geography that bequeaths to us a moderate and arid climate, nearby mountains, great open spaces of land, and the city's transportation and communications possibilities. Then there are the legacies created by the human will and ingenuity of preceding generations and woven into Denver's urban environment: the "green oasis" of magnificent parks and tree-lined parkways; sturdy and well-designed civic buildings, monuments and public spaces; attractive residential neighborhoods; and well-maintained infrastructure and facilities for mobility and economic growth. Most significant to Denver's identity is the civic spirit expressed by the majority of its people in everyday life. Among these expressions are demonstrably high standards for local and state governance, a hard-charging business and economic development philosophy in the private sector, a special concern for children and youth, and a civic climate that supports cultural diversity and an ever-growing population. And in both the private and public sectors, there is a strong charitable and philanthropic compassion for people in need, with corollary insistence on fair treatment and equal opportunity for all. All Denverites view their city through different lenses of experience, interests and values. For many, the dominant lens is that of family and neighborhood. Others emphasize Denver as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains and outdoor recreation. Many here were born to economic opportunity or came seeking it, and hard work is their central focus. Many others simply cherish the variety and the vibrance of a healthy and thriving city. For an unusually high number of residents, Denver is a work in progress, with problems to solve and challenges to face. Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is the effort of hundreds of these residents, looking through their differing lenses, to agree on the City's long-term purposes, to think through Denver's special inheritance and its effect on those purposes, and then to suggest strategies that will buy that inheritance as much long-term insurance as possible to sustain it for the future. !!! !"#!$!!%

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Guiding PrinciplesThe question "Does this action improve the quality of life for people?" is the challenge Plan 2000 poses to both public and private civic leaders as they go about their leading. And if that livability is the "what" of Plan 2000, then sustainability must be the "how." Sustainability refers to the long-term social, economic and environmental health of a community. A sustainable city thrives without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A sustainable city manages resources efficiently and effectively by using only what is needed, replacing as much as possible, encouraging everyone's contributions, and distributing opportunities and risks equitably. Building a sustainable Denver depends on a common understanding that people, nature, the built environment, the economy and the social structure all depend on each other. A sustainable city is one where most citizens most of the time unite in the common understanding that people and things depend on each other. That "uniting" in "common" to sustain their city is the meaning of "community." Plan 2000 stresses that planning and policy decisions should be considered for both their short-term and their long-term impacts on the human and physical environments. Implicit is an approach to policy-making that is both flexible and disciplined flexible to accommodate new information and techniques, disciplined to think about the long-term implications of decisions. The following guiding principles Economic Opportunity, Environmental Stewardship, Equityand Engagement are the core values of Plan 2000. Taken separately, none of these principles alone can lead Denver to become a livable city for all, now and in the future. Taken together and in balance, they can lead toward a shared community commitment to a sustainable future.Economic Opportunity and SecurityA Denver that is focused on the quality of life for all of its people must be a Denver that is economically healthy, with a broad mix of good jobs. Livability and economic activity are permanently linked neither improves without the other. When we think about our personal obligation to the survival of the species, we think about the instruction given to us by our chiefs: Make our every decision on behalf of the seventh generation to come. To think not of ourselves, nor even of our own generation, but on behalf of those faces looking up from earth each generation waiting its turn. Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation&'()'!!*!' &+',-' &.& 5

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6 Denver must capitalize on its unique geographical opportunity as a national transportation and technology center, the gateway to the Rocky Mountain recreation and natural resources empire, the nation's most central port of the air age, and the most populous western intersection of the interstate highway system. Particular priority must be given to educational excellence at all levels, for the quality of education is the cornerstone of a city's spirit and each individual's capacity to contribute and progress.Environmental StewardshipDenver's relationship with the environment is above all a matter of balance. Clean water, clean air, clean parks and streets, efficient use and reuse of resources, and protection of the mountain parks and open spaces must be abiding goals. Our arid environment, pressed by an ever-growing population, could not have supported and cannot support in the future a major city without careful reengineering of the natural environment to harness natural resources, especially water, which makes possible commerce and industry as well as Denver's verdant landscape. Until recently, less foresight was exercised with regard to air quality and land use. In the early 21st century, the most significant environmental challenges for Denver and its metropolitan neighbors will be the related issues of sprawl, traffic congestion, air quality, and water quality and supply. Sustainable solutions call for the integration of land-use strategies and transportation systems that balance the need for a variety of residential and commercial development types while ensuring mobility and quality of life.EquityDenver must be a city that means what it says when it comes to providing all its residents with equal opportunity to share in its livability. Whether the concern is safety, adequate housing, excellent education, convenient mobility, solid family life, public health and safety, neighborhood investment, or diverse recreation, Denver must be a city that cares and shares, with compassion and equity. Despite the prosperous economy of the 1990s, some Denver neighborhoods have not thrived, and their residents have not benefited proportionally. Plan 2000 calls for distribution of resources and benefits that result in more equitable outcomes to areas of the city that have been socially or economically marginalized. Denver must continue to reach out and embrace its cultural diversity as an asset, preserving the best of its heritage while!+!'"! "")/'! &!")!!'#

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enabling social, economic and physical mobility for all. Especially in an era of expanding global connections, Denver has the opportunity to use cultural and linguistic diversity as a bridge rather than a barrier.EngagementSustaining a high quality of life is as much about building good human relationships as it is about performing tasks or creating things. Relational values participation, communication, collaboration and partnership are implicit in many of Plan 2000's goals, objectives and strategies. The City will continue to promote the involvement of and communication among residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, associations and governments at all levels in the life of the city. The Plan encourages partnerships to innovatively and creatively tackle issues and solve problems that no individual party can easily resolve independently. In addressing specific objectives and strategies in Plan 2000, the City should structure partnerships among interested parties, combining resources to reach shared goals. Sustaining Denver's future depends on its being a successful regional partner and collaborator. Interdependence, not competition, must become the dominant theme of the regional political dialogue. Denver and its neighbors have created a number of highly successful models of cooperation that can help guide future engagement among jurisdictions. In this regard, Denver City Council in August 1999 incorporated by ordinance into Denver's Comprehensive Plan the MetroVision 2020 Plan of the Denver Regional Council of Governments, a major step forward toward stronger regional partnership.#!!'!'"! .(0!'('" &.& 7

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8 Key Issues and ChallengesFor organizational purposes, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is subdivided into three sections: Our Long-Term Physical Environment, Our Long-Term Human Environmentand Metropolitan Cooperation. The connections between and among these sections and their chapters are clearly identified to signify the importance of viewing Plan 2000 as an integrated whole.Our Long-Term Physical EnvironmentEnvironmental SustainabilityMost basic to a sustainable quality of life in Denver and the region are the land we live on, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the natural beauty we enjoy. The greatest challenge to our environment in the early 21st century will be better management of inevitable population growth. We must avoid its potential for the excessive loss of open space, overconsumption of resources, ever greater congestion, and the added human stress created by unmanaged urban sprawl. The public policy challenge is to develop and implement balanced and sustainable growth strategies.Land UseThe ability to meet our needs from the natural environment and to enjoy its wonders depends on how we shape the built environment through land-use policies and strategies. Rapid economic growth in the 1990s and the availability of 12,000 acres of land for redevelopment and development within Denver at Lowry, Stapleton, Gateway and the Central Platte Valley offer exciting opportunities. But these opportunities pose tremendous challenges to Denver's land-use regulatory system.MobilityIncreasingly, transportation must support land-use strategies and vice versa to provide a greater range of living and mobility options. The root of the problem is a society overly structured to accommodate automobiles, without providing a range of other mobility choices for residents, from neighborhood pedestrian connections to crosstown transit. The challenge "Denver will reap tremendous benefits in the increased utility and efficiency of the physical city, as well as achieving large savings of money, which without comprehensive plans is frequently spent on ill-advised or impractical projects. Above these considerations is the incalculable benefit to be derived from making Denver a far more beautiful and inspiring place to live than it can ever be if permitted to grow haphazardly without forethought and orderly plans. The city planner sees the destiny of the city as a great meeting place of commerce and art. He sees the ideal city as a place where the citizens can carry on their business with the least inconvenience and greatest economy while they may enjoy to the fullest extent the benefits of recreation and the inspiration of civic beauty." The Denver Plan volume 1, "A Report by The Denver Planning Commission," December 19291'!'"'( ''2! "!!!

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is to hold steady the number of auto trips or at least slow the rate of growth to that of population, in part by promoting alternative ways of doing business and living that are less dependent on single-occupant vehicles.Denver's LegaciesUrban design, parks and parkways, and urban connections tie these three previous elements of Denver's physical environment together, while historic preservation serves our aesthetic and cultural needs to connect with our past while sustaining our building and landscape resources. A main challenge of the early 21st century will be to maintain the high quality of existing legacies and integrate their management and maintenance into the civic system as the City's inventory of parks, open space and public amenities undergoes rapid expansion.HousingHousing links to all of these core areas, because a sustainable community strives to integrate all of its members, wherever they live, into a shared community of homes and neighborhoods, transportation, environmental quality, employment, recreation and open space. Home ownership is increasingly a challenge for lowand middle-income households. Rentals for families are very difficult to find, and economic segregation is an unfortunate reality that must be addressed.Our Long-Term Human EnvironmentEconomic ActivitySimply stated, economic activity is how our City and the people who live here earn a living. Work is not a choice for most people. It is a vital need to provide the necessities of life, to support our loved ones, and to give meaning to our lives. A main challenge in the early 21st century will be filling available jobs with qualified workers, particularly in Denver's rapidly growing high-tech markets. Another significant challenge is educating and training people who lack the skills demanded by the mainstream economy. A less obvious challenge is to avoid complacency in the midst of long-term economic growth. An optimist without the benefit of hindsight may believe that the good times are destined to roll on and on. They are not so destined, and foresighted Denver policy makers should consider slower or declining growth as possible economic scenarios for the future.NeighborhoodsOur homes are our refuge. For many residents, our home lives extend onto the front porch, down the street, and around the corner. Many residents feel a much stronger bond with their neighborhoods than with the City. That can mean tension between City agencies and neighborhood groups. An ongoing challenge is to strengthen trust and communication between the City and neighborhoods in planning, crime prevention and reinvigorating neighborhood schools. An especially acute challenge of Plan 2000 is the siting of community facilities through processes that are open, fair""#!) !""! &.& 9

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10 and responsive to neighborhood concerns. The commonplace neighborhood attitude "Not In My Back Yard" (NIMBY) suggests a need for broader understanding that the city, as a whole, is our home.EducationStriving to constantly improve the quality of education within the community will one day help our children sustain themselves and their society. The return to neighborhood schools in 1995 has reshaped interest in schools and education, and the Denver school census is growing again. The challenge for K-12 education in Denver is to even more effectively address the needs of today's student population, of which nearly 75 percent are children of color, and more than one-third of which are growing up in poverty. For the City, the key challenge is to help strengthen the role of schools as neighborhood centers while continuing to play a leadership role in supporting early childhood and lifelong education programs that fall outside the scope of the regular K-12 system.Human ServicesCompassion, formalized and informal, can sustain communities; if it is not present, the fabric of community is shredded. A key challenge in the early 21st century will be to review the impact of welfare reform and its efforts to move recipients from welfare to work. In the short term, public and private human service organizations must also engage in key issues such as child care, transportation, job-readiness, counseling and rehabilitation, housing, and other individual and family needs that in part have defied systemic management.Arts and CultureArts and cultural programs sustain the intellectual and spiritual life of the community, its thought and its basic humanity. A community without arts and culture withers or hardens. With a strong economy, Denver's artistic and cultural environment has flourished during the 1990s. One key challenge for the future will be to sustain the City's vibrant artistic and cultural life in less vigorous economic times. Another is to continue making arts and culture part of the everyday experience of residents, particularly children.Our Relations Within the Region and StateMetropolitan CooperationDenver's relationships with its suburban neighbors have been complex and often difficult. Just 23 percent of the metropolitan area's 2.3 million people live in Denver. While in previous decades problems such as traffic congestion, blight, violence and air pollution were viewed as problems of the inner city, almost every community in the metro area now faces them, creating more opportunity for cooperation. Denver and its metropolitan neighbors have cooperated successfully in several areas: enriching the artistic and cultural environment, building sports stadiums, !""!3# )4!!!!

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seeking solutions to social problems such as homelessness and youth violence, and developing a shared economic development initiative. This growing cooperation has recently been formalized in Denver's adoption of the MetroVision 2020 Plan as part of Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000. Some of the toughest challenges of the early 21st century sustainable development, environmental quality, and services to the needy necessarily involve metropolitan neighbors working together with shared long-term goals in mind. "The physical and cultural diversity of the many communities which comprise the Denver region creates the opportunity for a wide variety of economic development initiatives and living styles. Individual communities should prosper by contributing to regional efforts in regional facilities, transportation, air quality, water quality, water supply, waste management, provision of open space, and landuse mix. In turn a stronger, more livable' region will serve to strengthen and sustain its individual communities." MetroVision 2020 Plan+')'5#!) "#!#3) &.& 11

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12 Significant New Conditions and InfluencesThe following conditions during the 1990s have especially influenced the content and shape of Plan 2000. These were foremost among hundreds of issues and themes considered by members of the 11 Plan 2000 task forces as they formulated the goals, objectives and strategies of the Plan.Growth and Change in PopulationReturn to the cityDenver began gaining population again in the 1990s after nearly two decades of losing residents. Although Denver gained an estimated 34,090 residents between 1990 and 1998, the city's population is not growing as rapidly as in surrounding jurisdictions. But that really isn't a very significant factor in considering the city's future. Its long-term future will be shaped by cooperating in the management of the exploding growth in the metropolitan region as a whole, for it is that total population growth which results in the significant pressures on the core city.Who lives hereDenver's residents are increasingly diverse in race, ethnicity and cultural background, a trend that will continue. Denver's overall population was 61.6 percent non-Latino whites in 1990, but a sign of increase is the new fact that 75.5 percent of Denver Public Schools' 1998 student population are children of color. This included Hispanic (49.4 percent), African-American (21.3 percent), and other races (4.8 percent). Increasing diversity obviously calls for greater sensitivity, flexibility and adaptation by institutions operating in the public interest.Growing olderDenver's population is also aging. The number of people over the age of 85 increased 27.5 percent between 1990 and 1998. The proportion of Denver's population over the age of 60 is expected to increase from 18 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 2020. The implications of an aging population are that the number of Denver residents not in the workforce are more likely to live on fixed incomes and to need assistance to remain independent.Where people liveLike many American cities, Denver is experiencing a renaissance of growth in its core area, with more people committed to an urban lifestyle. Many older Downtown commercial buildings have been transformed into residential housing, thanks in large part to an active historic preservation movement. Near-Downtown neighborhoods have experienced a resurgence of interest. More multi-unit housing is being built in the core city to accommodate market demand in all price ranges. More middle-income families are choosing to live in Denver's neighborhoods for many reasons, including the end of court-mandated busing for school integration. As more middleand upper-income residents move into the heart of the city, higher'!!'" '''!)'#

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real estate prices threaten to displace lowand fixed-income residents. In addition, the availability of adequate housing for middle-income homeowners and families is a growing challenge.Variety in housingA strong economy and a rebirth of interest in Denver urban life have created an upward spiral in housing costs, for both home buyers and renters. Some Denver neighborhoods that have long prized the economic diversity within their communities are now threatened with market conditions that could force lowerand middle-income residents and growing families to leave. To encourage a healthy mix of diversity in Denver, the City must try to ensure housing opportunities in a range of types and prices throughout the city. Housing policies must address the needs of people of diverse incomes, household sizes, ages and lifestyles. Adequacy and variety of housing close to work also protect the environment by reducing driving.Growth in Land and DevelopmentIn 1989, Denver was landlocked on all sides. In 2000, Denver is in the process of redeveloping more urban land than any other major city in America, the following areas being cases in point:DIA/GatewayDenver's land area grew by 40 percent with the annexation of former Adams County land for Denver International Airport (DIA). The 4,500 acres of privately owned land within the Gateway provide opportunities for significant new housing and commercial development. The adopted plan for the area was the first to focus on the benefits of mixed-use development.StapletonThe relocation of the airport to DIA left 4,700 acres, an area one-third the size of Manhattan, for redevelopment at the former Stapleton Airport site. Stapleton's comprehensive master plan includes 1,700 acres of open space, a 273-acre business center that will eventually offer 30,000 to 35,000 jobs, and housing for 25,000 residents from a wide range of income levels. Build-out is expected to take 30 years. The Stapleton Redevelopment Plan which is part of the Denver Comprehensive Plan, shares the sustainable city guidelines of mixed-use development, and substantial open space and environmentally oriented facilities.LowryThe end of the Cold War brought downsizing to the U.S. military nationwide. Lowry Air Force Base, located in both Denver and Aurora, closed in 1993, creating an economic void in surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the opportunity to create a well-planned, mixed-use neighborhood on Denver's eastern flank. At Lowry, 1,800 acres are under redevelopment, including more than 4,000 housing units, a 185-acre high-technology campus and training center operated by the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System, and 800 acres of&'+"! '(!!"!'+ &.& 13

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14 open space. Lowry was planned and development begun under a cooperative arrangement between Denver and Aurora.Central Platte ValleyDenver's former railyards have been cleared and rezoned for a mixed-use residential and commercial development that will extend the density and vitality of Downtown northwesterly to the banks of the South Platte River. A number of regional attractions have already been developed, including Six Flags Elitch Gardens amusement park, Colorado's Ocean Journey, Coors Field for baseball, the Pepsi Center arena for basketball and hockey, and the replacement of Mile High Stadium for football. A new 65-acre urban neighborhood is planned, featuring more than 2,000 housing units and 4 million square feet of retail, office and hotel uses. Perhaps the most significant development in the Central Platte Valley is the Platte River restoration. Denver's historic waterway has been reclaimed from a century of neglect and abuse. It is well on its way to being the centerpiece of an extensive riverfront park and trail system linking the center city with its northern and southern neighborhoods. The Platte Valley is again becoming a dynamic example of both urban environmental protection and sustainable economic development.A Thriving EconomyThe strong economy of the late 1990s offers the starkest contrast in background conditions between the 1989 Comprehensive Plan and those prevalent during the writing of Plan 2000. The late 1980s economic downturn was the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. By contrast, the late 1990s economy is the best in memory for many in today's workforce, thanks in part to the following developments:Computer and communications technologyThe rapid spread of computer and communications technologies to workplaces and homes has fundamentally changed how Denverites, as well as all Americans, work and do business. These technologies contribute vastly to productivity, mobility and access to information. As a thriving center for technology industries, Denver offers exceptional career opportunities; however, many employers must still recruit from outside the region to find qualified high-tech employees. The demands of a technology-driven society include educating all children in the use of computers, and making technology and instruction in its use available to economically disenfranchised communities. Broader technology training is a key economic development objective for the early 21st century. &'(()',67!' '++!3#

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Jobs and incomeThe strong economy boosted general employment to record levels during the 1990s, with more than 49,000 jobs created in Denver and unemployment falling to historically low levels. Consequently, competition for qualified workers increased, pointing out a more pressing need to link education and training to the job market.Economic developmentSince the late 1980s, business and government leaders have spearheaded major efforts to diversify the region's economy, specifically concentrating on retaining and attracting growth industries of the future that offer higher-paid employment. The Denver Chamber of Commerce reorganized as the Denver Metro Chamber and stimulated a private-public partnership, the Greater Denver Corporation, which invested more than $14 million in seeding economic development initiatives, including most prominently the new Denver International Airport (DIA). The success of DIA ranked the nation's sixth busiest airport, with nearly 37 million passengers in 1998 has cemented Denver's stature as a national and international transportation center. During the 1990s, Denver also gained international recognition as a center for major high-technology communications companies.Retail turnaroundDuring the 1980s and early 1990s, four Denver department stores closed branches along Downtown's 16th Street Mall; numerous empty storefronts were called the "missing teeth" of the central business district. University Hills Mall on Colorado Boulevard closed in the early 1990s. Meanwhile, shopping centers and "big box" warehouse stores in the suburbs were drawing Denver shoppers and sales-tax dollars in droves. Today, sales-tax revenues for Denver show a remarkable reversal of that former trend, a turnabout due largely to the spectacular success of Cherry Creek Shopping Center and its surrounding retail district. Also contributing to the revival are the popularity of Lower Downtown and the 16th Street Mall for shopping and dining. In addition, denser retail corridors along Colorado Boulevard and South Broadway brought discount and warehouse retailers closer to thriving Denver neighborhoods.Downtown revitalizedNowhere is Denver's economic revival more apparent than in Downtown, where the commercial vacancy rate stands at under 10 percent, compared to nearly 30 percent in the late 1980s. With the Colorado Convention Center (opened in 1990), the Denver Performing Arts Complex (the second largest in the U.S.), Coors Field baseball stadium, and the Denver Pavilions shopping center as major attractions for residents and visitors alike, Downtown has transformed itself from a daytime workplace to a 24-hour city offering an expanding array of restaurants, shopping, entertainment, housing and employment. Continuing to strengthen and diversify Downtown retailing remains a challenge.&'!"$8&9%(#!! '(!#"9(+'( (#'! &.& 15

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16 Investment in PeopleCaring for childrenIn concert with national trends, Denver family life has changed significantly over a generation. Many parents spend much more time in the workplace; consequently, many more children and youth are either unsupervised or spending their time in child care centers, schools and beforeand after-school programs. Meanwhile, research clearly demonstrates that to thrive intellectually and emotionally, children need strong, continuous connections to caring adults from birth through adolescence. While the U.S. economy benefits from the labor of almost every adult who wants or needs to work, parents alone bear the responsibility for their children's care financially, emotionally and in trying to balance family needs with employment demands. In Denver, as elsewhere, social and economic structures have been slow to adapt to these changing life circumstances of children and families. Consequences range from parents coping with a persistent sense of inadequacy to children behaving violently and self-destructively. Particularly for low-income families, choices for nonparental care and supervision of children are too few, too expensive and too inaccessible. City social policy and planning must more closely embrace the care and well-being of children and youth if Plan 2000's vision of sustaining a community livable for all of its people is to be realized. Welfare reformFederal welfare reform legislation in 1996 set new policies, focusing government assistance on moving welfare recipients into paid employment. Responsibility for welfare reform shifted from federal to local government. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was replaced with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), with limitations on cash benefits. While the number of families on welfare has declined significantly both locally and nationally, welfare reform has fundamentally altered the structure of human service delivery, now geared toward supporting parents' transition from welfare to work. The long-term impact of this transition on low-income families and human service providers is unknown, especially if the economy weakens and unemployment rises. Since Denver has Colorado's highest concentration of low-income households, the greatest impact will be felt in the city. A principal concern of Plan 2000 will be the careful monitoring of this impact during the early years of the 21st century.Changing Ties to the State and RegionPolitical statusHistorically, Denver operated with more financial and political autonomy within the state and metropolitan region than it enjoys :!)''' '!+'()!)' )*!!

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today. The core city's political power has somewhat diminished, with Denver's state legislators representing less than 25 percent of metropolitan and less than 15 percent of state population. Consequently, political control over Denver's future must be enhanced by stronger partnerships on statewide and metropolitan issues. For example, several metropolitan funding partnerships, such as RTD, SCFD and the Metropolitan Stadium District, demonstrate how Denver has benefited from collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions.TABORIn 1992, Colorado voters passed Amendment 1, the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" (TABOR), which places legal restrictions on the ability of state and local governments to tax and spend. The intent of TABOR was to control the rate of increase in government revenues and to encourage government efficiency. However, for some local governments, TABOR reduces their flexibility to cope with variations in the economy, changing public needs that require public investment, and long-term municipal planning. Since TABOR was enacted, Colorado's economy and its tax revenues have continually grown, and Denver had not exceeded its TABOR revenue limit at the time Plan 2000 was written. But the full implications of TABOR will be more evident during an economic downturn. In that event, City revenue needed for public investment to spur recovery and redevelopment may be limited, and general fund balances will have been reduced by the law.Metropolitan funding partnershipsDenver, its metropolitan neighbors and their principal businesses have learned the value of teamwork in creating facilities, supporting institutions, and providing services for residents and visitors to the six-county metropolitan area. For example, since the 1970s, a 6¢ regional sales tax has supported public transportation through the RTD (Regional Transportation District). Metropolitan voters have twice approved a one-tenth-cent sales tax for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) to support artistic, cultural, and scientific programs and institutions. Metropolitan voters have also approved a one-tenth-cent sales tax for the Metropolitan Stadium District, initially created to oversee construction and operations of a major league baseball stadium, and later extended to construct a new professional football stadium. These remarkably successful metropolitan tax-district initiatives offer models for future metropolitan cooperation. Also, from the private sector, Denver businesses pitched in for a $14 million economic development fund in the late 1980s, and private foundations partnered with the City in funding, planning and beginning to redevelop the Platte River Greenway and old Stapleton Airport.!;!'! ")1!'3; )!!! &.& 17

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18 A Brief History of DenverIn 2008, Denver will celebrate its sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of its founding as a rowdy mining camp at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. The ideas and concepts of Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 will help shape the historical context in which the people of Denver celebrate this milestone. To understand where Plan 2000 fits into Denver's timeline, it is appropriate to conclude this Introduction with a brief recollection of the city's progress from its 19th-century beginnings. For we are mindful that this Plan does not start us on a new adventure, but continues a journey that many people began years ago and are making together. And we journey not just because we must, but because we want to and we can.Still a Young CityEntering the 21st century, Denver is still young and robust as major cities go. It's handsome, energetic, enterprising, gregarious, determined and often self-absorbed. It is a city endowed with bountiful natural and physical assets that are carefully groomed and tended. It is a city poised on the cusp of maturity, strong and fit from alternately wrestling with limitations and sprinting toward opportunities. It is a city that yearns to live long and well and that is beginning to understand it must manage its good fortune with discipline and wisdom. For much of the 20th century, Denver has been a smart city well educated, broad-minded, concerned with quality and civilized. But Denver has also inherited a bit of a roguish streak from its earliest days. Denver began as one of what University of California historian Gunther Barth calls "instant cities" of the western mining frontier. These are human settlements that are born to a single purpose, usually to exploit, accumulate and move on. When the central purpose disappears, so may the cities that grew up to serve them. Instant cities attract people who are highly entrepreneurial, energetic, ambitious and fiercely independent. These cities develop a culture of expediency, one that thrives on growth, novelty and exploitation of resources. When the resources are gone, or when luck runs out, there's always another opportunity somewhere else.Boomtown to City BeautifulLike some of the boomtowns of the western gold rush era, Denver went from mining camp to regional center within one generation. By 1890, Denver was a bustling frontier town with 100,000 residents and already taking shape as a city of uncommon grace. But the boom went bust in 1893, with the crash of!!)#! +)" +'

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the silver market. Many thriving mineral-rich "instant cities" in the West dwindled and disappeared almost as rapidly as they had appeared. Others, like Denver, hung on. By the end of the 19th century, Denver could survive because it had begun to diversify its economy as a center for rail transportation and agriculture and as a supply and service depot for the surrounding region. But Denver's fundamental purpose remained essentially economic. During its early years, Denver was a collection of disconnected newcomers from everywhere else, often moving on to somewhere else with the ebb and flow of a boisterous economy. Always, though, some people remained, planting their roots in the arid soil and raising the first generation who could call Denver home. By the early 20th century, Denver had already developed a strong sense of place, with trees, parks, gardens, grand public and commercial architecture, and distinctive neighborhoods. All were connected by a streetcar system that allowed residents access to all parts of the growing city. The City Beautiful Movement championed by Mayor Robert Speer instilled in Denver neoclassical urban design standards shared by few cities west of the Mississippi. Meanwhile, a growing middle class took up residence in miles of brick bungalows that grew up along city streets and streetcar tracks in thriving neighborhoods farther and farther from Downtown.After the WarDevelopment slowed significantly during the Great Depression, although with the help of the federal government's "New Deal," significant new public facilities were built. But, at the end of World War II, Denver was still just a regional city poised for its major breakthrough toward dramatic economic and social growth. Earlier civic leaders had focused efforts on building Denver as a regional headquarters for the federal government. Denver was a magnet for thousands of returning servicemen connected to the top economic development initiative of that era, military defense and its related industries. They started families, moved into new houses in new neighborhoods, earned college degrees and prospered. From the mid-1940s through the 1960s, Denver's character became increasingly suburban and its residents increasingly mobile. Its economic character focused more and more on technology industries, setting a pattern that continues today. How people lived also changed. Newer neighborhoods were for houses, not for hardware stores or places of worship or burger joints. Whatever one needed to do, one had to drive to get there. Three generations later, that driving habit is deeply ingrained, some say a permanent trait.$
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20 The late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s also saw the rise of better government in Denver. The earlier system of individualistic patronage was replaced when Mayor Quigg Newton brought reform to City Hall, including an emphasis on human rights. It was a time of growth as Denver became the hub of the Rocky Mountain region with rapid improvements in communications, the interstate highway system, and the growth of air traffic at Stapleton Airport. It was also a time of rising expectations for city services, and they were delivered thanks to the advent of professional government administration in Denver.Urban RenewalNevertheless, during the 1960s and 1970s, Denver's central neighborhoods gradually became older, less affluent, dilapidated and, in some Downtown areas, bulldozed. Within these Downtown neighborhoods, swaths of streets, homes and older commercial buildings were razed to be replaced by skyscrapers, freeways and the other trappings of a truly "modern" city. Some neighborhoods became traffic corridors for commuters. Urban renewal of the 1960s and 1970s, a valued concept at that time in the city's history, emptied more than two dozen Downtown Denver blocks of their Victorian-era commercial buildings. These were often replaced by parking lots as a buffer zone between Downtown's retail and financial districts and Lower Downtown, Denver's version of Skid Row. In 1974, court-ordered busing to end racial segregation in Denver Public Schools sent thousands more middle-class families over the borders to suburbia. They wanted to raise their children in "safe" neighborhoods and send them to nearby schools. Denver's population dropped rapidly in the 1970s, leaving a higher concentration of elderly and poor people. Compounding the problem was the "Poundstone Amendment" to the state constitution, which limits Denver's powers to annex land. Suburban tax districts were thriving while Denver, with proportionately less revenue, pushed on as the workhorse of the metropolitan area, providing ever more services, infrastructure, facilities and cultural amenities.Rocky Mountain HighIn the late 1970s and early 1980s, an energy boom, and its related effect on real estate, sent Denver's fortunes skyrocketing once again. The city's skyline was busy with as many as two dozen cranes pulling skyscrapers upward from the sea of Downtown parking lots. Denver's first outdoor cafes began to appear along the newly constructed 16th Street Mall, which from a retail viewpoint initially seemed like a major mistake. Rather than strengthening Downtown retail, it seemed to kill it. Denver's main street was changing, with shoe stores and clothiers disappearing little by little, replaced by ice cream and sandwich shops, specialty retailers, souvenir stores and food courts..(+',6-!4 '>*&+++

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Plentiful jobs, low rents, mountain recreation and a laid-back lifestyle attracted tens of thousands of newcomers once again as baby boomers came in quest of the "Colorado Rocky Mountain High." They moved into declining neighborhoods Capitol Hill, Congress Park, Broadway Terrace and invested sweat equity in the sagging Queen Annes and prim Denver Squares. Little by little, entire neighborhoods began sprucing up. Throughout Denver, bands of urban pioneers began holding meetings, trying to figure out how to get the City to stop putting in one-way streets or to put more police on beat in their part of town. Upstart neighborhood groups began to matter in City Hall, especially when effective neighborhood organizers began running for, and getting elected to, City Council.New Energy, New InvestmentBy the early 1980s, Denver had become increasingly diverse, its physical infrastructure was beginning to wear out, and the economy was still subject to its historic boom-and-bust cycles, symptomatic of an economy with employment and investment concentrated in too few industries. Predictably, the oil boom that began the 1980s came to an abrupt end about midway through the decade, with falling oil prices and changing federal policies shoving the oil business southward. All the new office towers built to house the elusive boom were suddenly no longer filled to their brims. As the decade progressed, office vacancy exceeded 30 percent in Downtown. Worse, Downtown's two largest department stores, The Denver Dry and May D&F, both founded in Colorado's gold rush days, closed their Downtown doors forever, abandoning their architecturally distinctive and historic homes. In the mid-1980s, Downtown business leaders and City officials joined forces to develop a plan to revive the fortunes of a rapidly plummeting Downtown economy. The Downtown Area Plan was published in 1986, improbably suggesting a sweeping economic revitalization of Lower Downtown, a major retail center covering several blocks on the southeast end of the 16th Street Mall, and an ambitious mixed-use development in the Central Platte Valley. Ridiculous as it seemed at the time, someone's wild idea of a Downtown amusement park was even drawn into that plan. Today, Lower Downtown is an attractive and vibrant mixed-use neighborhood. Denver Pavilions opened on the southeast end of the 16th Street Mall in 1998, bringing attractive retail and entertainment to two full blocks formerly serving as surface parking lots. The Central Platte Valley has become an epicenter of major attractions, including Colorado's Ocean Journey, the Pepsi Center, Commons Park Open Space and Six Flags Elitch Gardens, the only downtown amusement park in America. Soon, new ,6?!(()+ ++( &.& 21

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22 commercial and residential development will take root in the former railyards, extending the vitality of Downtown northward and linking the center city more closely to Northwest Denver's neighborhoods. The Downtown Area Plan became the prototype for The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan encompassing the whole city, particularly the participatory process that brought businesses, developers, neighbors, environmentalists, working moms and other professional and nonprofessional planners together to envision Denver's future. The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan was a significant turning point for Denver in modern times. It connected many different streams of thought into a single, unifying vision: "A city that is livable for all of its people." There were, of course, many diverse views on how to fulfill that vision, but a unifying force in 1989 was economic adversity. Hence, the predominant theme of the 1989 Plan was strengthening the economy. Prolonged harsh economic conditions called for dramatic action. The Plan emphasized the need for partnerships between government and business to shape a diversified economy less vulnerable to Denver's perennial boom-and-bust cycles. Civic and business leaders rallied around the 1989 Plan and its ambitious agenda, which called for substantial public investment to fuel an economic turnaround. That turnaround began in the early 1990s, with massive public investment in the construction of Denver International Airport, the opening of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, followed shortly thereafter by the opening of the long-awaited Colorado Convention Center. In 1989 and 1991, building on the communications momentum of the planning effort, Denver voters approved nearly half a billion dollars in general obligation bonds for infrastructure improvements throughout the city, including a new Central Library and investments in neighborhood branch libraries. Simultaneously, the infusion of Scientific and Cultural Facilities cash into Denver's arts and culture scene, the replacement of streets and bridges, the improvements at city parks, and the push for a new Downtown baseball stadium all signalled good times ahead. Meanwhile, a revolution was occurring in the national and global economy, with high-technology stocks soaring and many of that market's biggest and best-positioned companies filling up long-vacant office space. The prosperity of the 1990s has allowed Denver to fulfill many elements of the visions set forth earlier and to create permanent legacies for future generations, many of these achievements being noted in the body of this Plan 2000. The 1990s also presented many new challenges and opportunities not anticipated by the 1989 Plan. The Central Platte Valley has been extensively&',-'! ,67,

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redeveloped and rezoned for future development as a mixed-use, center-city neighborhood. More than 10 miles of South Platte riverfront has been revitalized as parks, open space and natural areas. The redevelopment of Stapleton and Lowry are well under way. Successful youth crime-prevention programs have helped turn lives around. With the completion of a new Mile High Stadium in 2002, three professional sports stadiums will have been built within the decade in Downtown. At the end of the 1990s, the region's economic renaissance also reveals another side: urban sprawl, congestion, increasing social and economic disparity, and persistent tensions between entrepreneurs who want to shape new opportunities their own way and communitarians who uphold their concept of the greater good. And as part of metro Denver's increasing integration into the high-tech global economy, Denver's ownership structure began shifting dramatically, as the population began to grow and grow. Cognizant of our history, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 strives to identify the opportunities and challenges of our times, and to set a course for the future that reconciles many diverse aspirations into another coherent and compelling vision of what metropolitan Denver might become.&'''.!#)/ ;+(!" &.& 23

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The fundamental thing we want Denver to both be and become is a city that is livable for all its people. A city in which they can learn,move about, work and play in safety,comfort,with pleasure and pride,and in a spirit of openness and opportunity. It is essential that quality of life for all the people of Denver be perceived as this Plans central purpose.~ The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan

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4 VisionAn overall plan for a great city must answer this fundamental question posed by the 1989 Comprehensive Plan: What do we really want this city to be, and to become? This question has no single, simple answer, but many complex answers, each shaped by elements of an evolving identity. Some of this identity for Denver is created by a timeless and immutable geography that bequeaths to us a moderate and arid climate, nearby mountains, great open spaces of land, and the citys transportation and communications possibilities. Then there are the legacies created by the human will and ingenuity of preceding generations and woven into Denvers urban environment: the green oasis of magnificent parks and tree-lined parkways; sturdy and well-designed civic buildings, monuments and public spaces; attractive residential neighborhoods; and well-maintained infrastructure and facilities for mobility and economic growth. Most significant to Denvers identity is the civic spirit expressed by the majority of its people in everyday life. Among these expressions are demonstrably high standards for local and state governance, a hard-charging business and economic development philosophy in the private sector, a special concern for children and youth, and a civic climate that supports cultural diversity and an ever-growing population. And in both the private and public sectors, there is a strong charitable and philanthropic compassion for people in need, with corollary insistence on fair treatment and equal opportunity for all. All Denverites view their city through different lenses of experience, interests and values. For many, the dominant lens is that of family and neighborhood. Others emphasize Denver as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains and outdoor recreation. Many here were born to economic opportunity or came seeking it, and hard work is their central focus. Many others simply cherish the variety and the vibrance of a healthy and thriving city. For an unusually high number of residents, Denver is a work in progress, with problems to solve and challenges to face. Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is the effort of hundreds of these residents, looking through their differing lenses, to agree on the Citys long-term purposes, to think through Denvers special inheritance and its effect on those purposes, and then to suggest strategies that will buy that inheritance as much long-term insurance as possible to sustain it for the future.b !!! !"#!$!!% rn

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Guiding PrinciplesThe question Does this action improve the quality of life for people? is the challenge Plan 2000 poses to both public and private civic leaders as they go about their leading. And if that livability is the what of Plan 2000, then sustainability must be the how. Sustainability refers to the long-term social, economic and environmental health of a community. A sustainable city thrives without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A sustainable city manages resources efficiently and effectively by using only what is needed, replacing as much as possible, encouraging everyones contributions, and distributing opportunities and risks equitably. Building a sustainable Denver depends on a common understanding that people, nature, the built environment, the economy and the social structure all depend on each other. A sustainable city is one where most citizens most of the time unite in the common understanding that people and things depend on each other. That uniting in common to sustain their city is the meaning of community. Plan 2000 stresses that planning and policy decisions should be considered for both their short-term and their long-term impacts on the human and physical environments. Implicit is an approach to policy-making that is both flexible and disciplined flexible to accommodate new information and techniques, disciplined to think about the long-term implications of decisions. The following guiding principles Economic Opportunity, Environmental Stewardship, Equityand Engagement are the core values of Plan 2000. Taken separately, none of these principles alone can lead Denver to become a livable city for all, now and in the future. Taken together and in balance, they can lead toward a shared community commitment to a sustainable future.Economic Opportunity and SecurityA Denver that is focused on the quality of life for all of its people must be a Denver that is economically healthy, with a broad mix of good jobs. Livability and economic activity are permanently linked neither improves without the other. When we think about our personal obligation to the survival of the species, we think about the instruction given to us by our chiefs: Make our every decision on behalf of the seventh generation to come. To think not of ourselves, nor even of our own generation, but on behalf of those faces looking up from earth each generation waiting its turn. Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation&'()'!b!*!' &+',-' btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 5rn

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rn6 Denver must capitalize on its unique geographical opportunity as a national transportation and technology center, the gateway to the Rocky Mountain recreation and natural resources empire, the nations most central port of the air age, and the most populous western intersection of the interstate highway system. Particular priority must be given to educational excellence at all levels, for the quality of education is the cornerstone of a citys spirit and each individuals capacity to contribute and progress.Environmental StewardshipDenvers relationship with the environment is above all a matter of balance. Clean water, clean air, clean parks and streets, efficient use and reuse of resources, and protection of the mountain parks and open spaces must be abiding goals. Our arid environment, pressed by an ever-growing population, could not have supported and cannot support in the future a major city without careful reengineering of the natural environment to harness natural resources, especially water, which makes possible commerce and industry as well as Denvers verdant landscape. Until recently, less foresight was exercised with regard to air quality and land use. In the early 21st century, the most significant environmental challenges for Denver and its metropolitan neighbors will be the related issues of sprawl, traffic congestion, air quality, and water quality and supply. Sustainable solutions call for the integration of land-use strategies and transportation systems that balance the need for a variety of residential and commercial development types while ensuring mobility and quality of life.EquityDenver must be a city that means what it says when it comes to providing all its residents with equal opportunity to share in its livability. Whether the concern is safety, adequate housing, excellent education, convenient mobility, solid family life, public health and safety, neighborhood investment, or diverse recreation, Denver must be a city that cares and shares, with compassion and equity. Despite the prosperous economy of the 1990s, some Denver neighborhoods have not thrived, and their residents have not benefited proportionally. Plan 2000 calls for distribution of resources and benefits that result in more equitable outcomes to areas of the city that have been socially or economically marginalized. Denver must continue to reach out and embrace its cultural diversity as an asset, preserving the best of its heritage whilet!+!'"! "")/'bb! &!")!!'#

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enabling social, economic and physical mobility for all. Especially in an era of expanding global connections, Denver has the opportunity to use cultural and linguistic diversity as a bridge rather than a barrier.EngagementSustaining a high quality of life is as much about building good human relationships as it is about performing tasks or creating things. Relational values participation, communication, collaboration and partnership are implicit in many of Plan 2000s goals, objectives and strategies. The City will continue to promote the involvement of and communication among residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, associations and governments at all levels in the life of the city. The Plan encourages partnerships to innovatively and creatively tackle issues and solve problems that no individual party can easily resolve independently. In addressing specific objectives and strategies in Plan 2000, the City should structure partnerships among interested parties, combining resources to reach shared goals. Sustaining Denvers future depends on its being a successful regional partner and collaborator. Interdependence, not competition, must become the dominant theme of the regional political dialogue. Denver and its neighbors have created a number of highly successful models of cooperation that can help guide future engagement among jurisdictions. In this regard, Denver City Council in August 1999 incorporated by ordinance into Denvers Comprehensive Plan the MetroVision 2020 Plan of the Denver Regional Council of Governments, a major step forward toward stronger regional partnership.r#!!'!'"! b.(0!'('" btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 7rn

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rn8 Key Issues and ChallengesFor organizational purposes, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is subdivided into three sections: Our Long-Term Physical Environment, Our Long-Term Human Environmentand Metropolitan Cooperation. The connections between and among these sections and their chapters are clearly identified to signify the importance of viewing Plan 2000 as an integrated whole.Our Long-Term Physical EnvironmentEnvironmental SustainabilityMost basic to a sustainable quality of life in Denver and the region are the land we live on, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the natural beauty we enjoy. The greatest challenge to our environment in the early 21st century will be better management of inevitable population growth. We must avoid its potential for the excessive loss of open space, overconsumption of resources, ever greater congestion, and the added human stress created by unmanaged urban sprawl. The public policy challenge is to develop and implement balanced and sustainable growth strategies.Land UseThe ability to meet our needs from the natural environment and to enjoy its wonders depends on how we shape the built environment through land-use policies and strategies. Rapid economic growth in the 1990s and the availability of 12,000 acres of land for redevelopment and development within Denver at Lowry, Stapleton, Gateway and the Central Platte Valley offer exciting opportunities. But these opportunities pose tremendous challenges to Denvers land-use regulatory system.MobilityIncreasingly, transportation must support land-use strategies and vice versa to provide a greater range of living and mobility options. The root of the problem is a society overly structured to accommodate automobiles, without providing a range of other mobility choices for residents, from neighborhood pedestrian connections to crosstown transit. The challenge Denver will reap tremendous benefits in the increased utility and efficiency of the physical city, as well as achieving large savings of money, which without comprehensive plans is frequently spent on ill-advised or impractical projects. Above these considerations is the incalculable benefit to be derived from making Denver a far more beautiful and inspiring place to live than it can ever be if permitted to grow haphazardly without forethought and orderly plans. The city planner sees the destiny of the city as a great meeting place of commerce and art. He sees the ideal city as a place where the citizens can carry on their business with the least inconvenience and greatest economy while they may enjoy to the fullest extent the benefits of recreation and the inspiration of civic beauty. The Denver Plan, volume 1, A Report by The Denver Planning Commission, December 19291'!'"'( ''! "!!!

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is to hold steady the number of auto trips or at least slow the rate of growth to that of population, in part by promoting alternative ways of doing business and living that are less dependent on single-occupant vehicles.Denvers LegaciesUrban design, parks and parkways, and urban connections tie these three previous elements of Denvers physical environment together, while historic preservation serves our aesthetic and cultural needs to connect with our past while sustaining our building and landscape resources. A main challenge of the early 21st century will be to maintain the high quality of existing legacies and integrate their management and maintenance into the civic system as the Citys inventory of parks, open space and public amenities undergoes rapid expansion.HousingHousing links to all of these core areas, because a sustainable community strives to integrate all of its members, wherever they live, into a shared community of homes and neighborhoods, transportation, environmental quality, employment, recreation and open space. Home ownership is increasingly a challenge for lowand middle-income households. Rentals for families are very difficult to find, and economic segregation is an unfortunate reality that must be addressed.Our Long-Term Human EnvironmentEconomic ActivitySimply stated, economic activity is how our City and the people who live here earn a living. Work is not a choice for most people. It is a vital need to provide the necessities of life, to support our loved ones, and to give meaning to our lives. A main challenge in the early 21st century will be filling available jobs with qualified workers, particularly in Denvers rapidly growing high-tech markets. Another significant challenge is educating and training people who lack the skills demanded by the mainstream economy. A less obvious challenge is to avoid complacency in the midst of long-term economic growth. An optimist without the benefit of hindsight may believe that the good times are destined to roll on and on. They are not so destined, and foresighted Denver policy makers should consider slower or declining growth as possible economic scenarios for the future.NeighborhoodsOur homes are our refuge. For many residents, our home lives extend onto the front porch, down the street, and around the corner. Many residents feel a much stronger bond with their neighborhoods than with the City. That can mean tension between City agencies and neighborhood groups. An ongoing challenge is to strengthen trust and communication between the City and neighborhoods in planning, crime prevention and reinvigorating neighborhood schools. An especially acute challenge of Plan 2000 is the siting of community facilities through processes that are open, fairt""#!) !""! btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 9rn

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rn10 and responsive to neighborhood concerns. The commonplace neighborhood attitude Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) suggests a need for broader understanding that the city, as a whole, is our home.EducationStriving to constantly improve the quality of education within the community will one day help our children sustain themselves and their society. The return to neighborhood schools in 1995 has reshaped interest in schools and education, and the Denver school census is growing again. The challenge for K-12 education in Denver is to even more effectively address the needs of todays student population, of which nearly 75 percent are children of color, and more than one-third of which are growing up in poverty. For the City, the key challenge is to help strengthen the role of schools as neighborhood centers while continuing to play a leadership role in supporting early childhood and lifelong education programs that fall outside the scope of the regular K-12 system.Human ServicesCompassion, formalized and informal, can sustain communities; if it is not present, the fabric of community is shredded. A key challenge in the early 21st century will be to review the impact of welfare reform and its efforts to move recipients from welfare to work. In the short term, public and private human service organizations must also engage in key issues such as child care, transportation, job-readiness, counseling and rehabilitation, housing, and other individual and family needs that in part have defied systemic management.Arts and CultureArts and cultural programs sustain the intellectual and spiritual life of the community, its thought and its basic humanity. A community without arts and culture withers or hardens. With a strong economy, Denvers artistic and cultural environment has flourished during the 1990s. One key challenge for the future will be to sustain the Citys vibrant artistic and cultural life in less vigorous economic times. Another is to continue making arts and culture part of the everyday experience of residents, particularly children.Our Relations Within the Region and StateMetropolitan CooperationDenvers relationships with its suburban neighbors have been complex and often difficult. Just 23 percent of the metropolitan areas 2.3 million people live in Denver. While in previous decades problems such as traffic congestion, blight, violence and air pollution were viewed as problems of the inner city, almost every community in the metro area now faces them, creating more opportunity for cooperation. Denver and its metropolitan neighbors have cooperated successfully in several areas: enriching the artistic and cultural environment, building sports stadiums,b !""!# )!!!!

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seeking solutions to social problems such as homelessness and youth violence, and developing a shared economic development initiative. This growing cooperation has recently been formalized in Denvers adoption of the MetroVision 2020 Plan as part of Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000. Some of the toughest challenges of the early 21st century sustainable development, environmental quality, and services to the needy necessarily involve metropolitan neighbors working together with shared long-term goals in mind. The physical and cultural diversity of the many communities which comprise the Denver region creates the opportunity for a wide variety of economic development initiatives and living styles. Individual communities should prosper by contributing to regional efforts in regional facilities, transportation, air quality, water quality, water supply, waste management, provision of open space, and landuse mix. In turn a stronger, more livable region will serve to strengthen and sustain its individual communities. MetroVision 2020 Planb+')'5#!) "#!r#) btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 11rn

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rn12 Significant New Conditions and InfluencesThe following conditions during the 1990s have especially influenced the content and shape of Plan 2000. These were foremost among hundreds of issues and themes considered by members of the 11 Plan 2000 task forces as they formulated the goals, objectives and strategies of the Plan.Growth and Change in PopulationReturn to the cityDenver began gaining population again in the 1990s after nearly two decades of losing residents. Although Denver gained an estimated 34,090 residents between 1990 and 1998, the citys population is not growing as rapidly as in surrounding jurisdictions. But that really isnt a very significant factor in considering the citys future. Its long-term future will be shaped by cooperating in the management of the exploding growth in the metropolitan region as a whole, for it is that total population growth which results in the significant pressures on the core city.Who lives hereDenvers residents are increasingly diverse in race, ethnicity and cultural background, a trend that will continue. Denvers overall population was 61.6 percent non-Latino whites in 1990, but a sign of increase is the new fact that 75.5 percent of Denver Public Schools 1998 student population are children of color. This included Hispanic (49.4 percent), African-American (21.3 percent), and other races (4.8 percent). Increasing diversity obviously calls for greater sensitivity, flexibility and adaptation by institutions operating in the public interest.Growing olderDenvers population is also aging. The number of people over the age of 85 increased 27.5 percent between 1990 and 1998. The proportion of Denvers population over the age of 60 is expected to increase from 18 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 2020. The implications of an aging population are that the number of Denver residents not in the workforce are more likely to live on fixed incomes and to need assistance to remain independent.Where people liveLike many American cities, Denver is experiencing a renaissance of growth in its core area, with more people committed to an urban lifestyle. Many older Downtown commercial buildings have been transformed into residential housing, thanks in large part to an active historic preservation movement. Near-Downtown neighborhoods have experienced a resurgence of interest. More multi-unit housing is being built in the core city to accommodate market demand in all price ranges. More middle-income families are choosing to live in Denvers neighborhoods for many reasons, including the end of court-mandated busing for school integration. As more middleand upper-income residents move into the heart of the city, higher'!!'" '''!)'#

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real estate prices threaten to displace lowand fixed-income residents. In addition, the availability of adequate housing for middle-income homeowners and families is a growing challenge.Variety in housingA strong economy and a rebirth of interest in Denver urban life have created an upward spiral in housing costs, for both home buyers and renters. Some Denver neighborhoods that have long prized the economic diversity within their communities are now threatened with market conditions that could force lowerand middle-income residents and growing families to leave. To encourage a healthy mix of diversity in Denver, the City must try to ensure housing opportunities in a range of types and prices throughout the city. Housing policies must address the needs of people of diverse incomes, household sizes, ages and lifestyles. Adequacy and variety of housing close to work also protect the environment by reducing driving.Growth in Land and DevelopmentIn 1989, Denver was landlocked on all sides. In 2000, Denver is in the process of redeveloping more urban land than any other major city in America, the following areas being cases in point:DIA/GatewayDenvers land area grew by 40 percent with the annexation of former Adams County land for Denver International Airport (DIA). The 4,500 acres of privately owned land within the Gateway provide opportunities for significant new housing and commercial development. The adopted plan for the area was the first to focus on the benefits of mixed-use development.StapletonThe relocation of the airport to DIA left 4,700 acres, an area one-third the size of Manhattan, for redevelopment at the former Stapleton Airport site. Stapletons comprehensive master plan includes 1,700 acres of open space, a 273-acre business center that will eventually offer 30,000 to 35,000 jobs, and housing for 25,000 residents from a wide range of income levels. Build-out is expected to take 30 years. The Stapleton Redevelopment Plan, which is part of the Denver Comprehensive Plan, shares the sustainable city guidelines of mixed-use development, and substantial open space and environmentally oriented facilities.LowryThe end of the Cold War brought downsizing to the U.S. military nationwide. Lowry Air Force Base, located in both Denver and Aurora, closed in 1993, creating an economic void in surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the opportunity to create a well-planned, mixed-use neighborhood on Denvers eastern flank. At Lowry, 1,800 acres are under redevelopment, including more than 4,000 housing units, a 185-acre high-technology campus and training center operated by the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System, and 800 acres of&'+b"! '(!!"!'+ btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 13rn

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rn14 open space. Lowry was planned and development begun under a cooperative arrangement between Denver and Aurora.Central Platte ValleyDenvers former railyards have been cleared and rezoned for a mixed-use residential and commercial development that will extend the density and vitality of Downtown northwesterly to the banks of the South Platte River. A number of regional attractions have already been developed, including Six Flags Elitch Gardens amusement park, Colorados Ocean Journey, Coors Field for baseball, the Pepsi Center arena for basketball and hockey, and the replacement of Mile High Stadium for football. A new 65-acre urban neighborhood is planned, featuring more than 2,000 housing units and 4 million square feet of retail, office and hotel uses. Perhaps the most significant development in the Central Platte Valley is the Platte River restoration. Denvers historic waterway has been reclaimed from a century of neglect and abuse. It is well on its way to being the centerpiece of an extensive riverfront park and trail system linking the center city with its northern and southern neighborhoods. The Platte Valley is again becoming a dynamic example of both urban environmental protection and sustainable economic development.A Thriving EconomyThe strong economy of the late 1990s offers the starkest contrast in background conditions between the 1989 Comprehensive Plan and those prevalent during the writing of Plan 2000. The late 1980s economic downturn was the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. By contrast, the late 1990s economy is the best in memory for many in todays workforce, thanks in part to the following developments:Computer and communications technologyThe rapid spread of computer and communications technologies to workplaces and homes has fundamentally changed how Denverites, as well as all Americans, work and do business. These technologies contribute vastly to productivity, mobility and access to information. As a thriving center for technology industries, Denver offers exceptional career opportunities; however, many employers must still recruit from outside the region to find qualified high-tech employees. The demands of a technology-driven society include educating all children in the use of computers, and making technology and instruction in its use available to economically disenfranchised communities. Broader technology training is a key economic development objective for the early 21st century. &'(()',67!' 'b++!3#

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Jobs and incomeThe strong economy boosted general employment to record levels during the 1990s, with more than 49,000 jobs created in Denver and unemployment falling to historically low levels. Consequently, competition for qualified workers increased, pointing out a more pressing need to link education and training to the job market.Economic developmentSince the late 1980s, business and government leaders have spearheaded major efforts to diversify the regions economy, specifically concentrating on retaining and attracting growth industries of the future that offer higher-paid employment. The Denver Chamber of Commerce reorganized as the Denver Metro Chamber and stimulated a private-public partnership, the Greater Denver Corporation, which invested more than $14 million in seeding economic development initiatives, including most prominently the new Denver International Airport (DIA). The success of DIA ranked the nations sixth busiest airport, with nearly 37 million passengers in 1998 has cemented Denvers stature as a national and international transportation center. During the 1990s, Denver also gained international recognition as a center for major high-technology communications companies.Retail turnaroundDuring the 1980s and early 1990s, four Denver department stores closed branches along Downtowns 16th Street Mall; numerous empty storefronts were called the missing teeth of the central business district. University Hills Mall on Colorado Boulevard closed in the early 1990s. Meanwhile, shopping centers and big box warehouse stores in the suburbs were drawing Denver shoppers and sales-tax dollars in droves. Today, sales-tax revenues for Denver show a remarkable reversal of that former trend, a turnabout due largely to the spectacular success of Cherry Creek Shopping Center and its surrounding retail district. Also contributing to the revival are the popularity of Lower Downtown and the 16th Street Mall for shopping and dining. In addition, denser retail corridors along Colorado Boulevard and South Broadway brought discount and warehouse retailers closer to thriving Denver neighborhoods.Downtown revitalizedNowhere is Denvers economic revival more apparent than in Downtown, where the commercial vacancy rate stands at under 10 percent, compared to nearly 30 percent in the late 1980s. With the Colorado Convention Center (opened in 1990), the Denver Performing Arts Complex (the second largest in the U.S.), Coors Field baseball stadium, and the Denver Pavilions shopping center as major attractions for residents and visitors alike, Downtown has transformed itself from a daytime workplace to a 24-hour city offering an expanding array of restaurants, shopping, entertainment, housing and employment. Continuing to strengthen and diversify Downtown retailing remains a challenge.&'!"$&9%(#b!! '(!#"(+'( (#'! btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 15rn

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rn16 Investment in PeopleCaring for childrenIn concert with national trends, Denver family life has changed significantly over a generation. Many parents spend much more time in the workplace; consequently, many more children and youth are either unsupervised or spending their time in child care centers, schools and beforeand after-school programs. Meanwhile, research clearly demonstrates that to thrive intellectually and emotionally, children need strong, continuous connections to caring adults from birth through adolescence. While the U.S. economy benefits from the labor of almost every adult who wants or needs to work, parents alone bear the responsibility for their childrens care financially, emotionally and in trying to balance family needs with employment demands. In Denver, as elsewhere, social and economic structures have been slow to adapt to these changing life circumstances of children and families. Consequences range from parents coping with a persistent sense of inadequacy to children behaving violently and self-destructively. Particularly for low-income families, choices for nonparental care and supervision of children are too few, too expensive and too inaccessible. City social policy and planning must more closely embrace the care and well-being of children and youth if Plan 2000s vision of sustaining a community livable for all of its people is to be realized. Welfare reformFederal welfare reform legislation in 1996 set new policies, focusing government assistance on moving welfare recipients into paid employment. Responsibility for welfare reform shifted from federal to local government. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was replaced with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), with limitations on cash benefits. While the number of families on welfare has declined significantly both locally and nationally, welfare reform has fundamentally altered the structure of human service delivery, now geared toward supporting parents transition from welfare to work. The long-term impact of this transition on low-income families and human service providers is unknown, especially if the economy weakens and unemployment rises. Since Denver has Colorados highest concentration of low-income households, the greatest impact will be felt in the city. A principal concern of Plan 2000 will be the careful monitoring of this impact during the early years of the 21st century.Changing Ties to the State and RegionPolitical statusHistorically, Denver operated with more financial and political autonomy within the state and metropolitan region than it enjoys :!)''' '!+'()!)' )r*!b!

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today. The core citys political power has somewhat diminished, with Denvers state legislators representing less than 25 percent of metropolitan and less than 15 percent of state population. Consequently, political control over Denvers future must be enhanced by stronger partnerships on statewide and metropolitan issues. For example, several metropolitan funding partnerships, such as RTD, SCFD and the Metropolitan Stadium District, demonstrate how Denver has benefited from collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions.TABORIn 1992, Colorado voters passed Amendment 1, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which places legal restrictions on the ability of state and local governments to tax and spend. The intent of TABOR was to control the rate of increase in government revenues and to encourage government efficiency. However, for some local governments, TABOR reduces their flexibility to cope with variations in the economy, changing public needs that require public investment, and long-term municipal planning. Since TABOR was enacted, Colorados economy and its tax revenues have continually grown, and Denver had not exceeded its TABOR revenue limit at the time Plan 2000 was written. But the full implications of TABOR will be more evident during an economic downturn. In that event, City revenue needed for public investment to spur recovery and redevelopment may be limited, and general fund balances will have been reduced by the law.Metropolitan funding partnershipsDenver, its metropolitan neighbors and their principal businesses have learned the value of teamwork in creating facilities, supporting institutions, and providing services for residents and visitors to the six-county metropolitan area. For example, since the 1970s, a 6 regional sales tax has supported public transportation through the RTD (Regional Transportation District). Metropolitan voters have twice approved a one-tenth-cent sales tax for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) to support artistic, cultural, and scientific programs and institutions. Metropolitan voters have also approved a one-tenth-cent sales tax for the Metropolitan Stadium District, initially created to oversee construction and operations of a major league baseball stadium, and later extended to construct a new professional football stadium. These remarkably successful metropolitan tax-district initiatives offer models for future metropolitan cooperation. Also, from the private sector, Denver businesses pitched in for a $14 million economic development fund in the late 1980s, and private foundations partnered with the City in funding, planning and beginning to redevelop the Platte River Greenway and old Stapleton Airport.r!;!'! ")1!'; )!!! btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 17rn

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rn18 A Brief History of DenverIn 2008, Denver will celebrate its sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of its founding as a rowdy mining camp at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. The ideas and concepts of Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 will help shape the historical context in which the people of Denver celebrate this milestone. To understand where Plan 2000 fits into Denvers timeline, it is appropriate to conclude this Introduction with a brief recollection of the citys progress from its 19th-century beginnings. For we are mindful that this Plan does not start us on a new adventure, but continues a journey that many people began years ago and are making together. And we journey not just because we must, but because we want to and we can.Still a Young CityEntering the 21st century, Denver is still young and robust as major cities go. Its handsome, energetic, enterprising, gregarious, determined and often self-absorbed. It is a city endowed with bountiful natural and physical assets that are carefully groomed and tended. It is a city poised on the cusp of maturity, strong and fit from alternately wrestling with limitations and sprinting toward opportunities. It is a city that yearns to live long and well and that is beginning to understand it must manage its good fortune with discipline and wisdom. For much of the 20th century, Denver has been a smart city well educated, broad-minded, concerned with quality and civilized. But Denver has also inherited a bit of a roguish streak from its earliest days. Denver began as one of what University of California historian Gunther Barth calls instant cities of the western mining frontier. These are human settlements that are born to a single purpose, usually to exploit, accumulate and move on. When the central purpose disappears, so may the cities that grew up to serve them. Instant cities attract people who are highly entrepreneurial, energetic, ambitious and fiercely independent. These cities develop a culture of expediency, one that thrives on growth, novelty and exploitation of resources. When the resources are gone, or when luck runs out, theres always another opportunity somewhere else.Boomtown to City BeautifulLike some of the boomtowns of the western gold rush era, Denver went from mining camp to regional center within one generation. By 1890, Denver was a bustling frontier town with 100,000 residents and already taking shape as a city of uncommon grace. But the boom went bust in 1893, with the crash ofb!!)#! b+)" +'

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the silver market. Many thriving mineral-rich instant cities in the West dwindled and disappeared almost as rapidly as they had appeared. Others, like Denver, hung on. By the end of the 19th century, Denver could survive because it had begun to diversify its economy as a center for rail transportation and agriculture and as a supply and service depot for the surrounding region. But Denvers fundamental purpose remained essentially economic. During its early years, Denver was a collection of disconnected newcomers from everywhere else, often moving on to somewhere else with the ebb and flow of a boisterous economy. Always, though, some people remained, planting their roots in the arid soil and raising the first generation who could call Denver home. By the early 20th century, Denver had already developed a strong sense of place, with trees, parks, gardens, grand public and commercial architecture, and distinctive neighborhoods. All were connected by a streetcar system that allowed residents access to all parts of the growing city. The City Beautiful Movement championed by Mayor Robert Speer instilled in Denver neoclassical urban design standards shared by few cities west of the Mississippi. Meanwhile, a growing middle class took up residence in miles of brick bungalows that grew up along city streets and streetcar tracks in thriving neighborhoods farther and farther from Downtown.After the WarDevelopment slowed significantly during the Great Depression, although with the help of the federal governments New Deal, significant new public facilities were built. But, at the end of World War II, Denver was still just a regional city poised for its major breakthrough toward dramatic economic and social growth. Earlier civic leaders had focused efforts on building Denver as a regional headquarters for the federal government. Denver was a magnet for thousands of returning servicemen connected to the top economic development initiative of that era, military defense and its related industries. They started families, moved into new houses in new neighborhoods, earned college degrees and prospered. From the mid-1940s through the 1960s, Denvers character became increasingly suburban and its residents increasingly mobile. Its economic character focused more and more on technology industries, setting a pattern that continues today. How people lived also changed. Newer neighborhoods were for houses, not for hardware stores or places of worship or burger joints. Whatever one needed to do, one had to drive to get there. Three generations later, that driving habit is deeply ingrained, some say a permanent trait.$b
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rn20 The late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s also saw the rise of better government in Denver. The earlier system of individualistic patronage was replaced when Mayor Quigg Newton brought reform to City Hall, including an emphasis on human rights. It was a time of growth as Denver became the hub of the Rocky Mountain region with rapid improvements in communications, the interstate highway system, and the growth of air traffic at Stapleton Airport. It was also a time of rising expectations for city services, and they were delivered thanks to the advent of professional government administration in Denver.Urban RenewalNevertheless, during the 1960s and 1970s, Denvers central neighborhoods gradually became older, less affluent, dilapidated and, in some Downtown areas, bulldozed. Within these Downtown neighborhoods, swaths of streets, homes and older commercial buildings were razed to be replaced by skyscrapers, freeways and the other trappings of a truly modern city. Some neighborhoods became traffic corridors for commuters. Urban renewal of the 1960s and 1970s, a valued concept at that time in the citys history, emptied more than two dozen Downtown Denver blocks of their Victorian-era commercial buildings. These were often replaced by parking lots as a buffer zone between Downtowns retail and financial districts and Lower Downtown, Denvers version of Skid Row. In 1974, court-ordered busing to end racial segregation in Denver Public Schools sent thousands more middle-class families over the borders to suburbia. They wanted to raise their children in safe neighborhoods and send them to nearby schools. Denvers population dropped rapidly in the 1970s, leaving a higher concentration of elderly and poor people. Compounding the problem was the Poundstone Amendment to the state constitution, which limits Denvers powers to annex land. Suburban tax districts were thriving while Denver, with proportionately less revenue, pushed on as the workhorse of the metropolitan area, providing ever more services, infrastructure, facilities and cultural amenities.Rocky Mountain HighIn the late 1970s and early 1980s, an energy boom, and its related effect on real estate, sent Denvers fortunes skyrocketing once again. The citys skyline was busy with as many as two dozen cranes pulling skyscrapers upward from the sea of Downtown parking lots. Denvers first outdoor cafes began to appear along the newly constructed 16th Street Mall, which from a retail viewpoint initially seemed like a major mistake. Rather than strengthening Downtown retail, it seemed to kill it. Denvers main street was changing, with shoe stores and clothiers disappearing little by little, replaced by ice cream and sandwich shops, specialty retailers, souvenir stores and food courts..(+',6-! 'b>*&+b++

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Plentiful jobs, low rents, mountain recreation and a laid-back lifestyle attracted tens of thousands of newcomers once again as baby boomers came in quest of the Colorado Rocky Mountain High. They moved into declining neighborhoods Capitol Hill, Congress Park, Broadway Terrace and invested sweat equity in the sagging Queen Annes and prim Denver Squares. Little by little, entire neighborhoods began sprucing up. Throughout Denver, bands of urban pioneers began holding meetings, trying to figure out how to get the City to stop putting in one-way streets or to put more police on beat in their part of town. Upstart neighborhood groups began to matter in City Hall, especially when effective neighborhood organizers began running for, and getting elected to, City Council.New Energy, New InvestmentBy the early 1980s, Denver had become increasingly diverse, its physical infrastructure was beginning to wear out, and the economy was still subject to its historic boom-and-bust cycles, symptomatic of an economy with employment and investment concentrated in too few industries. Predictably, the oil boom that began the 1980s came to an abrupt end about midway through the decade, with falling oil prices and changing federal policies shoving the oil business southward. All the new office towers built to house the elusive boom were suddenly no longer filled to their brims. As the decade progressed, office vacancy exceeded 30 percent in Downtown. Worse, Downtowns two largest department stores, The Denver Dry and May D&F, both founded in Colorados gold rush days, closed their Downtown doors forever, abandoning their architecturally distinctive and historic homes. In the mid-1980s, Downtown business leaders and City officials joined forces to develop a plan to revive the fortunes of a rapidly plummeting Downtown economy. The Downtown Area Plan was published in 1986, improbably suggesting a sweeping economic revitalization of Lower Downtown, a major retail center covering several blocks on the southeast end of the 16th Street Mall, and an ambitious mixed-use development in the Central Platte Valley. Ridiculous as it seemed at the time, someones wild idea of a Downtown amusement park was even drawn into that plan. Today, Lower Downtown is an attractive and vibrant mixed-use neighborhood. Denver Pavilions opened on the southeast end of the 16th Street Mall in 1998, bringing attractive retail and entertainment to two full blocks formerly serving as surface parking lots. The Central Platte Valley has become an epicenter of major attractions, including Colorados Ocean Journey, the Pepsi Center, Commons Park Open Space and Six Flags Elitch Gardens, the only downtown amusement park in America. Soon, new ,6?!(()+ b++( btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 21rn

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rn22 commercial and residential development will take root in the former railyards, extending the vitality of Downtown northward and linking the center city more closely to Northwest Denvers neighborhoods. The Downtown Area Plan became the prototype for The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan encompassing the whole city, particularly the participatory process that brought businesses, developers, neighbors, environmentalists, working moms and other professional and nonprofessional planners together to envision Denvers future. The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan was a significant turning point for Denver in modern times. It connected many different streams of thought into a single, unifying vision: A city that is livable for all of its people. There were, of course, many diverse views on how to fulfill that vision, but a unifying force in 1989 was economic adversity. Hence, the predominant theme of the 1989 Plan was strengthening the economy. Prolonged harsh economic conditions called for dramatic action. The Plan emphasized the need for partnerships between government and business to shape a diversified economy less vulnerable to Denvers perennial boom-and-bust cycles. Civic and business leaders rallied around the 1989 Plan and its ambitious agenda, which called for substantial public investment to fuel an economic turnaround. That turnaround began in the early 1990s, with massive public investment in the construction of Denver International Airport, the opening of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, followed shortly thereafter by the opening of the long-awaited Colorado Convention Center. In 1989 and 1991, building on the communications momentum of the planning effort, Denver voters approved nearly half a billion dollars in general obligation bonds for infrastructure improvements throughout the city, including a new Central Library and investments in neighborhood branch libraries. Simultaneously, the infusion of Scientific and Cultural Facilities cash into Denvers arts and culture scene, the replacement of streets and bridges, the improvements at city parks, and the push for a new Downtown baseball stadium all signalled good times ahead. Meanwhile, a revolution was occurring in the national and global economy, with high-technology stocks soaring and many of that markets biggest and best-positioned companies filling up long-vacant office space. The prosperity of the 1990s has allowed Denver to fulfill many elements of the visions set forth earlier and to create permanent legacies for future generations, many of these achievements being noted in the body of this Plan 2000. The 1990s also presented many new challenges and opportunities not anticipated by the 1989 Plan. The Central Platte Valley has been extensively&',-'! ,67,

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redeveloped and rezoned for future development as a mixed-use, center-city neighborhood. More than 10 miles of South Platte riverfront has been revitalized as parks, open space and natural areas. The redevelopment of Stapleton and Lowry are well under way. Successful youth crime-prevention programs have helped turn lives around. With the completion of a new Mile High Stadium in 2002, three professional sports stadiums will have been built within the decade in Downtown. At the end of the 1990s, the regions economic renaissance also reveals another side: urban sprawl, congestion, increasing social and economic disparity, and persistent tensions between entrepreneurs who want to shape new opportunities their own way and communitarians who uphold their concept of the greater good. And as part of metro Denvers increasing integration into the high-tech global economy, Denvers ownership structure began shifting dramatically, as the population began to grow and grow. Cognizant of our history, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 strives to identify the opportunities and challenges of our times, and to set a course for the future that reconciles many diverse aspirations into another coherent and compelling vision of what metropolitan Denver might become.&'f'r'.!#)b/ ;+(!" btntfrfttntnn&fb.r&n 23rn

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IntroductionDenver citizens treasure the natural heritage within which the city has developed. More than one-third of respondents in the Heart and Soul of Denver Survey cited the climate as the most important factor in Denvers quality of life. Another 17 percent ranked the mountains and outdoor activities highest. Citizens surveyed also indicated that three environmental quality issues congested roadways, growth and pollution are among the Citys top five problems. Clearly, a high-quality natural environment within and around Denver is crucial to sustaining our quality of life, today and in the future. Sustainability means the prudent use of our natural resources without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It implies reclaiming, conserving and intensively managing resources to minimize the impact of development on the environment both locally and globally. It also means ensuring that all residents live in areas free from the unhealthy effects of environmental pollution. Within Denvers urban framework, environmental sustainability will be achieved through policies and practices that reflect the congruency of environmental, economic and equity goals. Over the long term, efforts to prevent pollution, increase energy efficiency and conserve water will produce economic benefits. The role of the City is to ensure that all activities sponsored and sanctioned by the government consider their impacts on the environment.Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989Air qualityDenver regularly complies with federal air quality standards, mainly because of tighter tailpipe-emission standards, the banning of wood-burning on high-pollution days, changes in streetsweeping practices, the use of oxygenated fuels, tight controls on industry, and voluntary trip reduction.Water conservationThe City has implemented numerous water-saving measures, including completion of water metering of private homes and a revised tap-fee structure. Voluntary water conservation practices by citizens are strongly encouraged. The Denver Water Board estimates that these measures have saved 13,000 acre-feet of water annually. One acre-foot of water is estimated to serve the water needs of a family of four for a year.Water qualityThe Mayors South Platte River Commission has focused tremendous investment in improving water quality in the rivern$*)2( (b nrb ff(r r r!"### n!%n! !6 n7 29n!n%! n&

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and its tributaries, increasing their importance as natural and recreational assets for the City. Wastewater management facilities have been expanded and improved. An intra-agency water quality group has been formed to review City projects that may have potential adverse impacts on Denvers lakes and streams.RecyclingCity-sponsored curbside recycling was available throughout Denver by the end of 1999. The City instituted Executive Order 108, a reduce, reuse, and recycle initiative for City agencies in early 1997.Renewable energyMore consumers are asking for green power alternatives such as wind energy. More than 14,500 Colorado customers have signed up for wind energy, including the City and County of Denver.Natural resources conservationThe City has promoted energy efficiency activities through the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and improved efficiency in City government through its Green Lights and Green Fleets programs. These programs have saved $1.15 million a year and reduced sulphur dioxide by 138,000 pounds, nitrogen oxides by 130,000 pounds, carbon dioxide by 20,000 tons, and heavy metals by 50 pounds.BrownfieldsIndustrially contaminated sites are gradually being cleaned up and reused.Open spaceThe Citys emphasis on parks and open space has resulted in the addition of 75 acres of new parks and open space since 1995. In the next five years the City will develop 800 acres into parks and recreational areas.ChallengesIdentifying and measuring successAchieving sustainable development requires systemwide changes that are measured and have community support. This will require significant public education and consensus-building.Growth managementIf not properly managed, increasing population and expanding commerce throughout the metropolitan region can consume natural resources, reduce open space, add congestion, cause waste, and contribute to the brown cloud. The 1990 census placed the population for the metropolitan area at 1.8 million. In 1998 the population was estimated at 2.3 million. An additional 770,000 new residents are projected by 2020. Brownfields is a term applied to property that is blighted and underdeveloped due to a number of factors, including environmental contamination. For economic reasons, businesses often seek less expensive undeveloped land distant from the core of the city, increasing sprawl, commuting and the need for publicly financed infrastructure.<##t()'f ('*$ b ffb)b)'b) )b)'b$) r r!"### n!%n! !6 n7 31n!n%! n&

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Pro-environmental attitudesInfluencing individuals to make even more green choices in their daily lives will require education and reinforcement over a long period of time.Economic pressuresEnvironmental protection measures often add front-end costs to development projects, industrial production, and consumer-oriented products and services. These costs are not perceived as the true cost of doing business. In some cases such expenses may make certain investments or economic activities infeasible. In other cases people may simply not understand the long-term economic benefits.Renewable energyDenver, like the rest of the country, is too heavily reliant on fossil fuels as an energy source. In 1997 and 1998, the average Denver resident paid $517 per year for electrical service, $380 per year for natural gas, and $750 per year for gasoline. The rising cost of a particular energy source can have an impact on peoples behavior and encourage the use of other renewable energy sources. (The price of electricity over the last 10 years has changed very little, while the cost of natural gas has increased 12 percent since 1990.) Renewable energy choices such as wind and solar power, as well as techniques to increase energy efficiency, must increase in the 21st century to diminish demand for fossil fuels.Recycling costsComparatively low landfill fees that predominate in Colorado weaken the cost incentives for recycling. Further, people do not equate recycling with the need to make those materials into usable products (i.e., its more than just putting the paper into the bin).OpportunitiesGrowth managementIn addition to reducing vehicular traffic, existing bus corridors and new regional transit corridors offer opportunities to shape transit-oriented, mixed-use developments, which encourage neighborhood self-sufficiency. Also, Stapleton and other areas offer tremendous opportunities for sustainable development. The redevelopment of the Stapleton site will take at least 30 to 40 years to complete. The decisions made with respect to the site will influence the Denver community for many generations to come. ...[What] the community planned for the Stapleton site will provide a real-world example of sustainable development of significant scale. Sustainable development in the words of the United Nations describes a community that can meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.Stapleton Redevelopment Plan, 1995, an amendment to the Denver Comprehensive Plan)*f( fb f*)'*)' r r!"### n!%n! !6 n7 33n!n%! n&

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Pro-environmental attitudesThe Heart and Soul of Denver Survey indicates that citizens value the natural environment and are motivated to protect it. Denver has begun to build a successful track record of cooperation among businesses, environmentalists, neighborhoods and policy makers on environmental issues such as identifying ways to reduce consumption, not just recycling.Sustainable economicsThe use of life-cycle costing leads to sustainable development decisions.Public policy regulationGovernmental entities are working to use pollution prevention incentives and other voluntary programs to mitigate the need for regulation wherever possible.Metropolitan cooperationIncreasingly, partnerships are developing to effectively face environmental issues across jurisdictional boundaries. Examples include the reclamation of the South Platte River, higher water quality standards, the metropolitan trails system, mountain parks, and the Chatfield and Cherry Creek Dams.Renewable energySufficient renewable energy resources exist within the Denver region to offer viable alternatives and achieve a substantial market share. Denver has more than 300 days of sunshine a year for solar energy, and wind energy has already been introduced into the electricity grid. The full value of Denver Waters hydroelectric resources has not yet been realized.Affordable housingReduction of utility costs through energy efficiency can help make housing more affordable.,'r ?))b ')$r r r!"### n!%n! !6 n7 35n!n%! n&

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r!!36 Vision of SuccessDenver Comprehensive Plan 2000s goal, objectives and strategies for environmental sustainability will enhance the quality of life for Denver residents in a variety of ways:Living patternsResidents will be able to live more self-sufficient lives within their neighborhoods due to increased use of telecommuting policies and technology, expanded home-based employment, and a greater variety of commercial and recreational activity within neighborhoods.Air qualityMeasurements of air quality factors will continue to improve, as well as the visual appearance of the city.Water qualityWater quality will improve, and waterways and groundwater will be cleaned up and greened up.TransportationCitizens will drive less, choosing from a greater variety of low-impact modes of transportation that effectively connect people from place to place and from one mode of transportation to another.Renewable energyIncreased use of renewable energy sources will reduce consumption of fossil fuels and, thereby, air emissions.Health-care costsSavings in health-care costs will be realized because of a healthier environment.Natural resource conservationEco-industrial parks will be developed in which one or more companies make use of their own or other companies byproducts as raw materials or inputs for their own production. Existing and new development of all types will be more energy-efficient and water-conserving, and will use fewer resources. Green building practices will increase.Pollution preventionMore residents and businesses will be directly involved in voluntary pollution prevention programs, reducing the need for government intervention.Water conservationWater consumption for irrigation will decline with increased awareness of the need to conserve water resources in Denvers semiarid climate.Recycling Denver will continue to increase its recycling activity and reduce the solid waste going to landfill.Shared environmental responsibility Progress will continue within the city to share environmental benefits and burdens among neighborhoods.Natural habitat and wildlife Denvers natural stream corridors and wetlands will be preserved and maintained for wildlife habitat. )f*)f

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1 Burdens and BenefitsDistribute environmental burdens and benefits.Strategies1-AEncourage redevelopment of vacant, underutilized and environmentally compromised land known as brownfields.1-BPromote public-private sector involvement and cooperation with citizens to formulate plans and actions that achieve shared responsibilities and benefits.1-CContinue to implement the environmental review function as a tool to address pollution prevention and improve environmental quality. Objective 2 Stewardship of ResourcesEnsure environmental stewardship of natural resources, taking into account the entire ecosystem, not just human needs. Preventing pollution will be the action of first choice in accomplishing this objective.REF:Legacies Obj. 12Strategies2-APromote environmental sustainability within neighborhoods by educating and encouraging residents to adopt environmentally friendly ways of living, such as recycling, water conservation, use of renewable resources, and low-impact methods of transportation. The City has initiated an environmental review function within its zoning process that mitigates or avoids concentrating those uses that could produce negative environmental impacts within any neighborhood. Undesirable impacts and burdens of environmental pollution such as health problems, low property values, and community disintegration often fall heaviest on neighborhoods where residents are likely to be people of color, low-income and politically marginalized. In addition, such neighborhoods often lack beneficial environmental amenities such as parks and open space. Denver supports distributing environmental impacts and benefits fairly, rather than imposing or ignoring negative impacts in some communities while focusing beneficial environmental amenities elsewhere. r r!"### n!%n! !6 n7 37n!n%! n&

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r!!38 2-BProtect and improve air quality by:Annually remaining in compliance with all federal air quality standards, including carbon monoxide, ozone, PM10and PM2.5.Decreasing the number of violations of the visibility standard over the next 10 years in accordance with the Regional Air Quality Councils Blueprint for Clean Air.Reducing vehicular pollution by expanding the use of transit and other travel alternatives, supporting telecommuting and home-based employment, increasing the mix of uses within neighborhoods, and expanding the use of alternative fuels.REF:Land Use 1-D, 4-A; Mobility 1-B, 3-B, 4-EWorking with regulatory agencies to address the issues of hazardous air pollutants and indoor air quality to a greater degree during the coming decade.2-CConserve water and improve water quality by:REF:Legacies 12-ASupporting and enhancing the Denver Water Boards policies established in Water for Tomorrow: An Integrated Resource Plan .Achieving a steady per capita water-use reduction over the next 10 years.Encouraging the Denver Water Board to deny water service to areas where water-conserving landscape practices are not allowed.Reviewing, developing and amending City policies to allow and encourage water-conserving landscape practices.Working to encourage water-conserving landscaping and building techniques in new development areas.Identifying opportunities for City agencies to use native flora in landscape designs. The Water for Tomorrow plan includes policies that (a) encourage water conservation strategies to maintain an adequate supply and minimize future capital needs; (b) achieve water quality that meets or exceeds federal and state standards for drinking water, stream and surface water, groundwater, and storm water; and (c) provide water and water services in an environmentally sensible manner, and support citizens desires for a vital natural urban environment and abundant outdoor recreation. Renewable resources are those available from the environment such as energy from the sun, wind or water that can be adapted to meet the needs of people and slow down the consumption of nonrenewable fossil fuels.

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2-DConserve energy by: Promoting energy-efficient technologies and the use of renewable energy (including solar, hydro, wind and others) in the home, the workplace, and for transportation.Leading by example to adopt policies that further the use of renewable energy resources and creating green city buildings.REF:Housing 1-FContinuing the Citys efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.Promoting renewable energy in the marketplace.Adopting development design criteria that maximize energy conservation.2-EConserve raw materials by:Encouraging the use of recycled materials in the construction of buildings.Promoting efforts to adapt existing buildings for new uses, rather than destroying them.REF:Legacies 5-A, 6-CReducing per capita residential solid waste delivered to landfills by expanding City-sponsored and private recycling practices, and by raising public awareness of the benefits of recycling, especially by purchasing recycled materials.Reducing the Citys use of materials and increasing its use of recycled materials through purchase or reuse.Encouraging businesses to reduce the use of materials and increase their use of recycled materials.2-FConserve land by:REF:Land Use 1-F, 2-A, 4-APromoting infill development within Denver at sites where services and infrastructure are already in place.Designing mixed-use communities and reducing sprawl, so that residents can live, work and play within their own neighborhoods.Creating more density at transit nodes.Adopting construction practices in new developments that minimize disturbance of the land. Sustainable or green building considers the buildings total economic and environmental impact and performance. Considerations include overall product costs to manufacture, transport and maintain, as well as cost savings to residents for expenses such as utilities. A number of home-builders build green in the Denver marketplace. r r!"### n!%n! !6 n7 39n!n%! n&

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r!!40 Sharing parking at activity centers.Protecting natural corridors, wetlands and floodplains from the encroachment of development.Encouraging the redevelopment of brownfields.2-GPreserve and restore, wherever possible, natural habitat for wildlife and plants native to the region, such as those at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Area, Gates Crescent Park, Grant-Frontier, Bear Creek Park, Bear Valley Park, and the Cherry Creek corridor.REF:Legacies 12-C Objective 3 Environmental PolicyDevelop environmental protection policies that take advantage of market forces and provide for regulatory flexibility while meeting the Citys environmental objectives. Encourage policies and actions that consider environmental quality, economic prosperity and social equity as complementary, not conflicting, goals.Strategies3-AEstablish specific measurable goals for the environment, formulate strategies to accomplish them, and create time lines for implementation.3-BEncourage decision-making throughout Denver City government that recognizes long-term impacts on the environment, such as making lifecycle cost analysis the basis for economic decisions. Life-cycle cost analysis is a method of evaluating purchases or investments. The initial cost of a particular capital investment may be higher than another option, but it may last longer. For example, concrete costs more than asphalt for streets, but it will usually last longer with less maintenance. The additional front-end investment in concrete may be justified in some instances, ultimately requiring fewer resources. The City of Austin, Texas, used life-cycle cost analysis in designing a sustainability matrix that is used to evaluate capital improvement requests. REF:Land Use 1-E The Rocky Mountain Arsenal was a military site where war gases and pesticides were produced. Federal and state agencies and a private company are working together to make the area part of the National Wildlife Refuge system, reclaiming it for future generations.

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3-CAdopt procedures and regulations that are appropriate to the nature and scale of problems and that reduce waste.3-DProvide market-based incentives and tax incentives to encourage sustainable development.3-EEncourage effective voluntary environmental management programs and activities that require less government intervention. The private sector has found pollution prevention to be profitable, and many businesses are voluntarily embracing opportunities to create a more sustainable environment. Objective 4 The Environment and the CommunityAchieve environmental sustainability in all aspects of planning, community and building design, and transportation. Encourage implementation of recommended strategies within neighborhoods, citywide, and throughout the metropolitan region.Strategies4-APromote the development of sustainable communities and centers of activity where shopping, jobs, recreation and schools are accessible by multiple forms of transportation, providing opportunities for people to live where they work.REF:Mobility 3-B, 4-E; Land Use 1-D4-BPromote energy efficiency, including the use of renewable energy, in the design of communities and in the construction of buildings and patterns of development.4-CRespect, conserve and expand wildlife habitat, watersheds, open space and other natural resources when planning, designing and building new projects.REF:Legacies 10-B4-DPromote convenient public transit for the community, including buses, light rail and other alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles.REF:Mobility 1-A4-EUse neighborhood development, such as Stapleton, as projects that incorporate principles of sustainable development at the community level. Use these neighborhoods as models to encourage sustainable development throughout the city over time. r r!"### n!%n! !6 n7 41n!n%! n&

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r!!42 4-FIntroduce natural ecosystem strategies into the maintenance of our public and private lands. Objective 5 The Environment and the RegionEncourage the broad participation and cooperation of the entire metropolitan community on environmental sustainability issues, including transit, air and water quality, protection of floodways and wildlife habitat, and recreational areas and bike paths.REF:Land Use 5-AStrategies5-ASupport and use DRCOGs MetroVision 2020 Plan which has been incorporated into the Denver Comprehensive Plan.REF:Metropolitan 1-A5-BContinue Denvers leadership in metropolitan forums on smart growth, air quality, water, energy, natural resources and wildlife, recycling, climate, and other key environmental issues.REF:Metropolitan 1-C, 5-B5-CPartner with other metropolitan jurisdictions to distribute environmental burdens and benefits. REF:Metropolitan 1-E5-DEncourage building the planned extensions of the regions public transit network in a manner that is both convenient for users and energy-efficient.REF:Metropolitan 2-A; Mobility Obj. 55-ECooperate with neighboring jurisdictions to develop shared open space and outdoor recreation amenities.REF:Metropolitan 5-A; Legacies 10-D5-FMaintain existing connections and develop new connections among open space areas within Denver and with those of our neighbors. The City now uses goats instead of herbicides to keep weeds under control in riparian areas.

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bNeither the country nor the society we built out of it can be healthy until we stop raiding and running,and learn to be quiet part of the time,and acquire a sense not of ownership but of belonging.. Only in the act of submission is the sense of place realized and a sustainable relationship between people and earth established.~ Wallace StegnerWhere the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, 1992

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IntroductionDenvers first Zoning Ordinancewas written in 1925. The city was completely rezoned in 1956 and the Zoning Ordinance recodified in response to changed conditions. Many of the development patterns the 1956 Zoning Ordinance reflects are the eras assumptions regarding the separation of uses, boundless space to develop, virtually unlimited resources, and minimal suburban competition. Never completely static, the 1956 Zoning Ordinance has undergone more than 1,200 language amendments. The related Zone Maphas been amended hundreds of times, and dozens of new zone districts and overlay districts have been added. However, despite these many modifications, the existing land-use regulatory systemdoes not wholly facilitate sustainable growthas envisioned in Plan 2000. The City must go beyond simply revising, updating and adapting its land-use regulatory system by increments. Rather, Denver should proactively determine the type, quality and amount of urban development it wishes to foster, and develop a decisive set of policies and programs to achieve its land-use goals. Three policies underlie sound land-use development in Denver:Retaining and attracting residents of all economicmeans.Enhancing the quality, diversity and stability of neighborhoods, business districts and other areas of Denver.Supporting strategies that provide multiple transportationmodes, giving travelers more choices than simply using their cars. Two primary strategies have been identified to improve Denvers land-use regulatory system. First, the land-use regulatory system needs additional tools to achieve the Citys goals, including a Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan to better link land use and transportation. Second, the Denver Zoning Ordinance and related components of the Citys land-use regulatory system should be updated, clarified and simplified wherever possible. The updated Zoning Ordinance should be more user-friendly and more accessible to the public via communications technologies. Alternative transportation refers to all modes of transportation except driving a single-occupant vehicle. Included in this broad category are light rail and bus transit, car pools, walking, biking, shuttle service and increased use of telecommunications.b&b'b('!#! #''0 ()bf$!b "!b4% 9b.bb ")#$')$$ 9!"r! (,)f'b($$:* 'b b,b ()bb('!!((b!!b0 rrtrrrn5333nr 47rrnrrfnr

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Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989EconomyA strong economy has caused dramatic increases in land values and development activity, contrasted with the 1980s, when Denvers economy was among the most sluggish in the nation.Population growthThe population of the Denver metropolitanarea has grown dramatically to more than 2 million people. Denvers share of that total has declined. The Citys population in 1970 was 514,678, representing 42 percent of the six-county metro total. Denvers population declined to 467,610 in 1990, then climbed above the 500,000 mark again in 1998, which represented only 24 percent of the metro population.Vibrant, 24-hour DowntownThe 1989 Comprehensive Plan focused on reinvesting in a seriously depressed Denver. By 1999, Downtown had become a showcase for the fruits of those investments. In 1990, the Downtown Denver Partnership reported an inventory of 51 vacant or underutilized buildings, many of them historic. By 1999, most of these buildings had been rehabilitated as housing and hotels, giving the Downtown area a substantial residentbase to support a diversified range of restaurants, entertainment and new retail. The Colorado Convention Center, a light rail line, Coors Fieldand the Lower Downtown Historic Districtall illustrate this new vibrancy.Emergence of Cherry CreekA new Cherry Creek Shopping Center opened in 1990 and expanded in 1998, replacing its 1956 predecessor. The areas in and around Cherry Creek have blossomed with reinvestmentin retail, office and many types of housing.High-quality infill developmentSince the mid-1990s, Denver has benefited from high-quality development on infillsites such as the old St. Lukes Hospital and the former Elitch Gardens. In each case, national developers with experience in creating mixed-use projects at difficult urban sites have brought creativity and commitment to Denver.Lowry Air Force BaseWhen Lowry Air Force Base closed in 1994, a plan was in place for a mixed-use community that included residential development of a variety of types and prices, educational facilities and an employment center. Development has proceeded at a rapid pace, with build-out expected by 2006.ChallengesCompact developmentThe public appreciates the positive benefits of appropriately located compact development more public open space, more mobility options, nearby employment, shopping, recreation opportunities and)b''0'bb:$'())$*'b b!b"( /b $+($+)b9*b' b,b'%( ,'bb b+)$ "b&b!$*%b( rrtrrrn5333nr 49rrnrrfnr

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less sprawl. But few established neighborhoodswelcome the higher densities suggested by population growth and its perceived impacts. Neighborhood resistance to denser development is a major challenge.Local circulationConflicts are inevitable between the walkable character of neighborhoods and the traffic circulation needs of Denvers auto travelers. Equitable and workable resolutions for these conflicts will continue to challenge the City as it seeks to better integrate its land use and transportationsystems.Range of housingDenver faces a shortage of housing that covers the full range of housing prices and types. Land-use policies must allow for increased availability, broader distribution and an expanded variety of housing options.Development plan and design reviewThe complex array of land-use regulatory mechanisms can make the development review process confusing at best for both applicants and interested neighbors. The Citys challenge is to create a streamlined, efficient and predictable development review process that ensures new development is compatible with its surroundings and provides quality architecture and site design. Increasingly, design review is being used as a tool to mitigate the impact of new development and redevelopment while reinforcing the best characteristics of the community. As with other regulatory tools, the staff time necessary to administer a program must be balanced in a manner that benefits both the City and its residents.Zone map amendmentsDenvers zone maps sometimes prescribe development patterns inconsistent with existing and desired land-use patterns. For example, some neighborhoods comprised of single-family houses are zoned R-3 or R-4, which allows high-rise apartments. Or a neighborhood zoned R-1 is developing at a higher townhouse-type density. Upzoning and downzoning of private property are extremely sensitive issues, often provoking prolonged and sometimes acrimonious debates, the results of which may be even greater inconsistencies.Neighborhood blightThroughout the city, there are individual structures or groups of structures that create a negative or blighting influence on the immediate area. This may be as simple as a vacant house with weeds grown high or as complicated as a derelict structure used illegally for drug or gang activity. The need to balance the rights of the property owner with the communitys right to real and perceived safety remains a challenge for the City.n!$".&,(-!$'% !!b''b$&( $ ($!$-( ()bb('!!((b!!b0 $b ()b!b%b(': ($' (' ,('b+ () +!: (,b$-$+($+ rrtrrrn5333nr 51rrnrrfnr

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52 TOWER RDPEA BLVDPEORIA ST CHAMBERS RD56TH AVE 48TH AVEPICADILLY RD I-225I-70E-470MONTBELLO GREEN VALLEY RANCH GATEWAY ADAMS COUNTY ADAMS COUNTY DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT72ND AVE 64TH AVE 68TH AVE 60TH AVES A N DC R E E Kb+b b( b&b!$*%b( b&b' (b'( $! b b(b' f(b+': ':b! b&b' f(b+ b(b' )bb&b' $b,( $ (b'*':?3 @$!! b$' b(b' f(b+ !!"b)b (f$!-$'bAb'b&b!$*%b(B E-470 E-470 tnnfrfnnfrfrrrnb&b!$*%b(n'b>n6f(b+

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Infrastructure costBy regulation, the cost of infrastructure for new development is shared by the City and the developer. Typically, the City pays for improvements that benefit an area or the entire city, and the developer pays for local improvements needed by the development. The City is challenged to improve and maintain its existing public infrastructure while absorbing substantial additional costs of regional infrastructurerequired at DIA/Gateway, Stapleton, the Central Platte Valley and other development areas. This expanded demand for infrastructure investment requires more funds for capital improvements, more prudent and economical investment, and a wider range of financing alternatives for the public and private sectors.OpportunitiesDevelopment areasA decade ago, when it was a landlocked center city surrounded by suburbs, Denvers growth opportunities appeared severely limited. In a reversal of fortune, Denvers major new development areas Lowry, DIA/Gateway, Stapleton and the Central Platte Valley offer about 12,000 acres, more than 50 years of build-out potential.Mixed-Use Zone DistrictsIn November 1998, Denver City Council enacted the Mixed-Use Zone Districts to create the zoning flexibility desired by developers and property owners as well as review of development proposals by the City and the public. This represents the first effort to encourage mixing of uses as recommended in some of the sustainable development strategies of Plan 2000.Central Platte ValleyDenvers former railyard area is undergoing substantial public and private development. The area is now home to some of the Citys major sports and entertainment venues: Coors Field, Mile High Stadium, the Pepsi Center and Six Flags Elitch Gardens. Commons Park is under construction and the Platte River Greenway continues to be improved. Exciting development projects, including the REI Flagship Store in the old Forney/Powerhouse Building, Colorados Ocean Journey and the Flour Mill Lofts, set the stage for new development that complements Downtown, Lower Downtown and the adjacent Highlands neighborhood.Industrial areasManufacturing and warehousing uses have moved farther from the Citys core to newer facilities and better access to highways. As these larger uses move out, opportunities are created for smaller custom fabrication and entrepreneurial start-up businesses. Some of these former industrial sites are quite large and contain interesting structures, but are also polluted. New environmental policies and experience with reuse of brownfields could create a new generation of manufacturing, service and warehouse businesses.n) ($' ,('$!!b0*$+b')$b #b ,$&b'(b($b+'b( !b-$'r 'b,'b( $$((( ",$%* '-,b*': "!$(+ ('bb&b!$*%b( rrtrrrn5333nr 53rrnrrfnr

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Vision of SuccessImplementation of policies based on Plan 2000s objectives and strategies for land use could result in the following features of Denvers future physical growth:Congruency of land use and zoningOngoing clarification of the Zoning Ordinance in a process linked to a citywide land-use plan will eventually result in a built environment with greater overall urban design integrity, stronger connections among urban centers, and a richer and more diverse mix of uses within geographically proximate areas. The linking of these activities will be especially useful in identifying opportunities for the development of housing, transportation, open space, necessary community facilities and other essential uses that are more difficult to integrate.Information and communicationDevelopers, citizens and City agencies alike will benefit from greater clarity in land-use regulatory policies, easier access to information, and more opportunities to communicate with City agencies and other interests about land-use policies and issues. Technology advances such as the www.denvergov.org website will enable customers to access all land-use regulations for a specific property via the Internet.Compact developmentCompact urban centers will meet the needs of 21st-century living while reinforcing the valued characteristics of Denvers neighborhoods. Development and redevelopment of urban centers present opportunities to concentrate population and land uses within a limited geographic space. Compact development will improve neighborhood cohesion, reduce urban sprawl and connect residents more directly to services and amenities within their immediate living environment.MobilityIn every part of the city, residents will enjoy a greater variety of convenient transportation options and alternative mobility choices. Denvers street system, with its grid and continuity, will prove highly adaptable to meet transportation needs as they change over time.Preservation of urban legaciesDenvers highly livable urban environment will be preserved and enhanced through policies that support the ongoing development and maintenance of the parks and parkways system, preserve historic resources, and require quality urban design consistent with Denvers traditional character. Mountain and Downtown views from public places such as parks will continue to be protected.*"' "$' -'(',('b7,$(',( $ $*bb'$!b&'' "b )b$!(:b$* (! (b #b,$%b% 9b.bb&b!$*%b( rrtrrrn5333nr 55rrnrrfnr

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tnnfrfnnfrfrrrn56 Urban centers concentrate development within a relatively small area. They typically encompass a wide range of land uses, including higher-density residential, office, retail, services, entertainment and community facilities. Urban centers vary in type, size and intensity. Their density and variety enable a range of transportation alternatives; above all they should be walkable. Denvers urban fabric is best understood with three types of centers:Downtown: This high-intensity, mixed-use core serves the entire metropolitan area with businesses, entertainment, festivals and government. Downtown should remain the hub of the public transportation system.Regional centers: These concentrations of mixed-use development focus on one major use, such as a regional retail center (e.g., Cherry Creek Shopping Center) or an office park (e.g., the Denver Tech Center). Regional centers offer enough variety of uses to create an internal synergy as well as attract patrons from throughout the region. Again, a wide range of transportation alternatives is needed.Neighborhood centers: Within neighborhoods, higher-density residential and service uses tend to locate around supermarket-based shopping centers or historical streetcar districts, such as Old South Gaylord or 32nd and Lowell. Patterns vary greatly depending on the age, arrangement and amount of commercial space. Pedestrian access is particularly important.*b*,b bb( !($ b&b'! &# (0

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1Citywide Land Use and Transportation PlanBalance and coordinate Denvers mix of land uses to sustain a healthy economy, support the use of alternative transportation, and enhance the quality of life in the city.REF:Arts & Culture 2-FStrategies1-ADevelop a Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan that anticipates growth and development patterns through 2020. Consider future needs for housing, commerce and industry, parks, recreation and open space, transportation, community facilities, and other identified land-use needs.REF:Mobility 1-G; Neighborhoods 1-A, 7-C; Environmental 2-F; Housing 2-D, 4-C; Legacies 3-A1-BEnsure that the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Planreinforces the citys character by building on a legacy of high-quality urban design and stable, attractive neighborhoods; encouraging preservation of historic buildings, districts and landscapes; and maintaining the integrity of the street grid, parks, parkways and open space system. REF:Legacies 2-A; Neighborhoods 1-A1-CIncorporate relevant recommendations from neighborhood, corridor and area plans that are supplements to Plan 2000. Examples are the plans for Stapleton, Lowry, Gateway, Federal Boulevard, Central Platte Valley and the Golden Triangle.1-DRecognize the multiple transportation functions of arterial corridors, as well as their importance for commercial activity and projecting the citys image. REF:Mobility 3-B; Environmental 2-B, 4-A; Housing 6-A; Legacies 3-A1-EUse the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Planas the basis for making future decisions about City investment in transportation to improve mobility and in utilities to provide capacity. Promote land-use patterns and transportation systems that improve air quality over time.REF:Mobility 1-G; Housing 6-A Arterial corridors:Many of Denvers higher-intensity uses are located along arterial corridors such as Colorado Boulevard, Broadway, East and West Colfax, South Wadsworth, and Interstate Highways 25 and 70. Because of the auto orientation of these streets, maintaining pedestrian, transit and bike connections is challenging. Colfax and Broadway are among streets with the additional challenge of maintaining their historical streetcar character. rrtrrrn5333nr 57rrnrrfnr

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tnnfrfnnfrfrrrn58 1-FEncourage a balance between the use and protection of natural resources and protection of environmental quality, including air quality, within a regional context in the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan .REF:Environmental 2-F; Metropolitan 5-A1-GReinforce Denver as the focal point of the metropolitan area in the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan The Plans recommendations must be flexible to respond to economic upturns and downturns while maintaining high-quality development throughout the city.REF:Economic Obj. 41-HEncourage development of housing that meets the increasingly diverse needs of Denvers present and future residents in the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan.REF:Housing Obj. 6; Housing 2-E, 2-F1-IEstablish the location of existing community facilities in the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Planas a basis for future siting decisions. REF:Neighborhoods 7-A Objective 2Denver Zoning OrdinanceClarify and update Denvers Zoning Ordinance and related ordinances, regulations and procedures to be consistent with the goals and objectives of Denvers Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan .Strategies2-AInitiate comprehensive review and detailed revision of the Denver Zoning Ordinance and related components of the land-use regulatory system. The process should balance the perspectives of citizens, neighborhoods, businesses, developers and City agencies. The proposed revisions should ensure that the Denver Zoning Ordinance will be: REF:Neighborhoods 1-E; Legacies 2-A, 6-Econsistent with the vision, goals and objectives of Plan 2000;compatible with high-quality urban design;flexible and accommodating of current and future land-use needs, such as home-based business and accessory flats;accessible, understandable and easy to use;supportive of Denvers competitive economic strengths and its interest in attracting new development of all types;responsive to the needs for timely communication with parties affected by zoning procedures; and

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enforceable through swift and fair procedures.2-BMake organizational changes within City government to achieve Plan 2000s goals, objectives and strategies related to land use and zoning. The changes should:reduce delays in planning and development review and enforcement;increase cross-training and combine the functions of various City agencies in the planning and development review and enforcement processes; andconcentrate permitting and enforcement agencies in one central location.REF:Economic 2-A2-CReview and update City processes for enforcement of zoning and other land-use regulations. These processes should include a consistent and enforceable set of performance standards for the owners and operators of all land uses and a swift, efficient and fair inspection and compliance process. REF:Arts & Culture 2-F2-DUse up-to-date information technology to keep all aspects of the land-use regulatory system current and easily accessible to the public. REF:Economic 6-B Objective 3Residential Neighborhoods and Business CentersPreserve and enhance the individuality, diversity and livability of Denvers neighborhoods and expand the vitality of Denvers business centers.Strategies3-AComplete neighborhood and area plans for parts of Denver where development or redevelopment is likely or desirable. REF:Economic 4-B, 5-A; Legacies Obj. 7; Human Services 3-D; Mobility 6-A; Neighborhoods 1-A The template below provides a planning framework that can help bring consistency to the process of developing neighborhood, small area and corridor plans.Process: Research and analysis Collaboration of stakeholders Goals and objectives ImplementationElements: Land use and zoning Economic development Mobility Urban design and historic preservation Housing Human services Education Community facilities Financial resources and fiscal impact rrtrrrn5333nr 59rrnrrfnr

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tnnfrfnnfrfrrrn60 3-BEncourage quality infill development that is consistent with the character of the surrounding neighborhood; that offers opportunities for increased density and more amenities; and that broadens the variety of compatible uses. REF:Economic 4-A3-CWork with the Denver Public Schools to preserve and incorporate educational facilities as key elements of healthy neighborhoods. REF:Neighborhoods Obj. 4; Education 1-G, 1-F3-DIdentify and enhance existing focal points in neighborhoods, and encourage the development of such focal points where none exist. REF:Neighborhoods 1-A, 1-C Objective 4Land Use and TransportationEnsure that Denvers Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan and regulatory system support the development of a clean, efficient and innovative transportation system that meets Denvers future economic and mobility needs.REF:Mobility Obj. 1Strategies4-AEncourage mixed-use, transit-oriented development that makes effective use of existing transportation infrastructure, supports transit stations, increases transit patronage, reduces impact on the environment, and encourages vibrant urban centers and neighborhoods.REF:Housing 6-A, 6-E; Environmental 2-B, 2-F.; Mobility Obj. 3, 4-E, 5-A; Economic 4-B; Legacies 3-B4-BEnsure that land-use policies and decisions support a variety of mobility choices, including light rail, buses, paratransit, walking and bicycling, as well as convenient access for people with disabilities. REF:Mobility 8-A A neighborhood focal point might be a park, a school, a distinctive shopping area, a transit station, a cultural or recreational facility any easily recognized amenity that helps create and define a neighborhoods image.

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Objective 5Metropolitan Land-Use PlanningPursue regional approaches to land-use planning and policy development with Denvers metropolitan neighbors.REF:Metropolitan 1-E; Housing 6-F; Mobility Obj. 2; Legacies 9-C, 10-D, 11-CStrategies5-ASeek cooperation in building a regional agenda for planning and implementing the MetroVision 2020 Plan. Key issues for this agenda should include growth management, reduction of sprawl, regional transportation, open space, environmental quality, and metropolitan distribution of community facilities and affordable housing. REF:Environmental Obj. 5; Neighborhoods 7-B5-BConsider formulating and implementing a cooperative regional approach to revenue-sharing and cost-sharing for significant regional issues such as affordable housing, open space and public transportation. Evaluate use of incentives for development or expansion of major centers of jobs, transportation, retail and housing. rrtrrrn5333nr 61rrnrrfnr

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bThe facts of metropolitan congestion are undeniable:they are visible in every phase of the citys life. One encounters congestion in the constant stoppages of traffic,resulting from the massing of vehicles in centers that can be kept in free movement only by utilizing human legs.~ Lewis MumfordThe City in History, 1951

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IntroductionMobility, the ability to get from place to place safely and conveniently, is a key measure of Denvers quality of life. Most Denver residents are accustomed to the convenience of getting places by car. Voluntarily or involuntarily, many others experience the difficulty of navigating the city and its surrounding areas without a car. The planning and design of Denvers newer neighborhoods and activity centers assume automobiles as the predominant mode of access. However, throughout the 1990s, ever-expanding congestion on highways and streets increased commuting time, driver frustration, business inefficiency and pressure on neighborhoods. These pressures broadened public support for effective, convenient solutions such as bus and rail transit, carpooling, walking, bicycle riding and other alternatives to single-occupant vehicles. The term mobility represents the balance that must be achieved between the supply of transportation facilities and the demand for their use. It has been demonstrated in city after city that government cannot afford to build enough roadways to meet the demand for auto travel. The cost is too great in dollars, in environmental degradation and in visual blight. Instead, local governments will have to focus on alternative mobility solutions such as more efficient use of the roadway system, expanded transit, and more options for biking and walking. In addition, demand for transportation should be lessened with greater use of telecommunications, telecommuting, home offices, mixed-use development, and the opportunity to live and work in close proximity. To that end, in the early part of the 21st century, Denver must take bold steps to address expanding mobility needs with well-integrated, multiple modes of transportation that provide convenient access for citizens, minimize impact on the environment, sustain quality of life throughout the city, and support economic activity. The Citys transportation policies must simultaneously ensure the adequacy of the existing roadway system while aggressively developing and promoting practical alternatives that complement automobile travel. To be accepted by the public, transportation alternatives must be convenient, safe, affordable and comfortable. Transportation infrastructure is expensive, and it has major impacts on how residents live. It both influences and is influenced by development. Future transportation plans must consider a diverse range of users, including residents of all ages and abilities, business commuters, visitors and tourists, special-event travelers, shopping and recreational travelers, and commercial freight carriers. To achieve its transportation objectives, the City will work -* -,2*,+*b$* r '( 1*". b9:9:!";% 2+! &%* b+&"! !"*"* nrnftn9:::ff 65nfnfntnff

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with a complex range of stakeholders, coordinating the efforts of its own agencies and including federal and state agencies, other metropolitan jurisdictions, RTD, DRCOG, employers, neighborhood groups, environmental organizations, industry associations and many others. Plan 2000s objectives and strategies for mobility avoid any preferential judgments about some forms of transportation over others. Residents want and need a variety of options depending on where they are going on any given day, or any time of day. The Plan also recognizes that walking is a part of almost every trip, and supporting the safety and quality of the pedestrian experience is essential. Denvers social, economic and environmental sustainability requires that the overriding preference for automobile travel be balanced with transportation alternatives that help increase access while reducing impact.,"+ 1(&* &,,-,+*b$b$% !"!,%$"*!&@ % $A /: : 9: ;: B: >: 0: =: C: /D=: /DC: /DD: 9::: 9:/: 9:9: nrnftn9:::ff 67nfnfntnff

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68 r "** *bErF +"b *2 !"f t"2"EftF<*+*b r"*&(!*"&< r,""br". !",r + + *$< "*&+*b *, 1$ r !"#$*8""* r "$* & !% t"*$tnfrfttntnfnff

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Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989RoadwaysAccess routes to Downtown from surrounding neighborhoods and major highways have improved with newly rebuilt viaducts and intersections. The street grid system is being extended into the former railyards of the Central Platte Valley (CPV), the former Stapleton International Airport, Lowry, Gateway and other large and small development areas. HOV/bus lanes have been constructed on I-25 north, US-36, Santa Fe and Broadway/Lincoln to reduce travel time for buses and car pools.Light railSince the 1989 Plan, Denvers first modern light rail line was built by RTD and began operating between Broadway at I-25 and 30th at Downing, traversing the Downtown core. The Southwest Corridor light rail extension, parallel to Santa Fe Drive, opens in 2000. Engineering for a spur into the Central Platte Valley moves forward to opening in 2001, and preliminary engineering is under way for a Southeast Corridor line parallel to I-25, as approved by voters in November 1999.Air qualityDenvers air quality has improved, largely due to automobile manufacturing standards for vehicle emissions. The brown cloud has not disappeared, however. Other pollutants such as ozone, particulates, NOX and CO2will cause additional problems as vehicle miles traveled threaten to overtake technology.Family structureAs family structure becomes more complex two-worker households, dispersed employment locations, single-parent households, children with multiple activities the demand on the transportation system increases. Transit solutions have become more challenging than getting dad to and from work.ISTEA/TEA-21Federal funding for transportation has changed dramatically with the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and reauthorization through the Transportation Equity Act (TEA-21) of 1998. The federal government now requires a coordinated, planned approach to transportation investment with priorities for maintaining the existing system and supporting alternative transportation over building new roadways. DRCOG has a major role in distributing these funds to area communities.Mixed-use neighborhoodsSome of Denvers historic neighborhoods are mixed use, with small commercial nodes dotting residential development. The City has had considerable reinvestment as families find advantage in n+2*". -$"(1("$* &2*". 2"-"*%$*"*12+ + -,"*$$ ,! $($ $$$" nrnftn9:::ff 69nfnfntnff

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neighborhoods with retail and services close to home. New developments at Highlands Garden Village (old Elitchs), old St. Lukes Hospital and Stapleton, to mention a few, are echoing this historical mixed-use development pattern. Also, expanded housing in and around Downtown increasingly allows people to live, work, shop and attend cultural events in closer proximity.Denver International Airport (DIA)Denver International Airport in 1995 replaced Stapleton as Colorados major commercial service airport. Pea Boulevard provides a freeway connection between I-70 and the airport. Vigorous commercial, hotel and apartment development continues in the DIA/Gateway area.ChallengesRoadway congestionStreets and highways have become overcrowded, costly and inefficient for business, and frustrating and time-consuming for commuters. According to DRCOG projections, metropolitan population and employment will increase by about 50 percent between 1990 and 2020, while vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will increase by nearly 100 percent during the same period. One result has been driver frustration and impatience that sometimes becomes violent road rage.Pedestrians, bicyclists and transit ridersMany roadways are designed with scant regard for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders. Significant adaptations are necessary. For example, East and West Colfax Avenue, Hampden Avenue and Colorado Boulevard carry significant volumes of auto traffic and are major bus routes. But in many places, these streets lack sidewalks altogether or have narrow, discontinuous walkways.Behavior changeAutomobile drivers will change long-ingrained habits gradually, and only if they experience alternative modes of transport that are comfortable, safe, convenient and affordable.Mobility for special populationsPeople who must rely on public transportation the elderly, low-income, disabled, or single parents with children may be cut off from economic opportunity, health care, education, and social and cultural activities.Development patternsAutomobile transport has dominated development patterns for most of the 20th century. Adapting multiple modes of transportation to existing urban centers presents significant design challenges. New development must take into account multiple modes of access.,rb)+ & !"f *t"2" $*+"&)1*$$*""* $2"* ,( &+*.$*"* %2"* 2*"'%b nrnftn9:::ff 71nfnfntnff

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tnfrfttntnfnff72 I-25 I-25 SANTA FE I-225 C470 I-70 US 36 ColfaxS p e e rBroadway FEDERAL SHERIDAN6TH AVE US 285DTC DENVER FEDERAL CENTER LITTLETON DOUGLAS COUNTY BOULDER To DIA I-25 (%&* "% *COLFAX1 6 T HW E L T O NS T O U TS P E E RBROADWAY1 9 T H+ + f $ r%%("* ($< $ r%%("* -,* ($< $ $ -" r%%& -,* -,* "$ 9:9:"* $b$%$

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ParkingParking in Downtown and other urban centers is perceived to be difficult to find and/or expensive. As a result, on-street parking in nearby neighborhoods is increasing, creating a significant impact on residents.FundingExpansion and improvement of the transportation infrastructure, whether roadway capacity or mass transit, are very expensive and will require the City to be aggressive in evaluating both traditional and nontraditional funding. Federal, state and local dollars are inadequate to meet the demonstrated need in Denver and the region.OpportunitiesNew developmentIn new development and redevelopment areas that include transit stations, transit-oriented development can support other goals of Plan 2000, including neighborhood revitalization, local business development, affordable housing and attractive public amenities.Pro-environment and pro-health attitudesDenver citizens are generally health-conscious and support environmental concerns; they are favorably predisposed to choose alternative modes of transportation if they are practical, comfortable and convenient.New technologyNew transportation technology is continually explored. Among the promising concepts is intelligent transportation infrastructure, which uses computer and fiber-optic technology to provide nearly instant information to help transportation users make more informed travel decisions.Public/private partnershipAs with the public/private funding for the Central Platte Valley light rail spur, the time has come for joint public and private funding of transportation facilities. Transit-oriented development concentrates an attractive mix of housing, retail, entertainment and commercial development near transit stops. This enables residents to live, shop and socialize in their immediate neighborhoods while having nearby transit access to distant urban centers.-,"*"( $2*$,,$" !""b&$(& nrnftn9:::ff 73nfnfntnff

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tnfrfttntnfnff74 Vision of SuccessExcellence in public transportation is a hallmark of sustainable cities in the United States and throughout the world. Within Denver, the transportation system must strive to become well integrated with housing, various types of commercial development, job creation, neighborhood living patterns, and be of service to all people in their daily lives. If the goal and objectives for mobility are successfully implemented, the people of Denver could anticipate the following outcomes:Regional transportation systemThe metropolitan area will have a fully developed regional transportation system that enables individuals and commercial users to conveniently and efficiently access all major urban centers in the metropolitan area.Public transitThe metropolitan area will be served by a multimodal public transit system that will be a popular choice for families, parents with young children, the elderly, those with special needs, local commuters and visitors alike.Transit-oriented developmentTransit-oriented development will become standard for development and redevelopment, and neighborhoods served by transit stations will enjoy popular appeal for their character and convenience.Clean airAir quality will continue to improve due to fewer pollutants from vehicles and reduction in vehicle miles traveled.Biking and walkingBiking and walking will become much more common as practical and healthy modes of transportation.FundingAdequate funding for all modes of transportation will manage growth impacts by maintaining and improving operation of the regions transportation system. As a result of adequate funding for all transportation modes, residents of Denver and the region will have viable transportation choices in addition to their cars.4*. -$*2*"'!"b"

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1Diverse Mobility OptionsProvide Denvers diverse residents, workers and visitors with a choice of transportation modes that are safe and convenient.REF:Metropolitan 2-A; Economic 1-G; Land Use Obj. 4; Legacies Obj. 4Strategies1-AAdvocate transportation investments that increase mobility of people and their connections to employment, education, shopping, cultural opportunities and other activities. The Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan will inform and coordinate an investment strategy.REF:Environmental 4-D; Land Use 1-D, 1-E; Arts & Culture 2-G; Human Services 1-A1-BPromote public transit, both bus and rail, as a safe, attractive and convenient choice for people who might otherwise drive to employment, education, cultural, shopping or other destinations. REF:Environmental 2-B1-CIdentify areas throughout the city where transportation policies should reflect pedestrian priorities. These include areas such as schools, child-care centers, civic institutions, business centers, shopping districts and parks. REF:Economic 4-A1-DConsider and provide for the special transportation needs of people without cars, families with small children relying on transit, school-aged children, people with physical disabilities, and low-income persons. REF:Human Services 1-A1-ECoordinate expansion and improvement of private transportation providers such as shuttles, taxis and specialized bus services to provide high-quality transit for the elderly and disabled. REF:Human Services Obj. 5, 1-A1-FAddress the transportation needs of visitors, tourists and people attending special events and major attractions. REF:Economic 3-A1-GWith the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan develop a mobility and thoroughfare plan that defines the transportation function of different categories of roadways based on changing land-use patterns. REF:Land Use 1-A, 1-E1-HRecognize that due to the limitations of roadway size, existing streets must operate more efficiently to carry a greater volume of vehicles. nrnftn9:::ff 75nfnfntnff

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tnfrfttntnfnff76 Objective 2Regional Transportation SystemSupport cost-effective transportation investments to provide regional connections consistent with DRCOGs MetroVision 2020 Plan.REF:Land Use Obj. 5Strategies2-AContinue to reinforce Downtown Denver as the main transportation hub for the region, with the proposed intermodal transit facility at Denver Union Terminal as a focal point. REF:Economic Activity 4-A2-BAdvocate a more balanced investment in roadway operational and reconstruction improvements in the central area of the region and roadway capacity improvements in the outlying areas. As a first priority, make operational and reconstruction improvements in the existing central areas. Then, consider capacity improvements for newly developing, outlying areas. REF:Economic 4-B2-CSupport the development of major transportation corridors into, around and through Denver as outlined in DRCOGs MetroVision 2020 Plan Specifically, the City should recognize the East, Southeast and West Corridors as priorities for regional investment.REF:Environmental 5-A2-DCreate more convenient connections between different modes of transportation, as in pedestrian to transit, bus to light rail, or bike to transit. Objective 3Accommodating New DevelopmentIn urban centers and in new development areas, plan, design and invest in transportation infrastructure and systems that support the principal uses within the area, provide well-integrated connections to urban centers and other destinations, and address the mobility needs of frequent users.REF:Land Use 4-AStrategies3-AStrengthen multimodal connections and transportation improvements within and between existing and potential urban

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centers, including Downtown/Central Platte Valley, DIA/Gateway, Stapleton, Cherry Creek/Colorado Boulevard, Denver Tech Center, and the South Wadsworth Corridor.3-BPromote transit-oriented development (TOD) as an urban design framework for urban centers and development areas. Development at transit stations should provide both higher ridership to the transit system and viability and walkability in the area. REF:Environment 2-B, 4-A; Economic 4-B; Land Use 1-D; Housing 6-E; Legacies 3-B3-CProvide safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle facilities within urban centers and new development areas.3-DUse transportation management associations (TMA), where appropriate, to increase the transportation systems efficiency in urban center and development areas.3-EWork with TMAs to understand how the City and other public entities can provide effective assistance.3-FWhen transportation impact studies are required for new development projects, require the study to examine all modes of transportation (vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle and transit) and incorporate air quality mitigation strategies. REF:Environmental 2-B, Neighborhoods 7-F Objective 4Changing Travel BehaviorExplore and then use a wide variety of mechanisms to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled, especially at peak times.Strategies4-ASupport public education and marketing efforts on the application of trip-reduction strategies to daily life. Transportation management associations (TMAs) are public-private partnerships that bring together government agencies, businesses and neighborhood residents to address traffic congestion, air quality, mobility options and other related problems in specific areas. TMAs have been formed to serve the greater Downtown area, the Cherry Creek/Glendale/Colorado Boulevard/I-25/University Hills Corridor, and the Denver Tech Center/Southeast Corridor. TMAs typically advocate on transportation issues at the local and state levels, develop and market alternative transportation programs, and manage resources such as parking and paratransit. nrnftn9:::ff 77nfnfntnff

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tnfrfttntnfnff78 4-BEncourage the use of travel demand management (TDM) to improve the effectiveness of the transportation system and reduce trips by single-occupant vehicles.4-CFacilitate private-sector use of TDM strategies by collaborating with established TMAs and by supporting new organizations.4-DContinue the travel-reduction program for City employees and customers, and use it as a model for other publicand private-sector employers. Telecommuting and communication technologies may increase the potential of employers to reduce travel by single-occupant vehicles.REF:Economic 6-B4-EContinue to promote mixed-use development, which enables people to live near work, retail and services. REF:Land Use 4-A; Environmental 2-B, 4-A; Housing 6-A Objective 5Public TransitEncourage investment in various modes of transit, including light rail, commuter rail, bus/HOV lanes and the bus system to better link transportation and land use, increase mobility for Denver residents, and improve air quality.REF:Environmental 5-DStrategies5-AAdvocate design, funding and construction of the preferred alternatives for the Southeast, East and West major investment corridors, and for future major investment corridors as studies are completed. REF:Economic 4-B; Land Use 4-A5-BStudy transit investment options for other major transportation corridors affecting Denver, such as the East Central Corridor from Downtown to Aurora, to serve Cherry Creek, Glendale, Lowry and Aurora City Center.REF:Economic 4-B5-CContinue Denvers active participation in and coordination with regional agencies responsible for transit planning, including RTD, CDOT and DRCOG.REF:Metropolitan 1-E Transportation demand management (TDM) tries to influence travel behavior and reduce single-occupant vehicle trips at peak times by encouraging car pools, van pools and employer trip-reduction strategies. Trip-reduction strategies include alternative work schedules, telecommuting, free or reduced-cost transit passes (Eco passes), and preferential parking for car pools and van pools.

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5-DDetermine the potential for transit-oriented development at public transit stations, and encourage such opportunities whenever possible.5-EWork with RTD to address safety and cleanliness at transit stops and Park-n-Rides. Objective 6RoadwaysManage the effectiveness of Denvers roadway network, including its street grid, first by investing in operational and reconstruction improvements, and second by increasing new roadway capacity at key locations that best serve the city as a whole.REF:Legacies Obj. 4Strategies6-ASupport major improvements to the roadway system based on detailed subarea or corridor studies that investigate all mobility options, not just automobiles or transit. Detailed subarea or corridor plans require input from the whole community, as well as a comprehensive assessment of transportation, land use and other factors. REF:Land Use 3-A; Neighborhoods 1-B6-BAdvocate investment of regional and local funds to improve roadway capacity in this rank order: (1) radial improvements serving central Denver, (2) capacity improvements serving development areas in Denver, (3) capacity improvements serving adjacent suburbs, and (4) capacity improvements serving the freestanding communities in DRCOGs MetroVision 2020 Plan .6-CEncourage investment in roadway reconstruction to increase operational efficiencies of the existing roadway system. Incorporate detached sidewalks into roadway construction and reconstruction projects to improve pedestrian safety and comfort.6-DUse intelligent transportation infrastructure to improve operational effectiveness of the roadway network. Examples include programmable message signs and traffic signal interconnections with fiber optics.6-EInvest in roadway infrastructure to meet major trucking and commercial freight company needs, and explore formulation and/or revision of City policies affecting their operations. REF:Economic 4-B nrnftn9:::ff 79nfnfntnff

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tnfrfttntnfnff80 Objective 7Neighborhood TransportationAddress neighborhood transportation issues in a manner that balances overall mobility needs with neighborhood integrity.Strategies7-ACreate and use a citywide transportation advisory committee (TAC) as a forum for neighborhood and business involvement in City transportation issues and to define an overall process for addressing neighborhood transportation issues. Develop benchmark measures and standards for transportation impacts.7-BUse traffic-calming measures, such as improved law enforcement, narrowed streets and more stop signs, to encourage changes in driving habits. Objective 8Walking and BicyclingProvide safe and convenient facilities to encourage bicycling and walking for commuting, recreation and other trips.REF:Land Use Obj. 4-BStrategies8-AEnsure safe and convenient access and accommodation of bicycle riders, pedestrians and transit riders. REF:Land Use 4-B The Citys process for addressing neighborhood transportation issues must consider trade-offs within and between neighborhoods as well as with economic interests. The following principles should apply:Avoid solving one neighborhoods problem at the expense of another neighborhood or at the expense of the Citys economic interests.Distribute benefits and burdens; treat issues equally.Link land-use planning activities closely to transportation needs and actual transportation improvements.Increase enforcement of traffic laws to improve driver behavior.Provide a greater emphasis on transit and alternative modes.Increase awareness of the impacts of travel behavior on neighborhood quality of life.

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8-BEnsure that sidewalks are continuous along all major Denver streets and that they provide pedestrians and transit riders with direct access to commercial areas, education facilities, recreational facilities and transit stops.8-CUse Denvers Bicycle Master Plan to improve bike connections throughout Downtown and other major activity centers.8-DExpand bicycle rider education programs emphasizing bicycle safety. Objective 9Parking ManagementDevelop a comprehensive citywide approach to parking that addresses parking needs within major urban centers, at transit stations and in neighborhoods.Strategies9-AUpdate parking studies for the Central Business District, and develop parking policies and plans based on current information.9-BPromote parking management programs to maximize use of available parking spaces within the citys major urban centers.9-CExplore opportunities for shared parking and evaluate the need for new shared parking structures within major urban centers such as Downtown, Cherry Creek and the Central Platte Valley. Where appropriate, reduce parking spaces required in the Denver Zoning Ordinance.9-DFor areas near transit stations, evaluate parking management strategies, such as reducing parking requirements and granting neighborhood parking permits.9-EEncourage parking management strategies in the development approval process for new, expanded or remodeled community facilities such as schools, sports facilities, cultural facilities and health-care centers. In June 1993, the City adopted the Bicycle Master Plan as an amendment to the Denver Comprehensive Plan. The Bicycle Master Plan addresses engineering standards for facility design and construction, education of citizens about the benefits of biking and available facilities, encouragement of people to use bike trails, and enforcement of biking standards and laws. The plan mapped existing trails while identifying and prioritizing gaps in the system and areas needing improvement. It guides City funding decisions for bikeway improvements. nrnftn9:::ff 81nfnfntnff

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tnfrfttntnfnff82 Objective 10Air TransportationProvide residents and visitors using Denver International Airport (DIA) with an airport that is a leader in service, efficiency, innovative practices, safety, convenience and aesthetics. REF:Land Use Obj. 4-BStrategies10-AMeet the growing demand for expanded regional, national and international air service for business and leisure travel.10-BOptimize existing air cargo operations and create new air cargo facilities as needed to accommodate Denvers rapid economic growth and diversified economy.10-CIncrease the economic and commercial viability of the airport by enhancing and enlarging the mix of commercial services. Provide local and disadvantaged business opportunities under the airport concessions program.10-DUse the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan to develop efficient and diverse transportation options linking DIAto Downtown Denver and the region.REF:Land Use Obj. 110-EImprove customer satisfaction while improving the productivity and efficiency of airport operations and services.10-FPromote shared social and economic values pertaining to education, career development, environment, art and aviation. These activities include:Ensuring compatibility between airport activities and surrounding communities land-use, zoning and other related ordinances and regulations. Creating improved environmental conditions with emphasis on water, noise and air quality.Expressing a sense of place and image unique to Denver and the West through art, aesthetics and exhibits. Actively promoting educational and career opportunities in aviation and airport operations.

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IntroductionDenvers natural setting and mild four-season climate rank highest among the attributes residents value, according to the Heart and Soul of Denver Survey. Many of the human-made physical assets Denver residents value most are legacies from earlier generations who knew how to use Denvers magnificent natural setting to the best advantage, and who were paying attention to the urban environment long before that became widely fashionable. Their visionary planning, design and engineering skills endowed Denver with magnificent parks and open spaces, both in the city and in the mountains; grand neoclassical public buildings, monuments, sculptures and fountains; and charming, sturdily built neighborhoods filled with trees, lawns and gardens. Denver became a green oasis on the High Plains whose livability is highly valued because of its arid, semi-desert environment. After World War II, some of Denvers grandeur began to wilt. Rapid development of new housing tracts, the rise of suburban living, traffic growth and its accommodation, maintenance costs, and bulldozing of the old led to many irrecoverable losses. During the 1960s and 1970s, Denver witnessed a remarkable grassroots movement to reclaim and sustain Denvers civic heritage by preserving its historical architecture and urban design. And in the 1980s and 1990s, the City has been both leader and partner in an urban environmental effort to rebuild and/or renovate much of the Citys historic infrastructure, improve parks and open space, provide more neighborhood amenities and programs, support historic preservation, clean waterways and lakes, and restore monuments and fountains. The result is an even stronger pride and pleasure Denver residents take in their city. In the late 20th century, Denver residents not only reclaimed valuable urban heritage and environment but also nurtured a greater popular appreciation for it. In the early 21st century, in the face of ever-growing population, it will be essential for the City to ensure that the values and principles that give Denver its desirable qualities are sustained in new development, redeveloping areas and ongoing maintenance and improvements. Expansive views of the foothills and mountains from several places in the city, such as the west side of the Denver Museum of Natural History, Cheesman Park and Cranmer Park, remind visitors and residents of Denvers spectacular natural setting. Sudden glimpses of the mountains from unexpected points are a daily thrill. Civic Center, Speer Boulevard, the 16th Street Mall and its Daniels & Fisher clock tower, the Lower Downtown (LoDo) Historic District, and the white-tented terminal at Denver International Airport are special Denver places, instantly recognizable. Denver offers big-city amenities while maintaining the ambiance of a much smaller town. Experiences such asrrrb*rbrff*' t *bf(&(*b&) brn*f*&nbf&)( "#t!4555 t$!"# 87!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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coming upon the citys buffalo herd at Genesee Park create one of the many connections with our land and our past that must be sustained.Urban DesignAn essential element of Denvers quality of life is in its urban design how the city looks, feels and functions. Urban design refers to the basic structural forms on which the city is built natural features such as waterways and landforms; the street grid, alleys, parkways and open space system; the architecture of its buildings, infrastructure and public spaces; and the three-dimensional relationships among all of these elements. Only rarely have American cities achieved high-quality urban design consistently over time. In cities where it has occurred, people cherish the result, often without knowing exactly why a particular place attracts them.Fortunately for Denver, at several critical points in its history, visionary urban planners recognized the value of Denvers natural features and put in place some exceptionally valuable elements that are now treasured fixtures and models for current and future generations. These include the extensive system of parks, parkways and trails; classically designed public buildings; and public open spaces that use Denvers natural assets to the best advantage and create a unique civic identity. Much of Denvers urban design identity stems from the early 20th century, when Mayor Robert Speer adopted City Beautiful urban design principles demonstrated at the 1893 Columbian World Exposition in Chicago.Sustaining excellent urban design requires Denver to use its best legacies to guide the future. While new development need not conform to precise historical or architectural particulars, it must reflect the fine qualities of design and use of materials inherent in Denvers unique natural setting and urban character. This applies to Downtown, smaller commercial areas, residential neighborhoods, commercial and industrial corridors, and both new construction and rehabilitation. It also applies to infrastructure streets, bridges and drainageways as well as to both public and private buildings. The City must set the standard with its own projects and accept nothing less from others who aspire to contribute to the mosaic of Denvers public realm. We can and we must create and preserve places worthy of our affection. A city changes because of dreams. Dreams give shape to plans, plans to actions, actions to results. We live our lives among the results, so wed best share in the dreaming. Our children and grandchildren must live there, too, particularly among those physical results that dictate the character of their city. The question is, will they live among quality results? W ill they live among those that grow from dreams and plans that many have shared through mutual thought and work. Or will they live among the results of accident and indifference, not much better than life among the ruins.Downtown Area Plan, a part of the Denver Comprehensive Plan, 1986(r'(&f*rf(&)r&brf&()*rb )/*(&rrb" *"&(&rftr/ rfb*&r:;<5bb(f( "#t!4555 t$!"# 89!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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! "#" !t90 Historic PreservationDenvers identity as a city is shaped largely by the diversity and evolution of its architectural and landscape styles, dating from the 1860s to the present. Fortunately, some of the architectural heritage of every era remains as part of Denvers civic treasury. But historic preservation has not always been a guiding principle in the citys development. In the 1960s, preservationists rallied to save the home of the legendary Molly Brown from demolition. Soon thereafter, developer Dana Crawford demonstrated the economic viability of preservation at Larimer Square, still one of the most popular shopping and entertainment destinations in Denver. During the 1990s, this economic wisdom of historic preservation became manifest. Nowhere was this more evident than in Lower Downtown, where dozens of old buildings were restored for contemporary use as offices, galleries, restaurants and residences. The Downtown area also reclaimed many other commercial buildings for profitable purposes, including small hotels, residential lofts and attractive retail uses. Real estate prices soared in many of Denvers distinctive historic neighborhoods, as the market for older homes with character expanded dramatically. Retaining this valued character may again be a challenge if Denvers economics change. The loss of modern architecture such as the May D&F paraboloid and the Boettcher School indicates the ongoing need for public education. The City has a major role in sustaining Denvers architectural legacy through public policies and administrative actions that encourage and, in some cases, require preservation of designated structures and areas. The Citys designation of properties or districts as landmarks is accomplished by City Council, which acts on recommendations of the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission, a volunteer body appointed by the Mayor. Numerous nonprofit and other private interests serve as advocates for historic preservation in the city. The Denver Landmark Preservation Ordinance establishes the authority, criteria and process for designating Landmark Structures and Historic Districts. Any exterior alteration or demolition of a designated property must be reviewed and approved by the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission. The Community Development Agency (CDA), the Mayors Office of Economic Development (MOED), the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) and the Colorado Historical Society are public agencies that can provide funding and incentives for historic preservation activities.Parks, Parkways, Open Space and RecreationDenvers growing reputation as one of Americas most livable cities is partly due to its natural areas and extensive park and parkway system. The city has r)b'&rr0)*)) &&b&&"*r (&rf')'(fr &n-rt(*=rn(&)

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recognized the importance of this system since before the turn of the century, and one of its first formal plans, the Denver Plan of 1929, stresses that the main reason for focusing on parks is that the proper sort of park system makes the city more livable, adding vastly to health, happiness and enjoyment of the citizens. The rehabilitation of the South Platte River corridor through Denver serves as an analogy for sustainability of the city. The river runs 10.5 miles through many Denver neighborhoods and today forms the northwestern edge of the Downtown area. Nearly 60 percent of Denvers residents live within one mile of the river or its tributaries. The confluence of the South Platte and Cherry Creek is the historic birthplace of the city, and in Denvers early years was a major civic gathering place. However, with population growth, industrialization and urban runoff, the South Platte was abandoned and neglected, its banks a dumping ground. The rivers revitalization began in 1974 through the nonprofit South Platte Greenway Foundation, which created pedestrian and bike trails as well as several small parks along its course. These improvements were well received by the public, contributing to the long-term success of the Greenway Foundations efforts. To add to this private effort, Denver made a $45 million commitment to riverfront rehabilitation in 1995. City leaders recognized the value of the river as a recreational and economic development amenity. The South Platte River corridor has since been extensively revitalized with new parks, trails and natural areas. The historic river corridor will once again be a jewel running through more than 120 acres of open space in the heart of the city. In recent years, plans have focused on upgrading the Cherry Creek corridor into a linear park. In the early 21st century, Denver will undertake an unprecedented expansion of the park system with nearly 2,300 acres of new acquisitions at Lowry and Stapleton, a rare opportunity for a major city. The challenge is to preserve and maintain the existing park and parkway system while integrating the hundreds of new acres of parkland. Denver will continue its tradition of beautiful, well-designed parks and parkways as neighborhood amenities and as a unifying element of the citys urban design framework. Parks will continue to express the green oasis tradition but will incorporate native with traditional landscapes, model environmentally friendly management techniques, and celebrate the citys precious water resources and mountain views. As older recreation facilities age, they will be maintained and upgraded as needed to serve Denver residents.*rb-r&brb)'* )r"rrf" r)1&rn*b &n*rn*&r"&* >/)/br)b'0//b "#t!4555 t$!"# 91!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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! "#" !t92 Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989Population and demographicsDenvers population is growing, aging, physically active, culturally diverse and increasingly mobile all factors that affect various elements of urban design.EconomyDenvers strong economy of the late 1990s has made possible significant public and private investment in the conservation, expansion and improvement of its architectural and landscape heritage. The City must consider the cyclical nature of the economy in terms of protecting, managing and maintaining the public assets.Design reviewBetween 1989 and 1998, the number of design review districts in Denver increased from one to 10. Public awareness of design issues has increased.Growth in designationsBy 1998, 298 structures and 32 historic districts had been designated as Denver Landmarks by act of City Council. Over 4,000 structures are now designated individually or in districts.Preservation advocacyAdvocacy for historic preservation has continued to grow, with some notable successes such as incorporating an architecturally significant portion of the old Central Denver Public Library building as a wing of the new library, preservation and reuse of many Downtown buildings, and designation of the Lower Downtown Historic District.Growth in recreationA growing, more active population has increased use of recreation centers, creating pressures on those facilities. Growth in organized league play has created heavy competition for softball, baseball and soccer fields and volleyball courts.ChallengesDesign reviewPublic demand for design review is sometimes an attempt to resolve land-use conflicts. Design review must be carefully administered as a means of influencing the form of new development and must complement the use and density parameters established in zoning.Neighborhood characterThe increasing need for a broader array of housing options requires a more diverse mix of residential types that are both affordable and complementary to neighborhood character. Conversely, pressure for development of larger houses in neighborhoods of traditionally smaller homes is a challenge to retaining neighborhood character.(&))"*/" 'b'(b9) r'(b9(r) rbr)"/

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Street designDenvers streets have been carrying more and more traffic. Typically, streets in existing neighborhoods cannot be widened without creating significant impacts on urban design elements such as tree lawns and landscaped medians. Balancing the needs for traffic capacity and urban design features remains a challenge.Commercial and industrial areasEconomically obsolete commercial and industrial areas must redevelop to be profitable while also being compatible with adjacent residential uses.Preservation planTo date, Denver has not developed or adopted a Historic Preservation Plan to direct citywide preservation policies.Undesignated structuresMany buildings qualifying for landmark designation have not been designated due to owner indifference toward the program and competing development interests.Modern architectureThe City has not adequately addressed preservation standards for significant examples of architecture from the second half of the 20th century. Without foresight, more architecturally significant structures of this underappreciated era may be lost. Neighborhoods and architectural styles developed after World War II are maturing but not addressed by preservation policies. These neighborhoods represent an important era in Denvers mid-century growth and provide the City with much-needed lowand middle-income housing stock.WaterA public green oasis is an important legacy and enriches the quality of life for Denver residents, but it is imperative that innovative water conservation techniques and native landscaping be utilized, where appropriate, especially in the private sector. Balancing water conservation and supply problems with maintenance of historic landscapes of green lawns and large trees is an ongoing challenge.Balancing maintenance and expansionWith Denvers opportunities for increased parks and open space, new investments must not compromise the Citys ability to sustain the existing park system, including its buildings, monuments and fountains. The ongoing maintenance and restoration of existing historic resources have been sorely tested over the past decade and will continue to be challenging.Equitable distributionSome neighborhoods enjoy a greater abundance of park and recreational amenities than others.!&/rbr&n(rb*b !>r"r/?(&rff*&b r'*rbrfbf*& "#t!4555 t$!"# 93!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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! "#" !t94 Increasing demandDemand for public recreational facilities and programs continues to grow at a rate faster than the City can adequately address. Competition for limited space creates management challenges, and heavy use of parks often creates tensions with adjacent neighbors.Costs versus feesProviding quality recreational amenities and programs is very expensive. Denver is committed to providing these services while keeping fees affordable for all residents. Finding this balance is a continuing challenge.Mountain parksMaintaining, managing and further developing Denvers mountain parks are difficult because of distance, remoteness and widely ranging levels of use.Street tree replacementBoulevards lined with sentinel elm trees with magnificent leafy canopies are among Denvers distinctive urban design legacies. Unfortunately, age and disease have eroded the urban forest. The City is challenged to retain the historic grandeur of its tree-lined boulevards with a new generation of more diverse and sustainable trees.OpportunitiesNew developmentDevelopment plans for Lowry, Stapleton, the Central Platte Valley and the DIA/Gateway area can extend the quality and character of Denvers historic urban design features.Neighborhood infillProjects such as Highlands Garden Village (the former Elitch Gardens site) can incorporate traditional and new urban design concepts and high-quality, mixed-use development into larger infill areas of older Denver neighborhoods.TransitExpansion of light rail throughout metropolitan Denver can enable well-designed, compact, transit-oriented development at the stations.Profitable preservationThe economic viability of historic preservation is well established and can stimulate interest and support among property owners for reasonable controls.Funding supportIncreasing funding of preservation activities is available from the Colorado Historical Societys State Historical Fund from gaming revenues and through state and federal preservation tax-credit programs.Redevelopment areasWith the redevelopment of Lowry, Stapleton, Central Platte Valley and other areas, Denver has the opportunity to substantially increase the number of acres of parkland, open space and natural areas.b/b)bf&nfrb &'/()fbbb *$(/(r&)rn :@*rrbr

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New revenueGreat Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), a statewide initiative approved by voters in 1992, provides competitive grants for open space and recreation from Colorado Lottery proceeds. An innovative agreement with the Winter Park Recreation Association provides at least $2 million annually to the City for parks and recreation capital projects.Creative fundingOpen space, mountain parks and recreational amenities often cross jurisdictional boundaries, offering opportunities for funding collaboration and resource-sharing.Popular supportBecause of the high value residents place on Denvers natural setting and outdoor activities, policies that support the conservation and sustainable development of these resources can be strengthened.(r'(&f)r&rn' *rbrf(r&)rn "#t!4555 t$!"# 95!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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! "#" !t96 Vision of SuccessIn the early 21st century, Denvers residents will continue to take pleasure in and be well served by their urban surroundings. Denvers high-quality urban design traditions will be sustained by the Citys adoption of policies that address beauty, function, history, economic development and the future with equal vigor. Urban design considerations will be a high priority in every part of the city, including new development areas, public places, commercial areas and residential neighborhoods.Density and diversityExciting new mixed-use and pedestrian-oriented areas will develop, offering a higher concentration of housing, retail, services, employment and transportation, all within walking distance.Continuity and connectionDenvers residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, public places, major activity centers and transportation corridors will be better connected through urban design.Development and characterDenvers traditional urban design principles street grid and alleys, tree lawns and street trees, use of materials native to the region, and green connections will be carried forward through creative adaptation to changing needs, expectations and technologies.Urban legacyDenver believes historic preservation of significant structures, features and landscapes contributes to its distinctive character, environment, culture, economy and the quality of neighborhoods. Denver will be vibrant with well-preserved and appropriately used structures representing every era of the citys history. Quality of life will be enriched by an urban landscape that demonstrates the continuity and evolution of Denver as a unique place rich in history.NeighborhoodsPreservation and respectful urban design will reinforce the distinctive identities of Denvers historic neighborhoods, including structures, landscapes and views.EducationThe city will be a living classroom that teaches Denvers history and architecture to children and all others who want to learn.Economic developmentBy policies that link the values of historic preservation with economic development, Denver will create jobs, stimulate related retail and services, generate tax revenues, and shine as a business location and tourist destination.ImageWell-preserved history will serve Denver as an excellent public relations tool and a testament to citizens commitment to their community.r&rb)b %%%1*f(&)A

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Distribution and accessibilityTo the extent possible, parks, open space and affordable recreation will be accessible to all residents in every part of the city. Amenities and programs will be developed in underserved areas as opportunities arise. Program costs will not be a barrier to anyones enjoyment of programs or facilities.Environmentally friendly developmentDenvers parks, parkways and recreation facilities will be designed, built and managed to conserve resources, improve air and water quality, and protect Denvers traditional and native landscapes.DiversityRecreation programs and park designs will reflect Denvers history and the diversity of its people.StewardshipThe city will benefit from increased resident stewardship of maintenance, programs and planning of recreational amenities.Shared amenities and partnershipsThe City will meet increasing demand for parks and recreation facilities by partnering with schools, other jurisdictions, and other public and private groups for shared and reciprocal use of public and quasi-public facilities.r)&bbr'r)b "#t!4555 t$!"# 97!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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! "#" !t98 Objectives and Strategies Objective 1Design ExcellenceProtect and continue Denvers legacy of inspired urban design in the public realm.REF:Neighborhoods 7-DStrategies1-AProvide a model of excellence in urban design and architectural quality by incorporating design quality standards and design review in City projects. Consider incorporating these same expectations for private development receiving substantial City funding. REF:Arts & Culture 6-B; Neighborhoods 1-D1-BPromote standards and incentives for design that enhance the quality and character of the city, including the preservation of significant historic structures and features.1-CPreserve Denvers architectural and design legacies while allowing new ones to evolve.1-DPromote the use of designs and materials that reflect the region and Denvers natural setting.1-EInvest in public infrastructure and amenities strategically to promote community identity and attract development. Objective 2New Development, Traditional CharacterIn new development, adapt Denvers traditional urban design character to new needs, expectations and technologies.Strategies2-AEstablish development standards to encourage positive change and diversity while protecting Denvers traditional character. REF:Land Use 1-B2-BFocus design standards and review efforts on new and evolving districts that are undergoing the most dramatic change. Periodically evaluate their need and effectiveness, recognizing that locations of review focus may change over time.2-CIdentify community design and development issues, and target specific concerns with appropriate controls and incentives.

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2-DDefine and administer development and design goals clearly and efficiently to ensure they serve as effective tools and incentives to add quality, not cost. Provide development review services in an integrated and flexible package of controls and incentives.2-EEnsure that the Zoning Code reinforces quality urban design. REF:Neighborhoods 1-D; Land Use 2-A Objective 3Compact Urban DevelopmentIncorporate visionary urban design principles into new development patterns to achieve a higher concentration and more diverse mix of housing, employment and transportation options in identified areas of the city.Strategies3-AIdentify areas in which increased density and new uses are desirable and can be accommodated. REF:Land Use 1-D, 1-C3-BCreate regulations and incentives that encourage high-quality, mixed-use development at densities that will support Denvers diverse housing needs and public transportation alternatives. REF:Housing 6-A; Mobility 3-B; Land Use 4-A Objective 4Strong ConnectionsReinforce the design quality, function and character of connections among public places and activity centers, recognizing that they are places in their own right and an important part of the public realm.REF:Mobility Obj. 1, Obj. 6, Obj. 8Strategies4-APreserve, enhance and extend the pattern and character of the primary street system, including the prevailing grid, interconnected parkways, detached sidewalks and tree lawns. REF:Neighborhoods 1-D4-BFocus incentives and design controls on private development fronting major new, existing and historic roadway corridors, including parkways, boulevards and avenues citywide. Specifically recognize and address significant intersections and gateways to the city. "#t!4555 t$!"# 99!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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! "#" !t100 4-CEstablish public design and maintenance standards for major corridors that incorporate historic preservation, design quality and local character.4-DAccommodate multimodal transit options within major corridors while maintaining traditional scale and character.4-ERecognize the significant design role of alleys in defining the character of traditional Denver neighborhoods with regard to access and building orientation. REF:Mobility Objective 5Preservation PlanningPreserve Denvers historic resources.Strategies5-AConsistent with goals and objectives of the Landmark Preservation Commission, adopt as a supplement to the Denver Comprehensive Plan a citywide preservation plan that addresses identification of historic resources and provides design guidelines for preservation. REF:Environmental 2-E5-BDevelop design guidelines for historic landscapes, including the parks, parkways and boulevards. Objective 6Internal City PoliciesEnsure that City policies support historic preservation.REF:Economic 4-AStrategies6-AProtect City-owned historic buildings and landscapes for the enjoyment of future generations. Consider Landmark designation as a means to provide this protection and set a good example for the private sector.6-BSupport and encourage historic preservation of City-owned properties within all agencies and departments.6-CWhen procuring office space for City agencies, support and encourage the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. REF:Environmental 2-E

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6-DLeverage City resources to protect Denvers Landmarks and eligible historic buildings and to avoid their demolition.6-EEvaluate and address the impact of building codes, development review and other City permitting processes on historic preservation. REF:Land Use 2-A6-FIn City-sponsored projects, consider the recovery of archeological resources. Objective 7Preserving NeighborhoodsSupport historic preservation in neighborhoods.REF:Land Use 3-AStrategies7-AConduct resource surveys in the development of neighborhood plans. REF:Neighborhoods 1-A7-BUse the neighborhood planning process to uncover an areas cultural values and take steps to honor their significance. These values may be historical associations such as the commemoration of a historical event or recognition of a traditional ethnic neighborhood. REF:Neighborhoods 1-D7-CExplore the preservation and rehabilitation issues of postWorld War II neighborhoods. Objective 8Public EducationSupport increased public awareness of historic preservation through education and marketing.Strategies8-AEncourage partnerships among preservation organizations, including the Denver Landmark Commission, Historic Denver, the Colorado Historical Society, the Colorado Historical Foundation, the Downtown Denver Partnership, Colorado Preservation Incorporated, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and neighborhood organizations. "#t!4555 t$!"# 101!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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! "#" !t102 8-BSupport efforts to educate Denver residents on the importance of historic preservation, and the historic survey and designation process.8-CContinue to support student involvement to secure historic designation for Denvers schools, including research, application preparation and public hearings. REF:Education 3-B Objective 9Park and Recreation Master PlanPlan for the maintenance and expansion of Denvers parks and recreation system.Strategies9-AUpdate the 1986 Denver Park, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan to address the key issues for parks and recreation. These include equity of resources, access and use, number and geographic distribution, hours of operation, design and construction quality, recreation trends, development of school parks, innovative financing, management and maintenance, pressure to commercialize facilities, preservation of historic buildings and landscapes, and conservation of urban ecosystems and natural resources. Adopt the plan as a supplement to Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000.9-BIntegrate sufficient open space and recreational amenities, including small urban parks, into large-scale development plans.9-CProtect and expand the network of parkways and trails connecting Denvers parks to the regional system. REF:Land Use Obj. 5 Objective 10Mountain Parks and Natural AreasProtect and enhance the Citys natural areas and mountain parks. Denvers mountain park system consists of 48 sites containing approximately 13,500 acres. Sites range from less than one acre to 2,400 acres in size, and from undeveloped tracts that are home to buffalo and elk herds to the Winter Park ski area. Located outside the citys boundaries, these Denver assets are valuable amenities for residents of the entire region.

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Strategies10-AContinue to develop The Natural Areas Program within the Parks and Recreation Department to oversee maintenance and restoration of natural areas, urban ecosystems and mountain parks.10-BIdentify areas to be maintained in a natural state as breathing room for residents and habitat for urban wildlife, such as the South Platte River and Cherry Creek corridors and others. REF:Environmental 4-C10-CEnsure adequate maintenance to sustain Denvers mountain park system.REF:Metropolitan 5-A10-DBuild partnerships with the mountain parks host jurisdictions to share the costs of maintenance, management, programs and services. REF:Metropolitan 5-A; Land Use Obj. 5; Environmental 5-E10-EExplore ways to increase the use of natural areas and mountain parks for outdoor recreational and educational opportunities, especially for children economically and socially at risk. REF:Human Services 4-B; Education 3-D Objective 11Green ConnectionsStrengthen Denvers system of green connections: trails, bicycle routes, parkways, greenways and watercourses.Strategies11-AComplete and enforce design guidelines for Denvers parkways.11-BSeek to expand and improve the existing system of parkways and boulevards throughout the city, connecting major parks.11-CEncourage metrowide cooperation to further develop regional trail systems, bicycle and pedestrian amenities, and transit access to parks, recreation and open space. REF:Metropolitan 5-A; Land Use Obj. 511-DContinue to expand the street tree planting and replacement program and urban forestry education. Consider adopting incentives and requirements for tree conservation and replacement of trees removed for new development. "#t!4555 t$!"# 103!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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! "#" !t104 Objective 12Environmental StewardshipProtect the environment while maintaining the Citys parks to a high standard.REF:Environmental Obj. 2Strategies12-AAdopt environmentally friendly landscape principles for use by all City agencies, including appropriate use of native landscape materials, water conservation in irrigation system design and operation, and maintenance practices that minimize polluted runoff. REF:Environmental 2-C; Metropolitan 5-B12-BContinue to encourage residents sense of stewardship for their parks through environmental education and volunteer maintenance programs, with a special emphasis on youth. Successful models include Friends of Bluff Lake at Stapleton and Denver Club middle school programs in the South Platte River Corridor. REF:Education 3-B12-CWith the Colorado Division of Wildlife, evaluate the impact of new development on wildlife and its habitat, and work to mitigate it. REF:Environmental 2-G Objective 13RecreationProvide all Denver residents with access to innovative recreation programs that are responsive to community needs and especially to youth.REF:Education 3-D; Human Services 4-BStrategies13-AEvaluate staffing, hours of operation, and programming at all recreation centers to ensure that community needs and desires are balanced with efficiency and cost considerations.13-BCoordinate with DPS and community-based organizations to expand recreation opportunities and after-school programs throughout the city.REF:Education 5-B In the fall of 2000, a new two-acre skateboard park will open in the Platte River Valley. Over 100 students from Denver middle and high schools are participating in the development, which is expected to be the largest, most innovative skateboard park in the region. Development of the park is being funded by voter-approved neighborhood improvement bonds.

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13-CFind innovative ways to reflect and celebrate community cultures and character in recreation programs and special events. REF:Human Services 3-A13-DSupport volunteerism and community involvement in recreation programs, such as Hands On, the Parks and Recreation Departments volunteer program. Objective 14Interagency CooperationPromote interagency cooperation to encourage shared facilities for community use.Strategies14-AIdentify opportunities for shared use of facilities and initiate shared-use agreements. REF:Metropolitan 1-E14-BEncourage developing communities to create shared community spaces that will serve the needs of and be accessible to a variety of organizations and groups.14-CEncourage improvement of neighborhood school grounds and participate financially when shared uses are planned. REF:Education 1-G; Neighborhoods 4-A "#t!4555 t$!"# 105!t!"!t$!"#$# %

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bHome is where safety begins. Home is where self-respect begins. Home is where our connections to our community, our city,and our nation begin.~ Henry G. Cisnerosformer Secretary of HUD

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IntroductionNow and in the early 21st century, Denver faces substantial challenges in addressing the housing needs of its changing population. Expansion of housing opportunities for people of all income groups and for special populations must be a priority to ensure that Denver remains vital, diverse and inclusive. Habitable, safe housing is a basic need, critical to quality of life and human dignity. And a wide range of housing options of all types in all price ranges is critical to a sustainable economy.In stark contrast to the depressed residential real estate market of the late 1980s, the housing situation during the robust economy of the late 1990s is characterized by rising rents and low vacancy rates, especially for affordable units. The scarcity of affordable housing prevents many lower-income households from participating in the benefits of economic growth or establishing a stable home environment. The housing shortage is especially acute for larger units that accommodate families. While housing production and pricing are clearly market-driven, the City has a responsibility to ensure that its policies encourage a wide range of housing, do not impede housing production unnecessarily, encourage maintenance of the existing housing stock, and provide financial assistance to enable all residents to live in habitable, safe housing.With the need to expand affordable housing opportunities becoming increasingly apparent, Mayor Wellington Webb and Denver City Council convened the Denver Housing Summit in April 1997. The Summit formed committees to focus discussion on four key areas:Housing and other strategies to retain/attract middle-income familiesExpanding housing resourcesReducing the cost of housingStrategies and programs for low-income housingThe recommendations that were developed by this consensus-building process were used to prepare the City and County of Denver Housing Plan, which was adopted as part of the Denver Comprehensive Plan on December 14, 1998. The Housing Plan is summarized in the goal, objectives and strategies of this chapter of Plan 2000, but should be read in whole to understand Denvers priorities and policies regarding housing issues. Affordable housing has many meanings. It is sometimes interpreted to mean federally subsidized housing or public housing. It is also used to describe market-rate housing that can be rented or purchased by persons of modest means. One frequently used affordability standard is that housing costs should require no more than 30 percent of household income. This is a benchmark for comparison purposes; often very low-income households cannot afford to pay 30 percent of their income for housing, while affluent households may choose to pay more.6#'$&# & && !# # $')!" r & #'!" #& )) ### #" trtttrtfr3444r 109trtfrrfr

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tnfrrr110 Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989Growth in new marketsNew construction in several neighborhoods has increased the housing stock in Denver. In 1998, the City issued building permits for 3,619 units in Gateway, Lowry, Grant Ranch, Montbello, Downtown, Green Valley Ranch and Cherry Creek. This represents 73 percent of permits issued. During the next few years, even more units will be built in those areas as well as in Stapleton and the Central Platte Valley.Deteriorating housing stockIn 1990, nearly 26 percent of Denvers housing had been built prior to 1940, and 57 percent prior to 1960. With growth in new areas and redevelopment in others, these percentages have decreased overall, but many older neighborhoods have seen little or no new housing. While some of Denvers oldest housing is in excellent condition, housing stock in some areas of the city is deteriorated and/or substandard. Furthermore, there is a shrinking inventory of low-cost housing.Rising cost of home ownershipDenvers residential real estate has seen an average annual home appreciation of between 7 and 12 percent. This means fewer and fewer homes available for under $100,000. Wages have not risen at the same rate, putting home ownership out of reach for many, even with relatively low mortgage rates. Starter homes are very often priced too high for households earning below median income, or if modestly priced, may have serious functional flaws.Rising rental costsRents have increased 8 percent annually since 1990 to a median of $651 per month by year-end 1998. For lower-income households, the cost of rent may often mean paying more than 30 percent and in some cases more than 50 percent of household income for rent. Vacancy rates are quite low, especially for the larger or more affordable units, which drives up rental rates.New public housing philosophyPublic housing has historically been provided for basic housing only, often in high-density, high-rise developments. During the 1980s, the federal government and other housing providers began to promote lower-density complexes and scattered sites, with support services available to tenants. The Hope VI Program in the Curtis Park neigborhood will be an effort to create mixed-income public housing in an already economically diverse neighborhood. Programs to assist tenants in becoming home owners have also become more available.ChallengesHousing and economic developmentFor Denver to retain and attract businesses and workers, the City must offer an ample supply and a wide variety of housing types for people of all incomes.'$ !" 2 b!,!$! #b!'#$# #)'1!#"b#$ #!#'' b ( ++ .'$.#!b #,$#" b!,!$

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Affordable housingRising sales prices and rental rates and very low vacancy rates make affordable housing extremely difficult to find, especially for larger families who may have no choice but to live in substandard, overcrowded conditions.Potential loss of subsidized housing Housing assistance contracts for more than 6,000 units in Denver that receive HUD Section 8 project-based subsidy are scheduled to expire early this decade. Further research will be needed to assess the full extent of the impending problem and develop strategies to help preserve Denvers stock of affordable housing units.Increasing homelessnessThe fastest-rising segment of the homeless population is families with children. Increasingly, the lack of affordable units is placing people at risk.Higher-density and rental housingResidents are sometimes resistant to new development perceived as changing a neighborhoods character. Higher-density and rental housing are examples.OpportunitiesCity commitmentThe City and County of Denver Housing Plan adopted in 1998 as part of the 1989 Comprehensive Plan, details the vision and priorities to address pressing housing needs in Denver. Plan 2000 is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Housing Plan.Citizen commitmentAmong Denvers strengths are its skilled and engaged neighborhood residents, forward-thinking and active nonprofit and business communities, and supportive local government environment. The Housing Plan is the product of a collaborative community effort, evidence of a broad commitment to solve housing issues.Government supportSeveral City and State agencies and quasi-governmental programs support a range of services for lowand moderate-income renters, owners, new home buyers, and special needs housing.Mixed-use communitiesNew developments at Green Valley Ranch, Lowry, Gateway, Stapleton, Highlands Garden Village and the Central Platte Valley provide opportunities to include a full range of housing types, sizes, and prices and include residential units in mixed-use developments.HOPEVI projectThe first-year federal award of $25.7 million will begin funding the transformation of an older public housing development in Denvers Curtis Park neighborhood into a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood that will be a model community for future rehabilitation efforts.6-b#+#" ,'$b&!$ #! $ b' 2)#"'0!" #$))' )" b!,!$ #,#,' 1#) !b#,# $1 #'/#')') #$!"#$b trtttrtfr3444r 111trtfrrfr

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tnfrrr112 Vision of SuccessWorking with the private sector, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups and governmental agencies, and through strategic policy development and implementation, the City will experience:Coordinated City effortsCity agencies communicate and coordinate on housing issues. Regulatory costs of housing development are being reviewed and removed when possible. The City works to preserve and expand its housing stock, and housing efforts support economic development strategies.Expanded resourcesSupport for housing programs and services enable the community to meet basic needs for decent, safe and affordable housing, including that needed by families, low-income households and special needs populations.Mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoodsSeveral neighborhoods provide opportunities for a stimulating urban lifestyle in walkable communities offering a variety of uses, multiple housing options and diverse residents.City livingLiving in Denver is an attractive choice. The city attracts and retains a large number of middle-income families and households. HOPE VI is a competitive HUD program that provides funding to public housing authorities to demolish obsolete, substandard public housing projects and build replacement housing in an effort to eliminate concentrations of deep poverty..#'(#,' "" )) ## ) "'+' !b+ #$$ $ #' "#)! #,'! $ b!,!$!# #+$'0

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1Support Housing DevelopmentEnsure that City policies and procedures promote housing development and do not add unnecessary costs.Strategies1-ACoordinate all City housing functions more effectively.1-BIncrease collaboration between and among housing agencies such as Denver Housing Authority (DHA), Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) and Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA).1-CReview current land-use planning, design and infrastructure requirements such as street widths, lot sizes, setbacks, parking ratios and utility standards. Consider changing requirements that add unnecessarily to the cost of development or discourage housing.1-DBroaden the Citys reorganization of its permitting processes.1-EReview the Denver building code and the manner in which it is administered to identify changes that would reduce the cost of housing while preserving safety.1-FEvaluate flexible building code standards for green home building to promote environmentally sound development and lower operating costs.REF:Environmental 2-D1-GSupport a climate of learning about housing. Establish a clearinghouse for ideas, best practices and information-sharing on housing issues and their impact on communities and individuals. Use information technologies to connect nationwide with other housing advocates. The City and County of Denver is developing an aggressive and comprehensive strategy to address the increasing problem of providing affordable housing opportunities for working families and persons of need within our community. A key component of that strategy is the establishment of an Affordable Housing Task Force appointed from a select group representing the business community and the housing industry, agency managers, resident leaders and nonprofit housing providers. The purpose of the Task Force is to provide an open forum for residents, policy makers and private-sector partners to discuss, examine and act on critical housing issues, including implementation of the Housing Plan, expiring Section 8 vouchers, and expanding the supply of affordable housing. f #b b' 2)#"'0$ #! $ !" #' + f #b #+#" #'# 844 4 344 944 :44 ;44 <44 =44 8>>3 8>>9 8>>: 8>>; 8>>< 8>>= 8>>? 341444 4 :41444 <41444 ?41444 8441444 8341444 8:41444 8<41444 8?41444 8>=4 8>=; 8>?4 8>?; 8>>8 8>>; 8>>? trtttrtfr3444r 113trtfrrfr

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tnfrrr114 Objective 2Preserve and Expand Existing HousingEncourage preservation and modernization of Denvers existing housing stock and established neighborhoods. Support addition of housing in expansion and infill development.Strategies2-AEncourage rehabilitation of existing housing, both rental and owneroccupied, by increasing funds for housing rehabilitation. Give priority to vacant structures.2-BUpgrade and maintain streets, alleys and other infrastructure in aging residential areas to encourage maintenance of the housing, retain housing values, and preserve stable and viable middle-income and affordable housing.2-CReview current codes and policies for residential infill development and additions to existing homes. Whenever possible, streamline the process while maintaining design and construction quality.2-DAs part of the citywide land-use planning process, identify vacant land and study the feasibility of assembling parcels for infill housing. REF:Land Use 1-A2-EAdjust codes and policies regarding accessory residential units, such as granny flats, mother-in-law apartments and carriage units. REF:Land Use 1-H2-FExplore opportunities for housing in all proposed development and redevelopment projects, including commercial and retail projects. REF:Land Use 1-H Objective 3Housing AssistanceBuild partnerships with other government agencies and nonprofit organizations to creatively deliver increased housing assistance.REF:Human Services 1-B, 6-BStrategies3-AWork collaboratively with government, regional and nonprofit agencies to address the expiration of contracts for project-based Section 8 developments.

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3-BSupport stabilization programs that help people stay in their homes. Specific services could include a grant or loan for rental and security deposit assistance, budget management and tenant training, and access to resources to increase self-sufficiency.3-CWork with nonprofit partners to integrate very lowincome housing units into predominantly market-rate housing projects.3-DIn coordination with religious and other private organizations, develop permanent and transitional housing that is affordable for very lowincome households and special needs populations.3-EWork with the Denver Department of Human Services to respond to the housing needs of its clients, including expanded rental assistance and transitional housing.3-FIn public and private housing programs designed to assist low-income families, integrate case management and support services that promote residents efforts to become economically self-sufficient.3-GSupport DHAs efforts to meet the needs of households requiring very lowincome housing. These efforts include:improvement in the design and quality of its housing;improved maintenance of its units;revitalization of neighborhoods in which public housing is located;replacement of demolished units on a one-for-one basis;expansion of partnerships for project development; andcooperation with private service providers to integrate support services to DHA residents. Section 8 rental assistance is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Many of the project-based contracts, which provided very lowinterest loans to developers of rent-subsidized housing units, are nearing the end of their 20-year term. Contracts covering more than 6,000 units in Denver will expire in the next few years. While difficult to pinpoint, different experts estimate that 600 to 2,000 of these units could opt out of the program and revert to market rents. Several projects with expiring contracts are currently owned by nonprofit organizations and will remain affordable. Some private owners may choose to offer their property to nonprofits as a buyout option, thereby sustaining the affordability of the units under different ownership. Several other options for current owners are available to retain the units as affordable. In the event of a conversion to market-rate rents, tenants would receive housing vouchers to keep their housing costs affordable. However, the DHA experience has been that about 27 percent of vouchers are returned because clients are unable to secure housing during the 120 days allowed for the housing search. trtttrtfr3444r 115trtfrrfr

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tnfrrr116 3-HSupport the HOPE VI project and the surrounding community in every possible way.3-ISupport the development of affordable housing using a variety of public finance mechanisms. Specifically: REF:Economic 1-HEstablish an affordable Housing Trust Fund for the City and County of Denver funded from general fund dollars and private contributions.Review the allocation of Denvers annual Community Development Block Grant funding to maximize housing opportunities while continuing support for other identified community needs.Continue to dedicate Denvers Private Activity Bond (PAB) allocation to projects with affordable housing. Work with other metro jurisdictions to pool PAB allocations for affordable housing. REF:Metropolitan Obj. 33-JSupport efforts to raise awareness among corporations, the business community, legislators and the general public of housing issues such as the shortage of homes designed for the elderly and disabled and the scarcity of affordable housing, and the negative impacts these have on the economy.3-KEncourage regional approaches to providing affordable housing. REF:Metropolitan 3-D3-LExpand the supply of housing that is accessible for people with disabilities. Objective 4Middle-Income HouseholdsAttract and retain middle-income households.Strategies4-AExpand the availability of financing to enable middle-income households to buy and rehabilitate houses in existing Denver neighborhoods.4-BSupport the work of schools, realtors, employers and neighborhoods to provide information on the advantages of living in Denver to current Denver residents, persons moving to Denver and residents of other areas of the region. REF:Education 1-H

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4-CEnsure that plans for new development areas include traditional urban neighborhoods with well-designed, well-built homes affordable to middle-income households and close to work, shopping and services. REF:Land Use 1-A Objective 5Support Home OwnershipIncrease opportunities for lowand middle-income households to become home owners.Strategies5-AEstablish a comprehensive Employer Assisted Housing Program to attract and retain a diverse, quality workforce, thereby reinforcing the connection between housing and economic development. REF:Economic 1-H5-BContinue to support nonprofit organizations offering home ownership counseling, affordable homes for sale, affordable down-payment loans, and other services supporting home ownership.5-CFoster partnerships to increase public awareness of housing programs and available financing.5-DContinue mortgage revenue bond issues and down-payment assistance programs that make it easier for more households of moderate means to purchase a home. Objective 6Preferred Housing DevelopmentEncourage mixed-use, mixed-income housing development in Denvers core area and along transit lines.REF:Land Use 1-HStrategies6-ASupport mixed-use development consistent with the goals of the Comprehensive Plans land-use and mobility strategies. REF:Land Use 1-D, 1-E, 4-A; Mobility 4-E; Legacies 3-B6-BContinue to support mixed-income housing development that includes affordable rental and for-purchase housing for lower-income, entry-level and service employees, especially in Downtown and along transit lines.REF:Metropolitan 2-B; Economic 1-H trtttrtfr3444r 117trtfrrfr

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118 6-CEncourage mixed-income rental housing with financing that allows both market-rate and subsidized units of equal quality in the same development.6-DSupport DHAs mixed-income housing wherever possible, recognizing that support programs may be essential to those projects.6-EIdentify and capitalize on opportunities to develop housing along transit lines. REF:Mobility 3-B; Land Use 4-A6-FIn forums such as the Metro Mayors Caucus and the Denver Regional Council of Governments, promote discussion and a regional commitment to goals for mixed-income and mixed-use housing development along transit lines. REF:Land Use Obj. 5; Metropolitan Obj. 2

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btnf f f btnf f fEconomic Activity Neighborhoods Education Human Services Arts & Culture Economic Activity Neighborhoods Education Human Services Arts & Culture119

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Livability isnt some middle-class luxury; it is an economic imperative.~ Robert SolowNobel Prizewinning economist

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IntroductionDenver is the largest employment center in Colorado, with 431,000 jobs and in 1998 a payroll of $15.1 billion. In 1998, the number of Denver residents in the workforce was 295,870, nearly 60 percent of the total population; unemployment was 3.4 percent, contrasted with nearly 10 percent a decade earlier. By contrast, a decade earlier, in 1989, Denvers future was clouded in economic uncertainty and most ideas for the future were viewed through the prism of limitations. Despite this situation, The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan recognized the need for public investment in a variety of major public facilities, such as the new airport and convention center, as well as the need for long-term economic development strategies. The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan recognized eight target industries as a focus for economic development efforts: telecommunications, tourism, international trade, health care, insurance, higher education, retail, and business and financial services. Some of these industries have surpassed expectations; for example, telecommunications has expanded into information technology, of which Denver is a national center. Others have not proven as productive. Health care, for example, has seen limitations on growth due to national changes within the industry. Yet, overall during the 1990s, the economy has shifted dramatically from one of high unemployment to one of significant skilled-labor shortage. Rapid population growth in the region places increasing pressure on schools, roads and the environment. Educational and training curricula, though expanded substantially, have not kept pace with the rapid growth of labor demand, especially for workers skilled in up-to-date computer technology. The robust economic climate is bypassing some low-income people who are ill-prepared for or disconnected from opportunities. Economic activity will remain a top priority in the early 21st century. The most significant difference between the objectives of The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan and those of Plan 2000 is this: in 1989, planners were intent on creating opportunity, jump-starting the faltering economy; in 2000, the challenge is to sustain and spread a strong economy. A strong economy will not sustain itself without strategic planning and action, and without aggressive economic development there will be no partnerships of the City with the private business sector and metropolitan, state and national governments. As throughout its history, Denvers future opportunities remain tied to regional, national and global influences.):(f;2,,f('< (,.' .'$,.+('.' ---. btnfrnbbtrrr# 123nbrfbnnb!rrf$b%

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f!fr"bbt#124 Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989DemographicsDenvers population increased during the 1990s by just less than 12 percent, while the metropolitan population increased by 34 percent. Denvers population is older, with 13 percent over 65 years old compared to 9 percent elsewhere in the metropolitan area. Denver has the highest proportion of people of color in the metropolitan area. During the 1990s, Denver has seen increased disparities in household income, with those at the higher and lower ends growing more rapidly than the middle. Job growthSince 1991, Denver has added more than 49,000 jobs more than the 48,000 jobs lost statewide during the 1980s.Employment sectorsThe service sector of Denvers economy has become its largest, with fully 33 percent of all workers falling into a broad range of categories ranging from health care to engineering. The number of jobs increased in the government and retail sectors as well as the service sector. Jobs were lost in mining, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and utilities, wholesale trade, and finance and real estate. Denver still retains the largest proportion of jobs in all sectors, except agriculture, of any county in the state.Retail improvementsDenver is the retail capital of the metropolitan area, with 1997 gross sales of $44,063 per person in Denver compared to $30,962 in the metropolitan area. Cherry Creek Shopping Center was completed in the early 1990s and expanded in 1998. Retail redevelopment is strong along South Broadway, in Bear Valley, at University Hills and in neighborhood business areas such as 32nd and Lowell. Linear business areas such as Federal Boulevard and South Colorado Boulevard have added new businesses. Opened in 1998, Denver Pavilions, the retail/entertainment center at the southeastern end of the 16th Street Mall, has sparked up that section of Downtown. The Denver region is enjoying a period of prolonged prosperity fueled by unprecedented growth along the Front Range. Population, employment, and income are at all time highs. The region has also gained significant national and international exposure from its civic investments, sports accomplishments, and outstanding recreational assets and quality of life. Yet the Denver region has seen prosperity before only to have it crumble as a result of cyclical and structural change. Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce Tech Vision A Blueprint for the 21st Century of Metro Denver (1998)1(((3+'( !' b= 4, .'/,46.

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Real estateOffice vacancy dropped to 8 percent in 1998, down from 26 percent in 1990. Between 1990 and 1997, 5.2 million square feet of office space and 2.5 million square feet of industrial space were absorbed. Fifty-one vacant buildings in Downtown have been redeveloped since 1991. In the 1990s, the pace of home sales has increased dramatically, as have prices.Home occupationsFourteen percent of respondents in the Heart and Soul of Denver Survey indicated that a household member operated a homebased business.Downtowns resurgenceThrough thoughtful planning, significant public and private investment, and active historic preservation, Downtown Denver has redefined itself from a daytime workplace to a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week neighborhood with world-class amenities, many of them built in the 1990s. Downtown Denver is the churning center of financial, legal and accounting services and of telecommunications and other rapidly growing high-tech companies. In 1998, more than 2,600 additional residential units were under, or proposed for, construction. With the completion of the Buell Theater in 1992, the Denver Performing Arts Complex became the second largest performing arts center in the nation, and the building of Coors Field baseball stadium stimulated an already vigorous renewal of the Lower Downtown Historic District.Professional sportsThe 1990s addition of two professional sports teams, the Colorado Rockies (baseball) and the Colorado Avalanche (hockey); the Broncos (football); Nuggets (basketball); and the Rapids (soccer), have made Denver a regional and national sports mecca. Denver Bronco Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998 and the Avalanches 1997 win of the Stanley Cup solidified this reputation. The opening of Coors Field in 1995, the Pepsi Center in 1999, and the new Mile High Stadium projected for opening in 2002 add three major state-of-the-art sports facilities within eight years. Concentrating these facilities in the Downtown area has allowed shared parking, construction of a light rail line and stimulation of new businesses.Leisure and entertainmentNew nightclubs, fine restaurants and art galleries have converged in Lower and middle Downtown. Denver Pavilions, with its retail, restaurants and movie theaters, has added new entertainment options to complement the Performing Arts Complex and the Paramount Theater. At its new Central Platte Valley location, Elitch Gardens has become a Six Flags amusement park. The economic spin-off of event patrons adding dinner or shopping to attendance at sporting or cultural events has sparked vitality in the whole Downtown area.n'(' ,()**' f$,',(0.' btnfrnbbtrrr# 125nbrfbnnb!rrf$b%

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f!fr"bbt#126 Denver International AirportOpened in 1995, DIA is an operating and financial success, with nearly 37 million passengers in 1998, substantially surpassing the highest record at Stapleton, its predecessor. Air freight activity in Denver has more than doubled in 10 years. On-airport development, including airport concessions, hotels and state-of-the-art cargo facilities, further enhances the economic potential of DIA.ChallengesDowntownChanges in Downtown raise new challenges. Traffic and congestion, with decreasing availability and increasing costs for parking, are concerns for businesses, employees, residents, patrons and customers. To grow as a vibrant business and tourism center, Downtown needs stronger pedestrian and transit connections between its various activity centers and close-in neighborhoods, as well as additional parking. To sustain its growth as a residential neighborhood, it needs to continue building an integrated and compatible mix of uses, including retail services that support high-density housing.Older industrial areasDenvers older industrial areas are concentrated along the South Platte River and railroad tracks. This crescent-shaped area has been an important part of Denvers economic base for over a century. Maintaining and enhancing the vitality of the industrial crescent as an important part of Denvers economy requires attention to address the age of the buildings and infrastructure and the changing needs of industrial users.WorkforceFinding skilled workers challenges employers. For the City, the challenges are in three areas: (1) ensuring that Denver residents, including youth and low-income workers, can obtain the skills they need to share the benefits of economic expansion; (2) ensuring that Denver remains attractive for companies needing a skilled workforce; and (3) ensuring an adequate supply of housing that is affordable to workers.Competition with suburbsDenver will continue to compete with suburban areas for business and retail uses, as well as the jobs and the tax revenue they generate. However, a sustainable regional economy increasingly depends on interjurisdictional cooperation and partnership to address connected economic issues of employment, housing, transportation, public services and amenities, and revenues.Tax baseMaintaining and increasing the Citys tax base is a priority. The major contributors to City revenues include sales taxes on retail and business purchases, fees and property taxes. Sales and use taxes account for more ,'(--, +', b+)**>-(( /n,' ?, ,.''( (( (+'''.'

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than 65 percent of the Citys general revenue. The TABOR Amendment, approved by Colorado voters in 1992, limits government revenue and spending, posing a further challenge to fiscal management.Quality educationQuality public and private education K, college and postgraduate is essential to a livable community and to retaining and attracting new businesses. Denver Public Schools (DPS) must continue to improve quality in order for Denver to compete for new residents and businesses. Schools also need to provide students with the general education and workforce skills they need to succeed after graduation.Ensuring safetyA climate of safety is essential for attracting and retaining businesses. In Denver, as elsewhere, the incidence of violent crime has decreased in the latter half of the 1990s; however, safety remains an issue in many center-city neighborhoods. The adverse impact of random violence has been felt throughout Denver and the nation. A positive national image can emerge only from a community that is effectively managing its social problems.Child careMost parents of young children are in the workforce, whether from oneor two-parent families. An adequate supply of convenient, affordable and high-quality child care is both a necessity for parents and essential to sustaining Denvers strong economy.Neighborhood conflictsEconomic growth in the 1990s has enabled many new and longtime Denver businesses to expand, including some located in or adjacent to existing residential neighborhoods. As a business grows and needs larger facilities, conflicts with nearby neighborhoods can result. Resolution of these conflicts takes dedication on both sides to produce solutions beneficial to both.Corporate consolidationAs companies merge to better compete nationally and internationally, Denver stands to lose some corporate headquarters that have been important to civic and economic development. Mergers among banks and telecommunications companies are the most notable recent examples.OpportunitiesNew developmentRedevelopment of Lowry, Stapleton and the Central Platte Valley, and the annexation of the DIA/Gateway area provide Denver with extraordinary opportunities for exciting new neighborhoods, vital business areas and distinctive urban centers, making Denver a stronger attraction for residents and businesses.(,.' ('.'+'''''( -'(''. .,,,(,.$ btnfrnbbtrrr# 127nbrfbnnb!rrf$b%

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f!fr"bbt#128 Focused economic developmentDenvers strategy to retain and expand existing businesses, attract new businesses, and facilitate strategic alliances, all with a focus on targeted industries, is paying off. These endeavors have made Denver a nationally and internationally recognized location for industry clusters that include information technology, business and financial services, environmental products and services, and energy and mining exploration and services.Mixed-use developmentIntegration of housing, retail, services, recreation and employment uses is increasing. New development in and around Downtown and at Lowry, Stapleton, Gateway and the Platte Valley will create the potential to live near work and use alternative transportation to reach destinations conveniently.Innovative infillAs sites such as St. Lukes Hospital, Elitch Gardens, the Northside Treatment Plant and the Air Force Accounting Center are abandoned, new mixed-use, residential and business developments are emerging. Redevelopment of old Elitch Gardens as Highlands Garden Village, and the Northside Treatment Plants redevelopment as an armory, industrial park and public park demonstrate this potential.Positive national imageDenver has a significantly positive national image. The amenities, quality of life, weather, outdoor lifestyle and highly educated workforce are attributes that continue to attract new residents and businesses.International marketsIn the 1990s, Denver began developing an international image with a visit from Pope John Paul II and the 1997 Summit of the Eight. In 1998, DIA inaugurated its first nonstop transcontinental air route, and international nonstops have emerged for Great Britain, Canada and Mexico, with others in the wings. The continued growth and development of DIA provides an economic engine to the local and regional economy and rapid connection to the world economy. The infrastructure, facilities and capabilities are in place for Denver to serve international business as an originator of products and services, a location for international businesses needing a strategic base in the region, and a source for business partners."'''./3'',+, r,/ /, .'+ .' )*>@ )*>> )** )**@ )**A )**>B ) )B B @ @B C CBt 2 ( $ r n 0 f t 1

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Vision of SuccessThe small and large businesses that comprise Denvers sustainable economy will have the capacity to connect to global, national, regional and neighborhood markets to provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for Denvers residents. Success will be measured in the following ways:Resistance to economic recessionThrough economic diversification, maintaining a highly educated workforce, and placing a strategic emphasis on leading-edge industries, Denver will be less vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles.Thriving neighborhood business centersDenvers neighborhoods will be enlivened by successful retail, service and hospitality businesses that enable residents to enjoy a high quality of life close to home. Business development in poorer neighborhoods will, at minimum, provide for residents essential needs.Existing businessesExisting businesses, both large and small, new and old, will continue to thrive and expand.Good jobsDenver remains the largest employment center in the state. Jobs with good wages are available to all residents wishing to work. Adequate support systems, including education, training, child care and transportation, are available.The best downtown in AmericaDowntown Denver will be one of the most exciting places in the nation to live, work, visit or operate a business. Downtown will be pedestrianand transit-oriented, safe, affordable and fun.Leading-edge technologyDenver will be a North American leader in state-of-the-art technology industries. The City will be a national model for successful use of up-to-date technology to streamline services.Enterprise everywhereWith more home-based businesses, neighborhood business centers, easily accessed regional business centers, increased use of technology, and a supportive City government, doing business anywhere anytime will be easier, more fun and more profitable.International tourism and businessDenver will be recognized on the global economic map with well-developed business connections worldwide and strong passenger and freight transportation connections to international locations. The metro area with Denver at its core will be a global hub for information technology, mining and energy services, environmental technology and financial services."'''(, ,''' ..1. &'((+' )A(ft,, btnfrnbbtrrr# 129nbrfbnnb!rrf$b%

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f!fr"bbt#130 Objectives and Strategies Objective 1Workforce Development and SupportEnsure a skilled workforce. Economic development policies and initiatives should stress workforce needs for advancement, education and training, child care, a full range of affordable housing options, and transportation.REF:Human Services 1-DStrategies1-AEnhance the Citys leadership in workforce development by strengthening cooperation among City agencies addressing economic development and employment issues. An organizational structure consolidating and focusing workforce development efforts should be created.1-BSupport a comprehensive approach to workforce development that is employer-driven and uses incentives that promote an appropriate mix of work-based and education-based training. Such an initiative should focus on work-readiness, employee retention, work-based training and education, use of private-sector employer resources, operation of the Citys One-Stop Centers consistent with employer needs, and eliminating discriminatory practices from the workplace. REF:Human Services 1-D1-CIn addition to job-readiness and placement, devote resources to sustaining employment during the first year. REF:Human Services 1-D1-DIn partnership with business, support DPS in its quest to become a first-rate urban school district. Businesses should work with schools to develop curricula relevant to workplace requirements. On-the-job learning opportunities and school-to-work programs create important links to meaningful employment. REF:Education 1-C, 3-C1-EIn partnership with business, work with post-secondary education institutions to develop curricula and centers of excellence to better support employer needs. REF:Education 6-B, 3-I1-FSupport a collaborative effort by business, educational institutions and regulatory agencies to enhance the supply, quality and availability of child care, with a special focus on: REF:Education Obj. 2

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creating a high-quality and economically viable early care and education system for all of Denvers young children;preserving and better utilizing tax credits for enhanced child care;including child-care services in employee benefit and assistance programs;promoting on-site child-care facilities in the workplace;supporting the development of joint ventures among related businesses to provide child care for employees, especially those with nontraditional work schedules (e.g., evenings and weekends). REF:Human Services 1-E; Education Obj. 21-GSupport the development of a greater number of efficient, convenient and affordable options for workforce mobility, including rapid transit, improved bus service, pedestrian and bicycle access, private shuttle services and employer-sponsored transportation programs. REF:Mobility Obj. 11-HSupport a variety of housing opportunities for Denvers current and future workforce. Housing opportunities throughout Denver should be expanded especially in the Downtown core and near employment centers to accommodate people and families of all incomes. REF:Housing 3-I, 5-A, 6-B; Metropolitan 2-C Objective 2Business EnvironmentStimulate the growth of business and the creation of good jobs with a business-friendly environment.Strategies2-AImprove the regulatory climate in City government by focusing on customer service and accountability. Components should include:rewarding City employees for efficient, streamlined, and accurate customer service;streamlining the development process to ensure that it is fair, quick and includes an appeal process;modifying City regulations to accommodate people working at home;using up-to-date technology to streamline regulatory processes; andcreating a responsive, accountable, customer-driven environment within City agencies. REF:Land Use 2-B btnfrnbbtrrr# 131nbrfbnnb!rrf$b%

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f!fr"bbt#132 2-BReinforce and maintain Denvers attractive quality of life as an economic asset. Denvers natural environment, climate and outdoor activities; well-maintained and architecturally diverse neighborhoods; professional sports, recreation, cultural and arts activities; post-secondary education; and real and perceived public safety all contribute to Denvers attractiveness to businesses as well as residents. Expanding housing uses in Downtown and other urban centers supports other uses and extends hours of activity.2-CSupport entrepreneurship by addressing gaps and unmet needs for capital resources, investors and technical assistance. Focus such efforts on:early-stage seed capital, particularly for targeted industries;small-business development programs such as revolving loan funds and customized technical assistance;micro-lending for home-based business; REF:Human Services 1-DCity purchasing policies that increase purchases from competitive local businesses; andcreating partnerships between the City and local financial institutions to expand financing for businesses.2-DEnhance Denvers reputation as a business location with a highly educated workforce. Components of such an initiative include sustaining Denvers quality of life to attract and retain well-educated residents and encouraging colleges and universities to develop and expand curricula, training programs and centers of excellence that complement Denvers target industries.2-ESupport economic development initiatives and programs that produce the greatest benefits for metropolitan Denver and support the goals of Plan 2000, including high-paying jobs for residents, improved profits for businesses, increased tax revenues for improved services, capital projects and more housing options.2-FSupport metropolitan cooperation and partnership with state, federal and other regional governments on economic development initiatives. A healthy core city must continue to be recognized as fundamental With the Auraria Higher Education Campus, University of Denver, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Regis University, and the various units of the State Community College and Occupational Education System, Denver has the largest concentration of higher-education students in the state. REF:Education 6-B; Neighborhoods 2-C

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to the economic vitality of the region. Continue City support for the Metro Denver Network, the economic development arm of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. REF:Metropolitan 1-E Objective 3Expand Economic OpportunityContinue to expand economic opportunity and the Citys economic base with focused efforts to retain and expand existing businesses and to attract new businesses, especially in target industries.REF:Arts & Culture Obj. 3Strategies3-AContinually update Denvers target industries in terms of industry advancements and emerging clusters. Currently, Denvers target industries include information technology, tourism, business and financial services, environmental products and services, and mining and energy exploration and services.3-BSupport retention and expansion of businesses in industries historically important to Denver, including small business, health care, manufacturing, and federal and state government.3-CStrengthen Denver as a destination for business, leisure and convention visitors as follows: REF:Mobility 1-FExpand national and international airline connections to DIA.Work with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to provide highquality information to potential visitors and quality accommodations for visitors.Continue to reinforce the Central Platte Valley and the Downtown area as the primary location for sports, leisure, cultural and convention attractions.Expand the role of the performing and visual arts in the citys economy, especially in Downtown.3-DSolidify Denvers reputation as a center for international business as follows:REF:Education 4-CContinue efforts to expand international tourism.Create opportunities for Denver to expand the number and size of industry clusters for which it is recognized internationally. btnfrnbbtrrr# 133nbrfbnnb!rrf$b%

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f!fr"bbt#134 Continue to create opportunities for strategic alliances that allow Denver businesses, both large and small, to expand globally.Continue to attract foreign companies to locate in Denver.3-EUse DIA, one of the worlds most advanced airports, to develop aviation-related industries and expanded cargo services. Objective 4Business CentersDevelop Denvers business centers to be competitive regionally, nationally and internationally, with the highest concentration of commerce in Downtown.REF:Land Use 1-GStrategies4-AEnsure Downtowns future as Denvers preeminent center for business, tourism and entertainment, and as a focal point for the growth of information technology companies. To support Downtown economic development, the City should:Support business development efforts focused on software and telecommunications, tourism and conventions, business and financial services, retail that responds to an increasingly diverse market mix, and entertainment and hospitality businesses.Maintain Downtowns infrastructure and support installation of the highest-quality technology in the region.Ensure that Downtown remains the multimodal transportation hub of the region by supporting excellent roadway access, reusing Denver Union Terminal as a regional intermodal transit center, developing the Air Train linking Downtown to DIA, improving and expanding light rail and bus services to and from Downtown, and building the Central Platte Valley light rail spur to serve entertainment and sports facilities. REF:Mobility 2-AEnhance pedestrian connections among Downtowns attractions and amenities by extending the 16th Street Mall to the Central Platte Valley, creating pedestrian links between Downtown and close-in neighborhoods, reactivating 14th and 15th Streets, and connecting destinations within Downtown. REF:Mobility 1-C

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Encourage small businesses to locate in storefront spaces along the named streets in Downtown.Continue to support reuse of historic buildings in and around Downtown. REF:Legacies Obj. 6Continue to support development of high-density residential units in and around Downtown. REF:Land Use 3-B; Housing 6-B4-BEnhance existing business centers and establish new business centers in a manner that offers a variety of high-quality uses that support Denvers business environment, complements neighboring residential areas, generates public revenue, and creates jobs. Consider the following key strategies as top priorities:Maintain the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Cherry Creek North and other nearby areas as the premier retail destination in the Denver metro area and Rocky Mountain region. REF:Mobility 5-BContinue to enhance the Denver Technological Center, Denvers second largest employment center and home to many of the areas high-tech businesses. Help relieve congestion along the I-25/225 corridor by workng toward a balance of jobs and housing within the DTC. Support pedestrian-friendly development links to the new light rail stations and further development of shuttle service within the center and to surrounding neighborhoods.REF:Land Use Obj. 3; Mobility Obj. 1, 2-C, Obj. 5 Continue to strengthen and, where necessary, revitalize Denvers commercial corridors, such as East and West Colfax, Broadway, Colorado Boulevard, East Evans and South Federal. REF:Mobility 2-BSolidify the business identity for the Northeast Quadrant as a new, high-quality, high-technology business location. Link this identity to the redevelopment of Lowry, Stapleton, Gateway and the I-70 Corridor, and to opportunities at DIA. Expedite the development of public transportation and other infrastructure improvements in the Northeast Quadrant. Reinforce the linkages within the area, between DIA and Downtown, and throughout the region, for both people and goods. REF:Land Use 4-A; Mobility 5-A, 6-E btnfrnbbtrrr# 135nbrfbnnb!rrf$b%

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f!fr"bbt#136 As significant redevelopment tracts become available, and as needs of declining neighborhoods are addressed, engage in a master planning process to attract the highest-quality uses and the best development techniques. Reinvest in the citys historical industrial crescent to keep it viable for a wide range of business and employment opportunities.REF:Land Use 3-A; Mobility 3-B4-CUse public-private partnerships to facilitate development and redevelopment projects that advance the Citys goals and objectives. When appropriate, take advantage of the Denver Urban Renewal Authoritys powers and experience. Objective 5Neighborhood Economic DevelopmentSupport the creation and growth of neighborhood businesses that enhance the vitality and quality of life in their communities.Strategies5-ASupport small-scale economic development in neighborhoods using the following key strategies:Incorporate neighborhood-based business development into the Citys neighborhood planning process. REF:Neighborhoods 1-A, 1-E; Land Use 3-ASupport development of neighborhood business centers that serve adjacent residential areas in existing neighborhoods and new neighborhoods within development areas.Using a wide variety of public and private funding sources, enhance financial and technical assistance programs that support small business and neighborhood revitalization such as the Citys Revolving Loan Fund, Enterprise Community programs and the Business Assistance Office.Deploy City resources to make these neighborhoods clean and safe, and provide park, recreational and cultural amenities nearby.5-BSupport the development of sustainable economies in Denvers poorer neighborhoods. To accomplish this: REF:Human Services 1-D; Neighborhoods 1-BIdentify neighborhoods throughout Denver that need additional assistance in strengthening the economies of their communities.

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Provide essential retail and consumer services and neighborhood-based employment to residents.Assess, evaluate and coordinate funding sources available to assist in the stabilization and revitalization of these neighborhoods.Use economic development incentives to stimulate business development and job creation.Use tools available through federal, state and regional agencies to create resources to revitalize poorer neighborhoods. Examples include Enterprise Zone and Enterprise Community designation funding. Objective 6TechnologyBuild and maintain a leading-edge technology infrastructure within Denver.Strategies6-AWork with private industry to ensure Denvers capacity to serve the needs of high-technology companies, including assessments of possible future technological innovations.6-BMaximize the use of coordinated communications technologies within City government to improve interagency cooperation, enhance service delivery and customer service, achieve administrative efficiencies, reduce business travel and cut costs. REF:Land Use 2-D; Neighborhoods 2-C; Human Services 2-D6-CSupport access to and training in the use of leading-edge communications technologies for all Denver residents and close the digital divide.REF:Education 3-D, 3-F, 6-C; Neighborhoods 2-C; Mobility 4-D; Human Services 2-D btnfrnbbtrrr# 137nbrfbnnb!rrf$b%

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!"### Economic Activity Neighborhoods Education Human Services Arts & Culture Economic Activity Neighborhoods Education Human Services Arts & Culture

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"Neighbors are people united primarily not by common origins or common purposes but by the proximity of their dwellings in space. There is nothing forced in this relationship,and to be real it need not be deep; a nod,a friendly word,a recognized face,an uttered name this is all that is needed to establish and preserve in some fashion the sense of belonging together."~ Lewis Mumfordwriter and urban planner

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140 !"#$$% &'! &((! (& $())% *(+)) %) &(&,!' &,&(#&',#$$% &' &.%()&',&)! !&/ & $&( ( '&/(&,&#&' &( &!&#( 0/#())' && (%&-#&'#($& % /1&/#() ( 2#&3 414,&4( ))5(//(#& /)( ( !)/$ &&% & #) ()&#) %) &&!%()0#()( %#(& (),#()/ &,( %& #( 0( %) /2#&%#( ,))% 0 &&#$$% &',(#)& ,& &%#& ($#&# ,)#& && %#& #&(&$/! #$$% #(& ($ ())/(&0 &'(//)#( &0 0 ( 1(& &&'&&&'( / &(&!-)#$ //&% &&%)&%&( & & #$$% #(& & ,#$$% &' ,(#)&0-&&'(/#!( &$ &() ,#()& 0 ,&$&,,#%)&%,(#' /%)#,,#()( &()+&' $%&!)/( ,))-& /#&(& (,(0( ()( #$$% #(&!-& &(,,#&

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IntroductionNeighborhoods are the places we call home, the places where we live. Denver residents treasure their neighborhoods. Thanks to a variety of redevelopment opportunities, Denver offers more choice than ever in types of neighborhoods where people can make their home. As the metropolitan area expands, the quiet, tree-lined streets of central Denver's well-maintained older neighborhoods provide refuge that often seems more like that of a small town than of a major city. Farther from the center city, one finds enclaves of woodframe houses built for young families after World War II and the later suburban-style subdivisions with ranch-style and split-level homes typical of the 1960s and 1970s. From the mid-1970s until the mid-1990s, Denver experienced a great deal of change in many existing neighborhoods, but with virtually no new neighborhoods created. In recent years Denver has formed new neighborhoods due to the sudden availability of redevelopment land, the adaptive reuse of buildings in the center city, a growing population, and a marked increase in the number of people wanting an urban lifestyle. Downtown Denver, especially the LoDo area, is becoming a lively and distinctive neighborhood, with the rapid growth of high-density housing in the center city. New neighborhoods at Lowry offer a residential environment more typical of suburban neighborhoods. Also new are luxury townhouses in Cherry Creek, midand high-rise condominiums in the Golden Triangle and along Speer Boulevard, and dense clusters of apartments in the Central Platte Valley. These all increase the lifestyle choices among Denver neighborhoods and expand the concept of how neighborhoods look and function. Throughout the city, residents are very protective of the quality of life in their neighborhoods, which accounts both for the pride that is everywhere evident and for the occasional tensions when change occurs. But change and population growth are inevitable. The life of a city is cyclical. Downtown living seems a novel idea today, but before World War II, Downtown was a neighborhood for tens of thousands of people. The east Cherry Creek neighborhood, formerly solidly modest, middle-income frame homes, is rapidly transforming to upper-income townhouse and condominium residences. Over several generations, the historic Highland neighborhood has at different times been home for German, Irish, Italian and Latino residents. Today, its multiethnic character is increasingly vulnerable to the economics of a booming residential real estate market. And some near-Downtown neighborhoods that have long had the highest concentration of facilities to house and serve the needy are insisting that such facilities be more equitably distributed citywide.!* &$$% &' &%( ( # !*%)#(' (& &#$$% &' ( %&*(+ **6777 141

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142 8 9 6 : ; < 87 = 88 > ? +)' (,,*(+ % )( &)( )( (+ )!)) )'(-( ( !* & ) &'*(+ & )('& +')( && &'*(+ (/&) )) & (/&) )) &),(@ A,, *(+ &(& %(( ( %$ ( %$ &% ())' #) *(+ !# & (+ ()! &&$(*(+ $( *(+ % &' )% ( *(+ ( *(+ & %')) *)(&& *(+ () !)( )) )) %& *)(&& (!'*(+ %& (!'*(+ ( (& &( (())' &(& *(+)) &*(+)) &(/)& %&*(+)) &)) (& ),(@ -') () &#)( *(+ + ))&/ (&-(' ())' ( # ( & ( () )#( '4 )) ())( ($/ )$& B !&' )) %&$ *(+ ($/ %& !&' *(+ )) !&' ( + ))(*(+ '&'% #)&#&

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The role of the City in its neighborhoods is to continually reinforce the quality of life with services, facilities and resources that meet the needs of residents while achieving the overall goals and objectives of the entire community. Maintaining this balance is an ongoing challenge, because the needs and desires of neighborhoods are always evolving, as are the responsibilities of the City. When Denver began the program of Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs) in 1976, 30 neighborhoods enrolled. By 1999, 173 groups were registered. These RNOs include condominium associations, neighborhood associations of varying sizes, and a few broad coalitions of several neighborhood organizations, such as InterNeighborhood Cooperation (INC). With its strong emphasis on communication and partnership, Plan 2000 seeks to improve the quality of life within neighborhoods by building on their distinctive assets. The Plan also supports addressing neighborhood needs and concerns in a broader geographic context rather than merely through fragmented efforts within an area of the city. Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN) and the Greater Park Hill Community are models of neighborhood organizations that each comprise a number of smaller neighborhoods. But they effectively represent the shared concerns and interests within large areas of the city. Finally, Plan 2000 focuses on building a shared identity of the entire city of Denver within all of its neighborhoods. Many City agencies interact significantly with neighborhoods. Those most directly involved in policy-making and problem-solving include the Community Planning and Development Agency, which contains the Office of Neighborhood Response, Mediation Services, the Community Development Agency, Planning Services, Development Services and Neighborhood Inspection Services. For many neighborhoods, the most direct contact with City agencies is through police patrol, trash pickup, street repair, street sweeping, snow removal and neighborhood inspection services. Delivery of these basic services is a vital part of neighborhood well-being and quality of life. Traditionally, the City has operated on a schedule of equal service delivery to all neighborhoods, regardless of neighborhood conditions or need. This system of resource allocation is not always effective at achieving the goal of a clean city. Basic standards of cleanliness and service schedules, designed to maintain that standard citywide, should be adopted. One issue that leads to the greatest conflicts in neighborhoods is the siting and expansion of community facilities. Community facilities are physical structures that house vital services that directly or indirectly benefit everyone. These are created and must be maintained to safeguard the health, safety and*/) &#&'(#$$&&&&.%()&' ,), &#$$% &' ( $( '-+-&& ( 1(& $/&( &% **6777 143

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144 welfare of the city's residents; to educate them; and to provide cultural expression and recreational opportunities. Community facilities perform remarkably diverse functions in the life of the city and its neighborhoods. Schools, libraries, performing arts centers, sports stadiums, museums, health centers and similar facilities are cherished parts of the urban landscape. Less popular but vitally necessary are jails, group homes, public or subsidized housing, treatment centers, and other facilities that address the needs of individual residents and the well-being of the entire community. Conflicts relate primarily to geographic distribution of these facilities and their impacts on residential neighborhoods. As Plan 2000 was being developed, the magnitude of these issues warranted a Community Facilities Task Force to focus on strategies to help mitigate impacts on neighborhoods and improve the public process for facility siting decisions. Most controversial decisions about community facilities occur at the neighborhood level. Historically, some neighborhoods have felt overly burdened with facilities that have real or perceived negative impacts on property values, safety and quality of life. Proposals for community facilities that address human service and criminal justice needs, and those that could increase neighborhood traffic and congestion, often elicit vehement opposition. The federal Fair Housing Act, however, was enacted to ensure that vulnerable people are not discriminated against in their choice of location and type of housing. Conversely, some neighborhoods have enjoyed a disproportionately greater share of beneficial facilities such as libraries, school improvements and parks. But even highly desirable facilities create unwanted impacts; parking and traffic near some of Denver's popular cultural and sports facilities are ongoing problems, for example. Equity is a key principle in Plan 2000. An increasingly involved citizenry expects the City to conduct fair and open processes for decisions that affect neighborhoods and residents. This Neighborhoods chapter of Plan 2000 addresses the City's role in siting public and private community facilities using processes that are fair and open, and in ensuring that these facilities are well maintained and well operated, wherever sited.% &,& ( )&-&&( (!& % #( ( &&& #&!#((#&,( ((

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Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 19891999Neighborhood schoolsCourt-ordered school busing to achieve integration ended in 1995. For the first time in a generation, all public school students could attend their neighborhood schools. In many neighborhoods, this is having a significant, positive impact.InfrastructureNeighborhoods throughout Denver benefit from major improvements to streets, parks, libraries and other amenities financed by voter-approved bonds.Population and demographicsDemographic change is having an impact on some neighborhoods. Some areas with home owners of modest means face an influx of higher-income home buyers. Older, smaller houses are often razed to be replaced with much larger ones. Some neighborhoods are becoming more racially, ethnically and culturally diverse. Families, particularly single parents and very young children, are on the increase, as are the number of older adults and people who work at home.SafetySince 1989, Denver's crime rate has decreased generally. However, during the early 1990s, youth gangs and violence surged. City prevention programs have since contributed to substantial reductions in youth crime.Need for community facilitiesThe need for shelters, transitional housing, facilities for people with special needs, a juvenile detention center and a judicial center which would incorporate a jail is increasing. The expansion of many cultural facilities and construction of new sports venues also increase traffic, parking and congestion.Revision of the Residential Care Use OrdinanceThis ordinance was revised in 1997 following extensive deliberations among residents, care providers and City officials. It provides for a process for siting group homes of all sizes and types that is humane, equitable and enforceable by laws that regulate facilities, not special populations. The primary goals of the Residential Care Use Ordinance are to integrate special populations into society; prevent the concentration of residential care use facilities in any one area of the city; comply with federal and state fair housing laws; and strengthen communication among neighborhood residents, group home operators and the City. The revised ordinance recognizes and addresses a set of mutually binding responsibilities. The City is morally and legally obligated to accommodate certain vulnerable populations. Each operator is required to run a facility that fits into the surrounding neighborhood without causing disruption to the lives of other residents.( %$)$ &('#) !#% /! &()%$( !# **6777 145

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146 ChallengesAffordable housingRising housing costs have made affordable housing more difficult to find, especially for lowand middle-income families.Neighborhood characterPressure for infill and redevelopment may hamper efforts to maintain neighborhood character. For example, larger new houses are often perceived as out of scale with their smaller neighbors, and new architectural styles and materials may contrast sharply with a neighborhood's prevalent style.TrafficTraffic impacts have grown considerably due to population increase and higher-than-average vehicle miles driven. The increase is perhaps most felt in neighborhoods accustomed to far less traffic.Community diversityEfforts to expand community-based living for people with physical and mental differences challenge society in the areas of housing, access and acceptance. Ethnic, cultural and language diversity enriches Denver but can also result in new sets of issues and problems.TrustMany residents lack confidence in the City's decision-making processes, especially as related to the siting of community facilities. This is partly due to the City's failure to consistently communicate in an open and inclusive manner. It is also the result of well-organized neighborhoods being more influential in attracting popular facilities while precluding those perceived to have negative impacts.MitigationIn many cases, impacts of community facilities and other developments can be mitigated. Finding good solutions requires commitment, time and resources from both the City and residents, and sensitivity to the concerns of all parties.OpportunitiesNeighborhood schoolsThe return to neighborhood schools following years of court-ordered, crosstown busing is attracting more families with school-aged children to remain in Denver or to move into Denver's neighborhoods. Increasingly, neighborhoods are again strengthened by schools as centers for community-based services and activities.ReinvestmentResidential neighborhoods that have been declining for years have become more attractive. Marginal residential areas are strengthened by increased property values, investment and the resulting stability. !,&% (&&(! %$% -&$(&%&( /(+-(' ( -+ &&& $(+&$( (,

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Enhanced neighborhood involvementBy adhering to principles of fairness and open communication, the City and its neighborhoods can reduce tensions and reach better decisions faster on potentially controversial issues.Communication technologyAdvances in communications technology promise to increase the speed and efficiency of communications between the City and neighborhoods and lead to more constructive communication among all parties. The City and many neighborhoods now have websites available on the Internet.#$/%&(/# ,( 3()5 #)') && &( &()& **6777 147

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148 Vision of SuccessCommunity spiritEvery neighborhood values its heritage, cultivates its own identity, and works to establish a sense of place within the city. Residents are involved, working with neighbors to build community, and share a sense of responsibility for each other and for the city as a whole. They value and celebrate the economic, ethnic and cultural diversity within the neighborhood.City-neighborhood partnershipNeighborhoods enjoy good relationships with City agencies and with people in government. Residents have a broader understanding of the City's responsibilities to all its people and to the greater good of the community. Residents have greater confidence in the City's decision-making process and offer more support for the outcomes. The City understands its responsibility to make decisions in an inclusive manner that minimizes conflicts and mitigates adverse impacts.Community-buildingSchools, libraries, recreation centers, game fields and places of worship are lively activity centers, bringing residents together for sociability, education and recreation. Small neighborhood retailers, such as coffee shops and bakeries, offer informal, impromptu gathering places. Community facilities that contribute to neighborhood vitality are valued and preserved. Residents take active responsibility for the social and physical wellbeing of the community.EnvironmentNeighborhoods are pleasant to live in and visit, clean, visually appealing and free of pollution. They are safe because people are on the sidewalks and porches with "eyes on the street." Parks and open space are part of every neighborhood.Access and mobilityNeighborhoods are well connected internally to surrounding neighborhoods and to urban centers by streets, sidewalks, pedestrian and bike paths, and transit. Residents have more mobility options due to the new transit lines, improved bus service, trails, bike routes and other modes of transportation.Mixed usesBusiness development is in harmony with neighborhood character. Many neighborhoods feature a diverse combination of easily accessible retail, service and entertainment businesses; employment opportunities; and home-based businesses.%#( &(#&!& #)!( %)#$$% &'/& -(/(&$ &(&-'(/(&, ($(&4/)( #$$% &'-&! % 0/(+0&()( ,,#!)/$ &

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1A City of NeighborhoodsStrengthen the positive attributes and distinctive character of each neighborhood to help sustain Denver as a healthy, vital city.Strategies1-ARespect the intrinsic character and assets of individual neighborhoods. Use the City's neighborhood planning process to identify the assets, clarify residents' goals and integrate all neighborhoods into the fabric of the city. Neighborhood planning will: REF:Legacies 7-A; Land Use 1-A, 1-B, 3-Duse a multidisciplinary approach that integrates physical, social, environmental, economic and educational elements; REF:Economic 5-A; Human Services 3-Didentify assets and liabilities;identify key elements of neighborhood character for conservation;accommodate appropriate infill and redevelopment;address the overall goals and objectives of the Citywide Land Use Plan as they affect specific neighborhoods; anddefine the geographic scope of neighborhoods by the conditions, problems and opportunities to be addressed rather than traditional neighborhood boundaries. Plans might be developed for neighborhoods, small areas or corridors. REF:Land Use 3-A1-BEstablish priorities for small-area planning based on the following criteria, focusing first on neighborhoods characterized by one or more of the following: REF:Economic 5-B; Mobility 6-AEvidence of disinvestment; deteriorating housing; and high vacancy, unemployment and poverty rates.A great amount of change is occurring or anticipated.Needs for public facilities and/or physical improvements.Opportunities for infill or redevelopment.Opportunities to influence site selection, development or major expansion of a single large-activity generator.Opportunity for development in conjunction with a transit station. **6777 149

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150 1-CStrengthen the sense of place in each neighborhood with adequate and well-designed, public-realm facilities such as branch libraries, recreation centers, fire stations, neighborhood businesses and retail areas. Continue to help activate neighborhood-based facilities such as places of worship and schools. Continue City support for public art and historic preservation as a focus for neighborhood identity and pride. REF:Land Use 3-D1-DEnsure high-quality urban design in neighborhoods by enhancing their distinctive natural, historic and cultural characteristics; strengthen neighborhood connections to urban centers; and reinforce Denver's unifying design features such as street trees in the tree lawns, parkways and the grid system of streets. REF:Legacies 1-A, 2-E, 4-A, 7-B1-EModify land-use regulations to ensure flexibility to accommodate changing demographics and lifestyles. Allow, and in some places encourage, a diverse mix of housing types and affordable units, essential services, recreation, business and employment, home-based businesses, schools, transportation and open space networks. REF:Land Use 2-A; Arts & Culture 2-F; Economic 5-A; Human Services Obj. 11-FInvest in neighborhoods to help meet citywide goals and objectives for a range of housing types and prices, community facilities, human services and mobility. Continue to foster integrity and livability of neighborhoods.REF:Human Services 1-B, 3-D In response to a federal funding program, the City identified 12 Empowerment Zone (EZ) neighborhoods areas of Denver that have not benefited proportionally from the prosperity of the 1990s. Although Denver did not receive federal EZ funding in 1999, improving conditions in these neighborhoods remains a priority. These Empowerment Zone neighborhoods had a population of 49,371 persons in 1990, compared to 80,000 in 1950. In 1990, 41.1 percent of the adults and 56 percent of children were in poverty; at the time of the application, 92 percent of the children qualified for free school lunches. These communities are characterized by high rates of school dropout, adults on welfare and working poor. EZ efforts focus on two main goals: (1) to build a new, broader economic future based on community-driven, public-private partnerships designed to develop people's knowledge, skills and abilities so they can work and sustain their economic independence; and (2) to revitalize these neighborhoods in a way that preserves and honors cultural and ethnic diversity while investing in social, economic and physical assets.REF:Economic, Obj. 5-B

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Objective 2Communication, Partnership, ParticipationEngage neighborhood residents and organizations in collaborative efforts to share information, solve problems and plan for the future.Strategies2-ADevelop and implement a comprehensive communications plan that outlines roles and responsibilities of City agencies, neighborhood organizations, residents, community institutions and businesses potentially affected by proposed actions. The plan should:require timely communications among City agencies and between the City and other parties;provide guidelines for discussions and interactions among interested parties;require communications processes to be inclusive (e.g., multilingual);identify City resources (services, programs and funding) for the project; andevaluate the qualitative and quantitative outcomes of the process.2-BTake a leadership role in developing a mutually responsive communications network among City agencies, neighborhood groups, citizens, community institutions and businesses to identify neighborhood concerns and to address them openly, thoughtfully and fairly.2-CEnable citizens to share information and interact with City agencies by using up-to-date communication technologies. Ensure on-line access to City services and information for people without computers by making interactive communications technology available at libraries, schools and other public places. REF:Economic 2-D, 6-B, 6-C; Human Services 2-D2-DExpand the use of mediation as a tool for resolving neighbor-to-neighborand institutional conflicts. The City's website, DenverGovwww.denvergov.orgopened in early 1999. It provides on-line information about City agencies, announcements (such as street sweeping schedules) and events calendars. It provides access to pertinent information such as property records, civil court records, bid documents, and permit applications and forms. This allows many customers to get the documents they need and "skip the trip" downtown. DenverGov will continue to grow and provide more interactive functions over time. **6777 151

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152 Objective 3Clean, Safe NeighborhoodsMake neighborhoods clean and safe places that inspire community pride, where residents and visitors feel secure and comfortable.Strategies3-AEstablish acceptable and equitable standards for neighborhood cleanliness and deploy City personnel and resources to uphold those standards citywide. Standards may address street sweeping, alley or curbside trash pickup, large-item pickup, specially scheduled community cleanup days with City support, graffiti removal, and concentrated Neighborhood Inspection Services work rotating from neighborhood to neighborhood.3-BFoster partnerships among the City, residents, volunteer service groups and nonprofits to improve neighborhood quality of life. REF:Human Services Obj. 33-CPromote planning, urban design and activities within neighborhoods that foster supportive relations among family members, neighbors, different generations, cultural groups and institutions. REF:Human Services 4-D3-DDevelop strong partnerships among neighborhoods, police and other City agencies to solve problems, prevent crime and reduce violence. The City should encourage efforts to:mobilize the human assets within neighborhoods (e.g., scout troops and service clubs) to take responsibility for improvement activities such as trash cleanup and graffiti removal; Small projects initiated and carried out by neighbors are most effective in improving neighborhood and building community. Examples include treeplanting sponsored by The Park People; neighborhood small grants programs sponsored by Mile High United Way and The Denver Foundation; riverfront cleanup led by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado; and house-painting and property cleanup for senior home owners sponsored by service clubs and congregations.REF:Human Services Obj 3 Equitable standards based on outcomes may not require the same allocation of service or resources in every neighborhood, due to differing neighborhood needs. For example, the need for services such as large-item pickup and graffiti removal is greater in some areas than in others.

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increase resident involvement in Neighborhood Watch and crime prevention education;improve the image of safety in neighborhoods through public education, eliminating visual factors indicating crime (e.g., boarded-up houses, graffiti, litter), and increased police visibility; andcreate and enforce a "good neighbor policy" designed to address boarded-up properties, noise, odor, graffiti, trash, weeds and illegal conduct by owners, operators, tenants or patrons.3-EContinue to develop policies that foster communication and partnership between neighborhoods and the Department of Safety, such as:implementation of the Denver Police Department Strategic Plan 19992004;adequate resources for community policing, including personnel training, equipment, facilities and current technology;continual reinforcement of high performance standards, professional ethics and integrity within public safety agencies; andconsideration of expanding restorative justice and decentralization of judicial proceedings.3-FPrevent crime and promote personal safety by using principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in project design.3-GReduce gun-related violence, including injuries, homicides and suicides, by enacting reasonable and comprehensive gun-safety legislation.REF:Metropolitan Cooperation 6-A CPTED principles promote safety and deter crime through the use of design concepts and physical components that reduce the likelihood of criminal behavior. Clear lineof-sight, good lighting, certain types of construction materials, space design, and location and choice of landscape materials are examples of components that can be incorporated into development to reduce opportunities for criminal activity. Denver's community policing hallmarks are problem-solving combined with community partnership and crime prevention. This approach attacks underlying causes of crime and disorder. In this model, the police, other City agencies and the community focus together on problem locations. Neighborhood Watch consists simply of "eyes on the street" neighbors watching out for each other to reduce crime in the community. Citizens are taught how to make their homes less inviting as a target for burglars; how to participate in Operation Identification, making their personal property less desirable to burglars; and how to be alert to suspicious activity in their neighborhood. **6777 153

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154 Objective 4Schools as the Center of CommunityCollaborate with Denver Public Schools (DPS) to strengthen the role of neighborhood schools as community focal points.REF:Education 1-F; Land Use 3-CStrategies4-ASupport efforts to utilize schools as neighborhood centers for community activities and services. When appropriate, locate Citysponsored services and activities at school facilities. REF:Education Obj. 5; Legacies 14-C4-BEncourage expansion of the role of schools in Denver's neighborhoods. Include representation from schools in neighborhood activities sponsored by the City. Support communication and interaction between schools and neighborhoods.4-CTake a leadership role in strengthening public support for schools by encouraging residents to volunteer in their schools, and by inviting schools to be actively involved in neighborhood life. REF:Education 1-C Objective 5Management and Maintenance of Community FacilitiesMaintain the physical and operational integrity of community facilities.REF:Arts & Culture 2-BStrategies5-AAs part of the siting and approval process, require development of a management and operational practices plan for the facility, including ongoing communication with the public. The facility management will be responsible for implementing the plan. In 1995, a federal court released DPS from a 1974 court order to achieve racial integration by busing many students from their neighborhoods to schools elsewhere. Court-ordered busing caused many middle-income families with school-aged children to move from Denver to suburban communities, resulting in a steep decline in DPS enrollment and funding as well as Denver's population. The end of court-ordered busing and the return to neighborhood schools is one of the most significant and positive events affecting neighborhood life in over a decade.REF:Education 1-F

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5-BMaintain the physical integrity and appearance of City-owned community facilities and ensure proper operation.5-CEnsure proper maintenance and operation of privately owned community facilities by enforcing all applicable regulations and codes. Objective 6Collaborative Decision-MakingImprove the decision-making process for both new facilities and the expansion of existing facilities.REF:Arts & Culture 2-BStrategies6-ADevelop a participatory process that encourages open communication among all affected parties for the siting and expansion of facilities that are not already guided by existing local, state and federal laws. The process should: REF:Neighborhoods Obj. 2use broad community outreach to achieve the greatest participation possible;include all affected parties, including advocates, supporters and opponents in the process;be principled, fair, open, respectful of all viewpoints, and comply with state and federal fair housing legislation;ensure that all participants provide timely, complete and accurate information regarding the need or desire for the facility or expansion, including likely positive and negative consequences of the decision;consider geographic distribution of similar facilities;strive to reach general agreement of all affected parties concerning the need for or desirability of the facility, including possible consequences to the City and public if the facility is not provided or enlarged; andprovide for final decision-making by a neutral body if agreement is not achieved, when legally feasible.6-BPerform an evaluation to critique the decision-making process and make adjustments as necessary. The development, ownership and management of community facilities may be public, such as a recreation center; quasi-public, such as a tax-supported sports venue governed by an authority; or private, such as a nonprofit performing arts center. Whether public or private, the processes for siting and management of community facilities outlined in Plan 2000 should be observed. **6777 155

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156 Objective 7Planning for Community FacilitiesPlan for community facilities and strive for fair distribution, sensitive siting and quality design to minimize their impact on neighborhoods.REF:Arts & Culture 2-B; Human Services Obj. 2Strategies7-AStrive for fair geographic distribution of community facilities to the extent possible by mapping existing facilities, using the map as a guide in future site selection, and addressing the issue of fair distribution in any recommendation to the Mayor and City Council. REF:Land Use 1-I7-BPursue opportunities for intergovernmental cooperation in siting and financing of facilities that serve regional needs. REF:Metropolitan 1-E, 3-A; Land Use 5-A7-CPlan for future facilities and expansion of existing ones by identifying and reserving land. When financially feasible, purchase the land. REF:Land Use 1-A7-DEnsure quality design compatible with neighborhood character. The site plan, materials and landscaping should enhance the aesthetic and environmental quality of the neighborhood in which a facility will be sited or expanded. REF:Legacy Obj. 17-EEncourage multi-uses of existing and future community facilities to maximize effective service delivery and financial efficiency.7-FMinimize traffic impacts by ensuring that facilities are accessible by multiple modes of transportation and, whenever feasible, use technologies such as teleconferencing to reduce the number of trips generated by the facility. REF:Arts & Culture 2-G; Mobility 7-D7-GBalance the potential negative impacts of a community facility by providing amenities and improvements desired by its neighborhood.

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btnIf you think education is expensive,try ignorance.~ Attributed to Derek Bokpresident of Harvard in the 1980s

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IntroductionThere are no throwaway people in a sustainable society. Such a society recognizes that the well-being of the whole community depends on its investment in developing as fully as possible the abilities and talents of each person. Traditionally, education has been viewed as a process that begins with kindergarten and ends upon graduation from high school or college. Today and in the future, education will increasingly become a lifelong process for nearly everyone. More than ever, children must start school ready to learn, with preparation beginning at birth. The mission of education must extend beyond instructing students in specific curricula; schools must instill in students a love of learning that will serve them throughout their lives. The rapidly changing nature of information, knowledge and technology mandates continuous lifelong learning in every part of our lives: in structured education, in workplace training, and in everyday learning experiences in the community and at home. The sustainability of Denvers economic, social and cultural health depends on the strength of its formal educational systems. The quality of education in Denver is critical to workforce development, one of the most crucial factors in attracting and retaining businesses and jobs. Denvers vibrant cultural life can be sustained only with the support of appreciative audiences receptive to new ideas and creative expression. The citys quality of life requires the involvement of citizens who are educated, creative and capable of engaging in complex problem-solving. Denvers population and its demographic mix will continue to be affected by the quality of K12 education because this is often the determinant in a familys choice of where to live. During the 1970s, Denver offered the nation a clear example of a city profoundly transformed by the legal decisions of the Civil Rights era. In 1974, Denver Public Schools (DPS) implemented systemwide busing involving 56 of its 81 schools and 23,000 children, pairing mostly Anglo schools with schools that had predominantly students of color. After court-ordered busing began, DPS enrollment dropped from an all-time high of 96,936 in 1963 to a low of 58,279 in 1989; Denver also lost population. All cities that want to be livable must succeed in two areas public safety and kids in schools. Denver has devoted money, time and people to this purpose, because the safety and economy of Denver today rest on public confidence in the schooling of its children in DPS. Our future lies in fostering excellent schools and a well-educated citizenry. Mayor Wellington E. Webb%b! tt!nt!t bn tt!!b-$'t8 9tn#%bbnbnn-!b tt! f6r:f;<<
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frff162 In 1995, the U.S. District Court declared the district unitary and, after more than two decades of oversight, ended court-ordered busing. DPS enrollment rose above 69,000 in the 1998 school year, an increase of 5,000 in three years. Thus, Denvers schools are at an important juncture. In recent years, DPS has intensified efforts in the areas of literacy, early childhood education and school-to-career programs. It has also placed a priority on making a variety of educational alternatives available within the system. Families and communities are looking to schools for more relevance, beforeand afterschool programs, services and resources. The primary business of schools remains unchanged: educating young people in basic skills. Yet the complexities of our society and the future demand that our schools do the basics, do them well, meet the needs of every student, keep pace with technological advances, and respond to social problems and neighborhood needs. Appropriately, DPS and the City are engaged in partnerships to address this complex mix of mandates. The quality and variety of higher education within Denver are competitive with those of American cities of similar size. Especially important in todays rapidly changing world, all of these institutions offer continuing education opportunities for working adults: Community College of Denver (CCD), Metropolitan State College (Metro), Regis University, University of Colorado at Denver (UCD) and University of Denver (DU). These institutions are increasingly collaborating to offer expanded learning opportunities for students and partnering with business to meet workforce challenges. At Auraria Higher Education Center, three institutions UCD, Metro and CCD all share a Downtown campus and their curricula. The doors to higher education are opening wider due to the efforts of schools such as CCD, which experienced a 300 percent increase in graduation among students of color during the past decade.n*tn!nbn#bnntttbn!n-!b tt! 't8nnt!!%n t# ;<;< ;<,<<< < =<,<<< ><,<<< ?<,<<< 0<<,<<< 0;<,<<< 0=<,<<< 0><,<<< 011< 0112 ;<<< ;<<2 ;<0< ;<02 ;<;<

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Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989Early brain developmentIn the past decade, a significant body of research has been published that supports the need for enriched environments to stimulate growth and development in very young children, enabling them to reach their full physical, mental and emotional potentials. For example, when good early child care is provided to disadvantaged children, studies show immediate boosts in IQ of as much as eight points and ultimately a 31 percent increase in high school graduation rates.Increasing enrollmentIn 1995, after nearly a generation of courtordered busing, DPS was allowed to return to a system of neighborhood schools. After approximately 20 years of declining enrollments, Denver schools showed consistent growth during the 1990s, climbing by more than 5,200 students from 1995 to 1998.Schools of choiceTo better meet students goals and interests, DPS offers 12 diverse magnet school programs, ranging from fundamental academies to the School of the Arts and the Center for International Studies. DPS is also home to four charter schools offering parents and community members the chance to try out new approaches to education within the public school setting. In 1999, more than 20 percent of students attended a school of choice.Collaborative Decision-Making Teams (CDMs)The establishment of CDMs in the early 1990s allowed educators, administrators, parents, local businesses and neighborhood organizations to plan together for their school. CDMs use a consensus model of decision-making to help the students become successful learners.Adult educationMore students and older adults are recognizing the need for secondary, professional and continuing education. Adult programs teaching professional skills, weekend and evening degree programs, and workto-career programs have increased in number and enrollment.ChallengesResidual trust issuesThe school district has been challenged by concerns about access to quality education, fair allocation of resources, and its capacity to address educational needs of all students. Historic conflicts about educational philosophy and roles of stakeholders have weakened trust in some areas. b# tt!n!n&!bn#bn tt!*t*'t#% 9tn#t%'btbn tt! !f6r:f;<<
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frff164 School achievementWhile educational achievement in DPS has increased steadily, and while the annual dropout rate declined from 9.9 percent in 1994 to 6.5 percent in 1996, achievement remains below state and national averages. The dropout rate for Hispanic students remains unacceptably high, despite evidence of decline in the late 1990s.Early childhood care and educationNumerous studies have demonstrated that children who receive high-quality early childhood care and education enter school prepared to learn, and experience sustained improvement in a wide range of cognitive, motor and behavioral skills. Unfortunately, however, fully 87 percent of child care in Colorado has been found to be mediocre to poor, with 20 percent of that care deemed unsafe for children. High staff turnover rates and inadequate teacher training, fueled by low wages for child-care workers, are eroding critical quality care.School voucher debateVouchers have been soundly defeated in two public referendums, but across the country the debates continue. Vouchers allow families to use public school tax dollars for a choice of public, private or parochial schools. Critics say this leaves public schools with fewer dollars to educate remaining students. Proponents argue that vouchers will compel public schools to better compete in the education marketplace.Changing family needs and demographicsDenvers population has far greater racial, cultural, socioeconomic and language diversity than any other municipality in Colorado. That diversity is magnified in the Denver Public Schools, where in 1999, 48.4 percent of the student population was Latino, 25.3 percent Anglo, 21.4 percent African-American, 3.5 percent AsianPacific Island and 1.4 percent American Indian. Reflecting this cultural diversity, DPS provides English-acquisition instruction for 80 languages other than Spanish. In addition, 41 percent of DPS students come from families near, at or below poverty level. Another 11 percent of students enroll in special education programs. Faced with increasing cultural diversity and the expanding need for beforeand after-school programs for working parents, schools are challenged by an ever-widening range of educational and family needs.Changing workforce demandsAll businesses need technologically savvy employees, and high-tech businesses need even higher levels of expertise. Denvers strong economy heightens this need for highly skilled employees, which, as of 1999, is going unmet from the local labor pool in many industries. Preparing students and retraining adult workers for these jobs are significant challenges for educators and business.t.bn#t# tt!'t-!%bn @tn"* tt!'t#% b"!tn#!nbn#%n 'bn#$tt&nnb/!n

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OpportunitiesDenver is a partnerThe City of Denver has devoted money, time and people to partner with DPS in its goals for students. The City has pledged to help DPS to improve both education for children at-risk and community confidence in the schools.Early childhood programsAlong with subsidizing child care for more than 5,300 children per month, the City of Denver has assumed administration of Head Start, serving 58 percent of Denvers eligible children in partnership with DPS and private service providers. DPS preschool programs serve almost 3,000 young children. A coalition of business, philanthropic, religious and political leaders in 1998 created Educare, an ambitious initiative to improve Colorados early care and education system.Increased accountabilityDPS has demonstrated commitment to developing literate students, preparing students for school-to-career and college, increasing school-readiness for young children, and increasing participation in the communities it serves. DPS is holding itself accountable for literacy, graduation rates, improved instruction and significant change when progress is not evident.Education collaborationA coalition of 20 educational institutions has formed to provide a world-class education and training environment to support Colorados growing manufacturing community. At Lowry, the Higher Education and Advanced Technology (HEAT) Center, an initiative of the Colorado Community College and Education System, focuses on technologyinfluenced learning and delivery processes.Distance learningUse of technology has opened education to those previously limited by transportation barriers and traditional class schedules. Both public and private higher education programs are now on-line, as with Colorado Electronic Community College and Western Governors University. Ultimate success hinges on using distance learning technologies appropriately and equitably.Family and community needsCollaborative decision-making teams in DPS schools facilitate school-community dialogue and site-based planning. Expanded efforts to make schools and school grounds available as neighborhood centers and parks with beforeand after-school programs are transforming neighborhood schools into good neighbors for families and communities. Such programs include tutoring, middle school sports, academic enrichment and school-based clinics.'t!-!'t" tt! )'bn"t#b! :b! tt!n !nt-.nt&!#-!n 't"bbnt"bn"t%btn nt!t#$ f6r:f;<<
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frff166 MultilingualismBy embracing its many languages and cultures, Denver can further its economic and cultural goals. Businesses can build on the skills of bilingual or multilingual employees, valuing their ability to expand business globally.Quality higher educationStrong public and private educational institutions in Denver provide economic and educational benefits. More students are entering post-secondary school education with a broad range of choices such as professional schools, trade schools and technical schools in addition to community colleges and universities.!$ b! tt't#%'' b!n t!n tt!

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Vision of SuccessThe lifelong learning needs of Denvers residents will be met through cooperation and commitment to excellence in education for all citizens. The City will continue to support and cooperate with Denver educational institutions so residents can benefit from the highest quality and greatest variety attainable. The City will especially emphasize its relationship with DPS in Denvers neighborhoods. In coming years, Denver will experience the following developments in education:Early childhood educationAll Denver children receive quality early childhood care, education and child development services. Early childhood centers are staffed by educated and trained providers, with minimal turnover. Child-care providers are paid professional wages and respected for their work. All child-care and Head Start facilities meet or exceed appropriate quality standards. Child development services and parenting classes are easily available and affordable for all parents, especially new ones. Major employment centers include child-care centers. All Denver children enter school ready to learn.K12 educationAcademic achievement of children from all socioeconomic backgrounds improves dramatically, and all children read and write at their grade level or higher. Public schools are well and equitably funded. Denver has an adequate supply of qualified teachers, well prepared in their subject areas and trained to deal with the challenges of urban education. CDMs effectively facilitate school-community dialogue and site-based planning.Neighborhood schoolsNeighborhood schools are a focal point of community activity, and schools are a key point of access to human services and continuing education. Schools offer organized activities after school, during the summer, and on weekends for elementary and middle school children.AccessChildren have access to resources regardless of the public school they attend. All-day kindergarten is available for all children.TechnologyDenver Public School students understand and use state-of-the-art educational technology. Adequate technical resources facilitate learning for all.ChoicesPublic schools offer alternative educational philosophies and practices to families. School-to-career programs and cooperative work experiences connect more students to the world of work. School dropout rates dramatically decline. Multilingual students are valued and well served by education.tt n!bn !tt%A $ %.!nbn# !!n#bn#n"n b%!bn#nnbn#nbtn%n bnnbn"n('tnb!"t" %bAn%. ''$--$B f6r:f;<<
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frff168 Post-secondary educationMore high school graduates from all socioeconomic backgrounds continue education and/or pursue productive careers. Post-secondary education and career training reach working adults of all socioeconomic levels, including low-income persons striving for self-sufficiency.Adult educationColorado funds programs to teach and dramatically increase adult literacy. Opportunities for continuing education are plentiful and accessible, especially for working adults. Resident adults who are bilingual (or multilingual) are valued. tt!t" b# btn b6%'

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1Working TogetherContinue to strengthen the City-school partnership.Strategies1-ASupport Denver Public Schools efforts to achieve its four core goals:Develop literate students.Increase school-readiness.Prepare students for the school-to-career/college transition.Increase use of schools as neighborhood resources.1-BSupport DPSs efforts to meet Colorados education goals:Improve educational results for children at risk of school failure.Cut the student dropout rate.Boost graduation rates.1-CEncourage parent, volunteer, business and community involvement in education and schools. REF:Economic 1-D; Neighborhoods 4-C1-DEnsure effective communication between the City and DPS by strengthening joint planning and advisory groups such as the CitySchool Coordinating Committee, Council-Board lunches and the Mayors Educational Advisory Committee.1-EStrategically link City resources with educational needs, such as promoting better coordination between the Denver Public Library programs and DPSs reading initiatives.1-FIdentify and consider any opportunities to assist or coordinate with local schools whenever the City makes capital improvements in a neighborhood.REF:Neighborhoods Obj. 4; Land Use 3-C Whenever it has been possible, schools and neighborhood parks have been combined so that it will be practical to use the school building in the recreational program and also to add to the charm of the setting of the building.The Denver Plan, Vol. 1, A Report by the Denver Planning Commission, Dec. 1929 f6r:f;<<
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frff170 1-GEncourage DPS to share grounds and amenities for community use, such as recreation, and joint landscaping projects to create more open space. REF:Legacies 14-C; Neighborhoods, Obj. 4; Land Use 3-C1-HSupport efforts to jointly market Denver neighborhoods and schools. REF:Housing 4-B; Legacies Objective 2Optimal Child DevelopmentEnsure that Denver children enter school ready to succeed by improving the quality and availability of early childhood care, education and child development services.REF:Economic 1-F; Human Services 1-EStrategies2-ASupport high-quality comprehensive preschool educational experiences for all of Denvers children from birth to kindergarten.2-BEnsure that all early childhood initiatives, programs, projects and policies of the City are consistent with Our Children, Our Future Act II .2-CPromote the cognitive, emotional, intellectual and physical growth and development of infants and young children by:enhancing access to comprehensive prenatal, parenting and family support services; REF:Human Services 1-C, 4-Aintegrating child health services into preschool programs, especially those serving low-income children; andmaintaining exceptional Head Start programs.2-DCollaborate to promote adequate, convenient and high-quality child-care options for working families, especially those moving from welfare to work.2-EAdopt reimbursement policies that support and reflect high standards in child care. Our Children, Our Future is a five-year comprehensive plan for early childhood care and education in Denver, jointly developed and updated in 1997 by representatives from the City, Denver Public Schools and the community. The plan aims at the best system of care and education for all Denver children through high-quality services seamlessly and efficiently delivered.

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Objective 3Success for All StudentsEnsure all students have the opportunity to succeed in school and in their future workplace regardless of ethnic or economic differences.Strategies3-ASupport DPS in its efforts to provide all students with high-quality instruction and opportunities to succeed academically.3-BSupport and provide assistance with curriculum enhancement as appropriate, such as supplementing environmental education programs at city sites.REF:Legacies 8-C, 12-B; Arts & Culture 5-A3-CSupport the efforts of the Denver School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) to increase access to primary health care for underserved children and youth.REF:Human Services 1-C, 4-B, 4-C3-DCollaborate with schools and other support systems to reduce the dropout rate and develop educational support for at-risk and out-ofschool youth. As in community-based programs supported through Denvers Safe City Office, these initiatives should: REF:Human Services 4-B; Legacies 10E, Obj. 13help children and youth gain skills, self-esteem and a sense of hope about the future;provide constructive after-school activities; andengage youth in leadership roles. The Geraldine Thompson School Attendance program is a joint project of DPS, Denver Department of Human Services and the Denver courts. The program uses an intensive team-based approach to help chronic truants return to and stay in school. Through a partnership among DPS, Denver Health and several other agencies, the SBHC provides preventive and primary health services at eight high schools, three middle schools and four elementary schools. Teams of professional staff service needs regardless of ability to pay. Services include physicals and immunizations, mental health, substance abuse, counseling and reproductive health. f6r:f;<<
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frff172 3-ESupport school-to-career programs and cooperative work experiences that help students apply academic knowledge to the world of work and prepare them for the workforce of the future. REF:Economic 1-D3-FPromote and encourage educational practices that provide every student with information technology training. REF:Economic 6-C3-GCollaborate with school professionals and the broader community to ensure safe schools that are free from physical violence and psychological abuse. REF:Human Services 4-D Objective 4Multilingualism as an AdvantageSupport the efforts of non-English-speaking individuals to both learn English and maintain fluency in their native language.Strategies4-ASupport school-based efforts for non-English-speakers to gain proficiency in English.4-BSupport the efforts of individuals to retain their literacy and skills in a non-English native language.4-CCapitalize on the economic benefits of a multilingual citizenry as an asset within the global marketplace. REF:Economic 3-D Objective 5Schools as Neighborhood CentersMeet the educational, vocational, social, recreational and health needs of communities by supporting the use of schools as neighborhood centers.REF:Neighborhoods 4-AStrategies5-ASupport and participate in collaborative, community-based planning processes to create within neighborhood schools a seamless system of The City recently piloted Club Denver, a career-focused after-school program offered in most DPS middle schools. Club Denver was a first-place winner in the U.S. Conference of Mayors City Livability Awards in 1997.

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support services and educational opportunities for students, their families and the school community.5-BAssist schools in their efforts to enhance the range of programs and activities offered after school and year-round by promoting and supporting partnerships among DPS, service providers and neighborhood groups.REF:Legacies 13-B5-CSupport continued involvement with, and promote coordination among, school-linked programs that have demonstrated effectiveness as community centers. Objective 6Lifelong LearningProvide adults with opportunities to continue learning throughout life.Strategies6-AEncourage the broadest use of the Denver Public Library system, the new One-Stop Career Centers, community centers, schools, community colleges and other existing facilities. REF:Human Services 1-D6-BPromote collaboration and innovation in providing educational, vocational and enrichment activities accessible for all adults, including those who are disabled, older, of lower income and working. REF:Economic 1-E, 2-D6-CSupport appropriate and equitable use of distance learning to improve access to education. Train people by using neighborhood-based, interactive communications technology. REF:Economic 6-C6-DSupport adult literacy initiatives. The Beacons Centers, located at three DPS middle schools, provide children, youth and families with academic, personal enrichment and recreational activities after school, on weekends and during the summer. These programs promote youth leadership, increased parental involvement, better academic performance and safer, more supportive neighborhoods. f6r:f;<<
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btnfbrIn helping others,we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.~ Flora Edwards

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IntroductionPeople are our most precious resource. To contribute to communities and the workplace, individuals and families need a healthy environment that fosters their growth and supports positive, productive life activities. In human services, access is an overarching theme. Access is a multifaceted concept that goes beyond an individuals physical ability to conveniently reach or use a particular resource. It includes the capacity to know about resources through outreach and technology, to benefit from service delivery due to colocation and integration of high-quality programs, and to use a resource because its culturally responsive and treats people fairly and respectfully. To thrive, people at all ages need access to a comprehensive support system, ideally within their neighborhood. Components of this system are safe, decent and adequate housing; nearby employment and shopping; caring neighbors; ample amenities and open space; quality child care; educational and training opportunities; and nutritional, health care and other social services. Most Denver residents can access most or all of these support systems. However, many residents need extra help for a variety of reasons poverty, language and cultural barriers, lack of education, physical and/or mental disability, and isolation, among others. With changing family structures and demographics, human services for people in need must be more flexible and responsive. Shifts in the nations social welfare policies during the late 1990s became a driving force in delivering human services locally especially the emphasis on moving public assistance recipients into paying jobs as quickly as possible and rigid time limitations on benefits. While the Denver Department of Human Services (DDHS) is the lead agency in Denver, moving people from welfare to sustainable employment requires a broad range of services from many different community partners. The impacts of welfare reform affect child-care providers, schools, the health-care system, nonprofit human service agencies, job-training programs and housing programs. Their challenge is to serve increasing numbers of clients, helping them to juggle family and job-training responsibilities. While welfare-to-work has become a dominant theme in human services, many Denver residents live with conditions that make self-sufficiency unlikely or impossible. People with permanent physical, mental and developmental disabilities will always need a measure of help to survive with dignity and to join in community life. Older adults, especially Denvers increasing number of people aged 85 and older, need varying degrees of care, both home-based and institutional. Some impoverished people lack skills and have lost hope of employment. btbr!%rbb'*tt$tr btb b!bfbfftrr$bbtr b$ #t 'f!frtn'bftb brnb rftbb$r*tf !''*!%ftb ,,8000, 177

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178 The 1990s have also sounded a wake-up call about the needs of children and youth. Recent research on brain development highlights the critical need of children for developmental stimulation in their youngest years. The 1993 Summer of Violence and the 1999 fatal shootings at Columbine High School alerted metro Denver to the need for more focus on the special needs of youth from all walks of life. And a heightened awareness of the number of children growing up in abusive, neglectful and dangerous homes calls for community vigilance in protecting and nurturing everyones children. It is time to focus on the question in the traditional greeting of Africas Masai tribe: Kasserian ingera, or How are the children? The commitment to concerted action has never been greater. A city cannot sustain itself without compassion for people who need extra help to live decent and meaningful lives in the community. Helping people meet their basic survival needs is more than a moral imperative; it is essential to the social order and economic stability of the whole community. While the public system must ultimately be in place to provide basic safety-net services, government alone cannot meet the wide and diverse range of competing human needs. Future efforts must focus on creating more effective public-private partnerships, supporting approaches that prevent problems from developing, and cultivating nurturing neighborhoods.#*t%t)r b! bbtr#!' bt b bnbttbr'br nbt90%btr*$b&tbfb'8080 80&000 0 :0&000 90&000 ;0&000 .00&000 .80&000 .:0&000 .90&000 .//0 .//< 8000 800< 80.0 80.< 8080

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Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989Welfare reformFederal legislation in 1996 created welfare-to-work programs nationwide and changed welfare programs in place for decades. Given greatly enhanced local autonomy, the Mayors Welfare Reform Task Force responded to welfare reform with a comprehensive plan for sustainable employment and self-sufficiency. A newly created citizen Welfare Reform Board now oversees making this plan and policy work.Reduced TANF rollsHouseholds receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the welfare payments formerly known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), declined substantially from a peak of 11,431 in 1990 to 4,276 in January 1999.Child support collections upIn 1997, paternity was established in 65 percent of cases of children born out of wedlock to clients of the Denver Department of Human Services (DDHS). More than 40 percent of support orders were being paid.Child careDDHS established a model drop-in child-care center at its main training site, to serve parents attending self-sufficiency programs and to demonstrate qualities parents should seek in choosing their private-sector child-care providers. This centers capacity was doubled at the Richard T. Castro Human Services Center, DDHSs headquarters, opened in 1999.YouthInvestments in youth programs, including the Denver Safe City Initiative, have provided teens with alternatives to gang activity and youth pregnancy.Denver Health Medical CenterDenver General Hospital, formerly a City-owned facility, was restructured as an independent hospital authority in 1997. This strengthened the viability of Denvers public health system to meet the needs of all Denver residents regardless of their ability to pay. Denvers Safe City Initiative was inaugurated in the wake of the 1993 Summer of Violence when the number of youths killed or injured in gangrelated activities climbed to new heights. The City created the Safe City Office to oversee youth public safety activities and to financially support youthserving agencies focused on prevention.bnbt5r!r#bf$ tb'nbtrb'!'bt b$ #t 'f !'tb fb!b#tb bb$*=bt)b!b%t)bbt ,,8000, 179

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180 ChallengesPovertyIn 1990, more than 27 percent of Denvers children lived in poverty. In 1997, of 9,280 children born in Denver, nearly 30 percent are growing up in households at or below poverty level. In 1998, 56.5 percent of school-aged children qualified for the free lunch program because their family income was at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level.Aging populationDenvers older adult population is growing. The number of people aged 85 and up increased 27.5 percent from 1990 to 1998. The population 60 and up is projected to grow from 18 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 2020.Cultural diversityIncreasing diversity creates the need for more culturally competent human services.People with disabilitiesToo many areas within Denver have sidewalks that are too narrow or have no sidewalks at all, blocking access for people in wheelchairs. The number of young people with disabilities living in Denver is increasing dramatically.Employment barriersWhile many welfare recipients have begun moving to work, many of those remaining on public assistance struggle with serious barriers to employment, such as domestic violence, little or no work history or education, physical and/or mental health problems, and substance abuse. Discrimination remains an intractable problem that has not been eradicated entirely from the workplace. At the same time, federal regulations severely restrict remedial education and training as stand-alone programs because clients must go to work as quickly as possible. Those rules require innovative work development strategies that combine work and learning.Case managementThe needs of individuals and families working toward self-sufficiency are complex, requiring individualized case management. Child care, transportation, shifting public assistance benefits, job-training requirements, social skills, wardrobe, motivation and fear of the unknown are among the more common challenges faced by adults entering the workforce. To be effective, case management requires workers with higher-level skills and smaller caseloads, factors likely to increase human service costs. Decreasing caseloads have created a public expectation that costs should be going down proportionately, even though those remaining are more likely to have multiple barriers requiring both case management and more intensive services.Increasing homelessnessDuring the 1990s the homeless population increased significantly. The fastest-growing groups within the homeless population are women and children, and youth on their own. From 1988 to 1995, the homeless population in the metro area increased overall by 45bnbt5r#!f b! r%rbt)rbb bbb'r*!!bnbttbr'brtb$t'!brr bt#!%%

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percent and by 75 percent for children. Families now comprise 46 percent of the homeless population, half of them headed by single parents. Ironically, Denvers robust economy attracts unskilled and semiskilled workers who cant earn enough for housing in a market with low vacancy and high rents.Expansion of managed care reimbursementReimbursement policies under public and private managed care systems threaten to damage the quality of services and capacity at public health-care facilities. This makes it increasingly difficult for the City to ensure care for all Denver citizens regardless of their ability to pay. The managed care model is also being used to finance other care systems, including mental health, child welfare and substance-abuse rehabilitation. Problems of quality of and access to care, customer choice and paperwork are akin to those in health care.Child-care crisisThe booming economy has increased working parents need for child care. This economy also makes it more difficult to attract and retain qualified child-care workers who can easily earn more in less demanding occupations. Staffing shortages are reducing the number of licensed slots available, while turnover rates ranging from 47 to 60 percent erode the quality of care. Despite growing job opportunities in shift work, child care is generally not available at night and during weekends. Child care for children with special needs is in short supply. Care for sick children is woefully inadequate, creating an especially difficult situation for single working parents.Children in out-of-home placementsA late 1990s survey found that more than 25 out of every 1,000 children in Denver were living in an out-of-home placement mandated by either neglect or abuse. This is the highest rate in Colorado.Teen pregnanciesTeen pregnancy is a key indicator of poverty in young families. Denvers rate of teen pregnancy is double the states. While teen pregnancies in Colorado dropped gradually in the mid-1990s, the rate in Denver rose again at the end of the decade.Safety-net servicesPeople whose circumstances permanently prevent them from earning a living and/or living independently must be provided with safe shelter, nutritious food, health care and/or mental health services, hygiene, a subsistence income, and connection to the community. Welfare reform has redirected resources to support self-sufficiency. The community must ensure a safety net for those who do not qualify for public assistance.bnbtb! 5rb$ #t 'f!fr tn'bbrrb!b'f!rbtnfbr %tbr'br ,,8000, 181

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182 OpportunitiesCommunity supportIn the Heart and Soul of Denver Survey, residents expressed concern over the quality of life for people who are poor or have mental disabilities. They would be inclined to support efforts to reduce economic disparity.Welfare-to-work fundingDenver has obtained a major welfare-to-work grant to offer a wider range of support services for new job entrants designed to make working affordable. This funding reflects the federal governments recognition that helping people find jobs is only the first step, and that those new to the workforce need extra support until they obtain a firm toehold in the workplace.Economic growthIn 1999, the economy offers opportunities for almost anyone with the skills and motivation to work. Long-term economic forecasts suggest sustained growth and the ability to absorb many more entrants into the workforce. Wages are going up in many areas. The average wage for new job entrants graduating from government employment programs ranged from $6.66 to $9.42 per hour in 1998. Faced with major employment shortages, employers have become more open to helping individuals become and remain employable.Employment supportA One-Stop Career Center system has been designed to meet the workforce development needs of job-seekers and employers.Neighborhood centersAt schools and at other neighborhood sites, Denver has had a dramatic increase in the number of sites providing a wide range of integrated educational and human service programs at a common location. Examples include Denver Public Schools Neighborhood Centers, the Beacons Project and the Southwest Family Centers.Increasing volunteerismWith 54 percent of adults reporting some level of volunteer involvement, Denvers level of volunteerism has risen over the last 10 years and is higher than the national average. This volunteer pool has become more diverse in age and background, and is increasingly focused on helping children and youth. The Denver One-Stop Career Center system connects employment, education and training services into a network of resources at the local and state levels. Traditional Job Service and Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) offices have been combined into the One-Stop Career Centers. Customers can visit the One-Stop Career Center in person or directly connect to the centers information holdings through a personal computer or remote access.%tbf bnbr*tf!br #n!#!bt$tr'rbtnfbr

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Vision of SuccessIn the future, the City will be successful in integrating human services, policies and programs to support self-sufficiency, and enhancing access to programs that support youth and the aging, changing family needs, and persons with disabilities through coordinated, cost-effective and caring implementation. Success will look like this:Early interventionChildren and youth issues are the communitys priority. Public and private resources are strategically focused on helping every child get the type of good beginning needed to develop innate abilities and talents, including ongoing nurturing by caring adults in safe neighborhoods and schools. Families receive the services and support needed for their critical role as first teachers.ServicesAssistance and services that residents need and use, such as social, education, child care, recreation and economic support, are well coordinated and easily accessible to home and work. Residents can count on public transportation for timely delivery to work, medical appointments and shopping.EmploymentWorkforce development policies and practices consider the needs of employers as well as the needs of individuals at risk of permanent loss of jobs. Full-time employment opportunities leading to a livable income are available to all, and discrimination is a thing of the past. A network of One-Stop Career Centers helps more people from all backgrounds find and keep jobs in the local labor market. Part-time employment is abundant for youth, seniors and others who need it.HealthPublic health-care services offer evening and weekend hours for families who work regular weekday hours. All children benefit from highquality prenatal care, are immunized, and regularly receive high-quality health care. All Denver residents receive high-quality health care regardless of their ability to pay, and health insurance is available for those who have previously been uninsured. Mental health counseling and substance-abuse treatment are available and affordable for all.Older adultsOlder adults are able to live out their lives in dignity and safety, and as independently as possible. The community values the wisdom and experience of older adults to help solve current problems and enrich the cultural life of the city.nbt%f !'bb'rft$'!r&rf r bt*brr!rbnbtbtb *btnfbr ,,8000, 183

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184 Housing/ShelterSufficient emergency shelter and transitional housing are available for individuals and families who are temporarily homeless. Programs and services to help clients become self-sufficient are an integral part of housing initiatives. Housing for people with special needs is adequate and distributed in different parts of the city.Nurturing neighborhoodsNeighborhoods are safe places that provide residents with a supportive web of helping relationships and professional services; places and events that bring people together across age, income and cultural categories; and give them access to the opportunities and amenities that build quality of life.%'t*t$(r t)ftbbbt)*ft$ tb!r r*t%

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1AccessImprove access to personal and economic support systems.REF:Neighborhoods 1-EStrategies1-AImprove access to and convenience of public transportation for work and everyday life with a special emphasis on: REF:Mobility 1-AA more accommodating public transportation system, particularly at the neighborhood level. This empowers single working parents, the elderly and persons with disabilities to reach essential destinations such as employment, grocery shopping, health care, child care and school. REF:Mobility 1-DReliable, around-the-clock transportation services for individuals unable to access the standard public transportation system. REF:Mobility 1-ESubsidies for automobile ownership, when necessary, to maintain economic self-sufficiency, and as a last resort in addressing difficult transportation problems.1-BIncrease the availability of safe, affordable housing for low-income households, the elderly and persons needing specialized housing due to disabilities. Link these shelter needs to appropriate support services and self-sufficiency programs.REF:Housing Obj. 3; Neighborhoods 1-F; Metropolitan 2-D, 3-D1-CExpand access to needed health services in areas critical to well-being and self-sufficiency:Ensure through effective outreach that individuals and families know about, understand and can access medical programs for which they are eligible, such as Medicaid, Medicare and Colorados Child Health Plan Plus.REF:Education 2-C, 3-CHelp Denver Health provide high-quality health services for Denver residents, regardless of ability to pay.Support initiatives to help small businesses provide health benefits for employees and their families. ,,8000, 185

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186 Increase health-care services that affect employability, such as dentistry, optometry, mental health and substance-abuse services.REF:Human Services 2-ESupport efforts to develop health benchmarks for neighborhoods.1-DPromote connections with employment opportunities that lead to a livable wage:REF:Metropolitan Obj. 2; Education 6-A; Economic Obj. 1, 2-C, 5-BFoster a seamless group of services for learning, employment and career advancement through a One-Stop Career Center network.Provide new workers with ongoing support and convenient access to services that sustain employment.Support job improvement and career development for low-wage employees using innovative strategies that integrate on-the-job education or training.Continue education and enforcement activities to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.Cultivate an environment that nurtures small business startups and growth, including home-based businesses and strong microenterprise programs.1-EEnhance access to quality child care to meet the needs of working parents and guardians: REF:Education Obj. 2; Economic 1-FIncrease the supply and quality of child care by setting public reimbursement rates at levels that promote vendor participation and quality while remaining affordable for families earning modest incomes.Address child-care deficiencies at night, after school and on weekends; for children with special needs; and for children who are sick.Provide drop-in child care that enables parents to access critical services. In 1999, Denver opened the first free, drop-in court child-care center in the Rocky Mountain region, the Denver Warm Welcome Court Child Care Center, for children whose parents have business with the courts.

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Objective 2Enhanced Service DeliveryBuild a seamless and comprehensive continuum of services that is community-based, customer-driven and flexible.REF:Neighborhoods 6-A, Obj. 7Strategies2-AEnsure that programs are available, accessible and responsive to a wide range of individuals, cultures and family structures, including single parents, grandparent caretakers and noncustodial parents.2-BModify City-sponsored and City-funded programs and supportive services to better meet the needs of working families.2-CFacilitate collaboration and continuous program improvement through City grant requirements.2-DImprove access to services, information and training through the use of new technologies.REF:Economic 6-B, 6-C; Neighborhoods 2-C2-EDevelop a comprehensive approach to addressing the problems of substance abuse that includes prevention, treatment and enforcement strategies. REF:Human Services 1-C2-FPromote the values of mutual respect and responsibility in the provider-client relationship. The Southwest Family Centers, which operate out of seven elementary schools, one middle school and four community agency sites, model this approach to service delivery. Family advocates provide access to a working web of services designed to strengthen families in strategic locations along local bus lines. More than 30 service providers participate in this service network, and meet monthly to improve coordination and plan for changing service needs. ,,8000, 187

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188 Objective 3Caring CommunitiesEnhance the capacity of neighborhoods to nurture and support community members.REF:Neighborhoods 3-BStrategies3-APromote opportunities that bring people together to build connections to each other, family members, their peers, their neighbors and the greater community. Such endeavors could range from coffeehouses to community centers to cultural celebrations. REF:Arts & Culture 1-C; Legacies 13-C3-BStrengthen intergenerational activities. Encourage all people, but especially young people and older adults, to volunteer and become involved in community service projects.3-CSupport innovative efforts to meet human needs through neighborto-neighbor approaches, such as volunteer service-exchange banks.3-DEnsure that neighborhood planning efforts address human service issues and violence prevention. Incorporate an asset-building approach into this process to inventory the human resources available to help meet community needs. REF:Neighborhoods 1-A, 1-F; Land Use 3-A Objective 4Children and Youth at RiskProvide all children and youth with a safe and supportive environment in which to thrive.Strategies4-AEnhance the capacity of families to nurture their children. Provide educational and family support services that empower parents as their childs first teachers. REF:Education 2-C Based on the neighborly concept of giving and receiving, PeopleLink, a volunteer time bank, encourages support of others while being supported oneself. Volunteers receive credits for their efforts in exchange for services or support for themselves or for others in need.

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4-BEmphasize prevention and early intervention strategies to reduce risks and strengthen the resiliency of children and youth, with a special emphasis on linking them to caring adults. REF:Education 2-C, 3-D; Legacies 10-E, Obj. 134-CSupport continuing efforts to reduce Denvers disproportionately high rates of teen pregnancy and low-birth-weight infants. REF:Education 3-C4-DDevelop a family violence plan to break the cycle of domestic violence that is perpetuated from generation to generation.REF:Neighborhoods 3-C, 3-F; Education 3-G4-EProvide a well-coordinated menu of interventions, services and sanctions to help youth stay out of the criminal justice system, such as the Citys SafeNite Curfew and Diversion Program.4-FInstitute and uphold the highest standards to protect children entrusted to public care.4-GWhen children are separated from their parent(s) for their own safety, reunite the families whenever possible. When necessary, place the child for adoption in a timely manner.4-HProvide homeless youth and those exiting the foster-care system with the educational, life management and employment skills they need to live independently. Objective 5Older AdultsSupport and enhance efforts that help older adults meet their basic needs, maintain their independence and provide them with lifestyle choices.REF:Mobility 1-EStrategies5-AExpand the availability of home-related services that enable older people to remain in their homes. Examples include home-delivered meals and affordable home repair/modification programs.5-BSupport efforts to provide caregivers with education and respite services. ,,8000, 189

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190 5-CWork with other jurisdictions, institutions and community organizations to develop a strong continuum of community-based, long-term care services. REF:Metropolitan 3-D5-DSupport the expansion of advocacy programs to protect the rights, safety and financial security of older adults living in the community and in long-term care facilities.5-EPromote the self-sufficiency of older and disabled adults by protecting and extending lifeline funding streams such as Old Age Pension, Aid to Needy and Disabled (AND) and the Older Americans Act (OAA).5-FInitiate planning and policy review to meet the needs of Denvers increasingly older population. Objective 6HomelessnessCollaborate with public and private service providers to provide a continuum of services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.Strategies6-ASupport programs and services focusing on homeless prevention and intervention services.6-BEnsure the availability of a continuum of housing services: sufficient emergency shelter for anyone in need; facilities designed to house individuals and families made homeless by domestic violence; transitional housing; and affordable, permanent housing opportunities. Services that encourage and support self-sufficiency should be integral to these programs. REF:Housing Obj. 36-CCooperate with metropolitan jurisdictions to seek systemic approaches to homelessness, increased availability of affordable housing, and coordination of services. REF:Metropolitan 3-D

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Objective 7Safety NetEnsure that basic subsistence and compassionate care are available for people who are unable to care for themselves.Strategies7-AIdentify and assess the capacity of City services that provide safety-net services.7-BTrack what happens to social service clients who become ineligible for assistance.7-CCollaborate with public, private and nonprofit sectors to develop a safety-net strategy for individuals who do not qualify for public assistance, including immigrants. While private interests are entitled to seek their advantage in the urban fabric, and city authorities and their experts are paid to find wholesale planning solutions to the problems of unfettered growth, it is the citizens as a collective voice who must ultimately decide the shape of their city solutions if we still believe that cities are the most complicated artifact we have created, if we believe further that they are cumulative, generational artifacts that harbor our values as a community and provide us with a setting where we can learn to live together, then it is our collective responsibility to guide their design. Spiro Kostoff, The City Shaped, 1991 ,,8000, 191

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r r!"### btnf f f btnf f fEconomic Activity Neighborhoods Education Human Services Arts & Culture Economic Activity Neighborhoods Education Human Services Arts & Culture

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btbnThere is no crisis in the arts. The only crisis is the failure to view them as resources to improve our cities.~ Nancy Hanksfounding director of the National Endowment for the Arts

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IntroductionThe arts are flourishing in Denver. While Denver in the 1990s has been well known nationally for its professional sports teams and the strength of the local economy, its rapid rise as a major arts and culture center is not widely recognized outside the region, or often even within the region. Yet, attendance at cultural and artistic events vastly exceeds that of professional sports. In the Heart and Soul of Denver Survey, Denver citizens ranked Denvers thriving artistic and cultural climate among the most important factors of its quality of life. One measure of a citys livability is the degree to which the arts are integrated into all aspects of civic life. For many reasons, Denver should strive to make the arts part of everyones daily experience. Above all, they enrich the cultural, aesthetic and spiritual values of residents, individually and as a community. Economically, the arts are the 11th largest nongovernment employer, with an economic impact of more than a half billion dollars annually. They enhance Denvers appeal as a center of cultural tourism, with more than 7 million visits in 1995. Arts experiences contribute to educational achievement, measurably improving students learning capacity in other areas, particularly among children and youth at risk. Arts education teaches technical skills and other workplace values. Finally, the arts stimulate our minds, training and exercising the essential, indefinable and priceless creativity needed to face the constantly evolving challenges of the future. Denver traditionally supports excellence in its arts, cultural and scientific facilities, as evidenced by its host of outstanding institutions, among them the Denver Public Library, Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver Zoological Gardens, Denver Botanic Gardens and Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Looking to the future, Plan 2000 recognizes the arts as the medium by which we transmit the kaleidoscopic legacy of our cultural values from generation to generation. To sustain the arts in the future, we must cultivate a healthy environment in which they can thrive. We need spaces for the arts to take hold and grow, programs to nurture and recognize artists, support for professional training, and arts-to-career classes in the schools. We can develop audiences through school-based arts-appreciation programs, enhanced public access, and diversity in cultural programming. And we should reinforce the arts and cultural infrastructure with collaborative audience development, central marketing and technical assistance to improve arts administration.nn8 n'b*t""t%!)#n #n+nn8*n'"# ,!)1(*"!'n&%$n "#n"!!b"tt"n("t -rr-<===rffr 195fffrff

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frffrffrfrf196 The rapid growth of the arts during the 1990s was fueled largely by the creativity of Denvers artists and cultural organizations, and by a strong economy. Public financial support from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), increasing private-sector support, and consumers with discretionary income to attend performances and purchase art have helped make arts and culture a significant growth industry. However, history offers ample evidence that fertility within the arts is most often linked to the ebb and flow of wealth within the society: when wealth is great, artists are in great demand; when fortunes turn, the arts tend to suffer. It is also important to note that residents of the Denver metropolitan area voted overwhelmingly to create the SCFD with a new tax in the late 1980s during a severe and prolonged economic recession, demonstrating the prevailing high level of popular support for arts and culture. Plan 2000 affirms and supports shared aspirations within the arts and culture community for Denver to emerge nationally and internationally as the arts and culture capital of the Rocky Mountain West. A profuse mix of strong established institutions, arts-related businesses, creative talent, educated and enthusiastic audiences, and culturally diverse groups actively enriches the community. But Denvers future as a major center for arts and culture is far from assured. Current optimism in the arts is based on the underlying assumption of continued prosperity. Sustained growth, however, depends on more than affluence and image. Arts and culture must be woven into the fabric of the community, becoming an integral force in urban design, the educational system, commerce, community celebrations, neighborhood life and public-sector institutions.$%)"*% %&'n&%$!)" %&&nn n"#+n""#nn!(n n&%$!)n("t %t%" %"ttn#"*bt "!%b"! !)n'b"%!&% %!"t"! %!n$'%"+'n&%$"!n

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Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989FundingSCFD funding grew from $14 million for 154 organizations in 1989 to $30.4 million for 292 organizations in 1998. SCFD has provided more than $192 million to arts organizations over 10 years.City supportMayor Wellington Webb established the Mayors Office of Art, Culture and Film in 1991. The One Percent for the Arts program (initiated by executive order in 1988) was elevated to a City ordinance in 1991, reserving 1 percent of certain Capital Improvement Program dollars for public art. The Arts to Career Project in 1996 increased arts education through workplace experiences and classroom standards.Urban designThe Civic Center Cultural Complex Plan was completed in 1997, intending to unify Civic Center as a cultural center featuring the Central Denver Library, the Colorado History Museum, the renovated Denver Art Museum, several major public buildings and the Golden Triangle arts neighborhood.Visual artsThe Denver Art Museum was remodeled and expanded. The Museo de las Americas, The Black Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art have opened. However, The Museum of Western Art closed. Denver has seen a 40 percent increase in commercial galleries.LibrariesThe new Central Library integrates world-class architecture into the heart of Denver while preserving a historical section of an earlier library structure built in the 1950s. Fifteen of Denvers 18 branch libraries were physically upgraded and four new libraries were built during the 1990s as part of a citywide capital improvement bond program. A new library is planned at Lowry to replace the Montclair storefront branch.FestivalsThe nationally recognized Cherry Creek Arts Festival began in the early 1990s, and rapidly became one of Denvers best-attended outdoor events. Denvers Cinco de Mayo is the largest traditional Hispanic celebration in the country. A number of highly successful ethnic, cultural, artistic, Downtown and neighborhood festivals are popular spring and summer attractions. The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) was formed in 1988 by voters in the six-county metropolitan area to distribute a .01 percent sales tax to support scientific and cultural facilities within the six metro counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson. In 1994, metro voters renewed the authority until 2006.t%(n*n%$n#%''n"#n#n+ nn8n("t f#nt"$n"!.n bnb$!#n(n%!!n)#*%#%% -rr-<===rffr 197fffrff

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frffrffrfrf198 TheatreThe Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre opened in 1991, adding sufficient seating and technical capacity to attract major national and international touring attractions. In 1998, the Denver Center Theatre Company received a Tony Award for the exceptional quality of its regional productions. Numerous small storefront theatre companies produce provocative theatre for their dedicated audiences.MusicThe Colorado Symphony Orchestra has emerged successfully restructured from its predecessor, the Denver Symphony Orchestra, attaining financial stability and national recognition for programming.DanceThe Colorado Ballet has gained national recognition, and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble is a national and international force in African-American and modern dance. A number of highly regarded dance companies perform at a variety of venues around the city.FilmThe Office of Film and Television was established within the Mayors Office of Art, Culture and Film in 1991 to facilitate filmmaking in Denver. In the late 1990s, productions requiring a permit were spending an average of $30 million a year shooting in Denver. The Denver International Film Festival, held annually, has expanded into several cultural film festivals: Jewish, Asian, Pan-African and one just for kids.Academic institutionsA new performing arts center is slated for the Auraria Campus. A new music school facility at the University of Denver is being developed.ChallengesK educationDenver Public Schools does not include the arts as part of the core curriculum for all students, with implications for both arts appreciation and development of local talent. The DPS Arts Department and Arts Resource Council work to provide arts opportunities in targeted programs.Development of talentAffordable programs to develop the artistic talents of children and youth are inadequate and underfunded, particularly for lowincome families.FundingThe State of Colorado ranks 47th in state funding for the arts. SCFD expires in 2006 unless reauthorized by voters. Funding is virtually nonexistent to support individual artists.Arts education and appreciationEfforts to increase arts literacy and audienceship are inadequate and inconsistent for children, youth and adults.f#nn,"!! n'n! n!n"+ntn*"%! "8"tn %%'n%&$b "!n1 &%% 1""! &"$tn n&%$"!n"!#nnn%&n!(n

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Arts informationThere is no centralized source of information covering all aspects of arts and culture.Arts venuesThe Citys inventory of arts and culture facilities is outdated. Gaps exist for certain performance and exhibition needs.Enhancement of cultural facilitiesThe Citys seat-tax revenues designated for venue capital improvements will diminish by about $5 million annually due to McNichols Arena and Mile High Stadium being demolished, until the debt service for the Buell Theater, Mile High stadium parking and refinancing, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre improvements is retired in 2008.AccessIncreased attendance at events, cultural facilities and arts businesses has increased traffic and parking congestion in surrounding neighborhoods. Thus, the need of several cultural facilities to expand and the resulting traffic and parking are sources of conflict with neighborhoods.OpportunitiesPopular appealMetropolitan Denver ranks second in the nation for college-educated adults, the most likely audience for the arts. The Heart and Soul of Denver Survey indicated Denvers arts events and facilities rated second of 22 factors in the Citys quality of-life-measurements.Cultural diversityDenver features a diverse array of cultural and ethnic festivals, performing groups, and venues that attract broad community support.Downtown revitalizationThe arts have been and continue to be a central feature in Downtowns renaissance as a 24-hour city.TourismA lively arts and culture calendar is critical to attracting tourists and conventions. A diverse and growing array of restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues complements the artistic and cultural environment.CollaborationTen percent of SCFD revenue is used to fund collaboration among organizations that foster cross-fertilization and innovation in the arts and sciences, thereby creating powerful new forms of expression and knowledge.f#nn!(nbnb$#"!b$n%b '%)"$!% b!)#t n!% #n(b"t" f#n")n"!n,'n$n!"t'"n &%#nn!(nn!nf#n"n%$'"!+ -rr-<===rffr 199fffrff

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frffrffrfrf200 Vision of SuccessIn the first decade of the 21st century, Denver will strengthen its national reputation as a regional center for arts and culture by valuing its artists and its diverse cultural heritage, nurturing creativity, inspiring original expression and cultivating appreciation. The arts will become an essential part of every Denver residents daily life in the following ways:Public supportThe City continues to actively support diverse artistic and cultural endeavors. SCFD, or a similar metropolitan mechanism, continues to provide substantial funding for arts organizations and institutions.Arts educationAll Denver children are enrolled in arts instruction and appreciation through the schools and/or community-based arts organizations.Cultural heritageCultural awareness and diversity are celebrated in neighborhoods and throughout the city.EconomyThe arts continue to be a focus of the developing Downtown economy. Many Denver neighborhoods also prosper due to arts and culture. Cultural tourism will grow substantially in economic importance to Denver.n b"%!!bbnn"(+"! "! "2"n!n%&btb"t (n+1n"!) "!"''n"%!&%#n""! f2%#"tn>b!'n'"n &%#n"!!b"tn!(nb*t#%%t #"8n'n"nn("t%2!%2!

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1Cultivating the ArtsSupport and promote a flourishing artistic community.Strategies1-ACreate a vision for Denver as a flourishing artistic and cultural community by helping build a coalition among interested stakeholders, including City agencies; arts, cultural and scientific organizations; educational institutions; foundation and corporate funders; and businesses.1-BConvene and communicate with the arts and cultural community on issues of concern through the Mayors Office of Art, Culture and Film.1-CSupport a full range of cultural and artistic opportunities within Denvers neighborhoods and among its diverse communities, including festivals, performing and visual arts events, and cultural activities. REF:Human Services 3-A1-DMaintain a major funding base for the arts by strongly supporting reauthorization of the SCFD in 2006. REF:Metropolitan 4-A1-ESupport professional training and educational programs in the arts and culture that are distinctive and attractive to the finest talents in the world.1-FEncourage creativity and innovation across the broad spectrum of arts endeavors. The Mayors Office of Art, Culture and Film is the agency for arts and culture for the City and County of Denver, guiding the Citys efforts to coordinate and promote cultural and artistic plans and programs. The office works with similar organizations in the metro area, in the region and state, and within the private and public sectors. -rr-<===rffr 201fffrff

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frffrffrfrf202 Objective 2Arts VenuesEncourage the development and maintenance of facilities within Denver to support diverse cultural and artistic activities.Strategies2-AEnsure that existing City-owned arts and cultural venues, such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Auditorium Theater, are funded, operated and maintained adequately to meet projected needs.2-BHelp public cultural facilities to expand responsibly and ensure that they are integrated with their surrounding communities. REF:Neighborhoods Obj. 5, 6, 72-CWork with arts and culture organizations to develop and assess arts and cultural facilities, inventory existing facilities, and plan for current and long-term needs.2-DSupport further growth, strengthening and development of private and nonprofit arts organizations and institutions capable of owning and maintaining artistic and cultural facilities.2-EWhenever appropriate, support the use of public facilities within neighborhoods, including parks and recreation centers, by neighborhood artists and arts and cultural groups needing space for exhibitions, performances and classes.2-FReview City regulation of arts and cultural facilities and services, and remove unnecessary barriers to arts-related enterprise. REF:Land Use 2-C; Neighborhoods 1-E2-GPromote multimodal solutions to access through appropriate transit, linkage and parking strategies. REF:Mobility 1-A, Obj. 9; Neighborhoods 7-F Objective 3Economic Development and the ArtsEnhance the capacity of arts and culture to act as an economic generator, and integrate arts and culture into the Citys economic development activities.REF:Economic Obj. 3Strategies3-AInclude artistic and cultural organizations, institutions and businesses in business recruitment and retention efforts.

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3-BIncorporate Denvers arts and cultural activities, institutions and attractions into economic development and marketing plans that promote Denver as a center for tourism, conventions and business.3-CSupport the development of strategic alliances to:market Denvers arts and cultural offerings regionally and nationally through a centralized approach;promote collaborative audience development; andprovide technical assistance for stronger administration. Objective 4Cultural DiversityBroaden the scope, richness and attachment to the arts in Denver by encouraging ethnic diversity in cultural expression.Strategies4-AContinue to encourage the expression of Denvers ethnic diversity, history and cultural heritage through a full range of cultural and artistic activities.4-BIntegrate diverse cultural and artistic perspectives into the Citys public decision-making about arts and cultural matters. Objective 5Artistic and Cultural LiteracyExpand appreciation and support of arts and culture by supporting arts and cultural education, literacy and career opportunities for all Denver residents.Strategies5-ACooperate with DPS and arts advocates to make arts and culture part of Denvers K core curriculum, including instruction, appreciation and participation. Assist in the development of partnerships that increase exposure of students to arts and cultural activities. REF:Education 3-B5-BMake cultural experiences, whether avocational or educational, accessible to the widest possible public by removing economic, physical and other barriers to participation and enjoyment. -rr-<===rffr 203fffrff

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204 5-CEncourage educational institutions, arts and culture organizations, individuals and the community to provide career development and training in arts and culture disciplines. Objective 6Arts as a Civic ValueValue the arts within the civic realm.Strategies6-AContinue Denvers One Percent for the Arts program and encourage adoption of this model by other public and private entities.6-BPromote artistic distinction by setting high standards for design excellence in the construction and renovation of all City buildings, structures and monuments.REF:Legacies 1-A6-CShowcase and incorporate the work of artists into City activities such as wall displays, public information efforts and special events. Investment in the arts, culture, and high quality leisure activities needs to be thought of as being as basic as safety or health costs. It is more than jobs, freeways and buildings that give people a reason to call a place home. Amenities make a city livable and exciting. The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan

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btn fntIn the metropolitan areas across the country,communities like Denvers inner suburbs,satellite cities and low-tax-base developing communities are beginning to realize that the solutions to these problems are larger than their own jurisdiction.~ Myron OrfieldAuthor and Minnesota state legislator

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IntroductionDenver is the urban center of the 23rd largest metropolitan area in the United States. The area is comprised of 42 incorporated cities and towns and includes vast expanses of unincorporated rural land that is rapidly disappearing due to development. The population of the six-county Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) in 1998 was 2.3 million; 501,000 were Denver residents, less than one quarter of the total.The quality of life of Denver residents and the economic vitality of the region are irrevocably and increasingly linked to issues and conditions that do not recognize political boundaries. These include environmental quality, transportation, open space, the need for a range of housing types and prices, economic development, building capacity to address the needs of socially and economically disadvantaged persons, and increasing pressure for greater fiscal efficiency in government. Successful management of these issues depends on planning that anticipates increased cooperation and coordination with our metropolitan neighbors. Several major metropolitan governance structures and revenue-sharing systems were already in place in 1989 and remain important in 2000. They include:Regional Transportation District (RTD)The metropolitan transportation system, funded primarily by a .6 percent sales tax in the six-county metropolitan area, provides bus transportation throughout the district. RTD added one demonstration light rail line (I-25 and Broadway through Downtown to 32nd and Downing) during the 1990s. A line to Denvers southwestern neighborhoods is under construction, and a spur line through the Central Platte Valley and the southeast line along I-25 to the Denver Tech Center and beyond are being designed.Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD)A multijurisdictional special district, funded by property taxes, which plans storm water conveyance and detention and ensures flood safety and waterway improvements that are compatible with Denvers current and planned land uses.Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation DistrictIntercepts and treats wastewater for 60 local government jurisdictions.Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD)A six-county district approved by voters in the 1980s, which helps support a full range of cultural institutions, major performing arts groups, and community-based arts organizations with a .1 percent sales tax. This yielded approximately 6"nbt)%bt%%r$'t#'n# %'t#'% t,t nt$&n*b)bt# -nn#'n&&''7"t'#t&t'8 "tt'%&ntnbt!tb'' rff 209r

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210 t n%n) 9"b#BOULDER JEFFERSON DOUGLAS ARAPAHOE ADAMS"t'$tbb "t -'!t' 9!%tb# ,b 9t, $n#n #nb t, f!!& ft) nt#, #,+n n3't# "ntt+ 9+n b# r$ b#nb n3+# t' t#n "n .%tb# ,b+# f )tbb' tbbn, +# tbbn, fb"!*t nbb) tb n ff: r$;n"t&tnbtt'n#f"t'fr

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$30.4 million in 1998. In 1994, voters reauthorized the districts continuation until 2006.Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG)DRCOG is the six-county metropolitan areas regional planning body and the conduit for federal funding (primarily transportation) to projects affecting multiple jurisdictions. It also provides services to the aged population and alternative transportation programs. It is a means to obtain local government support and address metropolitan issues.Changes, Challenges and OpportunitiesChanges, 1989Several additional major metropolitan initiatives since 1989 include:Metropolitan Stadium DistrictVoters in the six-county area (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Jefferson and portions of Douglas) approved a .1 percent sales tax to generate revenue to retire debt on Coors Field, which opened in 1996. In 1998, voters extended the Stadium Districts taxation authority to finance the major portion of costs for a new Mile High Stadium for the Denver Broncos football team.DRCOGs MetroVision 2020 PlanThis metropolitan plan integrates previously separate plans for growth, development, transportation, open space and water-quality management into a single comprehensive document. It has been adopted as part of The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan .Metro Denver NetworkThis coalition of 38 local economic development agencies from the six-county metropolitan area, including the City of Denver, was formed in 1987 by the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and coordinates efforts to market metropolitan Denver through shared information, resources and technology. In addition, Denver has had success collaborating with its neighbors on several ad hoc issues of mutual impact and concern, including the following:Joint economic development efforts among Denver, Aurora and Commerce City to spur economic development at DIA and the surrounding communities.Intergovernmental agreements with Aurora concerning the redevelopment of Lowry Air Force Base.The development of the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative to provide housing and services to the homeless population.Reciprocal agreements among all metropolitan libraries to honor library cards from any metropolitan jurisdiction. r$+t'n&nbtt% 0
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fr212 Agreements with Aurora and Lakewood to develop the historical identity of Colfax Avenue, the longest commercial street in the United States.Involvement in metropolitan solutions to air quality through the Regional Air Quality Council.Development of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Area.Participation in various issue-oriented metropolitan initiatives, including the Metropolitan Denver Public Safety Partnership, the Platte River Greenway Foundation and an anti-hate website.Through The Metro Mayors Caucus, collectively made Single Family Mortgage Bond financing available to help first-time home buyers.ChallengesUrban social problemsPoverty, unemployment, elderly concerns, crime and disinvestment, once unique characteristics of a core city, have spread to the first inner ring of suburban communities, including portions of Littleton, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Englewood and Aurora.DemographicsThroughout the metropolitan area, populations with special needs, particularly seniors, single-parent families, female-headed households and people without fluency in English, are increasing at a faster rate than the overall population.GrowthAll growth applies pressure on transportation facilities, land use, human services and the environment, and threatens quality of life by sapping existing City and metropolitan resources. From 1990 to 1998 the metro areas population grew by more than a half million people, a 30 percent increase.Lack of planningEfforts to address the regions development and growth influences are erratic, constantly shifting among communities in the metropolitan area. The States lack of involvement in and commitment to regional solutions is a missed opportunity.Social inequityEconomic segregation is spreading throughout the metropolitan area, resulting in a disparity in the availability and quality of services from community to community.HousingThere is a lack of connection linking lower-paid jobs to nearby housing in a range of prices and types in the metro area. In 1991 the average price of a single-family home in the metropolitan area was $102,766; by the late 1990s it had risen to over $200,000.CompetitionRevenue generation is the primary driver for expansion of metropolitan jurisdictions, intensifying competition among neighboring communities to potentially damaging levels with wasteful results.!*"tb#t,'" %r$5%'! t(' nb ),+ 1% '1*b!'n+b nt'('tbb"'nt%fbn#(' n,' +'#t!tt' t,'n&

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Human servicesCuts in federal spending for human services such as homelessness and housing increase demand on state and local funding streams.TABORTABOR restricts the use of tax revenues, including the potential to develop innovative revenue-sharing strategies.AttitudePublic officials in the metropolitan area often engage on cross-jurisdictional issues from a position of protectionism rather than collaboration. Much of this attitude is rooted in historic grievances, perceived inequities and political realities within diverse local electorates.OpportunitiesThe potential for cooperation, coordination and communication between metropolitan jurisdictions is almost limitless. All metropolitan jurisdictions share the need to sustain elements critically important to a high quality of life: the air we breathe, our individual mobility, clean water, a healthy economy, culture and the arts, our sense of ourselves as citizens, and our responsibility as stewards of the Front Range of Colorado. Yet, sustainability in these areas cannot be achieved by treating these as isolated issues or by local jurisdictions acting independently. Several existing assets or conditions for metropolitan cooperation present exciting new opportunities for the future:DRCOGs MetroVision 2020 Plan, which guides transportation, urban development, open space, environmental quality, urban centers and free-standing communities; and regional funding sources such as the SCFD and the Stadium District are successes upon which future collaborations can be built.The Metro Mayors Caucus provides a forum to address shared issues and reinforce shared values.Historically, the region has relied on voluntary cooperation among local governance structures. In the future, great opportunities exist for the State to support regional work that must be done.Technological advances allow jurisdictions to share information and make better metropolitan plans to address the complex issues facing the region. Examples include computer modeling of future demographics, the Internet, GIS for land-use planning, electronic mail and digital photography. TABOR stands for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a 1992 amendment to Colorados Constitution by referendum. TABOR limits the powers of jurisdictions to raise taxes, increase spending, and use excess public revenues generated due to economic growth. TABORs provisions restrict the flexibility of governments to develop alternative approaches to public finance. Real challenges appear not when the economy is growing, but when it diminishes.9b$# ", &t)1'nn#,t r$9&'+tbbbn)tn+ 'n#t"!n$#*)!$' !tt''"& n',b%.t'* t &t)n#t'""#t,&!!"tt' rff 213r

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fr214 Vision of SuccessDuring the first decade of the century, Denver will both lead and actively take part in many more collaborative initiatives with its metropolitan neighbors. Over time, political and jurisdictional boundaries will begin to diminish in importance, removing long-standing barriers to intergovernmental cooperation. The improved climate for metropolitan cooperation will have the following characteristics:CommunicationInformation is shared and communication flows freely among public officials in the metropolitan area.Collaborative problem-solvingShared problems are addressed with a shared sense of responsibility.Capital costsCosts of major capital improvements are spread across benefiting jurisdictions.PlanningJoint visionary and physical planning efforts are commonplace, leading to more efficient use of public dollars as well as more access to funding streams requiring metropolitan problem-solving.Social concernsA regional approach to social problems affordable housing, poverty, environmental quality and care for the disadvantaged is in place.Revenue sharingMore revenue-sharing initiatives are in place.Managed growthGrowth occurs throughout the metropolitan area within a framework of managed opportunity, rather than unpredictable sprawl.Quality of lifeThe metropolitan area shares both the responsibilities and the rewards of regional funding mechanisms for arts and culture, open space and recreation, and professional sports. Growth has been a major issue of the 1990s. Slightly more than two million people now live in the eight-county region. By 2020 approximately 770,000 new people are expected to settle in the area enough people to make a new Denver and Aurora combined. Such an increase guarantees the regions look and shape will undergo dramatic changes. The challenges of growth require the region to plan and be visionary about the future. Effective and efficient use of limited resources, whether financial, societal, or natural, is essential to achieve the goals of the plan and progress toward a sustainable future. the region can be a place where its people live close to where they work and play, where a balanced transportation network connects mixed-use urban centers, where urban communities are defined by significant open space, and where cultural diversity and respect for the natural environment are celebrated. DRCOG, MetroVision 2020 Plan amendment to the 1989 Comprehensive Plan. November 1995"b)+&n&,t="t#t$t#"nb *'t''btt+t,, n'nn!

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Objectives and Strategies Objective 1Growth ManagementShare the benefits and mitigate the impacts of growth by forming partnerships with our metropolitan neighbors and cooperating on regional growth issues.Strategies1-ALead in supporting the adoption and implementation of DRCOGs MetroVision 2020 Plan for regional growth and report annually on compliance with Plan 2000. REF:Environmental 5-A1-BAccelerate the exchange of information among jurisdictions through existing forums, such as DRCOG and The Metro Mayors Caucus, and through the use of information technologies.1-CSeek out and be more receptive to opportunities for cooperation with other jurisdictions on issues that can only be addressed regionally, such as mobility; air quality; and water conservation, quality and supply. REF:Environmental 5-B1-DWhen opportunities exist for cross-jurisdictional collaboration, initiate meetings with the residents of adjoining jurisdictions, among the staff of appropriate governmental entities, and with policy makers. Use technology and outreach efforts to stimulate citizen input and response on regional issues.1-EAdopt more comprehensive approaches to planning when multiple jurisdictions are affected. Such planning efforts could include sustainable development, service infrastructure enhancement, transportation facility development, open space connectivity, urban design, and land-use policies. REF:Environmental 5-C; Land Use Obj. 5; Economic 2-F; Neighborhoods 7-B; Mobility 5-C rff 215r

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fr216 Objective 2Access to JobsPromote a coordinated metropolitan approach to link lower-paid workers to jobs, and employers to the workers they need.REF:Human Services 1-D; Housing 6-FStrategies2-AProvide a variety of transportation solutions, including alternative forms of transportation such as vanpooling and private shuttle services, public transit, and voluntary transportation associations that help match available jobs with corresponding labor pools. REF:Mobility Obj. 1; Environmental 5-D2-BEncourage development of a range of housing types and prices in business growth areas to support employee access to entry-level jobs. REF:Housing 6-B2-CFocus job-creation efforts for entry-level workers in neighborhoods throughout the metropolitan area where potential employees already live.REF:Economic Activity 1-H2-DEnsure that development provides for mixed uses, allowing people of all income levels the opportunity to find housing near their jobs or find jobs near their homes. REF:Human Services 1-B Objective 3Revenue SharingWork with other jurisdictions and state government on methods to modify government revenue streams so that the finance systems support efficient and stable growth.REF:Housing 3-IStrategies3-ADevelop innovative strategies for metropolitan revenue sharing that support cooperation, not competition. Recognize and build on the successes of existing revenue-sharing mechanisms such as the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), the Metropolitan Stadium District, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD). REF:Neighborhoods 7-B

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3-BExplore ways to use TABOR provisions to share excess federal, state and local revenues with other jurisdictions.3-CTo encourage better land-use decisions, evaluate shifting a portion of the tax burden on local jurisdictions to alternative (state or regional) revenue mechanisms.3-DCollaborate with other jurisdictions through intergovernmental organizations, such as DRCOG, to find federal funds for projects that address cross-jurisdictional needs, such as help for older adults, homelessness, childrens issues, youth and violence, and housing in a range of types and prices. Mobilize against federal policy decisions with unfavorable local impacts. REF:Human Services 1-B, 5-C, 6-C; Housing 3-K Objective 4Arts, Culture and SportsContinue to advocate a metropolitan approach to support artistic and cultural organizations and major sports facilities.Strategies4-AActively support and promote cultural sharing, collaboration and reciprocity among the diverse mix of cultural and artistic organizations throughout the metropolitan region, such as the SCFD and its reauthorization by metropolitan voters. REF:Arts & Culture 1-D4-BContinue to support a regional approach to investments in high-quality professional sports facilities and activities. Taxation and regulation of land development vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Local governments currently compete for opportunities to expand their sales tax bases to pay for government services. Because local land-use decisions and local revenue generation are tied so closely, decisions are often reached that favor revenue generation over sustainable development principles. Economic pressures on local governments would decrease by shifting part of local taxes to other sources of revenue. rff 217r

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fr218 Objective 5Natural ResourcesCreate a shared metropolitan commitment to the conservation and quality of our natural resources.Strategies5-AIncrease access to parks and open space through coordinated multijurisdictional planning and physical connections. Specifically: REF:Environmental 5-E; Legacies 11-CParticipate in regional open space planning activities through DRCOG.Continue to support the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Area.Partner with neighboring jurisdictions to create, expand and/or enhance parks, open space and mountain parks with management and maintenance pacts. REF:Legacies 10-C, 10-DDevelop funding strategies that encourage cooperative planning and development efforts among Denver and its neighbors. REF:Land Use 1-FDevelop metrowide design standards that ensure access and enjoyment by persons with disabilities.5-BActively participate in water issues that affect the metropolitan area. Specifically:Uphold the policies in Water for Tomorrow: An Integrated Resource Plan, prepared by the Denver Water Board, addressing growth, water sharing and future quality and supply issues. REF:Environmental 2-C, 5-B; Legacies 12-AWork cooperatively with neighboring jurisdictions outside Denver Waters service area to develop mutually beneficial water supply projects. Denvers water assets are administered and governed by the Denver Water Board, an independent agency within the City and County of Denver. The mission of the Denver Water Board is to provide an adequate supply of high-quality water and excellent service to Denvers citizens and other Denver Water customers through responsible and creative stewardship of Denvers water assets.

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Objective 6Openness to CooperationEncourage cooperation with metropolitan neighbors by fostering a climate of open, respectful communication between other jurisdictions and Denver City government.Strategies6-AAnnually identify metropolitan issues in which the City has interests, such as housing, open space, comprehensive planning and gun safety; create an agenda for those issues; and share this agenda and related policies with individuals serving on metropolitan task forces.6-BSimplify the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) process to facilitate partnerships and expedite processes involving multiple jurisdictions.6-CEncourage staff efforts to work with other jurisdictions and reward employees for identifying and acting on partnership opportunities.6-DUse existing lines of communication to advance intergovernmental cooperation. Existing forums include The Metro Mayors Caucus, DRCOG and professional organizations for staff. Denver officials should fulfill their obligations to regional organizations, make attendance at interjurisdictional meetings a high priority, and seek positions of leadership in regional organizations. rff 219r

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Guiding PrinciplesThe central theme of Plan 2000 is sustaining Denvers quality of life for its people. It is as much about building good relationships as it is about performing tasks, completing projects or showing results. This chapter reaffirms five guiding principles that should characterize all implementation efforts: communication, fairness and equality, comprehensive approaches, partnership, and the leveraging of resources.CommunicationThe City values two-way communication with all of its constituents and will strive to broaden channels of communication among individuals, City agencies, private-sector interests and others. This will include the use of electronic communication accessible to all citizens.Fairness and equalityEvery Denver resident deserves the benefits of actions taken to fulfill the vision of Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000. Fairness and equal treatment are standards that apply to every aspect of its implementation and are essential for it to succeed.Comprehensive approachCity staff must take a multidisciplinary approach when looking at issues. This Plan is designed to build more connections within and beyond City government and, when opportunities arise, to erase boundaries. By approaching problems holistically and working across disciplines, City agencies can help to ensure that actions to implement Plan 2000 consider partnership opportunities and long-term impacts.PartnershipPlan 2000 encourages partnerships to innovatively and creatively address issues and solve problems. It recognizes that many of the problems facing the City are complex and can often be addressed more effectively through the cooperative efforts of more than one agency or governmental entity. In this Plan, partnership applies to arrangements involving the City of Denver, its agencies and departments, other public and/or private partners with whom it shares specific common objectives or interests, and neighborhoods and businesses within the city.Leveraging resourcesVirtually every goal in Plan 2000 requires investment of resources from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. In its approach to civic investment, the City should be creative and entrepreneurial in leveraging its resources by building partnerships with neighborhood organizations, special districts, businesses, nonprofit institutions, other metropolitan jurisdictions, regional and state sources, and federal agencies.bt4ffn% #),n")% $%nt %&)% %5' %bn 'fn f bb 225bbb(b.bb-

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bbb226 The actual implementation process for Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 has two components: publishing and disseminating an Annual Report documenting accomplishments related to Plan 2000, and annually incorporating Denver Comprehensive Plan action priorities as part of each years annual budget process. Objective 1Establish action priorities for funding and implementation through the annual budget process, including both the general fund and Capital Improvement Program (CIP).Strategies1-ASet action priorities annually, taking into consideration the findings of an Annual Report issued by the Denver Planning Board documenting progress on Plan 2000s implementation.1-BThrough a Mayoral Executive Order, direct that the action priority recommendations be used to evaluate agency budget requests as part of the general fund budget process.1-CReview the CIP budget in light of the Annual Reports action priorities.1-DIn 2000, implement the following action priorities:Initiate the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan and submit to City Council for review in early 2002, and modify the regulatory system following completion of the plan. REF: Land Use Obj. 1, 2 Urban innovation is not the monopoly of one kind of place it is a question of finding the moment and seizing the hour. Sir Peter Hall, Cities in Civilization, 1998

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Objective 2Regularly track and report progress in achieving the vision, goals and objectives of Plan 2000.Strategies2-ADevelop and use quality-of-life indicators to assess the effectiveness of implementation efforts.2-BThrough a Mayoral Executive Order, require agencies to report their accomplishments related to implementation of Plan 2000.2-CCompile and distribute an Annual Report assessing the Citys progress in implementing Plan 2000.2-DAmend the City Code to more closely reflect contemporary comprehensive planning. Objective 3Continuously update Plan 2000.Strategies3-AAdd information that expands or refines the Plans scope or purpose through the use of supplements such as neighborhood or corridor plans.3-BMake substantive changes to the Plans policies or directions in response to a major change in conditions through the use of amendments to Plan 2000.3-CEnsure that Plan 2000 reflects all additions and changes immediately by disseminating it primarily as an electronic document.3-DAmend the City Code to reflect the living (e.g., changing) nature of Plan 2000. Denver City governments website, www.denvergov.org, will contain an up-to-date version of the Plan, including any amendments and supplemental plans. Published copies of Plan 2000 will be available through the Denver Public Library system. btnfrnrtntrb 227rrbrfrfrbrfnbrbrbrrbf

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bbb228 Implementing the PlanThe Annual Report: Tracking, Recognizing and Reporting Implementation ProgressThe Denver Planning Board will compile and issue an Annual Report to the Mayor and City Council. The report will assess the progress of the City in achieving the vision, goals and objectives set out in Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000. The first report should be issued at the end of 2000, the first full year of implementation. It is recommended that the Annual Report include:Summary of changes to Plan 2000Summarize the supplements and amendments to Plan 2000 that have been adopted by the Denver Planning Board and Denver City Council. (See the Plan supplement and amendment processes described below.)Performance indicatorsThe City will develop and use quality-of-life indicators to track the effectiveness of implementation efforts. These indicators will provide agencies, policy makers and residents with a way to evaluate whether implementation efforts are producing the intended results, or where alternative approaches are needed. The report will summarize the results of the indicators and, over several years, document progress toward achieving Plan 2000s goals and objectives. The first year will provide baseline data. To be useful, an indicator must meet three criteria:be easily understandable;measure the vision and values of Plan 2000 using quantitative data; andprovide reliable information that is already collected on a regular basis. Examples of indicators that meet these criteria are:Average annual utility (gas and electric) and water consumption per residential customer. (Public Service Company and Denver Water Department)Residential and commercial building permit activity. (CPDA)Annual ridership for selected bus and rail routes. (RTD)Average home sales price and average rent compared to household income. (Denver Board of Realtors and DRCOG)The number and percentage of child-care programs accredited at a specific level of quality. (Educare)Changes to the Urban Growth Area in Denver and the metro area. (CPDA and DRCOG)

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Agency accomplishmentsAt the direction of an Executive Order issued by the Mayor, City agencies will make a report each year on accomplishments related to implementation of Plan 2000 to the Planning Board. The Executive Order should reinforce the importance of reporting accomplishments as they relate to Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000, thus ensuring the participation of all agencies.Annual Action Priorities: Taking Ownership and Being AccountablePast experience has shown that, to sustain progress toward the goals and objectives of the Citys Comprehensive Plan over the years, implementation of the Plan must become integrated into how the City does business. Plan 2000 achieves this by making implementation of the Comprehensive Plan part of the Citys annual budget process. As the budget cycle begins each spring, Plan 2000 recommends that the Planning Board set action priorities for the coming year. These priorities should be based on the findings of the newly published Annual Report on the Comprehensive Plan, suggestions from agencies, and suggestions from the public. To be most effective, the action priorities should:Continue those programs and projects that are proving effective at achieving Plan 2000s goals and objectives.Incorporate new initiatives proposed by City agencies.Engage and challenge City agencies to be creative, collaborative and resourceful.Be available to agencies as they develop their budgets.Be used to mold the six-, two-, and one-year Capital Improvements Program. The Planning Boards action priorities become influential only if City agencies are directed to use the priorities as a factor in determining what projects and programs are recommended for funding each year. Therefore, Plan 2000 recommends that the Mayor issue an Executive Order with two directives. The draft 2000 Comprehensive Plan recommends a stronger tie between the comprehensive plan and the budget. This budget includes funding for the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan and the Parks Master Plan, both of which are recommendations in the 2000 plan. In addition, capital projects that implement the plan are identified in the capital budget schedules. Mayor Wellington Webb, 2000 budget letter bb 229bbb(b.bb-

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bbb230 First, the Executive Order should direct the Denver Planning Board to develop recommended action priorities based on the Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000, accounting for progress already made. Second, the Executive Order should recognize the importance of the Comprehensive Plan 2000 and action priorities as a management tool to be used to develop the Mayors annual budget. Over time, the budget process should help facilitate agency implementation of the Comprehensive Plan, collaboration with other agencies, avoidance of duplication or contradiction, and the accomplishment of multiple goals or objectives.

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Changing and Expanding the PlanTo ensure that Plan 2000 remains flexible and responsive over time, it may be altered in two ways. The first way is by adopting supplements, which will add greater detail to the Comprehensive Plan. Supplements do not change the fundamental vision and goals of the Plan; examples of supplements are quadrant, neighborhood and corridor plans. The second way is by adopting amendments to the Comprehensive Plan itself. Amendments will be adopted, if necessary, to address dramatic changes in Denvers situation. Denver City Council will consider adopting supplements and amendments to Plan 2000 upon the recommendation of the Denver Planning Board.Adding Information: Supplements to Plan 2000The adoption of supplements is an essential process in fulfilling the vision of Plan 2000. Supplements expand or refine the Plans scope and purpose. Supplements are consistent with and work to promote the Plans fundamental vision, goals or objectives. The Denver Planning Boards protocol for adopting a supplement will include an evaluation of the long-term view of the proposed plan, the process used in the plans development, and its consistency with the goals and objectives of Plan 2000. A number of previously adopted area plans are being readopted as supplements to Plan 2000. (See Appendix for list.)Recommendations for the Supplement Protocol: Step 1A plan is presented to the Denver Planning Board with a recommendation from the Planning Office and any other applicable agencies. The Planning Board will evaluate the long-term view of the proposed plan, whether an inclusive process was used in its development, and its consistency with the goals and objectives of Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000. Using these criteria, the Planning Board will determine that the proposed supplement:meets the criteria and recommends adoption of the supplement to the City Council;does not meet all the criteria, but is consistent with the Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 and, with suggested changes in content, recommends adoption to City Council;does not meet criteria for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan because of changed conditions that may warrant an amendment to the Plan, and makes such a recommendation to City Council; ordoes not recommend adoption to City Council because of failure to meet criteria. bb 231bbb(b.bb-

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bbb232 Step 2The City Council will review the recommendation of the Planning Board and vote on adoption of the plan as a supplement to the Comprehensive Plan. Upon completion of the review, it may take one of three actions:vote to adopt the recommended supplement as part of the Comprehensive Plan;decide not to adopt the recommended supplement to the Comprehensive Plan; orreturn the supplement to the Planning Board (and, subsequently, to the originators) for modification.Step 3Following the adoption of a supplement, the Planning Board will incorporate an abstract of the supplement into the Plan 2000 document. The abstract will also be incorporated into the Annual Report. The abstract is a brief (one-page) summary of the plan that includes the following information: date adopted, geographic area covered, description of the essential vision or purpose for the plan, and contact agency.Adjusting the Course: Amendments to Plan 2000Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 must have the flexibility to respond to unknown and unexpected future influences to remain an accepted vision for Denver. Amendments to Plan 2000 should be based on generally recognized shifts in circumstances in Denver for which the Comprehensive Plan no longer provides appropriate direction or vision, or where an unanticipated need surfaces. The fiscal impact of the TABOR Amendment, welfare reform and growing regionalism are examples of major social and political shifts that were not foreseen in The 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan The Denver Planning Board will examine a proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to determine first if there are situational changes that require a major adjustment in public policy, and if so, then to review the merits of the proposed amendment. Once adopted, amendments will be incorporated into Plan 2000.Recommendations for the Amendment Protocol: Step 1The proposed amendment is presented to the Denver Planning Board. The Board examines it to determine if changing city situations require a major adjustment in public policy and if the proposed amendment has merit. Using these criteria, the Planning Board may exercise one of two possible actions:recommend the proposed amendment to City Council; orreturn the proposed amendment to the initiator for further analysis and definition.

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Step 2The City Council will review the recommendation of the Planning Board and vote on adoption of the proposed plan amendment to the Comprehensive Plan. Upon completion of the review, it may take one of three actions:vote to amend the Comprehensive Plan;decide to make no amendment to the Comprehensive Plan; orreturn the proposed amendment to the Planning Board (and, subsequently, to the originators) for modification.Step 3Once City Council adopts the amendment, it will be incorporated into electronic versions of the Comprehensive Plan and made part of the Annual Report.Keeping the Plan Current and Disseminating the Annual ReportTo be a living document, Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 is designed to change in response to new information and changing circumstances supplements and amendments. Therefore, it is essential that Plan 2000 exist primarily in an electronic format so that it can be updated easily, quickly and accurately. Plan 2000 and the subsequent Annual Reports will be available in hard copy through the Denver Public Library system. The Citys website, www.denvergov.org, will contain an up-to-date version of the Plan, including the abstracts of supplemental plans and any amendments adopted by Denver City Council. Plan 2000 will also be available in hard copy and on CD-ROM from the Denver Community Planning and Development Office. Similarly, the Annual Report will be available on the City website each year at the time it is released to the Mayor, City Council and the community. bb 233bbb(b.bb-

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Responsibility Planning Office Planning Office Planning Office Planning Office Planning Board Planning Board Planning Board Planning Board Planning Board Mayor Mayor CPDA/City Attorney CPDA/City Attorney Planning Office Planning Office/other agencies Planning Office CPDA CPDA CPDA/Public Works Transportation Planning City Council City Budget Process CPDA CPDACompletion Date 12-2000 10-2000 10-2001 mid-2000-2002 12-2000 1-2001 1-2001 2-2001 3-2001 3-2000 2-2000 2-2000 2-2000 3-2000 6-2000 ongoing 1-2001 1-2001 11-2001 1-2002 10-2001 1-2002 1-2004Recurring Action Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No btnfrnrtntrb 235rtntbtnfrnrtnffrrbrfrfrbrfnbrbrbrrbf234 Implementation Actions 1Annual Report aSummarize supplements and amendments. bDevise indicators to track progress and collect baseline data. cCollect indicator data and assess change. dIncorporate 2000 Census data into report and neighborhood profiles. eIssue Annual Report to Mayor, City Council and the community. 2Annual Action Priorities aEvaluate results of Annual Report. bDevelop action priories for coming budget year. cTransmit action priorities to Mayor and City agencies. dUse the action priorities to evaluate the one-, twoand six-year Capital Improvements Program. 3Executive OrdersaDirect agency participation in reporting progress and barriers to implementation and initiatives for the coming year. bDirect the Budget and Management Office to use the action priorities to evaluate agency budget requests. 4City Code AmendmentsaAmend City Code to be more reflective of contemporary comprehensive planning. bAmend City Code to reflect both supplement and amendment changes. 5Plan Supplements aEstablish contents of plan abstracts. bPrepare abstracts for plans readopted as part of Plan 2000. 6Updating the Plan and Disseminating the Annual Report aRevise Plan document as supplements or amendments are adopted. bUpdate the website and produce CD-ROM copies; print and copy as needed. cDistribute copies of Annual Report to library. 7Citywide Land Use and Transportation PlanaComplete draft of Plan. bCity Council action on adoption of the Citywide Land Use and Transportation Plan. 8Revision of Land-Use Regulatory System aObtain funding. bInitiate project. cSubmit ordinance amendments to City Council.

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