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Denver 1985 : a comprehensive plan for community excellence
Denver Planning Office
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Denver, CO
City and County of Denver
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288 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.

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Auraria Library
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ARCHIVES HT 168 . 04 0265 1967 AURARIA LIBRARY IH~!HIH~illH~I~


/ Bring me men to match my mountains Bring me man to match my plains Men with empires in their purpose And new eras in their brains. Poem by Sam Foss !II l , r I J I u • l l I





l I I I I I I I I I ! ' I CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER Honorable Thomas G. Currigan, Mayor DENVER CITY COUNCIL DENVER PLANNING OFFICE Irving S. Hook, President, District 3 Robert B. Keating, District l Houston Gibson, District 2 Paul A. Hentzell, District 4 Kenneth M. MacIntosh, District 5 James D. Robert E . Carl N. De Tempie, District 6 Leo Gemma, Jr., District 7 Elvin R. Caldwell, District 8 Roxie Carbone, District 9 Braman, Jr., Director Giltner, Assistant Director COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING DIVISION Richard Sundell Paul Wichmann Lou Laperriere Vern Vanzant Meredith Potter OPERATIONAL PLANNING DIVISION Joe Lontin David Van Vleck John Dillavou SPECIAL PROJECTS DIVISION Robert Damerau Morton Baker RESEARCH DIVISION Maxine Kurtz Ben Grove Ted McGinnis DRAFTIN . G SECTION Daniel Wilkerson John Harris Gerald Andolsek Royce Sherlock Ruby McCluskey Pauline Lehr Mary Wiedenfeld CLERICAL SECTION Allene Suazo Patricia Laffoon


DENVER PLAN NI NC BOARD James D. Braman, Jr. Director Mrs. Charles Booth Houston Gibson Martin Kelly Philip Milstein FORMER PLANNING BOARD MEMBERS WHO PARTICIPATED IN PREPARATION OF THIS REPORT AS OF JANUARY 1, 1967 Very Reverend Richard F. Ryan, Chairman Joseph A. Gallegos Victor Hornbein Frederick D. McIntosh Hudson Moore, Jr. Edwin G. Alexander Mrs. Karl Arndt George Cavender Richard B. Harvey Richard B. Whee ler


TABLE OF CONTENTS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • (Report approved January, 1967) PART ONE Denver 1985, Its Condition, Setting and Influences . 13 PART TWO Denver 1985, Objectives and Aspirations . 23 PART THREE History and Trends . 33 PART FOUR Urban Design Framework . 47 • SECTION A Transportation . 55 • SECTION B Residential Land Use . 77 • SECTION C Community Facilities . 115 • SECTION D Business Land Use . . . 133 • SECTION E Industrial Land Use . . 157 • SECTION F Platte River Valley Redevelopment . . 173 • SECTION G Tributaries of the Platte River . . 195 • SECTION H Community Renewal Program . . 219 • SECTION I Financing the Comprehensive Plan . . . 257 PART FIVE Denver Environment . . 267


INTRODUCTION "(In replanning the city) the citizens of Den ver must today expect and demand a quality of creative vision as great as the earlier vision of the adventurous pioneers who took fortunes of gold from the hills, built railroads where they couldn't be built and later carved great tunnels through the same hills to assure water for decades to come. . . . " In his above appraisal of Denver's current conditi"on, Charles •Blessing, architect, planner and past president of the American Institute of Planners, has gone far to crystallize an underlying theme of this document: Denver has the tradition, the history, the resources to attack its present problems of urbanization with all the potentials for dramatic success that were seized by our forebears. Present problems may be dif ferent, but they can be just as demanding of creative vision, adventure and daring. If this document makes a contribution toward charting the course and providing the framework and direction for action to maintain a future Denver as stimulating as that of the best of its past, it will have more than satisfied its prime objectives. 1985 has been selected as the target date of this plan; however, just as the city will not stop its evolution at that time, so the planning process will not be completed. The present plan is an outgrowth and evolution of the comprehensive plan published in 1958; at a later date new major revisions will replace this document. In the meantime, a yearly reassessment and updating process will keep the plan current and cognizant of constantly changing conditions. By and large, estimates and proposals of the plan are oriented to the year 1985. In some cases, however, other target dates have been employed. Where, for example, proposals are oriented to the decennial census occurring in the first year of the decade, other dates of necessity have been used.


" ... one can watch Denver growing, and then one realizes that within the lifetime of people already living, Denver is going to extend eastward to Kansas City and southwestward to Los Angeles ... " Dr. Arnold Toynbee, Historian


PART ONE DENVER -1985 ITS CONDITION, SETTING & INFLUENCES Dr. Toynbee, writing his appraisal of fut"re Denver (see opposite page) for the London Observer, may have used hyperbole the more forcefully to point up prospects for fut,tite changes and expansion in the city; nevertheless, past forces and rates of growth, particularly since World War II, give every evidence of a future evolution notable in size. What wiU be the o aracteristics of Denver in 1985 as the Air e accelerates into the Space. Age? What w e the state-wide and national d1mote }fi. ich the city finds itself? What cha~ n technology, or adjustment in human values, will be influencing urban development? A comprehensive plan for future Denver re quires an inves igation into these questions. 13


14 By 1985 the U. S. Aeronautical and Space Agency will have long since landed astronauts on the moon; a l 00 billion dollar program to send men to Mars may well be far advanced. The Air Force will have established a manned observation laboratory in orbit more or less per-manently habitable. Mach 3supersonic transport planes will cross the continent or the At lantic as a matter of routine in less than two hours. Along with these startling innovations, changes may be anticipated in the number of other areas.


TRANSPORTATION Airlines, the number one common carrier of interstate travel now logging over 35 million passenger miles per year, will more than triple this rate by 1985. Vertical take-off and landing aircraft will be in commercial operation. Stapleton International Airport in Denver, now accommodating over 300,000 aircraft operations yearly, may expect to handle near a half mil lion by 1985. The general aircraft fleet (pleasure, business) in the Denver Metropolitan Area is expected to increase from 800 to over 1,500. Surface transportation will expand apace. The 60 million autos in use in 1960 will have expanded to 120 million by the 1980s. The con sensus of auto experts is that the car of the 1980s will not be drastically different from that of today with the possible exception of small electric "town cars." Most autos will be fundamentally refinements of the ones we know now although the vehicle of the '80s will travel commonly at l 00 miles per hour on open freeways, many of which will provide automatic vehicle control. In the Denver Metropolitan Area the number of registered vehicles will have more than doubled between 1965 and 1985 although a significant expansion of mass transit facilities could reduce this expansion somewhat. It will take drastic action to arrest the decline in use of local mass transit facilities which, meas-ured in number of passengers on a national basis, dropped by almost half in the decade 1950 to 1960. If the decline is reversed, passenger volume might recover to the 1950 level of nearly 18 billion passengers by the late '80s. If the trend is toward bigf)er and better expressways, urban public transportation will probably end the century at half of today's level. Truck-tractors hauling trains of three trailers are envisioned on high-speed roads as early as the '70s. These truck-trains will be about 150 feet long and will weigh up to 160,000 pounds when loaded. It may be necessary to build separate truckways complete with their own interchanges and terminals between major cities. Surface travel by common carrier will likely fa II to a bout ha If of what it is today. The way the drop splits oetween rail and b~s transportation will depend on technological progress in rolling stock. Railroads, realizing this situation and aware of significant passenger loss in recent years, now envision during the '70s underground trains with speeds up to 300 miles an hour. The cost of boring through bedrock beneath the surface may not be much more than the cost of building a mo -dern superhighway. A number of new types of rail propulsion is being considered: one would rely on differences in air pressure to create a kind of pneumatic tube; another would be a "linear electric motor," a form of electrical propulsion that would avoid some of the problems likely to be encountered in using a "third rail" at high speeds. 15


POPULATION A large proportion of anticipated change and growth-locally, statewide, and nationally-will be directly related to increase in population. United States population now is expanding at the rate of l per cent per year (around 3,000,000 persons) and probably will exceed 240,000,000 by the early 1980s. By that time more than three of four Americans will live in urban areas, crowded onto less than two per cent of the country's land. Broad shifts in population will continue toward the west. The fastest growing part of the country will be the West Coast which shortly after 1980 will have close to 38 million inhabitants. The southwest will rank second in rate of growth with population expected to rise by 50 per cent in the next 20 years. The Mountain States (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado) as a group will grow in population at about the national average, although Colorado will grow somewhat more rapidly. Colorado population will increase from 2,000,000 in 1965 to approximately 2,700,000 in the early '80s. The Denver Metropolitan Area population grew from roughly 620,000 in 1950 to over 930,000 in 1960; 1965 population is estimated at slightly over one million. At the same time the City of Denver grew from some 420,000 persons in 1950 to over 490,000 in 1960. Metro politan population at the start of the '80s will be 1,600,000 with the City c , f Denve( account ing for approximately 640,000 of these. Worldwide population trends will continue to be a matter of grave concern for many. Since 1950 world population has increased by some 600 million or by more than the total population of the whole of Europe plus the USSR. The im plication of such figures in terms of investment in industry, agriculture and services, in terms of education, health and local government and in terms of threats to world peace are vast. There have never been so very many poor hungry people on the earth, nor have their numbers been multiplying so fast. Swarming in already congested country districts as a landless proletariat, they seem destined to create as combustible ma terial as any that history can show. Presuming, however, no spark to ignite such combustion or other global catastrophe, population growth, together with other prevailing trends, portend from a broad economic point of view rising conditions of well-being for the majority of U. S. citizens.


ECONOMY The annual Gross National Product, currently some $650 billion, will likely exceed a trillion dollars by the 1980s. Economists predict America will reach unprecedented peaks of prosperity in the next two decades. The average family, currently earning $6,500 per year, will have by the 1980s an income of $10,000 in today's buying power. America in the years ahead will shift from a "products" economy to a "services" economy. Spending for services will include outlets for such things as hospitals and medical care, barber and beauty care, household utili ties, rents, home repairs, travel and recreation. But the future American job market will grow increasingly difficult to tap; jobs in the '80s will require more and more training, skill and education. Farm laborers and unskilled workers will find fewer job opportunities. Mechanics and repairmen, however, are expected to be in heavy demand in the years ahead to service the growing mountain of household goods and gadgets. A growing trend toward more efficient large corporations is seen gradually reducing the number of certain types of small businesses . Automation in factories is seen continuing to take over many types of work. Governmentfederal, state, and local-will be a major source of jobs. Right now there are approximately ten million government workers. That number is expected to climb above the 16 million mark by the mid-'80s . The bulk of these new jobs will be at state and local levels. The economy of the State of Colorado will generally expand and provide a basis for population growth. Employment in agriculture follow ing the national trend will decrease; jobs in mining will remain relatively constant; manufacturing activity and opportunities for employment are expected to increase by some 35 per cent. Employment in construction, transportation, finance will show marked increase while growth of government and services jobs will be notable. The bulwark of Denver's economy now is brains rather than material objects. This ranges through the gamut of colleges and universities; the fields of administration, research, finance, public relations and marketing; medical research and treatment; government activities . Manufacturing in Denver has largely been limited to the productions of goods which serve the Rocky Mountain Region, which are protected by patents, or which could be classified as high cost, low bulk items. Tourist and convention business currently accounts for approximately eight per cent of the local economy. If Denver can maintain its favorable national image as a good place to live and supplement it with the educational facilities which are increasingly an essential adjunct to employment opportunities on the technical, professional and executive levels, the predominant white collar economy of the city will continue to develop and expand, with the city's role as a regional administrative center becoming increasingly important. The concentration of educational in stitutions of the college (especially postgraduate) level, of professional persons in the labor force, of companies which have advancement opportunities, and the development of services to small businesses serve as a magnet to attract new businesses and research-oriented government agencies. Concepts of future expansion of the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains Area must take into consideration available and potential sup plies of water, the sine qua non of growth in this semi-arid climate. As of December, 1965, the annual water supply for the Denver Metro Area runs approximately 350,000 acre feet to satisfy a demand for 200,000 acre feet. By 1975 it is estimated by the Denver Water Board that there will be a demand for approximately 310,000 acre feet per year. New supplies are being sought from the Blue River Basin, the Moffat Tunnel-Williams Fork Complex, and the Eagle River. LIVING PATTERNS The prevailing pattern of living for the average American is due for some changes, just as it has changed over past years. The average work week, for instance, in 1900 was 60 hours; currently it is 40 hours; by the 1980s it will be close to 35 hours. Leisure time was about 27 per cent of total national time in 1900, about 34 per cent in 1950, and is expected to be about 36 per cent in the 1980s. Vacation leisure doubled in the first half of this century and is projected to increase fivefold in the second half. Education will fill a large part of the lei • sure time void and is• sure to become a "growth" in dustry. Lewis B. Mayhew of Stanford University says on this subject: "Education will eventually be considered an enterprise replacing work as 17


18 a means by which people will assign meaning to their lives. Education is coming to be an industry which requires many people to produce and many people to consume. In this regard, education will take the place of war, the production of automobiles, or the settling of the frontier, which in the past have kept people busy." Pro fessor Mayhew predicts that 80 per cent of the college age group will take education beyond high school in some form by 1980. Colleges them selves will be jammed-with attendance 20 years from now up to 9.7 million compared with 4.6 currently. Vocationally we may have to accept the idea that training acquired up to age 20 to 25 will not be adequate to supply the skills needed for the ensuing 40 years of work; technology is changing too fast-the knowledge explosion is too great to allow termination of the learning process that early. Education will not necessarily be limited to the traditional school facilities; company schools, community schools, and private adult education activities are all possible forms of tomorrow's educational system. We can expect much more automatic push button equipment. Telephones will have more push buttons instead of dials. More picture phones-with talkers seeing each other-will be found in major cities. Television will be on flat wall screens, the picture of which will be larger than the largest available today. In addition there will be tiny screen portable sets. More of the drudgery will be taken out of the kitchen. M .icrowave ovens will cook food in a few seconds. Growing use is seen of convenience foods, pre-cooked frozen foods, irradiated foods to supplement canned varieties. Food shopping at the supermarket will be automated. Global TV, with programs available from all over the world, is to become a reality within the next ten years. Computers are expected to move into the home in the years ahead. One possibility as seen by a top official of General Electric Company: "Some day we will have a little computer-about the size of a desk-to keep track of things in everyday life. It would make up grocery lists, remind you of appointments, anniversaries; it would take care of your finances, your bank balance, paying household bills. It might even write out checks for you, and stop and sound a buzzer when the balance was getting down to a pre-set mark. The computer could easily figure your income tax. It could be connected to your telephone, so you could give it instructions or ask it questions when you are away from home." Many houses built 20 years from now are likely either to be completely prefabricated or make use of room components that will be assembled at the homesites. Tomorrow's house will be mass produced in large components or modules. The house probably will be basementless and almost separate from the site, thus eliminating the problem of extensive footings, dirt-moving, rock blasting, surface water drainage. The house will have a fully integrated air-treatment unit for heating and air conditioning. It may look more like a lunar shelter than a Cape Cod or a California contemporary.


GOVERNMENT As populations and patterns of living are due to change in the coming years, so too will the form and function of government-local, state, and national. The notion has had ( and is still experiencing) two major migrations. One has been the migration of the disqualified in agriculture who to a very large degree have come into the city with even less aptitude for making a living than they had in the country. They have filtered down into the slums of the cities where they are getting inadequate educations for participation in modern society. There has been another migration, that of the middle classes from the cities to the suburbs. The bringing of agriculture's dropouts into the cities has burdened the cities with tremendous welfare responsibilities. Also it has cut down on the amenities that make urban living attractive to the middle class. This is the backwash of national change, and by and large it is beyond the capacities of municipal and state budgets to solve these problems adequately. The Federal Government is the major tax col lector. As such it has the responsibility to deal with some of these consequences of national change and national policy. With the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the recognition of other trends' toward more Federal Government participation in the solving of municipal problems, it may be anticipated that a stronger partnership between the cities and the Federal Government will be forthcoming. Robert Weaver, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, appraised the future role of state governments in urban affairs in a recent speech at George Washington University: "Much has been said about the re sponsibility of the states in urban affairs. I am optimistic about the effect which reapportionment will have on the states in making them more attentive to the needs of urban populations. I see a whole new climate developing in our state governments, and the state may increasingly become a true partner with local governments and the federal government in grappling with community problems. Already we are seeing state governments turning their attention to regional urban problems." There are some who think in the future we may be able to call on our largest corporations, such as General Electric or Metropolitan Life or Westinghouse-corporations which have a talent for securing the best available technical advice and acquiring necessary capital to execute practically any project-to attack some of the more pressing and more difficult of the urban problems. The future probably will see little change in one major aspect of community development. Today it is local initiative that makes the difference between an active city and a dead one, a pleasant place to live or a depressing one. Undoubtedly, this will continue to be the case in the year 2000 and beyond. 19


"Our communities are what we make them. We as a Nation have before us the opportunityand the responsibility-to remold our cities, to improve our patterns of community development, and to provide for the housing needs of all seg ments of our population. Meeting these goals will contribute to the Nation's ... long-term economic growth. . . . Such a process must be democratic-for only when the citizens of a community have participated in selecting the goals which will shape their environment can they be expected to support the actions necessary to accomplish these goals." President John F. Kennedy Housing Message, March, 1961 I '


RT TWO DENVER-1985 OBJECllVES AND ASPIRATIONS Denver in 1985 will be experiencing new trends and influences; a city different from the one we now know will be emerging. Are the citizens of Denver content merely to sit by and watch as economic, sociological, tech nological forces leave their mark on the city? Do Denverites regard themselves as powerless to act in the face of inexorable forces aligned to remake the face of the city into some indeter minate and uncontrollable form? An emphatic "no" was voiced to these ques tior,s in a canvass of community leaders and others recently conducted by the Planning Office. Denverites were asked specifically what . kind of future city they wanted their's to be; they were asked what was wrong with their pres ent city, what was good about it, what ought to be done to correct deficiencies. Response to this questionnaire showed clearly that Denverites have many ideas about the kind of city they want to live in by 1985; certa,in areas of consensus were easily definable which sub sequently produced a solid basis for further action. The Planning Board, utilizing these con cepts, was able to prepare directions and ob jectives for guiding future growth of the city. These are cited on pages following.


FUTURE DENVERWHAT KIND OF CITY? A CITY OF EXCELLENCE In .broadest terms, Denver should strive to become a city of excellence-excellence in quality of residential neighborhoods, in public buildings, in educational processes, in efficient transportation systems, in economic base and business services. Excellence is easily its own valid reason for being. As a secondary bonus, however, it will assure a continued healthy economic climate and will attract those kinds of business and in dustrial activities judged most suitable for Den ver. Excellence is not free for the asking. Like anything worthwhile, it demands its . price. The cost of civic excellence is not only financial, it is per sonal as well. Citizens in large numbers will need to exercise self discipline, to subjugate individual desires for the community welfare, to reject in discriminate quantity for selective quality, and to contribute their time and effort to the common weal. Thus from the abstract concept of excel lence can be molded a great city. EXCELLENCE IN LIVING ENVIRONMENT Denver of the future above all else should be a community with an outstanding environment for living. It should be a community in which the advantages of its natural climate have not been diminished by air pollution. Its unparalleled recreotional opportunities should be enhanced with ready access to the Rockies and by the preservation of major open spaces both within the metropolitan area and its nearby mountains.


Denver should be a community of fine residential neighborhoods with a predominant orientation towards single-family housing and with adequate provision for those wishing to live in apartments and condominiums. All blight -physical, social, moral-should be subjected to head-on attack. The relationship between moral decay and physical decay continuously has become more apparent; frequently physical blight in a community is fundamentally the visual manifestation of eroded moral stature-though not necessarily of those who inhabit the blighted district. Where selfishness, greed, prejudice, hatred have given way to charity and mutual respect, it is unlikely that physical and social decay will be evident. The fine arts, performing and communica tions arts, literature and historical pursuits as well must be given adequate encouragement and nutriment to grow and flourish. EXCELLENCE IN ECONOMIC BASE The type of economic growth most appropriate and promising for future Denver lies in industries oriented primarily to the employment of highly skilled and highly educated workers. Industries which are research oriented or which manufacture items of low bulk and high value are especially desirable and appropriate. To encourage this type of development, Denver's industrial areas will have to be attractive, well served by transportation routes and well served by adequate utilities. Concurrent with industrial growth should be development of demand for retail sales and serv ices. Also, the community must support strong educational and training programs so that ultimately its citizens are adequately trained for a proper role in the economic activities of the community. Denver should endeavor to become a more important center of regional and national activ ities and the location of headquarters for corporations, associations, unions, lodges and clubs. Denver should strive to become even more a year-round center of conventions, tourism and recreation. EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS SERVICES No less than for residential areas, business services of the community should strive for the goal of excellence in living environment. Denver should remain a city with a strong metropolitan core of business, recreation and community activ ities. This is necessary not only to create a proper atmosphere for desirable regional and national headquarters, but also to provide a diversity of shopping, recreationa• I and cultural experiences not possible in a community lacking a strong core. The location of shopping centers in residential neighborhoods should be such as to enhance surrounding residential living environment. Considerable attention needs to be given to the continually deteriorating condition of com mercial land use along many arterial streets. These routes can and should be a community asset rather than a visual, traffic and economic liability. EXCELLENCE IN GOVERNMENT Denver cannot expect to enjoy an increasing degree of excellence in these matters unless it maintains an excellent form of government and selects outstanding public officials to guide the community's development. Furthermore, more satisfactory means of solving problems common to the entire metropolitan area must be found to reduce the debilitating overlap or lack of coordination in functions which stem from the existence of over 240 separate governmental jurisdictions in the area. UNIQUE IDENTITY FOR DENVER It is important for Denver citizens to realize the foregoing aspirations in such a way as to strengthen the unique heritage and situation of the city. Solutions to urban problems in other cities may not necessarily be appropriate here. Denver's heritage includes the climate and the mountains; western traditions, landmarks and monuments; local history and customs; and preservation of these values must continually be borne in mind by those developing the Denver of tomorrow. 25


SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES FOR DENVER A number of specific objectives for Denver have evolved from the previously mentioned survey of the Planning Board. These have been placed in five categories: the locational setting, the natural or physical setting, the economic setting, the human setting and the urban setting. THE LOCATIONAL SETTING Denver is situated on a high plateau at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. It is located midway between the Canadian and Mexican borders, about 1, l 00 miles from the Pacific Coast. No major city is closer than 500 miles. Community objectives in this category are: • To enhance Denver's position as a continential city-the center of regional and national activities; • To minimize effects of geographical isolation by improving transportation and communicatio , ns systems; • To preserve Denver's historical western heritage. THE NATURAL OR PHYSICAL SETTING The natural setting of Denver is that of a plains city located at the confluence of several water courses. The continental divide of the Rocky Mountains lies about 50 miles to the west. The city's 5,200-foot altitude, its 14-inch rainfall and its relatively clear, thin air and sunny days contribute to the livability of the region. Community objectives in this category are: • To preserve the natural advantages of Denver's climate; • To make the most of the natural setting as a plains city at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. 27


THE ECONOMIC SETTING Denver's economy is diversified and noncyclical. Income levels are above the national averages, and over one-half of the labor force is engaged in white collar jobs. Community objectives in this category are: • To encourage development of a sound industrial base; • To enhance Denver's position as a regional and national headquarters city; • To enhance Denver's position as a center of Transportation, Education and Professions, Tourism, Conventions and Entertainment, Wholesaling and Distribution, Communications, Arts and Sciences, Government, Finance, Retailing, Medicine, Culture and The Arts THE HUMAN SETTING Improvement of Denver's human setting relates to social and individual needs of the citizens. Community objectives in this category are: 28 • To reduce friction, inefficiency and duplication in metropolitan government; • To enhance Denver's status as a city of harmonious human relations; • To enhance the economic well-being of the citizenry; • To secure the health and welfare of the citizenry; • To meet the social needs and desires of the citizenry; • To provide efficient and economic local government res,ponsive to the needs of its citizens.


THE URBAN SETTING The urban setting of Denver deals with its physical form, its beauty and environment. Community objectives in this category are: • To prevent and eliminate all blight; • To strengthen Denver's excellence in man-made works and activities; • To provide a safe, rapid, economic system for transporting people and goods within the city-with due regard fo • r the effect of transportation on land use; • To establish and promote specific character and identity for functional areas of the city, such as the downtown area; • To preserve and improve the environment of all areas of the city; • To provide properly located and well designed public facilities. 29


PRIORITY ACTION PROGRAMS Among community objectives cited, some stand out as particularly important and require first priority in an action program for civic betterment. Top priority action items are: 30 • To bring about more effective planning and control of development on a metropolitan basis; • To provide opportunities for higher education for a broad segment of Denver area residents; • To prevent and eliminate air pollution; • To plan highways that reflect the need for improving access to mountain and other recreation areas from every section of the metropolitan area; • To acquire major public open spaces around Denver; • To enhance the aesthetic quality of the community; • To improve the financial status of Denver so that funds are available to finance the many improvements required for accomplishment of plan objectives. Important steps already have been taken on some of these programs; all must be vigorously pursued.


"I know of no way of judging the future but by the past." Patrick Henry r,


;. ----. , ,, • ,/ 4 ., / '' I , PA.RTI T H R E E ' I ' --, . \~ \ / I • I -AND JRENDS / DENVER HISTORY I --'"'-/ --.. I, -, \ , -I . , / • I I \ / \ / I ) ,I ' . . \ / I ./ \ "-I ' )<. ./ _,,-/ ./ ,. I ,. / \ / I / ' \ ,,. .,:. .,, ./ .... r • I / , L ' ./. -. I _ , ... .. / v I I -' \. _, ', I • ,I' ,, f I ,, ' I -,, / --' ) ,, I / \ I/' T ~ I I /


) t , -; ,,, .... /' ,,,,.-,, ' ' \ , I J • , Here loy a plateau one mile high, for!Y miles wid , e and 200 !!liles long along the easte_r(I side of the continental wall. The horizo ' n rolled down east into vast ranges ready for cattle and' and oil wells. The western crags (6se into the blue. ' l-4,000-foot ~tmosp~ere exposing almost every 'I', valuable---::-mineral. The nor .them --horizon lifted into the northwest territory, and the' southern . horizon t~ped do~n _ into the old-Spanish,vaJl~ys of Rio Grqnde. Over this plateau hung , c?ystal an_ d a fine living dimate. H~re was a -plgt-"'' ...,, " form for future cities: . - • -,, # Fol_lowlng the discovery _pf. gold bya part}'i . of cnerokee Indians, a group of G eorgia_ riliners led by W: <;;reen RtJSsell and two brother~ -sought and found gold in Dry Creek •in 1858. By the _ fall of that .year, about1 twenty log cabins had 9een built s~uth of the-Present Overla~ Pq_rk, but the location; ' known as Montana City; soon was abandoned for a more favorable one on the ,wedge of lane) formed by thejunction of -th;: . South Platte River and Cherry Creek. The , Aurari a Town Company was formed and withi'n a fe_w months 150 crude cottonwood log cabins had beerrerected. On November 17, 1858, a band of gold-seekers--....from Kansas organi1zed a town . <:ompany on>he / ~ast bank of"eherry-Creek-op posije Aura_ ria. This infant town wos named after General James W. Denver, then''@overnor of kansas Territory ' . / . ( / --t ... I ,!_ , -_ , . \ 'I -' ;---.. ..... -F ' ' / j "' ' --/ I , ( L r . I • I 0 34 / I / ' . ,, _, I ) I ~ r \ ' ;,. , ' I , i • I , ' . I • I / • \ I. I '> .. I f ./ I / / 1 :f . J ( ... -,. , : I \ I -' -/ .. _,.,... .... ,, 'i '-.. _, / ,,. -< / .-\ ' .. / , . .,,. . , --,,--: _,.__ ' ( .Ji ...... <, .,, ' I I '-r ., I. y


\ -/ 'i ...... !.-/ , .. ...... • , ..... ,. ,. ' . ' -,,..,. ,/ :... 1 I I ,,, .... ,,. \ :;-.,.. The importan~e _of railroad transportation to_ , ' I / -I , the infant city is shown_ bx the record of Den-,,.,. ,. / -Ner's populatio_t1 growth. In 1860, when its first ' cei,sus was taken1 Denver had 4,749 residents. ~-'-. ,. During the succeeding (~ecade, al~ freight I -, I ---hr.ought to Benver was carried by ox. or mule-,.. f r --' , . , draw. n 'wagons. All regular-passengef\ , traffic ..... -"" ~' from the -Missouri River came in stage coo~hes. ' -,< By1870, the city had goiF1ed only ten persons / I '-.; -in population. On July 24th of tha-t year, the first ' ,,• I ' ..... rqilroad passenger !train steamed into --:Denver I . ,; I ;i and with construction of other routes, rail lines ., w ere extended into the . mining r~gions; a large / ..... and rapidly devetoping territory was made tribu--tary to Denver. These , lines increased Denver's . ,, importance as a distributiqn point for supplies _;:.. / . ,:' and manufactured articles of all kinds and r ., .... -. started the city,on of prospe_ rity and' " ,l an era .JA growth:When the next . was taken census m --.,, 1880 " Denver's population had expanded to. , ( -' 32,629 ' . By 1890 the city's populatiQn had / reached\ 106,713. ,A • " ., ' ,, -,,_ t \ ' \ ;" ) I ' I ,, 0 I , _,,, I .' / ,. . .,. .... -:::, -' '\ ..--.,,... fI :. -/( / • f ' ,--,. I .I ,,, / •I I ,1 • I I , . ) . , _._, / ,,, ) ,,. I , > ' I . ;,. -, "'\ I I ,/ -., --f .... I . f" , . ,. \ .,,,,, .,, -: -,/, ,,.... ' -I I ., ---,. , , -, • . I 35 /


,, I In addition to the, -railroad se'verol other fac, ' tors were r~iponsible for the gre~t prosperity ~nd growth of the dtytduring Jhe period 1875-1892, particularly, _the ' wealth f~und in tl:le mining 1 fields. Fortune seekers slimulated the economy w . ith .their purcha_ses and ~uipm,,ent. Supplie~ were required by minihg compc;mies; and the ---successful frequently returned to t ,he city, b(i'ng._ ir~g with them tbeir , n~wty-fovnd wealth. Increased irrigation was onother prominent. fea-, lure in changing Denver from a barren waste into a far:_ming and ranching community. Also, a / , great psychologiccil"-boost resulted from state-, ~hood in 1876;-, 1 The era of prospe. rity brought. expansion df t~e central area easpt.tard...:...the ' Winds9r and Brown Palace Hotels , , f abor Opera HousJ and. many majoroffice buildings. The homes on -:Capitol Hill were thefinest money could buy. Colleges, parks, sc;hools and a -library were,,' among the many, f ,acilitif::S added. Such then wasthe era of prosperi_ty. Speculation and the .siJver panic finally resulted m the economic _ crash •of ' l893l 894. Dur1n9 the foHowing decade-a more so~er city evolved. C • \ ( ',. / \. ' , --/ , , . I / r T / I \. ;.,,; I I I ' I ), r \ I . • I ' ,_ I ' , .,,-, 36 I ' I ', ' ) -..; -I \. I I • I'-::-I •<:•;,. :,t 't'. r ', .,,..1 ;--,.-"II " r , , . 't / . / , -'-;r I 7 -,, I • I I -j. / . .. . . J


, The Twentieth Amendment to the State Con-I I stitution giving Denver autonomous rule in pure• -/ ly 'munidpal affairs was adopted in 1902 ' and " made effective through approval by the people ' r of a new ch~1Jer on March 29, 1904. The{e fol-I / --' lpwed a tremendous change in civic spirjt and a renaissance 1n the development of the city~ J _ At the fir~t"' regular election following passage ,,. of the home rule chorter, Robert W. Speer_ was . .... I ' I ,___ chosen Mayor. Mayor Speer worked largely on '\ ' ,.. the principle that cities should . be developed from an a ' esthetic viewpoint. This principle, the ~ominant planning ideal as late as 1910, was an / outgrowth of the "City Beautiful" move~ent that ,. .. , Kad originated 'with the World's Columbian E~position ~ held in Chicago in 1893. Among the achievements of M~yo__r Speer's administrati _ on were Speer Boulevard, ihitial _proposals for the \ , Civic Cent~r aad developnJent of the city's ex, -tensive parks and pa rkway systems. . -' . . \ • , / ; , ;,. ) I -,-/ • ' ,/ ,. ,, , '1 / , , I .. ,,, ; , ' ,,, .,. -_ .. ; ,I , . . I . .-1, I, I .. I / ' /. I ,,, ,/ , '. A/ I ( ' . ,. .,, ' ..... \ ,,. ,, I , . / /. . I ., -I ( ( , ' --. • • I ' -.. I '\ I .I, , .,i:i , ,,,,, I I .. _,,., ... 37 , • / J • ... ., ,,


...,_ I I • ( l -1 Jhe first three-decade;-of the 1900J were an-\ active period. Most of the buildings,, of the QJiginal city disappeared as did th~few itemai~ , . _ ing residen,ial ~tructures in the l dwntown area. ,_ , The stocky~rds ~nd odjac~nt ~~ckin~ plants re) J-: placed mmmg as the domman_t mdustry -and the . , city 9ai11ed a dive rsified econo!)'lic base. Many ' ,J ( of the city~~ present monuments and ~uJ:>lic, 1nstitl!tions were completed dur)l)g th _ e period;Jhe ' mountain parks system was dev~lop~d. Thus it was ' du.ring the ' twentie . s that the remaincrer of , _ t~e city]ook its Pfesent fgrm. The depression -and World War lly -slo~ed the rate of growth , and prevented mdny plans from being realized. ,ft was not , ~ntil t~e Post-W , orld _ Wa.r II -era th i t planryin'g began to ~cq4,ire a more '\ compre hensive nature. At fhe same time Denver again began to experience , rqpid growth:;-growth more '1 , f!Jr-te ~ ching than ever befor'e ~xped~ nced bx -, fhe city. I • { I ., I ' / f L ' ,,.. ---38 < I ' / # ' .I \ ) ,l r ,1 . ' / 'I -.. / 1-. ---'\ ~' ,, }.,. __ . -/ .,,. . ..,_ r --~,i;,. : • f)' /, V I I . # ' ( , \ f I ' • y .. I i ' I \ -I ; --' I ) . I \ ' I>( \ / J ... , .. {" . -,.. 1/ -I -.. ,, /" ' . I I I


., -/ / / .,. (. -... .... . , ' _}he immediate post-war per~d '!{OS marked -, I I, by a migration to Den_yer led by former military .,, ,,,-. p~rsQ.nnel wh~ hqd been stationed in the area ' -during World War II and who had deciaed that , -their hc;,mes were to be in Denver a~ soon as that '. step became feasible; ,. ' I I . , y' In Post-World War II xears ~he federal gov-<. ..___ -, ernment led the VfOY to a 'major exports ion oT. .. -technologically oriented activities in ' Metro. . ., ' --. politan Denver. ,Th ... e establishment of , numerous -. " offices iry the Federal Cenh~r; theconstruction ~f I. /, the National Bure01,1 of Standards in Boulder and ' the ~hcouragem~nt to such firms as 0-ow ChemiI r ( ,I cal Co., Sundstrand Aviation and Martin-Den-, a/ ,,. --\ ver to manufacture atomic prodl!cts, aircraft ac/ , -" cessor f es and TJtan missiles caused a substantial --/ ,.-,,. economic growth. -Simultaneously, the discovery t . ,, ,,-of ":1ajor oil produd~ field in the Willisto_!'l , ; / ,. basin in the 1:!>akotas an southern Canada, en\ courciged a , migratior, of petroleu~ manage, .... ../ -;ment, research: explorati_on, public relations and ,,__ -r , other sp ecialized administrptive-compan1es . fro , m I\ ,-' / ' Oklahoma and t.~xas to Denver. 1 \ , , , -.. .;;,-,,. ,, . ; . / ,. ,. '-T ' . , -..I _.., ' ,... \ \ , I ' I • ..... ... ,, / '!" .,. ,, / I' ,,. . .,. ,, , ,, ..... ,,. ,. , --j I' , / ./ .f ".. ' -. I .: / . I ) I I !... ' \_ • ,r ,.,. -r ,-. i ' J J-< ;;... ----. , -' I/ • _f __... " -• J ,. ' ' . ':\ ' , ~, , ,,. ....._ I ' , ,.. I~ _.,,. .,., 1 r -;,-_.,. r ,.,. ., I' 39 .,,. -,. ' • .. J


' / .,J( / ' \ , ,... • '' . ' The youn g, highly educated men and women n eeded , to staff scientific public and private fa cilities rangin • g from the National Ce~er for Almospheric Research to the _-research ce~ter of the Marathon Oil Company led ; to Denver citr ~ zens attaining t~e second righest average edu cational level among all major Amer:ican cities. The number of scientist! per l 0,000 populatiofl is e~ual to that in the Boston-Ca~bridge1 area, , and since "brains_ attract brains/' a recen( study ind~c~t~s thcit Colorado is benefitting from , the migrati .c:>n of Ph.D. sc;ieotists from other pqrts of the country. \ • The results of this emphasis on the well-edu-catedi itizenry have been aiverse: (1) high quali ty educational systems; (2) lack ot support. for activiti'~s which or~ mediocre in quality; (3) ex-• tensive participqtion in post-high-school and post-baccalal!reate degree educa-tional acti-~ities_; (4) difficulties in dev~loping strong community ~ leadershfp; and (5) deficiencYof economic op• ' J \ \ \_ ) .. 'l /' -; /' <' I / ,\ ' I \ \ . \ ' , \ I J " . / .,i,, I I ' / I ''j ' . I -.I -,. \ ' \ I I I l ,I '-/ ' ,_.; --/ ,. ~' ....... , , , ' t , I . ~ \ \ I I / ~ \.1 '-....._ ..,. " 40 \ / '/ "' ' / • I , ..... )-... > ... • • ' . ( r ' ,). \ , I ,_ I • J I \ . / I • , \ < ._ \ / . / / /1 ' •/ # -... / I /


.,,, • I ... -/ . • ':. .. .,. ;r -'--I / ,,,, \ . ..... / ,,-' / I , I •t , ,, I , / I , ' ,, , . :.. .,> f \ -I I ,,, __, -I /, . . ,, , . ) ,_ / . I .. . J f , -I...._ portunily for the less well educa.tpd. The youth 1 of the adult population"' lecids to a consider9ble preotcupation with education for children, professi6nal-:. advdncement and establishment of hom ... es-f_requently at the expense of general civic concerns . I / Since the specializ~d 11ature of_ the economy is due to forces Jargely outside the control of•the people 'in the community, th.e present pattern is likely to beco~e more marked. Although Denver --. \ is o ' utside of the national migration pattern of unskilled wbrkers from sout~ to north;-the community does drdw the displaced agricultura_l ' workers from outlying arects of Colorado and adjoining states. The\e indivrduals havebeen experiencing considerable difficult~ es f in finding ~mployment in the Denver area -because of the nature of the economy. Programs are being un-dettaken to re-train these workers to filt'urban jobs, but tbe problem 'can be expected to tinue for manf years to / _;, -, . ,, I . \ / \ I I • \ -, -..._ , come. ... / , J ). \ con; . ,, • • I I • :" I "' • I I 41 ' , '


, • 1 . ,. ... \ .... f ' I • '-Tne Denver Metropolitan Area has a _ relcttive-_ < ly small segment . of the t~tal population , classi..,.. lield as defin .able . minortl,y gr--0ups: seven per _ cent persons of ~panish \5urpame, andfour per cent Negro iri f960. However, 75.Re_r cent of t~e persons of Spanish surna'!' e dn _ d ~6 per cent of 'the N,.-egro population residint(in the metropolitcim area were locotea in tlie City and County 1 of Deriver. Extending the trends to the beginn!ng of the f980s, -it is estima ,ted that. between eight : .L • .., ... and , ten per cent of the 640,000 Denver city popu-lation will be ' persons of Spa. ~ish surnames ; ..and that an additional l l ' to 12 P,er cent of the city populationwill be Negro. : Census figures by .ttqct indicate that minority population is some what-'disp _ersed throughout the city, but that cer-~ tain areas sh9w markedly greater concentrations thon others. A'lthough th~ average ec:J~cational afta!nment pf the Negroes is l I ) ' --., I • I \ ../ ; I I" ... J I , I ( -,,. . I I -. / ' i -... . , J n , . -. , -, \ ) • ' ... I I ,.,.,


I ' . ... ' ( .,.. • ,, ' ' __,,,,f \ ,;" , , _ -r / I -" .,, \ I .( v , " .. --. . . '< • I / The predommantly young, well _ educated . -, -POJ?uld. !io n, working at jobs whi~h are stable., .... and well-paying, have relatively large fami!ies ; \ -and_ usual1y want single family homes with ample < I ' y~rd space . . Availabl~ spQ:Ce for \.sush housi~g ;. ' '-.. f tends to be at the perimeter of.the urban-area, r I and hence frequ,ently is sl!burban \..rqther than ;:.1 I ' ,,.. ciJy. Thus, the major role _ of the central city at t " / ' .• / this time is to house the sir.igle Rerson, the_ ~~der person or couple whose children nave grown arid I left home -and the poorer families who can ,:iot -/ J afford single family housing-The scope of this ( • . role can be s~en by th~ fact that in recent years-:-; -: t ,hree out of four,dwelling units co,:istruped in -I ; Denver have been apartment units. Business to 1 \ .. ' .,. serve the residents has followed ifs market out ,,. ,_ ' I / of the c;_entral . city .... leaving ~Ofe sp~cialized ' ,_ -' -function _ s to be performed in"the core area:--,. I ,, --. I I ,-/ ., I ,. , ,. I / I • • ., '-. .,,-,. /, ,,. ' , • ...!' ' ,# ,. , r / / ' --: ,, ' I . ,, • I -' • I ' J , ,,, _,,, -., / '\ , I I I { ,,, . -, I . I / -.. ,,, , _,, ,, -J ' ,.... I I ,. / I, J .. ' .,_ '1 ., "'" l ... , --} -' 1 -, .,, -I , ,... I • -' ' , I -.-/ (' . . -'-,. '., ' -. 'It • 'i . I , , • ...... ' ., ' " . \ ,..' I \ ' . r t f ) I ;I ., ... / -' / ' .. .. 43 • .,


,,, -.... , , ,_ r ,,, / I .I / -'-.. / --/ -The temperate climate and nearby mountains / ) .,. , I. • J entourage outdoor recreation which requires automobile transportation. Furthermore, few in_,, \ dust6al (lreas or~ well served by transit. The re -I' -suit isone of the highest ratios of automobile own~rsnip per\ capita in the United States, and -: . ' . .J .... the ever-continutng need for , construction of1high;. , ,..ways. _,;. ,,,. The dynamic lar.,d use patterns/ of a rapidly , ..,. growing city require guidance so rliey are -bal--, \ anced and functionally related one to another. ,.. .,The ' pla'1s set forth 'in the succeeding sectiotls of / . this report are intended to provide that guidance _y /. /, toward community excellence. "' / .. ' > ., . -, , / .,--., I I -\ t ' --... J <... ~-# / _ I, ' ' \ --, r ' I I , I f ' l . , I ' .,,,. I • ,,,_ I I • ,, ' .\ 'I ..... ;. ., ' I ~ .., I ' ' -,., .. ' ' ., /. I -' ' . . , I I ... I ' ' / > -'\ I J • / \ ,, .,, , ... I -"! / / I , ' ' / I I r ' -.,.,.;J A. ---, , , \ ,. ' \ ' -: .I ( ;-> I ' '-t , -I I I ~, J ' ' I ) , 1/ -I I. . .. ---' ,I J • ,., ,,/ , , t. .,. . , ' . t / I ' I. -• .,I ...___ ... I I , -_, . 44 ( /f , ,, -,' ,, ' ' . . / .... ...-,, \ ., /


"The goal of the city is to make man safe and happy." Aristotle ' ' r I I !


PART FOUR DENVER -1985 ELEMENTS OF THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN URBAN DESIGN FRAMEWORK The idea of an urban design framework for the Denver Metropolitan Region is not new. The 1961 Metro Growth Guide of the Inter-County Regional Planning Commission identified and encouraged further development of an economic-social pattern of urban growth known as the Core Satellite City concept . This design skeleton, new at the time, received only limited acceptance and application. Nevertheless, the Core-Satel lite City concept contained much of merit and still has influence on planning for the broad metropolitan picture. Denver, like any other , city, actually has today an urban design framework notwithstanding the fact that very little of it was deliberately con ceived and established as such. Topography, transportation routes, soil conditions, utility serv ice lines, certain commercial and social forces, all have left their mark on the basic form of the Denver urbanized area. The resultant pattern in some cases may tend to be chaoti . c and ineffi cient, but nevertheless a pattern has been estab lished and can be identified. In recent years, as more urban development in the country is occurring in the form of "new towns," the examples .of sound, successful urban design patterns are increasing. And a few cities have achieved a successful urban design frame work less by intent than by accident. Most cities, however, can point at best only to a sort of "Topsy" growth pattern containing at least as many negative as positive features. Denver today lies somewhere in between the above categories. It can't claim that its overall pattern of regional growth was a matter of deliberate intent and design either from the viewpoint of physical development or political com position. On the other hand, topography and certain natural features-largely by accidenthave been kind to Denver. Its setting at the foot of the Rockies is visually, climatically and rec::rea tionally a striking asset. The relatively flat and somewhat uncomplicated terrain of the present urbanized area has permitted urban expansion in all directions keeping transportation routes into the core area relatively short; maintaining physical, visual and economic strength in the core; and permitting continued c::omposition in the urban design pattern in spite of strong trends toward decentralization and fragmentation. Major transportation routes in the Denver region have had an obvious effect on develop ment patterns. New growth follows these routes which later are expanded and stimulate further new development. In general, predominant features of the existing Denver urban design framework may be grouped into three patterns: The Core-Satellite City Pattern, The Star Pattern, The Mountain-Valley Pattern, Each of these designs is reviewed on pages following.


CORE-SATELLITE CITY PATTERN The Core-Satellite City pattern of Metropolitan Denver growth is based primarily on certain decentralization and fragmentation trends: out lying portions of the region are growing at a rate more rapid than the core city; the do:tm town sector of the core city is receding somewhat in relative importance and sales volumes compared with commercial areas in outlying dis tricts; there are beginning to form in the more remote portions of the metropolitan area nuclei of commercial-industrial-business development which can constitute the sub-core of residential neighborhoods adjacent and nearby. The Core-Satellite City concept embodies sig nificant advantages, but in the Denver Metro politan Region at this time there does not exist the political framework to bring about imple mentation. The prevailing regional political com position is one of fragmentation with little evidence of any will to implement this pattern volun tarily. The prevailing interest of each separate jurisdiction is oriented largely toward itself rather than toward the welfare of the region as a whole. Major advantages of the Core-Satellite City pattern are: • Strengthened composition and form for the metropolitan area as compared with a disordered, undirected pattern; • Orderly, logical relationship between places of work and places for living with great possibilities of reduction of travel time and transportation routes; • The social advantage of providing communi ties with identifiable nuclei which can pro vide for the citizen a sense of place and identification as well as a sense of com munity pride; • Logical, orderly interrelationship between the whole of the metropolitan region and each of its separate parts. 48 CORE -SATELLITE REGIONAL PLAN LEGEND ••• • '•' I . ( ,; : .,.,. CORE CITY CENTER SATELLITE CENTER




THE STAR PATTERN The Star Pattern of Denver metropolitan growth is based primarily on certain major transportation routes extending outward in a radial pattern from the core of the region to the outlying suburbs. These major routes encourage new growth in their immediate vicinity extending it out into rural areas in a form much like the points of a star. In the interstices between points of the star may be found remainine large open spaces. As is delineated on the map on the opposite page, a Star Pattern for the Denver region may be identified but only by selecting certain major transportation routes which re-enforce the pattern. Other major routes-proposed Hampden and Quebec Freeways, for example -would tend to dilute the Star Pattern and encourage growth in a pattern concentric around the core-of the region. Major advantages of the Star Pattern are: • It is compatible with trends toward decentralization yet maintains a meaningful overall form for the region. • It is realistic in the face of Denver area geography and the growth pattern that has occurred thus far. • It re-enforces a strong transportation system, both for automobiles and public transportatiQn, and allows transportation and land use considerations to be mutually supporting. • It permits open space or low density development to be relatively accessible to all parts of the metropolitan area. 50 STAR PATTERN REGIONAL PLAN LEGEND ••• INDUSTRIAL LAND USE D HIGH DENSITY LAND USE D LOW & MEDIUM DENSITY RESIDENTIAL +MAJOR TRANSPORTATION I


THE MOUNTAIN-VALLEY PATTERN The Mountain-Valley Pattern of Denver Metro politan growth is based primarily on the fact that the Rocky Mountains are the prime element in the overall form of the region and the Platte River Valley is the second most important. These two major elements are related topographically and visually. Their relationship should be strengthened and emphasized to enhance the unique setting and character of Denver. The Platte River flood of June, 1965 pointed up how badly Denver over the years has neglected the Platte Valley. Not only had the flood hazard been ignored but function and beauty had so long been neglected that the valley was virtually no longer recognizable as such. It was in effect the unkempt, dirty closet of the city. The fact that the Platte Valley has been long neglected dictates a major, expensive, longrange effort to bring it back up to and beyond levels of urban decency. The opportunities, how ever, for improving the entire region will far exceed the cost. Major advantages of the Mountain-Valley Pat tern are: • The metropolitan region would be provided in the Platte River Valley with a positive, central, strong element as the basis of overall metro politan form. New development in the region could relate to this basic element. • Citizens would be afforded an important ele ment to provide a community sense of place, a sense of orientation, a sense of pride. • The redevelopment of the Platte River Valley could provide a tourist attraction of inestimable value to the regional economy. • Denver's unique setting, history, character, and traditions could all be enhanced through and in conjunction with this pattern. • An existing severe liability could be turned in to a civic asset. 52 MOUNTAIN -VALLEY REGIONAL PLAN


TOWARD A MORE MEANINGFUL URBAN DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR DENVER In following sections of this document are dis cussed in some detail major elements of Denver comprehensive planning-transportation, land use, public facilities, and such special problems as the South Platte River Valley. These separate elements are directly related one to another; they are most properly interrelated within the framework of an overall regional urban design framework which not only serves as a unifying, coordinating force, but at the same time allows the separate plan elements most effectively to re inforce each other in an prderly, directed fash ion. Although each of the previously discussed three urban desipn patterns has merit, precedence in the further evolution of the regional framework should be given to the Mountain Valley concept. This pattern recognizes and en hances the important natural features of the region-features which no amount of man-made fa54 cilities could hope to duplicate. The fact that the Platte River Valley today is so despoiled by ne glect and misuse should not hinder our imagination in visualizing it in the form proposed by the Mayor's Platte River Development Study, out lined later in this document. Not only would this program turn a civic liability into a green, attractive and pleasant asset, but at the same time strong emphasis would devolve upon Denver's natural setting, its Western history and unique character and identity and Its position as Gateway to the Rocky Mountains and the important tourist industry. In this concept the advantages of the Star Pat tern, particularly in terms of transportation, and the Core-Satellite City Pattern could be retained but in a subordinate position. Natural features and advantages would be given prime attention; man-made elements would wield their influence but in conformity with natural features unique to Denver. I I ' ' I i


T 0 T I


BACKGROUND FOR THE TRANSPORTATION PLAN Planning as a function of the Denver City Administration began in 1926 at the creation of the Denver Planning Commission. The first publication of the group in 1928 was a street plan citing the importance of transportation to city development; a quote points up similarity of the situation then and now: 56 "Increasing congestion of traffic on Denver streets is a serious problem. In summer, when the greatest number of local automobiles are in use, we have in addition a large number of motor tourists to accommodate. Not only is the business district filled to overflowing throughout the week, but the principal streets leading out of the city are crowded to the limit on holidays and at week-ends. Congestion of traffic results in a considerable economic loss to the city. Conditions in the near future will be much more serious because of ( l) the increased per capita ownership of automobiles and (2) the increased population of the city. "What we need are thoroughfares, a system of wide direct streets without abrupt changes in alignment, following a coherent plan. They must bring traffic into the center of the city from outlying sections and also provide convenient access from one outlying section to another. As far as possible, existing streets should be used for this purpose. Some will serve without change. Others will require only a widening of the roadway or the trimming of a corner to eliminate small jogs in the street line. Still others will require widening of the street itself, and the construction of a few new streets will be recommended." Both the situation and the solution have remained relatively constant over the years with little change other than. the increasing magnitude of the problem. EARLY CITY AND REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PROPOSALS Since the publication of the first street plan, a continuing series of transportation studies has been pursued. Among these are the Valley Highway Route Study in 1944 and revisions of the major street plan in 1952 and 1958. The 1958 proposals were part of the city' s first officially adopted comprehensive plan. Integration of Denver's transportation proposals with those of adjoining cities and counties to form a metropolitan transportation plan was attempted first in 1933 by the Denver Planning Commission. A regional transportation plan was published in 1937. In 1955 the present Inter-County Regional Planning Commission was formed and began work on a new comprehensive regional plan. An important product was the Metro Growth Plan of 1961 which projected regional growth from 1960 through 2000. The transportation network projections for the City of Denver shown in the Metro Growth Plan were based almost entirely on 1958 comprehensive plan proposals. Efforts of both city and metropolitan groups to develop regional transportation plans have encountered common problems. The creation of plans without explicit means of implementation limited the value of proposals. Also, the lack of official status of plans made them impossible to implement completely. Much lasting value, however, has been realized from these earlier efforts. I t I l l


R. •• •• •• •• . • ........ " .... . . •••• .... . . ... \ C. LE.GEN D "'' " ... COMM[A.CIA.L 01:STAICT.) 11111 (,c1.:,TINCl INOUSTAIJ.L -i)A:oPOSLD APAllT"'LNT 01$Tllt1CT5 D OPt.N R1.a1ot.NT1AL D FAA"' &. (iARDt.N TAAGTS PAoP03t.O 60ULLVAflOS t!'J PAAKa v . o. HArr,ina. DrL. DENVER. PLANNING COMMISSION PLAN OT THE RJ:,GI ON cnv 91.ANNlR PLATE I 1937 57


Since the official adoption of the 1958 Denver comprehensive plan, street development in the city generally has occurred in conformance. The plan, however, was only city-wide in scope; integration with transportation proposals of abutting and nearby jurisdictions was at best informal. Furthermore, realization of plan proposals has not kept pace with the increasing need for improved facilities. The new transportation plan contained herein is designed to solve many of the above kinds of problems of the past; at the same time it reflects many of the early street planning proposals. It also contains suggested routes for urban freeways and guidelines for further study of mass transit facilities. Thus there may be realized a comprehensive, balanced transportation system. 58 DENVER METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSPORTATION STUDY Since 1958 a metropolitan transportation planning program hes been underway in the Denver Region: the Denver Metropolitan Area Transportation study is a joint effort of the Colorado Department of Highways, the U. S. Bureau of Public Roads and twenty metropolitan area jurisdictions. The basic purpose of the continuing study is to determine future transportation needs, both automobile and mass transit and to develop proposals for a transportation system to meet the needs. Proposals of the OMA TS program are discussed later in this section. I


THE EXISTING DENVER STREET PATTERN Many variables affect the pattern of a street system in an urban area. Such factors as historical development, topography and the location of major traffic generators are primary influences. In general, three basic types ot urban street patterns have evolved: • Radial. This pattern is comprised of a number of streets extending outward in many directions like the spokes of a wheel from a central area. Usually several cir,cumferential loops connect the radials at varying distances from the center. • Grid. The grid pattern formed by two sets of streets oriented at right angles to each other creates the familiar rectangular block system found in many American cities. • Irregular. An irregular pattern is usually produced by major topographic features or the historical location of streets which requires subsequent routes to be laid out in conformity. In recent years, many subdivisions have incorporated curvilinear streets, sometimes based on topography and sometimes developed merely to avoid the monotony of a grid. 59


60 Few city street patterns are comprised ex clusively of one type; most are composed of a combination of elements from a number of the basic patterns. In Denver, the grid pattern developed historically aligned in accordance with the township and range system of land survey ing. The original grid was expanded as the city grew, extending out in all directions. More re cently, freeways and curvilinear streets have departed from the traditional grid. The Central Business District is also a departure having been laid out in a grid offset 45 from the usual compass orientation. The predominant grid street system of Denver is a strong influence on alignment of new routes. To estoblish radial routes diagonally across a developed grid pattern would create a number of problems: High right-of-way costs, undersirable triangular pieces of residual property, and disruption of the existing travel and development patterns are the usual negative results. Un less there are strong reasons in favor of a radio I alignment new routes within developed portions of the city should conform with the existing grid. This limitation v,ould not apply, however, in predominantly vacant areas. Existing Denver routes are classified as local streets, collector streets, major arterial streets and freeways in ascending order of traffic carrying capacity. Specific standards for these street classes are described later in this section. I


FUTURE TRANSPORTATION NEEDS FUTURE GROWTH PATTERNS AND THE TRANSPORTATION PLAN Within the 6 county Denver Metropolitan Area (standard metropolitan statistical area as defined by federal census plus Douglas County), automobile registration is projected to increase from 532,000 in 1966 to 932,000 by th e beginning of the 1980s. The increcse for the City of Denver alone in this same period is expected to approach 75,000 bringing total registration to approximately 310,000. The number of daily auto trips within the Denver Metropolitan Area is expected to increase from 1.3 million to 2.85 million by the beginning of the 1980s. In order properly to provide adequate new transportction facilities for projected growth, integration must be established between the broad metropolitan pattern of growth and the transportation plan. As cited previously, the Mountain-Valley growth pattern is deemed most appropriate for the Denver Area with the Star Pattern exercising particular influence on transportation alignments. Star Pattern routes form the locus for areas of more dense development extending outward in several directions from a central core a rec. Major open spaces or areas of less dense development would occur between the transportotion routes. As growth evolves, it will be accommodated largely along the transportation corridors and within the central area with oper;, space preserved between arms of the star. For all practical purposes, the City of Denver lies entirely wi1hin the central area of a star pattern. A s the pattern expands, this situation will become even more evident. Thus the transportation needs of the city will be to provide for the demands of an increasing concentration of high density population. DMATS PROJECTIONS Projections of the DMA TS Study have been utilized as the basis for th e Denver Transportation Plan. Utilizing contemporcry transportation planning concepts and computer technology, DMATS has projected traffic volumes 20 years into the future. These volumes, when assigned to the existing street and freeway system, clearly show the present system will be seriously overloaded by 1985, even assuming substantial improvements to existrhg r~utes. New mcjor traffic facilities will b e required by 1985 to avoid dangerous and costly congestion. Specific proposals for these new facilities are outlined subsequently in this section. To date, DMATS projections on mass transit needs have been confined to estimates of future usage of existing bus systems. However, a more comprehensive mass transit study will be undertaken at a later date. 61


OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES OF THE TRANSPORTATION PLAN TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND DENVER COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES Denver community objectives are cited in Part 2 of this report. Transportation planning is based on many of these. Objectives most directly re lated to the transportation plan are: • To minimize the effects of geographical isolation by improving transportation and communication systems. Observation: Completion of the interstate freeway system and development of a supplementary urban freeway network will provide excellent regional accessibility. • The make the most of the natural setting of Denver as a plains city at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. 62 Observation: Emphasis on improved highway design and beautification should be stressed to take advantage of the unique scenic assets of the area.


• To encourage development of a sound industrial base. Observation: Features of a transportation system-accessibility, circulation and terminal facilities-are vital to sound industrial development. • To enhance Denver's position as a center of transportation. Observation: An efficient internal street system as well as regional and inter-sectional highway facilities are necessary to realize this goal. • To secure the health and safety of the population. Observation: Safe, well designed street and highway facilities are a significant factor in the promotion of public safety and welfare. E[wAv:J I I ~~~TI! -! TURN I / ' 4/sCHOOL" CROSSING 7 ,,:.... l~Til ZONE ONLY NO PARKING ANY TIME ....... 63


• To reduce friction, inefficiency and duplication in metropolitan governments. Observation: Denver's transportation plan proposals are being coordinated with those of neighboring jurisdictions through the Denver Metropolitan Area Transportation Study program. • To strengthen Denver's excellence in manmade works. Observation: Proper design can make transportation facilities attractive as well as functional. • To assure that adequate land, properly located, is available for each use. 64 Observation: Accessibility provided by the transportation system is a key to proper location and availability of land uses. • To provide a safe, economic and rapid system for transporting people and goods within the city-with due regard for the effect of tronsportation facilities on other land uses. Observation: This is the ultimate objective of the transportation plan. I t


• To establish and promote specific character and identity for functional creas of the city such as the downtown area. Observation: Major transportation elements should be designed to define the boundaries of primary functional areas of the city. • To preserve and improve the environment of all areas of the city. Observation: Emphasis on highway landscaping and parkway development will contribute significantly to enhancing environment. • To provide properly located and well designed public facilities. Observation: A complete and efficient transportation system is a vital element in the provision of public facilities. The importance of the transportation plan is apparent from its broad relationship to community objectives. Development of a street and highwcy system in accordance with a well conceived transportation plan can be a strong tool in the achievement of many of the major aspirations for Denver. 65


66 PRIORITY ACTION PROGRAMS A number of priority action programs, proposed as a more urgent effort toward achievement of basic community objectives, are also cited in Part 2. Several of the priority action programs can be related directly to the transportation plan. • Steps must be taken to bring about more effective planning and control of development on a metropolitan basis. Observation: A regional approach to transportation planning in the metropolitan area has been assured by requirements of the Federal Aid Highway Act. • Plonning for highways must reflect the need for improving access to mountain and other recreation areas from every section of the metropolitan area. Observation: Priority must be given to those transportation proposals involving improvements to existing mountain access routes and to new routes which serve major recreation areas. • Several steps should be taken immediately to enhance the aesthetic quality of the community. Observation: A complete system of parkways for the city has been proposed in The Parkway Plan 1 and is described in Section C, Part 4, of this report. Accomplishment of these pro-. posals can contribute significantly to an im proved aesthetic image of the city. TRANSPORTATION POLICIES As a third stage refinement in the development of guidelines for the transportation plan, a number of specific policies have been developed. Detailed in nature and immediate in application, these policies outline methods and procedures which have been followed in developing the transportation plan. • Major street and freeway proposals will be adapted to, or will be extensions of the existing grid system of streets. • Freeways and new mo jor streets shou Id define homogeneous areas of the city and be used as boundaries for neighborhoods ( as defined in Part 4, Section B) and land uses, giving the city a logical structural organization. • Access to freeways will be provided only at designated major street locations. • Where physical and topographic conditions permit, new freeways in the urban area should be designed as depressed facilities with adequate right-of-way for side slopes and service roads. • Landscaping should be included as an integral part of the design of all new freeways and major streets and the cost should be included as a part of the construction cost. • Better design is possible on urban freeways ond major streets. A "team of specialists" approach should be developed which would require that urban planners and designers have a part in alignment studies, landscape architects be included in right-of-way landscape design and architects participate in the _design of highway structures as part of the total highway planning team. • The design standards for all classes of streets end highways should be applied in all proposals for both new facilities and improvements to existing streets. • A limited number of properly located and spaced major arterial streets should be developed in place of many inadequate local or collector streets functioning as major arterials. • Major sums of money should not be requested or spent on temporary transportation expedients or on proposals contrary to the major street recommendations of the comprehensive plan. • Where possible, large community or regional park facilities should be developed with one side adjacent to a major arterial street. • In subdivision platting of new residentia I areas, low density dwellings should be discouraged from fronting on designated major streets. Such properties shou Id be designed so that the back or side yards of residences adjoin major streets. • Elementary schools and neighborhood parks should be located on collector streets interior to a neighborhood. Similar policies concerning mass transit in Denver will be developed following completion of mass transit studies. l


STREET CLASSIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS Streets which comprise the Denver transportation system perform two basic functions: they provide access to abutting property, and they carry traffic from one location to another. The degree to which each of these functions is performed-in combination with its physical and operational features-determines the classifica tion of a street. A four-category street classification system is used by the City and County of Denver with each class defined according to physica I design standards. These standards have evolved over a period of years, requiremehts for each class gradually increasing as the number of automobiles and improvements in transportation technology have created the need for improvement. The four classes and existing standards for streets are as follows: STANDARD LOCAL STREET SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS 12.5'~ 4 .5' 12~ -14 • 4 -,4 32' ~-~(:===-----------------------.:==~~-..:::::..:::::..:::.::::;---7' 36' ROADWAY * 7' :c 50' R.O.W. STANDARD LOCAL STREET MULTIPLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL, BUSINESS, AND INDUSTRIAL AREAS 40' rt 5' e 4 4' ROADWAY * e' 601 R . 0.W. • Loca I Streets. Function-the basic function of this street is to provide access to abutting property. Design-36-foot roadway on a 50-foot rightof-way for low density residential areas; 44-foot roadway on a 60-foot right-of-way for high density residential areas and commercial and industrial areas. Number of lanes-2. Traffic capacity-2,000 vehicles per day. Speed limits-25 miles per hour. 67


STANDARD COLLECTOR STREET RESIDENTIAL, BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIAL AREAS 7 . 5' 40' 7.5' I 13' I 44' ROADWAY 1t I 13' I I 70' R.O. W . • Collector Streets. Function-the function of this street is equally divided between providing access to adjacent property and carrying traffic. Design-44-foot roadway on a 70-foot right of-way. STAN A AJOR Number of lanes-2 or 4. Traffic capacity-5,000-12,000 vehicles per day. Speed limits-25-30 miles per hour. ARTERIAL STREE SIX LANE DIVIDED 11' 18' 35' ROADWAY 1t • Major Arterial Streets. 68 Function-the primary function of this street is to carry traffic; providing access to abutting properties is only secondary. Design-two 35-foot roadways separated by a 14 120 RO.W. 11' 0 35 ' ROADWAY 1t 18' 14-foot median on a 120-foot right-of-way. Number of lanes-4 or 6. Traffic capacity-17,500-35,000 vehicles per day. Sped limits-25-45 miles per hour. I r


TYPICAL 45' 36' 58' • Freeways. Function-the sole function of the freeway is to carry traffic. Design-a 250-300-foot right-of-way contain ing two roadways separated by a median. The dimensions will vary with individual design considerations for a given section of any facility. It is recommended that wherever pos sible freeway facilities within the urban area The total street system is composed of a number of facilities of each of the above classes. A large number of local streets serve separate properties and neighborhod areas. Fewer collector streets, spaced at one-half or one-quarter mile intervals, carry traffic from the local streets through larger community areas. A limited number of major arterial streets gather intra-city traffic from collector streets and carry it throughout the metropolitan area. Arterials are generally located at intervals of 1-1 miles. Freeways FREE'NAV 54' 54' 58' 300' R .0.W. be designed with a depressed cross-section, or at grade if right-of-way is sufficient to permit wide landscaped buffer areas adjacent to the roadways. Number of lanes-6 or 8 within the urban area. Traffic capacity-78,000-105,000 vehicles per day. Speed limits-50-70 miles per hour. are extremely limited in number and within the urban area serve to supplement the function of the arterial street in those corridors where the traffic demands are the heaviest. Any of these four classifications of streets can be developed as parkways. Major arterial streets or freeways so developed would be classified as arterial parkways; local or collector streets could be either environmental or recreational parkways. These are described in more detail in Section C of this part of the report. 69


FREEWAY CHARACTERISTICS Freeways have several unique characteristics which distinguish them from other streets: complete control of access, no traffic signals, no in tersections at grade, large right-of-way requirements and consistently high-speed movement of traffic. Because of these characteristics, freeways located in urban areas generally have a very strong impact on adjacent and nearby properties and neighborhoods. Because of its limited access design, because of the high speed traffic, the freeway can be a barrier to cross traffic as well as an affront to citizens' sense of community and neighborhood integrity. Heavy traffic on freeways can produce objectionable fumes and noise. Poorly designed freeways, particularly those lacking landscaping, can be an aesthetic liability to the areas they traverse. On the other hand, freeways located and designed with considerable care and sensitivity can help solve the severe traffic problems of an urban area a • nd at the same time produce little adverse impact on pre-existing neighborhoods. The con trolled accessibility feature of the freeway can actually serve as a protection to a residential neighborhood from the adverse effects of heavy traffic: By correct interchange location, undesirable traffic on local streets can be reduced with through traffic limited to collector and major arterial streets. Long distance movement on major arterial streets can be effectively reduced due to the attractiveness of the freeway in terms of speed and ease of travel. A properly designed and located freeway sys tem in an urban area can reduce traffic volumes on surface arterial streets. Without freeways, increasing traffic volumes on major arterial streets and collector streets can require widening, loss of street trees, frontage lawns and landscaping. 70 The design treatment of a freeway, specifically with respect to landscaping, screen planting and roadway elevation can provide protection from traffic noise and fumes. In some cases the open space of a freeway can be a visual asset to a residential neighborhood. A design incorporating a depressed freeway with low, landscaped side slopes and protective screen planting along the service roads may provide a needed buffer between land use categories as well as a possible attractive environment for adjacent properties. Freeways, because of their limited access requirements, do not permit the strip commercial development so common along many arterial streets. The reduction and elimination of arterial commercial strips is one of the prime land use objectives of this plan. Depressing a freeway accomplishes a number of purposes. It achieves the separation required for access control yet permits crossings more readily than surface routes. From the viewpoint of a nearby residential property owner, the depressed freeway out of sight is less of an intrusion into his desirable quiet environment than a surface or elevated facility. It should also be pointed out that an automobile moving at relatively high speeds along a freeway will generate much less air pollution than when traveling more slowly and with frequent stops along a local or arterial street. Contrary to a widely held view, a well conceived freeway system can be a tool in the fight against air pollution.


THE TRANSPORTATION PLAN Note: The Transportation Plan will be found in the back of this publication. The transportation plan has been tailored to fit the needs of Denver. Following are some of the factors, reviewed earlier in this section, considered in development of the plan: present and future traffic demands, economic _capability, community objectives and action programs, desired development patterns, transportation policies, land use and publi c fa~ilities proposals, preservation of residentia! amenities, social and environmental impact, highway design standards. The plan itself hoc; evolved over c period of years through efforts of a number of Denver planners and engineers. Recommendations at this time are firm; the plan is not static, however, ond modifications can be expected on a con tinuing basis as conditions change. The transportation plan proposes improvem e nts by type of facility-freeways, major arterial streets and collector streets . The presently established freeway routes are comprised of elements of the Federal Interstate Highway system and two local facilities being developed to freeway standards. Brief descriptions of the proposed transportation system improvements are included in The Transportation Plan, Comprehensive Plan Bulletin 10-2, soon to be published by the Planning Office. Proposed freeway-mass transit study corridors are part of an interim recommendation of the Denver Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (DMA TS). These corridors in Denver were proposed to DMATS by the Denver Planning Board. The corridors will be given considerable further study to determine feasibility of freeway and or high capacity transit development. Pre cise right-of-way locations with in these genera I corridors have not at this time been determined. Proposals for development of major arterial streets is based on the time-proven grid pattern of major routes located at approximately onemile intervals. A majority of proposals for improvement to the major arterial street syst ' em are already included in the city' s capital improvement program. Elements of the system are in varying stages of development. Improvements in the collector street system are included in the plan to remedy specific problems in local areas. Major improvements to the arterial and freeway systems are becoming increasingly urgent i n order to accommodate rising population and auto densities. The formulation of the major arterial grid plan is essentially complete, but widening along a number of the key routes in the immediate future is becoming pressing. The established freeway network is taking form as a result of progress on the federal interstate system. Completion of interstate routes and certain local freeway facilities will temporarily improve the efficiency of the system in some areas. However, the freeway-moss transit study corridors indicated on the plan soon must be distilled into a firm system proposal to accommodate increased traffic volumes so that when means for implementation become available immediate progress can be realized. TRANSPORTATION PLAN COST ESTIMATES Even though proposed freeway locations of the Transportation Plan are still under study, tentative cost estimates for the system have been prepared. Total cost of the system would amount to $194,500,000, all of which would be handled by State and federal financing. Other transportation facilities of the Tranportation Plan are estimated to cost $52,200,000 of which the cost responsibility of the City and County of Denver would be $40,200,000. 7 1


MASS TRANSIT A basic aim of the transportation plan is to provide a balanced system to meet the varying needs of area residents . Primary consideration to date has been given to the highway element of the system; there has been little attention paid to the mass transit element. The guiding premise in the past has been that mass transit will be developed in the form of rubber-tired buses operating on a network of freeways and arterial streets. This concept requires close scrutiny to establish its validity under today's changing con ditions. Under the right circumstances, an efficient transit system ( l) is capable of carrying more people past a point in a given period of time than a freeway, (2) can provide high speed travel over long distances, (3) can reduce the need for central area parking facilities, (4) can be located and designed to be as aesthetically acceptable as a freeway, (5) can reduce the total amount of vehicular air pollutants. A rather delicate balance the factors of demand, 'availability, convenience, flexibility and eco nomy, however, must be achieved to successfully reclize these objectives. It also should be kept in mind that in those cities where rapid transit is profitably operating today, it supplements a well developed highway system; rapid transit cannot be considered a total replacement for a basic freeway and arterial street system. Con versely, the highway system cannot eliminate the need to provide mass transit facilities. The two systems must work together. Before a final recommendation for a complete integrated transportation system can be made, the potential of mass transit in the Denver Metropolitan Area must be thoroughly investigated. Many factors, including trends in urban population movement, population densities, transit usage, automobile ownership, urban development patterns and the extent of development of major street and highway systems will have a bearing on feasibility of a rapid transit sy~tem. Each of 72 these must be studied in detail. In order to develop such a comprehensive mass transit picture, the DMA TS work program proposes a mass transit study to be accomplished within the next two years. Innovations in transportation technology, in cluding such concepts as: railroad-auto-air combination vehicles, monorails, automatic guidance controls, air cushion vehicles, moving sidewalks, supersonic aircraft, super size aircraft, vertical lift aircraft, individual flight devices, pneumatic pipelines, improved tunneling techniques c:auld have a startling effect on future systems, particularly the mass movement of people. The speculative nature of such improvements, however, cannot be realistically anticipated or accounted for in existing plans. Traditionally, product development is a lengthy process, and a regular review and revision of the plan, includ ing consideration of improved products dnd techniques, will provide for the incorporation of new concepts. Past experience should be warning enough that this is a significant problem since we are still trying to catch up with developments in the automobile, a sixty-year-old "innovation."


DMATS PLANNING The Denver Metropolitan Area Transportation Study is the official transportation planning process for the Denver Metropolitan Area, recognized and backed by federal agencies. Section 134 of the Federal-Aid-Highway Act of 1962 contains the following statement: "After July 1, 1965 the Secretary (of Commerce) shall not approve under Section l 05 of this title any program for projects in any urban area of more than fifty thousand population unless he finds that such projects are based on a continuing comprehensive transportation planning process carried on cooperatively by States and local com munities in conformance with the objectives stated in this section." All facilities which are a part of the State's federal-aid highway system, a majority of the arterial streets and highways and all of the existing freeways in the metropolitan area are covered by this legislation. Proposed improvement of these facilities must be accomplished in accordance with DMATS recommendations or federal funds will be withheld. With this stipula tion coordination of transportation planning as a metropolitan function seems assured. While the development of a metropolitan transportation plan is the prime objective of DMA TS, this plan must be created within certain constraints. An inventory and analysis of ten basic elements, each .of which relates to the ultimate plan development, is included in the transportation study program. The required ten areas of study are: economic factors, population, land use, transportation facilities, travel patterns, terminal and transfer facilities, traffic control measures, development controls, financial resources, social and community value factors. Within the guidelines established by these ten elements, additions and improvements to the present transportation system will be recommended to develop a future system capable of handling projected metropolitan traffic move ments. The foundation of this future system is the recommendations from various local jurisdic tions, (including the Denver Planning Office), reflecting their own plans, needs and objectives. With the addition of a few routes which prove necessary and the deletion of unneeded ones, these separate plans are being coordinated into a unified regional plan. An interim DMATS report of October, 1966 reviews the work completed to date. The report proposes a transportation system of major arterial streets, freeway and/ or high capacity transit routes. Because of additional analysis required on many of the freeway study corridors, bec;:ause of a planned update of land use and travel data and because of the need for additional mass transit analysis a firm recommendation for a total metropolitan plan is some time in the future. Anticipated DMATS studies will give particular attention to freeway-mass transit routes. All freeway planning will reflect concern for the preservation of Denver's environment for good living. Wherever possible, routes will not bisect homogeneous residential neighborhoods, and major attention shall be devoted to excellence of design and landscaping. Major emphasis will be directed toward maximum integration of mass transit with automobile facilities so that a balanced transportation system may be achieved. The program in all respects is coordinated with Denver's own transportation planning process; DMATS objectives are thoroughly compatible with Denver's. 73


IMPLEMENTATION The value of the transportation plan lies not so much in the plan itself as in the benefits it can provide if proposals are accdmplished. There are a number of means by which the plan can be accomplished. Close coordination of all of the programs for plan implementation will enable the greatest benefit to be realized. SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS As a controlling device rather than a creative instrument, subdivision regulations can be used effectively to insure the adequacy of the street system in developing areas of the city. Approval of subdivision plans submitted by developers is dependent upon adherence to street standards. Adequate rights-of-way are reserved in accordance with the type of facility indicated on the comprehensive plan. CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM Over the past four years, an average of 1.4 million dollars has been spent each year on transportation improvements out of a total city capital improvement budget averaging 3.7 million dollars annually. Budget procedures have long been established. Requests for transportation improvements are initiated in the Public Works Department, are reviewed by the Planning Office for conformance to the comprehensive plan, are reviewed by the Citizen's Capital Improvement Budget Committee and are then budgeted and scheduled by the City Council over a six-year budget period. A program to coordinate all capital improvement requests with the basic objectives of the comprehensive plan has been initiated. This program will be administered through the Planning Office and is intended to eliminate those requests which are not in conformance with the plan. 74 STATE HIGHWAY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Improvements on designated state highway facilities within the city limits are schedlJled by the State Highway Commission in response to re quests from the city in a process similar to the city's capital budget procedure. It is important that the timing and priority designation of these requests be closely coordinated with the city capital improvements program. The creation of a close working relationship between city planners and engineers and state highway department representatives at all le.vels will be an effective tool in. making significant progress toward a common aim. To bring about a higher level of design quality of transportation facilities, planning should proceed under the direction of a design team of specialists. Such a team would be composed of engineers, architects and planners and would consider aesthetic elements as well as economic and engineering. Better facilities at a lower ultimate cost can be achieved through such com prehensive design. An important highway cost-saving concept which has been used very successfully in other states is a program of advance right-of-way acquisition. This program requires the establ_ ish ment of a revolving fund to finance the acquisi tion of right-of-way in advance of the need for construction. Right-of-way can be reserved and protected against development and increasing land costs by immediate purchase with the purchase price to be repaid the revolving fund at the time of construction. This ultimately will re sult in immense savings in right-of-way costs. It is strongly recommended that the possibility of establishing such a program be thoroughly investigated by the Colorado Department of High ways. !


URBAN RENEWAL The Urban Renewal process can be an effec tive tool in the development of the transportation plan in specific areas. Although the development of any continuous route normally is limited in this process, important segments of routes can be developed within projects. BONDS High cost transportation projects can be financed appropriately by the city through the issuance of general obligation bonds. Although this is a common means for financing large proj ects, it has several drawbacks. The total amount of money available from this source is limited by the city's current bonded indebtedness ceil ing, and other major capital improvements may require funding from this source. Also, a portion of the regular annual capital improvements fund is used to pay off the bonds under the current retirement schedule. If the bonded indebtedness ceiling is raised, as it surely should be, bonds may provide an important source of revenue for major transportation projects. MAPPED STREET ACT The Denver Municipal Code contains an arti cle, commonly known as a mapped streets act which provides for the restriction of building on certain public rights-of-way for a period of ten years. The mapped streets act a means of reserving rights-of-way for the street and highway proposals of the comprehensive plan has not yet been employed. The apparent problem in the use of the act is the fact that the city eventually must purchase the property designated. If a large amount of right-of-way were designated, the funds required to cover the purchase would also be large. The source of such funds invariably poses a problem. It is recommended that a revolving fund be initially established with a regular appropriation from city revenue sources. An appropriate funding source might be a portion ol the rev enue from the sale of city owned property. This revenue source, which has averaged $125,000 per year over the past five years, normally goes into the capital improvements fund and its loss would not unduly unbalance this fund. Once property is actually needed for a construction project, the amount of the initial right-of-way cost would be returned to the fund from the speci fic project appropriation. The replenishment of the fund in this manner may eventually eliminate the need for a regular yearly appropriation. The money saved in right-of-way costs over a period of years should greatly offset any initial decrease in capital improvements funds. With more effective and coordinated use of the available tools for implementation of transportation proposals, a significant increase in accomplishment can be realized without drastic changes in budgetary policies or innovations in income sources. CONCLUSION Although financing limitations restrict the ability of the city and the state to accomplish fully the proposals of any transportation plan in the near future, this should not restrict the development of an adequate plan. T ransportation is such a vital subject that greater funds, perhaps from a federal source, certainly will be available in the future. When this occurs, Denver must have its plans perfected to the point that it can rapidly accelerate its construction pro-.. gram. In the interim, proposals of the section of the report can help assure maximum accomplishment with available funds. 75




I \ BACKGROUND FOR THE RESIDENTIAL LAND USE PLAN The City of Denver has long had a reputation for better than average livability and certain elements of superior residential development. A dry, moderate climate, an aura of cleanliness, fine residential neighborhoods and outstanding parkways have served to attract to the city visitors and permanent residents alike. Denver ' s close proximity to Rocky Mountain playgrounds has always been one of its greatest assets . But Denver, like most large urbanized areas of the country today, has had to face in recent years serious threats to its livability and residential character. Air pollution, unthinkable after the transition many years ago from heating by soft coal to gas, is now a frequently occurring and irritating problem for Denverites. The Platte River, a bubbling crystal stream as it leaves the Rockies, becomes an open sewer as it traverses an unsavory Denver industrial-residential dis trict. Urban blight and decay, once thought to be exclusively a concern of "other cities," is now a very real condition in Denver and is spreading at a rate far more rapid than urban renewal programs are correcting. Where once dozed quiet residential boulevards now stream count less autos in an endless procession between the core of the city and outlying suburbs. 78 Trends inimical to superior livability and quality residential development are currently unmistakable in Denver. Fortunately, these trends are not nearly so far advanced as in other cities, and an alert and determined citizenry still has time to reverse them. EXISTING RESIDENTIAL LAND USE PATTERNS The overall pattern of e xisting residential dev elopment in D e nver is roughly co n cen tric around the downt own core. As is generally the case in city development patterns, the predominance of h i~lier densit y resid e ntial areas is close t o the core. In Denve r, the areas of residential develop ment are divided in two by the industrial "spine" that parallels the South Platte River and g e nerally foll o w s a north-south orientation. This industria l swath in many respects is a barrier: i t is some t hing of a physical barrier in that it can be traversed readily only by a limited num ber of viaducts or st r e ets and bridges. t is probably more of a psycho logical boundary than a phys ica l one; t he atti t udes and environment in portions of West Denver differ consi derably fr o m those in Ea st Denver; these differences are not caused exclusively, how e ver, by the industrial belt. The central downt own core is l o cated on the east side of the i ndus trial b elt , actually i n the northwest part of the c ity b u t quite centrally within the metropolitan area. This fact has had in fluence on res i dent i a l growth patterns; certainly the development of Capitol Hill is related to the particular pos i t i o n of the downtown core. Industrial develop ment in the no r thern portion of Denver has blocked t o a large degree residential expansion in that directi o n. Resident ial growth toward the nort_h thus has had t o jump the industrial areas and has tende d to form new, semi-independent c omm unities outsid e of Den ver. On the other hand, resid e nt ial development toward the east, south, and west has been largely a continuous expansion of a previous paltern. j j l h 11 I I l


The major assets of current Denver residential development are: • Many buildings and areas of outstanding quality; many buildings and areas of good quality; • Certain elements of good livability such as climate, proximity to mountains, an absence yet of heavy congestion and over-crowding in most areas. • Good parks and recreation areas; • Outstanding parkways; parkways are assets for immediately abutting properties and pro vide a certain amount of reflected prestige for near-by properties; • Large, old street trees and greenery which do much to compensate for the prevailing semiarid climate; . ~,.,.,t: . 79


\ The major liabilities of current Denver resi dential development are: • Blight and deterioration widespread in se lected areas; • Incipient blight and deterioration widespread in selected areas; • Unimproved and uncontrolled gulches creating a condition of ugliness and flooding hazard. (The southern portion of the city contains the majority of gulch problems); • Some congestion and over-crowding; incipient congestion and over-crowding; a lack of offstreet parking in many areas; • Residential development in close contact with and adversely affected by heavy traffic con ditions; 80 \


EXISTING HOUSING INVENTORY In 1960 the City and County of Denver contained 174,000 dwelling units; some 65 per cent of these were single-family homes, seven per cent were in two-family structures, 12 per cent were in three-to-nine family structures, and 16 per cent were in ten-or-more family structures. While Denver is by no means a city completely free of residential slums and blight, it compares favorably with many other core cities of metropolitan areas in its amount of relatively new housing. In 1950, 21 per cent of all housing in Denver was less than ten years old; by 1960, this figure had increased to 28 per cent. Between 1950 and 1960 the principal increase in residential types in the Denver Metropolitan Area occurred in single-family homes and in apartment buildings containing ten or more units. The bulk of new single-family housing was built outside of the City and County of Denver; the majority of structures containing ten or more units was buirt within the city. The market for large apartment structures in metropolitan areas throughout the country typically is strongest in the core cities. Such is the case in Denver today and no change in this situation is expected through 1980. TOTAL DWELLING UNITS 100 % SINGLE FAMILY UNITS 65% TEN OR MORE FAMILY UNITS 16 % THREE-NINE FAMILY UNITS 12 % TWO FAMILY UNITS 7 % DENVER HOUSING COMPOSITION 81


82 THE AUTO AGE No aspect of contemporary living has had a greater influence on the pattern of land use in cities than the automobile. Trends toward decentralization in urban areas throughout the entire country may be directly related to this means of transportation. The automobile has in effect revolutionized American travel patterns: no other invention has provided for millions the con venience, comfort and flexibility afforded by the auto. And at the same time urban areas, particularly core cities of metropolitan areas, struggle to coexist with the huge volumes of traffic that choke the streets, demand great quantities of parking space and otherwise exert a strong influence on most aspects of urban living. In Denver the auto clearly has contributed heavily to the prevailing pattern of residential land use. Expansive areas of single-family homes in remote parts of the metropolitan region far from mass transit lines and far from centers of population could hardly have developed but for the ubiquitous automobile. The creation of many one-way street systems, the increase of traffic along other arterial routes has brought noise, dirt, fumes and inimical influences to residential developments previously accustomed to a quiet, undisturbed atmosphere. Particularly in apartment neighborhoods, the lack of off-street parking has resulted in serious congestion and a decline in desirable residential environment. All forecasts indicate that the widespread use of automobiles will increase both in absolute numbers and on a per capita basis. As a result the trend among families seeking single-family homes to settle outside the present limits of the core city will continue. At the same time the core city will tend to accommodate in its housing inventory increasing numbers of single individuals and families without children (who do not need the spaciousness of a detached home), the less affluent (who cannot afford .the relatively new homes ' of the suburbs or the autos to reach them), the elderly (who prefer living close to the con veniences of the core city), and to some extent the more affluent who prefer the prestige of some of Denver's outstanding residential neighborhoods to the problems of commuting from re mote suburban locations. As both population and volume of automobiles in the core city and in the metropolitan area grow, the potential impact of traffic on resident ial neighborhoods becomes more serious. Since the automobile is an important and necessary part of urban life, particularly in Denver, and since mainteno. nce and improvement of the residential environment in Denver is necessary, vigilant attention must be devoted to means whereby residential areas can live gracefully with the automobile. The neighborhood planning concept developed in more detail later in this section sets forth a means by which the automobile may continue to serve the residents of the community, while having a minimum adverse impact on the residences in which they live. Also, greater emphasis must be given to mass transportation in the long range future as a means for at least partially relieving the pressure of the automobile on the residential areas. I


THE CORE CITY O F A METROPOLITAN AREA Denver, as the core city of a metropolitan region, faces different and in many respects more severe residential land use planning problems than if it were an isolated city with the entire urbanized area within its city limits. These problems are not insurmountable, but they pose a significant challenge to its citizens if Denver is to remain a vigorous city with an excellent quality of living environment. Some of the special core city problems include: • The bulk of land within 1960 Denver city limits has already been developed. Most opportunities for new residential development on raw land lie in areas recently annexed or yet to be annexed. Colorado annexation laws, a competition among jurisdictions for territory and certain other jurisdictional disputes all provide a poor climate for residential land use planning. • Adverse influence of heavy automobile traffic on residential neighborhoods has already been reviewed. Much of this traffic in many areas of the city is generated by metropolitan residents living outside the City and County of Denver. Furthermore, other public facilities serving residential areas such as parks and golf courses also must accommodate the sub-urbanite as well as the city resident. To a certain extent, of course, this relationship between suburban and core areas is a two-way street; nonetheless, Denver must be prepared to live with the fact that its facilities will be he~vily used by people who frequently contribute little directly toward their construc tion and maintenance. • As the core city ages, becomes run down and has less space in which to expand and develop new facilities, many who can afford new hous ing move to suburban areas. Often these persons are replaced in the core city by others of lower income, educational and cultural levels; and it becomes more difficult to find com munity identity and spirit within core city limits. DENVER'S OPPORTUNITY In spite of the problems posed by age and obsolescence, automobile traffic and its role as a core city, Denver yet maintains a substantial inventory of worthwhile residential assets. Other cities in the nation (particularly the large, older urbanized areas of the east) have experienced these disadvantages to a far greater degree. Their plight of intense traffic congestion; widespread blight and deterioration; and loss of tax base revenues, leadership and quality citizen ship serves as a timely warning to Denver. 83


FUTURE DENVER HOUSING An estimate of future demand for housing in Denver has been based on population projec tions and on appraisals of future household com position and levels of income. Estimates of demand for particular types of housing (single-family homes, apartments, duplexes, etc.) are related to observations of past preferences and current trends. Projects within the City of Den ver presume 1960 city limits lines; subsequent and anticipated annexations will significantly increase these figures. HOUSEHOLDS Federal census figures for 1950 and 1960 show the following relative to household com position in the Denver Metropolitan Area: Between 1960 and 1980 the number of one and two-person white households in the city will increase. The number of three, four, five and six person white households will decrease. Between 1960 and 1980, all non-white house holds in the city will increase in number, the high est rate of increase occurring in the one and two person households. In general, in the City of Denver, there will be an overall decline i11 the demand for family size quarters and an increase in demand for single and two-person households. 84 • The size of the average household in the City of Denver is smaller than that in the suburbs largely because of the higher percentage of single-person households in the city. Between 1950 and 1960 the number of single-person households in the metropolitan area more than doubled, most of the increase taking place in the City of Denver. • Non-white families typically have larger households than white families. • The non-white population of the City of Den ver and the suburban white population are somewhat similar: both are of a younger age group, have a higher concentration of adults of child-bearing age, have larger size house holds and are growing at a much faster rate than the white population of the city. Between the census years 1960 and 1980, households of the metropolitan area will increase by some 195,000. During the same period house holds in the City and County of Denver (within the 1960 city limits lines) will increase by some 28,000. Non-white households in the City of Denver will increase from 10,200 in 1960 to 21,100 in 1980. Households with occupants of Spanish sur namewill increase from 10,300 in 1960 to 17,-600 in 1980.



INCOME OF DENVER HOUSEHOLDS For purposes of making projections of income of Denver households, income levels have been divided into three strata: Low income-less than $4,000 per year; Middle income-between $4,00 and $7,999 per year; Higher income-$8,000 per year and over. Projections of the number of families in each of the above categories of income have been made for the City and County of Denver. These projec tions are related to population and household forecasts and take into consideration those pre vailing economic conditions most likely to affect wages and other sources of income. Between 1960 and 1980 in the City of Den ver, rising incomes will move many families now in the low income category into the middle in come group, and many families now in the middle income category will move into the high in come level. There will be an "exchange" of low-income families for middle-income families and vice versa in many parts of the city. For example, most of the families that out-migrate to the suburbs will be from the middle income group, whereas they will be replaced by families from both low and middle income categories. If considered by itself, this process would tend to increase the number of low income families and diminish the humber of middle income families. 86 ESTIMATE O F FUTURE HOUSING MARKET The projections below of the future housi,lQ supply of the City and County of Denver and the Denver Metropolitan Area have been made on the basis of the future economic market which would support the quantities of housing speci fied. Population, household and income projec tions will all have their effect. Within the City and County of Denver ( assum ing 1960 city limits) the effective ho~sing sup~ly in 1960 will be 189,550 housing units, a net in crease of 17,370 over the supply of 196?. By 1980 the city's effective housing supply will be 203,670 units, a net increase of 14,120 over the 1970 supply. In the Denver Metropolitan Area the effective housing supply in 1960 will be 356,890 units, a net increase of 81,830 over the 1960 supply. By 1980 the metro area's effective housing sup ply will be 456,410, a net increase of 99,520 over the 1970 supply. TYPES OF FUTURE DE.NVER HOUSING As the supply of land suitable for residential development decreases in the City and County of Denver and as the proportion of single-person households in the city increases, the proportion of new single-family homes built within the city will decrease. At the same time the proportion of apartment units in the city will increase. By 1960, 65 per cent of housing units in the city were single-family homes; by 1980 this percentage figure will decrease to approximately 55. In 1960, 22 per cent of housing units in the city were in buildings containing more than four units; by 1980 some 35 per cent of housing units will fall into this category. Of the 43,000 housing units to be built in the City and County of Denver between 1960 and 1980, it is estimated that between 65 and 75 per cent will be multi-family rental units; the remaining 25 to 35 per cent will be single-family sales units. I


(J) 0 ..J 0 :r w (J) ::> 0 :r (J) 1z ::> l!) z (J) ::> 0 :r (J) 1-z ::> l!) z (J) ::> 0 :r I $8,000 AND MORE LESS THAN $4,000 DENVER (CITY) HOUSEHOLD INCOME PROJECTIONS DENVER METRO AREA (I) CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER (2) ---------------+(\) --(Z) :-'. ~. • •••• : ". .-.. :::::::'. •. :-::_ •• :::: .;.::::x_:_: :::. ,;-.: V PROJECTED DENVER EFFECTIVE HOUSING SUPPLY 1960 (0) NUMBER OF FAMILY UNITS (I) (4 +) (Z) (3 4J PROJECTED PERCENT AGE DISTRIBUTION OF DENVER (CITY) HOUSING TYPES 1970 -1980 I00,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0 II YEAR 87


88 LAND ABSORPTION FOR FUTURE DENVER HOUSIN : G Based on the estimated Denver housing mar ket, households and predicted income levels, the rate of absorption of land for housing development is as shown in the table below. Between 1960 and 1970 in the city (1960 city limits), some 1,240 acres of land will be absorbed in single-family home development. Between 1970 and 1980 in the city, 660 acres will be absorbed in single-family housing development. Between 1960 and 1970 in the city, there will be a reduction of twenty acres of land used for two-family housing purposes. The same rate of reduction will occur between 1970 and 1980. Between 1960 and 1970 in the city, some 60 acres will be absorbed in three-four family hous ing development. Between 1970 and 1980, some 90 acres will be absorbed in three-four family housing growth. Between 1960 and 1970 in the city, about 130 acres will be absorbed in five-or-more family housing development. Between 1970 and 1980, this same type of development will absorb approximately l 00 acres. ---(/) w a:: u < '-" w (/) ::> z < IJJ a:: < C z < J J < ... 0 ... (0) NUMBER OF FAMILY UNITS 20,000 ,-t"~ v'' ,,-..v ~~-{ rr,'(> (8,000 ,-v o-< -< 16,000 14,000 (2,000 6,000 3,000 1,500 (3-4) 1,000 500 1960 1970 1980 0 YEAR DENVER (CITY) RESIDENTIAL LAND ABSORPTION RATES l l


OBJECTIVES OF THE RESIDENTIAL LAND USE PLAN DENVER COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES The program of defining community objectives for Denver, as summarized in Part 2 of this docu ment, has revealed much of importance to residential land use planning. This program states: Denver of the future above all else should be a community with an outstanding environment for living .... It should be a community of fine residential areas, with a predominant orientation towards single-family living but with a provision for those preferring to live in multiple-residential units. Even the central area in Denver should feature low density residential living in appropriate locations. Residential areas should con sist of identifiable neighborhoods or communi ties, each containing a variety of residential accommodations and a range of private and public facilities adequate to meet the needs of the residents. Several of the 30 specific objectives for Denver also relate directly to residential land use planning. These are: • To assure that adequate land properly located is available for each use; ci To prevent and eliminate blight; • To preserve and improve the environment of all areas of the city; • To establish and promote specific character and identity for functional areas of the city; • To preserve Denver's historical western heritage; • To make the most of the natural setting of Denver as a plains city at the foot of the Rocky Mountains; • To strengthen Denver's excellence in manmade works and activities-to produce a "City of Excellence." OTHER OBJECTIVES Objectives of residential land use planning more specific than those included among com munity objectives are listed below; these have been prepared by the Denver Planning Office. • To take full advantage of al! potentials to achieve residential development of an improved design and superior quality by exploit ing assets to the limit of reasonable economic resources. Due consideration shall be given (but not limited) to: -terrain and topography, -views and vistas, -amenities (man-made) such as park-ways, street plantings, -open space, -good urban design, -avoidance of adverse. influences; • To provide full urban services and facilities for all residential areas; • To discourage stereotyped "tract" residential subdivisions; • To eliminate (or at least ameliorate) the fol low problems of existing residential development: -intermixture of incompatible land uses, -residential areas or districts of a size too small to have self-contained integ rity and amenities, -high density residential development in areas with little or no open space or off-street parking, -residential development with no regard for urban design, -gulches and drainage courses in unimproved condition constituting a scar on the landscape and a detriment to abutting residential development, • To enhance Denver's status as a city of harmonious human relations (including elimina tion of all vestiges of discrimination m employment and housing); -trends toward decay and obsolescence. 89 i


90 PRINCIPLES Principles of residential land use planning, as defined by the Denver Planning Office, are listed below: • The concept of residential neighborhood planning should be accepted and applied. This concept is explained in more detail in a subsequent portion of this section. • Specific examples of development in other cities shall not be deemed compelling precedent for a similar type of development in Den ver; rather, the exploitation of natural assets, the retention and encouragement of Denver identity, the concept of living environment ex cellence shall be guiding criteria. • Accommodation shall be provided in the land use plan for low, medium and high density residential uses according to: -demand for various types of housing as indicated by economic projections, -appropriateness of each area under consideration for a particular density of development, -concepts and principles of the report Apartment Growth in Denver, -concepts of good urban design and an improved city environment, -effect on surrounding or adjacent areas; effect on the city as a whole, -blight, existing and potential.


THE RESIDENTIAL LAND USE PROGRAM AND PLAN THE RESIDENTIAL LAND USE PROGRAM In order to achieve the objectives of residential development cited previously in this report, a number of programs have already been initiated. These include: The Community Renewal Program described in detail in Part 4, Section H, of this document, The Fringe Area Planning Program, The Neighborhood Planning Program. FRINGE AREA PLANNING PROGRAM At the city's fringes or perimeter there lie many areas which, because they are predominantly vacant, offer the best opportunities for residential land use planning. At the same time, however, because these areas are outside of city jurisdiction, are annexed to the city only at the initiative of private property owners, are usually entangled sooner or later in legal contests over the validity of annexation, the practical mechanics of land use planning become difficult. 91


92 Because of the above problems, planning for such areas must be done on the basis of nothing better than assumptions of annexation activity, must be made in collaboration with jurisdictions in control of land outside of Denver, and must pay particular attention to land ownership and owner intentions. To accommodate this situation, the Fringe Area Planning Program was initiated. Because of the uncertainty of annexations, this program is actually more a matter of coordinaton with abutting jurisdictions than it is a 'long-range planning program; it contains elements of ex pediency which would better be replaced by policy were only one jurisdiction involved. None theless, for its shortcomings, it does much to provid e an orderty growth pattern in an area burdened with handicaps. This program proceeds largely independent of the land use plan for the entire city although it seeks to integrate land use proposals in fringe areas with land use patterns in nearby and abutting areas of the city. NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING PROGRAM Reference has been made earlier in this report to the neighborhood planning concept which is the predominant feature of the residential land use plan. Under this concept, all residential areas within the present city limits have been defined as neighborhood planning units. These STREET CLASSIFICATION APPLIED TO A HYPOTHETICAL COMMUNITY AND NEIGHBORHOODS


neighborhoods are residential districts of some identifiable homogeneity. They feature centralizing facilities such as elementary schools and playgrounds and are set off from adjacent neighborhoods by man-made or natural boundary features such as arterial traffic routes, in dustrial areas, shopping districts or drainage courses. Such a concept, when used as a basis for locating public facilities, can strengthen the sense of identity and 11belonging" for neighborhood residents and can keep the interior of the residential neighborhoods relatively free of through automobile traffic. This helps preserve the living environment and can make it possible for young children to reach elementary schools without crossing major traffic routes. Characteristics of an ideal neighborhood and of a community which consists of a group of several neighborhoods are illustrated on the diagram. Since most areas now designated as neighborhoods were developed prior to adoption of a neighborhood concept, they frequently fall short of the planning ideal. Nonetheless, if the neighborhood concept serves as a long term guide to the provision of arterial streets and freeways, schools, parks and playgrounds as well as other public facilities, the concept can have a good long-term effect on the living en vironment of the city. Population trends and projections of the Denver communities are cited in the table below. COMMUNITY POPULATION--PAST & FUTURE Year Community 1960 1965 1970 1980 Northwest. .. . ................................................ . 71,555 73,145 74,169 74,123 West Central ....................................... . ....... 29,941 31,792 32,911 33,289 Southwest . .... .. .... . ................ ... _ .................... _ 70,202 79,205 89,210 96,261 North Centro I. ......... . ................................... 65,170 65,041 62,585 61,404 Central ..... ... . . .. . ........ . ........ .. .. . ... . .. . ...... ..... .... 50,997 53,839 56,462 64,149 South Central. ....... . ...................... . ..... ... ..... . 43,415 45,218 46,969 48,822 Northeast .. . .. . ... . . . ...................... . ....... .. . . . . ..... 37,842 38,131 38,848 40,141 East Central. .. .... .. ... . . . ... . ... . ... ...... .. . .... . . . ..... . . 55,352 57,085 58,849 62,005 Southeast . ... . . _ . . .. . .......... . .. . . . . . ............. . .. .. . . 46,091 63,256 102,357 130,582 CBD (M, C) .. . ... . ..... . ..... . . . ........ . .. ... . ...... .... . . . 17,596 15, l 04 13,019 11,437 lndustria I.._ ..................... . . ........ ........... ......... 11,447 10,705 7,345 3,169 93


All Denver neighborhoods have been classi fied as stable or unstable. A stable neighborhood is one which contains no significant amount of blight or incipient blight and is not threatened by forces, internal or external, which are likely to cause significant changes in land use. Unstable neighborhoods contain significant amounts of blight or incipient blight and are acted on by forces which threaten to change existing land use patterns. (Those areas in which the Com munity Renewal Program proposes urban renewal projects, either federally assisted or local, are classified as unstable.) 94 The Neighborhood Planning Program is oriented primarily toward stable neighborhoods. It will strive to identify desirable residential characteristics and qualities and will seek to identify liabilities of and adverse influences on residential environment. An action program then will be developed to enhance desirable qualities and to reduce or eliminate liabilities. DENVER COMMUNITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS LEGEND ••• COMMUNITY BOUNDARY= . NEIGHBORHOOD BOUND A RY .. ... ._ ... _ ___.




96 RESIDENTIAL LAND USE PLAN The residential land use plan seeks to apportion the various types of residential development throughout the city in such a way as to satisfy anticipated needs of the housing market for buildable land and at the same time to make strides toward achievement of those community objectives related to residential development; specifically: To assure that adequate land properly located is available for each use; To prevent and eliminate blight; To preserve and improve the environment of a II areas of the city. Residential land use development has been divided into the following categories: Very high density-over 100 units per gross acre (R-4 zoning); High density-26 to 100 units per gross acre (R-3, R-3-X zoning); Medium density-six to 25 units per gross acre (R-2, R-2-A zoning); Low density-five or less units per gross acre (R-0, R-1, RS-1, RS-2, RS-3, RS-4 zoning). VERY HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT Projections of Deriver housing between 1960 and 1980 indicate that the highest percentage increase in housing types will occur in residential structures containing more than four units. Considering recent trends, there is every indication that a significant amount of this increase in housing will fall into the very high density residential category. No increase, how ver, in lands zoned for this type of development (R-4 zoning) in Denver is recommended for the following reasons:


• The R-4 zone was designed originally (at the time of preparation of the 1956 zoning ordinance) to accommodate a certain area of the city which had developed in partly residential and partly commercial (largely office) use. This area was bounded by Colfax Avenue, 20th Avenue, Lincoln Street and York Street. It was the intent in establishing the R-4 zone district that it should not expand geographically but rather should be limited to the area of original designation. • New residential development of the very high or high density type generally will be better located in the residential environment of an R-3 district rather than intermixed with com mercial office development. • New office development is more appropriately located in the Central Business District and along some portions of arterial routes than in expanded sections of an R-4 district. HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT Housing projections state that of 43,000 dwell ing units to be built in Denver between 1960 and 1980, some 70 per cent will be apartment units. A significant proportion of these will be the type commonly associated with the R-3 dis trict and anticipated for development in the R-3-X zone. Should R-3 and R-3-X zone districts be expanded to accommodate this growth? Relevant to the question are the points cited below: • A Planning Office report of October, 1961, entitled Apartment Growth in Denver investigated an alleged need for additional apartment zoning in the city at the time. The report concluded that, if some 1,500 apartment units annually were added to the city's supply, there was already enough land zoned for apartments ( either vacant or with improve ments that could economically be removed) to last at least until 1975.


• Since the above report was written some 525 acres of land in the city (the B-5 and B-8 dis tricts) have been added to the inventory of lands in which apartment development is allowed by zoning regulations. (It has been estimated by the Real Estate Research Corporation of Chicago that some 2,500 dwelling units will be constructed in the B-5 district alone by 197 4.) The report Apartment Growth in Denver argued against the indiscriminate creation of new R-3 apartment zones throughout the city, point ing out the advantages of keeping pressure for new apartment development within areas already zoned for such development. A number of such areas, Capitol Hill, for example, have been experiencing a process of self-renewal in that new apartment structures have been replacing older, deteriorating buildings thus reducing or eliminating a possible need later for public urban renewal projects. This process of a neighborhood experiencing self-rejuvenation was termed "private urban renewal" in that many of the beneficial end results of a formal public urban renewal project were being achieved but exclusively through the normal functions of the private housing market, without burden on the taxpayers. In view of the fact that present projections of apartment expansion in Denver are no higher than those contemplated in Apartment Growth in Denver, in view of the fact that potential and existing blight continues to be a serious liability of Denver residential development, the comprehensive plan should retain the general policy of focusing new apartment development into areas where private urban renewal may be accomplished. In general, considering the fact that the B-5 and B-8 zones currently ollow apartment construction of a high density nature, land cur rently zoned for high density apartment development is qdequate to accommodate growth until 1980. The R-3-X zone, however, was created specifi cally to encourage private urban renewal in appropriate areas in the core city not now zoned R-3. An example of an area for which the Planning Board has recommended R-3-X zoning in residential land adjacent to the north and east sides of the Cherry Creek Shopping Area. In view of these considerations, the policy of the city should be generally to recommend against additional R-3 zoning and to recommend 98 --J


R-3-X zoning only in areas where careful study indicates that such zoning is required to bring about a desirable private urban renewal activity. The Land Use Plan reflects these policies. MEDIUM DENSITY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT Residential structures containing two, three or four units are normally accommodated in R-2 or R-2-A zone districts. A Planning Office survey of October, 1961 revealed that in R-2 and R-2-A zones of Denver there were some 400 acres of land which could accommodate medium density residential development, a supply more than adequate until the year 1980. No major expansion of lands zoned for medium density residential development is recommended for the residential land use plan. The following points have guided provisions for this type of residential development in the residential land use plan: • The Planning Office report, Apartment Growth in Denver, cited certain advantages to locat ing medium density housing among or in the immediate vicinity of single family districts: -From an urban design point of view, the monotony and broad uniformity of stereotyped housing tracts may be re lieved by the introduction of different building types. -Certain sociological benefits may be realized from a controlled intermixture of medium and low density housing. Elderly persons may move from a single-family home into a rental apartment unit without breaking important neighborhood ties. A broadening of population age and type composition can increase interest and spirit in a neighborhood while at the same time arresting a trend toward hyper-conformity which prevails in housing tracts composed of a single family type with a single income level. • It was pointed out in the above mentioned report that single-family and medium density residential development, even including high rise structures, may be properly located in close proximity provided adequate attention


100 is given in locating the medium density hous ing to: -public transportation, -shopping areas, -sources of employment, -schools, -recreation, -utilities, -compatibility with surrounding areas. • The Community Renewal Program seeks through primarily local action to reverse in cipient trends toward blight in 19 areas of the city; these have been designated as con servation renewal areas. Many of these areas are zoned and are appropriate for new medium density residential development. If such new development occurs in C.R.P. con servation areas it can go a long way, through the interjection of "new blood," toward re versing prevailing trends toward blight. A conservative policy on expansion of areas zoned for medium density residential develop ment will aid in focusing development pres sures into C.R.P. conservation areas. LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT Denver traditionally has been a city preferring low density, single-family residential development over the apartment. The 1960 census showed there were some 99,000 single-family detached dwelling units in the city comprising 57 per cent of a total of some 174,000 dwelling units. In 1930 single-family homes comprised 63 per cent of a total of approximately 82,000 dwelling units in Denver. Projections for future land absorption in Den ver indicate an economic market for the absorption of 1,900 acres in single-family use within 1960 city limits. The demand for this type of land use far exceeds projections for absorption of land for all other uses combined: other residential uses (apartments, doubles, etc.) would absorb 349 acres; business development, 120 acres; industrial uses, 120 acres; wholesaling functions, 110 acres; institutional uses, 60 acres.


Within 1960 Denver city limits lines there are very few areas of any significant size zoned and appropriate for single-family housing develop ment. In general the Denver land use picturepresent and projected-shows that where there is the greatest anticipated demand, there is the greatest shortage of suitable land; where there is a surplus of available land, zoned and appropriate, there is the least anticipated land absorption. There is a considerable oversupply of lands zoned for industrial, commercial, whole saling and apartment use, but a relatively small anticipated land absorption; there is a great demand for land for single-family housing de velopment but small quantities of land available or zoned to satisfy the demand. The above situation might argue for rezoning for single family use of lands classified for other purposes; this is not proposed because: • In general, rezoning of lands from a commer cial or a higher density residential category to a single-family classification is not legally possible. • Most lands zoned for industrial development are relatively unsuitable for single-family housing . Where such lands are suitable, the need for increased industrial tax base and general industrial expansion precludes the change in land use category. • Lands annexed to the city subsequent to 1960 are generally suitable for single-family hous ing development and, by and large, have been developing for such use. Anticipated future annexation areas will no doubt also accommodate large quantities of single-family housing. Within 1960 city limits lines the above situa Jion argues for: -Considerable restraint in rezoning land now zoned for single-family hous ing to other zoning categories, -A greater appreciation and care for areas presently zoned and developed in single-family housing, -Encouragement of the development of town houses, row houses, low density multiple dwelling groups and other dwelling unit types suitable for family occupancy in appropriate locations within areas developed or proposed for medium and high density residential development. Indications of future single-family housing development patterns may be obtained from an in vestigation of past patterns. In spite of the demand, relatively few single family homes have been built within 1960 city limits, the bulk of development having taken place in the southeast ern and southwestern portions of the city which were annexed subsequent to 1960. Although there is a projected demand for some 1,900 additional acres of land for single family housing within the 1960 city _ limits by the year 1980, the scarcity of land available within the 1960 city limits will dictate that the bulk of single-family home development will take place in areas annexed subsequent to 1960. This is not to say that it would not be desirable to have more close-in single family areas if it were possible. HOUSING FOR ALL CITIZENS The attitudes of most Denver citizens and the legal framework provided by State law are conducive to a minimum of racial discrimination in housing. Yet there remain areas nearly com pletely occupied by members of a racial minority group. Although this segregation may to some extent be voluntary, vigorous enforcement of the fair housing law, supplemented by broadened educational programs and activities of such groups as the Fair Housing Center, can result in more integration in residential areas. This in turn can lead to improved human rela tionship within Denver, better education for all children through experiencing inter-group relationships, a break in the vicious poverty cycle, and an improvement in the stability and tax base of central area neighborhoods. Also, a positive approach to public housing, in cluding the use of dispersed units and rent sup plements, is necessary to assure that people of all incomes may live in decent conditions. 101


102 U N S T A B L E ARE AS Nine areas of the city, because of specific land use problems, have been classified as unstable and have beeh given particular attention. Unstable areas are those which: are acted upon by forces likely to cause significant land use changes by 1980, and/or contain significant elements of blight or in cipient blight. (All areas designated for urban renewal treatment in the Community Ren~wal Program are unstable by this definition; they are not herein given attention, however, as such would be duplication of recommendation of the C.R.P.) Four areas were classified unstable because of anticipated strong growth trends: A. Denver University and vicinity, B. Regis College and vicinity, C. Cherry Creek Shopping Center and vicinity, D. Colorado General Hospital and vicinity. Three areas were classified unstable because of evidences of blight or incipient blight: E. College View annexation area, F. West Colfax Avenue-Dry Gulch area, G. George Washington annexation area. Two areas were classified unstable because of land use problems unique to the vicinity: H. South Colorado Boulevard area, I. Chaffee Park Shopping Center and vicinity. All unstable areas are identified on the map on the opposite page. UNSTABLE AREAS LEGEND ••• A. DENVER UNIVERSITY B. REGIS COLLEGE C. CHERRY CREEK D. COLO. GENERAL HOSPITAL E. COLLEGE VIEW F. W. COLFAX-DRY GULCH G. GEO. WASHINGTON H. S. COLORADO BLVD. I. CHAFFEE PARK


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104 DENVER UNIVERSITY AREA ) The master plan for future development of Denver University by and large proposes future buildings within present campus boundaries. The one exception is the proposal to expand the campus north of Evans Avenue westward to Wil liams Street. Blocks between Race Street and Williams Street are to be developed in student housing. The University is now in the process of acquir ing properties in the above mentioned expansion area and now owns some 40 per cent of the land. The map opposite illustrates the land use pattern incorporating the change to accommodate expansion westward. REGIS COLLEGE AREA ) The master plan for future development of Regis College includes proposals for intensifica tion of college use on property west of Irving Street and development of business and resident ial uses on property east of Irving Street. The map opposite illustrates the land use pattern incorporating Regis master plan expansion elements.

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CHERRY CREEK SHOPPING CENTER AREA Past rates of business expansion, numerous requests for rezoning and evidence of considerable land speculation in the vicinity of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center led the Planning Office to undertake a special study of land use and zoning in the area. Zoning and land use proposals of this study are delineated on the map opposite. A moderate expansion of existing business zoning is proposed near 3rd Avenue and Steele Street; a band of medium density residential land use is proposed north and east of business use. A further area of medium density residential development is proposed between Alameda and Dakota Avenues west of Harrison Street. The Planning Office expects to carry out further studies as part of its neighborhood planning program. 105

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106 COLORADO GENERAL HOSPITAL AREA As a result of recent expansions of Colorado General Hospital and a number of other hos pitals in its vicinity, a trend toward expansion of apartment zoning and development extending eastward from Colorado Boulevard is apparent. This trend should be contained at Fairfax Street on the east and Hale Parkway on the north since further encroachment eastward would seriously jeopardize the existing high quality residential development in that area. In the event of further need for apartment land use, such determination should be made subsequent to the location of the Mountain Freeway and more accurate determinations of expansion plans of Colorado General Hospital. The appropriate land use pattern for this area is shown on the map opposite . • • • • • V

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J 0 0 I) ,, I ' COLLEGE VIEW ANNEXATION AREA The College View Annexation area became a part of Denver in March of 1962 subsequent to the cut-off date for inclusion in the Community Renewal Program. Otherwise it very likely would have been included in that program as appropriate for urban renewal action. The area contains many examples of serious blight and deterioration; its general character is run-down and unkempt. A gulch running through the area is an eyesore and a trash collector. The street pattern and subdivision layouts are inefficient and wasteful of large amounts of land. Most of the streets remain unpaved and unimproved. In view of the above, the College View annexation area should be included in the Community Renewal Program as a redevelopment project. The map opposite shows an appropriate land use pattern for a redevelopment project in the College View area. 107

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108 WEST COLFAX AVENUE-DRY GULCH AREA The West Colfax Avenue-Dry Gulch Area is being acted upon by several unstabilizing in fluences: • Incipient blight and deterioration west of the Avondale Urban Renewal Project, • Evidence of existing and incipient blight extending westward from the Avondale Project along the northern side of Dry Gulch, • Commercial uses along the West Colfax Aven ue strip constituting a blighting influence on noncommercial uses which abut, • Incipient blight in an area bounded by Colfax Avenue, 26th Avenue, Irving Street, Lowell Boulevard, • Expansion of St. Anthony's Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital giving indication of increased future demand for apartment and other hospital-oriented development in the immediate vicinity.

PAGE 105

In order to cope with these problems, the area should be included in the C.R.P. as a conserva tion project. Project boundaries and land use classifications are as proposed on the map op posit~. GEORGE WASHINGTON ANNEXATION AREA The George Washington annexation area became a part of Denver in June of 1961. At that time intensive land use studies were made to determine the proper zoning pattern for the area. Results of the study are as shown on the map op posite. Influences affecting the George Washington area since 1961 have only served to reenforce the previously established zoning pattern; the original pattern is still considered valid and should not be changed. There yet persists an unsolved problem in the area. At the time of annexation improvements on land lying between Kearney Street, Monaco Parkway, Exposition Avenue and Mississippi Avenue were showing evidence of disrepair. The condition continues today. It is consequently recommended this area be designated an urban renewal rehabilitation district and included as such in the Community Renewal Program. 109

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SOUTH COLORADO BOULEVARD AREA South Colorado Boulevard, together with its close vicinity between Kentucky Avenue and the Valley Freeway, has been classified as an unstable area because of a poor land use pattern on the east side of the boulevard "inherited" from another jurisdiction in the process of annexation and extending a depth of some four blocks east of the boulevard. Only minor improvements to the land use pattern here are feasible since most land is already developed with structures built subsequent to World War II. A medium density residential category between Mississippi Avenue and Louisiana Avenue, as shown on the map opposite, will, however, interject some small land use order in to this portion of the area.

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CHAFFEE PARK SHOPPING CENTER AREA In the process of acquiring right-of-way for Interstate Highway 70, the State Highway Department displaced a number of commercial en terprises in the Chaffee Park area. Many owners of such properties subsequently have maintained that, because of this displacement action, the city is obliged indiscriminately to rezone residential lands for the relocation of com mercial enterprises. Locations selected by these property owners have, by and large, been inimical to the residential character of the Chaffee Park area and independent of good planning and zoning principles. Pressure undoubtedly will continue for more of the same kinds of pro posals. No further indiscriminate rezoning in the Chaf fee Park area -should be allowed for the follow ing reasons: • Property owners displaced by the develop ment of Interstate 70 do not have a right to claim double compensation-once from the State Highway Department and again in the form of compensatory rezoning. Highway con demn-:ition and acquisition processes recog nize end compensate for commercial land use and zoning at a higher valuation than for lands not so classified. • Chaffee Park area residential character and integrity should be maintained lest the area require expensive public urban renewal action at a later date. In the event further commercial rezoning in this area should be required to serve the needs of the neighborhood, such rezoning should take place at the perimeter of the present Chaffee Park Shopping Center and in conformance with appropriate planning and zoning criteria. l l l

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THE RESIDENTIAL LAND USE PLAN Incorporating, then, the previously cited think ing relative to low, medium, high and very high density residential development; incorporating previously cited proposals for unstable areas, the Residential Land Use Plan on the opposite page has been prepared. 112 RESIDENTIAL LAND USE PLAN LEGEND••• LOW DENSITY MEDIUM DENSITY HIGH DENSITY VERY HIGH DENSITY

PAGE 109

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PAGE 110


PAGE 111

BACKGROUND FOR THE COMMUNITY FACILITIES PLAN One of the basic reasons that people living close to one another choose to organize local governments is to facilitate provision of com mon needs such as fire and police protection, education and recreation. As our cities become larger, more congested and increasingly com plex, the maintenance of an adequate level of community facilities is essential to the safety and well-being of the residents as well as busi ness and industrial firms. This fact has been recognized by all comprehensive planning activities in Denver in the past. The Denver Comprehensive Plan adopted in 1958 contains many proposals for new public 116 facilities, and a number of these proposals have been or are being carried out. Partially as a result of earlier planning activ ities, Denver is relatively well served with a wide range of community facilities at the present time. Although the number of facilities is deficient in certain areas, and some facilities are too old or improperly located to render adequate service in others, by and large Denver's community facilities have contributed significantly to its image as a desirable city in which to live. A complete listing of existing facilities may be found in "Public Facilities Plan," CP Bulletin No. 4-2. I i l I I ; I I I

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OBJECTIVES AND STANDARDS OF THE COMMUNITY FACILITIES PLAN An important objective of lhe comprehensive plan, as presented in Part 2 of this report, is: To provide properly located and well designed public facilities. Public facilities operate on several levels. Some, such as elementary schools and playgrounds, are best located in the middle of residential neighborhoods where they can be reached by young children without excessive exposure to heavy traffic. Other, such as high schools, playfields and libraries serve entire communities and should be located where they are readily accessible from all parts of the area they serve. Police and fire stations serve all parts of the city irrespective of whether the land is used for housing or for business and industry, so these. facilities are related to land areas rather than to neighborhoods. Although most planning for public facilities is based on the framework provided by the neighborhood and community planning units (see Part 4, Section B), certain major facilities in ad-dition to police and fire stations must be planned to serve all the city. These include major parks, administrative buildings, the community and con vention center and similar facilities. The community facilities plan is concerned only with the location and adequacy of fa cilities and their sites; such aspects as building design, facility operation and activity programs generally are outside the scope of the comprehensive plan. However, in order to further the evolution of Denver toward a "City of Excellence," it is vitally important that facilities be of an excellent standard of design, with specific attention devoted to inclusion of landscaping and works of art in their plans. Furthermore, com munity facilities must be developed in sufficient quantity to meet reasonable requirements of a growing Denver. Although it might not be possible to meet them in all cases, the following contains standards which provide valuable guidelines for the provision of community facilities in Denver. 117

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I COMMUNITY FACILITIES STANDARDS SCHOOL SITE SIZE School Type Building Student Capacity Walking Radius Site Size ( acres) Elementary ... ......... --_.. 480 1 mile 4 660 1 mile 6 990 1 mile 8 Junior High . .... . ... . .......... ................ . 1,500 2 miles 1 1 Senior High .................................... . 2,500 25 PARK SITE SIZE AND POPULATION SERVED Site Size Park Type (Acres) Population Served Service Radius Acres/000 Persons Playground ..... . ........ .......... 12 to 16 3,000 to 4,000 to mile Playfield .... ... ...... . ... ...... . .... . 30 to 35 15,000 to 20,000 1 mile City-wide .... mm. 100 40,000 to 50,000 city-wide Greenbelts Parkways, . . -NA NA NA Special Use . ... .... ............... NA NA NA LIBRARY SITE SIZE AND POPULATION SERVED Site Size Library Type ( Acres) Main............. .. . .................. Varies Regional...... .. ............ .... .. .. 0.75 to 1.0 Branch ............ .. ..... -... -0.65 to 0. 9 Neighborhood. ................ .. generally rental Population Served city-wide 100,000 to 150,000 min. 15,000 Service Area city-wide 1 or more pig. comm. 1 to 1 mile radius 1 neighborhood 3 to 4 1 to 2 2 to 2 1 to 2 3 Book Volumes 2.5 to 3 per person 50,000 to 60,000 20,000 2,000 to 2,500 Police stations should be located within 2 miles of each residence on a site of acre. A fire station should be located within 1 miles of all structures in a residential area and within mile of all structures in a nonresidential or high hazard area. l 18 I' !

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I I I I COMMUNITY FACILITIES PLAN The Planning Office has worked closely with all public agencies involved, including the Denver School District, in preparing a plan for com munity facilities. Each agency concurs with the proposals set forth on the following pages. No facilities are more important to the desirability and stability of a neighborhood than its schools. If old neighborhoods are to retain their attractiveness to present residents and to draw families who have migrated to the suburbs back into convenient central areas, their schools must be up-graded. Similarly, new areas must have schools developed to high standards if Denver's environment for living is to be preserved. The school plan contained herein reflects these goals. It will be reviewed continually so that new concepts, including educational parks or clusters, may be incorporated in the plan if and where deemed appropriate. SCHOOLS School standards call for a maximum walk ing distance of one mile to elementary schools and two miles to junior and senior high schools. The service area standard is met adequately by the present school system. Those deficiencies which do exist will be eliminated largely by proposals of the school plan for peripheral areas. 119

PAGE 115

Site sizes have increased in recent years. Most schools built since 1951 meet or exceed the standard for area. of site. Urban renewal has helped some schools to expand, and future proj ects will do the same for other schools. Ultimate attainment of school sites of sizes at or near standard is a feasible long-range goal. The plan proposals fall into four general categories: • Continuation of existing facilities: Most of the schools in the city are reasonably well located, have sites which at least approach the standard in terms of size and are structurally sound. Although these schools may not be ideal in all respects, they do meet neighborhood and community needs adequately and their replacement cannot be justified eco nomically. Therefore, these schools are con tinued on the school plan as they exist at present. • Development of new schools on new sites: In some developing residential areas, primarily those annexed in recent years, there are at present no school facilities, although sites may have been donated as part of the annexation process. Also, in some older areas existing school facilities may be improperly located and otherwise inadequate requiring replacement of the facility at a different site. Need for replacement also may stem from a declining school population which dictates consolidation of school service areas. In these cases the school plan proposes a new facility on a new site. • Expansion of existing facilities: In a number of areas, schools are relatively well located and adequate structurally, but the site or school plant or both are too small to meet educational requirements. In such cases, the school plan will indicate expansion of present facilities as the proper step in more closely meeting school standards. • Abandonment of existing facilities: In some areas, invariably older neighborhoods, the school population has declined to the extent where it is clear no school facility can be justi fied twenty years hence. The schools in this category are proposed for elimination on the school plan, with the area formerly served by them assigned to a nonresidential use or consolidated with an adjacent residential neighborhood where adequate school service is proposed on the plan. 120 SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT PLAN LEGEND••• IL IL r--1 .... . . . . . . . . .:, I ••••••• . ......• .. .._ _, -A ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS SECONDARY SCHOOLS SENIOR HIGH SCHOOLS PROPOSED EXPANSION PROPOSED SITES ABANDONMENT OF SCHOOL SITE

PAGE 116

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122 RECREATION Public recreation needs have changed in recent years. Outlying homes have larger yards than previously, with more patios for outdoor dining and relaxation and play equipment for young children. Swimming clubs and other private recreation facilities have increased. However, the growing number of both young people and older citizens, the shorter work week and increased congestion in the central city, and the continuing large group of less affluent citizens who have not as yet benefited from the changed living patterns means that public recreation needs have not diminished but merely experienced a change in emphasis. Open space is needed in Denver despite the mountain parks, forests and recreation areas, as some overcrowded city parks will attest. In developing this plan, park and recreation facility standards were not applied rigidly. Fac tors which may vary from area to area, such as the median age of the neighborhood population, were taken into account. Playground and playfield developments at elementary and secondary schools were considered to be part of the inventory of existing recreation facilities. Other similar adjustments, based largely on common sense and logic, were made in application of the park standards. Excluding greenbelt and parkway acreage, the city is deficient in total recreation space by 2,500 to 3,000 acres. The analysis of standards indicates that greatest emphasis is required in expansion of neighborhood parks, playgrounds and playfields since community parks and citywide facilities more nearly meet the standards. Some of the older areas of the city fall far short of meeting park and recreation standards. While substantial park acquisitions are proposed for these areas on the plan, the absence of vacant land and the high cost of developed property make complete fulfillment of the standard impossible.

PAGE 118

\ t i ' .I • -... , • T' CJ . . -_, ~ -.. f I 1 .6'!4=-..... l L,J ,'I< 123

PAGE 119

As long as the present annexation policy prevails, substantial park areas will continue to be acquired in annexed areas through required donation by the annexor. Although such donated land seldom is adequate to meet the standard fully, it does assure that new areas will have tracts set aside for parks, playgrounds and playfields. 124 In several areas changing land uses and application of standards have shown that existing park sites are not required and should be disposed of if sale is authorized by the voters. These include Jerome, Halleck, Bryant and Ellsworth and Burlington Place Parks and an unnamed parcel at Vine Street and 48th Avenue. Most of the need for open space in the downtown area will be met by plazas provided as a part of new private construction. Public acquisition of small parks, plazas or squares may be necessary in some locations; this will have to be determined by future planning work in the downtown area. PARKWAYS A parkway is a public street that is landscaped in a park-like manner with grass, trees, shrubs and other plantings in a median strip, in side planting areas or in both. Its primary purpose is to provide an environment more pleasant than that of the ordinary city street. Frequently, it provides an attractive connection to or between parks. The plan proposes three types of parkways which are described below. • Arterial parkway: an arterial street which has been landscaped. The primary function of an arterial parkway is to carry large volumes of traffic. To a limited extent, it improves the character of the area through which it passes and increases the pleasure and safety of the motorist. These parkways generally are located in areas where residences or appropricte business uses con receive the benefit of the positive environment influence. As a major artericl street, this parkway must have a minimum right-of-way of 120 feet and all other physical design characteristics of arterial streets. The parkway appearance is protected by sign controls and setback regulations. Residences and other uses may front on the street, PARK DEVELOPMENT PLAN LEGEND ••• EXISTING PARKS r-------, I I L.------J PROPOSED PARKS

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access is not prohibited and trucking is permitted. Speer Boulevard is the best example of an arterial parkway in Denver-a highly landscaped major traffic carrier. • Environmental parkway: a landscaped secondary street whose functions are enhancement of the appearance of abutting property, improvement of the environment in the area and provision of an attractive pleasure drive for the public. It requires a minimum right-of-way of 150 feet which includes planted parking strips and a landscaped median at least 56 feet wide. Appearance is protected by sign controls and setback regulations. These parkways are located primarily in residential areas so that a maximum en vironmental benefit can be utilized. Residences and other appropriate structures, such as schools, churches and libraries, may front on the roadway. Access is not restricted, but trucking usually is limited. High traffic volumes are discouraged through roadway design and low speed limit. Sixth and Seventh Avenue Parkways are outstanding examples of this type of roadway. • Recreational parkway: a strip park with a roadway through it, providing recreation and picnic facilities as well as a scenic pleasure drive. A right-of-way 400 to 500 feet wide is required to provide for independent two-lane one-way meandering roadways and appropriate sites for recreation and picnic fa cilities at regular intervals. This type of park way normally is several miles in length and is landscaped largely with native plantings. More intensive landscaping is required in recreation area. This type of parkway often is developed adjacent to or incorporates water areas including streams, lakes and reservoirs. Sign controls and setback regulations are applied, although abutting properties usually are screened by landscaping. Buildings are permitted only to back or side on the public property line. Access to the roadway is limited and all trucking is prohibited. The curving roadways and low speed limits discourage high traffic volumes. No facilities of this type exist in the Denver area, but plans have been developed for such parkways along Bear Creek and Cherry Creek. 126 PARKWAY PLAN LEGEND ••• EXISTING PARKWAYS PROPOSED PARKWAYS

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LIBRARY, POLICE AND FIRE FACILITIES Library, police and fire departments all are organized with a central headquarters and with branches throughout the community to serve various communities and neighborhoods. These branches vary in function and size. The headquarters facilities are discussed in the part of this section dealing with central facilities. Most facilities in the older part of the city are adequate, although certain libraries and fire stations are obsolete and will require replacement. The greatest deficiency is in newly annexed areas although the current annexation policy requires the annexor to donate certain of the sites as a condition of annexation. Continuing policies of acquiring sites ahead of actual need will reduce the problem of maintaining adequate standards. The key to location of each of these types of facilities is excellent access to the major street system of the city. While libraries usually make good neighbors to the residents of an area, police stations and fire stations have a noise element (principally sirens) in their operations which makes a perimeter location in a neighborhood more desirable. 128 PL A N F O R LI BR ARY, POLICE AND FIRE FACILITIES LEGEND ••• EXISTING POLICE STATIONS PROPOSED POLICE STATIONS EXISTING LIBRARIES PROPOSED LIBRARIES e EXISTING FIRE STATIONS 0 PROPOSED FIRE STATIONS

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PUBLIC WORKS FACILITIES The land requirements for public works facilities are not based on c prescribed standard. Functional considerations require that certain maintenance shops and storage areas be centrally located and others be distributed throughout the city. Denver's present centralized facilities ore obsolete and inadequate to meet the demands required of them. These facilities are proposed for expansion and possible relocation. District equipment depots and transfer stations are decentralized to provide storage and maintenance areos for each quodrant of the city. (The four quadrants are divided roughly by the South Platte River, north-south, and Colfax Avenue, east-west.) Locction of the district public works facilities should reflect consideration of land use patterns and certain performance standards. Public work shops are generally considered light industrial uses and, although the city can ignore or change its own zoning ordinance, the maintenance of a land use compatibility requires that these facilities be located in areas of similar uses yet somewhat central to the area they serve. The location and acreage requirements for the district facilities are determined in part by the rate of city expansion and service needs. lnitiolly, new or enlarged depot facilities will be required in each of the four quadrants. Further enlargement of proposed facilities or development of additional facilities will be required as the city expands outward from the central core. Vacant land for the proposed exponsion should be acquired before the pattern of development makes acquisition difficult. 130 PLAN FOR PUBLIC WORKS FACILITIES LEGEND ••• • MAIN EQIPMENT SERVICE AND STORAGE AREA EQUIPMENT DEPOTS

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132 CENTRAL FACILITIES Central facilities of the City and County of Denver include several groupings of buildings. • Civic Center. The headquarters of the city is located on the Civic Center. Expansion of the courts probably will result in the City and County Building ultimately containing only courts and possibly the Mayor's office and Council Chambers and offices. At present, administrative offices are scattered about in various locations, many in inadequate buildings. These agencies should be assembled in a city office building and in a hall of justice adjacent to the Civic Center. Plans exist for expanding or rebuilding the art museum and the main public library on their present sites next to Civic Center. A design plan to accommodate these needs currently is in preparation. • Community and Convention Center. This center will be located in the area bounded by Stout Street, Curtis Street, 14th Street and Speer Boulevard. To the present core of a city auditorium and arena will be added the exhibition hall of l 00,000 square feet, a music hall with a capacity of 3,000 seats (replacing the auditoriumL two theaters with about 1500 and 800 seats respectively, a Colorado pavilion, restaurants, meeting rooms and open space. This will require relocation of the present inadequate police building and fire department headquarters. Design plans are being prepared. • Denver General Hospital-Welfare. A recent bond issue has made possible the construction of a new hospital and the demolition of a number of obsolete buildings on the site. The present Welfare Building is adjacent to the Denver General Hospital site, and studies currently are underway to determine the future needs of the Welfare Department. • Shops and Departmental Schools. At present, city shop facilities are scattered around the city, and many are housed in obsolete facili ties. Studies are underway to determine the feasibility of consolidation and rebuilding. This problem could become especially acute if Metropolitan State College should select an Auroria site (west of Cherry Creek, north of Colfax Avenue), since that choice would require acquisition by the State of most of the shops of the public works department. In addition, several departments have special facilities in various parts of the city, such as the fire department training area. Eventually, these facilities will be reviewed and as necessary added to the comprehensive plan. • Other. The city has m~ny other unique facilities, such as a county jail, a sewage disposal plant, an airport, an asphalt plant (for paving) and the coliseum. While the present comprehensive plan contains no specific proposals for these facilities, they are essential land uses, and later will be incorporated into the plan in greater detail. For the present, the plan merely recognizes their present locations. IMPLEMENTATION The total cost of all new facilities outlined in this section will be $85,600,000. Of ihis, slightly less than one-half, or $42,700,000, will be the responsibility of the City and County of Denver, assuming a continuation of present financial obligations. Most of the balance would be borne by the Denver School District and the federal government. A program for financing public improvements is defined in the last section of this report; accomplishment of the community facilities plan undoubtedly will require the use of both pay-as-you-go financing and general obligation bonds. Furthermore, new sources of revenue almost certainly will be required. The Capital Improvements Program, described briefly in Part 4, Section A, is a vitally important tool for carrying out the community facilities plan. Through the proper use of this tool Denver citizens can be assured that each doll~r being spent on new facilities is consistent with the objecti~es, policies and proposals of the compre~ens1ve plan and thus will be a wise long-term investment.

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BACKGROUND FOR THE BUSINESS LAND USE PLAN Business development in Denver, as in most metropolitan regions of the country, has been characterized by a trend toward decentralization. Retail sales and services have been moving out of Downtown Denver into the metropolitan area, out of the City of Denver into the metro politan area, and out of the metropolitan area into the State of Colorado. • Between 1948 and 1963, the proportion of metropolitan area population living in Denver declined by 18 per cent. • During the same 1948-1963 period: Denver's share of metropolitan area retail sales declined by 24 per cent, Downtown Denver's share of metropolitan area retail sales declined by 18 per cent, The Denver Metropolitan Area increased its share of the state's population by l O per cent, but its share of state retail sales by only 8.7 per cent. Sales of convenience and comparison goods (those items normally handled by shopping cen ters) decentralized from the core city at a particularly rapid rate; between 1948 and 1963 such sales receded from Denver into the outly ing suburban areas 50 per cent more rapidly than did population. Within this broad pattern of decentralization a number of sub-patterns has been evident. In the metropolitan area: • The number of food and drug stores has declined markedly. • The number of home furnishing stores, restau rants, auto sales firms, gasoline service sta tion rapidly increased. 134 • The number of auto and truck rental firms has more than doubled; the number of business service firms has increased fivefold. • Convenience goods and services establishments have generally increased in size with their distance from the Central Business Dis trict. • In general, larger retail outlets are replacing the smaller. This trend is particularly evident along arterial streets. • The use of business land on a per capita basis has increased between 1924 and 1962 by 269 per cent; in 1924, 1.5 per cent of land was used for business purposes-by 1962 this percentage figure had increased to 4.0. In the past 16 years, however, floor area in business use on a per capita basis has increased by only nine per !=ent. Obviously business stores are requiring more land per unit of floor area, a situation strongly influenced by the omniv orous needs of the automobile for parking space. • Properties located along major arterial streets are occupied predominantly by convenience retail and service activities, auto and auto equipment sales, home furnishing and apparel stores, offices and motels. In four out of 31 districts investigated a ten per cent vacancy rate was found. Within the City of Denver certain sub-patterns have also been apparent: • The number of food and drug stores and con struction firms has declined markedly. • The number of service establishments has increased by 16 per cent. • In Downtown Denver the number of all retail establishments, with the exception of auto dealers, has decreased.

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DOWNTOW, N DENVER Although decentralization has reduced Downtown Denver's role in the metropolitan area as a retail sales center, the core of the city still maintains a significant position. Its decline in importance in the metropolitan region has been slower than that of many Central Business Districts for a number of reasons: • The growth pattern of the Denver Metropolitan Area, in general, has been in the form of concentric circles around the downtown core. The bulk of new urban growth has not been forced into extremely remote distances from downtown. • Downtown Denver has long served as a focus for a multi-state regional area; it continues in this role particularly as an office headquarters for far-flung oil development firms and the federal government. • Traffic access i'o and through downtown, though less than fully adequate at morning and evening rush hours, has not reached a level of oppressive congestion. • A somewhat higher than average ratio of public street area to private property has kept traffic and pedestrian congestion within bounds yet tolerable. • Important new hotel, office and retail sales development in the years following World War II has diluted trends toward obsolescence and deterioration. Much of the blight and deterioration of downtown is localized. Recognizing, however, certain trends and problems inimical to downtown prosperity, there was created in 1961 by city ordinance the Downtown Denver Master Plan Committee, a group representing both the private and public sec tors and charged with the responsibiljty of preparing a plan for future downtown development. This group concerned itself largely with past, present and future economics and made a number of proposals for economic stimulation and transportation improvement. Urban design considerations were at one time entertained, but the Committee has not chosen to develop this approach. The proposals of the Committee were summarized in the Development Guide for Downtown Denver, and, with certain modifications bo. sed on recent studies, have been included in this plan. 135

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DENVER SHOPPING CENTERS Denver shopping center development in postWorld War II years has been along ordinary, conventional lines. The trend toward commercial development in nucleations rather than scattered throughout residential neighborhoods has produced a land use pattern improved over that which existed previously; conflicts between residential and commercial land use have been localized and reduced. It is noteworthy also that the practice of shopping center developers to provide off-street parking has gone far to al leviate congestion in the streets. 136 On the other hand, Denver shopping centers by and large have not been the magnetic or dynamic civic assets found in some other cities. Rarely have Denver shopping centers included a landscaping treatment to alleviate the sterile impact of vast acres of barren asphalt, although the most recent centers exhibit some improve ment in this regard. As shopping centers have expanded in some instances, abutting arterial streets have become overloaded; turning move ments into and out of the center have become hazardous. In cases where a street bisects the shopping center, pedestrian crossings have further aggravated the problem. In a number of cases Denver shopping centers have grown considerably beyond their original site plan concept. As a result clean land use separation lines at shopping center perimeters are breached with the constant pressure to project business uses into abutting residential neighborhoods. In some instances off-street parking has proved inadequate for handling expanded business activity; cars spill over into abutting residential neighborhoods to the detriment and distress of home owners.

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COMMERCIA L DEVELOPMENT ALONG ARTERIAL STREETS Probably the most serious and difficult land use problem with which the City of Denver has to cope is the prevailing condition of commercial development along arterial streets. Forty or fifty years ago this type of com mercial land use was logical enough. Streets then were not overly ~ongested, parking was not a serious problem, a large percentage of the population commonly traveled by streetcar and could shop along the strip en route home from work downtown. The proliferation of advertis ing signs had not reached the level of visual chaos except in limited areas. The situation today is different. Main arterial streets such as Colfax Avenue, Broadway, West Alameda Avenue have become heavily loaded with auto traffic; a continuous conflict exists on such streets between through traffic and autos with destinations on the strip; countless curb cuts onto drive-in restaurants, service stations, auto sales lots, etc., provide a continuing source of potential hazard for the motorist. Where advertising signs grow and multiply along the arterial without significant control, they seriously distract the attention of the motor ist from his driving duties and often conflict with traffic control devices. Advertising signs combined with overhead power lines against a background of chaotic land use present in many instances an aspect as ugly and vulgar as any currently to be found on the American urban scene. Denver zoning has not only lagged far behind this arterial land use problem but actually has contributed to its intensity. By and large the zone category applied to the commercial strip is the B-4 district. It accomplishes nothing in the way of producing an orderly land use pattern; for all practical purposes it does nothing to con trol intensity of development; it requires no setback to improve traffic and environmental con ditions. It is a wholly inappropriate zone category for the situations in which it is currently employed. 137

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FUTURE DENVER BUSINEs s DEVELOPMENT The Real Estate Research Corporation of Chicago was retained by the City of Denver to appraise future development patterns for the city based on an anticipated economic market. Over the. past ten years business building space, other than offices, has developed in Denver at the rate of approximately 300,000 square feet per year. Three out of five of such new buildings have resulted from demands generated by the automobile and its widespread use. The future Denver market, according to Real Estate Research, for retail and commercial development within the city but outside of the downtown area is extremely tenuous and dependent, for the most part, on the maintenance or improvement of the level of family income. Very little retail expansion is anticipated within present city limits; what new space does develop will result largely from replacement of present space. Approximately 550,000 square feet of office space has developed annually in Denver over the past ten years, the greatest activity occurring in 1962 and falling thereafter. Real Estate Research estimates that between 1963 and 1970 office space in Denver will be built at the rate of approximately 600,000 square feet per year and will occupy a total of 60 acres of land. Between 1970 and 1980 office space will develop at the rate of 310,000 square feet per year and will occupy at total of 50 acres. The Real Estate Research firm made the fol lowing appraisal of development along arterial streets: • Within the city, future vacancies will be high in the ribbon type shopping areas. • No increase in economic impetus for ribbon shopping districts should be expected in the future; they will continue to decline. A separate economic appraisal by Real Estate Research was made of Downtown Denver with these conclusions: • In 1962 Downtown Denver had office space amounting to 8, l 00,000 square feet; 5,600,-000 square feet will be constructed between 1962 and 197 4. Of this space, 1,800,000 square feet will be replacement space result ing in a net gain of 3,800,000 square feet. Total floor space thus will be 11,900,000 square feet in 1974. • Retail sales space will increase from 2,700,000 square feet in 1962 to 2,900,000 square feet in 197 4, a net gain of 200,000 square feet. 1,900,000 square feet of existing retail sales floor space will be replaced in the projection period; thus, there will be a total market for 2,100,000 square feet of new space. • Between 1962 and 197 4 a market will exist for 2,550 new residential units in apartment structures. Transient residential units have been developing in Denver at the rate of approximately 210 per year. It is estimated that the downtown area between 1962 and 197 4 will have a market for cpproximately 80 such units per year. 139

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BUSINESS LAND USE OBJECTI.VES COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES Certain of the Denver community objectives are particularly applicable to business develop ment and land use. These objectives are: • To enhance Denver's position os a regional and national headquarters city; • To enhance Denver's position as a center of tourism, conventions, and entertainment; • To enhance Denver's position as a retailing center; • To establish and promote specific character and identity for functional areas of the city such as the Central Business District. 140 BUSINESS LAND USE OBJECTIVES Consistent with the above, but more specificaF ly related to . business development are the follow ing objectives formulated by the Denver Planning Office: • To maintain a strong Central Business District as the focus of community and regional activ ity; • To provide an adequate supply of land zoned for business use recognizing that on oversup ply can dilute building pressures and con tribute toward deterioration and blight; • To encourage the assemb~y of new business development into compact areas served adequatefy by the street system and comprising a minimum of incompatibility with surrounding land uses; • To improve existing commercial development along arteriar streets by: -grouping of related land uses. into orderly clusters, -reducing densities of overdeveloped arterial strips, -reducing traffic hazard and congestion on arterial streets, -improvement of visual aspects of arterial streets. I

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THE BUSIN.ESS LAND usE PLAN AND PR-OGRAM DOWNTOWN DENVER AND THE BASIS OF A PLAN Economic appraisals and other investigations essential to the preparation of a plan for Down town Denver have been completed in the past four years by the Downtown Denver Master Plan Committee. From these a number of as sumptions or areas of agreement have evolved which provide va lid bases for the eventual preparation-of more specific downtown plans. LAND u sE ASSUMPTIONS Compactness of the Central Business District as well as its functi .onal elements is vital to the health-of downtown. THE PRIMARY RETAIL AREA The primary retail area of downtown will lie between 15th Street and a line between 16th and 17th Streets, extending from Curtis Street to the east side of Lincoln Street. 141

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GENERAL OFFICE AND FINANCIAL AREA The primary general office and financial area of Denver will lie between 18th Street and a line between 16th and 17th Streets, extending from Curtis Street to the east side of Lincoln Street. THE AREA WEST OF PRIMARY RETAIL AREA The area between 14th and 15th Streets extending from Curtis Street to Court Place will continue to be developed largely in single use office buildings and secondary retail and service functions. Denver's Community and Convention Center will develop in the area bounded by Stout, 14th, Curtis Streets and Speer Boulevard. 142

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AREA EAST OF PRIMARY GENERAL OFFICE AND FINANCIAL AREA Three of the four blocks bounded by 18th, California, 20th and Champa Streets are utilized by Federal buildings; it is assumed the fourth block will be similarly utilized. The area east of California and 18th Streets extending to Broadway is occupied by a mixture of uses including small retail stores and transient accommodations. A continuation of this usage is assumed, although the area ultimately may provide logical expansion for the general office and financial area. The area east of 20th Street is utilized presently by a mixture of small retail outlets, transient accommodations, residences, wholesale and light industrial establishments, motion picture sup pliers and other small businesses. It is assumed that this mixed usage pattern will continue. I II I I 1 I 143

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144 AREA NORTH OF LARIM_ER STREET At present, portions of the Larimer Street frontage is in typical "Skid Row" uses; the balance of the area is in a wholesaling, warehousing, transportation and light industrial district, a notable exception being the Larimer Square project between 14th and 15th Streets. It is assumed the area will remain predominantly in transportation and industrial usage. It is as sumed that the railroad passenger terminal will remain in its present location. SKYLINE URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT The Skyline Urban Renewal Project is bounded by 20th, Curtis, and Larimer Streets and Speer Boulevard; it also includes those blocks between Curtis and Champa Streets from Speer Boulevard to 14th Street and from 18th and 20th Streets. Substantial clearance is proposed, and the land uses which finally will occupy the area are be ing analyzed in detail by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority. Potential uses having desirable features from the standpoint of sound community development and economic feasibility include: association and institutional headquarters, transient residential accommodations, apartments, post-high school educational facility ( col lege or university), entertainment and specialty uses, relocation of existing uses, retail outlets, parking, open space, transportation terminals (bus and heliport). I

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TRANSPORTATION ASSUMPTIONS FREEWAYS It is assumed that a north-south Columbine Freeway ~omewhere near or east of Broadway will be constructed. An east-west freeway route serving the lower downtown area extending from the Valley Highway northeasterly to the Columbine Freeway also is proposed. FREEWAY COLLECTOR MAJOR STREETS The one-way grid street pattern in the down town area should be retained. Construction of a 19th Street viaduct would permit 19th and 20th Streets and 15th and 16th Streets to become reciprocal streets of major importance in the downtown area. (The Platte River Development Program embraced in the comprehensive plan envisions changes in the viaduct structures across PROPOSED FREEWAY - • MAJOR ARTERIAL . ! : I ---O " ... ~,-!!!"--, • : OQ~ ; :0:0' It g : ~'l,),,\',-__,......_...,...,~~LI'--_....,..'=-,,._.,. ; • . DDDDDD[ I I I I I I I

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the area northwest of the Central Business District.) Speer Boulevard, Broadway coupled with Lincoln Street, Champa and Stout Streets and Colfax Avenue would retain their major street classification. West 13th and 14th Avenues, pos sibly with their one-way flow reversed from the present direction, would be major streets adjacent to the downtown core. 146 Important access routes into the downtown area are assumed to be provided by all numbered streets from 13th Street through 20th Street. Closing any of these streets would require an alternate method for handling the movement of traffic now carried. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Pending the completion of mass transit studies, it is assumed that adequate bus transportation will be available to meet the requirements for public transportation in and through the Cen tro I Business District. PARKING TERMINALS Proposed off-street parking terminals are suggested for location in the Skyline Urban Renewal Project Area. Private redevelopers in the Central Business District will be required to provide their own off-street parking. Any additional public parking should be directly accessible from downtown trafficways. Further studies will be required to develop a specific parking program for the Central Business District. PUBLIC FACILITIES ASSUMPTIONS COMMUNITY AND CONVENTION CENTER A complete Community and Convention Center will be constructed in the area of approximately five blocks bounded by Curtis Street, 15th Street, Stout Street and Speer Boulevard. First unit of this center will be an exhibition hall containing 100,000 square feet of unobstructed ex hibit space. Construction will begin in 1967. Con vention meeting rooms have been built in the backstage area of the city auditorium. The city police building, presently located in this area, will be demolished, probably within ten years. On the balance of the site, such facilities as a 3,000-seat symphony hall, a 1,500-seat theatre, and an 800-seat "little theatre" will be con structed. Smaller facilities, including a Colorado pavilion, serving as a showcase of Colorado business and industry; a small library; several restaurants; and landscaped open space are to be included in the center. I

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ADMINISTRATIVE AND OFFICE FUNCTIONS Municipal office space will remain in the City and County Building and the 810 Fourteenth Street Building on a temporary basis. Within a period of five to ten years, a new municipal of fice building will be required. This should be developed in the vicinity of the Civic Center. The Planning Office expects to complete detailed planning for the Civic Center in the immediate future. COURTS It is assumed that demand for new courts will continue and ultimately all of the present City and County Building, with the possible exception of the Mayor's and City Council offices, will be occupied with courts and related facilities. POLICE BUILDING During the study preceding the 1964 bond election, the City Administration developed a plan for the construction of a headquarters for the Department of Safety and Excise (including police and fire functions), on the block bounded by Bannock Street, W est 13th Avenue, Delaware Street and West 14th Avenue. Pending completion of its Civic Center study, the Planning Office assumes that this location is still the proper one for this facility since it can be linked physically through underground or overhead connections to the court facilities in the present City and County Building. POST-HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES It is assumed that part of the area bounded by Curtis Street, Speer Boulevard, Lawrence Street and 14th Street will be utilized either as a portion of the Denver Center of the University of Colorado or as a graduate school of the Uni versity of Colorado. The Planning Office assumes that the ultimate location of the Metropolitan State College will be within or immediately adjacent to the central area but probably not in the area which is now occupied by the University of Colorado Extension Center. The comprehensive plan recommends the Auraria site (west of Cherry Creek and north of Colfax Avenue) as the site for Metropolitan State College. 147

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148 PLAN AND P ROGRAM FOR DOWNY-OWN As cited previously, the Downtown Denver Master Plan Committee comprfses repr:esenta: tives of the private and th.e pubric sectors of the community, so that the interests of both may be served. This was widefy reg_arded as the proper ap proach to the preporation of a downtown plan inasmuch as:... • The private sector would be concerned with achieving. an economic stimulus to raise prop erty vatues and otherwise increase prosper~ty for ent.erpreneurs.; • 'fhe public sector would strive to direct down town growth toward becoming a significant civic asset, in the direction of itSpotential to serve the citizens of Denver as an attractive medern day market place. Potentials for de velopment of a center of culture, entertain ment, employment and civic activity could be r:eal-ized assuming that an environment of some attraction and magneHsm were achieved. As a--result of the economic surveys and other basic work thus far pursued by the Downtown Denver Master Plan Committee, numerous activ ities are already under way. These include: • Approval by the Denver citizens of an $11,-200, . 000 bond issue for construction of a con vention-exhibition hall, • An advance of $497,766 from the federal government to finance preliminary planning of the downtown Skyline Urban Renewal Project, • Preparation of a Central Area T ransporta tion Plan (by the Denver Planning Office and the Denver T roffic Engineering Department) proposing extensive freeway and other traffic improvements for access to and through the Central Business District, • Continuing major private development and re development activities, including a number with characteristics leading. toward the necessary impr-ovement in environment. As of this writing no evidence exists that trends toward decentralization of business activ ity in the metropolitan -area. have been reversed. A. regional shopping center recently opened claimed on its sitealone as much as one-third of the retail soles floor area of downtown. To date, economic proiections for new downtown development hove not been realizedat the rote anticipated~ Theneed yet remains for the completion of a more specific Downtown Pron to assure the magnetism and superior environment on which above cited potentials are predicated. Only with su ch a plan to attract citizens to the downtown ,area in the face of strong decentraliza-tion trends can continuing investments of public funds for maior downtown improvements be justified. The Denver Planning Board endorses thefol lowing at this time: " ... it is clear that the general public, as well as downtown property owners and businessmen, has a great stake in the character and healthof the downtown area. All Denver citizens hove a right to expect downtown to continue fo be a strong base of employment and source of tax rev enue; to provide a human, pleasant en vironment; to serve i . ncreasrngly as a cul tural, civic~ recreation . al, social center for the community; and to evolve into a source of civi.c pride, a significant and widely known civic asset." To aid in the realization of these aspiFations, the Planning Office has formulated a continuing planning program for Downtown Denver to be based on many of the recommendations o.f the Development Guide for Downtown Denver (pub lished by the Downtown Denver Master Plan Committee). The planning staff, with some as sistance from expert consultants, wilt striv.e to: • Refine the downtown land use plan (assump tions) which would detineate orderly, logical areas for compatible uses and identify loca tions in which future growth should take place;

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• Further develop the transportation plan for both vehicular and pedestrian transportation, including further consideration to the problem of off-street parking; • Prepare detailed site plans for the original development or expansion of such public areas as: -convention and cultural complex, -Civic Center, -Federal Complex, -permanent campus of the Metropoli-tan State College; • Prepare a plan for additional open space and landscaping, including a system of open spaces and trafficways for joining the above public areas; • Evolve an overall design concept for the totality of the downtown area which would include: -the establishment of a design character for each of the major functional land use areas; e.g., the financial area, the retail sales area, the hotel area, -the establishment of design relation ships between the different land use groups; • Prepare specific design proposals for public improvements. Several of these work items are now being accomplished by the Planning Office with assistance of the Downtown Denver Master Plan Com mittee, Downtown Denver Improvement Associa tion and expert consultants. PLAN AND PROGRAM FOR SHOPPING CENTER DEVELOPMENT Economic projections indicate relatively little market for new shopping centers within present city limits. Such new development, however, may be anticipated in areas recently annexed to Denver or in areas that will be annexed in the future. If recent past experience is a guide, some pressure for expansion of existing shopping centers may be expected. Proposed policies to realize business objectives relative to shopping center development are cited below: Objective: To provide an adequate supply of land zoned for business uses recognizing that an oversupply can dilute building pressures and contribute toward deterioration and blight. Policies: Maintain the present zoning system which requires an economic survey substantiating the economic validity of any proposed new shopping center development. Assure that neighborhood and commu nity needs for business land uses actually are met if authorized. Minimize both monopolistic domination of business land and excessive speculation on actual or potential business land use. Encourage stability of business land use patterns consistent with technological changes and community needs. Assure that needed business areas will have a minimum adverse effect on abutting land uses of a different kind. Assure that adequately sized, appropriately located business areas are available to accommodate all types of business land uses. Objective: To encourage the assembly of business uses into compact areas served adequately by the street system and comprising a minimum of incompatibility with surround ing land uses. Policies: To encourage new business development in vacant areas to form orderly clusters or nuclei with mutually reinforcing economic and environmental characteristics. 149

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1 50 To assure that the size, location and function of these business areas reflect accurately the demonstrated economic needs which each is intended to serve, and that the areas can function without major damage to other well-located, viable business areas. To promote neighborhood designs which will minimize friction among potentially incompatible uses. To coordinate the location of shopping centers with the mass transit system; to improve access; and, where appropriate, to encourage the construction of transit passenger facilities in major shopping centers. To encourage the development of residential and other relatively compatible, nonbusiness uses along the perimeters of shopping areas and along the major arterial streets between the business clusters. As stated previously, it is estimated there will be an economic market for the expansion of some of the shopping centers within present city limits. The community interest, however, cannot support the indiscriminate and uncontrolled expansion of any and all shopping centers. Exist ing shopping centers have been appraised on 'the basis of appropriateness for expansion. Those most properly located and developed to serve the needs of surrounding neighborhoods have been selected as preferable for expansion and are so shown on the accompanying map. BUSINESS LAND USE PLAN LEGEND ••• ,, ' I ',1 \ t• ,',, . .:.-~ C B D FRAME OFFICES ARTERIAL BUSINESS SHOPPING CENTERS TOURIST PARK

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PLAN AND PROGRAM FOR COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT ALONG ARTERIAL STREETS Recognizing the many problems connected with prevailing patterns of development along arterial streets, objectives and proposals are sub mitted to serve as a basis for guiding the development and redevelopment of land abutting Denver's major arterial streets. These objectives are: • To group those land uses allowed along arterial streets into logical, orderly patterns of compatible uses with mutually reinforcing eco nomic and aesthetic characteristics; • To de-intensify the prevailing pattern of development along arterial streets in order to reduce congestion and clutter while, at the same time, providing more space for offstreet parking, landscaping and other on-site convenience and amenities; • To reduce conflict between local and nonlocal traffic through improved standards of traffic control of curb-cuts, deceleration lanes, serv ice roads and on-street parking; • To improve the environment along arterial streets for motorists as well as for abutting property owners through the use of effective control of advertising signs, the encouragement of street-tree planting and other landscaping and effective buffering between com mercial and noncommercial uses. Proposals cited above are sufficiently broad to be applicable to both vacant and developed land. The method of implementation, however, would be different, as explained in the following paragraphs. VACANT LAND Improvement over the prevailing unsatisfactory pattern of development along arterial streets can be achieved through the application of re vised zoning and better subdivision control and by taking advantage of more sophisticated traffic control techniques. 152 ZONING The B-4 category of the Denver Zoning Ordinance, widely used in the past to control land use along orterial streets, is wholly inadequate for the task. The current condition of arterials along which this zone district has been applied is the basis for this judgment. Where commercial development to serve adjacent areas is appropriate along major arterial streets, such development should be channeled into nucleations or shopping centers. The B-2 and B-3 zone districts of the Denver Zoning Ordinance were specifically designed to accommodate this type of development. Any other commercial land use development allowed along arterials should be channeled in to one of the following zoning categories. • Office-Institution Zone (B-A-1 ). Banks, offices, hospitals, clinics, institutions, churches, apartments and office service uses are allowed in this district. Setback requirements recognize the need for landscaping along the arterial as the "front door" of the community. Side and rear setback areas accommodate off-street parking and prevent overly intense development . Development on large sites is encouraged in this district in order to reduce the tendency toward clutter of land uses. • The Highway Service Zone (B-A-2). This dis trict allows motels, restaurants, gas service stations, utilities. Setbacks would be required to encourage landscaping along the arterial and to provide space for off-street parking at the side or rear of the site. • General Commercial Zone (B-A-3). This dis trict is designed to accommodate those uses which are oriented toward the local motorist and residents of nearby neighborhoods but which uses are not normally constructed as parts of shopping centers of B-2 or B-3 dis tricts. Included among such uses are bowling alleys, theatres, night clubs, drive-in restaurants and service stations. Setbacks again are required to allow landscaping for the "front door" aspect of the arterial and to accommodate off-street parking. • Auto Sales and Service Zone (B-A-4). The auto sales and service district provides an area designed particularly to accommodate the special needs and characteristics of the uses. The district is considerably greater in depth than other arterial districts in order ' ' I J ' l I ' I i

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to occommoaote the tr-end toward fewer and forger auto firms. Auto soles and service out lets grouped-together in one. area would pro vide the customer with a convenient "shopping center" in which to inspect and select a car or accessories. Controls on odverti sing signs and devices ere less resfrictive in this district in recogn ition of the character of the area; how ever, the location of such d evices are restricted in the relatively concentrated auto district rather t-hon berng spreadout indiscrimrnotely th.roughout the remainder of the commercial strip as is now the case. Two additional niodifications of the zoning ordinance shoutd be mode for control of rand use along the arterials " . ..Off-street porldng requirements should be re-enacted to . less en congestion in the streets end to enhance convenience for customers. At time of pu-blication, progress is being made to this end. • Control of advertising signs atong these routes shoufd be drastically streng .thened to reduce distraction for the motorist, to reduce con flict w-ith traffi-c control devkes, to promote a good image o . f the city for the visiting motor ist and ta al.low a decent environment for local citizens. (These proposals are equally as applicab~e to all business areas of the city as they are to arterial strips.) SUBDtVISION REGULATIONS Judicious application of subdivision regula tions can go far toward reducing the problems of land us.e abutting arterial streets. Where residential development is proposed to abut a major arterial, residential sites should back on tf,e major street. In lieu of this arrangement, a , service road may be provided between housing and the street to minimize the adverse effect of heavy traffic with its accompanying noise and dirt. TRAFFIC CONTROL Considerably increased safety for the motorist on orterioi streetscan result from improved traffic control measures. • Service roads should be required to insulate particularly busy commercial development from fast moving through traffic on the arterial. This is ~mportant where numerous curb cuts out of commercial sites tend to feed heavy numbers of cars into fast moving through traffic lanes. By the utilization of service roads, locat traffic can be introduced into the-main traffrc stream at re-loti"vely few points of intersection. • Curb cuts otherwiseshould be kept to a minimum on the orteriat On corner sites they: should -in generot be prohibited on the arterial and allowed on the intersecting s ide street. • Decelorotion lanes at maior access pointsto commercial properties should be requiied. ENVlR .ONMENTAl CONSIDERATIONS The importance of the environmenta~ aspect of maior arterial streets con .not be overemphasized. These streets present in many coses a . visitor's first and most forceful impression of the city. What is more important is the factthat the motorist who is a permanent resident of Denver spends a heavy percentage of his driving time on the major arterials. Not only has he a right to safety on these roads, he also has a right tc;, find himself in a decent visual environment. ln this regard: • Signs should be kept in choracter with the rest of the district. • The city should begin immediately to expand its street-tree planting program along arterial streets. The program should become a regular yearly capital improvements budget item. • Along many of the city's developed arterial streets, overhead power lines detract greatly from the visual image. Steps should be token immediately to see that such detracting ele ments are not duplicated along arterials not yet developed; where possible, existing overhead power lines should be removed. DEVELOPED AREAS Within present city limits, some 2,000 acres of developed commercial and industrial land are located in a strip configuration along arterial streets, ten times as much land as is included in the Central Business District. Just as an altera tion of zoning regulations alone has been judged inadequate to accomplish significant improve ment in the CBD, so an extensive planning proj e-ct is required to produce worthwhile improve ments along the arterial commercial strips. The following features will guide such a program: 153

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INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS On an area-by-area basis, commercial strips along arterials will be investigated and analyzed. Particular attention will be paid to: • Past and present economic vitality, • Compatability of land uses, • Levels of property maintenance, general appearance, and trends toward blight, • Adequacy of off-street and on-street parking, • ~ffect of the_commercial strip on adjacent land uses, • Condition of public improvements such as street paving, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, • Other environmental aspects such as advertising signs, • Traffic conditions, PLANNING Determination of proper land use categories: On an area-by-area basis, the proposed reuse of each portion of commercial strips will be determined. Such reuse can come about through the usual process of obsolescence a!ld replacement; in some cases, a public urban renewal project may be needed. Detailed and expert economic projections will serve as a basis for proposed future land use patterns. Land use will fall into the same four general categories as proposed for new zone districts along arterials in vacant areas. The new zone districts thus eventually will become applicable to developed areas as well. Citizen participation: A large number of individuals and groups would be interested in any proposal having effect on land use along arterials. For a program to be successful it would need to have support from such groups as: The American Automobile Association, The Motel Owners Association, The Restaurant Owners Association, The Retail Automobile Dealers Association, The Petroleum Retailers Association, The Retail Merchants Association, A significant effort will be required to communicate continuously throughout the planning phase of this project with groups such as the above. Relatively ambitious audio-visual presentations will be necessary to accomplish adequate communications in the project. 154 IMPLEMENTATION With a sound plan based on realistic economic projections and potentialities and with such a plan supported by a significant segment of those having vested interests in land abutting arterials, implementation could be realized through the application of new zone districts, through expansion in depth of some commercial strips, through improved traffic control, through city participation in landscaping efforts, through more significant advertising sign control, and through a generally improved level of appreciation on the part of Denver citizens of the importance and impact of the arterial street on contemporary urban living. TOWARD BETTER ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS AREAS The importance of certain environmental aspects of business development has already been cited: the need for creation of an improved, more human environment in Downtown Denver if it is to withstand prevailing trends toward decentralization; the need for a tourist city such as Denver to give more attention to the environmental aspects of its major arterial streets on which the visitor frequently gets his first and most forceful impression of the city. Other environmental aspects of business areas also merit attention. PARKING AREAS In most Denver business development the parking lot has been treated merely as an extension of the street providing "wall-to-wall asphalt" with negligible regard for environmental, human or visual aspects. Landscaping of parking lots can go far toward turning these visual liabilities into civic assets. Not only can trees and plantings relieve the stark, sterile, unhuman impression of broad areas of asphalt but they can also: • Screen headlights, exhaust fumes, noise from abutting properties, • Control circulation of autos and pedestrians in the parking lot, i I' ' I I' R I r '

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I • Identify entran-ces and exits, • Provide reference points for locating cars in large lots, • Protect cars from intensive summer sun, • Provide open areas for storm drainage and snow remova I. ADVERTISING SIGNS Recent federal legislation on highway beautification with its accompanying proposals for control of billboards has brought into focus the environmental issue of advertising signs: There is a point at which indiscriminate, uncontrolled despoilment of the environment and the landscape by advertising signs must be limited to protect basic rights of the public. The public interest here has been clearly defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Berman v. Parker: "The concern of the Public Welfare is broad and inclusive. The values it represents are spiritual as well as physical, aesthetic as. well as monetary. It is within the power of the legislature to determine the community should be beautiful as well as healthy, spacious as well as clean, well balanced as well as carefully patrolled." The more offensive advertising devices can and should be controlled by law. Good taste and a display of civic conscience is not unreasonable to expect of the sign industry and those buying signs; this has been exhibited in sections of some cities. It can and should come about in Denver through public education, public awareness, continued work with the sign industry and outspoken demands from the citizenry that their rights as defined by the Supreme Court in the Berman v. Parker case be preserved. OUTDOOR UTILITY LIGHTING Exterior lighting of business buildings and their adjacent parking lots affords a potential for particularly effective urban design if handled with sensitivity and imagination. Rarely is this potential realized in Denver. The more common lighting display for busi ness areas in Denver features very bright light sources on tall standards which often are of fensive to nearby residential areas, are unhuman in scale and distract and blind motorists in the vicinity. Imaginative design of smaller light standards, greater in number to satisfy light level needs can overcome the above negative features and at the same time provide a visual urban design asset. 155

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OPEN SPACE In congested areas the provision of open space for pedestrian use, for visual relief from a concentration of highly intensive land usage, for improvement of the setting of large buildings, and for the introduction of greenery into a prevailing concrete-masonry asphalt environment becomes particularly important. The provision of open space shou Id be required and encouraged through zoning laws, subdivision regulations and annexation requirements. In addition, the city's land acquisition program can be supplemented by a continually expanding program of the federal government to aid in purchase of open space lands. SHOPPING CENTER BOUN DARIES Where shopping centers are located in the midst of single-family housing areas (which is the usual case), problems of land use incom patibility exist at the shopping center boundary, particularly where the single-family houses face into loading or trash collecting areas of the shopping center. Attempts to solve this problem have often been made by using apartment zoning as a "buffer" or transition between the shopping center and single-family homes. The practice, however, has 156 led to only limited success. Through generally the single-family development is shielded from com mercial environment, the shield of apartment zoning allows and encourages development by which many times more persons living in apartment structures are exposed to the adverse com mercial influence. The apartment area usually fails to achieve any integrity of its own, and, un less sensitively designed, often remains out of place in its setting. To improve this land use compatibility problem, the following is suggested: • Platting of single-family housing sites backing or siding on a commercial development can often be a supetJor solution to achieving im proved land use compatibility. 0 By and large high density zoning should not be used solely for buffering purposes. Medium density zoning is far more appropriate. It is desirable in such cases to achieve architectural as well as land use compatibility. • P-1 and B-1 zoning often can appropriately be used as a transition between commercial and residential areas. Again in this case, architectural compatibility is highly desirable. In all of the above situations well-designed landscaping can go far toward effecting the de sired transition .

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BACKGROUND FOR THE INDUSTRIAL LAND USE PLAN INFLUENCES SHAPING DENVER INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT A number of factors have exerted major in fluence over the nature of industrial development to date in Denver. These include the following: • Location: The closest major city to Denver is more than 500 miles away; the intervening area is sparsely settled. This isolation has forced the Denver economy to concentrate on specialized activities or on products which have high value and low bulk. • Climate: Denver is located in a pocket of mild, dry climate which has been influential in attracting industries where precision workmanship is essential. • Water: Water has had a dominant effect on the Denver economy. The semi-arid climate forces the city to secure its water at considerable distances and to divert much of it into the area through trans-mountain tunnels. Subsurface water supplies have a history of falling water tables with resultant water shortages and rationing. Thus major industries near Denver tend to locate on land which can be served by the Denver Water Board. (The present Denver water system is believed adequate to met anticipated growth needs to about the year 2000.) 158 Stream flows in the Denver area are intermittent and water usually is diverted by downstream agricultural users for irrigation pur poses. As a result, industries which depend on large volumes of water for processing or for dilution of wastes could not locate in most parts of the Denver Region. • Flooding: A converse problem is presented by potential periodic flooding. Many industries are located on low land adjacent to the South Platte River. Major tributary streams such as Clear, Sand and Bear Creeks have no flood control. As a result, experts express concern about the flood danger to these industrial establishments . This concern was all too well justified when the Platte River flood of June 16, 1965 did extensive damage to properties in the rive r flood plain. An extensive program of flood control and land improvement is now in the planning stage a n d is discussed in detail i n another section of t his document. • Transportation: D n ve r's isolated location on the continent has had a marked effect o n its transportation pattern. Fro m t he earlie st days the community was a terminal and transfer point for transportation of goods, for cattle drives and for equipping westward-boun d wagon trains. Difficulties in crossing the mountains almost caused Denver to be by-passed during the era of railroad building, but aggressive entrepreneurs secured the needed rail development. Today Denver is served by six major roilroads, one of which is based in the city. Sparse setlement of the region makes rail rates from Denver relatively high. The development of truck transportation greatly expanded Denver's role as a supplier of goods for the region since flexible truck service can meet the needs of many communities which are too small or too confined by rough ter rain to receive rail service. The development of outlying industries around Denver has resulted from the postwar growth of truck transportation allowing greater di versity of industrial location and the enormous space demands of such firms as the Martin Company (Titan Missiles) and Dow Chemical Company (classified atomic production). These trends may be expected to continue.

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The moderate weather and absence of precipitation make Denver an excellent air ter minal. Stapleton International Airfield is one of the busiest in the nation for both commercial and private flights. Airports in suburban communities also serve private aircraft. This pattern of transportation has permitted manufacturing of items which can be shipped readily to national or foreign markets by air and has provided an excellent support to mail or air freight oriented enterprises. Conversely, the absence of close-in markets precludes manufacturing for mass consumption since transportation of these commodities over long distances is too costly. Future methods of transportation may modify this limitation. • Terrain: The only significant variations in the terrain of the Denver community ( exclusive of the portion located on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains) are caused by the drainage pattern mentioned earlier. Because of these changes in elevation, industrial land use has formed a distinct pattern within the com munity. Early railroad builders chose routes in the river valleys, and industry followed the railroads. Prior to World War II industry was concentrated almost exclusively along the railroad lines in the South Platte River Valley. • Agriculture: Major agricultural production in the area served by Denver is in sugar beets, grains, beans, potatoes, beef cattle and sheep. A significant sector of the Denver area economy is related to this agricultural market. Included are production and wholesaling of irrigation products and agricultural chemicals, marketing of livestock and meat packing, grain storage, brewing of beer and similar activities. 0 Minerals: Early mining in Colorado has left a residual industrial activity of major significance; examples are the industrial functions of the Colorado School of Mines at Golden and the sizable mining supply industry with the Gardner-Denver Company, the largest of the group. The region served by Denver is rich in oilnotably Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and the Dakotas. While this resource has had some impact in the manufacturing and wholesaling segments of the economy, its major influence has been in the location in Denver of administrative, research, public relations and other such activities of petroleum production. CHARACTERISTICS OF INDUSTRY IN THE DENVER METRO , POLIT AN AREA The predominant characteristic of industry in the Denver Metropolitan Area is that it consists of many establishments of relatively small em ployment. The list of industries employing 1,000 or more persons is short: Martin Company (6,000 to 7,000), Gates Rubber Company (5,000), Dow Chemical Company (2,800), Sundstrand Corporation (1,200), Samsonite Corporation (3,000) and the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company (1,000) are among these. The City of Denver now contains approximately 7,500 acres of land zoned for industrial development. Of this figure approximately 4,570 acres were used for industrial purposes as of 1962. The Denver Metropolitan Area has a total of 29,000 to 30,000 acres zoned for industrial purposes; in 1960 approximately 5,800 of these were used as zoned. Between 1952 and 1962, 348 acres of vacant land in the city were developed for industrial purposes showing an average annual absorption rate of 35 acres. The current absorption rate is 35 to 40 acres per year prior to annexation of Montbello with its rapidly growing industrial area. Exact data on the availability of suitable industrial land in Denver are lacking, but from the standpoint of total acreage alone, there appears to be a more than ample supply of such land within the metropolitan area and within the city. Site sizes of individual firms vary from about 3,000 square feet to thousands of acres with a predominance in the range of one-half to five acres. Many very small firms occupy minimumrent old buildings west of the Central Business District; many firms engaged in manufacturing, wholesaling or printing are located at the perimeter of downtown in order to be close to customers. I 159

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The other established industrial areas are located in the valley of the South Platte River, in the northeast corner of Denver between Stapleton Airport and the river and in areas at the outer perimeter of the urban growth contiguous to Denver. Major land users are included in the suburban areas. Many smaller land users, especially manufacturers of instruments, are similarly located. The mobility pattern of industrial plants within the Denver area is significant. Responses of industrialists to a questionnaire in 1963 indicated that, of approximately 750 firms, some 300 had plans to move into different quarters. Few firms appear to have acquired adequate land for expansion. The small floor area occupied by individual Denver area manufacturers and wholesalers is indicative of the small size of the firms. Half the 700 firms questioned occupied less than l 0,000 square feet of floor space; two-thirds, less than 20,000 square feet. Only one firm in 50 occupied as much as 60,000 square feet of floor space. Utilization of trucks for movement of goods is almost universal. Most firms reported they had some facilities for truck parking and loading although near downtown the facility tended to be a dock on an alley or street. The limited number of areas served, smallness of commodities and problems of fixed locations of tracks have tended to reduce the relative importance of railroads as transporters of raw materials and finished goods for all but the largest firms. "Piggy-back" goods movement may reverse the trend. Most of the older buildings near the center of the city developed during an era when railroads were the principal movers of goods, and almost all structures in the area have trackage. 160 Larger firms in the newer industrial districts also have rail service, and many, in fact, are being developed by the railroad serving them. Some small districts are developing successfully without any rail service. In part, diversification of the railroads into the trucking industry is meet ing the transportation problems. Certain firms now are more dependent on the U.S. mails or on air freight for the movement of goods than on the more conventional means of goods movement. Several firms have located at or near Stapleton Airport for this reason. The visual environment of Denver industrial districts has both favorable and discouraging aspects. Numerous new plants of good design with attractively landscaped and well-maintained surroundings are encouraging evidences of a widespread new outlook on industrial development. Characteristics of this trend is an apparent awareness on the part of management of the value of a good image and the necessity of a good working environment in attracting and keeping employees. On the other hand, in many industrial areas of Denver the visual environment has deteriorated to such an extent that few improvement ef forts are made. The Platte River, where it traverses Denver's older industrial district, often appears to contain more pollutants than water; discarded tires, broken concrete and other junk lines the river banks. The undersides of old via ducts, billboards, empty railroad yards and other vacant yards complete the picture of a totally unhuman environment. Several other in dustrial areas, in addition to those along the Platte River, have little to recommend them visually.

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INDUSTRIAL LAND USE OBJECTIVES DENVER COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES Community objectives ( as described in Part 2 of this document) particularly relevant to in dustrial development are: • To enhance Denver's position as a continental city, ... the center of regional and national activities; • To minimize the effects of geographical isola tion by improving transportation and com munication systems; • To encourage development of a sound in dustrial base; • To encourage Denver's position as a center of transportation; • To enhance Denver's position as a center of wholesaling and distribution; • To enhance the economic well-being of the citizens of Denver; • To assure that adequate land, properly located, is available for each use; • To provi'de a safe, economic and rapid sys tem for transporting people and goods within the city-with due regard for the effects of transportation facilities on other land uses. INDUSTRIAL OBJECTIVES Industrial are those specifically concerned only with industrial development but which at the same time enhance and further the accomplishment of community objectives: • To preserve an inventory of space and services suitable to incubate new industrial activity. Newly established industry needs the modern space equivalent of the "business that started in the family garage." In today's cities, this requires available minimum space, usually in old buildings which have low rents. • To encourage the expansion of existing industries in the Denver area. An inventory of reasonably-priced rental spaces of varying sizes must be maintained to allow developing industries to relocate or expand when they outgrow present quarters. • To maintain an inventory of land, buildings, and services which will attract firms desiring to located in Denver. Space needs of these firms vary greatly with the type of industry; in general they require: -Reasonably-priced vaca,nt land, assembled into large enough parcels to accommodate a one-story structure, adequate off-street parking, adequate loading area, and reasonable area for future expansion, -Appropriate truck routes and/ or rail access to the site, -Availability of gas, electricity, water, sewerage, police and fire protection at reasonable rates, -Paved and well-lighted streets; if the area is susceptible to flooding, appropriate storm drainage structures. • To maintain a favorable industrial climate. This objective involves the following fac tors: -A reasonable level of taxation, fairly and equitably administered, -Mature and responsible union leadership, -Availability of a productive, intelligent, trainable, and well-motivated labor force, -Reasonable labor costs, -Cooperation of public officials, -Modern, scientific building codes and ordinances which are reasonably administered, -High caliber, diversified post-graduate educational programs, especially in engineering, mathematics, and physi cal sciences. • To establish and maintain favorable living conditions in the community. This objective involves maintenance of a high standard of living; an intellectually and professionally challenging atmosphere; a high level of cultural, educational, and recreational offerings, and a clean, attractive city. 161 1 I

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INDUSTRIAL LAND USE POLICIES AND PLAN CLASSIFICATION OF INDUSTRIAL AREAS For the purpose of establishing planning poli cies, industrial areas of the city are grouped in to the following classes on the basis of predominant characteristics. • Small Industrial Area. This area is characterized by industrial firms occupying small units of floor space, usually 3,000 to 6,000 square feet. Small building sites in these areas usually allow little or no loading or off-street parking space. Examples of small industrial areas are sections of the lower Central Business District and the southern part of the South Platte River Valley. • Industrial Expansion Area. This area is characterized by a mixture of industrial plants, the larger of which have been on their present sites for many years. Typically, the area is congested with vehicular traffic. Firms lack room for both needed parking and for plant expansion. Frequently, marginal or substandard housing is interspersed among the in dustries. Some of the housing has been converted for nonresidential uses. Both floor area ratios and land coverage are high. 162 Examples of industrial expansion areas are the stockyards district and the land between Logan Street and the South Platte River near the Gates Rubber Company and the Samsonite Corporation. ------

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• General Industrial Area. This area is characterized by large industrial plants. Sites are large and, in many instances, the firms have expansion space. The need for parking and loading space frequently is ignored or handled haphazardly. Rarely are the grounds landscaped. Typically only the principal col lector streets are paved, and access streets are developed to minimum standards. Floor area ratios and land coverage are both low. The areas were not planned and often appear disorderly in -development. Existing examples of general industrial areas are the sectors northwest of the intersection of Interstate 25 and 70 and along Brighton Boulevard. • General Industrial Park. This area is characterized by large industrial plants, frequently branches of national firms. Sites are rela tively large and in many instances have expansion room. Usually adequate parking and loading are provided. Characteristically the architecture is attractive and the grounds are landscaped. All streets are paved and most have curbs and gutters as well. The areas were planned, and development appears to be orderly. Existing examples of general industrial park areas are found in the developments north of East 38th Avenue and east of Colorado Boulevard. • Specialized Industrial Park. This area caters particularly to industries which are not dependent on railroad transportation. Typical occupants are instrument manufacturers and research and development companies. Sites are spacious and floor area ratios and land area coverage are very low. There is no rail service and little heavy trucking. The park developer has standards for architectural review, landscaping and other features leading to the establishment of a highly attractive environ ment. The area as a whole is planned and orderly. The only example of thls type of industrial development in the immediate Denver area is fhe Denver Technological Center. 163

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LAND USES OTHER THAN INDUSTRIAL Other land uses found in industrial areas are business, residential and public. Some business uses of a retail or service nature are essential to sound industrial development. Examples are filling stations, restaurants and motels serving needs of industries. Additional business uses may be found in in dustrial areas. Clothing and food sales firms cater to permanent city residents; drive-in facilities cater to the passing motorist. At times firms such as these acquire choice industrial ground at rela tively high prices and tend to destroy market ability of abutting or nearby industrial assemblages. Residential uses in the industrial areas can be classified into four groups: • Homogeneous residential areas of acceptable quality large enough to support community facilities such as parks and schools, which areas are bounded on the perimeter by large industries, many with features objectionable to residential users. Examples of this c:ategory are the neighborhoods known as Gloheville (located to the west of the stockyo.r c s ) and Swansea (located to the east of the stock yards). e Homogeneous residential areas of acceptable quality but too small to support community facilities. In other respects, this category is the same as the first category. Examples are the residential area to the north and east of the Air Force Finance Center (York Street and East 40th Avenue) and the residential area bounded by Overland Park, the South Platte River, Santa Fe Drive and West Evans Avenue. 164

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• Marginal residential areas where there is clustering of the housing to the extent of about one-half block. Consecutive blocks or the frontage on two sides of a street are likely to be occupied by incompatible land uses. Com munity facilities are being abandoned. The greatest concentration of this type of development is along South Acoma Street between West Mississippi Avenue and West Evans Avenue. • Marginal or substandard residential areas in which there is an indiscriminate mixture of housing and industry with little or no cluster ing of the housing. Community facilities rarely are present. A number of such areas exist; one example is the area bounded by West Evans Avenue, West Wesley Avenue, the South Platte River and South Quivas Street. Public facilities commonly recognized as appropriate for industrial areas are those related to police and fire protection. Limited amounts of open space, developed for specialized recreational use, may be valid permanent uses. 165

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INDUSTRIAL LAND USE POLICIES SMALL INDUSTRIAL AREAS General policies of other portions of the comprehensive plan could curtail drastically the inventory of space to incubate new industry. However, inadequate information on the characteristics of such space and the role of private enterprise in providing it makes premature any immediate public action programs to maintain adequate levels of such space. At this time the following policies will guide city actions: • If there is a conflict between the objectives of improving the livability and efficiency of the community or preserving space for small in dustry, the former objective shall be given greater weight. • Ample ground will be zoned for industry so that private enterprise can develop industrial space in response to market demand. • Present and potential space to accomodate small industry will be inventoried and periodic checks on the supply will be made to determine if any shortage is developing. • Normal market forces will be given the opportunity to maintain an adequate inventory of minimum quality rental space; public action to provide such space should be taken only if the private sector of the economy fails to meet the needs. INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION AREAS At this time the following policies will be fol lowed: • Improvement of existing housing and construc tion of new housing will be discouraged. 166 • Random location of new small industries will be discouraged. • The city will aid existing firms in these areas to acquire needed expansion space with safeguards to prevent damage to nearby residential or open space uses. • Cooperative efforts among landowners to develop an orderly evolution into a general industrial area or a general industrial park will be encouraged. GENERAL INDUSTRIAL AREA At this time the following policies will be fol lowed: • Recognition will be given to the community's need for industrial areas which are functionally efficient but which are not necessarily attractive. • Greater efficiency of existing general industrial districts will be encouraged through such programs as improved transportation, drainage, utility services and public facilities. • Districts will be encouraged to develop as general industrial areas when such development is needed to maintain a reasonable supply of such land, provided thot the areas are appropriately located, that they have the potential for development in terms of transportation and utilities service availability and that the traffic generated and the effects of plant operations will not materially damage other uses in the vicinity. GENERAL INDUSTRIAL PARK At this time the following policies will be fol lowed: • Owners of large assemblages of vacant industrial land at the perimeter of the city will be encouraged to develop to the standards of general industrial parks. • Firms in areas which are partially or fully developed to the standards of general industrial parks will be protected by appropriate public means from adverse effects of new development constructed to lower standards. ' I ' 'l I I I I I I

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SPECIALIZED INDUSTRIAL PARK At this time the following policies will be followed: • This type of development will be encouraged within the community by all appropriate means. • If high quality of development can be assured, broad freedom will be permitted in the location of specialized industrial parks. Quality of development includes architecture, site planning, landscaping, circulation and sup pression of objectionable external effects. BUSINESS USES At this time the following policies will be fol lowed: • An adequate variety of industrial oriented re tail and service uses will be encouraged to develop at appropriate locations to assure maxi mum convenience to industrial users . • Most non-industrially oriented retail and serv ice uses will be discouraged from locating in industrial areas. • The inventory of assembled industrial land will be protected from unnecessary encroachment ~y business uses. RESIDENTIAL USES At this time, the following policies will be fol lowed: • If a homogeneous residential area is large enough to support community facilities such as parks and schools, but is surrounded by industry, it is considered as a residential area. Policies of code enforcement, capital improve ments and zoning should be designed to maintain, strengthen and preserve the residential character.

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• If an area has pockets of reasonable quality homogeneous housing surrounded by industry, which pockets are too small to support com munity facilities, the area is proposed as residential in the comprehensive plan. City policies should be to maintain the present standard of development but not to up-grade the area through residentially-oriented capital improvements or urban renewal. Codes should be strictly enforced. When applications are re ceived for creation of peninsulas or islands of industrial re-use, only industrial park zones with high development standards should be considered. • If an area has an indiscriminate mixture of in dustry and marginal or substandard housing, the area is proposed os industrial in the com prehensive plan. Policies of code enforcement, capital improvements, urban renewal and zon ing should be oriented toward conversion to industrial use and discouragement of residen tial development. • If an area contains pockets of badly deteriorated housing in an unsuitable environment, and if the cleared land has no evident re-use by industry or by the public, strict code en forcement should be instituted to achieve land clearance inasmuch as the absence of a mar ket for the cleared land would make the area ineligible for urban renewal action. COMMUNITY FACILITIES At this time the following policies will be fol lowed: • Public facilities needed for police and fire services will be provided at a reasonable level of protection. • Action to acquire additional open space, recreation areas and the like to serve in dustrial areas will be deferred until more in formation is available on the role of such public facilities in relation to industrial users. • As the demand for existing playgrounds, schools, and similar institutions declines to the point where they no longer serve a reasonable number of persons, the activity will be discon tinued and the facility converted to another use or sold. 168 INDUSTRIAL LAND USE PLAN LEGEND ••• I I GENERAL INDUSTRIAL PARK SPECIAL INDUSTRIAL PARK GENERAL INDUSTRIAL

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ZONING AS A TOOL FO, R IMPLEMENTING INDUSTRIAL LAND USE POLICIES The 1-0, 1-1 and 1-2 industrial districts as pres ently established in the Denver Zoning Ordinance are appropriate for SmaU Industry Areas, Industrial Expansion Areas and General Industrial Areas. No specialized industrial parks exist within Denver city limits, but the 1-P zone has been established in the zoning ordinance to permit such development. Some General Industrial Park Areas have developed within Denver without any zoning protection to maintain a high standard of development. The major missing link in the city zoning pattern for industrial land use is the General Industrial Park. BASIS FOR ESTABLISHING GENERAL INDUSTRIAL PARK ZONING DISTRICT To date firms constructing clean, architecturally pleasant industrial areas have established high standards without the aid of any city code. Most large industries today realize that in order to maintain a good economic position in their immediate environment and in the national eco nomy, the following characteristics are highly desirable: • Sufficient land to accommodate expansion; • Sufficient off-street parking space to provide for employee and customer parking; • Architecturally pleasant surroundings to attract and maintain skilled workmen and to provide an aesthetic setting for the benefit of business associates; • Adequate front setbacks to provide for future expansion of public facilities without changing the character of permanent structures; • Reasonable spacing between buildings to provide maximum protection from fire; • A park-like character in which each industrial enterprise is compatible in its setting with all other structures. 170 The main reason for establishing General Industrial Park districts is the desirability of utiliza tion by the city of its police power to maintain reasonable setback requirements and pleasant landscaped strips in industrial areas. This procedure would relieve private developers, landowners and industries of the task of providing restrictive covenants and relieving firms of the responsibility for enforcing such covenants in court. PROPOSED GENERAL INDUSTRIAL PARK ZONING DISTRICTS Two new industrial park zones should be established in the Denver Zoning Ordinance affording alternatives to the 1-1 and 1-2 zones as presently constituted. Detailed provisions of these two new zones and criteria for their application to industrial areas will be spelled out in a forth coming comprehensive plan bulletin. BUSINESS USES IN INDUSTRIAL ZONES No change is proposed in the present zoning policy relative to allowing selected industrially oriented retail and service uses in the 1-1 and 1-2 zones and similarly allowing such uses in the 1-1-P and 1-2-P zones. However, the policy of exclud ing these uses in the 1-0 and 1-P zones will be continued in order to maintain the characteristics of the zone. IMPROVEMENT OF INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT Both the private and public sectors of Denver have far too long ignored the quality and environment of many industrial areas and in some cases have even used them as dumping grounds. Many industrial districts which contribute sizable amounts of tax dollars to the city appear not to receive a proportionate share of municipal serv ices and facilities.

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Large expenditures of public funds to transform ugly industrial districts into prestige industrial parks is not advocated. However, there is much the city should do immediately to raise environmental standards of these areas ' . • Housekeeping and maintenance programs should be investigted to be certain that they are in proportion to those undertaken in other areas of the city. • Intensive enforcement of existing ordinances relating to weed cutting, prohibition of dumping trash and refuse, pest control and the like should be programmed on a comprehensive basis throughout all industrial areas. • Street paving and repair as well as adequate street lighting should be provided where they now are deficient and new streets should be constructed to appropriate standards. • Cooperation should be established with property owners to create local improvement dis tricts to solve drainage, street improvement and other common problems. The Platte River Valley, containing the bulk of the older industrial development in the city, particularly since the 1965 flood offers the greatest opportunity for significant improvement, visually and otherwise. A program for handling this area is reviewed in a separate portion of this document. I I II 171

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174 THE PLATTE RIVER VALLEY The Platte River flood of June 16, 1965 focused attention on the deficiencies and planning problems of this part of Denver. A special planning study of redevelopment of the river valley subsequently was developed, major findings and recommendations of which have been included in the comprehensive plan and are presented on the following pages. The plan for the Platte River Valley is com prehensive in its investigation of all problems and in its proposals for a complete restructuring of the area. Transportation proposals have been made as part of the total regional transportation picture; land use proposals are designed to integrate with abutting areas of the city; proposed public improvements will serve districts far broader than the river valley. As the Platte River Valley is located along the central spine of the region, it is intended that its redevelopment will not only eliminate specific local problems but that the area will be upgraded to the point where it can take its rightful place as one of the most important ele ments in the urban design picture of the entire Denver Region. Nothing short of this can be called a successful valley rehabilitation. JUNE 16, 1965 It was called a "one-hundred-year flood" because the chances are l 00 to l against a flood of such magnitude occurring in one year. June 16, 1965 was a day Denverites will long remem ber. It was the day when more than 14 inches of rain fell on the Plum Creek water.shed in a few hours, pouring some 150,000 cubic feet per second of raging flood water out of Plum Creek into the South Platte River. The waters swamped large areas in the southern and northern parts of Denver leaving more than half of its overflow in lowland areas, basements and dammed up behind bridges. Every bridge across the river south of Colfax Avenue was damaged, many completely destroyed. Sections of the Valley Highway were under several feet of water, and when it receded the valley was buried by tons of silt and debris. Two major generating stations were taken out of service resulting in temporary power loss to wide sections of the metropolitan a rea. Power line breaks caused fires, telephone poles was smashed and communication service was interrupted. fn the southern portion of the valley, man y storage and warehousing facilities were swept away or suffered heavy damage. Numerous homes were destroyed or had to be demolished after the waters receded. The Columbine Golf Course was buried under tons of silt. Stables at the Centennial Race Track were destroyed and the track was buried by silt. A new shopping center and several new motels were severely damaged. Major railroad facilities within the heart of the city were flooded with up to 12 feet of water. By the time the crest of the flood reached the northern half of the city, its destructive force was reduced substantially. While there was widespread flooding, structural damage was minimal. Still, direct and indirect damages in the valley totaled $325 million. I ' • I I I I I

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17 THE VALLEY TODAY The Platte River Valley where it traverses the Denver Metropolitan Area contains major facilities of six railroads, strategic links in the metropolitan transportation system, significant proportions of the area's industrial base, two major power generating stations and numerous other functions important to the region. Deficiencies of the valley are many. In addition to the flooding hazard, the internal street system is inadeqv._ate; circulation is complicated by extensive rail facilities and the river. New and old industrial and residential uses are inter mixed. Much land is vacant or improperly used. Most of the valley is unattractive and provides a poor physical environment. The river itself, occupying four per cent of the valley area, is polluted and roily. The channel is inadequate to accommodate flood water. Most protective and attractive vegetation has been removed from the channel and surrounding areas. The river banks are generally barren ex-cept for weeds, scars of erosion and discarded junk. The generally poor condition of the river, its banks and abutting area virtually prohibit any new residential construction and severely limits the potential for desirable recreational, in dustrial and commercial development. Highways and local streets occupy about 23 per cent of the valley. Many of the older streets are unpaved, unmaintained and unsightly. Many viaducts and bridges crossing the river are old, unsightly and inadequate. Traffic in the valley normally passes over and through rather than into and within it, thus re-enforcing the valley's divisive influence between east and west sec tions of the region. Six railroads occupy 16 per cent of land in the valley and own another vacant three per cent. Principal railroad facilities include yards, shops, freight houses, repair facilities and freight and passenger terminals. Most of the facilities are located near Union Station on prime land near the heart of the city. These facilities are served by mainline tracks which extend generally along rrfl .. "!--...J"fl'1--.. ;r. , ~~;~1: ;~~1~:~: ,.r,r; ., _ _ '"" Ub." • . .,,;. -.-:--... ~::-~ ~: '\ ,,;,::~:; .'c . • ;,;,1-~~:, ..,__ -r ls'Ja r•"l11 " --r:-~•-r I:"• 11,r.., "'! ~ I/Im ""J\11\'ra\;3 . ,.:;:: '~i 4~-i'aiP'1~ir;;, -~ r ,.-,._ .....,,r, ,...,..,. r ;;..I --= c ir.r.-.. m-11• ' ('(" ' ;,-'+-- • . ..,re,-yt2 .. , ~ ii .. ;;---:~, ;.,,, _,.' : -ifr" ~ ,Al,, r.-.:•"':--.!:t1H-~;* nJ ~~Ji,~~ . -=-i:: ~ . ' / , . ,. < ~ ' ,-1-''-: . ;~. ~ ~"4,c/_ -~ &,." /: ,. : • L,. t -..,.~~,;/ ~ .. , .r.~f•, , -111 , .,, r-,''-, ->x-~;,, 1 , I ' . r ,.!; ""~ r /'. .,. -•r # .#. ,, r--t • n:~n~ ~ ,f. ~ : m.,~,--?, ' > rf' L • r,, •ino:. ",(J,. : .'v " "'#r, ,.lr-: ~,..9',. ':'?-, ' <. -:• , --' :,..-:>,,-,.--~ •. 'L''i l,J<"' ' ~"-.,~

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the eastern edge of the south end of the valley and diverge to the north and northeast portion of the valley. Some of the railroad facilities ore well utilized and necessary to the economic life of the ,egion. Others are obsolete and underutilized. Some are used for the storage of old and abandoned cars. Many of the facilities were developed more than 50 years ago and are improperly arranged for modern railroad operations. Spur tracks, along with main line tracks, extend the length of the valley on both sides of the river and are fragmented throughout the northern portion of the area disrupting already inadequate vehicular circulation. Nearly all railroad facilities and tracks are unsightly. The valley is the traditional industrial district for the Denver Area. Nearly 1,700 industrial firms occupy about 25 per cent of the land. Manufacturing uses occupy nine per cent and commercial firms four per cent. Warehousing, wholesaling and distribution functions occupy 12 per cent of the land. Most industrial firms are ~ .~;, .~A ,1_:-~~,.~E:-~; ~~;;~, , ••. , ,,u -~-"'" ~""''"" '"V'"., • ttirfe< ~ ',a{ .'::a,,~ ,., .. ,,,,, ,;t"t;; ,.t~e•p,i,i;f ,,,,., ... 'J!f;Jt"l'f.Jd~ q:rPt~•t~t: •• AO t;")' •.,;2'~:,t/ .... •ftb-.. .,.,,. 111<11'1<
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178 areas. This mixture of residences and industries is detrimental to both uses. The residences are among the oldest in the city and are generally obsolete and deteriorating. Many community services are not available. Despite the natural attributes of a river and the availability of vacant land, only six per cent of the valley is used for park and recreation pur poses. Principal recreation facilities include the Coliseum complex in the north and the Bears Stadium in the central area. Principal park areas are Ruby Hill Park and Overland Golf Course in the south. Less than three per cent of the land in the valley is improved for park purposes and virtually all of this is in the south half of the valley. Approximately 13 per cent of the valley'sarea is vacant. Over 60 per cent is privately owned and 25 per cent is owned by the railroads. The remainder is in utility or public ownership. Public utilities and other miscellaneous uses occupy seven per cent of the land in the valley. The Denver Tramway Company operates a rela tively new and well maintained facility in the south central area. The Public Service Company is the principal utility land use with its two power generating stations in the central and southern portions of the valley. Although these facilities are vital to the Denver Region, they are negative environmental influences. There are no large convenience shopping cen ters in the valley. Most of the existing smaller commercial facilities are located in or near older residential neighborhoods and do not provide a desirable level of service. Only one fire station is located in the valley although fire and police protection is provided from outside areas. School facilities are adequate although many students from scattered housing units must be transported by bus. Sanitary sewer, gas, water and power service are available except for large areas of vacant land and railroad trackage. Existing storm sewers accommodate water flow from normal storms but are generally inadequate for heavy storm.drainage. Furthermore, much of the valley relies on natural ground drainage. In a number of areas natural drainage is inadequate, especially where the flood plain is lower than adjacent river banks. The valley in its natural state had a pleasant environment and contained ample vegetation. Through urbanization and neglect little of its natural qualities remain. The few remaining trees suffer from lack of care. Both public and private property is virtually devoid of landscaping. Many of the residential, industrial, commercial and public buildings are unattractive due to age, obsolescence and inadequate maintenance. The unattractive appearance and obsolete physical quality of the valley prevents it from serving a more useful and valid function in the city at this time. The social environment in the valley is among the poorest of the city. People living and work ing here have less cultural and recreational opportunity than those in any other section of the city. The valley, in general, is an undesirable area in which to live and work. ECONOMIC VALUE AND TAX BASE The Platte River Valley encompasses ten per cent of Denver's total land area and 50 per cent of all industrial land in the city. Yet it contains only six per cent of the city's assessed value and property tax income. The average value of taxed land in the valley is 41 per cent less than the average for the total city. Approximately 29 per cent of the taxable land ared in the valley is assessed by the State Tax Commission. This land and its improve ments represent only 18 per cent of the valley's assessed value and property tax income. The property owned by public utilities was assessed at $12 million in 1964 and produced property tax income to the city for that year of only $298,000. Railroads own 87 per cent of the valley's public utility land, or 25 per cent of all taxable land. This 25 per cent of the valley's land produces only 1.4 per cent of the valley's total municipal property tax revenue, or only $23,000 in 1964.

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I) I 180 REDEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES --THE CHALLENGE The following excerpts from an address by Charles Blessing to the 1965 annual. meeting of the Inter-County Regional Planning Commission have served as an inspiration and guide for the Mayor's Platte River Development Study. Immediately following the flood, Mr. Blessing, Planning Director of Detroit and Past President of the American Institute of Planners, visited Denver as a representative of the American Institute of Architects to consult on sound urban design concepts for the redevelopment of the Platte River Valley. OF "In response to the devastating 1965 flood the redevelopment of the Platte River Va 1-ley is a challenge to the greatest creativity which Denver and the region can command. The great concept called for in replanning the valley provides the occasion for a true renaissance of the great design tradition which earlier produced Denver's beautiful large parks and landscaped parkways. The citizens of Denver must today expect and demand a quality of creative vision as great as the earlier vision of the adventurous pioneers who took fortunes of gold from the hills, built railroads where they couldn't be built and later carved great tunnels through the same hills to assure water for decades to come. "If ever there was a city which should respond with infinite care to its natural setting it should be Denver. Denver will be perpetually linked with the mountains in its history, its economy, its recreation and above all in its physical identity and visual quality. The mountains are the central fact in the city's life and spirit. THE PLATTE RIVER I f "We must be challenged to make Denver an oasis of the prairie, a gateway city to the mountains. Our theme should be to extend to the city the beauty of our natural setting, clustered along a natural green rib bon on the brown plains and within reach of the exhilarating mountains and the wide, blue sky of the plains. "The Platte River Valley, second only to the presence of the mountains, can become the most significant theme of this great and growing region." Obviously, Metropolitan Denver was well endowed by nature in its setting at the foot of the Rockies. And Denverites have taken advantage of this situation with constant use of mountain recreation facilities, with frequent attention to building siting to recognize mountain views, wtih acknowledgment of our economic heritage of "gold in them thar hills." But the Platte River Valley, second only to the mountains in importance for the Denver setting, has not been comparably appreciated even though it flows through the very heart of the city and has always been immediately at hand. The natural features and benefits of the river have not only long been ignored but in some cases have been so despoiled and polluted that hardly a vestige of natural river character yet remains. Redevelopment of the Platte Valley offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reintroduce nature in its most inviting forms into the heart of the metropolitan area and at the same time establish the appropriate visual tie between mountains and valley. The Platte River would then take its proper role as the second most important design element in the region giving emphasis to Denver's unique identity, helping to establish a fundamental order of urban form and giving citizens an improved sense of orientation in the region-a community "sense of place." ' ' I '' h J II Ii ' ii l 1 I

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182 • Picture this new, green river valley, fresh and clean from its source a few miles distant in the Rockies, passing continuously through the Denver Region from south to north, creating unity, beauty, recreation and magnetism throughout its entire length. • Picture eastern and western section of the re gion, no longer repelled and divided as cur rently by the Platte, but attracted and knit together by water recreation, pleasant ponds, green open spaces, handsome drives, attractive industrial parks, museums, a coJlege and other important development. • Picture an increased awareness of Denver's heritage, history and setting as the Platte River Valley ties the urbanized area back to its birthplace in the hills through parkways of mountain-type foliage stretching into South Park and even to the very summits of the Continental Divide. • Picture an entire new climate and feeling for the value of excellence in physical development which would emanate from the valley as the central core of the region. POTENTIALS The Platte River Valley is the geographical center of the Denver Metropolitan Area. It has a greater potential than any other part of the region for new and expanded recreation, cultural and educational opportunities as well as for a number of economic functions. Comprehensive redevelopment of the valley will protect exist ing viable developments and will stimulate new development. It will attract and hold visitors in ~-STOCKYARDS COMPLEX 0 'I _' 1' ~!•t:;~~ .~;., 1 / 2 1 MILES HOTEL-MOTEL AREA --~ STADIUM ----HISTORICAL PARK ---CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT CONVENTION CENTER UNIVERSITY

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Denver, provide a significant increase in the city's property and sales tax revenues and will be a major stimulant to employment. Proper redevelopment of the valley can insure Denver's growth as the industrial, transportation, distribution and tourist center of the Roc:ky Mountain Empire, provide needed recreational and cultural facilities and transform what is now an obsolete, poorly functioning and unattractive area into a valuable community asset. The central location of the valley with its transportation system offers high potential for many important public facilities. The valley is ideally situated for the location of several educational facilities requiring accessibility to a wide range of students from throughout the metro area. As well, the valley offers several po-SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL MUL Tl-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL HOTEL-MOTEL-TOURIST AREA PUBLIC AND SEMI-PUBLIC CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT INDUSTRIAL VOCATIONAL COMPLEX RUBY HILL-OVERLAND PARK tential sites for the development of a new sports stadium. The proximity of the valley to desirable community facilities such as service firms, major office complexes, restaurants, entertainment facilities and financial centers is a significant as set for potential future industrial and commercial development. The central valley has a marked advantage over other parts of the metropolitan area since Downtown Denver contains the single largest concentration of these types of facilitie.s. The valley offers potential for new residential development on the west side of the river sooth of Colfax Avenue, in the Athmar and Valverde Communities and east of Overland Golf Course. A further residential development could take place northwest of the Central Business District on the western bluff of the valley. INDUSTRIAL PARK PARKS AND OPEN SPACE FREEWAYS ARTERIALS PARKWAYS RAILROADS REDEVELOPMENT GUIDE 183

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184 THE PLAN FOR REDEVELOPMENT OF THE PLATTE RIVER VALLEY FLOOD CONTROL AND CHANNEL IMPROVEMENTS Any and all redevelopment of the Platte River Valley is predicated on an adequate flood con trol system. Three dams along the Platte and its tributaries are proposed or are being discussed. The Chatfield Dam will be built near the con fluence of Plum Creek and the Platte R i ver; a Mount Carbon Dam should be built on Bear Creek near the town of Morrison; a Two Forks Dam has been proposed near the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Platte River. CONCRETE SIDES. NATURAL BOTTOM C O NCRETE SIDES, NATURAL B O TTOM . AGGREG A T E WALKWAYS CONCRETE SIDES, NATURAL BOTTOM. AGGREGATE WALKWAYS CONCRETE SIDES AND BOTTOM . AGGREGATE WALKWAYS CONCRETE SIDES AND BOTTOM . AGGREGATE WALKWAYS NATURAL SIDES AND BOTTOM NATURAL SIDES AND BOTTOM These facilities, in addition to the existing Cherry Creek Dam, would provide flood control for approximately 94 per cent of the river drainage basin. Check dams and reservoirs on major tributaries throughout the metropolitan area would have to be built to handle the remainder of run off waters. The river channel itself must be improved to accommodate normal runoff waters and to handle flood waters not otherwise con trolled. Throughout the valley in the metropolitan area, a new channel has been designed to accommodate 8,000 cubic feet per second of normal water flow and up to 30,000 cubic feet per second of flood water. Different portions of the stream, however, lend themselves to differ;h ru --,_}:_f.} ~ :;r , ,'"1 .. _______ _.r--~ -, :~=-de~--=~~~-.... -;.:~rr.: ..... ;:. :";.""?'.__ • r-,f" -..-:,;-,;_,; "\ , >, , •;._;,. '•">-"' ., • ;,~--~,:,.."'I'\.

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Type 4 ent treatment and design. The following is proposed: • From the southern city limits northward to near the Central Business District, for relatively low density uses, park and recreation areas and industrial parks are proposed. Design of the river channel is relatively open and natural providing a transition from the plains area to the urban core of Denver. The channel would consist of an upper and a lower section. The lower section contains normal water flow in a meandering river with low, grassed slopes to encourage people to come to the edge of the river. The upper section is devoted to park and recreation purposes with grass and trees but also would accommodate infrequent major floods. In park areas the proposed channel widens to a maximum of 600 feet and would be well landscaped. In industrial areas the channel is confined to 460 feet providing the same channel flow but with reduced landscaped area. MILES Near Mississippi, Alameda and 13th Avenues, existing structures require the channel to be contained in a width of 150 feet. Here the channel is lined with concrete but retains the double sections. The upper section serves as a pedestrian promenade and contains ample landscaping overhanging the upper banks. • As the river passes near the Central Business District, functions in adjacent areas become more urban and the intensity of use increases. Correspondingly, the channel design reflects this urban character but retains its recreational function and esthetic appeal in a sculptured concrete double section within the exist ing 200-foot right-of-way . The walls are textured and walkways contain exposed aggregate. Hote ls, restaurants, urban buildings and recreational facilities border the channel and the upper section serves as a major pedestrian way to augment these functions with opportunities for leisurely strolls, eating at the riverside cafes, basking i n the sun and enjoying the river. Well landscaped with trees casting CHANNEL DESIGN

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186 shade on the walkways, trees and cascading vines along the upper banks and enclosed by tall buildings, the channel is an urban canyon of varying widths recalling the mountains where the river was born. • Northward from the Central Business District the river extends through an area proposed for intensive industrial development; conse quently, the channel is designed as a single section within the existing 200 foot right-ofway. Although primarily utilitarian with slop ing concrete sides, the channel contains exposed cobblestones in the bottom with landscaping and walkways along the upper banks and is an attractive and positive environmental influence . Since no practical flood control devices and treatments can give complete protection from inundation, it is desirable along the Platte River to employ some land use restriction and building controls, particularly where the land adjacent to the channel is lower than the bank of the river. ,~.. .,.•. ,. ,. ' . ;,i Bl_.;;.., " 1 "i ' .. • --A. J11 !~i '-:; . ~ , rrt,.,:;r,. • ., • ,k,';?"'!"f'.'""" "i. J;),I ' ~,---.,.. et" ';"'f>.! ,.. t •• , , :i.. ) ;, l • __,..,...,_"7', 0 1/2 MILES TRANSPORTATION MOTOR VEHICLE The accompanying map illustrates the ~otor vehicle transportation system for the Platte Val ley. Included are proposed improvements to the freeway, major arterial and other systems. To enhance the river valley's position as a major urban design element in the. metropolitan region, a well landscaped parkway and colle~ tor system extending the length of the valley 1_n proximity to the river should be developed. This parkway would begin on the east sid_e of the river in the north, cross to the west side near the 23rd Street Viaduct and continue south to the city limits at Hampden Avenue. Reconstruction of old and construction of new collector and local streets along with improved maintenance will be required to provide adequate internal circulation throughout the valley. Ample landscaping of the total system must be provided an'd due consideration given to the separation of vehicles and pedestrians, particu larly in areas devoted to public use. .,r., . t ~t1(fi. ~ 1~"rwi.1 ... .;:r ~ ~ . ;,..: ,.. rjP':1, .... , 7•~JJ •~.. I ., tt•)i •'.._.f)'W'~

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R -AI L The importance of ra.ilroads to the Denver community as well as outlying areas is obvious. The present sprawl of rail facilities th~oughout critical portions of the Platte River Valley, however, is a severe physical, economic and environmental deterrent to its future redevelopment. Some removal and rearrangement of these facilities and considerable improvement in the environment will be necessary to permit redevelopment of the land and adjoining areas for more economic and publicly desirable uses. Fortunately, competent authorities have indicated that this rearrangement of facrlities will result in more efficient operation for the rail companies involved. Between Colfax Avenue and 23rd Street Via duct, all rail facilities other than main line trackage and those facilities necessary to support the Union Station should be located outside of the area. Included are the Colorado and Southern Rice Yard, freight houses and other functions as well as similar facilities of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad and the Denver and Rio Grande Western freight house area. Modification and extension of rail spurs will be required in some portions of the valley, particularly the area designated for industrial park development near 46th Avenue and 6th Avenue. Also necessary will be the modernization, rehabilitation and improved appearance of remaining railroad facilities. Their present unsightliness must be greatly reduced by better land maintenance and by landscaping for concealment or beautification. The removal and rearrangement of these rail facilities inherently involve a multitude of problems, the solution of which will ~equire close cooperation between railroad and labor management and the tity. This cooperation is mandatory if redevelopment proposals are to be successful. BUS AND RAPID TRANSIT FACILITIES Development of the valley as a major center of communi t y and industrial activities will necessitate improved bus service. It is also conceivable that in the future some provision will be made for rapid transit in Denver. Due consideration must be given these potential needs in the future developme nt of the valley ' s transportation sys tem . FREEWAYS ARTERIALS PARKWAYS RAILROADS :7':~i/; s-::__ •_: ::';:~; . : "3~~ ~--.. -, ~-':--' ,.~>L;i :: ---~:--:_:~ -~. -t')) = ~ •, :: .:~;ztJ ""+.1• . ,:. I • ,.::;J:~ ;, • 'f "::Pf":.:.~;:.-~ • t I s. f{ C •, ... ,., ,,. r •• ""'' ".'. ?!"' •c • r I\ q::-:"';;. ; -: t •I~~: e A -.~, ... t: ---:.:. i'ff'(~,rrt,:..., I\ w-~~:--'11{!\i!I[~ • ''.'tt,"7t•, 'fl:J, .•• ~.:-nu t~d at"1'1'f i!!lllmli~ ~("fl,. ~it ~: • _ .. , ..... ...,.., . -~ .. :t V'' " ~-,:. ---t, ~-, J• f'---r~;., _,t• '';;" -.....R."""""' .'t,a~ll." t; -Ml.i1'r ,... _.,.,..,~ . -.... 'tffT -=-. . .. -,., -g ,' ...... TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM 187

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188 ENVIRONMENT To improve the environment of the valley, the following actions are proposed: • The river channel as improved for flood con trol should be developed as an architectural and natural feature dictated by the use and character of adjacent areas. • River pollution must be abated. • The valley should be widely landscaped creating a continuity of greenery from the moun tains to the plains and through the city uniting the divisive urban forces. The channel areas should be the principal landscape theme with tributary gulches, arterial highways and streets all landscaped to provide sub -themes os they extend into the east and west portions of the city. 9 New develppments should be well designed and adequately landscaped with sites in both private and public use so developed to achieve a cohesive visual relationship between the mountains, the city and the valley. Obsolete viaducts and street systems should be replaced with well designed, landscaped fa cilities. New facilities should be properly related to adjacent areas and all should be properly paved, maintained and amply landscaped. • Obsolete, deteriorated and undesirable func tions should be removed from the valley. Functions to remain should be improved where necessary; structures and fences should be repaired and maintained; sites should be cleaned and landscaped; off-street parking and loading should be provided with allweather surfacing; unsightly uses, particularly railroads and open storage areas, should be screened from public view; neighboring incompatible uses should be buffered; an adequate system of lighting should be installed; many overhead utilities should be placed underground; and signs should be properly located and well designed. PARKS AND RECREATION Ruby Hill Park, Overland Golf Course ond the Coliseum area are proposed for expansion. Other parks are proposed for development throughout the valley in locations where they will serve adjacent areas. TOURIST FACILITIES Hotels and motels as well as camps for those using trailers and campers must be made available in the valley, and appropriate. locations for these uses are proposed on the accompanying map. The valley, with its central location, its varieties of terrain and the opportunity to utilize the river, also presents an ideal location for a permanent exposition of the region's heritage, cultural functions and other features different from those offered the tourist in his home com munity. A park for this purpose is proposed for a major area at the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek. PUBLIC FACILITIES The valley is ideally situated for the inclusion of several educational facilities requiring accessi bility to a wide range of students from throughout the metro area. Therefore, a major college or university campus is proposed to be located immediately west of the downtown area. Also, a high school or post-high school vocational and technical training campus is proposed near Alameda Avenue and the Platte River. The valley ai fers several potential sites for the development of a new sports stadium. A site near the con fluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek, north of the proposed college campus, 1s proposed as most suitable. r II ' I

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INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT To capture even 25 per cent of the market for new industrial development, several new industrial parks of at least l 00 acres must be provided in the valley. Therefore, a large industrial park is proposed as an extension of the Industrial area south of 6th Avenue and west of the river. A second such industrial park is proposed for the long-range future in the vicinity of the Valley 1Highway and 46th Avenue Freeway interchange. Other industrial sites will be made available in areas where existing vacant land is to be assembled and where blighted and obsolete residential and nonresidential functions are to be removed. RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT Most existing housing in the valley is proposed to be removed and the occupants relocated into more suitable residential areas. There is potential for new residential development on the west side of the river south of Colfax Avenue, in the Athmar and Valverde neighborhoods and east of the Overland Golf Course. High density residential development is proposed northwest of the Central Business District on the western bluff of the valley. .. . -----~-------

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IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAM lmplementat.ion of the proposals contained in this guide call for a substantial restructuring of the Platte River Valley as it now exists. The many programs necessary to accomplish redevelopment will require the participation and cooperation of numerous private interests as well as local, State and federal governments. ,--'-:_f, ... ..... -::; t;.!:ii!:!d ,;r...-~'lilil,'lfi'r. 1 I. I ' ' ...... I ., •tr ' 0 l/4 I/ MILES Urban Renewal programs will be utilized to eliminate blighted areas by combined private and public rehabilitation or total clearance ef forts and to modify existing land use or establish new uses. Relocation assistance will be provided for displaced families and businesses. Cleared land resulting from renewal activities will be made available for private or public development consistent with the comprehensive plan. .. {R>,_q,f. •~l'\ i~l r. ~, rt ,r..f' rr . ~~t.!. 11;it~,,1;.~ ![/-,..,..1 -~ ,_, ,:~ ... [:_ ,. rt :,,1 A I f1 ;I; -~ ~'-s;~)lf. '1// f.-'. ('\ \ (,, • .(}'. ,,.

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Open Space Land programs will be ultilized for the acquisition of land for park and recreational development purposes, and relocation as sistance will also be provided to those displaced. Urban Beautification programs will be utilized to improve streets and highways by landscaping, fencing and lighting. Parks as well as the river banks will also be improved under this program. Each area in the valley where redevelopment is proposed has been analyzed to determine the appropriate action programs. Implementation of the proposals will require 35 urban renewal, PROGRAM TYPE . URBAN RENEWAL OPEN SPACE WM BEAUTIFICATION f..1.1.'.j AREA IDENTIFICATION 00 PROGRAM four open space and five specific beautification programs in addition to other programs necessary to provide street and highway improve ments, channel construction, educational com plexes and recreational facilities. To provide a schedule for redevelopment activities, a 20-year program consisting of four stages of five years each is proposed. Specific programs tentatively are assigned to each of these stages based pri marily on the desirable chronological sequence for accomplishing the various phases of redevelopment. PROGRAM INITIATION STAGE I 1966-1970 STAGE II 1971-1975 STAGE Ill 1976-1980 STAGE IV 1981-1985 AREAS

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192 Program 2A Urban Renewal SC Urban Renewal SB Urban Renewal 1 OB Urban Renewal 12A&B Urban Renewal 13A Open Sp ace 13B&D Urban Renewal 14A Open Space 14C&B Urban Renewal Others Program 3B Urban Renewal 3 E Urban Ren. ewal 3F Beautification 3G Open Space SC Urban Renewal 6A Urban Renewal SA Urban Renewal SB Urban Renewal 1 OB Urban Renewal 12A&B Urban Renewal 13C Urban Renewal 13 E Beautification 14E Beautification 1 SA&B Urban Renewal 1 SD Open Space Others STAGE 1 •• 1966-1970 Purpose Remove blighted residential area for industrial redevelopment. Initiate hotel-motel park development. Assemble site for initial development of university complex. Widen channel and initiate industrial park development. Assemble site for vocational school and related facility development. Widen channel and develop park. Remove blighted conditions and rehabilitate as industrial park. Widen channel,. expand and develop park. Widen channel and Santa Fe Drive, expan d golf course and park. Improve Santa Fe Drive from Valley Highway to Louisiana, construct Evans Viaduct, improve local streets and landscape. STAGE Purpose Remove blighted conditions, develop park, rehabilitate for industrial use. Redevelop Coliseum entrance area. Improve Coliseum area environment. Assemble site and develop for Coliseum parking and related park. Continue hotel-motel park development. Initiate historical park and cultural area development. Provide site for stadium development. Continue site assembly for university development. Continue industrial park development. Continue vocational school and related facilities development. Remove blighted residential conditions, redevelop for medium density resi dential use. Improve area environment. Develop park areu. Remove blighted conditions, rehabilitate and develop as industrial park. Assembly gulch area site for park development. Construct channel from south city limits to 6th Avenue, improve Washington Street, modify ramp system to Coliseum area, construct Columbine Freeway near Louisiana Avenue, improve local streets and landscape.

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Program 2D&E Urban Renewal 3A Urban Renewal JC Beautification 3D Urban Renewal SA Urban Renewal SC Urban Renewal 6A Urban Renewal SB Urban Renewal 9A Urban Renewal 9B Urban Renewal 1 0A Urban Renewal 1 lA&B Urban Renewal 1 lC Urban Renewal Others 1A Urban Renewal 2B&C Urban Renewal 4A&B Urban Renewal SB Urban Renewal 6A Urban Renewal 7A Urban Renewal 9A Urban Renewal 1 4A Open Space Others STAGE 111--1976-1980 Purpose Assemble site and initiate industrial park development. Remove blighted residential area for industrial development. Improve sewerage disposal plant environment. Redevelop area east of stockyards for related development. Remove blighted conditions, rehabilitate and develop for industrial use. Continue hotel-motel park development. Continue historical park and cultural area development. Continue site assembly for uniyersity development. Redevelop for tourist and recreational facilities and residential. Redevelop for residential use. Widen channel, remove blighted conditions, rehabilitate and develop for industrial use. Remove blighted conditions, rehabilitate and develop for industrial use. Redevelop for extension of existing railroad facilities. Construct channel from 6th Avenue to north city limits, improve Brighton Boulevard and 36th and 38th Streets, modify Valley Highway and 19th Street ramps, extend Skyline Freeway, and improve Colfax Viaduct, con struct Columbine Freeway at 38th Street, modify 8th Avenue and Valley Highway ramp, improve Brighton Boulevard, improve local streets and landscape. STAGE IV--1981-1985 Remove blighted conditions, rehabilitate and develop for industrial use. Assemble and redevelop as industrial park. Remove blighted conditions, rehabilitiate and develop for industrial use. Assemble and develop for hotel-motel park. Continue development of historical park and cultural area. Redevelop for tourist area and rehabilitate for commercial and industrial use. Continue development for tourist, recreation and residential use. Continue expansion and development fo . r park use. Construct 51 st Street interchange with Valley Highway, improve local streets and landscape. 193

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PLATTE VALLEY COST RESPONSIBILITY 194 Cost responsibility for redevelopment of the Platte River Valley will necessarily be distributed between the private economy, and city, State and federal governments in the following fash ion: • It is estimated that the proposed redevelop ment of the Platte River Valley over the twenty year program period (1966 to 1985) will have a total cost of $630 million of which the City and County of Denver's share will be about $83 million, or 13 per cent. Federal, State a~d local units of government other than Den ver are expected to provide the major share of the financing-57 per cent, and private in vestment should account for the remaining 30 per cent of the total project costs. The city's share represents gross costs with no downward adjustment for the substantial growth in property tax revenues expected to resu It from redevelopment. • When allocated by broad functions, more than one-third of the total cost of plan implementation is for the industrial and com mercial redevelopment; almost one-third is for land acquisition and construction of public educational facilities; and more than one fourth represents investment in recreation fa cilities, public parks and beautification. • In terms of federal programs, nine-tenths of the redevelopment of the Platte River Ya lley will be covered by urban renewal projects.

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196 TRIBUTARIES OF THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER If, as previously mentioned, the Platte River and its valley constitute the spine of the Denver Metropolitan Region, then the tributaries of the Platte become the rib cage upon which much of the meat, skin and fabric of the region are structured. A number of tributaries-commonly referred to as creeks or gulches-flow into the Platte River through the Denver Metropolitan Region and have a strong influence on their nearby areas similar to-but of course not as extensive as-that wielded by the Platte River on the Denver Region. Many of the Denver creek and gulch drainage basins are subject to extensive flooding much the same as is the Platte Valley, for flood con trol facilities (with the exception of those on Cherry Creek) are equally as inadequate on the tributaries as they are on the river itself. And just as the Platte Valley has been seriously neglected from both environmental and functional viewpoints so it is that many tributaries are ugly scars on the cityscape and functionally are little better than wasted, unproductive refuse collectors. • Bear Creek, a .major tributary of the Platte, flows out of the mountains and enters the city at the Southwest Community. From a potential flooding point of view, Bear Creek constitutes the most serious threat to the city of any of the Platte tributaries; its flood plain contains many vulnerable residential and com mercial structures. Because much open land along the creek has been reserved in public ownership and because much attractive vegetation yet remains near the creek, this drainage course is not a visual problem. • Clear Creek, a second major tributary of the Platte, also flows out of the mountains and enters the City of Denver at its northwest tip. The creek course traverses Denver property for only a few feet, but its flood plain, extending well into the city, poses a significant hazard. Clear Creek is used for both water supply and sewage disposal; in this regard it has created serious problems in the past but for outlying jurisdictions rather than for the City of Denver. • Cherry Creek, the third major tributary of the Platte River, flows into Denver from the southeast and traverses some ten miles of the city before flowing into the Platte River. Extensive flood control facilities have already been built on this drainage course largely eliminat ing its flooding potential; extensive improve ments along the creek have made the abut ting Speer Boulevard and enviro n s an imporant improvement to the city; plans have been prepared and approved for establishment of a parkway along portions of the creek not yet improved. Thus Cherry Creek offers a concrete example of fitting treatment for other unim proved river tributaries. • Gulches in Denver (those drainage courses which are dry most of the time) may be found predominantly in the west and southwest sec tions of the tity. Their drainage basins generally are much smaller than those of the creeks, but, because of the fact they are dry most of the time, there is more compulsion to use land in the flood plain for development of improvements-which improvements may well be flooded when spring runoff or a sudden downpour causes gulch waters to overflow channel banks. Aggravating the gulch problem is the fact that many structuresbridges, culverts, e.g.,_:_built within the channel or flood plain are inadequate to handle maximum probable water flow in some storm conditions.

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OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES OBJECTIVES The improvement of creeks and gulches in Denver for flood control, parks and recreation purposes, turning visual and functional civic liabilities into assets will further several of the Denver community objectives, namely: • To make the most of the natural setting of Denver as a plains city at the foot of the Rocky Mountains; • To enhance Denver's position as a center of culture (including visual cultural elements); • To meet other human and social needs and desires of the population (including facilities for parks, recreation, and visual pleasure); • To strengthen Denver's excellence in manmade works and activities; • To preserve and improve the environment of all areas of the city . POLICIES In order to achieve the above community objectives the following policies have been adopted by the Planning Board and city agencies and departments concerned: • Gulch and flood plain lands should be in public ownership. • Improvements to gulch and flood plain lands shall be designed and executed on a comprehensive basis according to predetermined engineering and construction standards. • Costs of improvements to gulch and flood plain lands shall be borne by the general public except that, to the extent abutting properties are peculiarly and fairly benefitted from an improvement, such benefits should be recovered to offset cost of improvements; assessment of costs to private property owners sha II not exceed benefits. • Continuing maintenance and repair of gulch and flood plain lands shall be the responsi bility of the public agency having jurisdiction. Relative to park and recreation development in gulch and flood plain lands, the follow ing policies have been adopted: • Those improvements in a gulch or flood plain undertaken for the purpose of beautification or recreation shall be financed in the same manner as other park improvements. This may be a matter of budgeting by the Department of Parks and Recreation or activating a local improvement district. • Where lands abutting a flood plain are acquired to allow an expansion of park and recreation development, such lands shall be acquired by the Department of Parks and Recreation in the same manner as other park lands. In the subdividing process, a subdivider will be asked to dedicate to the city only those lands required for solution of flooding problems. • If a drainage way is developed for park or recreation purposes (together with any abutting lands used for the same purpose), maintenance of such lands shall be transferred from the Department of Public Works to the Department of Parks and Recreation. 197

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PLAN FOR CREEK AND GULCH IMPROVEMENT BEAR CREEK Bear Creek begins in the mountains west of Denver near Mt. Evans. The drainage area is 262 square miles. Engineering estimates show it is capable of pouring between 60,000 and 70,000 cubic feet per second of water into the Platte River. This potential makes control of Bear Creek as important as control of Plum Creek, for which purpose Chatfield Dam is being proposed. Recently a dam (commonly referred to as the Mt. Carbon Dam) has been proposed for Bear Creek. Its tentative location is approximately 2 miles east of the town of Morrison. With Bear Creek becoming more constricted and with its dra-inage basin continually developing, any future flooding will cause even more extensive damage than has occurred in the past. For example, a new shopping center on the banks of Bear Creek at Sheridan Boulevard 1s particularly susceptible to flooding damage. West of Sheridan Boulevard the city has been able to reserve open land in the Bear Creek flood plain through annexation donations. The Denver Parkway Plan proposes development as a parkway from this point along Bear Creek west to Morrison. If plan can be carried out either by Denver through its annexation policy or by Denver and Jefferson County through co. operation on a joint parkway venture, flood damage in this area can be prevented. If the Mt. Carbon Dam on Bear Creek becomes a reality, Bear Creek will then be properly con trolled. 198 Proposals for development of Bear Creek west of its confluence with the Platte River are shown on the accompanying photo-map. I t 1 I. "' 0 3 (/) 0 (/) ... -f , ,,,. ......___ __

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1' 0 io -J C, 200

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202 ALAMEDACHERRY CREEK Constru.ction of the Cherry Creek Dam has largely freed the Cherry Creek drainage basin of flooding potentials; a concentrated storm, however, between the dam and the city does still hold some possibility of producing damage downstream. In such an ev'int retaining walls along the channel between Downing Street and the Platte River give evidence of being subject to damage. The plan for improvement of Cherry Creek east of University Boulevard is shown on the accompanying photo-map." This development will not only beautify the channel and improve vehicular circulation but will also go far toward satisfying needs for recreational and open space in Southeast Denver and at the same time will reduce the possibility of damage resulting from a concentrated storm between Cherry Creek Dam and tbe city.

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J AVE. 204

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<( 2 :r: (/) 205

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.. 208 SANDERSON GULCH The headquarters of Sanderson Gulch are in Jefferson County in the Kendrick Lakes area just west of Kipling Street. Where the gulch enters the City of Denver at Sheridan Boulevard, it traverses a residential district en route to Lipan Street; for a short distance between Lipan Street and the Platte River, the gulch traverses an in dustria I district. Along the gulch just west of Sheridan Boulevard is a small subdivision in which was created ci reservoir providing some limited measure of flood protection. There are possibilities of dupli cqting this treatment between Sheridan Boule-vard and the Platte River, but the opportunities are rapidly disappearing as vacant land is being developed. From Sheridan Boulevard to Tennyson Street homes on both sides of the gulch have con stricted it to a very narrow channel. The struc tures themselves are some six to ten feet above the actual water level. On a plan for improving Sanderson Gulch, little change is contemplated here other than shaping of the banks and mini mum landscaping. An area along the gulch from Tennyson Street to Java Way is already in the ownership of the Department of Parks and Recreation; a park de-

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I • ,. ' W . velopment program has begun. Additional vacant private land along the gulch should be put in public ownership to accomplish the plan; such land should be developed for park purposes. Immediately east of Federal Boulevard the channel of Sanderson Gulch is constricted to a minimum by recently developed apartment buildings. However, some vacant land yet re mains behind these structures; it is here that public acquisition should be started before further development takes place. In this immediate area are some small older houses which should also be acquired in order to create a neighborhood playground astride the extension of Decatur Street. From this point eastward all of the existing vacant land should be acquired for drainage and park purposes. There is a. park-elementary school complex at Florida -Avenue and Zuni Street. If Sanderson Gulch were properly developed it would serve as a park strip connecting much of the neighborhood with this public complex. There also is an elementary school at Sheridan Boule var'd and Jewell Avenue. The configuration of the gulch is such that a park strip could also terminate at this elementary school after traversing its residential area service distirict. The plan for improvement of Sanderson Gulch is shown on the accompanying photo-map. ..... -.... I " • ' 1 1 . ; t 209

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WEIR GULCH Weir Gulch begins southwest of the Federal Center at about Alameda Parkway and Mis sissippi Avenue. It enters the City of Denver just north of Gill Place at Sheridan Boulevard. Here the gulch is confined by two rows of houses backing on the channel. Gulch right-of-way is a little over l 00 feet in width between Sheridan Boulevard and Wolff Street; in this area landscaping and pedestrian walkways as a part of a strip park could be installed. The plan for Weir Gulch _-improvement in cludes the acquisition of all existing vacant land along the gulch for recreational use and flood protection. The city has acquired considerable vacant land between Bayaud Avenue and First Avenue which would lend itself to park development. At Third Avenue the gulch runs into Barnum Park containing a lake which serves as a flood retention pond. South of Alameda Avenue existing development has confined the gulch to a narrow rightof-way. An opportunity exists to tie the gulch to Knapp Elementary School at Bingham Place and Utica Street. From Virginia Avenue to Alameda Avenue, there is a considerable area behind existing houses which would lend itself to park use. This park strip would complement the Ala~eda Avenue Parkway. Two existing streets parallel the gulch between Alameda Avenue and Bayaud Avenue. Acquisi. t'ion and park development here could take the form of normal parkway treatment. North of Bayaud Avenue there is considerable vacant land which if acquired and properly developed could become a pleasant neighborhood park. From First Avenue to Barnum Lake Park, the -right-of-way along the gulch will allow only a strip park. 210 On the northern branch of Weir Gulch only two substantial vacant parcels remain. The first of these is at Sheridan Boulevard. This area has recently been zoned for commercial use and may be developed before it can be acquired by the city. The second parcel lies at Wolff Street north of First' Avenue. There is sufficient land here for a needed neighborhood park and playground. Barnum Park and the adjoining city ownership to the north are already scheduled for further development between Third Avenue and Eighth Avenue. From Eighth Avenue to the Platte River only minimum acquisition and parkway development is possible. Here the emphasis is on provision of a small neighborhood park and playground in the Public Housing project. Proposals for improvement of Weir Gulch are shown on the accompanying photo-map.

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212 LAKEWOOD AND DRY GULCHES Lakewood Gulch begins west of the Federal Center in a sparsely developed area of Jefferson County. Where it enters Denver at Sheridan Boulevard, it passes through an area constricted by apartment and commercial development. From here to the South Platte River, considerable right-of-way for drainage and park improvement is available. Dry Gulch enters Denver at about 12th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. It joins Lakewood Gulch at Newton Street just north of 10th Avenue. A considerable amount of vacant land lies along the gulch in this area. A Public Service transmission line and a railroad parallel the gulch. The development plan for this pair of gulches includes the acquisition of much of the vacant land on either side of the stream bed. Since there is more vacant land along these gulches than along any of the others in the city, there is more opportunity for park development. Because very few structures lie close to the channel the flooding problem is less severe tha.n on other gulches. On Lakewood Gulch, only minimum improve ments are possible between Sheridan Boulevard and Winona Court. Existing apartment structures have been built close to the edge of the bank. From that point eastward, an immediate acquisi tion program would still allow public ownership of large parcels of vacant land. On Dry Gulch there is sufficient right-of-way between Sheridan Boulevard and the confluence with Lakewood Gulch to develop a park strip with a wide range of recreational activities. Although rail and transmission lines parallel this gulch the rail line is used only intermittently and the Public Service transmission line is high enough to allow landscaping underneath. Proposals for developing these gulches are shown on the accompanying photo-map. "II, ,,':. . i•'ift } C ".., • ) ,, "" r .. l .

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AVE. ,• 1 ... ~ ! ' 213

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GOLDSMITH GULCH Goldsmith Gulch has its headwaters north of Noble Road and east of the Valley Highway in Arapahoe County. It enters the City of Denver at Belleview Avenue and makes its way north to empty into Cherry Creek. All of the land lying between Belleview and Mansfield Avenues is still in agricultural use. Along the east side of the gulch from Mansfield Avenue north to Hampden Avenue, new homes are being built. There is currently no development immediately adjacent to Goldsmith Gulch from Hampden Avenue to Yale Avenue. North of Yale Avenue the gulch runs through an existing residential subdivision. There is a rather constricted channel from Evans to Mexico Avenues where the area is already developed in single family homes. North of Mexico Avenue lies Cook Park; the gulch flows through this area to its mouth at Cherry Creek. Much of the area in Southeast Denver through which Goldsmith Gulch flows has been annexed recently to the city; much gulch land has been deeded to the city in the annexation process. A strip park is contemplated along the gulch between Belleview and Hampden Avenues. At Union Avenue, at Quincy Avenue and at Kenyon Avenue, the strip park would widen out to accommodate school sites. North of Hampden Avenue a major shopping facility is contemplated. The gulch may be carried through this area as a minimum landscaped open channel. Halfway between Hampden Avenue and Yale Avenue, Goldsmith Gulch crosses under the High Line Canal and enters a 70-acre area which has been donated as a public park. Here the gulch can be treated as a broad, natural channel as a complement to genera1 park development. North of Jewell Avenue the gulch has received landscape treatment as it runs through the grounds of a private swimming and tennis club. From the point where the gulch leaves this club property to the point where it enters Cook Park, the gulch has been rather severely confined in a narrow cross section. Very little more than minimum landscaping can be accomplished here. North of Mexico Avenue the gulch has been treated as a natural feature in the development of Cook Park. Proposals for development of Goldsmith Gulch are shown on the accompanying photo-map. 214

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-, ..... -215

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216 COLLEGE VIEW GULCH The College View Gulch begins at Vassar Avenue and Federal Boulevard. It runs in an easterly direction and joins the Platte River South of the alignment of College Avenue extended. East of Decatur Street the gulch is characterized by steep banks and a well defined channel. It runs through the College View residential area to Zuni Street and at that point enters an area in Englewood zoned for industrial uses. It con tinues easterly past Tejon Street, under the C. & S. Railroad tracks and thence into the Platte River. The proposal for improvement of this gulch depends on the future of the College View area. Assuming the district will continue as a residential district and will be upgraded, it is recommended that vacant land on either side of the gulch be assembled to provide a much needed park for t he surrounding neighborhood. Extensive land shaping would be required to make the gulch suitable for park and playfield needs. Proposals for improving College View Gulch are shown on the accompanying map. ) ••••• GOLDSMITH GULCH < ...

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The Community Renewal Program (C.R.P.), an integral part of Denver comprehensive planning, recognizes that to ignore quality of development is to make only a superficial appraisal of city development potential. A city, like any material o.bject, is subject to the ravages of time and obsolescence. It deterio rates, ages, suffers loss of utility much like an automobile, a suit of clothes, a pair of shoes. A suit of clothes can be discarded and an automo bile relegated to the junk yard, but a city can not be thrust aside and ignored as it ages. A city must be rebuilt, renewed and rehabilitated. The Denver Community Renewal Program, then, seeks primarily to identify and measure in broad terms the total need for renewal in the 220 city, to relate need to total social, economic and political resources available and to develop a program with priorities for renewal action to eliminate and prevent blight and slums. Data and statistics of the Community Renewal Program are based in large measure on the 1960 federal census. All conclusions and pro posals of this program were made prior to the June, 1965 flood of the Platte River Valley. How ever, the Platte Valley study has for the most part confirmed and strengthened the basic con clusions of the Community Renewal Program. Relatively minor differences in proposals will be reconciled as the Community Renewal Program is updated on a continuing basis. I I ! Ill ( I I I I I I I I I

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rm THE TOTAL CITY EXISTING CONDITIONS A few years ago the City of Denver celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding in 1858. Historians and others have recounted the c hanges and progress of Denver's first century of existence. Where once stood tents, log cabins, Conestoga wagons, now rise multi-million dollar office towers; where once ran dirt trails carrying miners and adventurers into the Rockies, now stretch six-lane concrete freeways bearing the nation's vacationers to mountain holidays; where once huddled a handful of hardy pioneers, now reside more than a half-million citizens seeking their welfares in a myriad of different activities. And at the same time where once grew buf falo grass, where once ran the deer and prairie animal, now sprawl decay, deterioration, ob solescence, unsanitary housing and living ac commodations more unsuitable for human habitation than some used by the earliest settlers. Many of these fall within the shadow of gleaming towers of progress; for the process of aging is a two-edged sword; growth and progress slice out their inexorable swath; but decay and detioration of substantial portions of the city cut into the basic fabric of the common weal and erode its health like a cancer. INDICES OF BLIGHT AND DETERIORATION A number of sources are available to aid in identifying the extent and location of blight in Denver. Preliminary phases of the Community Renewal Program investigated these in depth. The 1960 federal census contains much informa tion on housing and population. Statistics on age and value of structures are available from records of the city tax assessor. Records of the Department of Health and Hospitals cite struc tures against which provisions of the city hous ing code have been enforced. On the following pages may be found in graphic form a few of the more significant indices of the quality of structures and blighting conditions in Denver. Through an investigation of these and other maps, a pattern of the more seriously deficient and blighted areas in the city has begun to emerge. With such information as a background, it has been possible to delineate areas needing renewal treatment. 221

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LEGEND D 0 -19 Years r1:II 20-39 Years 4059 Years 60 Years and older . it% : ,ill '!rir r .~;1. . ,=i ..... '-;'-g ,-; • I .. ; ; I : l ; r , rr/1,,,.> +--~~--t----L--Y--...J:~--+--,----+---+----,---\'--:/_ AVERAGE AGE OF STRUCTURES HOUSING DATA mm DENVER PLANNING Ol'l"ICE •"' DU'tU ltHAII lfN[Wll AWTH0n KOIIIIMG Hi HO/llll rtlUNCt UllNtl 223

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224 THE BLIGHTED AREAS Blighted aras requiring urban renewal action have been identified by a two-phase process. Phase l consisted of a broad investigation of housing and structure conditions utilizing 1960 federal census data; areas with at least 20 per cent housing classified deficient were tentatively designated for renewal action. Phase 2 con sisted of detailed study and analysis of areas delineated in Phase l with the purpose of dis tinguishing residential from nonresidential areas and more conclusively substantiating or reject ing the findings of Phase 1. Portions of the city designated for renewal action were then divided into C.R.P. areas in such a way as to fit into the framework of city neighborhood-community structure and into the framework of federal census enumeration dis tricts and tracts. C.R.P. areas were classified into five groups: Existing project areas, Residential redevelopment areas, Residential rehabilitation areas, Nonresidential areas, Local conservation areas. Existing project areas are those already cited for urban renewal action by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority and so designated by the City Council and Mayor in accordance wtih State urban renewal law. Residential redevelopment areas are those in which it is anticipated that acquisition and clearance will involve 50 per cent or more of the total net land area. Projects in such areas would normally proceed under federal financial assistance. Residential rehabilitation areas are those in which it is anticipated that acquisition and clearance will involve less than 50 per cent of the total net land area. Projects in such areas would normally proceed under federal financial assistance. Nonresidential areas are those in which the predominant use is nonresidential. (Renewal treatment in nonresidential C.R.P. areas may include redevelopment, rehabilitation or conservation activities; they are not so distinguished for purposes of this report.) Local conservation areas are distinguished from the above areas (rehabilitation, redevelopment) in that an urban renewal project in a conservation area would not involve the public acquisition of private property through the urban renewal powers of condemnation. Conservation areas are normally less severely blighted than rehabilitation or redevelopment areas. Conservation projects are not directly financed as urban renewal projects in the same manner as redevelopment or rehabilitation projects; nonetheless; since the Federal Housing Act of 1965 it is assumed that Denver conservation projects will re ceive supplemental federal funds through the Local Code Enforcement Program. Map , C.R.P. Areas, delineates all areas within the city which have been selected for urban renewal treatment. The map legend identi fies the type of renewal treatment proposed for each area. In most cities of the country the pattern of blight is one of concentric circles spreading out from a central core area; the closer the area to the center, the more intense its deterioration. In Denver the pattern is different and follows a generally linear configuration along the Platte River Valley. Blight within and adjacent to the Denver Central Business District, however, is clearly evident. RENEWAL FOR PEOPLE Physical urban deterioration is obviously related to the inhabitants of any area in question. Deterioration in Denver neither exists in a vacuum nor can it be treated independently of the citizens involved. In large measure, sub-standard housing and sub-standard neighborhoods are related to income levels of occupants. Income levels in turn are related to education, health, cultural attainments and various living patterns. It has long been recognized that certain minority groupssometimes because of characteristics of the group -have had far more than normal difficulties in rising above the level of sub-standard living accommodations. Spanish-Americans in Denver, for example, have to a large extent maintained strong ties with Latin traditions, culture and liv ing patterns; these in turn have not always been compatible with the frequently fierce and impersonal competition of the American free enterprise economy. Whereas the Latin temperament may frequntly question the American way, nonetheless, this system tends to reserve its better rewards for those most adaptable to its unique procedures.

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D LEGEND CONSERVATION ,--; , -'.'"---7 LOCAL L.:z;:: _____ REHABILITATION REDEVELOPMENT RESIDENTIAL NON -PROJECTS EXISTING U. R. c,ty 7 I PROGRAM MUNITY RENEWAL COM ... '""'"" --:---;:;--;;;;~~~;;~;;-::-:o;~•:•::'I",~. uuo,,~~•, •::; 001 'iMl~N ~IN ANC ( AGCN CY OFFICE HOUSING u~ PLANNING DENVER AREAS I i I i I I I I i I .... ,-----7 i : I I i : I I I I I 225

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226 Such human and personal problems are recog nized as an integral part of the Community Renewal Program. The welfare and improvement of the living condition of individuals is the proper and ultimate end result of the effort. The highest incidence of renewal needs oc curs in the North Central Community and in the Central Business District. In the North Central Community, there are 23 proposed C.R.P. areas; in the C.B.D. there are three; together these com prise 42 per cent of all lands in the city designated for renewal action. Table summarizes by type of C.R.P. area and by location in the various communities of the city the areas selected for treatment. NUMBER OF C.R.P. AREAS COMMUNITY Central North Business West Type of Project Total Central Northwest District Central E . t "" XlS 1ng _______________ .. ____________________ 6 3 1 1 0 Nonresidential ---------------------------17 5 1 2 2 Residential Redevelopment ______ 10 7 2 0 0 Residential Rehabilitation ------10 2 3 0 1 Residential Conservation --------19 6 3 0 3 Total ------------------------------------62 23 10 3 6 * Includes Avondale, Whittier, Blake, Jermoe Park, Skyline, and Mitchell projects. The amount of land area, population and dwelling units contained in C.R.P. areas is compiled and summarized in Table below. Central Southwest 1 0 2 3 0 0 3 1 3 2 9 6 NET LAND AREA, POPULATION, AND DWELLING UNITS IN CRP AREAS Net Land Area* Population Dwelling Units Type of Project Acres % Number % Number % E . t ** XlS mg ----------------201.0 .6 8,702 1.8 3,440 2.0 Nonresidential __________ 1,212.2 3.5 13,501 2.7 5,537 3.2 Res. Development ____ 676.5 2.0 20,897 4.2 6,898 4.0 Res. Rehabilitation __ 1,203.1 3.5 35,533 7.2 11,710 6.7 Total Assisted __________ 3,292.8 9.6 78,633 15.9 27,585 15.9 Res. Conservation ____ 3,295.5 9.5 98,087 19.9 41,392 23.8 Total C.R.P. Areas __ 6,588.3 19.1 176,720 35.8 68,977 39.7 Total City __________________ 34,520.0 100.0 493,887 100.0 174,124 100.0 * Net area excludes all streets and alley rights-of-way. * * Includes figures for Skyline and Mitchell projects only. South Central 0 2 1 0 2 5

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FRAMEWORK FOR RENEWAL The Denver climate or framework for urban renewal has been investigated from five points of view: Economic analysis and land absorption pro jections, Social requirements and resources, Relocation requirements and resources, Financial requirements and resources, Administration requirements and resources. ECONOMIC ANALYSIS AND LAND ABSORPTION ANALYSIS Economic analyses and land absorption pro jections have been made for the City of Denver by the Real Estate Research Corporation of Chicago. Population projections and trends have been cited in Part 3, History and Trends, of this docu ment and will not be duplicated here. Similar ly, forecasts of growth in industry, wholesaling, retailing and housing previously have been set forth in Sections B, D & E of Part 4 of this re port. Anticipated absorption of land by the vari ous categories of land use to the years 1970 and 1980 is cited in the table below: LAND ABSORPTION ESTIMATES* (N'et Acres) City and County of Denver Area in Use 1960** Residential __________________________________ _ Single Family ____________ , ___________ 14,490 _ Two to Six Family _______________ 1,580 Seven Family or more _________ 510 Commercial __________________________________ _ Retail -------------------------------------830 Office -------------------------------------260 Other -------------------------------------970 Industrial ____________________________ , __________ _ Wholesale and Goods Transfer __ _ Open Land -------------------------------------Airfields ---------------------------------3,630 Parks and Other ___________________ 2,790 Ins ti tu tionaL ---------------------------------Mixed Uses ________________________ , _ : ________ _ Vacant ______________ ---------------___ ---_______ _ Total _______________________________________ -------Total 1960 City Area __________________ _ * Explanation by use type found in report text. ** Excludes streets, platted and unplatted. 16,580 2,060 850 2,230 6,420 1,410 550 4,420 34,520 47,230 Est. Area in Use, 1970** 17,990 15,730 1,640 620 2,140 840 320 980 930 2,200 6,450 3,630 2,820 1,440 600 2,770 34,520 47,230 Source: 1960 figures derived from Denver Metropolitan Transportation Study. Estimates by Real Estate Research Corporation. Est. Area in Use, 1980** 18,820 16,390 1,730 700 2,180 850 370 960 970 2,340 6,450 3,630 2,820 1,470 600 1,690 34,520 47,230 227

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SOCIAL REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES Social requirements and resources have been appraised for the City of Denver by the Denver Metropolitan Council for Community Service. Social problems and their resultant requirements in Denver are similar to those found in core cities of metropolitan areas throughout the country. As middle class families have sought improved environments in suburban areas, they have been replaced generally by those of lower income, education and adaptability to urpan living patterns. These persons are least able and willing to maintain or enhance whatever quality remains in their residential neighborhood; blight and deteriorationaccelerate. So cia I problems then increase in poor physical en vironments, and a vicious circle results. Denver has a normal contingency of social services and agencies to meet the above problems, which is not to say that all is being done that could or should be done. There is particular need for: Improved public information and education in social services areas, A full range of services for those persons di rectly affected by urban renewal a.ction, Improved community organization at many levels, Coordination of social and physical planning. Agencies, communications media, and opportunities to handle the needs cited above all exist currently in Denver. They fail, however, in many instances to bring force and attention to .bear on the problem. For instance, Denver is well covered by the mass communications media of press, radio and television. However, no one has yet presented a continuing informational program through these media to inform the populace of broad social problems and to create the public climate to produce improvements. 228 RELOCATION REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES Relocation requirements and resources for the City of Denver have been appraised by the Real Estate Research Corporation of Chicago. Prime concern of the Community Renewal Program is relocation of persons displaced by the urban renewal process. There are other causes of displacement, however, which require relocation services; these are cited in the table ( opposite page) with estimated volumes of displacement anticipated by 1970. Not all of the households to be relocated will require public assistance. In general, those people at the lower end of the economic scale will have the greatest need for assistance; these persons often are the last capable of finding new housing by themselves. Relocation resources to handle the needs cited above will be composed largely of efforts of the private housing industry. Relocation needs up to the year 1970 will be filled from three sources: New housing built in the city; increase in exist ing housing inventory provided through rehabilitation and conservation; New housing built in the metropolitan area; Increased public housing inventory. By and large those persons and families displaced by urban renewal or other public proc esses will not be candidates to occupy new hous ing produced by private industry; generally they fail to have incomes required for such accommodation. Housing will be provided, however, for these persons by a "filter down" process whereby new housing contributes to an adequate overall supply and makes housing available to the displacee at a cost lower than he would otherwise have to pay. I I I I : I i

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t-.) t-.) -0 ESTIMATES OF DISPLACEMENT OF HOUSEHOLDS, 1965-1970 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 Total Six Years D:splacement Source ws NW1 w NW w NW w NW w NW w NW w NW T Urban Renewal Projects 1 ____________ 70 70 70 Community Renewal Projects2 __ 300 250 400 325 530 200 700 425 900 600 2,830 i,800 4,630 Public Housing 3 --------------------------iOO 40 20 20 20 30 20 30 20 30 20 30 200 180 380 Highway4 -----------------------------------100 100 100 Welfare ----------------------------------------150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 150 900 900 1,800 Bureau of Indian Affairs ____________ 100 100 100 100 100 100 600 600 Code Enforcement ______________________ 200 70 200 70 200 70 200 70 200 70 200 70 1,200 420 1,620 Capital Improvements 5 ,--------------100 100 100 Subtotals --------------------------------------620 360 770 590 770 675 900 550 1,070 775 1,270 950 5,400 3,900 9,300 Totals -----------------------------------,--------980 1,360 1,445 1,450 1,845 2,220 1 Jerome Park Project. 2 Includes 2,190 individuals, 3 Over-income and new construction of 250 elderly and 250 dispersed units. 6 White. 4 48th A venue. 1 Non-White. s Convention Center. Source: Denver Community Renewal Program and Real Estate Research Corporation.

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The table below presents an estimate of residential relocation resources for displaced fami lies from the existing housing inventory, from anticipated new housing and from anticipated rehabilitation housing. 7,200 families are estimated to require public housing or some kind of public assistance in Denver by 1980. 230 RESIDENTIAL RELOCATION ESTIMATES, 1965-1970 BY INCOME GROUPS NUMBER OF FAMILIES TO BE DISPLACED RELOCATION RESOURCE Low Income Less than $4,000 (Less than $75 mo. rent) Middle Income $4,000-$7,999 ($75-$155 mo. rent) Higher Income $8,000 & Over ($140/mo. rent and over) Existing Housing Sale 1,449 Rent New Housing* Sale Rent Rehabilitation* Sale Rent The human problems involved in relocation are great. Public and private agencies involved in this process face the challenge to affect relocation in a manner to eliminate individual hard-198 163 791 212 2,248 703 159 351 129 1,095 498 144 322 45 461 264 68 ship. The end result of an urban renewal project should be that the people of an area, as well as its structures, are in a substantially improved state. SUMMARY OF RESIDENTIAL RELOCATION Source Sale Rent Existing Housing 2,452 3,110 New Housing* 678 1,737 Rehabilitation 530 793 Totals 3,660 5,640 "'Includes publicly-assisted housing programs. Source: Real Estate Researh Corporation Total Per Cent 5,562 59.8 2,415 26.0 1,323 14.2 9,300 100.0

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FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS AN D RESOURCES A compilation of total estimated costs of C.R.P. urban renewal costs is included in Table below. Assisted projects are those which would qualify for direct financial assistance from the federal government-normally 2 / 3 of net project cost. Note from Table that the gross cost of all assisted C.R.P. projects amounts to $238.2 million. Resale of land in these projects to private interests would bring $61.6 million, thus leaving a net cost of $176.6 million. Under the l /3-2/ 3 ratio of renewal cost com monly specified for projects assisted by the federal government, the City of Denver woul'd bear a responsibility for $58.8 million of the $176.6 million net cost. Included in the figure of $176.6 million is an expenditure of $39.9 million for public improve ments such as utilities, streets, parks and schools. Of this $39.9 million expenditure, $8.3 million would be eligible as a non-cash credit against the city's financial respdnsibilities. (Non-cash credits usually consist of city-financed work accepted by the federal government in lieu of cash payments.) Thus, the city's anticipated cash expenditure for assisted projects would amount to $50.5 million. To meet the anticipated city expenditures of more than $50 million for C.R.P. projects, revenues from sales tax and from the city's bonding capacity appear to be the best available. M 0 M tlci 0 M lC lC 0 1""i lO lO lC T""i T""i t231

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ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES Prime responsibility for the Community Renewal Program must rest with the Mayor of Denver. The essential centralized direction for C.R.P. in formulation of policy and objectives and in implementation of the program can be brought about only from the chief executive of the city. This function can most appropriately be carried out through the Community Development Agency discussed in more detail in later parts of this section. C.R.P. scope is quite broad and cuts across many fields; it requires coordination among and participation by many private interests and public agencies. The effectiveness of C.R.P. depends to a large extent on the degree of support and participation from city departments and the public at large. 232 Of particular importance to the implementation of the C.R.P. are the efficient enforcement of the city housing code, building code, zoning ordinance and the coordination of capital im provements programming with C.R.P. activities. The City of Denver has the usual complement of administrative resources-departments, agencies, and boards. Among these, the following six will have the prime responsibilities for the program: Community Development Agency, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Denver Planning Office, Division of Health, Environmental Sanitation, Housing Section, Building Department, Office of Zoning Administration. I I [, . ' ' l I I '

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DENVER COMMUNITIES The City of Denver has been divided into ten communities as outlined in Section B of Part 4. Each of the communities of the city has been investigated and appraised from the viewpoint of its existing and potential blight as well as its most significant characteristics which might inIM~'ii'IXI\W/$11 $1!JJ'irlXI\W/U'ir fluence blight. A brief description of the condi tion and treatment of the separate communities follows. It must be recognized that the proposals contained hereafter may require up to 20 years for accomplishment; problems of acquisition and relocation thus may be solved over a long period. IMli'ii'IXIU,$11 $!JJ'ii'IXl~$'ir 233

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234 THE NORTH CENTRAL COMMUNITY The North Central Community contains the largest population of any community in the city, although between 1950 and 1960 it lost 13 per cent of its occupants. This community, containing 29 persons per acre, also is among the most densely populated of the city. Heavy concentrations of nonwhite persons reside here. Over half of the North Central Community is occupied by nonresidential land uses. The northern and western sections are developed with heavy, well established industrial plants; a number of residential areas in the northern part of the community are completely surrounded by industrial uses. Single and two-family homes predominate in these "islands." Retail sales activity is largely confined to commercial strips; there are no major community shopping facilities. Of fices, business services and manufacturing establishments border the Central Business District in the southwestern part of the area. Among the more important public facilities are Manual High School in a central location and City Park in the southeastern corner of the community. This community, encompassing some of the oldest sections of the city, long has been declin ing both environmentally and structurally; urban renewal action is needed in almost all its residential neighborhoods. Inasmuch as most of the city's blight and deterioration is found here, it contains the highest number of C.R.P. areas: three existing projects, five nonresidential C.R.P. areas, seven residential redevelopment C.R.P. areas, ten residential rehabilitation C.R.P. ar.eas, and six conservation C.R.P. areas. The C.R.P. areas of the North Central Com munity include 1,850 acres of land, a population of 60,000 and some 20,500 dwelling units; 8,200 of these units are substandard. Renewal action for all of the above described assisted C.R.P. projects would involve the fol lowing: • Acquisition of 6,427 dwelling units, • Acquisition of 482 nonresidential establish ments, • Acquisition of a total (residential and nonresi dential) of 449.3 acres of land (excluding street and alleys), • Improvements in the form of basic public fa cilities at a cost of $10.3 million, $5.8 million of which would constitute renewal non-cash credit, • Dwelling unit acquisition to displace 6,073 households, • Gross cost of all assisted projects to be $58.4 million; net cost (after resale of land) to be $42.6 million; local share of this net cost to be $14.2 million and the federal government share (including relocation grant) to be $29.8 million.

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THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT The Central Business District, even though small in size and population, has been delineated as a separate community because of its special ized function . Three C.R .P. areas are proposed for this com munity. C.B.D. Area No. 1 is the Skyline Urban Renewal Project, now in the planning stage. It contains an area of 63.8 net acres ( excluding streets and alleys), a population of 2,384 persons, 924 deficient housing units. C :B.D. Areas No. 2 and 3 contain 122.7 net acres, a population of 2,811 persons, and 1,775 dwelling units, 661 of which are deficient. (These statistics of the Skyline Urban Renewal Project must be re garded as flexible as more detailed planning 236 has dictated adjustment of boundaries and contingent data.) Renewal action for all of the assisted C.R.P. area projects in the C.B.D. would involve the following: • Acquisition of 3,051 dwelling units, • Acquisition of 1,235 nonresidential establish ments, • Acquisition of a total (residential and nonresidential) of 98.4 acres of land (excluding streets and alleys), • Dwelling unit acquisition would displace 2,570 households, • Gross cost of all assisted projects to be $53.3 million; net cost ( after resale of land) to be $36.8 million; local share of this net cost to be $12. 3 million, and the federal government share (including relocation grant) to be $27.1 million.

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, , I I l ' . I I • I I l I l 238 NORTHWEST COMMUNITY The Northwest Community has a relatively large and stable population. Most of the land in residential use is occupied by single-family or two-family dwellings. Apartments are concentrated in the southeastern part of the com munity. Commercial development is conf!ned largely to a strip pattern along arterials. Two major shopping centers serve the community: the Lakeside Shopping Center located outside the city limits on the northwestern boundary and the Chaffee Park Shopping Center at 48th Avenue and Pecos Street. A significant amount of vacant land, now beginning to develop, is zoned for industry. North High School and two large parks serve the area. Ten C.R.P. areas have been delineated for this community. The Avondale Urban Renewal Project now is approaching completion. One C.R.P. area, NW-7, is a nonresidential project; two are residential redevelopment; three are residential rehabilitation; and three are conservation areas. The C.R.P. areas of the Northwest ~ommunity i11clude 990 acres of land, a population of 24,000 persons, and 8,000 dwelling units, 2,300 of which are substandard. Renewal action for all of the above described assisted C.R.P. projects ( excluding existing and conservation projects) would involve the fol lowing: • Acquisition of 2,336 residential units, • Acquisition of 350 nonresidential establish ments, • Acquisition of total (residential and nonresidential) of 317 net acres of land, • Improvements for public facilities at a cost of $5.8 million, $4.3 million of which would be eligible project cost, • Dwelling unit acquisition to displace 2,188 households, • Gross cost of all assisted projects to be $37.5 million; net cost ( after resale of land) to be $29.8 million; local share of this net cost to be $9.9 million, and the federal government share (including cost of relocation) to be $20.4 million.

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240 WEST CENTRAL COMMUNITY With the exception of the Central Business District, the West Central Community is the smallest in the city in both population and area; however, between 1950 and 1960, it grew in popu lotion by 43 per cent. That part of the community west of Federal Boulevard is almost exclusively in residential use; single-family and two-family residences predominate. East of Federal Boulevard may be found a mixture of single-family residential, multiple-family residential, industrial uses and some vacant land. There are no shopping cen ters in this community. A total of six C.R.P. areas have been delineated in the West Central Community: two are nonresidential, one is a residential development area, and three are conservation areas. The C.R.P. areas of the West Central Community contain 640 acres of land, a population of 8,700 and 2,600 dwelling units, 584 of which are substandard. Renewal action for all of the above assisted C.R.P. projects would involve the following: • Acquisition of 407 dwelling units, • Acquisition of 61 nonresidential establishments, • Acquisition of a total (residential and nonresidential) of 83 acres of land ( excluding streets and alleys), • Improvements for public facilities at a cost of $2.4 million, $.99 million of which would be eligible renewal costs, • Dwelling unit acquisition to displace 380 fami lies, • Gross cost of all assisted projects to be $8.6 million; net cost ( after resale of land) to be $6.0 million; local share of this net cost to be $2.0 million and the federal government share (including relocation grant) to be $4.2 million.

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I CENTRAL COMMUNITY 242 The density of population in the Central Com munity is among the highest in the city, although between 1950 and 1960 the community experienced the greatest population loss of any com munity. A wide range of residential structures may be found here: old single-family homes, homes converted to boarding houses and apartments, two to four-story apartments intermixed with many of the city's most impressive high rise apartments and historic landmarks. Office and service establishments border the Central Business District in the north central portion of the community. Strip commercial development extends along the arterials; an industrial belt containing a considerable amount of vacant land follows the South Platte River. West High School and Cheesman Park are major public facilities in the Central Community. Nine C.R.P. areas have been designated for the Central Community. One existing project, the Jerome Perk Industrial Redevelopment Project, is located at the western edge of the community. Two other nonresidential projects are proposed for the area. Three projects are proposed for residential redevelopment, and three large areas ",,. .: ... ~;::/t..u,,,. "... ,•,~:!:b: ,,..,._ -..; ' '~ -' • .. <' • .. have been designated for conservation. C.R.P. areas of the Central Community include 1,300 acres of land, a population of 50,-500 persons, and some 25,000 dwelling units, 7,000 of which are substandard. Renewal action for all of the above described assisted C.R.P. projects would involve the fol lowing: • Acquisition of 3,817 dwelling units, • Acquisition of 544 nonresidential establish ments, • Acquisition of a total (residential plus nonresidential) of 259 acres of land (excluding streets and alleys), • Improvements of basic public facilities ( ex cluding freeways) at a cost of $11.3 million, $3.4 million of which would be eligible renewal costs, • Dwelling unit acquisition in assisted areas to displace 3,529 households, • Gross cost of all assisted projects to be $60 million; net cost (after resale of land) to be $48 million; local share of this net cost to be $16 million and the federal government share ( i ncluding relocation grant) to be $33.2 mil lion.

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244 SOUTHWEST COMMUNITY The Southwest Community experienced a three-fold increase in populatio)" between 1950 and 1960. The predominant land use is the single-family residence. The eastern edge of the Southwest Com munity is bordered by a rapidly growing in dustrial strip along the South Platte River. Lipan Street generally forms the western boundary of this strip. Local shopping centers comprise most of the ".:ommercial use in the community. Strip commercial development is limited to West Alameda Avenue, Morrison Road, and Federal Boulevard. Lincoln and Kennedy High Schools, Ruby Hill Park and several other recently developed open spaces serve the Southwest Com munity. The need for renewal in this community is minimal mainly because of the large propor-_ tion of relatively new construction. Four C.R.P. areas are proposed. One residential redevelop ment project and three nonresidential areas have been designated. In the C.R .P. areas of the Southwest Community there are 1,000 acres of land, a population of 17,000 persons, and some 4,700 dwelling units, approximately 1,000 of which are substandard. Renewal action for all of the above described assisted C.R.P. area projects would involve the following: • Acquisition or 431 dwelling units, • Acquisition of 15 nonresidential establish ments, • Acquisition of total (residential plus nonresidential) of 158 net acres of land (excluding streets and alleys), • Improvements for basic public facilities ( ex cluding the Southwest Freeway) at a cost of $3.0 million, $1.0 million of which would be eligible project cost, • Dwelling unit acquisition in assisted areas to displace 408 households, • Gross cost of all assisted projects to be $9.9 million; net cost (after resale of land) to be $6.1 million; local share of this net cost to be $2.0 million, and the federal government share (including relocation costs) to be $4.2 million .

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j T SOUTH CENTRAL COMMUNITY The South Central Community is one of the older, more stable areas of Denver. Approximately 2 / 3 of its housing is over 40 years old. Newer housing may be found in the vicinity of Denver University. Single-family homes predominate in the community with apartments con fined mostly to the vicinity of the university. Residential density is slightly higher than that for the rest of the city. Between 1950 and 1960 the area experienced a slight loss in total population. Industrial development along the South Platte River on the western edge of the community is well established with little vacant land remain ing for expansion. Commercial development is confined largely to a strip along South Broadway (including a shopping center) and a strip along portions of East Evans Avenue. The Uni versity of Denver is located in the southeastern part of the community. A large major recreation facility, Washington Park, is centrally located. South High School is located in the east central part of the community. The Valley Highway splits this community almost in two. Five C.R.P. areas have been designated for the South Central Community. Two are nonresidential, two are conservation areas, and one is a residential redevelopment project. The C.R.P. areas of the South Central Com munity include 580 acres of land, a population of 11,000, and some 4,200 dwelling units, 890 of which are substandard. Renewal action for all of the above described assisted C.R.P. area projects would involve the following: • Acquisition of 847 dwelling units, • Acquisition of 54 nonresidential establish ments, • Acquisition of a total (residential and nonresi dential) of 72.9 net acres of land (excluding streets and alleys), • Improvements for basic public facilities ( ex cluding freeway) at a cost of $2.0 million of which $0.9 million would be eligible renewal costs, • Dwelling unit acquisition in assisted areas to displace 7 55 households, • Gross cost of all assisted projects to be $10.6 million; net cost ( after resale of land) to be $4.7 million; local share of this net cost to be $2.5 million, and the federal government share (including relocation costs) to be $5.1 million. ,..,..., '""'' .~. ,,t:J. • • • _ ,.,. 246

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I ' I I I I 248 OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES OF THE COMMUNITY RENEWAL PROGRAM Objectives of the Community Renewal Pro-gram are: To identify and measure in broad terms the total needs for renewal in the City of Denver; To relate need for renewal to total social, economic, and political resources available; To develop a program with priorities for renewa I action to eliminate and prevent slums and blight. The Community Renewal Program is concerned primarily with the means for accomplishing these objectives. DENVER COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES Preparation of the Denver Community Renewal Program began a number of years prior to the establishment of Denver community objectives. Nevertheless, after Denver community objectives had been defined, it was apparent that the Community Renewal Program, if pursued with some diligence, would go a long way toward the accomplishment of many of the goals of the community. These are cited below. GENERAL OBJECTIVES • Denver should strive to become a "City of Excellence," ... excellence in public facilities, residential areas, transportation system and the various elements that make up a metropolitan community; • Denver of the future above all else should be a community with an outstanding environment for living; • Vigorous neighborhood conservation activities, in addition to a continuing urban renewal program, should produce a steady decline of blight. Strong educational, social and welfare programs should prepare all groups for active participation in the community life of an excellent Denver and result in a steady decrease in racial or economic discrimination, in crime, violence and other social disorders. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES • To enhance Denver's status as a city of harmonious human relationships; • To enhance the economic well-being of the citizens of Denver; • To secure the health and safety of the population; • To meet human and social needs and desires of the population; • To preserve and improve the environment of all areas of the city; • To provide properly located and well designed public facilities; • To prevent and eliminate all blight.

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PROGRAM FOR RENEWAL TREATMENT OF C.R.P. AREAS Proposed treatment of C.R.P. areas has been based on: The need for renewal as evidenced by prevailing structural, environmental and social conditions; The framework or "climate" for renewal as the indicator of feasibility for Denver to undertake renewal action. All C.R.P. areas have been classified according to the type of renewal treatment judged most appropriate to halt or eliminate blight. As previously described, three classifications have been employed: conservation, rehabilitation and redevelopment. • Action in conservation areas is largely one of prevention rather than cure; treatment en tails a program of maintaining residential streets free of heavy through traffic, provision of off-street parking where needed, maintenance of zoning integrity, maintenance of a high level of municipal housekeeping and provision of a high level of public services. • Action in rehabilitation areas includes inten sive enforcement of all applicable codes dealing with condition of buildings, street improve ments, off-street parking where needed, limited land acquisition and frequently the re duction of density of population and housing. Also included in rehabilitation treatment is the modernization of residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and public buildings still sufficiently sound to warrant such action. • Action in redevelopment areas includes acquisition of substandard properties, relocation of families, businesses and industries and the removal of obsolete and otherwise substandard structures. TREATMENT OF ASSISTED C.R.P. PROJECTS The total number of dwelling units to be acquired in the assisted C.R.P. projects (those which will receive financial aid from the federal gov ernment) amounts to 17,316; 2,741 business establishments are to be acquired; total land to be acquired amounts to 1,438 acres. Of these 1,438 acres, 512 are to be reused for residen tial purposes, 153 for commercial, 488 for in dustrial and 284 for public purposes. The C.R.P. is estimated to displace a total of 16,555 house holds, 72% of which are tenant occupancies and 28 % are owner occupancies. Needed public improvements in C.R.P. areas have been estimated to cost $39.7 million. Of this amount, $21.4 million will be eligible to match federal funds as non-cash credit; $18.3 million will be project costs not so eligible. TREATMENT OF LOCAL CONSERVATION AREAS The importance of giving major attention to conservation areas cannot be overemphasized. Whereas rehabilitation and redevelopment proj ec_ts are ~e~igned to correct areas already blighted, 1t 1s the conservation programs, if properly planned and executed, that will largely prevent the need for future more costly re habilitation and redevelopment action. Areas designated for conservation treatment share many of the problems found in rehabilitation or redevelopment projects. The difference is mainly one of degree. The conservation area has a higher potential for upgrading and maintenance as a sound neighborhood than the re habilitation or redevelopment area. The short term objective in most local con servation areas is to bring them up to sta~dard condition and maintain them as sound housing areas for a minimum of 10 to 20 years. The long term obfective in local conservation areas is the gradual conversion and replacement of existing development by new development-not necessarily, however, involving a change in land use. 249

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250 PROGRAM FOR SOCIAL SERVICES A program of social services needed for the proper execution of Denver's C.R.P. is based on certain assumptions: • The welfare of the citizens must be the focus of renewal planning. • Physical, economic and social problems in Denver are inextricably intertwined. Solutions to these problems therefore must be comprehensive. • Physical, economic and social problems of Denver's "inner city" similarly are intertwined with conditions in the entire city. Solutions to these problems must therefore be geographically comprehensive. PUBLIC INFORMATION AND INTERPRETATION • An organization known as Program to Renew and Inspire Denver's Excellence (PRIDE) is being formed. Committees within PRIDE will be established and assume responsibility for specific assignments. One of these committees should assume the duty of public information and interpretation of renewal programs. • Special projects of public information should be undertaken by existing public service organizations. • Official and unofficial agencies concerned with the provision of equal rights and opportunities should interpret the significance of renewal action in relation to such rights. PROVISION OF ADEQUATE SERVICES RELATED TO RENEWAL ACTION • All social services specifically related to renewal action should be brought into play in a comprehensive and carefully coordinated fashion. • The Denver Urban Renewal Authority should establish field offices in project areas to relate needed social services to these areas and to facilitqte working relationships with all agencies involved. • Voluntary family counseling agencies should provide services to families with many problems. If the voluntary agencies cannot provide such services, the Metropolitan Council for Community Service should. assume responsi bility either through an existing neighborhood agency or through a new agency. • The Denver Department of Welfare, as it con tinues to develop plans to implement the 1962 amendments to the Social Security Act, should take steps to assure adequate services to fami lies in urban renewal areas. • The Denver Housing Authority should increase the availability of housing units to accommodate large families. It should also reexamine the possibility of accepting some families now excluded from public housing provided that adequate supporting services to help such families are developed. • The planning phase of the Skyline Renewal Project in the Central Business District has included intensive study in depth of the social problems in the downtown area, and the implementation phase should strive to solve these problems. • Emergency shelter care for families should be extended so that adult males need not be separated from their families during the relocation process. • In-service training in renewal matters should be developed for both public and volunteer agencies. Such training should be conducted on an urban renewal area basis.

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• local churches and other organizations which have sponsored nonprofit housing for the aged should be encouraged to develop nonprofit housing for low-income groups. • The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver and other suitable groups should undertake a program of rehabilitation of older housing. COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT • In general, organizations involving participation of citizens in citywide, community and neighborhood problems should be strengthened or established where not now existent. • PRIDE should actively assist in gaining citywide participation in community renewal programs. • In C.R.P. areas scheduled for conservation, the Community Development Agency, the Inter-Agency Board (described later in this section) and the Denver Planning Office should work with existing civic and improvement associations to involve them in the conservation program. • In neighborhoods scheduled for redevelopment or rehabilitation action, patterns for local neighborhood organization and citizen participation should fit the local situation. SOCIAL AND FORMAL EDUCATION SERVICES • The Metropolitan Council for Community Serv ice should continue to strengthen its efforts to improve the quality of the network of health, welfare and recreation services available in Denver. Such social planning should be in-creasingly related to the physical and economic planning in the city with continuing effort to facilitate constructive relationships between voluntary and public agencies. • The Denver School Board should continue its recently accelerated program to meet the education needs of the children, youth and adults of Denver. To implement the recommendations of the Committee on Equality of Educational Opportunity and the report on "Educational Opportunity for Potential School Dropouts and for Out-of-School Unemployed and Underemployed Youth," the Public School Board should give attention to: Provision of additional school social workers with recognition of special needs in urban renewal areas: -Adaptation of curriculum to understanding of the community, such adaptation to extend not only to schools in urban renewal areas, but also to courses which help the student body in all schools to understand the total Denver community more completely; -Continued adaptation of adult education programs to meet the needs of the adult population, including those in low-income neighborhoods; -Development of pre-vocational and vocational training programs to meet both the economic needs of the com munity and the needs of individual youth and young adults for preparation for employment. COORDINATION Because of the focus on many social problems and agencies and the long-term program needed for renewal, coordination of services will be required city-wide and in each project area. 251

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I t l PROGRAM FOR RELOCATION In all renewal activities the provision for re location to standard dwelling units of persons displaced in the urban renewal process must be anticipated during planning stages. RESIDENTIAL RELOCATION The objectives of the urban renewal relocation program are: 252 • To make available standard housing for all displaced families with sufficient incomes to afford private housing, either for purchase or rent, in any part of the metropolitan area; • To make available subsidized housing or financial assistance to those displaced families with insufficient incomes to afford standard private housing. Investigation of relocation resources in Denver demonstrates that very little relocation can be expected from the development of new hous ing in the city. Most displacees will not be able to afford standard private housing and will require some form of subsidized housing. An analysis of relocation needs and resources for the first six-year program of the C.R.P. indicates that relocation needs generated by urban renewal can be met with both public and private housing. In order to alleviate the problems of relocating people displaced by urban renewal projects in Denver, the following should be considered: • The city should pursue and where possible expand full scale social and educational serv ices designed to train or retrain family breadwinners in new skills and to increase income to the level where many more will be able to provide standard housing without public sub sidy. • Housing programs and policies in the city must encourage new, rehabilitated or replacement housing for the growing population with the objective of upgrading the entire city housing supply. • Some families which will be included in the relocation program may not be capable of maintaining a dwelling unit in standard con dition. Programs are needed for such fami lies to train, retrain or rehabilitate members to respect and maintain property, their neighborhood and the community. • Whenever consistent with the comprehensive plan, efforts should be _made in planning renewa I projects to provide low cost and l~w rental housing when needed for relocation purposes. Also, in respect to l~rge scale _clearance and redevelopment pro1ects, consideration should be given to staging of activities to permit development of new h_~using resources before dislocation of all families takes place. COMMERCIAL R ELOCAT ION Frequently, retail stores serving an urban renewal area may be displaced. Some of these are marginal operations that will be el_iminated in the process of dislocation. Those which are economically capable of remaining shoul~ be relocated within the project area; upgrading of the area will result in increased business for such firms. It is recommended generally in project planning that the ribbon-type co~mercial est~b lishments be eliminated except in the few in stances where they can be rehabilitated and provided with adequate off-street parking: If new retail facilities are planned for a pro1ect area, the utilization of effectively planned com mercial centers centrally located to their service areas should be stressed. In the case of service-type establishments or secondary commercial businesses, the flexibility of relocation is far greater. Many of these can be relocated either outside the project area or, for those who wish to remain, within the project. The important consideration, of course, is that displacement be accomplished with a minimum of business disturbance. INDUSTRIAL RELOCATION Relocation of industrial activities is a difficult matter. Some manufacturing plants find it as easy to move fifty miles as five blocks, and there is the danger that such firms will leave the city if required to relocate at all. It is important, therefore, that urban renewal project planning include an adequate program for relocating displaced industries within the city. RELOCATION ORGANIZATION Relocation functions will continue to be carried out as at present. Coordination should be provided by the Community Development Agency and the Inter-Agency Board.

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ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE UPDATING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE C.R.P. The City and County of Denver is in a constant state of change. Its population is changing in size and composition; technological progress and alteration of the economic structure will continue to occur in the future as in the past; the process of aging and obsolescence will con tinue. Consequently, the Denver C.R.P. must be a continuing process subject to constant review and updating. In order to carry out the up-dating process and in order to implement and coordinate the recommendations of the C.R.P., an administrative structure as described below was originally proposed in the C.R.P. report and has largely been implemented. ORGANIZATION WITHIN THE CITY ADMINISTRATION Three steps have been taken within the City Administration structure to assure the continued implementation of the C.R.P.: establishment of the Community Development Agency; establishment of an Inter-Agency Board; and establishment of a continuing responsibility for C.R.P. within the Planning Office. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY The Community Development Agency is di rectly responsible to the Mayor for the administration of all C.R.P. activities. In the execution of this responsibility, the agency is delegated the authority to direct and coordinate those city agencies involved in the C.R.P. and such other authorities necessary to accomplish C.R.P. objectives. INTER-AGENCY BOARD The Community Development Administrator acts as chairman of the Inter-Agency Board which board consists of a representative of the following agencies: Board of Water Commissioners, School Board, Housing Authority, Urban Renewal Authority, Metropolitan Council for Community Services, Denver Opportunity, Police Community Relations, Building Department, Federal Liaison Office, Department of Public Works, City Engineer, Sanitary Services Engineer, Traffic Engineer, Commission on Community Relations, Department of Health and Hospitals, Parks and Recreation Department, Planning Office, Welfare Department, Zoning Administration, Public Service Company, Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company, City Council, State of Colorado Division of Local Government, Federal Executive Board. The general function of this body is to establish, implement and coordinate overall administrative goals and objectives of the C.R.P. and establish action programs for submittal to the Mayor and Council. 253

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I 1. PLANNING OFFICE UPDATING C.R.P. activity on a continuing basis within the Planning Office is essential in order to: • Integrate C.R.P. activities with the comprehensive plan and with the capital improve ments budget; • Maintain, review and upgrade statistics; • Review general plans and programs for renewal projects, particularly for conservation areas, it being recognized that the prime re sponsibility for rehabilitation and redevelopment project planning would still lie with the Denver Urban Renewal Authority; • Act as liaison at the staff level between the Planning Board and the Urban Renewal Au thority. CITIZEN ORGANIZATION AND PARTICIPATION Citizen participation in urban renewal should be organized (or where already existing, strengthened) on three levels: neighborhood, community and city-wide. CITY-WIDE PARTICIPATION It is recommended that a group of key citizens (desirably within the structure of PRIDE) assume responsibility for city-wide participation in the C.R.P. Representation in the group should be broad, including members of economic, geographic, racial, religious interests, official boards and civic improvement associations. Committees and subcommittees of the group should be appointed for special assignments. The primary functions of a city-wide citizen participation group would be: • Provision of a medium for citizen participation in the development of plans for the city; 254 • Review of plans prepared by various city agencies for incorporation of full social, human, physical and economic resources; • Creation of a community climate favorable to forward-looking action by public and private groups; • Utilization of civic improvement associations in community planning projects to support and implement goals and particularly lend citizen support to C.R.P. conservation efforts. Staff services for the organization will be provided, at least initially, by the Denver Planning Office. Technical services also may be provided by other agencies. A strong working relationship should be maintained by this group with the Inter-Agency Board. COMMUNITY AND NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION In neighborhoods or communities in which C.R.P. efforts are scheduled, patterns for local neighborhod organization and citizen involvement should vary with the local situation. In residential areas, such as the North Central Community where many social agencies are already located, a coordinating neighborhood service center should be established. In residential areas where a single neighborhood agency exists, the Community Development Agency should work with the neighborhood agency to provide needed organization of residents of the project area.

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FINANCING THE C.R. P. FEDERAL-CITY JOINT FINANCING For those urban renewal projects which are eligible for financial assistance from the federal government, as stated earlier, it is normal for the federal government to bear 2 / 3 of the net cost and the city to bear 1 / 3. In determining the cost of a project, it is proper to include beside acquisition and clearance expenses, the monies spent for certain public improvements. Such improvements include schools, parks, streets, utilities and hospitals. If a city or some other public agency such as a school board pays the cost of public improve ments in an urban renewal area, such costs, within limitations, may be considered as part of the city's required 1 / 3 share of project financ ing. The limitation is that not all of the cost of a public improvement which serves an area considerably larger than that delineated for urban renewal treatment may be included as part of the city's share. The term used for improvement costs utilized as all or part of the city's share of the cost of an urban renewal project is eligible non-cash grants-in-aid or eligible non-cash credits. FINANCING ASSISTED C.R.P. PROJECTS The city's responsibility for all proposed fed e ally-assisted C.R.P. projects amounts to $58.8 million. Non-cash grants-in-aid credits are estimated to amount to $8.3 million, thus leaving the city with the need for a cash outlay of $50.5 million. Of this $50.5 million, $13.1 million is earmarked for public improvements, which monies may have to be spent quite independently of urban renwal activity. It is recommended that the city embark upon a program of approximately twenty years to accomplish the renewal work outlined in this report. An expenditure of some $2 million per year (including much work which should be done regardless of urban renewal) will finance this venture. FINANCING CONSERVATION C.R.P. PROJECTS It is estimated that expenditures required for local conservation renewal projects will amount to $1.2 million for staff and administrative costs of a 12-year program, and $15.3 million in needed capital improvements. These expenditures should be forthcoming from the Capital Improvements Budget of the city and from the Denver Public Schools budget. Federal aid re cently has been authorized for code enforcement activities, and this will reduce the local financing requirements. The key to Denver's ability to eliminate slums and blight and provide standard housing for the citizens rests on the community's skill and will ingness to undertake and maintain a local con servation program which will reverse the trend toward deterioration and blight and reduce the need for federal government-assisted projects in the future. If such a program is not undertaken, an additional 3,295 net acres or 9.5% of the city's area will be added to urban renewal needs in the next two decades. This new area of blig . ht will be larger than all C.R.P. area projects proposed by this report for the next twenty-year period. C.R.P. FINANCING IN RELATION TO RESOURCES In reviewing local C.R.P. needs in relation to the city's fiscal resources, anticipated expenditures and revenues, it was judged during the original C.R.P. study that there were sufficient financial resources available to undertake and maintain a C.R.P. sufficient to meet the total need over a 15to 20-year period without any major change in fiscal policies or new revenue sources. This report suggested that a total 20-year program could be financed through a combination of bond issues and pay-as-you-go capital improvements programs. It was suggested that large scale and expensive renewal activities such as the downtown C.R.P. and the complex of C.R.P. projects in the Five Points area be financed through bond issues. Other C.R.P. areas less costly and extensive could be scheduled and financed through the city's capital improvement budget at an amount which would not exceed $1 million per year. The recent allocation of substantial capital improvement funds to bond retirement probably has changed this picture. As recommended in the last section of this report, new financial resources will have to be developed to finance C.R.P. and the many other proposals of the comprehensive plan. 255

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PROJECT PRIORITY PROGRAMMING ASSISTED C.R.P. PROJECTS C.R.P. areas designated for rehabilitation and redevelopment, which areas are expected to re ceive major financial assistance from the federal government, have been appraised for their proper position in a priority listing: CBD-1 Skyline Project (approved), NC-5 Mitchell Project ( apprQved), NC-5 Hospital Park, NC-6 Five Points, NC-4 Wyatt. The largest and most serious blight problem in the city occurs in the Central Business District and in the North Central Community. A broad attack on blight in these areas is required to correct fully the problem and to pre vent blight from infecting other areas. The city already is committed to follow through and com plete renewal projects in both of these com munities. Failure to do so wiH in large measure detract from efforts already expended and leave unchecked the largest single area of slums and blight in the city. 256

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COMPILATION OF COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COSTS COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COSTS The table below is a compilation of costs of all comprehensive plan proposals. Item Schools Parks and Recreation Fire & Police Stations Libraries Central Area Municipal Bldgs. & Facilities Transfer Stations Transportation Facilities (Other than Freeways) Freeways Community Renewal Program Platte River Redevelopment Tributaries of the Platte River TOTALS $ TOTAL ESTIMATED COST 37,100,000 12,300,000 10,600,000 3,300,000 20,900,000 1,400,000 52,200,000 194,500,000 177,000,000 630,000,000 12,000,000 -------$1,151,300,000 COST RESPONSIBILITY of C.&C. of Denver 0 $ 6,500,000 10,600,000 3,300,000 20,900,000 1,400,000 40,200,000 0 51,000,000 83,000,000 6,000,000 -------$222,900,000 Inasmuch as each of the above categories of plan proposals and improvements is comprehensive and citywide in scope, there is a certain overlap in cost estimates between the Platte River Redevelopment Project, the Community Renewal Program and other capital improvements. Elimination of such overlap reduces the cost re sponsibility of the City and County of Denver to roughly $206, l 00,000 based on current con struction costs. 258

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METHODS OF FINANCING THE PLAN The following sources are available to the City of Denver to finance comprehensive plan costs. LOCAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS A local improvement district is a device for recovering part or all of the cost of an improve ment from property owners whose land and buildings are uniquely benefitted by the proj ect. The amount of the assessment may not exceed the amount by which the property is increased in value. Under the Denver City Charter, costs may be shared by the city and the bene fitted property owners in proportion to the rela tive value of the project to the adjacent land and to the community. "PAY-AS-YOU-GO" PROGRAMS Capital improvements which l) do not uniquely benefit adjacent property owners; 2) do not produce revenue adequate . to amortize the costs of operation, maintenance, principal and in terest; and 3) do not require a single expenditure of funds in excess of roughly $1,000,000 are appropriately financed on a "pay-as-you-go" basis. City sales tax is the principal source for financing the "pay-as-you-go" program at the present time. While the revenue fluctuates to some degree with economic conditions, the general trend in revenue is upward. REVENUE BONDS Revenue bonds are municipal bonds secured only by the anticipated revenues which will be derived from the anticipated improvement. As a result, the factor of risk must be low in order to market the bonds at a reasonable rate of in terest. The principal use of revenue bonds in Denver has been for the improvement of Stapleton International Airport. GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS Expensive capital improvement projects which have a long life are financed most appropriately by general obligation bonds . This form of financing is used also when many related small projects (such as street construction) must be ac complished in less time than would be required with "pay-as-you-go" financing. General obligation bonds carry the full faith and credit of the city and are secured by the power to levy ad valorem taxes. The City' Charter limits the amount of principal on general obligation bonds outstanding at any one time to 3 per cent of the assessed valuation of the city. GRANTS -1 N. A -ID Grants-in-Aid are grants from one unit of government to match expenditures from another unit of government or other agency in accordance with some specified formula. Among the grants-in-aid available for financing capital improvement projects are the following: open space and parkways (federal), urban renewal projects (federal), and improvement of mass transit facilities (federal to the transit agency). 259

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FISCAL POSITION AND TRENDS OF DENVER Professor Reuben A. Zubrow, Department of Economics, University of Colorado, has made an economic feasibility study for redevelopment of the Platte River Valley. Said study contains an appraisal of the fiscal position and fiscal trends of Denver which is relevant to the entire comprehensive plan. Parts of the Zubrow Report are cited below. FISCAL ANALYSIS OF DENVER COMPARED TO 40 SIMILAR SIZED AREAS IN THE U.S. As a result of a comparative analysis of the Denver Metropolitan Area in relation to 40 other metropolitan areas of similar size in the U.S., the following conclusions have been drawn: 260 • The Denver Metropolitan Area, with a population of about one million, is economically among the most prosperous of similar sized urban areas in the United States today. • The Denver Metropolitan Area is not a high public spending urban area, but rather is average when compared with other areas of similar size. The Denver Area direct general public expenditures of $11.00 per $100 of adjusted gross income in 1962 was 7 per cent below the nationa I average of $11 . 92. • There were significant disparities between the Denver Area's expenditures for major public functions compared with the averages of the 40 areas investigated. Public welfare and transportation outlays for the Denver Area were relatively high. Expenditures for sanitation and sewage, health and hospitals and interest on debt were all at least 25 per cent below the averages of 40 areas investigated. I I ' I l '

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• The Denver Metropolitan Area is not a high local tax area, but rather is average in both revenue structure and tax burden when compared with the 40 other areas investigated. • The Denver Metropolitan Area's public debt outstanding at the end of 1962 was average when compared with the other urban areas. • The City and County of Denver has experienced a declining share of both population and economic growth of its metropolitan area and of the state as a whole since 1957. The rate of decline has accelerated since 1960. While Denver's share of the metropolitan area's population and retail sales declined by about 15 per cent, the decline in the tax income share was significantly larger-25 per cent since 1957. • General expenditures for the core city of Denver (excluding school districts, the Water Board and State and federal welfare grants) as a ratio of total metropolitan outlays were 25 per cent higher than the average for the group as a whole. By these measurements Den ver provides a relatively higher percentage of public services to its urban area than comparable Western core cities. • The public expenditures disparities between the City of Denver and the rest of its metro politan area when classified on a functional basis were significantly greater than other comparable Western urban areas. In the cases of transportation facilities, health and hospitals, housing and urban renewal Den ver's expenditures were at least 45 per cent higher than the Western core city average. • The core City of Denver has a relatively heavier tax burden than its surrounding suburban communities when compared with the average for comparable Western areas. Denver core city per capita revenues of $103 exceeded the core city average by 17 per cent, while the general revenues for Denver suburbia were only $86 per capita, or 31 per cent less than the average. Similarly, the Den ver core city per capita property tax was $44, or 5 per cent greater than the average, while the Denver suburban per capita tax was $56, or 25 per cent less than the average. DENVER FISCAL TRENDS An investigation of the fiscal structure of the City and County of Denver over the period 1955 to 1965 has revealed the following: • Total general expenditures for the City and County of Denver almost doubled during the past decade, increasing at 6.2 per cent per annum-an average rate of growth signifi cantly greater than the corresponding rates of less than 1.0 and 2.8 per cent for the city's population and income respectively. • Total general revenues ' for Denver almost doubled from 1955 to 1965, increasing at an average annual rate of 6.3 per cent. How ever, approximately one-third of the increase was due to upward revisions in sales and property tax rates, and only two-thirds can be attributed to the growth in the city's economic base. • The City of Denver will be confronted with an ever-widening fiscal gap that could approach $100 million annually by 1985 if the present general revenue structure and expenditure patterns continue over the next two decades. The magnitudes of the projected dollar gaps between revenues and expenditures which will confront the City and County of DeFiver dur ing the next twenty years will be reduced by the extent that -the economic growth of the city over the next two decades exceeds that of the past decade, -increased efficiency in municipal government retards the rate of growth in public expenditures, 261

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262 -improved tax administration increases the revenue yields from present tax sources, -erosion of existent tax bases, partic ularly in the case of property taxes, is effectively arrested, -increased revenue reliance is placed on user charges and fees, thus enabling the city to participate more fully in the economic prosperity of the entire metro politan area, -the State Legislature enacts a more equitable basis for allocating among the counties public utility assessments determined by the State Tax Com mission, -the State of Colorado shares more equitably its revenues with the city than has been the case in the past; and federal assistance to cities in the form of direct urban grants and shared taxes is increased significantly over the levels of the past decade. • In the absence of such developments, the City and County of Denver, in order to close this emerging fiscal gap from potential local revenue sources, would have to more than double its present property tax rates, or more than treble its present sales tax rates, or impose a broad-based income tax with a rate in ex cess of 2 per cent of adjusted gross income.

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t,.,) ow GENERAL REVENUE and EXPENDITURES of the CITY of DENVER Projected at Constant Annual Rates of Growth (ooo,oooi FISCAL YEARS 1955-1985 $ 340 320 300 280 260 240 220 200 180 160 140 120 100 BO I l/ $333.~ / / Expenditures projected al O $ 2499,V constant annual role of 6.2% 1 /.., 1232.3, _ .... V"" _,,,,,.,.1/ ,~ $184 .~l/., ~--~$188.; vv -_.v ,., I V _,, 'Ri 1./ _, __, ... $/524 \ evenue projected al a Revenue "Growth Path" of 6.3%, $136.4/' _,,. constant annual rate of 4.3%, mcluding rate changes ') /[/ i..-.,, _,.. assummg no rate change I ,,, -$123.5T11--t-t-+-++-+--+-~LL_J k:::..-" ~t:--" A ),)"/' IMPLICIT GAP= $179 .rt' ~v ,JI' i.,,.,_.i.-~---.--,' .,,,. ,..~ --f _:_ Revenue "Growth Poth" of 4.3%, I..,"" - • --r.....,,., hod there been no rote changes 60 40 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985

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FINANCING THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN Given the city's present fiscal situation and the fact that the financing of capital improvements should be allocated over time to correspond with the distribution of benefits, it appears that the most effective means of financing the com prehensive plan will be by general obligation bonds, even if it requires the raising of the city's present legal debt limit. In light of the preceding analysis of the city's present and projected fiscal condition, it does not appear feasible to finance the city's cost of the comprehensive plan from current tax reven ues. As already noted, with no further change in the pattern of general expenditures it is highly possible that the city will have to raise its present taxes or enact a city income tax during the next two decades in order to meet the emerging fiscal needs. The current arbitrary limitations on debt and expenditure policy are outmoded. When the city charter with its present 3 per cent debt limitation was adopted in 1904, the State Constitution required that property be assessed at 100 per cent of "full cash value" for taxation purposes. This was not followed and the actual ratio of assessment to market value in relative terms has declined to its current 30 per cent because of changes in assessment criteria, procedures and statutory provisions. 264 During the past decade, while Denver's public needs as measured by general expenditures have risen by more than 60 per cent, the total dollar assessed valuation and corresponding dol lar debt limit for Denver have grown by only 12 per cent, and actually have declined since 1964. In contrast, the price inflation index for State and local government has risen by 24 per cent during this same period. It is evident that if Denver is to undertake the necessary capital improvements deferred during the past decade as well as finance its share of the costs for the implementation of the comprehensive plan, the 1904 charter limitation on municipal debt will have to be amended. This is completely justified, since no major American city has a limitation more severe than Denver's; virtually all other cities are permitted much greater bond sales. It goes without saying that all avenues for obtaining State and federal grants-in-aid should be explored for financing elements of the plan. Surely the costs of accomplishing capital pro posals of the comprehensive plan-about $10,-000,000 a year over a 20-year period-can be met by a city as prosperous as Denver. The millions of Denverites yet to come may reasonably expect us to find the means to do this, that we might pass on to them a city as great as those in the past left us. I I I ' t I 'I !l I I ! ' I I ' ' '

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Oh beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears! from "America, the Beautiful" by Katharine Lee Bates

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A number of references were made in Pa'rt 4 of this document to environment features of comprehensive plan elements. The Denver citizen in his day-to-day life, however, doesn't experience the urban scene as separate aspects of the city master plan. Rather he is aware of the civic situation as a broader composite of the many more influences-visual, aural, psychic, etc.-that go to make up the total framework of a living pattern. Webster defines environment as "the aggregate of all the external conditions and influences affecting the life and development of ... human behavior, society, etc." It is in this broader sensebut with emphasis on visual aspects-that Denver environment is considered here. The point of view is that of the individual human being, who in the firJal analysis is the ultimate object of all plan proposals and aspirations. The subject of urban environment is an elusive one, defiant of statistical analysis or re duction to dollars and cents comparisons. Any treatment of the matter is bound to be more subjective than, for example, determination of park land adequacies or the cost of slum clearance . . Nevertheless, the importance of environmental influence in llrban development is increasing at a rate which makes imperative its consideration as a separate subject in any serious comprehensive planning effort. Implementation of the various plan elements described in Part 4 should occur within the broad concept of enhancing Denver's positive environment featur_ es and reducing or eliminating negative features. .. . . . , : , . . ' :1 ' I I *f . . ll . ' .. ' ' ' ' 1 ; \ t . . I'' !--:':'269

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PRESENT DENVER ENVIRONMENT The living environment of Denver is many things to many people. Each person, in his unique living pattern, experiences a separate portion of the urban scene. In this sense no comprehensive appraisal can be made of the reactions of some half million Denverites to their surroundings. It is possible, however, to identify areas of environmental influence and character which affect all Denver inha•bitants at some time and some inhabitants at all times. Denver has both positive and negative features of its environment. In this regard, when compared with many older, more congested cities in other parts of the country, Denver on balance stands well among longtime residents and newcomers alike. An appraisal of posi tive and negative influences, however, shows clearly that the same adverse influences have severely damaged livability in other cities are also at work in Denver. The fact that time and other pressures have not yet produced severely unpleasant conditions here is no valid excuse for "head in sand" or "let George do it" attitudes but a challenge to keep these negative influences from exerting their power. Positive features of Denver environment fall into the following categories: • The most significant of Denver's environmental elements is its location at the foot of the Rockies. In any broad view of the metropolitan area, this strong topographical feature at its western edge predominates. Buildings are sited to command views of the moun tains. Highways are designed to provide access to mountain recreation areas. Much of the Denver economy is related to tourism drawn through the city en route to the moun tains. Within ready sight from numerous city viewpoints, the mountains provide for Den verites a sense of place, orientation, of adventure, escape and the everchanging wonder of nature. • The climate does much to provide a positive environment. Winter severity is tempered by prevailing westerly winds descending from the mountains. The coldest winter storms are usually quickly dispelled by a bright warming trend. A day when the sun fails to shine in Denver is an exception. Yet the low humidity summer air is rarely oppressive, particularly since afternoon thunderstorms frequently provide a cooling respite. • In a geographical setting where the annual rainfall is classified semi-arid, Denver has managed to become a green "oasis" in contrast to much of its naturally brown and gray surroundings. At the same time plantings provide some of the m 'ost visually satisfying ele ments in the cityscape. Denver's well landscaped parks and parkways are among its most prized assets, supplying open space in the urban congestion, recreation in the midst of continuous competition and human scale greenery in the midst of concrete, masonry and bitumen. • Denver cannot claim to have fostered successfully an indigenous architecture. Certain buildings and building complexes, however, can clearly qualify as significant architecture and valuable civic assets. The Capitol Hill area still contains impressive mansions built around the turn of the century when successful miners and developers vied with one another in home building for a position among the "beautiful people of Denver." Denver's Civic Center, spawned in the City Beautiful movement, is largely eclectic classicism but provides a monumentality appropriate to government, green open space in an intensely developed portion of the city and an important point of orientation for permanent residents and visitors alike. 270 ' I ' 1 1

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I 272 Downtown Denver is beginning to show a potential for becoming an environmental asset to the city. The Denver-U.S. National Bank Center and the Hilton-May-~&F compl~x have set fine standards for contemporary commercial development. The Hilton Hotel in particular has had much influence on subsequent downtown buildings. Recent additions to the federal government complex have gone far in raising the level of government architecture. The new Brown Palace West addition skillfully respects the traditional character of the old Brown Palace Hotel. The Larimer Square redevelopment, as well, displays respect and appreciation for Denver's traditions and older architecture. Examples of far better than routine residential architecture may be found in Denver's Polo Grounds, Belcaro and Country Club Districts. Isolated examples elsewhere are also noteworthy. In ints l 00-year-plus history Denver has developed a number of landmarks, both monumental and functional, which are well deserving of preservation not only as pieces of good architecture and sculpture but as ties back into Denver's colorful Western history. Probably the most significant single piece of contemporary Denver architecture is actually outside of the city limits although it is located in a nearby Denver mountain park. The Red Rocks outdoor amphitheatre has achieved broad recognition by the architect's highly skilled use of natural rock formations within which to integrate a facility for theatrical and musical presentations. • Denver also presents an image of cleanliness and spaciousness. Its buildings and streets, by and large, do not exhibit the griminess and disrepair prevalent in many other major cities. Furthermore, by comparison with other cities, Denver yet is relatively orderly in terms of development, and free of oppressive congestion and overcrowding. Negative features of the Denver environment may be placed into the following broad categories: • The Platte River Valiey, having suffered a serious flood in June of 1965, drew city-wide attention to itself and its numerous deficiencies. Section F, Part 4 of this document reviews the problems, environmental and otherwise, in some detail. • Though Denver is still a relatively young city, it is showing serious signs of urban decay and blight. Section H, Part 4 of this document reviews the situation. Urban blight is a serious social and economic problem for the community, and it is also a strong negative influence on the total city environment. Even those in the city who never actually enter a blighted area are subconsciously aware of its presence, are aware of responsibility to make some improvement and recognize the possibility that at some future date they may be caught in a similar environment themselves. • Several commercial arterial streets have become a heavy visual and environmental lia bility for the city. Congestion, unkempt structures, a tangle of advertising devices, a chaotic land use pattern, generally poor architecture (inherited at least partially from the days before zoning and comprehensive planning) combine to provide as ugly and vulgar an aspect as may be found on the current urban scene. Denver presents auto visitors on many routes with an offensive visual greeting completely contrary to its otherwise warmhearted aspect of welcome. • Increasing widespread use of the auto has had adverse influence on the environment of Denver, a problem common to all American cities. The creation of many arterial streets in residential areas and the increase of traffic along other residential streets has brought noise, dirt, fumes and inimical influence to residential developments previously accustomed to a quiet, undisturbed atmosphere. Particularly in apartment neighborhoods, the lack of off-street parking has resulted in serious congestion and a decline in desirable residential environment. • In the aggregate, the level of architecture in Denver, both private and public, is not outstanding. In any specific building category exceptions may be cited, but the overall im pression of Denver's architecture is not that of a city which holds good design in high esteem. I I' i •

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274 Much of the post-World War II residential development in Denver has been of the uninteresting tract subdivision type fostered by mass building techniques and loan policies of public and private agencies. The all too common box type of apartment structure similarly represents an undesirable minimum in terms of residential design. This type of apartment has only in the last few months been giving way to a new trend toward a certain historical romanticism, although architectural excellence of these is a debatable question. Through a relatively high percentage of commercial development in the city occurs under the direction of an architect, far too often there is little encouragement of good design by the client or, for that matter, by the public, so that no genuine appreciation of human values can be detected in the result. The application of prevailing architctural cliches does nothing to dispel the impression of mediocrity. Even though progress has been made in the level of industrial architecture and the environmental qualities of certain industrial districts, there yet remain areas such as in the Platte River Valley both old and new examples of uninspired industrial architecture and environment. Archaic thinking which relegates industrial development to a "stepchild" category can hardly be given a position in the competition among cities and States for industrial tax base and employment opportunities. Mediocrity in public building may be found in Denver at all levels of government. It is encouraging that the city recently has stimulated architectural excellence in the proposed convention exhibition hall and Denver General Hospital by architectural competitions. It is also encouraging that the evolution of the downtown federal complex has been of a high architectural quality. Nonetheless, much remains to be done to raise the level of government architecture although the trend toward excellence is hopefully a permanent one. The common attitude that any new construction is necessarily an asset must be replaced by a desire for excellence by the owner, builder and architect. Where on individual building sites there is an inviting chance for enhancement of the building and improvement of neighborhood environment through skilled landscaping, far too often poor arrangement of plantings, or none at all, results in only a lost opportunity. Often cooperation would result in both dollar savings and greater compatibility and beauty in plantings. • Air pollution in Denver has become noticeable in the past few years, particularly for those who remember continuous crystal clear atmosphere and Denver's reputation as a clean air city. Pollution of the Platte River is no less defensible a condition even though perhaps less noticeable. • The degree to which outdoor advertising and its customers should use the streets and public places of the city as a vehicle for the exploitation of commercial pursuits has never been clearly defined. To those who feel that the city is essentially the living environment of its citizens, outdoor advertising in some areas already exceeds reasonable bounds. Thus, although the positive elements in Denver's environment still are more aeparent than the negative in the view of most Denverites, the excellent quality of life which long has characterized Denver faces strong challenges today. ' [ ' r I I I I r I

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DENVER ENVIRONMENT 198S Indications of environmental conditions expected in Denver as it evolves toward 1985 may be gleaned from certain trends and opinions. • In a survey of a cross section of some 250 Denver citizens contacted in 1962, 46 per cent felt that growth in Denver since World War II had been of poor quality. Twenty-three per ce\!lt felt the qaulity of Denver growth had been only average. • Atl surveys, national and local, point to an increase in the use and absolute number of autos which may be expected in the future throughout the nation's urban areas. Thus, air pollution, congestion and other adverse environmental influences related to the automobile may be expected to continue at an increased rate unless significant technological improvements are forthcoming. • Among recent articles and comments authored by experts on the urban condition, the following are of significance since they illustrate the kind and depth of forces that create and sustain the negative features of the urban environment of American cities. 276 -Perry Prentice, Vice-President of Time, Inc. in November, 1965 Architectural Forum writes in the article "The Death of Cities:" "When we find a notorious example where free enterprise and the profit motive have failed to meet a complex human need, I believe very strongly that ... we should try to find out why private enterprise failed in this particular case and see if we cannot eliminate ,the cause of the failure. "I think we can all agree that the two most notorious examples of this failure are: First, the failure of private enterprise to provide good homes for the urban poor (i.e., the failure to wipe out slums); second, the failure of private enterprise to use urban and suburban land wisely and economically (i.e., the creation of urban blight and suburban sprawl). "The reason for these failures is not far to seek. The reason-not quite the only reason but by far and away the biggest reason-is that today's tax policies (federal as well as local) harness the profit motive backwards when it comes to land use, land development and redevelopment. "These tax policies make slums the most profitable of all housing investments; they often make it more profitable to let property decay than to keep it up or improve it; they often make it more profitable to misuse or under-use land than to put it to its optimum use; they .give speculation in vacant land such preferential tax treatment that (to quote an article in Fortune) 'they set (such speculation) apart from the market action of supply and demand.'" -Secretary of the Interior Udall at the 1965 Aspen Design Conference said: "We are obsessed with growth and progress but not enough with quality ... The quality of our environment has declined each time we make an economic advance ... We need a blending of the works of man and nature ... We need business invest ment in beauty ... We need politicians, scientists and designers to develop in concert the elements of a quality environment." -Robert Weaver, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, echoed Secretary Udall's statement when he urged that in urban development matters we give the "d" in design comparable position to the "d" in dollar. -Kenneth Galbraith, speaking to the American Institute of Architects at the 1966 convention in Denver, urged that beauty be given a priority comparable to that given to economics in building for urban needs. I ,: 1 I I " i l l I I •

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-Senator Joseph S. Clark of Pennsylvania, former mayor of Philadelphia, in addressing the Senate on August 15, 1966, maintained that U.S. cities have been unable to finance programs to combat slums, sickness, ignorance, pollution, choking traffic and the turmoil that breeds racial violence. He said that while the federal government has adopted the graduated income tax, cities have attempted to struggle with regressive excise and property taxs. "The sad fact is that competition among the States is so keen that States are reluctant to shift the burden to progressive taxes," Clark said. "As a result, States are subjected to a species of 'corporate blackmail' under which proposals for tax reform are greeted by threats from busi nessmen to relocate in other areas where the business climate is less hostile. In the end both State and local governments are generally compelled to cave in, putting greater and greater loads upon limited, regressive and inequitable tax structures." Each of these individuals recognizes the damage being done our environments by the all prevailing attitude that cities and States must rapidly grow in quantity at all costs. The need for growth in qu(.!ity to balance grow-in-quantity thinking is obvious. • The trend toward expan~ed federal government participation in urban problems is cause for hope that more resources will be forthcoming than have been available in the past. Reapportionment of State legislatures gives hope that the urban dweller in the future may get a fair share of state services and considerations. • The high educational level of the Denver citizenry (second highest of urban areas in the country) is a strong indication that the electorate will support politically and financially an effective program for improvement of the Denver environment. Such a program would be in keeping with and appropriate to an extension of the policies and programs of Mayor Speer when he embarked on his famous era of civic improvements, producing assets all Denverites have been enjoying for many years. On balance, considering the many forces expected to be acting on the Denver environ ment in the future, it can be assumed that, as with a great many efforts, improvement in the Denver environment will take place in direct proportion to the level of intelligent, sustained effort. Current efforts have not been adequate to assure the excellence in living environment which Denver citizens require to enjoy full, satisfying lives and the economic pros perity which they have a right to expect. Denver cannot do the whole job by itself; proper State and national legislation is required, for example, to assure adequate and equitable taxation to meet the requirements of excellence. Nonetheless, the most important key to improvement of environment lies in dedicated striving by Denver citizens. 277

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DENVER ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES 278 KIND OF CITY FOR FUTURE DENVER Denver community objectives, as described in Part 2 of this document, are directly related to the total environment of the city. The basic concept of a city of excellence evolved from the objectives investigation which carries within its meaning first and foremost the idea of excellence of living environment. It is, after all, this environment which affects directly the ability of man to achieve his proper place in the world, and planning is first and fore most concerned with the welfare of man. Specifically in this regard the community objectives program cites: EXCELLENCE IN LIVING ENVIRONMENT Denver of the future above all should be a community with an outstanding environment for living. The advantages of its natural climate should not be diminished by air pollution. Its unparalleled recreational opportunities should be enhanced by ready access to the mountains and by the preservation of major open spaces both within the metropolitan area and in adjacent mountain areas. I ' 1 1 II ia D l i l I I

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SPECIFIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES Many of the specific community objectives of Denver are related to environment. Specific objectives fall into the following categories: LOCATIONAL SETTING To preserve Denver's historical western heritage. NATURAL OR PHYSICAL SETTING To preserve the natural advantages of Denver's climate; To make the most of Denver's setting as a plains city at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. URBAN SETTING To strengthen Denver's excellence in man-made works and activities; To establish and promote specific character and identity for functional areas of the city, such as the downtown area; To preserve and improve the environment of all areas of the city; To provide properly located and well designed public facilities; To prevent and eliminate all blight. PRIORITY ACTION PROGRAMS Certain community objectives selected for priority action programs are directly related to improvement of environment, as follows: • High priority must be given to prevention and elimination of air pollution since nothing could have a more adverse impact upon the living environment of Denver than fouling of the atmosphere. Efforts to learn the sources of pollution must be intensified and vigorous control measures enforced, even if this involves substantial cost to individuals and government. • Since recreational opportunities are so important to the image and living environment of Denver, planning for highways must reflect the need for improving access to mountain and other recreation areas. • Means must be found to acquire major public open spaces around Denver. Such open spaces should be located consistently with the overall urban design framework. • Aesthetic quality of the community should be enhanced by: (1) legislation to help protect landmark structures in the community; (2) legislation to preserve the views of the moun tains from certain parks or public areas; (3) allocation for landscaping and commissioned works of art of a small but definite percentage of funds for significant public projects; (4) more effort to insure handsome bridges and structures, and adequate design and landscaping for our major street system, particularly the freeways; (5) intensive research on plan!ings requi.ring little or no irrigation; (6) enlistment of private groups in creating fol!ndat1ons or funds for the purchase of works of art and other items to enhance the beauty and quality of the city. 279

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THE PLAN AND PROGRAM FOR IMPROVEMENT OF DENVER ENVIRONMENT Opportunities for improving the urban environment in Denver :xre almost unlimited. They range from a new coat of paint on front porches to the extensive Avondale Urban Renewal Project; from clean-up, paint-up, fix-up campaigns to development of a Cherry Creek Parkway; from acquisition and development of City Park to the Harvard Gulch Improvement project. The problem in defining a program for improvement of Denver environment is not one of finding opportunities; rather it is a problem of identifying the areas or projects which will produce the most benefit to the public welfare for the resources the community may reasonably be anticipated to expend. PROGRAMS ALREADY INITIATED Many of the comprehensive plan programs cited elsewhere in this document are directly related to enhancemnt of the urban environment: • New transportation routes, including freeways, can enhance the environment if located with sensitivity and respect for existing traditions and the social and physical structure of the community. The concentration of heavy volumes of traffic into specific routes or corridors can relieve traffic congestion now building up on other streets to the detriment of residential and other areas which should be quiet and secluded. Major transportation routes, to be environmental assets, must be carefully and sensitively located to avoid damaging neighborhood and community integrity. The development of parkways as prescribed in transportation proposals of this document will 'be an obvious asset to the com munity environment. • Programs and policies of the Residential Land Use Plan can go far toward enhancing city environment. An orderly land use pattern with a minimum of intermixture of incompatible uses is at the very core of good urban design and beauty. The neighborhood planning program will devote attention to many details of potential improvement long overlooked for lack of resources. The environmental.benefits from implementation of the Community Renewal Program and activities of the Community Development Agency-are too obvious to mention. The Fringe Area Planning Program, though seriously limited in jurisdiction, can help to reduce land use chaos at city boundaries. • New public facilities, including schools, parks, libraries, fire stations can be designed with skill and sensitivity to the neighborhood in which they are located providing obvious functional and visual assets. Often they constitute a focal point or important element in the neighborhood composition around which residents can orient themselves and develop a sense of community. 280 Attention to the improvement of gulches in the south and west portions of the city offers a particularly good opportunity to turn a civic liability into an asset. I !,_ r l J Ii I l I i j !

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• An ambitious program to improve the condition, function and environment of Denver's strip commercial arterials would do more than any other single project to improve the image of the city, the pride of its citizens and the pleasure of visitors. The ~eed for _an urban design and environmental study for Downtown Denver has been cited earlier. Other commercial districts, particularly shopping centers and additions to shopping cen ters, if located according to plan proposals and developed in an orderly, logical fash ion, can reduce to a minimum the possible incompatibility with residential areas. Present substandard shopping centers should either be improved or phased out of existence. • The potential for environmental improvement in the Platte River Valley and in ot~er. in dustrial areas of the city is great. Programs cited in this document offer almost unlimited opportunities. Besides comprehensive plan proposals, other programs as well are already under way which will have a positive effect on the city environment. These include: • Efforts at both the city and State level have been initiated to curb 'air pollution. Suc cess thus far in solving this problem may be somewhat limited, but the effort is steadily increasing. • Local legislation is currently pending to provide machinery by which opportunities for preservation of landmark structures may be improved. • Proposals for the preservation of mountain views from certain city vantage points have been prepared. PROPOSED PROGRAMS IMPROVEMENT OF THE URBAN DESIGN FRAMEWORK Concept of an overall urban design framework for the Denver Metropolitan Area has been reviewed in the first pages of Part 4 of this document. Evolution of such a concept is of foremost importance for the environmental quality of the community. Through development of the concept of the Platte River Valley and the Rocky Mountains as the two most dominant natural elements in the region, a meaningful form may be evolved for the framework of the region out of which a design pattern for subordinate parts may be prepared. Such an urban design framework would enhance the citizen's orientation to his surroundings, would enhance his sense of position in the community and would go far toward improving the unique identity •of Denver. The local chapter of the American Institute of Architects has recently formed a committee on urban design. This group, together with representatives from other design professions in the metropolitan area, should pursu.e with the various planning agencies in the region the development of a metropolitan urban design framework. 282 IMPROVEMENT OF DENVER ARCHITECTURE Opportunities for improvement of Denver architecture fall into two broad categories, public and private. PUBLIC STRUCTURES Public structures usually develop under the advice or direction of an architect. The quality of functional and visual design of some of these is excellent; others are mediocre. Many public projects, particularly those that fall into the civil engineering category, have been developed with concern exclusively for engineering design, and little attention has been given to their effect on the urban environment. ,i l I II I \ I 1 I '

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PRIVATE STRUCTURES Though there are many examples of good architecture in Denver, the broad climate of architectural appreciation in the city is not one to produce a predominant level of excel lence. Most structures are conceived, evolved and built almost totally independent of other structures in their vicinity. Buildings which could be important focal points were they proper-ly sited go almost unnoticed. PROPOSALS The Urban Environment Subcommittee of the Planning Board, together ~ith an expanded staff of the Planning Office, should perform the following functions to improve the level of urban design and architectural quality: • Review plans for all developments by all agencies of the city, said review to take place at the earliest inception stage of the project. Object of review would be to suggest procedures or specific designs by which architectural quality would be improved, further architectural harmony would be realized and opportunities for improved site planning and development of integrated building complexes could be seized. In engineering proj ects (bridges, highways, etc.) this group, working with engineers, would provide a valuable "design team" approach. State and federal building projects similarly could come under the purview of this group. • Be alert to opportunities to integrate private development projects into significant build ing complexes. Suggest ways of preventing or reducing architectural disharmonies. • Offer urban design advice to landowners on such comprehensive plan programs as the redevelopment of commercial strip arterial streets. • such other advice to both the private and public sectors of the community as would improve city environment. STREET TREE PLANTING During the administration of Mayor Speer the city, together with certain private interests of the community, established an ambitious program for the planting of street trees. It was this program, along with the development of parks and parkways, which has given Denver its present green "oasis" character. Recent and current efforts by the city to maintain or enhance its character of greenery can in no way be called comparable to earlier programs. Annual expenditures for street tree planting have rarely been over $10,000 per year. Figuring an average cost of $20.00 per tree, figuring some 20 to 24 trees installed in an average city block, this expenditure will permit street tree planting for some 100 acres. At the same time, in the past six years the city has been annexing new lands at the rate of 2,500 acres annually. The city's budgetary allotment for street tree planting will cover roughly four per cent of new lands being annexed yearly. And simultaneously street trees are being removed from older portions of the city with minimum regard for replacement. The city should substantially increase its budget and program for street tree planting and/ or encourage a comprehensive street tree planting program with trees supplied by private interests. In earlier days of the city the Denver Tramway Company supplied trees for planting; in more recent times banks and savings and loan companies have seen fit to distribute free saplings to Denver citizens but with no particular plan for their planting. It would normally be the jurisdiction of the City Parks Department to pursue a street tree planting program. The Urban Environment Subcommittee might also assist. Investigations into fe~sibility of "dry land" planting (use of gravel, marble chips, bould~rs, plants. re'!um~g little water) s~ould be pursu~d to permit the limited supply of water in our semi-arid climate to accomplish the most environmental benefit. 284 I cl ll l • 1 l I I I

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IMPROVEMENT OF SITE LANDSCAPING The Urban Environment Subcommittee should bring to the attention of Denver property owners the value of good landscaping design and installation. The Subcommittee could act as a clearing house in referring property owners to appropriate landscape architects; the Subcommittee could also provide, with assistance of the City Parks Department, information of proper plant materials for the Denver climate together with suggestions for locations and designs for the do-it-yourself gardener. LEGISLATIVE ACTION The Urban Environment Subcommittee should bring to the attention of the State Legisla ture, as well as appropriate officials of the City Administration, possible changes in the basic taxing structure to reduce the bad results of which Mr. Perry Prentice writes. SMALL PARKS ACQUISITION The priority objective of acquisition of large parks in the Denver Metropolitan Area has already been cited. There is a particular need as well for the acquisition of small parks throughout the city, particularly in the downtown area and in areas developed with relatively high density apartment structures. The Urban Environment Subcommittee should make recommendations and proposals on this matter. CREATION OF DESIGN PANEL At an early date the Planning Board should create a Design Panel of local experts to assist the Urban Environment staff in its work on the program as cited here. The Design Panel would be composed of qualified architects, landscape architects and urban designers. It would supply advice, design ideas and schemes and support for recommendations on specific environment projects and problems. CONTROL OF ADVERTISING SIGNS It is obvious to all Denver citizens that the city has, for all practical purposes, exercised little control of advertising signs along commercial arterial strips, especially in B-4 zone dis tricts. Control of signs on such streets is only of a token nature and has done little if any good in preventing the visual chaos currently prevalent. A sincere and continuing program of improving our commercial arterials will have to incorporate a meaningful limitation of advertising sign display lest a great deal of other ef fort expended on the problem be wasted. The Urban Environment Subcommittee will need to marshal forces and public opinion if any progress is to be made in this area. There is a great need for improvement of the environment in other areas of the city through reasonable control of advertising signs-all of which is not to suggest complete elimination of advertising signs. 286 ' I I ' I ' f ' I I ,

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VISUAL IMPROVEMENT OF POWER AND TELEPHONE LINES It has long been recognized that the installation underground of power and telephone lines has provided a significant improvement to the cityscape, particularly in residential sub divisions. Possibilities of further such installation throughout the city should be investigated by the Urban Environment Subcommittee. COMMUNITY EDUCATION The greatest single impetus to an improved urban environment will come from a climate of public opinion which appreciates excellence in living surroundings and is willing to express knowledgeable opinions on the subject. Such a climate can lead all segments of the community-public, secular, commercial-in the direction of contributing in all building projects toward furthering of city excellence. Efforts should be made on a continuing basis by the Urban Environment Subcommittee to bring to the attention of the public current news and ideas relative to improvement of the urban environment. All mass news media should be encouraged to participate. Opportunities for public participation should be provided. Establishment of an architectural or urban design critic on one or both of the Denver daily newspapers should be encouraged. All opportunities for improving the visual character and quality of the city scene should be brought to the attention of the public. An educational program in the schools would be of particular value for long-range city character. The business community, possessing the re sources to affect environmental improvement, should be made clearly aware of its opportunities and responsibilities. ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROGRAM The Urban Environment Subcommittee and an expanded Urban Environment staff in the Planning Office would administer the above program in the relationship that has been established by ordinance between the Planning Board and the Planning Office staff. To properly carry out the task, the Planning Office staff should be expanded to include several urban designers, architects and persons skilled in mass communications techniques. 287

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288 DENVER 1985-THE CHALLENGE AND THE OPPORTUNITY Denver, in 1967, is not at a particular crossroads; nor does it face at this time much more urgent or crucial issues than normally prevail. At the same time, even on a nationwide basis, there is an ever growing realization that problems of urbanization demand strong attention. The federal government and many citizens of national influence have taken the position that improving the quality of urban life is the most critical problem facing the nation today. There is clear evidence that our free economyr for all its great advantages, by itself falls short of producing the quality of urban life of which this country is capable. Therefore, the need continually is becoming clearer for concerted community action under vigorous, imaginative, local initiative and leadership to make the cities of this country as outstanding examples of excellence as we have produced in a number of other fields. This is a challenge which a city of Den ver's capabilities and promise must accept. The Athenians of classical Greece faced up to this kind of responsibility with the following underlying philosophy: " ... we will strive increasingly to quicken the public sense of public duty; that thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this city, not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us." It is to this end that the plan contained herein is dedicated. I I I " l l '

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• Credits for photographs used in this publication: The Denver Post Denver Chamber of Commerce Historical Society of Colorado Martin Marietta Corporation Roach Photos Company Mr. Charles Deaton Denver Public Library Denver Fire Department Mr. Philip Schmuck Kucera and Associates, Inc. Berko Photos, Aspen, Colorado Colorado Aerial Photo Service Denver Planning Office Winter Prather Other Credits: The Planning Office acknowledges with gratitude the contribution by Mr. Wolfgang Pogzeba of drawings used in Part 3 of this report.

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