• Emily Holben Walker

Neighborhood Newsletter

Hello neighbors and friends, I won’t try to sugarcoat it. The tide is high with trouble these days. But it’s also true that, examination of human history cycles show times of hardship can spur periods of growth and cultural enlightenment, such as the Renaissance. Find strength in knowing you’re living through history. Remind yourself that every next right thing you do, no matter how small, forms the future. Imagine the other side of all this if each of us simply focuses on doing the next right thing.  Which brings me to my next point. The acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton is now available to watch from the comfort of your homeHamilton is truly a show you can watch over and over and, each time, you’ll hear something new, thought provoking, and inspiring. And, it’s not just for grown-ups. We watched it as a family with the kids. Now, one of their regular pastimes includes dancing all around the house, singing along with the soundtrack. The musical is not simply a history lesson either. The themes and ideas are timeless. I think, if our country’s founding fathers could speak from their graves, they’d be cheering us on right now. Knowing and accepting that the nation they formed was not yet perfect (and indeed far from it because it allowed slavery), our founding fathers formed a government system that could be changed and improved by We The People. We are lucky to be alive right now. In a time when the choices we make and the things we do will create history.  There’s a lot happening in our U-Hills neighborhood. From food truck pop-ups to local construction projects and city initiatives ready for public input. Learn what’s happening in our U-Hills community. Be safe. Be well. Emily Emily Holben Walker President of the Board University Hills Neighborhood Association

In this edition: Community Calendar

  • U-Hills Food Truck Pop-Up, August 5

  • Denver Public Schools Hosting Town Hall Meetings

  • Hampden Heights Denver Days Parade

  • U-Hills Community Meeting, August 10

  • U-Hills Plaza Farmer’s Market


Neighborhood News

  • Proposed zone code changes that will impact U-Hills

  • Underpass Construction at Hampden Ave and Colorado Blvd

  • East Yale Avenue Future Planning

  • Walk for the High Line Canal

  • Construction projects in the U-Hills neighborhood

  • Do you have a lead water line? 

  • Target Coming to U-Hills Plaza

  • Poppies converts parking space to outdoor dining space

  • Free PPE Kits for Denver’s Small Businesses and Nonprofits

  • Be a Smart Ash

  • Denver’s Climate Action Task Force releases final report

  • Denver’s street design guidelines ready for public review

  • Help shape Denver’s streets and bikeways

  • Census 2020


Safety & Awareness:

  • Community, business, and officers partner to curb street racing

  • Safety Improvements at I-25/Evans Light Rail pedestrian bridge

  • Implicit bias education part of the Neighborhood Watch training program

  • Neighborhood safety questions/concerns?

  • DPD Citizen Advisory Board Meetings

  • Colorado’s new strategy to prevent child sexual abuse

  • How are you and your children faring during the pandemic?


COMMUNITY CALENDAR



U-Hills Food Truck Pop-Up Wednesday, August 5!

Food truck pop-ups are a fun and safe way for neighbors and friends to mingle—and skip making dinner at home! Join us this Wednesday for dinner and dessert trucks! Everyone welcome!


We Chef Kitchen

Repicci's Italian Ice & Gelato


When: Wednesday, August 5, 2020; 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Where: Eisenhower Park, at the corner of Dartmouth Avenue and Highline Place


We Chef Kitchen is offering pre-orders online. Pre-orders begin at 10:00 AM on August 5 and there is an option to select individual pickup times. Check out We Chef Kitchen's online menu


**Stay healthy and keep others safe: Please maintain 6ft distance and bring your mask**



Denver Public Schools hosting town hall meetings this week

Leaders of Denver Public Schools will be hosting two town hall meetings for Southeast Denver citizens this week: 

  • Wednesday, August 5, 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

  • Thursday, August 6, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM


Meeting format: 45 minutes information sharing with the public, followed by 45 minutes for open questions/answers. Topics to include: 

  • What COVID-19 information is DPS using to make decisions about returning to school?

  • What can families expect in the first quarter of remote learning?

  • When students return to in-person schooling, what health guidelines will be in place? How will this look in my child's school?


DPS leaders available to answer your questions at the town hall meeting include: central office personnel; special education; operations; nursing; early childhood; schools division; and 17 principals of the Denver Southeast region.



Hampden Heights Denver Days Parade is Tuesday, Aug 4, 6PM – 8PM

In an effort to keep Denver residents safe, the city will not be facilitating public gatherings for Denver Days this year. Instead, a Denver Days Parade will be winding through the Hampden Heights neighborhood! Everyone is welcome! Neighbors are encouraged to open their windows, get out on their balconies, front porches and lawns to watch the parade pass by. There will be a fire truck, artist Pat Milbery painting a mural, and The Brothers of Brass band! 



U-Hills Community Meeting, Monday August 10

Our next U-Hills community meeting will be on Monday, August 10, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM. For everyone’s safety, the meeting will be taking place via Zoom. Signup to receive the Zoom login information by sending an email to UHNAinfo@gmail.com by 12-noon, August 10.



U-Hills Plaza Farmer’s Market

Do your grocery shopping in the fresh outdoor air! As we get further into beautiful late summer, Colorado farmers have more and more fresh produce. Get your Palisade peaches, fresh sweet corn, juicy cantaloupe, roasted chilis, and breakfast burritos at the U-Hills Farmer’s Market!


U-Hills Plaza Farmer’s Market

Saturdays, May 23 – October 17

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM 

2500 South Colorado Blvd



NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS



Proposed residential zone code changes that will impact U-Hills

Denver Community Planning & Development has posted the Public Review Draft of the Group Living Zone Change Proposal. The city will accept comments for 30 days. The proposal will be presented to Denver City Council for a vote this fall.


After two years of work, city planners have completed a draft plan of a broad overhaul of the Denver Zoning Code’s residential use regulations. The goal of the changes is to increase housing flexibility. The proposed Group Living zone changes will impact all residential zones in the City and County of Denver, including the U-Hills neighborhood.


Learn more about the proposed zone changes to form your own opinion. In effort to provide balanced information, presented below is material from the City, a citizen-led opposition group, local news sources, and pro/con opinion columns. We also encourage community members to find additional information on the topic from sources you trust.


Denver Planning and Development Information:

  • Public Review Draft

  • Brief Overview and Summary

  • Detailed Overview and Summary

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • Group Living Zone Changes homepage

 Councilwoman Kendra Black:

  • Group Living Proposal, History and High-level Overview

 Citizen-led Opposition Group:

  • Safe and Sound Denver

 Local media articles and opinion columns:

  • Denver’s group living proposal gets tweaked by approximately three people (Denverite article)

  • Denver Zoning Code Update Would Let More Adults Live Together (Westword article) 

  • Denver built its neighborhoods around racist housing policies. But “neighborhood defenders” refuse change. (Denver Post opinion column)

  • All the reasonable—non-racist—reasons to oppose allowing halfway houses in every neighborhood (Denver Post opinion column)


Submit Your Comments to UHNA

The UHNA board of directors is preparing a letter for Denver elected and appointed leaders. We need to know your thoughts on the proposed Group Living zone changes—which parts of the proposal you do/do not support. To submit your comments, please plan to attend the upcoming U-Hills Community Meeting on August 10 and/or submit your comments via email to UHNAinfo@gmail.com.



Underpass Construction at Hampden Ave and Colorado Blvd

Denver’s Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) is building two new underpasses at Colorado Boulevard and Hampden Avenue that will allow people walking and riding bikes on the historic High Line Canal Trail to cross more safely at this busy highway intersection. Construction work will require full closure of Hampden Avenue at Colorado Boulevard for two weekends.


The next scheduled full closure of Hampden Avenue at Colorado Boulevard (weather permitting) will beFriday, August 7 at 7:00 PM until Monday, August 10 at 5:30 AM.


This is an exciting improvement for our U-Hills community! Once complete, our neighborhood will be connected to the more southern part of the historic nature trail. Many people from our U-Hills neighborhood have attended planning and visioning meetings to help guide this exciting project—thank you for volunteering your time and thoughtful input. 


The underpasses and multi-use trail are anticipated to be ready for use by Spring 2021.



East Yale Avenue Future Planning

For more than 2 years, we’ve been working with people of the U-Hills and U-Hills North communities, Councilwoman Black, the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, and industry experts to examine and improve East Yale Avenue. Last summer, we co-hosted a community wide U-Hills Vision Zero event to collect data and input. This summer, thanks to community participation and input, new crosswalk improvements have been installed to increase safety. But, our work is far from over.


Experts are currently conducting a year-long East Yale Avenue Corridor Study. The current study will guide plans and infrastructure improvements years into the future. This is an important time for YOU to be involved in the future planning of our U-Hills community.


Learn more:

  • Watch 2-minute summary video of Yale Avenue Vision Zero project

  • Key findings of Yale Avenue Vision Zero project

  • East Yale Avenue Corridor Study



Walk for the High Line Canal

Our U-Hills neighborhood would not be the place it is without the High Line Canal. Longtime owner of the High Line Canal, Denver Water, is shifting resources away from the 71-mile waterway. The High Line Canal Conservancy has formed to protect and preserve the High Line Canal into the future.


The month of August kicks off a walking challenge to support the High Line Canal. Set a distance-based goal and get moving at your own pace, on your own time, in your own way—71 days to support the High Line Canal!

  • When: Aug 1 – Oct 10 (71 days for 71 miles)

  • Where: Anywhere

  • How: Register and get outside to support our High Line Canal!



Construction projects in the U-Hills neighborhood

There are two construction projects happening next door to each other on East Eastman Avenue. 

  • The Rise School of Denver, located at 4901 East Eastman Avenue, is moving forward with an exciting playground expansion project.

  • University Hills Lutheran Church, located at 4949 East Eastman Avenue, will be demolishing most of the current structure to rebuild a new church. According to plans filed with the City, most of the current walls will be demolished, but the same foundation will be used. So, the new worship center will be approximately the same size it is now. The U-Hills Lutheran Church has an interesting history that dates back to the 1800s, learn more. U-Hills Lutheran's Pastor Vanderhyde explained some additional details regarding upcoming changes to the property: 

  • The existing structure is planned to be demolished, accepting the brick tower and brick wall on the westside of the current building (A cellular tower exists here and will remain.)

  • Asbestos did exist in the building and it has already been properly removed. 

  • 9 additional parking places will be installed on the property. (The already existing parking lot, between The Rise School of Denver and U-Hills Lutheran Church, will remain. It is expected there will be well enough parking spaces for the congregation on worship days.)

  • The new building will be a one-story building. (The current structure is two-story.) 



Do you have a lead water line? 

Lead exposure can cause serious health risk, including serious brain and kidney damage. Young children are at the greatest risk of health problems related to lead exposure. Learn more about lead poisoning.


Denver Water has launched a lead reduction program. Enter your address and the map will tell you if your home is one of the estimated 64,000 to 84,000 homes with a possible lead service line. Find out if you have a lead water line and learn about Denver Water’s Lead Reduction program



Target Coming to U-Hills Plaza

It’s not just a rumor, Stein Mart will be moving out of its space at University Hills Plaza. A Target retail store will be moving into the space in 2021. We will update you with more information as necessary as information becomes available.



Poppies converts parking space to outdoor dining space

You might’ve noticed one of our longtime U-Hills neighborhood restaurants, Poppies, has recently converted parking space into outdoor dining space. In light of the global pandemic, this is a welcome trend for restaurant owners who need more dining space to accommodate safety guidelines. Utilizing outdoor space helps restaurants serve more guests safely—helping to both reduce health risk and create opportunity for the hurting restaurant industry. “Street space is Denver’s largest public resource. On average, streets make up more than 80 percent of public space in cities. Public space is just that - public - and it should be used to connect people to what matters most. People-friendly streets not only provide a safe way to get around, whether by foot, bicycle, car, or public transit, but also support the local businesses and other daily destinations that make our neighborhoods great places to live.”—Jill Locantore, Executive Director, Denver Streets Partnership.


Whenever you can, please remember to support our local U-Hills restaurants and businesses. Purchasing food and goods at traditional ‘brick and mortar’ businesses supports jobs and helps real people and families of our community.



Free PPE Kits for Denver’s Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Beginning August 3, Denver’s small businesses and nonprofits can register online to receive FREE personal protective equipment (PPE) kits valued at $300 each, courtesy of the City & County of Denver. 4,000 kits are available on a first come/first served basis.


Qualifying businesses and organizations will receive a boxed kit of PPE including: one 64oz. hand sanitizer, 40 1oz. hand sanitizers, one gallon of surface disinfectant, 100 surgical masks, one non-contact thermometer, and 10 face shields, valued at over $300, while supplies last.


To qualify for the kit, businesses/nonprofits must be located in the City & County of Denver, have 25 or fewer employees, and have been operating prior to March 1, 2020. The registration form and details.


This program was developed in partnership with the city’s Economic Relief and Recovery Council (ERRC). In July, City Council approved a contract for $1,490,000 with OraLabs, Inc. to manage the procurement and distribution of PPE to increase health of Denver citizens during the pandemic.



Be a Smart Ash

Did you know that our urban tree canopy isn’t just picturesque and doesn’t just provide respite for wildlife? Denver’s urban tree canopy is actually critically important for our overall quality of life. Trees produce oxygen, reduce air pollution, cool our neighborhoods and homes, and increase property values. In our arid Colorado climate, trees require regular watering and can be susceptible to disease and insect infestations. 


The emerald ash borer (EAB), which has destroyed millions of ash trees in the Midwest, is making its way to Denver. One in six Denver private property trees are ash trees. You may be familiar with Denver’s Be A Smart Ash campaign, which aims to actively educate and enlist the help of Denver residents in the process of identifying, treating, and replacing ash trees. 


The City of Denver is taking care of ash trees located on city property (including parks) and in the public right-of-way.


But, the City’s tree care program does NOT include ash trees located on private property. Visitwww.BeASmartAsh.orgfor an interactive ash tree map, information about ash tree treatment options, and resources to find a tree care professional. You can also apply for a FREE replacement tree!


When it comes to identifying, treating, removing or replacing your trees—ash or otherwise—remember that only licensed and insured tree care professionals should actually treat, replace, or prune a tree. 

  • Emerald Ash Borer Facts

  • Ash Tree Treatment Options

  • Do I have an ash tree? Interactive Map

  • Tree Care Professionals



Denver’s Climate Action Task Force releases final report

The Denver Climate Action Task Force made recommendations to strengthen Denver’s work to address climate change in the following critical areas: buildings, transportation, electricity generation, industrial energy use, consumption emissions, and resiliency/climate adaptation. 

  • Climate Action Task Force Final Report

  • Denver Climate Change Task Force Proposes New City Sales Tax (Westword)



Denver’s street design guidelines ready for public review

Make sure our city leaders know what’s important to YOU when it comes to the future of transportation networks and infrastructure. As Denver grows, there are increased demands on our streets and transportation system. The Complete Street Design Guidelines are the guiding principles for the city's public right of way, detailing how space is allocated for transportation, utilities, and other public infrastructure. Please review the draft report and submit comments/ideas by August 21, 2020.

  • Complete Streets Design Guidelines, Final Draft

  • Submit your comments and ideas by August 21, 2020



Help shape Denver’s streets and bikeways

Denver needs your input to plan the city’s transportation networks. The Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is gathering feedback on more that 40 bikeway projects across the city as part of the Community Transportation Networks program

  • Learn about the 40+ projects and submit feedback on the interactive Bicycle Project Input page

  • Submit questions and ideas to Denvermoves@denvergov.org



2020 Census

The 2020 Census is happening right now. Every person who is counted brings roughly $2,300 per year to Colorado. Our community needs these funds for roads, schools, and most importantly right now, hospitals and local clinics. Census numbers are collected only once every ten years and determine each state's share of congressional seats, Electoral College votes and an estimated $1.5 trillion a year in federal tax dollars for Medicare, Medicaid and other public services.


This is a stressful time, and we know the Census isn't top of your mind amidst a public health crisis, but please remember to complete your Census and remind family, friends, and neighbors to do the same.


Submit census responses on their own by going online, over the phone, and by mail.



SAFETY & AWARENESS



Community, business, and officers partner to curb street racing

DPD District 3 Resource Officers have been closely following street racing activity along the I-25 corridor in Denver. Recently, DPD Officer Pacheco learned there was an unauthorized street racing rally scheduled to take place in the parking lot of an area business center. DPD officers worked quickly with the community and local businesses to create a No Trespass Agreement that helped keep the unauthorized activity out of the area and prevent street races through/around the neighborhood.



Safety Improvements at I-25/Evans Light Rail pedestrian bridge

Earlier this year, following a homicide and other safety issues at the Evans/I-25 Light Rail station, Officer Grimsley proactively initiated crime prevention measures with U-Hills community leaders and city entities (including CDOT and DOTI), and utility companies (including Xcel) to improve safety. Officer Grimsley used crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) training to evaluate the Light Rail pedestrian bridge and surrounding area. Good progress has been made. DOTI confirmed they will be installing 2-way mirrors for increased safety on the pedestrian bridge soon. Additionally, Xcel Energy confirmed they will be updating the lights with LED technology to improve visibility. Thank you to Officer Grimsley and everyone who has helped increase safety at the Evans/I-25 Light Rail station.



Implicit bias education is part of the Neighborhood Watch training program

With so many incredibly impactful things happening in our city and around the world, it’s important to communicate that our community Neighborhood Watch program includes, and has always included, implicit bias education. 


What is implicit bias? “Implicit bias refers to attitudes and stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner”. (Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity)


When our community’s Neighborhood Watch program was redeveloped in 2018, a main component of training curriculum focused on implicit bias. At Neighborhood Watch trainings, officers unambiguously communicated that bias should NOT be used when observing and reporting suspicious activity. Activities and behaviors can be considered suspicious, NOT what a person looks like.


We all have bias, known and unknown. It is important we use conscious thinking in regards to how we observe and report information to the police. This will help us have a safer and more inclusive neighborhood.


Implicit bias training is a critical component of Neighborhood Watch and we support its inclusion in community training programs. We deeply appreciate the many people of our community and officers who work to keep our community safe. Thank you.



DPD Citizen Advisory Board Meetings

On the first Tuesday of every month, the Denver Police Department’s District 3 team hosts Citizen Advisory Board (CAB) meetings. Meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.


CAB meetings begin at 6:00 PM. For the foreseeable future, all meetings will be conducted virtually. (Please contact DPD volunteer, Christie Mochoruk at d3.sector1.crovolunteer@gmail.com for virtual meeting information.) 


Remaining 2020 CAB meetings:

  • No August Meeting

  • September 1, 2020

  • October 6, 2020

  • November 10, 2020

  • December 1, 2020


Neighborhood safety questions or concerns?

Reach out to our DPD District 3 Community Resource Officers: 

  • mike.borquez@denvergov.org

  • matthew.grimsley@denvergov.org

  • kate.young@denvergov.org

  • antonio.pacheco@denvergov.org


Colorado’s new strategy to prevent child sexual abuse

The child advocacy organization, Illuminate Colorado, is funding a program to train at least 5% of the population in each Colorado county. Children are safer when adults know how to recognize sexual abuse and what to do about it. Training is free, flexible and helps keep the children of our community safer.

  • Get involved to help

  • Read The Colorado Sun article to learn more


How are you and your children faring during the pandemic? 

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting child care and early learning for families across Colorado. Statewide partners want to understand the impact so they can provide needed support to you and your child care provider(s). If you are the parent or legal guardian of a child ages birth-12 years, please provide feedback to guide child and family services by taking this 10-minute survey.


Early Milestones Colorado is conducting a survey on behalf of many partners, including: the Governor’s office, foundations, early childhood councils, other direct services, and the Office of Early Childhood.


Thank you for reading! Please feel welcome to forward this message to anyone that may be interested and/or benefit from the information provided herein. Everyone in U-Hills is welcome to register to receive communications from UHNA.    University Hills Neighborhood Association (UHNA) is a non-profit, volunteer, citizen organization. UHNA receives no federal, state, or local funds—we are 100% funded by member donations and business sponsors. Learn more about UHNA. Report Issues and Concerns to 311/PocketGov UHNA is the registered citizen organization for the University Hills neighborhood. UHNA is a citizen organization, not an HOA (home owner’s association) and cannot enforce Denver City and County rules or ordinances. Report issues like potholes, missed trash pickup, graffiti, etc. by calling 311 or filing an online report at pocketgov.org.