In December, after two years of work with community members in Chaffee Park, Highland, Jefferson Park and Sunnyside, city planners with Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) presented the final draft of the Near Northwest Area Plan to Denver City Council, which voted unanimously to adopt the plan following a public hearing. The plan lays out a long-term vision for these neighborhoods that celebrates the “Northside” as an inclusive and diverse area and ensures that, as it grows and evolves, it remains a place that continues to feel like home.
“The Near Northwest Neighborhood Plan details a vision of a vibrant, thriving North Denver community that respects and honors the past while accommodating the inevitable changes that are part of our history and future,” said District 1 City Councilwoman Amanda P. Sandoval. “Consistent with my work as your Denver City Councilmember, this vision not only addresses immediate concerns but also takes into consideration the next seven generations. The Plan’s guiding principles are driven by community input to preserve or improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods, prioritize preventing displacement of people and cultures, and support legacy businesses intrinsic to a resilient community.”
“The Near Northwest Area Plan continues the great work of CPD’s Neighborhood Planning Initiative with long-term policy guidance rooted in the needs and priorities of community members who call these neighborhoods home,” said Acting CPD Executive Director Jill Jennings Golich. “From more housing options, safer transportation alternatives, and support for longtime local businesses, the plan’s recommendations provide a thoughtful, balanced approach to preparing for the future while honoring the rich past of this unique part of the city. We’re grateful to Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval, the community steering committee and everyone who shared their voice for their partnership in this effort.”
The plan’s vision and recommendations came together through extensive public engagement that included community workshops, surveys, focus groups, youth engagement in partnership with North High School, and conversations with local “promotoras” working across the area to connect with hard-to-reach communities, including Latino/a/x and Spanish-speaking communities, renters and lower-income residents. Through the planning process, participants expressed a desire to build on the area’s longstanding sense of community and belonging through recommendations that:
- Help residents build wealth and stay in their neighborhoods long term
- Support local businesses and ensure neighborhood commercial areas that residents have come to depend on and identify with continue to thrive
- Ensure access to a variety of housing options
- Balance preservation with new construction that’s compatible with existing architecture, including both residential areas and small-scale store fronts on historic “street car” corridors
- Connect the area through an inter-neighborhood trail network and mobility improvements that prioritize pedestrians and alternative modes of transportation
The plan was approved by the Denver Planning Board at its meeting on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, and reviewed by the council’s Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at its meeting on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.