5 things to know about the East Central Area Plan

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The East Central Area Plan is a city-led plan for six Denver neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are Capitol Hill; North Capitol Hill, commonly known as Uptown; Cheesman Park, City Park, City Park West and Congress Park.

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The purpose of the plan is to provide “a vision and policy guidance for land use, urban design, housing, mobility, parks and the local economy for the next 20 years,” states the city’s website.

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There are six themes outlined in the plan, as quoted directly from the summary:

-- “Strengthen the local economy by providing training for jobs in local industries, improving access to employment and supporting locally owned, independent businesses.”

-- “Make housing more affordable and make more options available to a wide range of families and individuals.”

-- “Improve services for residents experiencing homelessness and take steps to prevent more people from losing their homes.”

-- “Make streets safer and more comfortable for everybody by improving walking, bicycling and public transit infrastructure.”

-- “Increase historic preservation by making it easier to reuse existing buildings, creating more historic districts and ensuring new buildings fit in with surrounding neighborhoods.”

-- “Reduce carbon pollution and create more climate-resilient neighborhoods by providing more opportunities for people to live and work near transit, adding shade trees and taking a green approach to stormwater management.”

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The planning process began in July 2017. A plan was drafted and the community had the opportunity to provide input. The city is now reviewing comments on the second public review of the proposed plan. A third draft is expected to go to the plan’s steering committee mid-August. The steering committee will vote whether to endorse it, and if so, it will then go to Denver’s Planning Board in early September. The Planning Board will vote on a recommendation to approve it or not, but city council will make the final decision, which is expected to occur in early October.

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“The East Central Area Plan sets the vision for how these neighborhoods will grow and change over the next 20 years into an equitable and inclusive community,” said Scott Robinson, senior city planner for Denver. “The real vision is to create a complete community, building on what people love about these neighborhoods to make them even better.”

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