New’s Letter Spring 2017

Councilman Wayne New  |  District 10
1437 Bannock Street, Office Room 493, Denver, Colorado 80202
720-337-7710  |  Wayne.New@denvergov.org
Legislative Aide: Melissa Horn
On February 14, Councilman New joined the Reverend Dr. Brian Henderson for the Clerk and Recorder’s Office Valentine’s Day Celebration. There he was honored to witness the marriage of Rick Grebe and Justina Muisyo. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Short Term Rental Update

Short term rentals (STRs) are found in all parts of Denver with a noticeably heavy concentration of them in the central neighborhoods of District 10. Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park and Congress Park have the most STRs, but STR opportunities exist in almost all District 10 neighborhoods.On June 12, 2016, after two years of discussion, Denver City Council approved a measure to allow STR’s only in primary residences. The rules took effect on July 1st and gave hosts until December 31, 2016 to obtain a business license with the city, pay the city’s 10.75% Lodger’s Tax and come into compliance with the new regulations. Enforcement of the new law began on January 1, 2017.

Two months into enforcement, the City and County of Denver is approaching 1,000 STR licenses issued, or close to one-third of known STR properties in the city. Although more work needs to be done to license hosts, Denver is believed to be a leader in compliance rates, ahead of other municipalities including Austin, Nashville, Portland and San Francisco, in compliance rate and/or number of licenses issued. This is a work in progress with a “host” of moving targets.

During these early stages of STR enforcement, the city is primarily focused on compliance. Excise & Licenses will be sending more than 1,000 Notice of Violation letters to unlicensed operators by the end of February. Those operators will have 14 days to comply before fines are issued. Penalties for operating a STR without a license can be up to $999 per incident, or per day, in the most egregious circumstances.

Although a majority of rentals operate within the law, Denver accepts reports of unlicensed STRs or other complaints though 3-1-1, Pocketgov or STR@denvergov.org. If you notice any unlicensed STR in your neighborhood, please report it. The city also proactively tracks and monitors properties using Denver Police calls for service, 311 reports and through a third-party software company called Host Compliance.

Host Compliance scans and monitors all STR websites, including Airbnb, VRBO, Flipkey and others looking for compliance with the requirement that STR operators must list their business license number in their advertisements. Host Compliance uses various algorithms and old-fashioned detective work to provide the operator name and address to Excise & Licenses so the department can issue violations and citations to those hosts who are operating without a license. Citations are sent via mail and in the most problematic cases, a property can be “red-tagged” or physically posted of a violation.

As part of an effort to continually assess the program and make policy recommendations on STR enforcement, Excise & Licenses has convened an advisory committee consisting of hosts, non-hosts, neighborhood representatives and industry representatives. All STR Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public, and presentation materials and minutes can be found on the advisory committee website. For more information on the city’s STR licensing requirements, please visit www.Denvergov.org/ShortTermRentals.

Small Lot Parking Exemption

In 2016 City Council passed a moratorium to study and make improvement recommendations on the use of the small lot parking exemption in the City Zoning Code.  This exemption allows properties of 6,250 sf or less and zoned mixed use to be developed without any parking, which has created concerns on adequate building parking close to or within neighborhood areas.  Mixed use zoning is a combination of residential, retail, and / or office uses in the building.Councilman Albus Brooks has led an advisory group of City Council members, developers, architects, and neighborhood representatives to discuss and recommend modifications to the small lot parking exemption.  Specific changes being addressed are:

  1. Existing buildings would receive a full parking exemption.
  2. The first 3 floors of any new building would be exempted from any parking requirement if the development is within ½ mile of an existing or planned transit station or ¼ mile from a newly defined high frequency transit corridor.
  3. The first 2 floors of any new building would receive a parking exemption for properties outside of the defined transit area.
  4. Remaining building floors would need to meet current zoning parking requirements.
  5. Incentives for affordable housing and car sharing would still apply for reduced parking.

Since the City has not developed a public a transit management plan that defines official transit corridors, Councilman Jolon Clark has proposed an amendment to Councilman Brooks’ proposed text amendment that the reduces the proposed parking exemption changes. In #2 above the exemption would be changed from 3 to 2 floors of building parking exemption, and in #3 the exemption would be revised from 2 floors to 1 floor of parking exemption. For a 25% reduction parking request, an information notice is required for surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.

Due to the need to discuss the parking exemption changes further, City Council has extended the moratorium.  Since this parking issue affects many areas of our district, a District 10 constituent survey on this small lot parking exemption issue will be conducted.

2018 Operating Budget Participation Process

To provide residents with the opportunity to provide direct community feedback on their improvement needs, the second annual District 10 operating budget participation meeting was held for neighborhood and business leaders on February 23. City Budget Director Stephanie Adams presented a report on the City’s budget, announcing that City department normal operating budget requests would be submitted in May. Since capital improvement requests submitted for the GO bond may not be approved due to limited bond funding and the deadline for any new GO bond capital requests has expired, new and continuing community needs may also be requested in the operating budget.Operating budget requests will be submitted at the end of April to the City Council District 10 office. All requests will then be organized and will be presented by neighborhood and business leaders to the City Budget Director and related City department staff at a special meeting in May. Requests will address significant capital improvements as well as normal street maintenance issues. If you have specific ideas on improvements for your neighborhood or community, please contact your area representative. If you need contact information, please call Melissa at the Council office.

The Cell

One of the interesting and educational experiences in the Golden Triangle is The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (CELL). It is dedicated to preventing terrorism through education, empowerment and engagement. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution, its one-of-a-kind exhibit, renowned speaker series and training initiatives provide a comprehensive look at the threat of terrorism and how individuals can play a role in preventing it, ultimately enhancing public safety.  The CELL uses a number of avenues to teach communities to be safer, individuals to be more aware and public servants to be more efficient in dealing with emergencies.The CELL is located on the southeast corner of the Denver Civic Center Cultural Complex across from the Denver Art Museum at: 99 West 12th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204. For additional information call 303.844.4000 or visit their website. Incredible experience.

Historic Property Tax Credits

Colorado offers an income tax credit to property owners for preservation and rehabilitation work on designated historic properties. Historic property owners who complete qualified projects can obtain a dollar-for-dollar reduction in taxes owed to the state.Last year, a homeowner on Bryant Street in the Potter Highlands Historic District completed a tax credit project which included rehabilitating the historic wood windows, gutters and porch, and tuck-pointing the masonry. The result was a beautifully updated exterior and a dollar-for-dollar tax reduction. 

Other recent tax credit projects have included asphalt shingle roof replacements, clay tile roof replacements, rehab of historic wood floors, and upgrades to electrical systems from knob-and-tube wiring.

Projects like these help Denver residents update treasured buildings while creating jobs for the construction industry, including those working in historic preservation crafts. Our office provides a streamlined and straightforward tax credit review and approval process for historic property owners in Denver.

Learn more about state historic preservation income tax credits here.

Rose Andom Center

At the Rose Andom Center community organizations and government agencies work together under one roof to provide for the needs of individuals and families affected by domestic violence. By co-locating staff and crucial services in one place, not only will these organizations and agencies be able to provide more and better coordinated services, but victims and their families also will be able to access the full range of services and support they need in a single, safe location.The Center’s beautiful new facility is located at 1330 Fox Street.  For additional information on their services call 720-337-4400 or visit their website.

General Obligation (GO) Bond Update

Every 10 years the City proposes a bond issue to fund capital improvements in the City with the 2007 program’s improvements being completed this year.  The next 10 year bond issue’s list of improvements is being developed for approval by the voters in November.  To prepare for this new bond issue, citywide community meetings were held to provide residents with the opportunity to propose funding requests for capital improvements in their neighborhoods and communities.  These public meetings generated over a 1,000 requests at the meetings and over 1,300 requests on the GO Bond website.Funding is always the most critical issue with capital improvements.  The City Finance Department has projected the same level of funding as the 2007 bond issue – approximately $550 million.  To illustrate the funding difficulty, the complete listing of all capital requests from the City departments and the community totals $1.6 billion.  

With this large variance in funding availability establishing priorities will be essential.  Six defined committees (executive, transportation and mobility, parks and recreation, safety, arts and culture, and public facilities) have been created to help with the prioritization.  The committees will be composed of representatives from City Council, communities, the Mayor’s office, and City departments.  Committee recommendations on specific improvement requests for consideration should be developed by early summer. 

A complete request list is on the GO Bond website.

Great Denver Cleanup

The 2017 citywide Great Denver Cleanup is Saturday, May 20th, offering Denver residents free drop sites for household trash, large items, compostable yard waste, donatable household goods and scrap metal. Multiple collection sites will be located throughout the city.Spread the word NOW and encourage your RNOs, community groups and families to schedule their block, neighborhood and yard cleanups for Saturday, May 20th.

Go here to learn more or to request free trash bags for your pre-registered community clean-up.

DPD Virtual Neighborhood

Denver Police Officers are using a new tool to communicate with residents. Thanks to the Pocketgov ‘Virtual Neighborhood’, you can now have personalized safety tips, crime information, and direct communication with Denver Police District Three at your fingertips.’Virtual Neighborhood’ allows police officers to be responsive, accessible, and transparent and you are encouraged to sign up by visiting Pocketgov.org/Police. You can also watch this video for help signing up.

Police District Contact Information and Advisory Meetings
The Denver Police Department has three police districts within portions of the boundaries of our District as follows: 
Station
Commander
Phone #
Meetings
Boundaries (Approx.)
Commander Michael Calo 720-913-1000 First Thursday, Bi-Monthly E of York, N of 6th
Commander Magen Dodge 720-913-1300 First Tuesday, Monthly  S of 6th
Commander Ronald Saunier  720-913-2800 Contact District 6 W of York, N of 6th
Upcoming Events
Lost Worlds: The Graphic Art of the Holocaust
Current – Apr 2
Denver Public Library
www.denverlibrary.org
City Council Open Mic
March 6 
City & County Building
 www.denvergov.org   
Artists Series:
Julian Schnabel
Current – Apr 2
Clyfford Still Museum   
www.clyffordstillmuseum.org
Constellations
Mar 11 – Apr 15
Curious Theatre

 

Bumblebee Jamboree

Mar 18 & Apr 22

Botanic Gardens (York St)
www.botanicgardens.org
The Baby Dance 

Mar 30 – Apr 30

Cherry Creek Theatre
www.cherrycreektheatre.org
City Council Open Mic
Apr 3
City & County Building
www.denvergov.org 
Tectonic SHIFT 

Dynamics of Change 

Current – May 7

McNichols Civic Center Building           
www.mcnicholsbuilding.com 
Mi Tierra: 13 Latino Artists

Current – Oct 22

Denver Art Museum
www.denverartmuseum.org    
Community Organizations
Neighborhood / Business Organizations
Website / Email Address
Alamo Placita Neighbors www.alamoplacita.org
Bluebird Business Improvement District www.bluebirdbeat.com
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN) www.chundenver.org/
Cheesman Park Advocacy Group
Cherry Creek Area Business Alliance
Cherry Creek East Association www.cherrycreekeast.org
Cherry Creek Chamber of Commerce www.cherrycreekchamber.org
Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District www.cherrycreeknorth.com
Cherry Creek North Neighborhood Association www.ccnneighbors.com
Cherry Creek Steering Committee
City Park Friends and Neighbors www.cpfan.org
Colfax Business Improvement District www.colfaxave.com
Colfax on the Hill www.colfaxonthehill.com
Congress Park Neighbors www.congressparkneighbors.org
Country Club Historic Neighborhood Association www.countryclubhistoric.org
Cultural Arts Residential Organization
Golden Triangle Neighborhood Association
Miller Park Neighborhood Association trmdenver@comcast.net
Seventh Avenue Neighborhood Association
Stokes Place – Green Bowers Neighborhood ccbalkcom@gmail.com
Swallow Hill Neighborhood Association bobhampe@gmail.com
Transportation Solutions Foundation
Unsinkables unsinkablesindenver@gmail.com
Uptown on the Hill uptowndenver.org
Councilman Wayne New | District 10
720-337-7710 | Wayne.New@denvergov.orgwww.denvergov.org

 

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