Denver Direct: CPWNA – The Overlay Railroad

Thursday, April 19, 2007

CPWNA – The Overlay Railroad

Madison insists that she “implemented a 30-block overlay with 100% approval”. Wow, can one person implement an overlay? No, the City implements overlays after Council votes. And how can you possibly get 100% approval?

1. Eliminate all of the property owners who don’t respond.(78%)
2. Remove all of the no votes from the overlay by letting them out if they agree to support it.(15% of those returning cards.)

This is a long (and probably boring to most) story, so I’ll try to be brief.

I helped Madison stuff the envelopes mailed to over 600 property owners. (Regular mail, not registered.)

I’ll let the emails (between Madison and me) do the talking. (I’ve removed individuals names and replaced them with [ ].)

Sept 10, 2002
Hey Jerry,
I want to stress that people can request their property out of the overlay and still be for the overlay in general. We are not looking for no votes. We are looking for support of the overlay and working with people to get eveyone on the same page. See, [X] can still vote yes but request to be removed from the overlay.

What we hope for is 100% support of the overlay from the folks we are leaving out. Part of the deal we hope to strike is letters of support for the overlay from all the parties that are being taken out. So, maybe that’s what you meant in the first place but I hope you’re not talking down the overlay in general. I know if the [Z] guys are way against it there’s nothing much you can do. I hope you catch my general drift. Anyhow, I’m pretty much considering you guys off the overlay. I can’t speak for Kiersten but I don’t think she’ll have much problem.
See you tomorrow,

October 12, 2003

I’m in the process of considering what to write re the overlay. Do you have the results of our mailing? I recall that we sent out over 600 letters to the residents of CPWN, but I don’t recall hearing the results. Number of returns, number in favor, number against, number of owners of R-4 property who responded etc. Please bring me up to date.

October 12, 2003
Hi Jerry,
We got 130 postcards back. 110 for the overlay and 20 against. That was about a year ago. We talked with a number of the people that sent in the negatives – [X] and [Y] were responsible for 6 of them – and we were able to adapt the overlay for them. … I don’t think I got any cards form the R-3 portion of the overlay so they all would have been R-4. Many of them were from the area that is now OD-1. I’m sorry I can’t be more exact since I no longer have the cards to refer to. I’m not sure if you know that we held the NW R-4 application back because of protest along Downing and Marion. We’ll see what we can do to work things out with those folks. Let me know if you have any more questions.

[Full disclosure: I am one of the property owners who voted against the overlay and, along with my neighbors on York Street, was removed from the overlay.]

Okay then, the 470 property owners who did not send in their cards were not included in the count.

But what about the 20 who voted no? We were told that if we wrote a letter of support for the overlay we would be removed from it.

October 10, 2003

We are sending out our final request for support letters from those neighbors that we removed from the overlay. We would very much appreciate a letter from you. We are asking that letters be submitted by 10/17 so we can get them together and to Council a week before our hearing on 10/27. Or, if you like, you could come and speak in support of the overlay, 6:30, Oct 27th at City Council Chambers. Below is a letter I drafted for your convenience. Feel free to change it in any manner that you like, but please have it sound like you do support the overlay as a whole. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns,
Thank you,
Carla Madison
City Park West Neighborhood Association president

Proposed letter

City Council 1437 Bannock Street #451 Denver, CO 80202
Dear City Council Members:
As a member of the City Park West Neighborhood Association I was aware of the boundaries of the overlay as soon as it was proposed. I support the basic concept of the overlay and understand the desire to protect the low rise feel of the bulk of the neighborhood blocks, but felt that the property that I owned along the 1600 block of York did not have the “neighborhood feel” that the overlay was designed to protect.
After talking with a number of other property owners on the block who also preferred to be excluded I talked with Carla Madison, the association president, and Kiersten Faulkner the city planner involved with the project. We all were in agreement that since this block was on the the perimeter of the overlay and along a major transit corridor it was appropriate to remove this block from being overlaid with the OD9. I appreciate the willingness of the neighborhood association and the city planner to work along with the property owners of this area and exclude the 1600 block of York. I wish to express my support of the overlay as a whole.

I want to make it clear that Madison did work very hard to get this overlay implemented. Unfortunately, she was working on behalf of the City and a small group of individuals and not for the majority of the 600 property owners. Is this what you want your representative to do?