BY FREDA MIKLIN
At its last meeting of 2018, GV’s city council adopted significant revisions to its comprehensive plan, written and approved by multiple council members who campaigned against changing it when they ran for election last year. It reflects some different values from the plan it replaced.
Housing goals formerly contained in the city’s plan that have been excised, include, “Encourage the diversity of housing types which allows a mixture of socio-economic situations,” and “Ensure the availability of a variety of residential housing types.” A transportation goal in the former plan, excised from the new one, is “Encourage implementation of mass-transit systems and other alternatives to single-occupant vehicles.” Even the goal “The city should strengthen working relationships with adjacent municipalities to address traffic issues of mutual concern,” has been removed.
No citizens testified at the public hearing before the council unanimously voted to adopt the new comprehensive plan language. When the planning and zoning commission held a public hearing on the changes on Nov. 13, 11 citizens spoke. Most were from the Sundance and Greenwood Hills neighborhoods and had testified previously. Their positions were well-known and unchanged. Two speakers at the Nov. 13 planning and zoning commission hearing were new to the conversation.
Leon Farfel of Greenwood Hills, a 20-year resident, spoke about the Orchard Station area, not far from his neighborhood. He said, “Buildings in Orchard Station are Class B and they are only selling because everything is selling. Office buildings bring cars and parking lots. There is no value added to the city. We live in a parking lot.”
Michael Mazenko, a respected teacher and administrator at Cherry Creek High School who has written guest columns for The Denver Post, took notice of the change in policy on new housing, saying, “When I moved (here) 16 years ago with my wife and young son, I felt welcome…in the community where…it was affordable for a teacher. Now…the welcome mat has been removed. Restricting new housing development to single-family homes on (no smaller than) quarter-acre lots effectively eliminates any new residents who can’t afford $800,000 + homes.” He went on, “When the housing market passed me by, that’s economics. But when government zones to exclude the middle class, well, that’s just embarrassing.” He concluded, “There’s no need to Save Our Village from the likes of people like me…A collection of houses does not a community make. It’s certainly not a Village.”
Without discussion, the council voted unanimously to adopt the plan. Council member Anne Ingebretsen commented, “This document translates the citizens’ vision into the comprehensive plan.” Mayor Ron Rakowsky asked for a round of applause for council’s accomplishment.
City council members Dave Kerber and Tom Dougherty, military veterans, accepted an American flag flown over counterterrorism operations in Africa from GV municipal judge and the United States Air Force Lt. Col. Elizabeth Shifrin.
Honors and accolades
GV Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Shifrin, a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force, just returned from a seven-month counterterrorism deployment in Djibouti, Africa, where she worked with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ethiopia and the Somali National Army. As a token of her appreciation for the support she has received from the city, Shifrin brought back an American flag that she personally flew over counterterrorism operations in eastern Africa and Somalia on Sept. 25. The flag was accepted on behalf of the citizens of Greenwood Village by military veterans council members Tom Dougherty and Dave Kerber.
Invited to lead citizens in the city council chamber in the Pledge of Allegiance were sisters Scarlett Kirby, 9 and Genevieve Kirby, 6. Scarlett is a third-grader and Genevieve is in kindergarten at High Plains Elementary, where both girls love to study science.
James Phelps, president-elect of the American Public Works Association (APWA) recognized GV’s public works department with two awards. The first was a public outreach award for the city’s annual public works and parks maintenance day for first-graders at Belleview Elementary School, which GV has held for the past 20 years.
The second award was for GV’s role in the I-25 and Arapahoe Road Construction Project, which was recognized as Project of the Year by APWA.
Council member Jerry Presley posed with Scarlett Kirby, 9 and Genevieve Kirby, 6, who led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Dec. 3 city council meeting.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |