Golden update: "Street vacation & sustainability"

Hi everyone –

I’m still thinking through how best to use this email list, but I got a lot of positive feedback after my election-related emails, and once in a while community issues come up that I want to make sure folks know about, so my plan for now is to send out an email every now and again flagging issues I think community members may be interested in.

Here are two:

1. City Council Considers Giving Away a Portion of Arapahoe Street

On Thursday night, City Council is slated to make a decision about the proposal to give Arapahoe Street between 13th and 14th to the Calvary Church. I haven’t decided what I think about it yet, but it does seem like the sort of issue that the community should know about and have a chance to weigh in on, and I don’t have the sense that many folks know it’s happening.

As the staff memo explains, “Calvary Church is now returning with a new proposal, which is a request to vacate the entire block of Arapahoe Street between 13th and 14th Streets, but without a private drive or improvements to Miners Alley. Calvary’s stated intention is to create a pedestrian and plaza space that would serve the needs of their planned “campus” environment, as well as create amenities, such as seating and landscaping, that is open to the public and establishes a better pedestrian link between CSM to the south and downtown and Clear Creek to the north.“

Calvary has proposed variations of this street vacation for many years. Unlike their 2014 proposal, however, the current proposal would simply give Calvary that stretch of Arapahoe without making any vehicle and pedestrian improvements to Miner’s Alley. This is one of several concerns with the proposal.

Another concern is the uncertainty about what the community’s future mobility needs will be. Planning Commission voted 5-2 against the proposal for this reason, specifically because they weren’t convinced that the public right-of-way won’t ever again be “necessary for public use or convenience.”

I’m a fan of Calvary and deeply appreciate their many contributions to the Golden community. But even so, I’m skeptical about street vacations since they basically mean the city permanently hands over a community-owned asset to a private entity. They are definitely a big deal, in any case, and deserve a lot of thought and scrutiny.

If you are interested or concerned, I encourage you to weigh in with Council either by email before Thursday evening, or in person at their Council meeting on Thursday night (City Council Chambers, 911 10th St., 6:30pm). You can download the staff memo to City Council if you want more details.

2. Golden Sustainability Summit in the Works

City Council and the Sustainability Advisory Board (I think it’s on the board’s agenda tomorrow night) are talking about pulling together a sustainability summit this spring. I like the idea … if it’s done well it could be a great opportunity to re-engage community members in this ambitious community-wide effort, celebrate what we’ve accomplished so far, and identify where we are falling short and how we’re going to get there. I’d love to hear your ideas about what the summit might look like and how it could be organized to make sure we get strong community involvement and that we give the Golden Sustainability Initiative a good boost. You can email me at I’ll compile all the ideas folks send and pass them on to the board members and city staff. Or feel free to email Theresa Worsham (, who staffs the board for the city.

That’s what I’ve got this time. If you’ve got any thoughts about how I can best use this email list – still 1,000 folks strong – and provide info that’s useful to community members, please shoot me a note. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy holidays everyone –