Reader: Developers are vandalizing our neighborhoods while the city makes secret deals

Today Mayor Michael Hancock will deliver his State of the City speech at the Forney Museum, in north Denver -- an area that's becoming a focus of the Hancock administration. But things aren't looking as rosy in southeast Denver, where the Highpointe development was supposed to be a boon -- but residents of the Holly Ridge neighborhood says it's been a big, messy bust. The construction company working on the project leaves trash and bad feelings...and those bad feelings aren't all trained on the development. City officials have come in for criticism, too.

"I understand why the neighbors are upset," says Denver City Council rep Peggy Lehmann. "It's their front and back yards. Have the contractors been as responsive as they should be? Probably not. We do talk to them. We do what we can. But we can't make them behave. It's just very difficult."

That doesn't satisfy Greta Durr:

Denver taxpayers, Denver City Council recently voted to give themselves another pay raise. We pay Lehmann and our other city council members nearly $100k per year with about one third more in benefits. What are we getting in return? Developers, most of them from out of state, are vandalizing our neighborhoods while Lehmann and her cohorts make secret land deals at our expense, and plan to bulldoze our parks. Turks are fighting and dying in their streets over what we're willing to tolerate with abject complacency.

If the president pro tem of the Denver City Council lacks the power to compel developers and a construction company to obey local laws and ordinances governing their business practices, who does? This story isn't about one neighborhood, it foreshadows the future of our city if we don't get off our asses and take a stand.

What do you think of the current state of our city? Post your thoughts below.

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Shame on City of Denver and any officials on whose watch this Highpointe development was approved.

While the Mayor proudly proclaims in his State of The City address that he's hiring more police, the existing police sit on their hands and refuse to enforce various construction project related ordinances.

While "Hizoner" hails all the development projects happening all over town, and the resulting positive impact on employment, no one seems to take ownership for the diminished quality of life that has taken place during construction and will surely leave a legacy of high non-resident traffic volumes barreling through what was once a quiet community on the outskirts of Denver.

If the truth ever emerges about the corrupt crony capitalist process that generated this project and the heinously dangerous Starbucks project before it, it will read like a David Mamet script.

RobertChase topcommenter

This story may  taken as emblematic of the near-total disengagement of Denver with its own governance, and the impunity and alienation of its putative representatives from the interests of their constituents or the commonweal.


@sblumbergThe city is clearly focused on exploring the extent of its  legislative powers with shady land deals, such as the one Councilwoman Lehmann led, to destroy Hentzell Park. Despite the protests in her district and the thousands of signatures collected to at least put this issue to a vote of the people, neither Lehmann, nor Mayor Hancock seem to have the capacity to do much about about the plight of the "little people" who pay taxes, elect them and pay their salaries. Their legacies will ultimately reveal their shame, but that won't help our city once it has completely fallen prey to the out-of-state developers and their Ponzi schemes.

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