Denver residents dislike the ‘poor use of land’ near Elitch Gardens

Denver officials are expected to go over the survey results 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 during a public meeting at the Webb Municipal Building.
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Elitch Gardens, closed for the winter. Jan. 5, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Elitch Gardens, as seen from beneath the Speer Boulevard bridge at Confluence Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver should make the South Platte River near Elitch Gardens an asset and add a bridge or another connection over the water and railway, according to new survey results.

City officials are expected to go over the survey results 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 during a public meeting at the Webb Municipal Building. The meeting is another chance for residents to weigh in on what they'd like to see in the area east of Interstate 25 that includes Elitch Gardens, the Pepsi Center and the Downtown Aquarium.

Denver Community Planning and Development is referring to the area located between Auraria Parkway and Speer Boulevard as the Central Platte Valley Auraria District.

In 2007, the district was included but not detailed in the Downtown Area Plan that guides development and improvements in the area. The city is currently working on updating the document with more details about the 200-plus acres.

The Central Platte Valley Auraria District holds some of the most visited attractions in Denver, drawing millions of people each year. But the area is also covered by parking lots.

The majority of the 479 residents who filled out the city's recent online survey taking feedback on the area indicated they disliked the "poor use of land," "lack of vegetation" and "void of activity" in the area.

A steering committee and the public comments call for better utilizing the waterfront, creating a mixed-use community that connects seamlessly to downtown and adding affordable housing to the area.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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