Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another Brilliant Idea

Let's see - the City has agreed to pay $6.5 million for a property assessed at just over $1 million, and now this:

Councilors mull interim uses for future rec site
by: Kathryn Richert/
Article Contributed on: 3/10/2010 10:53:23 AM

A dog park and community garden is being explored for the temporary use at East Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street, which will eventually become a recreation center.

Denver City Councilwoman Carla Madison said she is getting positive feedback for the idea for the site. It will likely be empty for three to five years between when the old Church in the City building is torn down and when additional funds are raised to build the Central Recreation Center.

Since a proposed off-leash dog area at City Park is receiving mixed reactions, a dog park at the nearby site might be a better option since it wouldn't be using park land, Madison said.

She said since a dog park would be temporary, it could be a good test to see if it works.

The site, on the northeast corner of Colfax and Josephine, is likely large enough to accommodate a dog park and garden, Madison said.

Safety has become a concern for neighboring East High School because transients have taken up residency at the vacant site.

The school likes the idea of partnering with the community on a joint space, such as a garden, but isn't as keen about a dog park, said East's principal John Youngquist.

"A dog park feels like we wouldn't be able to participate," Youngquist said.

It is unknown when the city will demolish the old Church in the City site, Madison said. A gas station that's also on the site will be staying put for now, she added.
Even though other suggestions have been made, a dog park and garden are the only practical ideas mentioned so far, Madison said.

A group of representatives from neighborhood associations surrounding the site is being formed to look at temporary, affordable uses for the site that the city can operate.

The site borders Madison and Councilwoman Jeanne Robb's respective districts.
An interim use could be in effect as early as this summer, but more likely this fall, Madison said.


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