berkeley regis united neighbors

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  • February 17, 2016 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | January 19 2016             

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary; chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Mike Beasley (chair of Public Works Committee)

    Courtney Eckert

    Stan Ford

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Heather Noyes Gregg

    Vince Vigil

    Additional meeting attendees included:

    Meghan Doyle (BRUN member)

    Justin Dunn (BRUN member)

    Marie Edgar (BRUN member)

    Tom Mobley (BRUN member)

    Tara Strazdas (BRUN member)

    Denise Gomez (Denver Police District 1 Community Resource Officer)

    Emily Allred

    Mike Bray

    Rachel Klein

    David McMurtry

    Diane McSheehy

    Karen Taylor

    Ryan Todd

    Justin Weyerhaeuser

    Cassie Wright

    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Jay April

    Michael Mathieson

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)


    President Paul Vorndran chaired the meeting which was held in the Parish Hall at Holy Family Church, 4377 Utica St, and began at 6:00.


    After introductions, the meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                Karen Taylor noted that the next Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (“INC”) meeting will take place in our neighborhood at Willis Case Golf Club at 8:30am on February 13th.

                Diane McSheehy, representing Regis University, would like to let neighbors know that they are welcome at many public university events.

                Tara Strazdas, a resident on the corner of 46th and Newton, has an upcoming hearing on March 1st with the Board of Adjustment regarding an appeal of an order to discontinue an unpermitted non-compliant fence.  She asked BRUN for advice and support.  This case typology is common in our neighborhood and several members of the Board involved with our Zoning Committee responded, including Michelle Frankel, Heather Noyes Gregg, and Enrico Cacciorni.  BRUN’s position is to support the official processes of the Denver department of Community Planning and Development.  We support the permitting process and while we sympathize we cannot support ignorance of the code as a valid reason for not obtaining a permit as that would not be fair to the rest of the law-abiding residents of our neighborhood.  If the resident seeks a variance to the code, our Zoning Committee can review the merits of the variance request.  Supporting variances typically requires evidence of hardship or unusual circumstances.  Our committee’s task is to support the greater interests of our neighborhood, and this can mean supporting individual residents but also their nearby neighbors and we aim to be consistent.  Board members expressed sympathy for the resident’s circumstances and offered additional time to answer questions outside of the meeting.  It was noted that the Zoning Committee is currently working on a Design Overlay for our neighborhood which would be an opportunity to review the neighbor’s concerns with the current requirements of the Zoning Code.  The Zoning Committee is also always open to neighbor’s concerns about the current Zoning Code and can bring them to the attention of representatives from Denver’s Community Planning and Development for future Code modifications.

                Marie Edgar reported that the 38th Avenue business group is working with the new CVS development that will be at the southeast corner of 38th and Sheridan on a gateway sign that will signify “Welcome to Historic North Denver” (or something along those lines).


    Officer Denise Gomez, one of our Neighborhood Resource Officers for Police District 1, was present and presented a police report for our neighborhood.  As we have previously heard, burglary is the main crime of concern in our neighborhood.  Unfortunately, burglars are often entering through open windows and doors, so Officer Gomez continues to urge residents to close and lock windows and doors.  She also urges residents to call the cops if you observe suspicious people entering your neighbor’s homes; you can be the police force’s best eyes.  Officer Gomez is initiating a push to develop the Neighborhood Watch program.  Consider becoming a block representative; the commitment includes knocking on your neighbor’s doors and attending as little as one meeting.  Contact Officer Gomez for more information.


    David McMurtry spoke about his development of a Goddard School at 3914 King, known as the Steele Gymnasium.  He is currently in the middle of the permitting process with the city which he hopes to wrap up by April in order to get through construction and open in the fall.  The city wants to rezone the site from a PUD to U-SU-C.  Addressing concerns about the historic value of the building, David said that they have no intention to change the outside of the main building other than some relatively small adjustments needed in order to increase the accessibility for children by adding a fire exit at the west side and enclosing an area of the playground.  At the moment they do not know what they will do with the house on the site, it could be demolished or it could be retained.  They are in the process of figuring out their parking and pick-up/drop-off traffic solutions.  Operation hours are anticipated to be 6:30am-6:00pm.  The school will start as a school for children in the 6-week to 6-year age range.  Marie Edgar expressed a desire to seek Landmark status for the Gymnasium.  Amanda Sandoval requested that David put together an information sheet to pass around to neighbors on adjacent blocks.


    Ryan Todd from Walk Denver spoke about a “Wellness Walk” path.  This pilot project will be placed around Regis and across Federal to the Aria development.  At this point they are reviewing wayfinding signage and asked for community feedback on 3 signage designs.  These designs were posted on a wall and meeting attendees noted preferences on the boards and filled out comment request cards.


    Michelle Frankel reported that minutes from the 11/17/15 Board Meeting were previously reviewed and approved electronically on December 3rd by 9 Board Members.


    Mike Beasley reported on the Public Works Committee. 

    -       The next meeting will be January 27th, from 6-8.  It will include a presentation from the Denver Department of Public Works on traffic, pedestrian safety, and other key topics.  Representatives from Walk Denver will also be present to discuss sidewalk improvements.

    -       Mike has been participating in a mediated workgroup with local residents, the Councilman’s office, and the business owners of the new Gleam Car Wash on a Good Neighbor Agreement.  They are still trying to figure out many details including the specific content (traffic, safety, etc), who will be the signees, and how it would be enforced.  He hopes that this will create a template that BRUN can consider for other businesses in the future.  Michelle Frankel suggested that this might be useful for a new doggie day care that has reached out to BRUN.

    -       Heather Noyes Gregg raised concerns about the streetscapes and desire for trees at the new car wash as well as the new CVS (in WHNA boundaries).  Amanda Sandoval from the Councilman’s office noted that she has already been speaking with the CVS developers about this and Mike reported that this is on the agenda for the next meeting with the car wash.


    Michelle Frankel reported on the Zoning & Licensing Committee:

    -       Brooklyn’s Finest Pizza agreed to a Good Neighbor Agreement with BRUN which the Board approved electronically on December 4th by 8 Board Members.  On December 9th, Enrico Cacciorni attended their Liquor License hearing and presented BRUN’s support and the GNA. 

    -       Axios Estiatorio also agreed to a Good Neighbor Agreement with BRUN which the Board approved electronically on January 5th by 10 Board Members.  On January 5th, Enrico attended their hearing with the Board of Adjustment for expanding their patio and presented BRUN’s support and the GNA.


    Tom LaRocque reported on the Communications and Membership Committee.  Membership renewals are currently being automated through the Wild Apricot platform.  Current members’ have a grace period for renewal through the end of February so that they can vote at the Annual Meeting.


    Tom LaRocque reported that the Treasury currently has around $1,400-$1,500 and that a “Square” reader has been set up and was used successfully at the Holiday Party.


    Osea Nelson presented a report on the Events Committee.  The Holiday Party at Atomic Cowboy on December 10th was a success!  The next scheduled event at this point is the Easter Egg Hunt which will be on Saturday March 26th.  Osea is continuing to seek brainstorming for future events and hopes to present ideas at the Annual Meeting.  New ideas include a “Garden Walk” and a “Meet the New Board” happy hour.


    Courtney Eckert had prepared a conversation for the Board regarding back-of-house functioning using Wild Apricot and Google Apps.  Due to time and priorities this was tabled for a future Monthly Meeting.


    Enrico Cacciorni suggested that the Board consider reducing its size prior to the Annual Meeting at which we will be seeking new members to fill vacancies.  Osea Nelson, Michelle Frankel, and Paul Vorndran raised various concerns with reducing the Board size at this time and the Board chose not to change the bylaws at this time.  The board felt that Enrico’s valid concern that having inattentive Board members can impede our functioning could be addressed in other ways by sanctioning and/or removing such members after inactivity is evidenced.


    The upcoming Annual Meeting was discussed.  It will take place at the Oriental Theater on February 23rd (this date was selected in an electronic vote by the Board on December 10th with 7 votes in favor) and will be run by President Paul Vorndran.  The agenda and meeting order was determined to be as follows:

    1)     President’s Report

    2)     Committee Reports (Treasury, Membership/Communications, Events, Zoning/Licensing)

    3)     Members’ Forum (open mic/ Q&A to the Board)

    4)     Nominations for open Board positions followed by voting

    5)     Speakers from the neighborhood (Police Report, Councilman Espinoza, others as approved by the Board prior to the event).

    Procedures for the open mic, balloting, and nominating elements of the event were discussed and will be fleshed out more fully at the February monthly meeting.


    A proposal to have a Candidates’ Forum at an upcoming Monthly Board meeting for DA candidates was positively received.  The Board felt that the Annual Meeting would not be the appropriate opportunity for candidates to speak.


    It was determined that the Board would hold its regular monthly meeting on February 16th to address general business as well as to address planning for the Annual Meeting the following week.


    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.


  • December 06, 2015 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | November 17 2015         

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Jay April

    Mike Beasley (chair of Public Works Committee)

    Stan Ford

    Michael Mathieson

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Heather Noyes Gregg

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)

    Vince Vigil

    Additional meeting attendees included:

    Roseanne Jelacic (BRUN member)

    Melissa Martin (BRUN member)

    Tom Mobley (BRUN member)

    Denise Gomez (Denver Police District 1 Community Resource Officer)

    Emilie Baratta

    Ron Barney

    Nina Cerenna

    Carlo Conti

    Meghan Doyle

    Jan Ebersole

    Nikki Gallegos

    Maria Gentile

    Walter Gude

    Frank Hayden

    Leanne Kerber

    Ayo Labode

    Brenda Lawson

    Rob Madrid

    Connie Mastin

    Lauren Ramsay

    Jim Scott

    Diana Shull

    Marshall Stanley

    Corinna Santini

    Greg Thomas

    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Courtney Eckert


    Vice President Enrico Cacciorni chaired the meeting which was held in the Parish Hall at Holy Family Church, 4377 Utica St, and began at 6:00.


    The meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                Corinna Santini, a business owner on 38th Ave, opened a conversation about a car wash that is being built on 38th Ave between Wolff and Xavier.  Emilie Baratta and Rob Madrid, the owners of the car wash, were present to answer questions.  The car wash is currently moving through the permitting process, it has been schematically approved, demolition of the previous building has been approved and completed, and currently the foundation permit is pending with construction expected to begin soon.  They are hoping to open for business as early as March 2016.  Neighboring residents and businesses have concerns about how they will be affected by the business and related traffic.  The BRUN Board offered to facilitate a follow-up meeting between the business and its neighbors and collected contact information for those interested in such a meeting.


    Officer Denise Gomez, one of our Neighborhood Resource Officers for Police District 1, was present and presented a police report for our neighborhood.  As we have previously heard, burglary is the main crime of concern in our neighborhood.  From August through October, the department tracked 29 burglaries, 28 thefts from motor vehicles, and 9 motor vehicle thefts in Berkeley.  There was an increase in burglaries owed to a burglary “ring” this summer.  A particular pattern which Officer Gomez wanted to note is of homes being accessed through unlocked and/or open windows.  To reduce the chance of theft from your motor vehicles, she advises not leaving anything in your car when parked on the street.  If you have a ‘90s Honda, Accord, Jeep, or Civic, you can pick up a free “Club” antitheft device at the precinct.  Officer Gomez informed us that while District 1 is a large area (roughly from 6th-52nd Aves, Speer-Sheridan), there are 12 cops on duty per shift, they will focus their time based upon where the data shows that they are needed.


    Michelle Frankel reported that Charles Moore and Jane Deegan have resigned their positions on the BRUN Board of Directors.


    Minutes from the 10/20/15 Board Meeting was reviewed and approved by all present Board Members unanimously.


    Mike Beasley reported on the Public Works Committee.  He hopes to publish meeting minutes from last month’s meeting soon on the BRUN website.  The next meeting will be January 27th with agents from the City as well as representatives from Walk Denver regarding sidewalk improvements.


    Osea Nelson presented a report on the Events Committee.  On November 11th, the Board electronically approved holding the annual Holiday Party at Atomic Cowboy.  We thank the other businesses who offered space and will make sure to take advantage of them for upcoming events.  After tonight’s meeting, Board members will be heading to the new Nip and Sip Neighborhood Lounge to toast to Dave Decker and thank him for all of his hard work in the past few years.  Osea is continuing to seek brainstorming ideas for future events.


    The date for the upcoming Annual Meeting was discussed.  Dates under consideration are February 9th, 10th, 16th, and 17th.  Mike Mathieson will speak with the Oriental about availability.


    Christie Schwalbe reported that the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation, of which she is a Board member, will be holding a wine event/ silent auction fundraiser on December 2nd at Bonacquisti Wine Company.


    Michelle Frankel was approved by the Board unanimously as the new chair of the Zoning & Licensing Committee.


    After providing a brief summary on its roles and responsibilities, Michelle Frankel reported on the Zoning & Licensing Committee:

    -       Brooklyn’s Finest Pizza at 50th & Lowell is seeking a Liquor License.  Their hearing will be on December 9th.  Frank Hayden and Carlo Conti, representing the establishment, were present to answer questions.  The Zoning Committee is working with them on our standard “Good Neighbor Agreement”, all parties are optimistic that this will be agreed upon, especially since most points of the GNA have to do with late hours and the business does not stay open later than 10 any night of the week.  Also, Brooklyn’s Finest Pizza has a history of positive outreach and interactions with their neighbors.  If the GNA is signed, the Committee and the Board are in favor of supporting the liquor license application.  Procedurally, once the GNA is signed, the Board will vote electronically whether to approve or deny this support in time for the hearing.

    -       There was discussion about the Good Neighbor Agreements (GNA’s).  Michelle would like to approach businesses that have not previously been given the opportunity to sign GNA’s with the option to sign them and have the opportunity for window decals.  This idea was supported by the board.  There was discussion about the window decals and how to design them so that they indicate that they are only for liquor-serving establishments, so that non-liquor serving establishments don’t appear to be “bad” neighbors (since only liquor-serving establishments are given the opportunity to sign GNA’s at this time).  The idea to expand GNA’s beyond liquor-serving establishments was considered, especially with regards to the previous conversation about the new car wash, however at this time the Board feels that it would not be feasible to expand the GNA’s.

    -       Upcoming Board of Adjustment case #142-15 regards Axios Estiatorio which is seeking to add an outdoor dining patio.  If they get this approval, they will then need to expand their liquor license to include the outdoor area.  The Zoning Committee is in support of this business expansion, pending the signing of a Good Neighbor Agreement which is in process.  The Board had no concerns about pursuing this GNA and supporting the business.  Procedurally, we hope to have the GNA signed before the December Board meeting at which time the Board can vote to support or oppose the business at their hearing which is on January 5th.

    -       Michelle noted that we have received notification of Schematic Design Review for a CVS store at 38th and Sheridan (on the southeast corner, so this is WHNA jurisdiction).


    Tom LaRocque reported on the Communications and Membership Committee.  The Committee had a productive meeting on November 5th.  Courtney Eckert has recently done a great redesign of the website.  Tom notes that several parts of the site, in particular the individual committee pages, need to be updated (the committee chairs will take a look at updating their information).  Tom renewed his encouragement that Board members become familiar with the Wild Apricot platform and is available to assist if anyone needs it.  An important upcoming item is that BRUN memberships expire every year on February 1st (members who join from November 2015 will be granted membership for 2016).  A re-enlistment campaign will need to be started on January 1st.  Tom has also announced that he will be stepping down from his positions on the Board, as Chair of this committee, and as Treasurer in 2016, and hopes to see enthusiasm in whoever takes over his responsibilities.


    Tom LaRocque noted that he is in the process of setting up a “Square” device for BRUN’s use but the BRUN bank account has encountered technical difficulties that he is working through.


    Christie Schwalbe reported on the Tennyson Berkeley Business Association (TBBA)’s recent Trick or Treat Street which took place on October 31st:

    -       Enrico Cacciorni and Osea Nelson both commented about bringing their children to the event and being thrilled with the experience.  Osea noted that he had had concerns about the crowds at Chavez Park, but felt that those concerns weren’t validated and that the addition of activities at the Park was “awesome”.

    -       Businesses have continued to have concerns about balancing events throughout the year that support bars and restaurants as well as retail and other establishments.

    -       TBBA is continuing to consider ways to help this event be sustainable and beneficial to everyone.


    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.


  • November 20, 2015 4:31 PM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | October 20 2015             

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Michael Mathieson

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)

    Vince Vigil

    Additional meeting attendees included:

    Courtney Eckert (BRUN member)

    Roseanne Jelacic (BRUN member)

    Christian Thompson (BRUN member)

    Dennis Rooney (BRUN member)

    Amanda Sandoval (Denver District 1 Aide to Councilman Espinoza)

    Susan Renaud (Denver Environmental Health)

    Greg Brauntz

    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Jay April

    Mike Beasley (chair of Public Works Committee)

    Dave Decker (chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)

    Jane Deegan

    Stan Ford

    Charles Moore

    Heather Noyes Gregg

    President Paul Vorndran chaired the meeting which was held in the Parish Hall at Holy Family Church, 4377 Utica St, and began at 6:30.

    Susan Renaud from the Denver Department of Environmental Health presented opportunities of interest to our neighborhood.  “Certifiably Green Denver” is a free resource for businesses to help them become more sustainable.  The “Denver Energy Challenge” is a residential program that provides energy experts to give advice and advocate for sustainable initiatives.  The Department of Environmental Health has helped about 65 households in our neighborhood and would like to do a targeted campaign to increase that number.  They are seeking input as to how to proceed.  Ideas presented included placing yard signs at participants’ homes, installing LED lights with an informational sign on a tree in Caesar Chavez Park, a coupon campaign with local businesses, and handing out LED lights to neighbors.  Susan also mentioned that there are currently some great subsidies available for purchasing solar panels and Nissan Leaf hybrid cars.

    Nick, an operations manager for Denver 311, came to share information and answer questions about the 311 service.  Denver’s 311 program was launched in 2006 and is a fabulous resource for all of your “burning questions” (as opposed to your “burning buildings” for which you should dial 911).  311’s hours of operation are 8-5 Sa/Su and 7-9 M-F.  You can dial 311, email 311@Denvergov.org, or download the pocketgov.com app to your smartphone.  They also invite anyone interested to stop on by their offices at the Webb Building downtown.  It’s worth knowing that call volumes are highest on Mondays, Fridays, and the day after a holiday.  The Department of 311 Operations prides themselves on their customer service which they have received high reports of satisfaction, and they are excited about new systems they have set up to be even more direct and efficient at addressing callers’ questions and concerns.  Nick wanted to make it clear that it is always fastest to call 311 rather than calling city departments directly, and calling 311 helps provide the city and the public with extremely important data. 

    The meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                Christian Thompson asked if we knew whether the basketball courts might be getting repaved.  This item was directed to the Public Works Committee and to be passed along to Councilman Espinoza.

                Greg Brauntz raised concerns about recent drag racing occurring at night along 50th Avenue.  The board’s recommendation was to pass this along to the police so that they could increase patrol and monitoring in the area.

                Courtney Eckert presented some charts and information compiled on burglaries and paving issues in the neighborhood based upon data compiled by 311.  This was a great showcase of how important it is to call 311 about public works issues and also to show our Public Works Committee what a great resource their data is for us.

    Michelle Frankel reported on a few items of Secretary business:

    -       Minutes from the 9/15/15 Board Meeting were previously reviewed and approved electronically on September 29th by 9 Board Members.

    -       A motion was presented to move the monthly meeting time up to 6pm.  This was approved electronically on September 29th by 8 Board Members and will go into effect for the November meeting.

    -       We still need several board members to subscribe to the administrative forum to help our communications in between meetings

    Dave Decker is unfortunately resigning his position on the Board as well as his chairmanship of the Zoning & Licensing Committee as he will be leaving the area in the near future.  The Zoning & Licensing Committee will be meeting in upcoming weeks to discuss new chair recommendations and how to move forward with the great work that Dave has done (he is not simply “replaceable”!).

    The Board voted unanimously to replace Dave’s position on the Board with BRUN member Courtney Eckert.

    It was noted that the BRUN bylaws state that missing 3 meetings in a row is grounds for automatic resignation of board members.  Unfortunately we have two directors who have not been in attendance for longer than that.  It was determined that Paul Vorndran would reach out to these directors.

    The date for the upcoming Annual Meeting was discussed.  Dates under consideration are February 9th, 10th, 16th, and 17th.  Mike Mathieson will speak with the Oriental about availability.  Tom LaRocque will set up a “square” device in time to be used at this event.

    Concerns about the legal status of BRUN were raised.  Paul Vorndran will look into what kind of entity BRUN is established as for financial and liability purposes.

    Osea Nelson presented a report on the Events Committee.  He has spoken with Parks and Rec and established that the Easter Egg Hunt will now permanently be set for the Saturday before Easter in order to have grandfathered rights to use park grounds.  The Holiday party will be on December 10th, various board members are reaching out to neighborhood options to select the location.

    Paul Vorndran reported upon attending an RNO Presidents’ meeting with Councilman Rafael Espinoza.  His main takeaway was that many of our neighboring RNO’s are doing similar things to those that BRUN are undertaking.  We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  He would love to see a listserve or online group initiated to help exchange information between organizations.  It was suggested that the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (“INC”) is intended to serve this purpose, however it does not seem to be disseminating information usefully for us.  BRUN is also in need of representation and interfacing with INC.

    Tom LaRocque reported on Communications.  He was prepared to give a Wild Apricot user demonstration but this was tabled.  He would like to organize a meeting of the Committee within the upcoming month and will send out invitations/notification.  Interested Committee members include Courtney, Christie, and Osea.

    Courtney Eckert reported on the Public Works Committee.  The Committee met with key agents for the Denver Department of Public Works.  They were informed that due to current budgeting priorities, through next year the City can only focus on items that are safety concerns as they have a bond specifically dedicated to bringing public property up to ADA compliance.  If you have concerns that can be addressed quickly and cheaply, call 311 and they may be able to help, but anything that costs significant time and money will not be addressed at this time.  Courtney touched on a few highlights from the Committee’s meeting that she wanted to share:  Sidewalks are the responsibility of the adjacent property owner; If neighboring property owners group together there are discounted efficient ways to get sidewalks fixed;  If you have safety or other concerns about a construction site, call 311 or the inspector directly.

    Enrico Cacciorni requested that we initiate a more formal agenda-setting procedure.  It was determined that this would be done online using Wild Apricot and ideally we would have agendas finalized by the weekend before the meeting.

    Christie Schwalbe reported on the Tennyson Berkeley Business Association (TBBA):

    -       Trick or Treat Street will take place on October 31st.  Local businesses have concerns about pedestrian safety and losses to businesses and have growing sentiment that they may not want to continue this event in the future.

    -       Small Business Saturday will take place on November 28th.  Tennyson businesses are sponsoring a “Passport” program to encourage shopping.  ReMax is sponsoring a tree lighting.

    -       TBBA is working with First Fridays to connect Denver Art Districts to aide artists.

    -       There is an application in process for a bike corral at Caesar Chavez Park and hopes to work towards a B-Cycle station in the future once more B-Cycle stations expand closer to our neighborhood.

    Christie Schwalbe reported on the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation of which she has been recently named a Board member.  Next year is the 125th anniversary of the theater.  There are several upcoming events:  A book reading on October 24th, a ghost tour fundraiser on October 30th, and a wine event/ silent auction fundraiser on December 2nd.

    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.


  • September 29, 2015 10:35 AM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | September 15 2015        

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Jay April

    Mike Beasley (chair of Public Works Committee)

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Vince Vigil

    Additional meeting attendees included:

    Courtney Eckert (BRUN member)

    Rafael Espinoza (BRUN member; Denver District 1 Councilman)

    Joe Zemek (BRUN member)

    Josh Vasconcellos (Denver Police District 1 Community Resource Officer)

    Nell Conti

    Michael Kiley

    Amanda Sandoval (Denver District 1 Aide to Councilman Espinoza)

    Tina Sperlak


    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Dave Decker (chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)

    Jane Deegan

    Stan Ford

    Michael Mathieson

    Charles Moore

    Heather Noyes Gregg

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)


    President Paul Vorndran chaired the meeting which was held in the Parish Hall at Holy Family Church, 4377 Utica St, and began at 6:30.


    Officer Joshua Vasconcellos, the Community Resource Officer for Police District 1 was present and presented a police report for our neighborhood.  He reported that the past month has seen a rough spell of crime: an increase in property crimes, increase in theft from motor vehicles, increase in garage burglaries, and an increase in aggravated assaults.  The increase in aggravated assaults is a direct result of the increase in property crimes which cause officers to be tied up off the street and less available for both preventative patrolling and quick response.  The police department has made a dedicated effort to increase resources and patrolling in our neighborhood as a result.  It is important to note that the majority of thefts from vehicles occur from unlocked vehicles, and the majority of garage burglaries are from open garage doors.  These are preventable crimes!  Officer Vasconcellos urges neighbors to do the following:

    -       Lock your cars and close your doors!

    -       Leave front porch lights on for natural surveillance, lit streets deter criminals.

    -       If you notice dim or out-of-work street lights, Xcel has an excellent online reporting tool and they will take care of it

    -       Let an officer know if you encounter strange people knocking on your door as they may be casing your home and those of your neighbors.

    -       Please call in crimes, the department needs reports in order to be able to appropriately allocate resources and respond.


    Councilman Rafael Espinoza was present and made a few announcements:

    -       The councilman’s office will be open for neighbors to drop in at their satellite office on Thursdays from 9am to 5pm and Fridays from 9am to 2pm at 5094 W Colfax.

    -       There will be periodic meetings open to the community.  Upcoming District meetings will be in October:

    o    Tuesday October 6th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Riverside Baptist Church (2401 Alcott St)

    o    Wednesday October 7th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Lake Middle School (1820 Lowell Blvd)

    o    Tuesday October 27th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Paul Sandoval Lecture Hall at North High School (2960 Speer Blvd)

    o    Wednesday October 28th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Community Room at Denver Police District 1 (1311 W 46th Ave)

    -       Councilman Espinoza will have quarterly meetings with the Presidents of District 1 RNO’s (Registered Neighborhood Organizations like BRUN).  The first will be on October 23rd.

    -       Amanda Sandoval, Aide to the Councilman, was present to introduce herself.  She will be the main point of contact, please make sure to CC or address her if you are seeking a quick response (amanda.sandoval@denvergov.org).

    -       For more information:

    o    www.facebook.com/CD1Rafael

    o    www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-council-district-1.html

    o    720.337.7701

    Jay April suggested that the councilman consider an advisory committee of local community members with expertise.  Rafael responded that this is a goal, but needs to address how City Council and the Mayor’s office actually function with respect to legislative and executive processes.

    Mike Beasley thanked Rafael and Amanda for helping to facilitate coordination between BRUN’s Public Works Committee and the Denver Department of Public Works.


    Michael Kiley, candidate for Denver Public Schools School Board, was present to introduce himself.  He is campaigning on a platform of strengthening neighborhood schools and emphasizes his personal experience as a DPS graduate and parent.  Contact him at 720.336.0125 or Michael@kileyforkids.com, and find out more at kileyforkids.com.


    The meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                Joe Zemek promoted an upcoming rally and caucus training for Bernie Sanders that will be held at the Oriental Theater on September 22nd at 6:30pm.

                Paul Vorndran passed along information from Father Marty about an upcoming “Blessing of the Animals” in honor of the Feast of St Francis.  Bring your friendly family pets for a special blessing on October 3rd at 11:00am in front of Holy Family Church.


    Tom LaRocque presented a report on the state of the Treasury.  After our recent payment to Wild Apricot for web services, we have approximately $1,100.


    Tom LaRocque reported on Communications.  He has fixed the info@berkeleyregisneighbors.org email account, the inbox of which now feeds to Paul Vorndran as President, Enrico Cacciorni as Vice President, Michelle Frankel as Secretary, Tom LaRocque as Treasurer, and Dave Decker as Zoning & Licensing Committee Chair.  It was determined that whenever one of these recipients responds to an incoming email, they will cc: info@berkeleyregisneighbors.org so that all recipients are aware of correspondence.


    In response to poor usage by Board Members of the Wild Apricot management tools, Tom will send out an email reminder and offer assistance to have Board Members set up daily digests.


    Michelle Frankel renewed her call for assistance from anyone with access to drawings of residential properties in the neighborhood, both new construction and drawings of existing properties (for example, those done in the process of renovations).  These would be used to assist the Zoning Committee’s Overlay District task force in modeling and refining recommendations with a clear understanding of current context.


    Osea Nelson presented a report on the Events Committee.  Dates are being finalized for BRUN’s annual Stein Night at Local 46, likely to be September 29th.  Check our website and facebook for updated information and bring your stein!  Also, he is still reviewing venues for the annual Holiday Party and working on ideas for more events.  Enrico Cacciorni suggested we consider an “Alley Cleanup” event or “Yard Sale” day.


    Mike Beasley reported on the Public Works Committee.  On September 30th at 6:30 there will be a Public Works Committee Meeting at Arrupe Jesuit High School (4343 Utica St).  City staff will be present, items of discussion will include the role of the Denver Department of Public Works, pedestrian ramps, storm drainage, sidewalk conditions, construction safety, etc.  Mike intends for this to be the first of several meetings before the end of the year.


    Paul Vorndran requested that Board Members provide him with topics of concern for his upcoming RNO Presidents’ meeting with Councilman Espinoza.


    Minutes from the 9/17/15 Board Meeting were previously reviewed and approved electronically on September 10th by 9 Board Members.


    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.


  • September 09, 2015 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | August 18 2015   

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Mike Beasley (chair of Public Works Committee)

    Dave Decker (chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)

    Stan Ford

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Vince Vigil

    Additional meeting attendees included:

    Courtney Eckert (BRUN member)

    Rafael Espinoza (BRUN member; Denver District 1 Councilman)

    JD Dossett

    Magdalena Staab

    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Jay April

    Jane Deegan

    Michael Mathieson

    Charles Moore

    Heather Noyes Gregg

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)


    President Paul Vorndran chaired the meeting which was held at Rocky Top Tavern, 4907 Lowell Blvd, and began at 6:30.


    Our new Councilman Rafael Espinoza was present to introduce himself.  He is enthusiastic about the start of his term, although he noted that his office is temporarily short-staffed.  First orders of business include a focus on budget requests, so he asked BRUN for any feedback.  He has requested funds priority for Community Planning and Development (CPD) issues in particular, these budget requests go to the Mayor and he expects to hear back mid-September.  He also suggests that neighbors visit his Facebook page for updates and posts about neighborhood information.

    -       Mike Beasley thanked Rafael for the assistance of his aide Amanda Sandoval in connecting him with the Denver Department of Public Works who are now working with the BRUN Public Works Committee.

    -       Dave Decker asked about the process for requesting capital improvements to extend the improvement district on Tennyson north to include the stretch from 44th to 46th Aves.  Rafael responded that requests should be submitted over the next six months for implementation in 2017.

    -       Osea Nelson requested a permit waiver for BRUN’s annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Rafael said that the availability of waivers has been reduced but that we should be prequalified based upon previously getting it in the past several years.  He will look into the prequalification requirements.

    -       Stan Ford brought up the new parking plan being implemented in the streets adjacent to Regis University and confusion among local residents about permitting rules and parking restrictions.  Rafael and Stan will follow up these questions and Stan will publicize the clarifications.


    The meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                JD Dossett, proprietor of the new Nip and Sip Neighborhood Lounge at 44th and Yates, was present to meet the Board.  He offered his space for potential future BRUN gatherings.


    Our digital platform, “Wild Apricot”, is up for renewal or upgrade and is raising prices so we need to decide how to proceed.  We currently pay $50/month for a level that allows 500 contacts in our database, and we have been deactivating contacts in order to stay below this number.  We could move up to a level that allows up to 2,000 contacts, and that would cost $100/month (or $90/month if we pay for the year up front, which we’d have to do in order to lock in the rate).  After August 31st rates will go up (for 500 contacts it will be $70/month, for 2,000 contacts it will be $130/month). 

    Summary: If we stay with Wild Apricot, our options are to (a) stay at the <500 contacts level which would cost $540 for the year, or (b) move up to the <2,000 contacts level which would cost $1,080 for the year.

    It was discussed that if we stay with the lower level, we could implement the addition of a separate service like MailChimp or Google Aps to facilitate reaching out to a wider breadth of contacts than those allowed active on Wild Apricot.  Conversely, the Board felt that if we moved up to the higher level, we should renew commitments to raising the number of paid members.

    -       Tom LaRocque motioned a vote to choose either option “a” or option “b” (noted above).  The Board voted 3 in favor of “a” and 4 in favor of “b”.  Conversation continued.

    -       Michelle Frankel motioned to vote on upgrading to the 2,000 contact level (option “b”).  The vote passed, 7 in favor and 1 abstention.


    Minutes from the 7/21/15 Board Meeting was reviewed and approved by all present Board Members unanimously.


    Dave Decker presented a report on the Zoning Committee.  Since last month’s meeting, there has been resolution regarding the proposed development at 39th and Tennyson and there are no longer concerns about losing the streetscape improvements.  However, a resident has brought to BRUN’s attention concern about the developer involved in this project having had bad neighborly conduct at a previous construction site.  Rafael Espinoza requested that Dave share the details of these concerns with him.


    Dave Decker noted that there is still an issue with the BRUN information email account and that he has not been receiving notifications from the City which go to that account.  This includes notification about liquor license applications and board of adjustment hearings.  Paul Vorndran said he will work with Tom LaRocque to fix this issue.


    Michelle Frankel sought assistance from anyone with access to drawings of residential properties in the neighborhood, both new construction and drawings of existing properties (for example, those done in the process of renovations).  These would be used to assist the Zoning Committee’s Overlay District task force in modeling and refining recommendations with a clear understanding of current context.


    Osea Nelson presented a report on the Events Committee.  Dates are being finalized for BRUN’s annual Stein Night at Local 46, likely to be at the end of September.  Also, he is reviewing venues for the annual Holiday Party, including our new neighbors at the Atomic Cowboy and the Nip and Sip.


    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.


  • August 19, 2015 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | July 21 2015        

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Jay April

    Mike Beasley (chair of Public Works Committee)

    Dave Decker (chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)

    Stan Ford

    Michael Mathieson

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Heather Noyes Gregg

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)

    Additional meeting attendees included:

    Marie Edgar (BRUN member)

    Jeff Laws (BRUN member)

    Chris Roussy

    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Jane Deegan

    Charles Moore

    Vince Vigil


    Heather Noyes Gregg chaired the meeting which was held in the cafeteria at Arrupe Jesuit High School, 4343 Utica Street, and began at 6:30.


    Officers Denise Gomez and Joshua Vasconcellos are our Neighborhood Resource Officers for Police District 1.  Officer Gomez was present and presented a police report for our neighborhood. 

    -       26 out of 28 thefts over 28 days from motor vehicles were from unlocked cars, so Officer Gomez urges residents to lock their cars!

    -       She also recommends that you do not leave all of the following in your car as it would facilitate additionally breaking into your home: garage door opener, personal identification, car registration with address on it.  She notes that current registrations are being issued with an included copy that does not have home addresses printed on it, specifically to keep in your car and reduce vulnerability.

    -       If you own ‘90s model Hondas, Dodge Intrepids,or Jeeps:  The Denver Police Department will provide you with a FREE “club” anti-theft device!


    Osea Nelson presented a report on the Events Committee.  He requested help with generating ideas.

    -       He has encountered difficulties setting up an event with The Argyle, but there has been positive feedback about the idea of an event geared towards connecting with the senior members of our community, so he’s interested in new ideas to this end.  Heather Noyes Gregg suggested considering the Cottage Hill Apartments.  Christie Schwalbe said she’d be eager to be involved in this outreach.

    -       A request would be made to Paul Vorndran to reach out to new councilman Rafael Espinoza for opportunities for a BRUN social event to introduce him to neighbors.

    -       Marie Edgar suggested speaking with Dennis Gallagher for ghost storytelling.  Stan Ford offered to coordinate.

    -       The annual Stein Night will be held at Local 46 at the end of September.

    -       Venue ideas requested for the annual Holiday Party.  Suggestions included Atomic Cowboy, Berkeley Untapped, and RockyTop.


    The meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                Chris Roussy reached out to BRUN to connect with ideas to offer innovative services to the community for which he is seeking federal grants.


    Tom LaRocque reported on Communications.  Our digital platform, “Wild Apricot”, is up for renewal or upgrade and is raising prices so we need to decide how to proceed.  We currently pay $50/month for a level that allows 500 contacts in our database, and we have been deactivating contacts in order to stay below this number.  We could move up to a level that allows up to 2,000 contacts, and that would cost $100/month (or $90/month if we pay for the year up front, which we’d have to do in order to lock in the rate).  After August 31st rates will go up (for 500 contacts it will be $70/month, for 2,000 contacts it will be $130/month).  

    Summary: If we stay with Wild Apricot, our options are to (a) stay at the <500 contacts level which would cost $540 for the year, or (b) move up to the <2,000 contacts level which would cost $1,080 for the year.

    While BRUN has enough money in the treasury to pay for this, there is concern from the Board that it would take up the majority of our treasury and while we have not had other expenses in the past, we have limited our spending in the past simply because we didn’t have the funds and we might like to be able to use those funds now that we have them.  Several Board members also raised concern that since we currently have only 141 paid members, we’d be spending a large portion of our budget in order to send emails to non-paying contacts.  One alternative that has been suggested would be to stay at the <500 contacts level with Wild Apricot and use only paying members towards that count.  In order to maintain communications outreach to non-paying contacts, we could use a separate service like “MailChimp”.  Tom LaRocque stated that he strongly believes this would be too complicated and that his recommendation would be to stick with Wild Apricot for everything and raise up to the <2,000 level.

    -       Jay April motioned that we upgrade to the <2,000 level, and Mike Beasley seconded the motion.  The Board voted, 5 in favor:  The motion failed.

    -       Christie Schwalbe requested that the Membership & Communications Committee bring a presentation to the August Board Meeting outlining the benefits of Wild Apricot.  Tom requested that in the intervening time Board members take the time to familiarize themselves with the platform.

    -       At the August meeting, this issue will be readdressed.  Board members requested that Tom and the Membership & Communications Committee also prepare a Plan “B”.


    Dave Decker noted that there has been an issue with the BRUN information email account and that he and Paul Vorndran have not been receiving notifications from the City which go to that account.  Tom LaRocque said he’d look into this.


    Jay April reported that he will speak about the June 10th Sustainability presentation at the next Board Meeting.


    Dave Decker presented a report on the Zoning Committee.  There have been concerns about the upcoming development at 39th and Tennyson.  A site plan was reviewed and approved by the City without regard to ~$50,000 in recent streetscape improvements.  In the process of this approval, the Fire Department requested that the streets be widened which would demolish some of these streetscape improvements including benches, trees, street lamps, as well as wide pedestrian-friendly gathering spaces.  The City did not request that the new development re-incorporate these amenities.  The local Maintenance District which had been told they’d be informed of any potential alterations to the streetscape was not informed.  The City has admitted that this was an oversight by an inexperienced staff member.  Jeff Laws, the organizer of the Local Maintenance District and a local property owner, has asked Councilman Espinoza to intervene and have the city acknowledge and fix their error.  Stan Ford offered to speak with the Fire Department to see if they might rescind the street-widening requirement.


    Michelle Frankel reported on the Overlay District task force.  Currently the task force is focusing on preparing recommendations to the BRUN Board for design guidelines that would affect private residential development, specifically in the areas zoned U-SU-B1, U-SU-C, U-SU-C1, and U-TU-C.  The task force has focused its efforts on two main items:

    (1)   Addressing desires for encouraging social community connection, “eyes on the street” safety, and a contextual nod to traditional architectural forms of existing properties by requiring front porches or patios on all new residences.  The task force is currently researching the limitations and extents of this proposal, for example the required size of such porches or patios.

    (2)   Addressing concerns about loss of backyard privacy and impeded solar access to existing neighboring residences by refining building massing requirements.  The task force is currently researching the limitations and extents of this proposal, for example by reducing height maximums within a range of distances from the lot line.


    Minutes from the 5/19/15 and 6/16/15 Board Meetings were reviewed and approved by all present Board Members unanimously.


    Mike Beasley reported on the Public Works Committee.  He has encountered a frustratingly hindering wall regarding communication with the City.  He is being persistent and hopes to have more to report next month.


    Christie Schwalbe reported on the TBBA (Tennyson Berkeley Business Association):  The TBBA has been concerned about local pedestrian safety.  They are considering changing the annual “Trick or Treat Street”, both because of safety concerns and because they feel it does not aid local businesses.  One proposal has been to do a Harvest Festival instead.  They are working on having art (visual or performance) at every business location during First Friday festivities.  A Night Market is being planned for First Fridays to take place in Cesar Chavez Park.  There is interest from the TBBA to attend a BRUN Zoning Committee meeting or have a coffee to find out about the committee’s activities.  Heather Noyes Gregg offered to meet with Christie to coordinate.


    Stan Ford spoke about BRUN’s coordination with Denver Police and Fire.  He asked whether we need the Police liaison to speak at every monthly meeting, and whether we’d be interested in alternating months with a representative from the Fire Department.  The Board decided to consider this in a future meeting.


    Heather Noyes Gregg suggested we consider moving the start time of our monthly meetings up to 6pm.  This was received favorably but tabled for future discussion.


    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.


  • July 22, 2015 11:56 AM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | June 16 2015       

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Stan Ford

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Heather Noyes Gregg

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)


    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Jay April

    Mike Beasley

    Dave Decker (chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)

    Jane Deegan

    Michael Mathieson

    Charles Moore

    Vince Vigil


    Vice President Enrico Cacciorni chaired the meeting which was held in the Parish Hall at Holy Family Church, 4358 Utica Street, and began at 6:30.


    Lieutenant JD Williams, representing District 1, presented a police report for our neighborhood.  He made the following recommendations:

    -       Don’t keep valuables (computers, purses, guns) in your car.

    -       “Don’t make it easy for burglars” to break into garages – flimsy side doors and open garage doors are inviting for burglars.

    -       To prevent bike theft, register your bike and keep it locked up.

    -       Avoid leaving lawn mowers and grills in plain sight and easy access, lock them up or bring them inside.


    Susan Shepherd came to share updates and farewells as departing City Councilwoman:

    -       There will be three ballot initiatives in November which she suggested residents be informed about: 

    o    1) A measure at both state and local levels regarding the retention of excess moneys received for marijuana taxes.  If this passes, ALL money (not just the excess) will be returned to taxpayers.  She believes this would be a bad idea.

    o    2) An initiative for development of the National Western Stock Show.  This would improve facilities, add an operating agricultural school within Denver (as part of CSU), improve underutilized property, clean up and revitalize the South Platte in Globeville/Swansea area.  Funding would come from tourism (hotel and short-term car rental) taxes.  She is in support of this.

    o    3) A measure to develop property at DIA for additional commercial uses.  She expressed “heartburn” about this issue, and urges voters to be informed of the opposing complexities.  On the one hand, she believes that smart development is good; on the other hand it would have significant impacts to i-70 traffic.

    -       She pointed out that the recent CPD text amendment bundle addresses issues that were specifically brought up at a walk-thru which she participated in with BRUN board members and CPD staff last summer.  This recent legislative update to the zoning code shows BRUN’s direct impact.

    -       Several public works items in our neighborhood:

    o    Public Works is addressing traffic issues at Lowell, in particular at the i-70 ramps.  They will be adding ramp upgrades, a left turn lane, and narrowing the street to make it safer for both pedestrians and cars.

    o    To address concerns at the Centennial Elementary pickup/dropoff, they will be removing the signal at 46th & Raleigh, adding a 4-way stop as well as parking spots.

    o    They intend to add 4-way stop signs along 46th at Irving, Osceola, and Wolff to address pedestrian-crossing safety. 

    §  BRUN board members spoke up to address concern for this particular solution to a problem that certainly needs addressing.  Stan Ford specifically raised concern about air quality from frequent and often unnecessary car stops, especially with increased stops at existing lighted intersections by interfering with timed traffic lights.  Susan Shepherd said she would have someone from Public Works speak with BRUN for our feedback.

    o    38th & Lowell: They will be adding a phased left turn (so that pedestrians and cars do not have conflicting right-of-way).  After the new development at this location, they will likely update this further.


    The meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                Dennis Rooney raised concerns about parking shortages due to local businesses’ employees, specifically at 39th between Stuart and Tennyson.  He wondered about the feasibility of reintroducing residential permit parking in the neighborhood.  Susan Shepherd suggested directing the concerns to the Public Works parking management plan, she also said that City Council has been trying to get funding from the mayor’s budgeting office for traffic planning and management.  Several meeting attendees suggested asking restaurants to have their employees park several blocks away to help parking availability for both their customers and local residents.  Christie Schwalbe would bring this idea to the next TBBA (Tennyson Berkeley Business Association) meeting.


    Christie Schwalbe reported on the TBBA:  In correlation with First Fridays, they are in the works to add a Night Market.  There have been discussions within TBBA as to whether “Totally Tennyson” is good for the neighborhood.  Also, there has been discussion about how to get local festivals to benefit all businesses, not just certain segments.  TBBA members would like to hear more about BRUN’s Zoning Committee work.


    Michelle Frankel presented a brief update on the Zoning Committee: 

    -       The letter approved by the BRUN board regarding the citywide bundle amendment will go into file at the Planning Board, to City Council, and will be read into the record at the City Council meeting on June 29th

    -       Local 46 got an amendment to their liquor license to expand their patio, however the Zoning Department maintains that they have not made the required application for the expansion or improvements.  BRUN hosted a friendly neighborhood meeting of close-in residents to discuss the plans with the bar manager.  Issues raised that could improve relations: turn down the music on the patio so patrons don’t need to talk over it; and to end yard games at dusk that create a significant source of noise disturbance.  The bar owner agreed that these were good ideas.

    -       The Zoning Committee is progressing with refining their proposal for the Overlay District.  They are focusing on residential development at the moment, as the recent citywide amendments addressed some of our commercial development concerns.


    Tom LaRocque presented the Treasurers’ report: BRUN currently has $2195 in assets.


    Tom LaRocque reported on the Membership and Communications Committee.

    -       Wild Apricot (our web management) is raising prices.  We can get a 10% discount if paid in advance.  We have until August 31st to decide.  This discussion was tabled for a future meeting with more Board members present.

    -       Tom suggested that we need at least 200 paying members to maintain budgeting for Wild Apricot.

    -       Courtney Livingston proposed using some BRUN funds to purchase “Square”s for payment that can be brought to events to easily get members to pay on the spot.


    Stan Ford reported on meeting with Denver Police and Fire.  A representative from DPD will come at the beginning of every BRUN monthly meeting to report on local precinct activity.  Denise Gomez is our liason who will attend meetings going forward.  Correspondence with the Fire Department is all set up and they are available any time we’d like it.  They share that they recommend changing batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors twice a year, and take CO2 detectors outside once a year.


    Courtney Livingston volunteered to help coordinate new BRUN outreach efforts with the schools within our boundaries.  One initiative would be to set up informational gatherings and/or tours for local prospective and participating parents.


    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.

  • July 22, 2015 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | May 19 2015        

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary)

    Jay April

    Mike Beasley

    Jane Deegan

    Stan Ford

    Heather Noyes Gregg

    Charles Moore

    Vince Vigil


    Additional meeting attendees included:

    Marie Edgar (BRUN member)

    Courtney Livingston (BRUN member)

    Rachel Meissner (BRUN member)


    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Dave Decker (chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Michael Mathieson

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)


    President Paul Vorndran chaired the meeting which was held in the Parish Hall at Holy Family Church, 4358 Utica Street, and beginning at 6:30.  Vice President Enrico Cacciorni opened the meeting until Paul Vorndran’s anticipated late arrival.


    The meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                Courtney Livingston reported upon attending a meeting of the Denver Public Schools held on May 18th.  Due to the closure of Trevista Middle School, DPS is seeking to change the boundaries of Skinner and Strive schools.  Many local residents are upset, especially since the Strive school is a charter school which would become a neighborhood school.  Concerns include issues with the management and techniques used at Strive as well as issues of busing and proximity.  On May 21st there will be a forum for community feedback.  Courtney expressed concern that DPS’s call for feedback is merely a charade as several members of the DPS-convened working group on this issue spoke that their ideas regarding a range of alternatives had been ignored.  Implementation of the boundary change is set for August matriculation.

                Marie Edgar informed BRUN of a new group that has formed to address the zone of overlap between Berkeley and West Highland along the 38th Avenue corridor between Federal and Sheridan.  This group, calling themselves the “West 38th Avenue All Stars”, is working with Rafael Espinoza and seeks to be involved with the zoning overlays in progress by both BRUN and WHNA. The group will hold its fourth meeting on June 6th at Zook’s Café.


    Stan Ford spoke representing private residents who have concerns about solar access being impeded by new development.  In particular, the residents have asked if there is a “right to sunlight” or any recourse for shade imposed by new building that hampers the function of previously installed roof-mounted solar panels on an existing lower residence.  No meeting attendees could think of any recourse available, but many sympathized.  Jay April suggested a community solar farm concept.  Michelle Frankel asked whether panels that are no longer in optimal sunlight might be able to be sold to the community in some form for shared use or reinstallation elsewhere.  She suggested this might be an item to discuss with Jerry Tinianow, Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer, at next month’s meeting.


    Heather Noyes Gregg motioned that BRUN send a “Thank You” letter to outgoing councilwoman Susan Shepherd for her support and involvement with BRUN during her tenure.  Enrico Cacciorni seconded the motion.  All present Board Members voted in favor with one abstention.  Heather will draft the letter and pass to Paul Vorndran.


    Heather Noyes Gregg reported that the variances requested in Denver Board of Adjustment case #41-15 for a private residence at 4720 West 39th Avenue were approved.  These variances had been supported by the BRUN Board.


    The Board discussed the recently released Draft Text Amendment Bundle #1 proposed by Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) which will revise the Denver Zoning Code.  The BRUN Zoning Committee has reviewed the details of this draft amendment and feels that it will address several of the Neighborhood Context Design Standards that BRUN had identified as desirable to its membership.  These revisions will primarily affect development in the commercial districts.  There are still many items of interest that the Zoning Committee is reviewing for the proposed Zoning Overlay that are not addressed in this Bundle, both for commercial development and private residential development.  The revisions proposed in this draft include the following:

                Article 3-9: Revise vehicle access for 3 or more side-by-side dwelling units in the Apartment, General and Shopfront building forms across all contexts to require alley access with limited exceptions.

                Article 3-7: Add design standards for doors within the zone of transparency on Shopfront building forms in the MS zone districts to prevent solid, blank doors, thereby improving the quality of the pedestrian environment.  Strengthen existing requirements in all MS zone districts for street level active uses to better achieve the quality pedestrian environment envisioned by the intent of these zone districts.

                Article 5-7: Add a requirement in U-MX zone districts for street level active uses to better achieve the quality pedestrian environment envisioned by the intent of these zone districts.  Parking spaces and aisles, mini storage, and warehouse uses are prohibited for 40% of the street level portion of the building meeting the build-to requirement, except the width of a drive access.


    Mike Beasley reported on the Public Works Committee.  He has spoken with Nancy Kuhn from the mayor’s office who was very receptive but out of office for an extended period recently.  Going forward, there will be dedicated staff assigned to work with BRUN.  The BRUN Public Works Committee will host a public meeting in early June with Denver Public Works staff.


    Minutes from the 4/21/15 Board Meeting were reviewed and approved by all present Board Members with one abstention.


    Michelle Frankel brought up the notice that she’d received that Wild Apricot, BRUN’s web platform, was raising fees.  This will need to be addressed at the next Board Meeting when Tom LaRocque (who has been managing the web tools and is also Treasurer) is present.  Michelle raised concerns about the need for increased activity by the Membership and Communications Committee both to assist the Chair in his work and to curtail the amount of time devoted at monthly Board Meetings to proposals for increasing and retaining membership. 


    Enrico Cacciorni reported upon recently attending a meeting of the Baker RNO whose treasury has a current fund of approximately $9,000, largely culled from local events as they function without membership dues.  In response, the Board, along with the Membership and Events Committees, will consider alternates to the current membership-dues structure as well as increasing fundraising events.  This is an ongoing conversation, and the chairs of both the Membership and Events Committees were not in attendance at this meeting and available to comment.


    Stan Ford reported that he met with Denver Fire Department who informed him that they are happy to provide apparatus, facilities, and additional assistance to BRUN as desired.


    Enrico Cacciorni requested that a District One police officer be invited to report to BRUN.  Stan Ford will attend D1 meetings and coordinate this invitation as well as inputting police reports on the BRUN website.


    In June, there will be two significant meetings.  The BRUN Board will host its own monthly meeting in addition to a joint meeting with the Tennyson Berkeley Business Association (TBBA) on June 10th.  Jay April and Christie Schwalbe will coordinate the joint meeting which is to include a presentation by Jerry Tinianow, Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer.


    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.

  • May 21, 2015 9:10 PM | Anonymous

    Berkeley Regis United Neighbors | Board Meeting | April 21 2015       

    BRUN Board members in attendance:

    Paul Vorndran (President)

    Enrico Cacciorni (Vice President)

    Michelle Frankel (Secretary)

    Tom LaRocque (Treasurer; chair of Membership & Communications Committee)

    Dave Decker (chair of Zoning & Licensing Committee)

    Osea Nelson (chair of Events Committee)

    Christie Schwalbe (liaison to Tennyson Berkeley Business Association)

    Jay April

    Jane Deegan

    Stan Ford

    Michael Mathieson


    Additional meeting attendees:

    Deborah Clendenning (BRUN member)

    Courtney Livingston (BRUN member)

    Robert Schmid (BRUN member)


    BRUN Board members not in attendance:

    Mike Beasley

    Charles Moore

    Heather Noyes

    Vince Vigil


    President Paul Vorndran chaired the meeting which was held in the Hospitality Room at Holy Family Church, 4377 Utica Street, and beginning at 6:30.


    The meeting was opened to the public / non-board members to ask questions and present comments:

                Deborah Clendenning remarked that “knowgraffiti.com”, a website run by the City of Denver, would be a helpful resource for reporting graffiti in the neighborhood.  The City provides assistance for graffiti removal.  As a representative of the Aria development, she also spoke to publicize volunteer opportunities in the community gardens as well as a pay-as-you-can farm stand that will be operated at 52nd and Federal on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.  Visit Aria’s facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/AriaTownhomes

                Robert Schmid represented the BRUN Zoning Committee at the INC (Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation) ZAP (Zoning and Planning) Committee meeting on March 28th.  He reported on a proposal to draft language that would eliminate or regulate whole property rentals of less than 30 days (“short-term rentals”).  He also reported on a desire from Globeville residents for support in getting CDOT to revisit the EIS re: the I-70 expansion project.  It was determined that BRUN needed to officially designate 1-2 delegates to this committee in order to be able to vote for committee proposals.  Robert will continue to be our representative.

    Dave Decker received the new draft proposal for short-term rentals and will distribute it for Facebook conversation as well as to the Zoning Committee for review.

    Minutes from the 3/17/14 Board Meeting were reviewed and approved unanimously.

    Jay April reported on his meeting with Jerry Tinianow, Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer.  He learned that the office of sustainability can make recommendations but leaves it to the neighborhood to take initiative.  Several examples of potential programs were mentioned: recycling programs & promotions, promoting low-flow plumbing fixtures, getting businesses involved in the Denver Green Businesses program, involvement in the Sustainable Neighborhoods program.  Jay reported that Jerry Tinianow offered to attend a future Board Meeting, which was received positively.

    Christie Schwalbe proposed having a joint meeting between the BRUN Board and the TBBA (Tennyson Berkeley Business Association) in order to share several agenda items that would be of interest to both groups and to facilitate cooperation.  The Board was in support of this idea and proposed that this take the place of the June meeting so that there would be time to prepare.  A top agenda item would be the presentation by Jerry Tinianow.  Jay April will coordinate this.  An alternate meeting date would be TBBA’s normal date of the 2nd Wednesday of the month if Jerry Tinianow cannot do the Tuesday BRUN meeting.  Another agenda item would be the Zoning Overlay.  Osea Nelson proposed, and it was supported, that this joint meeting should begin at 7:00 with the BRUN Board having its own meeting from 6:30-7:00 to discuss agenda items that would not be of interest to the TBBA.

    Tom LaRoque reported on the state of the Treasury.  We have $1,876 + some amount in the Paypal account.  Wild Apricot (the platform that BRUN uses for its website, digital contacts, membership roll, and other management items) charges $50/mo as long as our contact list is less than 500, and will bump to $100/mo when we exceed 500.  As our contact list has grown, we have continued to bump up on that number.  To address this expediently, Tom archived all “recently lapsed members” and removed them from the contact list, reducing the contact list to below 400.  Michelle Frankel questioned this selection process.  Since BRUN has less than 200 paid members, but has historically preferred to have as vast a contact list for email blasts as possible, several meeting attendees raised the idea of using a separate email marketing platform for email blasts so that Wild Apricot is only storing and managing paid members.  When we exceed 500 paid members, raising the monthly web cost to $100/mo won’t be a hardship because we will have the dues to cover it.  Courtney Livingston confessed that she works specifically in the field of social media and digital marketing and offered to assist in setting this up.

    Tom LaRoque reported on the state of Membership.  As of 4/21/15, there were 128 paid members.  In February there had been 160, 80 of whom did not renew.  Discussion continued from here about possible solutions to improve retention.  Tom felt that lack of retention is due to poor communication and members not being informed enough about BRUN’s accomplishments, specifically that the Zoning and Public Works projects need more publicity.  Many Board members agreed with this as an issue but also felt that there are other areas in which we could improve that would aid membership.  Enrico Cacciorni suggested that BRUN needs a more prominent presence.  Christie Schwalbe proposed “BRUN Good Neighbor” stickers in the windows of businesses that have signed Good Neighbor Agreements with BRUN.  Jay April proposed more monthly neighbor gatherings.  Michelle Frankel suggested that the Membership and Communications Committee needs a push for committee members and meetings to work on these solutions and assist Tom in all of his hard work.

    Denver CPD (Community Planning and Development) has issued a draft of a 2015 Text Amendment “Bundle #1” for the Zoning Code, up for public comment by Wednesday April 29th

                Dave Decker spoke to what the Zoning Committee has done on this by having regular meetings with CPD representatives in which BRUN presented what we would like from our Commercial District (Bundle #1 deals primarily with commercial zoning items and not residential items which BRUN also has significant interest in addressing).  The Text Amendment seeks to address issues that CPD feels can apply city-wide.  BRUN has identified additional issues that we would like to apply to our neighborhood and these will be addressed in our proposed Zoning Overlay.  The Zoning Committee feels that while the Text Amendment does not address all of our concerns, it addresses several and therefor is in support.  The Board asked Dave to write a letter to CPD stating this in response to their public comment request.  The Board will vote to approve this letter electronically, and a statement will be included in the upcoming quarterly BRUN newsletter.

    Dave Decker reported on Local 46’s pursuit expanding their liquor license to include their rear yard.  It turns out that they will also need a zoning adjustment; Dave did not yet know whether that would affect the timeline of their liquor license pursuit.  At a meeting last year, Local 46’s immediate residential neighbors opposed this expansion.  Dave will be mediating a meeting on April 22nd between the local neighbors and Local 46 to see if a Good Neighbor Agreement can be achieved.

    Natural Grocers has an upcoming Board of Adjustment hearing on April 28th, they are seeking a variance for a deeper arcade along the Tennyson street side.  Dave Decker reported that the Zoning Committee reviewed the developer’s design and would support it with a few supplemental comments.  Enrico Cacciorni reported upon speaking with the developer who stated that the intention of this space would be street activation with fruit stands, cooking demos, etc.  The BRUN Board voted unanimously to support the variance request.

    Osea Nelson reported on the great success of the Easter Egg Hunt, held on April 4th.  While there were several competing egg hunts held locally, there was a similar turnout to last year’s.  The event came in $138 under budget.  Atomic Cowboy donated their extra donated funds towards next year’s event.  A big “Thank You” to Jane Deegan for mc’ing – kudos for her great jokes!

    Osea Nelson reported that the Events Committee held a meeting at Berkeley Untapped.  Upcoming annual events include Stein Night at Local 46, and the Christmas Party.  On Friday May 8th, from 5-9, BRUN will host a “Farewell to Elitch Lanes” which will be closing on May 15th.  It will be $10 for shoes and unlimited bowling.  Another potential event discussed by the Committee would be one that might engatge the elderly members of the neighborhood, possibly at the Argyle.

    Enrico Cacciorni answered Paul Vorndran’s appeal and volunteered to be BRUN’s representative to the INC.

    Osea Nelson and Courtney Livingston answered Tom LaRoque’s appeal to join the Communications Committee.

    Christine Schwalbe reported that the TBBA is planning to add a night market with local vendors to First Friday activities.


    These meeting minutes were recorded by Michelle Frankel.

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