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Growth and development in Capitol Hill may worsen parking woes and complaints

Our CO: Plans for parking lot space in CapHill
Posted at 5:53 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 20:20:58-05

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DENVER -- In bustling Capitol Hill, a lack of parking might be one of the loudest complaints, especially if you're a Denver native.

Sarah Eisenbud is growing increasingly frustrated with what seems like a shrinking number of parking spaces, while more residential and retail developments continue to pop up.

"I rounded the block six times probably going up and down," said Eisenbud. “I think we need parking lots and we need fewer condos."

That won’t be the case for the parking lot located at the corner of East 17th Avenue and North Washington Street. Continuing the construction trend, it’s likely to have a residential building with retail on the bottom level.

"I guess it depends what kind of residential they’re gonna be putting. If it’s low-income, if it’s going to be one of the low-income neighborhoods, like, that would be good," said Denver native Emily Moncreif.

There are no concrete plans in place yet but if they don’t include affordable housing, the city requires a fee, according to Denver City Council member Wayne New. Others Denver7 spoke with about plans for the parking lot embrace and benefit from the growth.

"There are two sides to everything. I love how Cap Hill’s been changing. For our business, it’s great. The more people in the area, the better,” said Josh Robinson with Argonaut Liquor.

City council approved the lot's re-zoning with community support, according to New.

"Thousands and thousands of people are moving into the Hill every day, so I think it's a positive thing," said Mark Fetter, another employee at Argonaut Liquor.

That concept is part of Blueprint Denver, the city's plan to intertwine residential, retail and commercial uses in places that make sense. But the growing pains remain: with all the people, where do they park?

“I mean, wealthy transplant elites like, might be using the neighborhood for walking but people who are from here, who live here, who live on other sides of the neighborhood, people who are accessing medical care: they are not benefiting," said Eisenbud.

Parking lot and Avenue Grill restaurant owner Bill Ferguson told Denver7 he has no plans in place if and when the redevelopment comes to the area.