West Denver is one of the last areas of Denver with stable and diverse, low and moderate income communities, and they are at risk of gentrification. The West Corridor of FasTracks will be built through several low-income neighborhoods. Transit-oriented redevelopment near FasTracks stations presents an opportunity to modernize housing and expand neighborhood investment and resources in these areas. But it also poses a threat that new high-end housing will be unattainable for current residents and lead to displacement and gentrification.
La Alma residents gather at a community picnic, July 2007.
FRESC is engaged in community outreach and organizing to engage residents and infuse social and economic considerations in the planning for possible redevelopment along the West Corridor. FRESC, coalition partners, and residents are exploring tools, including community benefit agreements, to ensure that these are communities where redevelopment sustains neighborhoods economically and socially, and lifts people out of poverty rather than displaces and gentrifies.
Westside Station Area Planning Process Currently, the City of Denver is creating a Station Area Plan for the areas surrounding several existing and future transit stops. With meaningful input from community residents in La Alma/Lincoln Park, a set of Community Principles was drafted with the goal of ensuring that any future development, including any transit-oriented development (TOD), safeguard existing communities:
Prevent displacement of any residents, especially low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities
Ensure the upkeep, preservation and creation of affordable and low-income rental and for-sale housing suitable for families
Create economic opportunity for existing residents including jobs, training and education, and entrepreneurship opportunities
Promote stability through sustainable home and business ownership for community members
Maintain and support the cultural, racial and economic diversity of the community
All planning and development processes should be transparent and accountable to residents affected by development
Protect the health and safety of residents
Support or provide for local neighborhood-serving and owned businesses and services, including: child care, grocery store, community/senior centers, educational programs, public schools, ESL classes, community gardens, recreation center
Support a balanced and healthy neighborhood that includes families with children
Create safe and convenient traffic and parking plans to ensure a low flow of outside traffic in the neighborhood