by Councilman Wayne New, District 10
Over the past several months Councilman Wayne New and neighborhood and business leaders have been working with City Department of Public Works to implement new and revised construction management policy and practice improvements. These citywide regulations should mitigate the undesirable construction project impacts experienced by neighbors and retailers. On January 24th a final review of these regulatory changes will be conducted with discussion on the following issues:
Construction Worker Parking Plans – All new construction projects will have to provide defined parking plans for all construction workers before project right of way permits can be approved. These plans are to define locations outside of neighborhood and business on-street parking areas to be used by workers.
Street and Sidewalk Closures – Closure timing and approvals will be regulated more effectively, and enforcement will be strengthened. A new inconvenience fee that is utilized in many cities for excessive closures will be addressed.
Infrastructure Repairs – The repair cost of damage to streets, sidewalks, and streetscape from construction will be responsibility of the construction project. Construction bonds are required by the City for construction projects. These funds are meant to be used for infrastructure repairs but have not be used in the past. This repair cost on construction projects will no longer be funded by City taxpayers but by bond funds. Repairs are also to be made to meet pre-construction existing conditions.
Sidewalk Canopies – Present sidewalk canopy requirements to protect pedestrians along construction sites will be more strictly utilized and enforced.
Parking Enforcement – Many current construction related regulations have not been effective due the lack of City Enforcement staff. Even though Enforcement staff has improved recently, enforcement activities will need to be closely monitored. An inconvenience fee for lack of regulation compliance will be discussed.
Construction Communications and Review – Monthly meetings have begun by Public Works and business leaders to discuss planned and ongoing construction activities to better manage projects and to reduce their impacts on residents and businesses.
Intersection and Alley Signage – At many neighborhood alleys and major intersections the City has not placed signage to instruct parkers on how close to an alley or intersection entrance is allowed. This distance is important to allow safe sight lines for drivers entering or exiting an alley or intersection. This signage is now available for instruction upon request.
Construction Signage – Many times construction signage for sidewalk and street closures are not removed on a timely basis. The removal by City Right of Way is now being enforced.
Construction Hours – The present construction hour regulations allow weekday construction from 7 AM to 9 PM and on weekends 8 AM to 5 PM. These hours have not be strictly enforced in the past but will be in the future. A change in weekday hours is being considered.
Parking District Development – Parking districts have been formed in many city business areas to enhance parking management, especially related to parking meters and restricted neighborhood parking. The formation of such a district is presently being considered by the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District.
These ten construction project regulations and improvement issues will make a difference in residential quality of life and retail customer support. Since the lack of enforcement has been one of the primary causes of construction difficulties, the formation of a parking district will be important so enforcement can be managed more effectively on a local level.
Some of these improvements are being respected and implemented by developers and Public Works now. These should especially have a positive effect on the 2019 anticipated beginning of the Clayton / Whole Foods development. If some of the improvement recommendations are not supported for implementation by City Administration, a City Council ordinance will be developed by CM New and several other supportive City Council members. A follow-up report will be communicated in the near future.