After about five years of development, the Englewood Neighborhood Map, which names and sets the boundaries for 40 neighborhoods, was approved by Englewood City Council in a 6-0 vote during its June …
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After about five years of development, the Englewood Neighborhood Map, which names and sets the boundaries for 40 neighborhoods, was approved by Englewood City Council in a 6-0 vote during its June 20 general meeting. Councilmember Cheryl Wink was not present at the meeting.
“I’m so thrilled to see this project come to completion,” said Chelsea Nunnenkamp, the District 2 city council member, calling the project a powerful tool for connecting citizens to Englewood’s history and creating a shared identity among residents. “It’s very exciting.”
The approved map was the fourth iteration created by the Historic Preservation Commission, an advisory commission to city council, in collaboration with the City of Englewood. There are 40 neighborhoods on the map, with names including Cinderella City, Wellness District, Belleview Park and Historic Downtown Englewood.
“Implementing a citywide neighborhood map will help Englewood residents identify where they live in the city, strengthen our community and preserve the city’s diverse population,” said Matt Crabtree, the chair of the Historic Preservation Commission and president of the Englewood Historic Preservation Society. “The Englewood Neighborhood Map combines historical subdivision names and modern-day places of significance.”
These neighborhood names, however, do not replace subdivision names that are listed on residents’ legal documents, such as their house deeds, Crabtree said.
“There is a long history in this city with subdivisions, and largely, this map was based upon some of the original subdivision names. Those will not change,” he said, adding that Arapahoe County’s website does not currently have a clear definition of neighborhood.
“So this is a new definition of an area that is called ‘neighborhood,' and I would hope that Arapahoe County would adopt these names and put those on the county record, alongside with the subdivision names,” Crabtree said.
The last time Englewood City Council assessed the map was during a meeting on April 25. During that meeting, Steven Ward, the mayor pro tem and District 4 city council member, asked if the area he lives in could be named Clayton, after Clayton Elementary School at Elati Street and Union Avenue, rather than the proposed name, which was Leeland Heights, a historic subdivision name. Councilmember Jim Woodward also asked for the reasoning behind the proposed neighborhood name Bell Isle, for an area spanning Santa Fe Drive in the southwestern part of the city.
The Historic Preservation Commission addressed both questions and made changes for its fourth draft that was presented June 20, changing Leeland Heights to Clayton and changing the spelling of Bell Isle to Belisle. The spelling change was done to reflect the history of Thomas Belisle, one of the original property owners in that part of town, Crabtree said. The third change that was made to the draft was the northern boundary of the Forest Hill neighborhood, directly south of Denver's Porter Adventist Hospital, was extended northward to Yale Avenue.
City council members expressed support to the commission for its hard work and for addressing concerns raised during the April 25 meeting.
“I know that council largely deferred to the commission in changing the name of my neighborhood, but I can’t over-emphasize how much more comfortable I am living in Clayton neighborhood,” Ward said about the change from Leeland Heights to Clayton. “I appreciate that change, and I’m happy to approve this map tonight.”
The Historic Preservation Commission subcommittee started the process of creating a neighborhood map in 2017, Crabtree said during the city council meeting on April 25. The idea for creating the Englewood Neighborhood Map began during one of the Historic Preservation Commission’s first meetings.
The original intent was to name neighborhoods after the historic Englewood subdivisions, Crabtree said, but then the commission discovered there are more than 300 subdivisions in 6.5 square miles in Englewood.
“Well, 300 neighborhoods in Englewood would be probably a little bit too much, especially considering some of these subdivisions include one or two houses,” he said.
Through a process of referencing historic maps and subdivision names, researching the history of Englewood areas and collecting community feedback, the Historic Preservation Commission, in collaboration with the City of Englewood, began drafting a neighborhood map.
“We tried to recognize the history as best as possible,” Crabtree said about the naming process, adding that community feedback from residents helped determine the names of the neighborhoods.
Madeline Hinkfuss, the neighborhood resources coordinator for Englewood's Neighborhood Resources Program, partnered with the Historic Preservation Commission and helped organize a public engagement campaign to collect community feedback on the map, Hinkfuss said.
The campaign included conducting a survey, which gained more than 200 responses, and doing an open house event to collect feedback, resulting in a lot of changes to the map, she said. Some changes included expanding the number of neighborhoods on the map from 36 to 40, as well as changing the neighborhood boundaries and names.
“I want to thank the Historic Preservation Commission for working so hard on this project,” said Rita Russell, an at-large city council member, during the June 20 meeting. "I think it’s amazing.”
Now that the map is approved, the next steps include raising awareness in the community about the neighborhood names and boundaries, said Crabtree.
“We’re going to launch a big campaign that’s going to really help people understand where they live in Englewood. We would like to get more neighborhood groups organized, and we would like to launch a neighborhood signage — gateway signage program,” Hinkfuss said. “There’s just so many great things that are coming up for the residents of Englewood, and the neighborhood map is just a catalyst to get us there.”
A neighborhood group, Hinkfuss said, is a collection of neighbors who voluntarily get together to socialize, collaborate and plan events. Residents can create a group for their whole neighborhood or for a specific, smaller area. Those interested in learning how to create a neighborhood group can visit: bit.ly/NeighborhoodGroup.
The approved draft of the Englewood Neighborhood Map can be viewed online by visiting: bit.ly/EnglewoodMap.
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