Denver sidewalk fees: Voters sold a perpetual bill of goods
I just checked my estimated sidewalk fee Denver plans to charge me. It is $542 a year, partially because I live along a “mixed-use collector,” and those rates per foot are higher than for “local streets.”
Living along a busy street already makes my property worth less, yet I pay more for the sidewalk? Zillow puts my home at $611,000, but I paid only $300,000; I could not afford to buy it now. Meanwhile, an acquaintance just built a $2 million home nearby with the same sidewalk frontage, although not on a busy street. She has an estimated sidewalk fee of $378 a year.
Whatever consultant developed the algorithm for this could have focused a little more attention on equity. Adding a few more variables to the algorithm to include things such as our newly assessed property values or home purchase price should be an easy task for a database scientist to include.
Jessica Nolle, Denver
Denver estimates it will cost me $107.50 in fees for my 50 linear foot sidewalk next year.
My house was built 94 years ago. Since the installation of the sidewalks, no work has been done on the sidewalk and no work is needed.
• Cost for sidewalk repair for 94 years: $0.
• Cost in fees for next 94 years (assuming no increase in the annual fee): $10,105.00.
• Angi’s estimates the cost to replace a 4-foot by 50 linear-foot sidewalk ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.
It is a much better deal to pay for your own sidewalk replacement (if you ever must) than to pay a perpetual annual fee for work that may never be done to your sidewalk.
Denver voters were sold a bill of goods.
Shaun Sullivan, Denver
Time for the “have-nots” to step up against NIMBYism
Re: “Colorado’s affordable housing projects face an obstacle,” Aug. 17 opinion column.
I don’t always agree with Krista Kafer, but her column about NIMBYism is spot-on.
For too long, politicians have kowtowed to neighborhood organizations (mainly made up of single-family homeowners). These “haves” stifle density and affordable housing opportunities for the “have-nots,” yet they are often the first to complain about the presence of the homeless.
Another inequity foisted on the rest of us is “permitted parking” for mostly wealthy neighborhoods. Residents in those areas get to own the public parking on their block, and the rest of us taxpayers can’t park on our tax-supported public street.
It’s time for the have-nots to step up, organize, vote and demand their rights.
Jim Hannifin Sr., Denver
Tax money for Catholic preschool?
Re: “Archdiocese is at it again with hypocrisy of denial,” Aug. 18 letter to the editor
WWJD? Certainly not what the Denver Archdiocese is doing.
Kudos to letter-writer David Thomas for summarizing the same feelings many people have for the Denver Archdiocese’s hypocritical behavior.
Kathleen Fitzgerald, Denver
Re: “Archdiocese sues state over right to exclude LGBTQ people,” Aug. 17 news story
The Archdiocese of Denver and two Catholic parishes sued the State of Colorado over its “universal” preschool program. The plaintiffs’ lawsuit argues that the conditions set forth by the Polis administration “effectively penalizes the free exercise of religion.”
The preschool mandate might well be construed as a statement of contempt for parents and children who do not go along with the state’s non-discrimination requirements.
But haven’t we heard this before? The Catholic Church has long been under assault for rightly refusing to march in step with the public schools. That Catholic teachers should be expected to submit to a mandate that clearly inveighs against their religious beliefs is, quite simply, beyond the pale.
Brian Stuckey, Denver
Don’t wait to curb property tax grab
Re: “We need a special session, not Prop HH,” Aug. 20 commentary
State Sen. Paul Lundeen’s call for a special legislative session on property taxes is spot on. The governor and the legislative leadership need to provide bipartisan legislation to provide substantive property tax relief rather than the minuscule outcome in the 11th hour of the legislative session. Property taxes need to be capped with no increase larger than the level of inflation.
Rising energy costs, home insurance, and egregious property taxes continue to erode affordable housing in Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis and the legislature need to ensure a robust legislative solution rather than an anemic ballot proposal.
Mark Boyko, Parker
Your articles on Proposition HH cause me to think it should be renamed “Proposition Shell Game” or even “Bait and Switch.” I have lived in Denver many years, and I have never seen city and state administrations so eager to increase taxes and fees.
Gary Hall, Denver
Open minds on climate concerns
Re: “The Earth is Burning: Convert extreme heat into political action,” Aug. 17 commentary
After listing the climate hysteria talking points, Steve Zansberg asks, “So why, then, are we not all rising to our feet … and taking to the streets to demand change from our governments and carbon-spewing industries?” Because, hopefully, people of the world know the need for energy is ever-growing, and they know the alternatives are a long way (decades) from supplanting fossil fuels affordably, reliably and efficiently. Simple as that. Innovation will get us there. Earth and humanity won’t die off in the meantime. (Nuclear anyone?)
If The Denver Post ever had the guts to publish anything besides climate hysteria, readers might know that there are smarter ways to get us to cleaner energy. How about Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus? How about really challenging your readers to think differently with something from professors emeritus William Lindzen (MIT) or William Happer (Princeton)? I won’t hold my breath for that.
Finally, when someone calls something an existential threat to humanity and says the missing ingredient for action is a fake slogan based on fear, you know they’re not serious. They’re just deceiving you. And when someone suggests that a sniveling brat (Greta Thunberg) could be today’s Martin Luther King Jr., an iconic and estimable figure in U.S. history, you know they are not serious. In fact, they insult us.
Jeff Wakelee, Highland Ranch
Public transport is not the desired DIA solution
Re: “Peña Boulevard: Expand or not?” Aug. 13 news story
If we choose not to widen Peña Boulevard and instead “invest” heavily in public transit, what will happen? Well, we already have a pretty good idea:
Thanks to RTD’s Zero Fare for Better Air program, which offered zero-dollar fares in all of August last year, and all of July and August this year, we know most people don’t want public transit. So few people want public transit that RTD can’t give it away. If public transit is a product that people really want, nearly every RTD train and bus would have been overflowing with passengers during the zero-fare months.
Sure, people will vote for public transit because it makes them feel good about doing something for the environment. Unfortunately, investing in public transit instead of widening congested roads is more harmful to the environment because so few will use public transit, and autos will spew more pollutants into the atmosphere than they would if the highways had been widened because congestion causes autos to repeatedly slow down and speed up. All that slowing down and speeding up is energy inefficient and results in more pollution.
Time is money. The more time people spend on congested highways, the less time they have to be productive. Congested highways cost our economy dearly.
Investing in public transit is both climate and economic arson. Widen Peña but have the highway users — not DIA — pay for the widening and ongoing maintenance with tolls. And widen heavily congested Interstate 270 too.
Chuck Wright, Westminster