The GTCD Neighborhood Improvements Committee is working for you to improve the pedestrian environment. Help keep the Golden Triangle well maintained, safe and inviting to our visitors and our residents by understanding property owner responsibilities. Also, learn about the committee’s recently completed projects below!
In this section we will provide information on your responsibility as a property owner for the public right of way (ROW) street side and alley side of your building. Simply stated, you are responsible for maintaining from your property line to the curb in the front and from your property line to the mid-point of alley behind your building. This includes general cleaning, snow removal, mowing and tree maintenance.
Planting Strip. Let’s start with the obvious. If you have lawn between the curb and your sidewalk, your responsibility is to keep it mowed and free of weeds. If you have removed the lawn and installed hardscape (rocks, stones, pavers) and weeds start pushing through, it’s your responsibility is to remove them. Similarly, if you’re building doesn’t go to the edge of your property or there isn’t a building on the property, this area also needs to be mowed or maintained, and free of weeds.
The Sidewalk. This may not seem obvious; the concrete sidewalk is also your responsibility if it becomes broken in any way that creates a safety issue. If you think about it, you insure to protect yourself if someone falls and hurts themselves on the sidewalk. Your insurance company will want you to make sure there isn’t a reason causing a claim.
Snow on the Sidewalk. Just like landscaping, your responsibility. It needs to be cleared for safe passage within 24 hours of the end of snowfall.
Tree Health. Yep, your responsibility too. Be sure to keep an eye on the trees next to your property and check with your HOA or management company to ensure trees are getting watered, pruned, pest-controlled, and fertilized. You need to maintain them for good health. If the City Forester needs to remove a tree, it will be charged to your property. Most landscape companies can do basic work, but things like pest control require insurance and licensing that many landscape companies do not have. Consider hiring a tree contractor to care for your trees so they will be healthier and more of an asset to your property. For example, we have seen many ash trees in our neighborhood die slow deaths because they were not treated for Lilac Ash Borer, a very treatable pest.
Maintaining the Alley. This one might surprise you, the alley is defined as a public ROW, so you are responsible for cleaning, weeding, hypodermic needles (and those things associated with campers) to the midway point between your property and the property across the alley from you. That said, keep in mind that some property dumpsters are on the opposite side of the alley to make it easier for car/truck passage through the alley. If your dumpster is one of those and someone makes a mess pulling out your trash onto the alley, the ROW inspector will fine your neighbor across the alley. Not fair, but that is how the code is written. If you want to be a good neighbor, be aware of this and keep that area clean. The way to minimize this problem is to keep your dumpster locked.
Less Pet Impact. We all love our furry friends, but they can have negative impacts on beautiful landscaping. Bag up dog poop, have your pets urinate on hardscaping (like rock features) instead of grass, and dilute pet urine, when possible, by pouring water over it. Consider planting pet-resistant plants and grasses.
Be A Good Neighbor. The city is cleaner if we work together! Be sure to pick up stray trash if you see it and consider pulling weeds you see becoming unruly. Do you want a creative trash receptacle outside your building? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
If someone reports any of the above ROW issues to 311, a city agent will investigate, and potentially be in touch with the adjacent property owner to correct. All these issues can make property owners liable for fines, and additional money may be needed to correct violations. If you are attentive to all these details for your property, our neighborhood will look well maintained, safe and inviting to our visitors and our residents. This what we want!
Click here to download the Streetscape Diagram pictured below.
Two main projects the committee has completed are artfully designed trash receptacles and tree planting. These are both areas that our members have told us are of interest in our surveys.
Trash Receptacles. You’ve probably noticed the triangular trash receptacles on our neighborhood streets. The initial funding was through Denver Arts and Venue for an art installation. We expanded on the idea to have artfully designed trash receptacles, to determine if they are functional. We installed 10 receptacles with the initial funding; additional funding, granted by Colorado Creative Industries, added 4 more, for a total of 14. Each of the receptacles is currently maintained by someone in the adjacent building.
Tree Planting. In 2020-21 the committee worked with the Denver City Forester and SavATree to replace and install over 20 trees in the neighborhood! Denver Forestry expanded a program to replace poor quality ash trees in our neighborhood. Under the Be A Smart Ash (BASA) program, the city has been looking to remove poor or dead ash trees so that they cannot become host for the Emerald Ash borer. This borer is highly destructive and kills ash trees in a very short time. Under the BASA program the city was looking for poor or dead ash trees under 12″ in diameter to be removed and replaced. Typically, the city would charge the adjacent property owner for the removal of a tree, but under this program the city is removing and replacing those trees at their expense. Thirteen trees were replaced in May 2021 on Cherokee St, 11th Ave and Broadway. Committee Co-Chair Charlie Hunt helped the city forester connect with property owners who were interested in taking advantage of the program.
In 2020 GTCD budget money for the committee was designated for planting trees between the curb and the sidewalk at locations in the neighborhood where there were no trees previously planted. Three locations in the neighborhood fit this description where the property owner was interested and willing to care for the new trees. In the fall of 2020, there was no high-quality nursery stock available, so the planting was put off until the spring of 2021. Charlie Hunt worked with the property owners and SavATree to have 11 healthy trees professional planted in our neighborhood. The city forester helped with tree species selection to make sure the species was appropriate for the site and to increase species diversity in our neighborhood. You can find these new trees at the NW corner of 10th and Bannock, NW corner of 10th and Acoma, and the NE corner of 9th and Bannock.
Improving tree canopy has many benefits: environmental, economic, wellness, and combating climate change. But the most obvious is it makes our streets more walkable. Make sure your building knows that the trees outside your door are your building’s responsibility to maintain. The Neighborhood Improvements Committee can direct you if you have questions.
Pictured here are a few of our creative neighborhood trash receptacles!