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Some Could Lose Homes In Plan To Reduce Flooding In Northeast Denver

DENVER (CBS4) - The City of Denver has a plan to reduce flooding in the neighborhoods in the northeast including Cole and Park Hill. Some people may lose homes as part of the four-part plan.

Those neighborhoods have suffered from flash flooding during rainstorms. The flooding has damaged roads and homes. Under the plan 10 neighborhoods could see reduced flooding once a retention area is built, including Globeville, City Park, and northeast Park Hill.

On Wednesday the city decided to collect flood water at City Park Golf Course and forget about building a one mile canal to direct the water into the South Platte River. It's just one aspect of a much larger plan by Denver Public Works to mitigate flooding issues which puts two locations up for discussion for water detention -- one is the Cole Neighborhood north of City Park Golf Course along 26th Avenue. Some residents there are determined to file a lawsuit.

denver wastewater map
(credit: Denver Public Works)

Another option includes the area west of Park Hill Golf Course along 39th Avenue. A similar retention solution was implemented at the Lakewood Golf Course.

"This is an area that could be chosen for detention, water detention. Now this is a place where water is temporarily held and then released in a controlled fashion," said Denver Public Works spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn.

When Denver Public Works started working on the proposal, residents in those neighborhoods were concerned the city would buy homes to make room for the retention areas.

"As part of the channel, there could be some property acquisition there, just so you know, but it's much less. They're still in design. It's not the 39 homes (originally planned)," said Kuhn.

When heavy storms hit the water in the Platte River rises and the areas have no natural way for the water to drain. The result is serious flooding which can be damaging.

olive street flood
Flooding on Olive Street (credit: Jeanne Shulze)

Kuhn says the big decision on Wednesday isn't about the channel though. It's about which area will be selected for temporary water detention.

"So after months of technical analysis and community input, today we're making a decision on a location for water detention East of downtown. This is an area that is at risk for flooding, it often floods and what we're trying to do is create a system of improvements to reduce flood risks in this area. So the two areas that working looking at for water detention are the Cole neighborhood north of 39th and then the other location would be to integrate it into the City Park Golf Course," said Kuhn.

Denver Public Works has developed a four-part solution that includes the Globeville Landing Outfall Project, Lower Montclair Open Channel, Lower Montclair Basin Detention and Park Hill Basin Detention.

The Globeville Landing Outfall Project includes a redesign of the existing Globeville Landing Park to address a drainage need to deliver stormwater to the South Platte River just north of 38th Avenue between the river and Blake Street.

The Lower Montclair Open Channel will require an open channel along 39th Street to reduce the flood risk.

The Lower Montclair Basin Detention will include, with public input, where to locate space to temporarily hold and detain floodwaters in the area.

The Park Hill Basin Detention will address water that naturally flows to the Park Hill Golf Club to a water detention area.

Denver Public Works has a detailed plan of the stormwater detention area.

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