Denver City Council votes to create Historic District in West Highland neighborhood

Known as Packard's Hill

DENVER -- A divided Denver City Council voted 8-5 early Tuesday morning to preserve history and create the city's newest Historic District in the West Highland neighborhood known as Packard's Hill. 

The 30 acres is located from West 32nd Ave. to 35th Ave. between Perry St. and Lowell Blvd., and includes more than 100 homes. 

"There's a lot of history here," said Yvette Harrell, who is the owner of a late 1800's stone house on Lowell Blvd. "It's like an old shoe. When you come home from work your feet are tired and you put on a slipper. The house is very much like that." 

Harrell was one of nearly 100 people who spoke in front of council during Monday night's public hearing. She's in favor of the landmark preservation. 

"Keep our feeling, our historic neighborhood feeling," she said. 

While others opposed to the designation said it would make the neighborhood too exclusive. 

"I'm unhappy with a few neighbors who want to change my property rights," one neighbor in opposition said. 

"It makes us a different community and I think it creates barriers," said another. 

"It was difficult for me. I knew people on both sides. I understand both arguments, but when it comes down to it there is a set criteria that we're reviewing these on," said Councilman Rafael Espinoza, who represents the area and voted in favor of the historic designation. "This is to inform the future in a way that acknowledges that past." 

While the fight is over, "Stop Historic Landmark District" signs could still be seen in the neighborhood on Tuesday. 

"It won't change drastically where you don't even recognize the neighborhood anymore," explained Harrell. 

She believes council made the right decision that will have a lasting impact of her beloved Packard's Hill community. 

"It preserves a sense of home, a sense of place, and I think that's really important," said Harrell.

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