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Denver council members reject pitch to make it harder to designate a building as a landmark

Tom's Diner on Colfax near downtown Denver

DENVER– A Denver councilwoman’s proposal that would have made it harder for the city to designate a building as a landmark against the owner’s wishes failed to gain traction with her colleagues.

On Tuesday, members of council’s Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 4-2 to reject a delay proposed by Councilwoman Kendra Black that would have allowed rules to be written to require a supermajority of council members, instead of a simple majority, to approve so-called owner-opposed or hostile landmark requests.

In other words, if all 13 council members were present for a vote, Black proposed requiring that 10 of them support the designation, instead of the seven currently required.


Black said her proposal was prompted by constituents concerned by this summer’s Tom’s Diner saga, which pitted five residents looking to save the building at 601 E. Colfax Ave. against diner owner Tom Messina, who said his retirement plan would be derailed if he couldn’t sell the building for millions to a developer who would demolish it. The residents ultimately withdrew their landmark request last month.

Councilman Chris Herndon joined Black in voting for the delay. But the effort failed when committee members Amanda Sandoval, Candi CdeBaca, Paul Kashmann and Jamie Torres voted against it.


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