Denver City and County Building

The Denver City and County Building.

The Denver City Council is expected to vote Monday night on whether to advance a proposed law that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The bill, which the council is considering at the request of the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, would cover all products containing nicotine — including vaporized ones — as well as electronic devices used to consume those substances. It would also require that Denver’s nearly 600 known tobacco retailers obtain a new license to keep selling those goods.

Another set of rule changes to the city’s landmark preservation ordinance might also progress on Monday night. The amendments, proposed by a city task force, would add a category of "culture" to the criteria considered when designating landmarks to encourage residents to seek more landmark designations in racially and economically diverse neighborhoods.

The task force has also proposed amendments that would allow more time for a compromise in the case that residents are seeking a designation that is owner-opposed.

While such designations seldom come before the council, city officials are grappling with how to handle them since the heated controversy over Tom's Diner.

When news surfaced that Tom Messina wanted to sell his 52-year-old diner on East Colfax Avenue to a developer, a group sought historic preservation status for the establishment. The residents later withdrew that request, saying in a letter to the city's Landmark Preservation Commission that they instead intended to work with Messina and the developer to "find alternative solutions" for the site.

Councilwoman Kendra Black is seeking support from her colleagues to add another amend the city’s landmark law that would require a super-majority of the council — or 10 out of 13 votes — to approve a historic designation when a property’s owner is against it. Black’s proposal failed at a City Council committee meeting this month.

The City Council intends to postpone to Nov. 12 a public hearing that was initially slated for Monday night on a historic designation for a local mortuary chapel set for demolition in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood.

Residents initially applied for landmark status for the structure, the Olinger Moore Howard Chapel mortuary at 4345 W. 46th Ave., but are now working on a compromise with the developer who wants to redevelop the land. Several people are making “serious offers” to buy the parcel, a resident recently told the council’s Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

The residents and the developers have agreed to a 60-day pause to work things out before council is asked to approve or reject the owner-opposed designation, Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval said at last week’s City Council meeting.

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