HENA’s mission is to build community, steward the Historic Eastside’s special sense of place, and to promote liveability.
The Historic Eastside Neighborhood Association (HENA) is the oldest neighborhood association in the City of Longmont. We are also one of the largest, with over 700 residences.
Unlike so many other neighborhoods, however, we are not an HOA. For that reason, we all get to enjoy a charming diversity—both in our buildings and residents.
We build connections within our community by holding events, meetings, and get-togethers so neighbors can meet and mingle.
Stewarding our special sense of place
As Longmont’s oldest and most diverse neighborhood, HENA acts as a steward of our unique neighborhood, while adapting sensitively and intelligently to the current needs of our residents.
- HENA is currently working to replace the protections for historic character that disappeared when the new Land Use Code was adopted in 2018.
- We were engaged in the shaping of Envision Longmont, a community wide planning effort by the City to update and integrate the Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan and the Longmont Multi-Modal Transportation Plan. HENA advocated for historic preservation protections.
- HENA has successfully obtained various grants. Colorado State Historical grants and City of Longmont grants since 2001 to create historic surveys of its historic homes. These surveys encourage historic preservation as the information gathered makes it easier for homeowners to landmark their historic homes. Greater knowledge of the architectural significance and the stories associated with a historic home also helps to prevent demolition in the face of developer pressure.
- In 1980 HENA worked with the city council to rezone the neighborhood back to single family residential use. This halted the razing of historic homes and replacement with modern apartment blocks in the 60s and 70s.
- HENA has long worked with the city and residents to enhance Collyer Park, one of the original parks of Longmont and the heart of the Historic Eastside.
- HENA has worked over the years to raise awareness of the need for train noise reduction.
- While we love our vibrant and historic downtown, we are working to resist the parking creep into our residential neighborhood from those using the Lower Downtown area.
- HENA supported the efforts of neighbors nearest downtown, in the Emery Street area, who were facing overly massive and incompatible new buildings to the west that threatened to loom over their family homes. Working with the Lower Downtown Development Authority (LDDA), in 2018 we effectively achieved an area that steps down between the more intensive Lower Downtown commercial and mixed use zoning and the less intensive, largely single-family homes of the Historic Eastside.
Who are we?
HENA is a volunteer organization –- we always need help. We encourage you to work on issues that you care about. By pooling our efforts, we can create positive changes in our community. Come to a neighborhood meeting – connect with energetic people and rewarding opportunities.
When/where HENA meets & our newsletter
The Historic Eastside Neighborhood Association Leadership Team meets about every month.
The neighborhood comes together for periodic social events including an annual meeting/end-of-summer picnic in Collyer Park.
Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug 2018-Aug 2019: HENA’s Leadership Team
Co-Chairs: Dido Clark and Sharon O’Leary
Block Captains: Richard Showers
Collyer Park: Sharon O’Leary
Communications: Dido Clark & Martha Eager
Historic Preservation/Conservation Overlay: Dido Clark
Neighborhood Group Leaders Association (NGLA) & City grants: Martha Eager
Parking Issues: Sharon O’Leary
Social/Events: Linda McLaughlin & Wader Eager
Colette Lottar- yardsales
Train Noise/ Quiet Zones: Rick Jacobi
We elect new members of the Leadership Team at our August annual meeting.
Get in touch at historiceastsideneighbors.org. We’d love your help!
Historic Eastside Neighborhood’s Early Days
The Historic Eastside Neighborhood occupies most of the eastern half of the original Chicago-Colorado Colony that was founded in 1871. Most of the houses were built between the 1870s and the 1920s.
Today our neighborhood comprises the largest collection of houses in Longmont remaining from those early days.
Challenges in the 80s
The Historic Eastside Neighborhood began to organize in 1980 as Citizens for Sensitive Revitalization (CSR). Created to oppose a one-way street proposal for downtown that would put northbound US 287 on Kimbark Street, CRS’s earliest leaders were Jim Setterland, Russell Watson, Bob McLaughlin, Glenn Sherwood, Mike Palmer, and Basil Irwin. However, all our blocks had representatives who delivered newsletters and met monthly to debate strategies.
At the time most of our area was zoned R-3, which allowed apartment buildings, professional office space, and parking lots. After six houses were demolished or badly altered for condo projects, we understood that one-way streets were not the only threat facing our neighborhood. There was nothing to prevent an investor from buying adjacent properties and building a large modern structure. The historic homes on every street were threatened.
Our Preservation efforts began to work
As Citizens for Sensitive Revitalization, we shifted our efforts to preserving the structures in the Eastside, following the lead of Glenn Sherwood.
Through a legal petition, we asked City Council to rezone the Eastside to R-1, allowing only single-family home construction in the future. The City Council declined, but after more than two years of meetings, presentations, and negotiations a new zone was created specifically for the Eastside.
In the mid-80s the area was zoned RLE (Residential Low Density Established). Single family homes were a use by right. Duplexes and triplexes could be approved under a conditional use process with public notification and hearings. All new construction had now to fit harmoniously with the existing architecture.
HENA emerged from the Citizens for Sensitive Revitalization as the first organized neighborhood association of its kind in the City of Longmont.
Our preservation efforts continued. The City commissioned a reconnaissance survey of historic structures in 1986. As a result, sections of seven blocks within the Eastside neighborhood were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nation now recognizes that homes in the Historic Eastside Neighborhood represent a vital link to the earliest days of western settlement in America.