The March 24 2018 Zoning and Planning Committee meeting featured a presentation on the effort to update the 2000 Comprehensive Plan, a discussion about the recently-formed Group Living Advisory Committee, and the Downtown Area Plan Amendment related to the Central Platte Valley and Auraria, which were not addressed in detail by the 2007 Downtown Area Plan.
If passed, it would require CPD to send written notifications by mail of any proposed rezonings to all owners of property within a 200-foot radius of the property proposed for rezoning, both before a Planning Board hearing and the City Council public hearing. This would improve notification to neighboring property owners. Currently, Registered Neighborhood Organizations receive such notice (thanks to the 1979 ordinance sponsored by INC), but some parts of the city do not have RNOs and some RNOs do not have active zoning committees or regular meetings to discuss rezonings. Several cities in Colorado and across the United States have such notification requirements. The Planning Board hearing on this proposed text amendment will be on April 18 and the City Council hearing will probably be on June 18.
Many slot homes do not engage the street or sidewalk with street-level building activities, porches or human entrances that promote interaction with neighbors and ownership of the public realm.
The siting, setbacks and uses sometimes do not reflect the existing or desired future conditions of the street or neighborhood.
They often negatively impact the pedestrian-oriented character of the street and sidewalk by visible driveways, parking areas and garage doors.
Many slot homes do not incorporate human-scale proportions, heights and design elements.
Erik Solivan, the director of the city’s Office of HOPE (Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere) explained the almost-finished five-year Comprehensive Housing Plan to the committee. In 2016, a Housing Advisory Committee, which is the author of the plan, and an Affordable Housing Fund were established by ordinance. The fund, which replaces the money raised by the former inclusionary housing ordinance, is expected to raise approximately $15 million per year. The city is also looking for financial help from foundations and major employers. The city of Denver’s population, currently 700,000, grew 27% since 2000. The term “affordable housing” is meant to cover a wide area of the housing market, from no income to 80% of the average median income. The fundamental values of the plan are:
Bridget Walsh and Tom Morris spoke about the issue of major land use decisions within parks being removed in the 2010 Zoning Code from the elected City Council and put in the hands of the Executive Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, appointed by the Mayor. After discussion, the Committee approved the following motion by a vote of 17 in favor, 1 opposed and 5 abstentions:
It is Resolved by Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation Zoning and Planning:
We request City Council to amend the Zoning Code such that OS-A land is
subject to community-inclusive zoning control processes similar to other zoning
classifications and under the authority of City Council and commit to take no action in
Council to bring forth a bill in this matter until a meaningful community engagement
process has been completed.
Charlotte Winzenberg now represent INC on the STR Advisory Committee. Excise and Licenses has hired a private company to search for STRs, primarily through online listings, to make sure that, as the ordinance requires, an owner has obtained a license for the STR and that the STR is the primary residence of the owner. The city believes that there are approximately 3000 STRs (although many are rented only a few days per year). Currently, 2054 (about 67%) are licensed. Other city departments, not Excise and Licenses, regulate properties for issues such as noise and trash. Excise and Licenses has issued about 1600 warning notices and imposed fines on 35 properties.