Denver City Council Considers Form-Based Zoning; Stabilizing Neighborhoods

The Denver Daily News reported on May 24 (emphasis added):

After five years of what at times has been an excruciating process to update the city’s more than five-decade-old zoning code, the City Council tonight will finally introduce the new code on first reading, paving the way for an extensive public comment period…

The new code focuses on three areas: taking a context-based approach that organizes neighborhoods by their unique characteristics; a form-based approach that translates written language into graphics and tables; and organizing the overall language to simplify the code, such as placing all procedures and definitions into specific sections…

The new proposal also organizes districts by their contexts: suburban, urban edge, urban, urban center and general urban. Other contexts considered are downtown neighborhood and special contexts that need to be treated differently due to the unique nature of the zone districts.

The proposal is also form-based by translating zoning information into simple diagrams and graphics. And planners have proposed allowing for building on smaller lots, which they say will encourage smaller houses that will increase affordable housing options throughout the city…

Neighborhood groups appreciate the focus on stabilizing Denver’s stable neighborhoods, including maintaining the character of the neighborhoods…

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See also:

Denver: The New Zoning Code  

Denver: Neighborhood Types at a Glance 

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Video and Slides: Joel Russell Presents Form-Based Zoning 

Joel Russell’s Introduction to Form-Based Zoning, as Presented to the Northampton Design Forum, 1/26/10 (PDF, 10MB)

Video: Zoning Revisions Discusses Making Core Urban Neighborhoods More “Conforming”, More Dense (4/22/10)

Zoning Revisions Committee Releases Synthesis of Comments from March 17 Forum

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Special Bay Ridge District Rezoning: Proposed Zoning (as approved)

The rezoning proposal seeks to:

  • Preserve neighborhood scale and character by rezoning to lower density and contextual districts and further fine-tuning those districts to reflect the context of midblocks with a detached character, those with both detached and semi-detached building types, and the blocks lined predominantly with limestone rowhouses;

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