Commercial Real Estate

In January, I wrote “The New Kid on the Block: An Introduction to the WELL Building Standard,” a brief introduction about an emerging building rating system that focuses on the health and well-being of building occupants. This standard seems to be gaining momentum in Colorado, as Colorado State University recently announced that it will be

On July 8, 2019, Denver’s City Council approved sweeping changes to the approval process and standards for large development projects.  The Amendment to the Denver Zoning Code replaces the General Development Plan (GDP) process and standards with new Large Development Review (LDR) and Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) processes and standards.

An approved LDR will now be required for projects in excess of 5 acres, prior to proceeding with an IMP, site development plan, rezoning, subdivision, or other project approvals.  Existing GDPs may also be impacted, as discussed below.  Developers evaluating larger sites and landowners within existing GDPs in Denver should be aware of the new LDR and IMP processes and familiarize themselves with the Code Amendment.
Continue Reading Denver Replaces General Development Plan Process and Standards for Large Projects

Resolute’s proposed self-storage facility is shown in the graphic above. Source: Resolute Investments.

In May, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the City of Thornton’s approval of a specific use permit for a self-storage facility against a challenge brought by a competitor self-storage facility.  While the court’s decision in Stor-N-Lock Partners #15, L.L.C. v. City of Thornton was a victory for the defendants, including the city and the developer, the court ruled that defendants in Rule 106(a)(4) actions may not recover delay-induced damages through the imposition of a bond.  Otten Johnson attorneys Brian Connolly and Bill Kyriagis represented the defendant landowner and developer, CenturyLink and Resolute Investments, Inc., respectively, throughout the proceedings.

In the case, Resolute obtained the city’s approval of a specific use permit for its project.  A neighboring self-storage facility challenged the approval under Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 106(a)(4), which allows for judicial review of quasi-judicial decisions by local government bodies.  The plaintiff alleged that the approval of the specific use permit did not improve the welfare of its property, which was one of the Thornton code’s criteria for the issuance of a specific use permit.  The district court affirmed the city’s decision but denied the defendant’s motion to require the plaintiff to post security in an amount that would cover the defendant’s losses incurred as a result of litigation-related delays. 
Continue Reading Colorado Court of Appeals: Court Should Defer to City Council’s Code Interpretations, But No Bond for Rule 106 Defendants