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

This post was authored by Alexandra Haggarty.  Alex is a summer clerk at Otten Johnson, and a rising 3L at the University of Colorado Law School.

This post is an update on three earlier posts about a citizen initiative to limit residential growth in Lakewood, Colorado.

With a near 53 percent majority, voters in the City of Lakewood approved Ballot Question 200, capping growth of residential unit construction by one percent annually and requiring city council approval of projects with forty or more units.  The city joins Boulder and neighboring Golden in responding to Colorado’s population growth by capping development.

Proponents of the initiative argue that it will preserve Lakewood’s culture and environment.  Specifically, the initiative was pitched as a way to preserve open space, protect single-family development, ensure that infrastructure and services are not overburdened, and curb alleged problems of unmanaged growth, such as crime and urban decay.
Continue Reading Lakewood Voters Pass Strategic Growth Initiative

Rose Mary Knick in front of the Supreme Court. Source: Philadelphia Inquirer.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Knick v. Township of Scott, in which the Court ruled that a plaintiff in a takings claim need not first exhaust state-court remedies before bringing the claim before a federal court.  The decision, addressing a largely procedural matter, is expected to lead to an increase in federal court litigation involving takings issues, and likely increases the chances that local governments may be required to compensate landowners where regulation devalues private property.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules That Takings Claims Can Be Brought In Federal Court, Reversing 30-Year-Old Precedent

This post follows up two earlier posts about a citizen initiative to limit residential growth in Lakewood, Colorado.  Details about the proposal can be found here.

On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council voted 10‑0 to call a special municipal election for July 2 to allow voters to decide whether to impose a