As Denver’s housing market continues to thrive, so, too, do the development-related concerns of existing residents.  The rapid pace of development in many City-close neighborhoods has at times pitted residents desiring attractive, pedestrian-oriented communities against developers responding to high demand for urban housing options.  On Monday, August 22, 2016, the Denver City Council passed a pair of City-wide development moratoria aimed at addressing parking and architectural issues.  CB16-0498 concerns use of the City’s small zone lot parking exemption.  CB-16-0541 places a one-year moratorium on use of the Zoning Code’s Garden Court Building Form.  Both bills passed with a unanimous vote of Councilmembers present and took effect August 25, 2016.  Continue Reading Denver City Council Passes Pair of Development Moratoria

The City of Denver has released a comprehensive Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Plan.  The Plan, which pulls together a variety of City policies and programs and replaces a 2006 TOD Strategic Plan, is intended to provide guidance to three key groups:

– Developers and builders, who can use the Plan to “get information on the City’s TOD focus areas, identify properties for new development, and take advantage of City investments in station areas.”

– Public employees, who are encouraged to use the Plan to “establish a city-wide TOD implementation work program, direct city funds efficiently to the most opportunistic areas, determine the projects that offer the maximum return on public investment, and pursue funding for key infrastructure projects.”

– Residents and business owners in transit station areas, who can use the Plan “as a guide for making real estate decisions, renovating property, or opening a store.”

This article on the Confluence Denver website tells more about the Plan, and the Plan itself can be found here.

Denver, and specifically The Spire, made the New York Times.  The article discusses parking requirements and the impact of parking requirements on development. As Denver’s light rail expansion and associated transit oriented developments continue, RTD, local governments and developers will no doubt continue to grapple with how best to address parking. Too little parking at a development, when other areas have plenty, can be a real deterrent for businesses to locate there because customers won’t want to deal with the hassle of finding a parking space.  Too much parking can be a financial drain on a project, both at the time of initial development in terms of development costs, and after completion in terms of operational costs.  In a city that has historically been car-dependent, trying to figure out the right parking equation for TODs may ultimately be a case of trial and error. As earlier reported, RTD has adopted a flexible policy with respect to parking at TODs.  We look forward to seeing this flexible policy put into practice.