Here's how, according to FTS reporter and Westword alum Jared Jacang Maher:
Passed by City Council in 2002, Denver's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) requires that at least 10 percent of the units in large-scale developments be affordable. Developers can opt out of requirements if they pay a lump sum into the city's affordable housing fund. Under the law, the city is not allowed to approve building permits and rezoning applications until a developer has submitted and signed a Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit contract. The legal document, typically between twelve and fifteen pages, must then be filed with the county clerk.
Osborn broke ground on the 32-story One Lincoln Park in March of 2006 on a triangular lot at the intersection of Lincoln Street and East 20th Avenue. Fifty percent of the 180-units had already been sold with prices ranging from $300,000 to $3 million. Osborn said his group had already arranged to "opt out" of the affordable housing requirements by making a payment to the city of almost "$1.5 million."
But he never made the payment, FTS reports, and the city let him go ahead with the project without it.
Read the rest of their story at Face the State, or just slap your forehead in amazement, curse everyone involved and go back to wiki-ing "vuvuzela."