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Everybody must get zoned: Kenny Be looks at Denver's new zoning rules

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The new zoning code is now online and awaits your review. With building restrictions across the city that are all new! The revamped code guarantees that you won't suffer alone, because everybody must get zoned.

The new context-based zoning code completely transforms the planning office into a McZoning service counter. The form-based picture menu clearly shows what can be built and helps the builder/homeowner to select an allowable building (that maintains the existing context of their neighborhood), just by presenting the smiling city planner with an address.

They're happy because they rule this town. Read more about it below:

At 639 pages, the old zoning code was considered horribly complicated and cumbersome. Weighing in at 730 pages, not including 76 neighborhood maps and six Overlay District maps, the new zoning code is being called an improvement. It is a control-freak fantasy, with detailed rules for every aspect of city life.

Don't feel slighted: Architects and developers are reined in, too...

As a result of the numerous demands to stop monstrous pop-top and scrape-off projects, the new code eliminates the property rights of 70 percent of Denver's homeowners by limiting the expansion or construction of a larger home. However, form-based zoning removes room-usage restrictions and allows the amenities of a three-story home to be built into the space of one.

And there are even new codes to keep Grandma happy, too ...

Denverites say they support greater density, but they hate big new duplexes. Therefore, the new code will allow the building of an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or Granny Flat, on properties of 4,500 square feet or more, in neighborhoods that border downtown. The most common siting for a Granny Flat is on top of an alley garage.

Homeowners with buildout restrictions can still watch their real estate investment grow...

To compensate for the loss of residential development opportunities in the Suburban and Urban Edge contexts, the Planning Office is working to incorporate Greenprint Denver sustainability initiatives that allow agricultural opportunities.

City residents aren't the only people enriched by the new zoning code; the city wants to cash in, too...

The new zoning code places all city parks into their own special "Open Space" context. The change of classification also transfers park oversight from the City Council (who represent voters) to the Manager of Parks (a mayoral appointee) and allows for expanded private commercialization with no public deliberation.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.