News from Denver CPD that may impact building and development projects
A green roof on the EPA's building in Denver. Image from the EPA.
Development news from Community Planning and Development (CPD)

In this issue you will find:

  • Denver Zoning text amendments
  • Landmark Preservation webinar series
  • New Transportation Demand Management rules to further transportation goals
  • Take the Denver Green Code survey
  • Webinar: Updating the design process for successful Net Zero Energy buildings
  • In the news: Construction firm boosts community with cash gift
  • Heart of a Building: Personal stories behind energy-efficient building
  • ICYMI: Recaps from our last newsletter
Denver Zoning Code maintenance bundle

Just like infrastructure needs maintenance to stay in top condition, the Denver Zoning Code also needs regular maintenance to continue to respond to the needs of the city, while remaining modern and flexible. The 2021 bundle of text amendments proposes code changes to correct and clarify our existing zoning rules and make small adjustments for consistency with adopted city policy.

The bundle of text amendments is expected to go before City Council for adoption in mid-June 2021. If approved, the updated code would become effective upon the mayor’s signature.

If approved:
  • All new applications received after the effective date (expected in mid-June) would be required to submit under the updated code.
  • Applicants who submitted under the current code have 6 months to obtain their zoning permit. 
  • If the project is not approved within the 6-month grace period, applicants would have to comply with the updated code in order to receive a zoning permit. 
  • Modifications to plans approved under the current code are allowed for up to 1.5 years.
  • Modifications after the 1.5-year grace period would be required to submit under the updated code
Landmark Preservation webinar series
We're answering all of your Landmark Preservation questions.
Join us for one or more focused webinar sessions.

Each session will be held at 12 p.m. via Zoom.

Here's what's coming up:

  • May 13 | Landmark Window Replacements | Join webinar
  • June 10 | New Construction in a Historic District | Join webinar
  • July 8 | Tax Credits for Historic Properties | Join webinar

New Transportation Demand Management rules to further transportation goals

New rules introduced by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and approved by Denver City Council make developers partners in furthering Denver’s mobility goals by providing residents and employees with choices in how they move about the city. The ordinance requires new developments to implement measures known as Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies that expand people’s travel options and create attractive alternatives to driving.

Examples of TDM strategies include:
  • Offering subsidized transit passes
  • Supporting/offering car share opportunities
  • Offering people who walk or bike to work amenities such as showers, lockers, and changing rooms
  • Shared amenities for people who ride bikes, such as repair kits and air pumps
  • Event or one-time transit passes or a transit validation program
  • Eliminating policies/practices that subsidize parking and incentivize driving
  • Work from home and alternative work schedule policies

We want to hear from you!
Take the Denver Green Code survey
2019 Denver Green Code
The City and County of Denver is working with Root Policy Research, a Denver-based consulting firm, to better understand perceptions and cost implications of the Denver Green Code (DGC). The 2019 DGC is a voluntary stretch code for new buildings and homes that addresses many sustainability priorities in new construction including energy performance, green infrastructure, and healthy indoor air quality.

This 10-minute, completely confidential survey focuses on cost implications of each of the DGC paths, expected benefits, certification/implementation process, and how the city might encourage participating in green building (i.e. development incentives).
Webinar: Updating the design process for successful Net Zero Energy buildings

May 13 or May 17 | 12-1:30 p.m. 

Denver is ready for Net Zero Energy (NZE) new buildings and one key solution is updating the design process.

This webinar looks at the costs of NZE, how Denver is defining NZE, and ultimately how the design and construction process changes for an architect, engineer, consultant, and contractor.

Topics include:
  • What is NZE in Denver? 
  • What are the costs of NZE? 
  • What Denver NZE projects have been successful and why (or why not)? 
  • What design process changes are needed for NZE? 
  • How can Architects/Engineers/ Designers/Contractors begin the path to NZE? 
  • How can I get involved and help shape NZE in Denver? 

AIA (HSW) continuing education credit provided.
In the news: Construction firm boosts community with cash gift

SEMA Construction, a Colorado-based contractor whose portfolio includes numerous government contracts, has donated $86,000 this spring that will support one of its current projects, the broader construction industry that it relies on for talent, and the pipeline of future construction talent to benefit the region for years to come.

The corporate donation is being distributed to three local organizations that align with both the firm’s and city values -- with $10,000 going to Denver Urban Gardens to help restore and preserve affected areas of the 39th Avenue Greenway; $50,000 for the cross-sector WORKNOW program housed in the Community College of Denver that currently provides supportive services to more than 2,000 construction workers to sustain and build their careers; and $26,000 for a needs-based scholarship in construction management or civil engineering at the Metro State University of Denver.
Heart of a Building: Personal stories behind energy-efficient building

Heart of a Building, a video documentary series focusing on the why of environmentally-harmonious building projects, is set to debut with an hour-long episode on Rocky Mountain PBS April 24 at 3:30 p.m. (with a replay on April 25 at 10 a.m.).

Considering climate-conscious construction but don’t know where to start? Find out why the three featured projects in this episode chose to build green. Featured projects include the First Universalist Church in Denver, the GreenSpire Apartments in Longmont, and a single-family home in Aurora. 

Recaps from our last newsletter

  • Our work to create more affordable housing options is expanding! Over the last few months, the Affordable Housing Zoning Incentive Project has shifted gears to include other tools, along with zoning, to help address housing needs in Denver. Learn more >>

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