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Group living updates seek more flexibility, affordability, equity
Denver is facing an immediate need for housing, and the city has made it a priority to address that need by working to make more options available for all residents. As part of the city's overall strategy to expand housing opportunities and affordability, city planners have been working with community members for the last two years on a broad overhaul of the Denver Zoning Code’s residential use regulations.

These regulations govern everything from conventional households to group homes, shelters and assisted living facilities, but they don’t reflect the evolution of lifestyles, community needs, or the city's goals around equity. Proposed changes are being shared with the community for questions and feedback in a series of open houses in February and March. The proposal includes:

  • Removing barriers to affordability by allowing more roommates to live together

  • Providing greater equity for residents who are experiencing homelessness, working to get sober, or need other supportive services, by categorizing uses by size, not who they serve, to allow more people to to live in neighborhoods near jobs, transit and services

  • Improving predictability for providers and neighbors by streamlining permitting processes and requiring community information meetings before certain projects can obtain permits

For all changes proposed, additional rules, oversight and ordinances are in place. The proposed changes only impact the zoning code. Learn more with these resources:
Speaking of affordability and housing . . .
Work has begun to encourage the construction of more housing options in areas near transit
Terraza del Sol, 355 S Grove Street
Terraza del Sol, 355 S. Grove St.
Denver Community Planning and Development is partnering with the Office of Housing Stability (HOST) to find ways to encourage construction of affordable and mixed-income housing, particularly in transit-rich areas. City planners will work with community members and an advisory committee composed of residents, affordable housing advocates, City Council members, local housing builders, and others to create a citywide incentive program using the Denver Zoning Code and Denver Revised Municipal Code.

The project is part of CPD's efforts to fulfill the Comprehensive Plan 2040's vision for an equitable, connected and healthy city and to put into place Blueprint Denver recommendations addressing the community's strong desire for more affordable housing options. 

Although the project is in its early stages now, you can sign up for updates and be ready to participate when it officially launches this spring:
The future of the 16th Street Mall coming soon!
We're rebuilding and modernizing the mall to create a safe, vibrant, welcoming space for everyone
Join us at an open house on Thursday, February 27 to learn more about what's coming and tell us what you would like to see included.

Open House
Thursday, February 27
201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver
(Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building Atrium)

Informational displays will be available in the atrium all day for public input. The project team will be available from noon - 1 p.m. and 5 - 6 p.m. to answer questions and share more information about the project.

Our annual spring event for residential permits is here!
Are you planning a spring remodel project, or are you a contractor who specializes in single-family homes and duplexes? Join our team on Sunday, March 1 as we talk about building and zoning codes, tips for hiring contractors, and more. Bring your questions! More information > 
Join us at the 2020 Garden and Home Show, March 1 at 4 p.m. in the Colorado Convention Center's theater at the end of aisle 1200
Get the latest on the Golden Triangle zoning update
Community members will have an opportunity to learn about the preliminary framework for zoning updates for the Golden Triangle neighborhood at our upcoming open house. 

Community Open House #3
5-7 p.m., Thursday, March 12
Denver Community Credit Union, 3rd Floor
1041 Acoma Street, Denver

Click the image to download the flier and share it with your networks. Visit the project webpage at DenverGov.org/goldentriangle for complete details on the project and community event.
Community Planning & Development
in the news
Senior City Planner Jenny Buddenbourg talked to 9News about the city's newest landmark, a home in North Park Hill where three prominent Denverites have lived.
Zoning and Neighborhood Inspector Marcus Hill spoke with CBS4 about the importance of shoveling in winter to keep sidewalks safe.
Online news site Denverite captured the need for flexible housing being addressed by the group living zoning update, with an assist from Senior City Planner Andrew Webb.
This January, we recognized Karen Callaway as our Employee of the Quarter
Karen serves as a member of Denver's project coordination team. Her role is to review proposed commercial development projects at their earliest stage to ensure these projects will meet the city's codes and requirements. Routinely recognized by customers for her dedication and expertise, Karen has also been recognized by her coworkers for being an inspiration, always being willing to teach and assist new employees, and generally bringing joy to everyone around her. If you've had the pleasure of working with Karen in the past, help us congratulate her by sending her a quick note .
Karen Callaway
Karen Callaway receives award
A new series to answer common questions
Ask CPD sticky note
Am I allowed to build an ADU?
It depends on where you live.

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) --a second residence on a property such as a carriage house or granny flat--is a gentle way to add additional housing options without significantly altering the character of a district or neighborhood. Many historic properties already include carriage houses or other similar structures. Because they are smaller than the main house, ADUs can be more affordable to rent. They can also provide property owners with the extra income needed to stay comfortably in their homes.

Denver’s citywide plans recommend expanding access to ADUs for all neighborhoods. For now, the first step in determining if you can build an ADU is to look at your property's zoning. Many areas are already zoned to allow ADUs.

  1. Find your zone district
  2. See if that zone district allows an ADU

For other properties, you may need to request that your lot be rezoned before you can build an ADU.

Additional considerations:

  • There are limits on the size and design of ADUs. While specific regulations may vary by zone district, Section 11.8.2 of the zoning code provides a good overview of the types of regulations to expect.
About Community Planning and Development
Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) is responsible for visionary city planning and ensuring safe, responsible, sustainable building. CPD regulates planning, zoning, development and maintenance of private property in Denver. We're BUILDING COMMUNITY -- working hard to make Denver a great place to live, work and play! Learn more at denvergov.org/cpd .
Denver Community Planning & Development | denvergov.org/CPD