Zoning Changes Could Expand Affordable Housing Options

DENVER (CBS4)– The City of Denver is considering a plan to bring more affordable housing to Denver’s growing RiNo neighborhood by making changes to current zoning codes.

The proposal includes changes to the 38th and Blake Station area and surrounding River North Arts District or RiNo. It allows developers to build up to certain height limits but only if they give something back to the neighborhood.

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The intention is to help direct growth into areas of the city that are best equipped to handle change, while also ensuring that those areas become great places. That means developers should focus on all income levels in the up-and-coming neighborhood.

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According to the proposal, developers would need to build a certain number of affordable units or include services in commercial buildings that benefit the community. If developers do not want to abide by the rules, they would have to pay five times the City of Denver’s current affordable housing fee to build to the desired height.

“There are many projects that are waiting for this ordinance to be passed to do their projects,” said Denver Community Planning and Development Executive Director Brad Buchanan. “Because there are a lot of projects that see the benefit of both the additional development potential but also that it’s worth it to pay this additional investment back to the community, back to the city in the form of affordable housing and these community-serving benefits.”

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The Denver City Council will take up the discussion on the proposed changes on Monday, Feb. 12. If the proposal is approved, it will be the first time the city has changed zoning codes based solely on affordability.

LINK: DenverGov.org