GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Halfway through a 120-day moratorium on new construction, Golden city leaders are ready to finalize changes to codes that would tone things down.
“They used every inch of space they could to cram those condominiums in there and they just tower over the little houses that are next to them and it really doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit into the character of our neighborhood,” said Tom Schweich.
Schweich was pointing to a duplex just down the alley from his home.
“What we had at the end of the alley here was a really cute little house with a huge garden,” Schweich said.
He said he wished they would “just kind of tone the building down a little bit so they’re not huge bulky things that overpower the rest of the houses in the neighborhood.”
No one was building anything against code; developers found opportunities where Golden’s older zoning codes fell short.
“Small, single-family homes were being scraped and replaced with three duplexes on a single lot. Just filled up the lots in ways we had really not seen before,” said Mayor Pro Tem Casey Brown.
Schweich was one of the first to bring some of the problems he was seeing to the attention of the Golden City Council.
“We went on a neighborhood tour and we talked about how the plan for this neighborhood for infill, is in keeping with the character of the neighborhood,” Schweich said, emphasizing the word “character” and nodding toward the duplex.
He says he’s not against development.
“Why rip something out that’s really working well for some people, to put in something big that you’re going make a lot of profit on but doesn’t really necessarily serve what people want?”
The council plans to finalize the changes to the zoning codes, which date back to the 1950s, at its June 13 meeting.
The changes are proposed to take place in three phases, the first phase would be implemented right away and would place restrictions on elements such as height limitations to 30 feet. It also has a front porch requirement and proposes graduated setbacks.
The third phase would look at the city ordinances as a whole and make changes elsewhere.
Brown says the goal is not only to change the municipal codes to reflect the growth, but to also make them easier for community members to understand.