Advancing Equity in Rezoning

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City planners are working with community members to review Denver's process for rezoning properties and recommend potential updates. The year-long project will focus on implementing city goals around equity, as stated in Blueprint Denver, Denver's citywide land use and transportation plan. 

Read the background report(PDF, 3MB) 


What does "rezoning" mean?

Rezoning is a public process that changes the rules for what you can do on a property and what types of buildings are allowed on it. It usually begins with a meeting between the property owner (or a representative) and city staff, followed by an official application, which is reviewed by city staff, the Denver Planning Board and City Council, which makes the final decision. 

Why update this process?

As the city grows and changes, buildings and their uses change too. Refreshing the rezoning process will allow us to better incorporate Denver's values and priorities as articulated in Comprehensive Plan 2040 and Blueprint Denver, both adopted in 2019. The project aims to improve transparency and access to the rezoning process, consider the impact of rezonings on neighboring residents and properties, and explore how rezonings can lead to equitable outcomes that better serve all community members, such as access to open space, public transportation, housing and employment opportunities.

Learn more 


How to Get Involved

 

Spread the Word

Invite others to participate in the conversation about rezoning in Denver. If you are part of a neighborhood or interest group and would like city staff to attend a meeting or an event, please let us know! We are happy to set up presentations, Q&A sessions, or just listening sessions where we can hear from your members directly, either virtually or in person.

Schedule now


Stay Tuned

Upcoming public workshops, surveys and other opportunities will be posted on this page.

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About Rezoning in Denver

What does "rezoning" mean?

Rezoning is a public process that changes the rules for what you can do on a property and what types of buildings are allowed on it, as well as rules for the features of structures on a property, such as the size, height and placement on the lot. Rezoning usually begins with a meeting between the property owner (or a representative) and city staff, followed by an official application, which is reviewed by city staff, the Denver Planning Board and City Council, which makes the final decision.

Rezoning applications are reviewed according to criteria defined in the Denver Zoning Code:

  • Is the rezoning consistent with adopted plans?
  • Does the rezoning further public health, safety and welfare?
  • Are there circumstances that justify the rezoning?
  • Is the rezoning consistent with the neighborhood context?
  • Does the rezoning align with the zone district’s purpose and intent?
  • Would it result in consistent regulations for each property with the same zoning designation citywide?

Some applications are subject to additional standards and review criteria. 

See a step-by-step explanation of our current rezoning process

Why update this process?

Blueprint-Denver-Cover-Small.jpg

As the city grows and changes, buildings and their uses change too. Refreshing the rezoning process will allow us to better incorporate Denver's values and priorities as articulated in Comprehensive Plan 2040 and Blueprint Denver, the city's land use and transportation plan, adopted in 2019. Specifically, Blueprint Denver's equity framework calls for:

  • improving access to opportunity
  • reducing vulnerability to displacement
  • expanding housing and jobs diversity

The project will aim to improve how the public is involved in the rezoning process, consider the impact of rezonings on neighboring residents and properties, and consider how rezonings can lead to \equitable development that better serves all community members.


Additional resources and information will be added to this section as the project progresses. 


Project Scope and Timeline

The foundation for this project is Blueprint Denver, a citywide land use plan that was adopted by Denver City Council in 2019 after three years of public outreach. Thousands of residents helped create the policy recommendations in Blueprint Denver, which include these recommendations for equity and rezoning:

  • While the [equity] measurements cannot be effectively applied to individual rezonings, the city should consider adjustments to the applicant-driven rezoning process to better address important topics revealed by the equity concepts – including housing choice, affordability and mitigating involuntary displacement. This could include developing a predictable and consistent process for applicants to commit to certain outcomes at the time of rezoning, such as developing a certain number of income-restricted units. Implementing these changes may require changes in the process and procedures and/or a text amendment (p. 31).
  • Create tools to increase access to the rezoning process, especially for underrepresented communities (p. 74). 

Scope 

As one of multiple efforts to implement the city's equity goals, this project aims to implement the Blueprint Denver recommendations through a community-driven update to the Denver Zoning Code. This project will not rezone any properties or change any requirements within existing zone districts. The goal is to modernize the rezoning process, standards, submittal requirements and criteria to help advance Blueprint Denver’s equity concepts.   


Process and Timeline

Advancing_Equity_in_Rezoning_Project_Schedule.jpg

Process Table Text Description

Project Phase Timeline
Kick off project Fall 2021
Analyze and identify problem Fall 2021-Winter 2021/2022
Evaluate alternatives Winter 2021/2022-Spring 2022
Identify preferred approach Spring 2022
Develop the tools Summer 2022
Initiate public review and adoption process Fall 2022
Implement updated rules Winter 2022/2023

 

 

Over the next year, city planners will work with the task force and community members to:

  1. identify key issues
  2. explore alternatives to address those issues
  3. identify a preferred strategy
  4. develop draft language for a text amendment to the Denver Zoning Code that reflects the preferred strategy

The project will conclude with the legislative process, which involves the review, public hearings and votes by the Denver Planning Board and Denver City Council. 


Community Task Force and Project Team

Updating the zoning code is a collaborative, community-driven process facilitated by an independent consultant working with city staff and guided by the Community Task Force.

Community Task Force

A key element of the project's outreach plan is the community task force. Task force members will help develop strategies to modernize the rezoning process and criteria and help advance Blueprint Denver’s equity concepts by reviewing best practices, identifying key issues and refining alternatives and recommendations. Task force members were selected from the more than 80 community members who submitted the interest form. The task force includes a diverse range of stakeholders from across Denver with experience in neighborhood advocacy and/or the rezoning process and who bring various equity lenses to the discussion.

Download task force selection criteria

Name

Neighborhood, organizations, and other affiliations

Alfonso Espino

Lives in Elyria-Swansea and works for Globeville, Elyria-Swansea Coalition Organizing for Health and Housing Justice. Alfonso is also on the Community Investment Fund committee for the National Western Center.

Amanda P. Sandoval

Denver City Councilwoman for District 1, Northwest Denver and lives in Berkeley.

Anna DeWitt

Lives in Congress Park and works for Shovel Ready Sites. Anna is also a board member for Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY).

Brendan Greene

Lives in East Colfax and is the co-founder and executive director for the East Colfax Community Collective. Brendan is also a member of the East Colfax Neighborhood Association.

Brittany Katalenas

Lives in Baker and is the CEO of B-Konnected LLC.

Bruce O'Donnell

Lives in Capitol Hill and works for STARBOARD Realty Group that specializes in rezoning property in Denver. Bruce is also a member of the Capitol Hill United Neighbors, Downtown Denver Partnership, Urban Land Institute, Colorado Historic Foundation and Historic Denver, and served on the Denver Planning Board for 10 years.

Caitlin Quander

Lives in Hilltop and is a real estate shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Caitlin is also on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Historic Denver and President-Elect of NAIOP(commercial real estate development association).

Claudia Folska

Lives in Southmoor Park and is the founding CEO of All-Access Transit Solutions.

Elaine Minjy Limmer

Lives in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. She works as an urban and parks planner for Sasaki.

Erin Clark

Lives in Five Points and is a Denver Planning Board member. She is an urban planner and real estate attorney who works for Urban Land Conservancy, a non-profit land banking and affordable real estate development organization. Erin is also a member of the Colorado Bar Association’s Real Estate Section Council and the Colorado State Land Board.

Flor Alvidrez

Lives in Athmar Park and works for Plaza Construction. Flor is also involved with the Latino Cultural Arts Center and The BLOCK Real Estate.

Gene Fashaw

Lives in Gateway-Green Valley Ranch and works for High Point Academy and Shop Talk Live.

Geraldine Castillo

Livesoutside of Denver and has been managing Plaza De Santa Fe Liquors since the Plaza De Santa Fe Strip Mall was built in 1983. Geraldine previously worked at USWEST and was on the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board and Board for the Pennsylvania Brownstone HOA.

Joel Noble

Joel lives in the Curtis Park neighborhood in Five Points and is a past president of Curtis Park Neighbors and their delegate to the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC). He serves on the Denver Planning Board and co-chaired the community task force guiding the development of Blueprint Denver. Professionally, Joel is a programmer in the telecommunications industry.

Kate Hilberg

Lives outside of Denver and works for Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. Kate is also a member of the City and County of Denver Development Systems Performance Technical Advisory Board.

Lindsay Miller

Lindsay lives in Capitol Hill and is the Founding Principal of Beyond Growth Strategies, LLC. Much of her work in Denver has focused on the Sun Valley neighborhood, where she worked for Urban Ventures,LLCand the Westside Stadium Community Coalition. She is a member of the West Denver Rising Steering Committee and the Impact East Colfax Steering Committee.

Londell Jackson

Lives in Sunnyside and has a private consulting firm in Denver called Londell Jackson Consulting and works for Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain. Londell is also a member of Colorado Workforce Development Council, Denver Men’s Serve, and Colorado Adult Education Professional Association.

Lou Raders

Lives in Cherry Creek and is a retired lawyer. Lou is a member of the Cherry Creek North Neighborhood Association and Cherry Creek Steering Committee.

Maggie Lea

Lives in Berkeley and works for Mile High Connects, a regional collaborative focused on equity and land use. Maggie also serves on the board of Sunshine Homes Share.

Mayra Gonzales

Lives in Gateway-Green Valley Ranch and works for Montbello Organizing Committee. Mayra also volunteers with Vecinos de Montbello.

Monica Martinez

Lives in Hilltop and is the Executive Director for The Fax Partnership, an East Colfax-based community development corporation. She is also a member of the City of Denver American Rescue Plan Acttaskforceand on the Bus Rapid Transit task force.

Robin Wood-Mason

A resident of the Baker neighborhood, Robin is the Director of Development & Communications at The Delores Project and serves on the board of directors of Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners.

Shara Smith

Lives outside of Denver and works for The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado.

Stacie Gilmore

Lives in Montbello and is the Denver City Council Member for District 11 and the City Council President.

Steve Harley

Lives in Baker and has been involved in the neighborhood for 20+ years, especially working on zoning and related issues. He works in software and publishing.

 

City Staff

Elizabeth Weigle
Interim Project Manager/Rezoning Planning Supervisor
Elizabeth.Weigle@denvergov.org

Andrew Webb
Senior City Planner
andrew.webb@denvergov.org

Rob Haigh
Associate City Planner
rob.haigh@denvergov.org

Submit a comment or question to the project team

Consultants and Partner Agencies

 


Project Archive

Information and materials from meetings, surveys and other communications and engagement will be available here as the project progresses.

Community Task Force Meetings

Task Force Meeting #1
3-5 p.m., Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Task Force Orientation
3-5 p.m., Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Task Force Meeting #2
3-5 p.m., Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Task Force Meeting #3
3-5 p.m., Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Task Force Meeting #4
3-5 p.m., Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom

Focus Groups

Focus Group Session 1
12 - 1:30 p.m., January 27, 2022 
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Focus Group Session 2
5 - 6:30 p.m., January 27, 2022 
Virtual meeting via Zoom


Community Meetings

Community Meeting #1
5:30-7 p.m., Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Virtual meeting via Zoom