City Council Approves New Zoning for Loretto Heights

Published on May 10, 2021

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May 10, 2021 – Tonight, Denver City Council approved a regulatory package for Loretto Heights that will cement the city and the property owner’s commitment to the community vision, as set forth in the Loretto Heights Area Plan adopted in 2019. The rezoning and development agreement set the stage for redevelopment, acknowledging the unique nature of the campus and its landscape.

“From the beginning of the planning process, community members came together in good faith and with open minds to figure out a future for the campus that honored its history while continuing to serve Southwest Denver. This regulatory package is the muscle behind that vision,” Community Planning and Development Executive Director Laura E. Aldrete said. “These regulations and requirements are the assurance to everyone who attended a public meeting or submitted comments that the development that arises will reflect their efforts and participation.”

“The Southwest Denver community over the past four years has expressed its clear desire that this historic and beautiful site honor and respect the spirit of service that the Sisters of Loretto embody,” District 2 Councilman Kevin Flynn said. “The plan that has emerged from our hard work will give us that—a place where we can live, work, gather and play within a broadly diverse community of people, the kind of complete neighborhood that has been our goal.”

Following adoption of the area plan in 2019, city planners began working on the rules and legal requirements needed to ensure that the historic campus’ redevelopment reflects what community members advocated for during the planning process. The new zoning consists of two planned unit developments and an existing zone district with waivers and conditions. Specifically, the customized zoning and accompanying development agreement provide:

  • A plan for the preservation and maintenance of the historic buildings on campus
  • A better pedestrian experience and improved mobility through street improvements and new bike lanes
  • Development that matches the patterns of surrounding neighborhoods
  • For-sale and for-rent affordable housing, including units for families (2 bedrooms or more) for a wide range of incomes
  • Climate-friendly construction that will be the first major residential development in Denver to test the Denver Green Code

Redevelopment work is already underway on campus, with the transformation of Pancratia Hall into 72 affordable apartments.

The planning process brought together neighboring residents, local business owners, other community stakeholders—including members of the Sisters of Loretto—along with city staff and representatives from the property owner. The 12-month process resulted in a vision for Loretto Heights as a unique public gathering place, preserving the history and spirit of the beloved campus, and featuring a mix of uses that serves Southwest Denver’s diverse community. City Council voted to adopt the plan in September 2019.

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BUILDING COMMUNITY: 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 working hard to make Denver a great place to live, work and play! Visit DenverGov.org/CPD, and follow us on Twitter @DenverCPD and Instagram @denver_landmark.