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Slot Home Evaluation & Text Amendment

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The Slot Home Strategy Report—a culmination of months of research and community engagement to improve slot home development throughout the city—is now available online for public review.

The report offers an overview of recommended changes to the Denver Zoning Code intended to promote small-scale multi-family infill development that is more walkable and neighborhood-friendly, that considers existing neighborhood character, and that minimizes negative effects on neighbors while ensuring solutions that provide equity, flexibility and predictability.

The recommended zoning code changes are expected to proceed through public review and the City Council legislative process in spring of 2018.

About the Project

The Slot Home Evaluation & Text Amendment project will include research, analysis and public outreach to identify the problem, explore alternatives and identify tools to promote improved design outcomes. It will culminate in proposed text amendments to the Denver Zoning Code in early 2018 intended to promote multi-family infill development that engages the public realm, considers neighborhood character, addresses human scale, and minimizes negative effects on pedestrians and neighboring properties while ensuring solutions that provide equity, flexibility and predictability. The project will consider all zone districts and building forms relevant to slot home construction regardless of where they occur in Denver. A stakeholder task force will guide the project and ensure an inclusive public process.

A "slot home" is a multi-unit residential structure consisting of attached dwelling units arranged side-by-side and primarily perpendicular to the street. Slot homes are also sometimes called “sideways-facing town homes” or “fraux homes.” In recent years, slot homes have been constructed in many neighborhoods throughout Denver resulting in a new development pattern that can detract from the design quality and sense of community in Denver’s neighborhoods.

Download a two-page information sheet on slot homes Denver.

 

Renderings of three types of slot home lot layouts. 

 

Problem Statement

The Problem Identification Report (PDF), the product of a well-researched and community-driven process, describes the existing conditions and regulations under which slot homes are built, summarizes trends in recent slot home construction, and outlines the public process used to develop the final problem statement.

The problem is that new slot home construction does not promote neighborhood objectives in five key respects: 

Image of sidewalk in front of slot home without sidewalk-facing entryways

Many slot homes do not engage the street, sidewalk and semi-public frontages. They rarely feature street-level activities, porches, or pedestrian entrances and transparency (windows) that promote interaction with neighbors and ownership of the public realm.

Image of a slot home development that doesn't fit in with neighboring building

Siting, setbacks and uses (residential, commercial, etc.) within slot homes sometimes do not reflect the existing character or desired future conditions of the street, block and neighborhood.

Image of slot home development that doesn't scale with neighboring building

Many slot homes don't incorporate human-scale proportions, heights and design elements that could promote compatible mass and scale relationships among buildings, such as coordinated facade widths, heights in stories, window patterns or distinctions between building floors.

Image of garage entrance to slot home development, which creates a wide curb-cut on sidewalk

Slot homes often incorporate visible driveways, parking areas and garage doors that have a negative effect on the pedestrian-oriented character of the street, sidewalk, and neighborhood.


Image of slot home balconies that look into neighboring property

Slot homes often orient their most active facade areas toward adjacent properties, rather than the street and sidewalk, or include other elements, such as rooftop decks, which may have negative visual, solar, or privacy impacts on neighbors.

Slot Home Evaluation Task Force

A task force will assist CPD staff with an evaluation of issues associated with slot home development in Denver’s neighborhoods, and recommend specific zoning text amendments to address identified issues. The task force represents community and other stakeholder interests, including residents, property owners, elected officials, developers and architects, to help ensure an inclusive public process. The Denver Planning Board and City Council will consider task force recommendations before adopting potential future amendments to the Denver Zoning Code.

Task Force Members

  • Rafael Espinoza, Denver City Council
  • Wayne New, Denver City Council
  • Don Elliott, Denver Planning Board
  • Nathan Adams, Real Estate Developer at Adams Development
  • Dave Berton, Designer at Real Architecture
  • Enrico Cacciorni, Berkeley-Regis United Neighbors Board and Real Estate Developer at Red Lodge Development
  • Anna Cawrse, Designer/Landscape Architect at Design Workshop
  • Scott Chomiak, Real Estate Developer at Koelbel Homes
  • Anne Cox, Cherry Creek neighborhood representative 
  • Jane Crisler, Board of Trustees at Historic Denver, Inc. and partner at Form Works Design Group
  • Christine Franck, Director, Center for Advanced Research in Traditional Architecture
  • Sarah Kaplan, Designer at Kephart Architects
  • Maggie Miller, Curtis Park Neighbors Board Representative
  • Ty Mumford, Real Estate Developer at Dawn Development
  • Heather Noyes, Berkeley-Regis United Neighbors Board and Landscape Architect at Studio CPG
  • Melissa Rummel Real Estate Developer at Nichols Partnership
 

Upcoming Meetings

Check back for information on future meetings. 

Garden Court Moratorium

In some cases, slot homes have been built in row house districts using the Denver Zoning Code garden court building form. In August 2016, the Denver City Council approved a moratorium on use of the garden court building form for one year. In August 2017, council voted to extend the moratorium to June 4, 2018 or the effective date of an amendment to the Denver Zoning Code related to slot homes. 

  • Read more about on the garden court moratorium.

Note that slot homes may still be built using other Denver Zoning Code building forms in multi-unit, mixed-use and main street districts.

Contact Us

Analiese Hock
Senior City Planner
analiese.hock@denvergov.org


For ongoing updates on the forthcoming slot home text amendment, please subscribe to our Community Planning and Development newsletter at denvergov.org/CPD

 

Task force meeting #1
2:45 p.m. Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., room 4F6
Meeting summary (PDF)
Meeting packet
(PDF)
Meeting presentation (PDF)

Task force meeting #2
2 p.m. Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Various locations
Meeting agenda
 (PDF)
Meeting packet (PDF)
Meeting presentation (PDF)

Community Open House
5:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 8
Scheitler Recreation Center
5031 W. 46th Ave. Denver CO
Meeting flier (PDF)
Meeting agenda (PDF)
Meeting presentation (PDF)
Meeting summary (PDF)
Posters (PDF)

Task Force meeting #3
March 16, 2017
Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., room 4F6
Meeting packet (PDF)
Meeting agenda (PDF)
Meeting presentation (PDF)
Meeting summary (PDF)

Planning Board information item 
May 3, 2017
City and County Building
1437 Bannock Street, Parr-Widener Community Room (#389)

City Council Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee information item
May 23, 2017
City and County Building
1437 Bannock Street, Council Committee Room (#391)

Task Force Meeting #4
2-4 p.m., Wednesday, April 12
Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 2.I.1
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)
Summary (PDF)

Task Force Meeting #5
2-5 p.m., Thursday, June 8
Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)
Summary (PDF)
Meeting packet (PDF)
Activity worksheets (PDF)

Task Force Meeting #6
2-5 p.m., Thursday, July 20
Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)
Summary (PDF)
Meeting packet (PDF)

Task Force Meeting 7#
2-5 p.m., Thursday, August 24
Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6
Agenda (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)
Meeting packet (PDF)

Community Open House #2
5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, September 7
Colorado Health Foundation
1780 Pennsylvania Street, Denver
Meeting summary (PDF)
Slot home strategy overview (PDF)
Poster boards (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)