DENVER -- Today Community Planning and Development interim manager Molly Urbina set a $875 fee for non-owner-initiated landmark designation applications. The fee decision comes one day after the Denver City Council’s approval of a series of improvements to the city’s landmark preservation ordinance.
Based on an evaluation of prior non-owner applications in recent years, Community Planning and Development (CPD) staff estimated that the staff costs for processing non-owner landmark applications fall between $400 and $1,500, and that most cost less than $1,000. During the ordinance update process, CPD publicly recommended a fee between $500 and $1,000.
In addition to these estimates of the actual cost of processing the applications, Urbina also considered the input CPD received from various stakeholders in the community. Citizens, neighborhood groups, nonprofits and Denver City Council members suggested fees from $500 (double the current fee) to as much as $2,500. Most community groups suggested that the fee be no higher than $500, to ensure that landmark preservation in general could still be attainable. Of those who suggested a higher fee, some felt it would prevent frivolous designation attempts and would protect private property rights.
“I believe that the $875 fee represents a balanced approach based on all the community input, and accurately reflects the city’s cost for handling non-owner applications,” Urbina said. “I want to thank the many stakeholders who participated in the public process regarding the ordinance changes, for their involvement and their thoughtful recommendations. The landmark ordinance changes passed by City Council on Monday represent significant improvements to the city’s landmark preservation process which will benefit all Denver residents, and this fee is the final step in that effort.”