Multifamily Architecture

Denver City Council Approves Vote to Cut Development of Slot Homes

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Out with the “slot home”, in with the townhome! Many residents have been asking for better design on these types of developments to fit within the surrounding neighborhoods. This past year, Denver’s Community Planning Development Slot Homes Task Force composed of designers, builders, developers, and community neighbors from affected districts researched and analyzed the best ways to improve design outcomes for neighborhoods around the city. The Task Force’s recommendations were approved unanimously by the Denver City council, effectively changing the Denver Zoning Code pertaining to slot home development.

This City Council vote establishes changes in the building zoning code that will ensure homes face the street, that the form of the home fits within the context of the neighborhood, and that street level activation is promoted. A new townhome form has been added to the Denver Zoning Code for side-by-side multifamily development that will eliminate the ability to use the shopfront form or the general form for this type of residential construction. In addition, height allowances will be decreased, which will have a limit on rooftop decks, and the number of pedestrian entryways, like porches, on homes facing the street will be increased.

These changes will have both a positive and a negative effect on building design and construction. Positively, developers and neighbors alike will have a better sense of anticipated outcomes and the connection to the surrounding neighborhood will improve. Negatively, density could be reduced by as much as 25% depending on the lot size in a city that is already in need of more housing. Also, due to new design requirements there could be an increase to tap fees so the cost of development will go up in an already costly market.

Please contact us at 303-832-4474 or for questions on the new zoning code and how it will affect your project. With our knowledge on the new zoning update, we will help find the most efficient and optimized design solution for your site.

For more information, click here for the Community Planning and Development highlight.


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