Friday, December 22, 2017

City of Denver News

2017: A Look Back

Denver grew and changed in many ways in 2017. At Community Planning and Development (CPD), we're working with Denverites to make sure those changes benefit everyone. Whether you're new to town, a longtime resident, a construction pro or someone investing in your property, we're working to make Denver work better for you.

This year, Denver saw unprecedented levels of city planning and private investment. Here's a look back at 2017:

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  • Thousands of you weighed in on Denveright's update of Blueprint Denver, calling for quality-of-life infrastructure for all neighborhoods like safe sidewalks, parks and open space, housing options, transit access and much more. 
  • Residents in 13 east Denver neighborhoods gathered in-person and online to begin crafting new neighborhood plans to guide local preservation and change.
  • We issued more than 74,000 development permits, an 18 percent increase over 2016. Construction and labor costs for projects permitted in 2017 are at $4.1 billion, breaking last year's record of $3.7 billion.
  • We're managing permit demand with an emphasis on technology and people. In 2017 we cut the log-in wait time at the permit counter by nearly 90 percent, and achieved pre-boom target review times for most building permits.
  • In July, we launched e-permits, an easy way for you to get permits online for minor projects like new roofs and water heaters (it's already issued 17,000 permits). Later we introduced electronic plan review for residential projects and fire permits, saving paper and time.

What's on tap for 2018

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  • A slot home solution? Planners will propose a zoning amendment that will mean no more sideways-facing rowhouses that detract from neighborhood character. See what they'd be instead.
  • Planners have been working with Councilman Albus Brooks, neighbors and property owners at the 38th & Blake transit station to devise a "value-capture" approach to new zoning there. The proposal would allow any project at 38th & Blake to exceed certain heights if it provides specific benefits to the neighborhood, such as affordable housing, five times the affordable housing fee, or community-serving uses. Maximum heights still fall within the area plan's recommendations, and good design matters
  • The Discover Denver historic building survey has already catalogued much of Elyria-Swansea, Globeville, Jefferson Park and Harvey Park. Today volunteers are surveying in City Park West, and will move on to yet another neighborhood in 2018. Have you shared your building's story?
  • We will continue to expand what's possible online (did you know you can use e-permits to schedule inspections?) and will extend electronic plan review to commercial building projects.
  • The owners of Elitch Gardens intend to redevelop its parking lot into a mixed-use community. In early 2018, city planners -- after months of working with the owners and the community -- will draft a plan update to put a finer point on it
  • Denver will update its 17-year-old Comprehensive Plan 2000 with a new, user-friendly comprehensive plan for the city that will reflect the voice of Denver today, and chart its course for the next two decades.