Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

City revises zoning code; University to host community meetings

Changes affecting nearly every piece of property in Denver are being rolled out in May, and the University of Denver will be a site for part of the public education effort.

The changes are part of a revision of the city’s zoning code and are aimed at updating the rules by which existing homes can be altered or new homes can be built. A task force has been working on the new code since 2005. It is ready to unveil its plan at a series of community meetings.

According to the Denver’s Web site, the existing zoning code is 53 years old and “broken.”

“Inconsistent and redundant procedures that plague the current zoning code will be removed to make the new zoning code more predictable, transparent and clear,” the site says. “Outdated regulations that present barriers to sustainability and affordability will also be removed.”

District 7 City Councilman Chris Nevitt says the reason for the new code is even more basic.

“You need to be able to know what can happen next door to you,” he told the West University Community Association recently.

To make sure DU’s neighborhood residents are informed and have a chance to comment, Nevitt is conducting a series of meetings prior to the official rollout. DU will host one of these meetings, which begin April 23 and continue to June 4. The DU meeting will be May 21 in Sturm Hall, Room 151, from 6–8 p.m. No registration is necessary. For a list of meetings, go to Nevitt’s page at

The city’s official rollout of the new code and the first unveiling of the map that will accompany it will be May 12, at 5:30 p.m., at the Denver Convention Center. Other meetings throughout the city are on May 13, 14, 19, and 21. For details on locations and times, go to

The final version of the new zoning code will come before City Council at the end of 2009, Nevitt says. Until then, the city will be taking public testimony and comments.

“If you guys hate it,” Nevitt says, “I have perfect confidence you’ll let us know.”

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