Denver introduces zoning-code update plan online

Denver’s Community Planning and Development office has launched a website, New Code, with news and information about the the new city Zoning Code it hopes to pass by next fall.

Right now there’s no code at the site but plenty of introductory material that explains the thinking behind the plan and asks for input. Best is that the site includes an initial schedule of public meetings, where experts and residents and developers and architects and retailers and anyone else who wants to can get in the scrum and discuss the plan.

First up is an April 22nd “Joint Zoning Code Task Force and Citizens Advisory Group Meeting” to be held at 4 p.m. at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building on 14th and Colfax.

City planners and others are already blogging and vlogging at the site. Those are fairly perfunctory now but they’re likely to get more exciting. A draft of the actual code will go up in the summer after some review and tweaking.

One of the principles guiding the drafters of the code is that neighborhoods should be zoned according to presently existing contexts. It’s a “form-based approach” to code-writing that seems logical but is apparently fairly innovative as a way to comprehensively and officially shape a city’s future. The site includes text and an animated movie explaining how this form-based approach applies to Denver.

You can also discover which of the plan’s seven neighborhood types you live in and what your future holds. Are you an “Urban Edge” dweller or a “General Urban” dweller? Is your neighborhood set to draw code that will encourage change or stability?