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Denver proposes zoning changes to cut down on construction of 'slot' homes

Posted at 10:55 AM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 12:55:06-05

DENVER - Denver city planners are looking to make changes to zoning rules as part of an effort to crack down on construction of so-called "slot" homes that don't face the street.

Slot homes, most often configured as rowhouse-style townhouses oriented sideways with a walkway or driveway in the middle, have become increasingly common as developers look to fit more homes onto lots that are being redeveloped.

But these homes have often upset neighbors, who consider them to be eyesores, especially in older, established neighborhoods dominated by single-family homes.

To address those concerns, Denver's Community Planning and Development department last year established a task force of 16 people, including city leaders, architects and others, to identify problems and potential solutions.

This week, CPD released a draft version of the task force's zoning amendment recommendations. 

Some of the major changes include requiring town house units to face the street (with different rules for units centered around a landscaped "garden court"), imposing height restrictions and encouraging more "active" street-level development (i.e., fewer blank walls facing the street, etc.).

Officials will take more public comment on the proposed changes with a goal of Denver City Council finalizing them in the late spring of 2018.

Read the full text of the zoning amendments at