INC - Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation

denver zoning code draft 3

Posted in: INC

We have noticed a problem in the draft 3 of the zoning code on the east side of Humboldt Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, that may be relevant to other streets in the city. 


The east side of the street contains five apartment buildings, some of which were built in the early 1900s, and one single-family house.  The zoning proposed for this side is GMU5.  The west side of the street contains single-family houses.  The zoning proposed for this side is USUB.


The east side of the street may have been designated GMU5 because the apartment buildings are three and one half stories, if the apartments’ basements that are partially visible from the street are taken into account.


However, when one examines the height of the apartment buildings, using a standard architectural practice of equating three bricks to eight inches, it is clear that none of the buildings on the east side of the street are higher than 40 feet.


The tallest new buildings allowed under the GMU3 code are 40 feet.  Because Humboldt between 8th and 9th Avenues is in an Area of Stability, new buildings that are higher than 40 feet should not be allowed on the street.


If the current plan goes forward, there could be 65 foot high new apartment buildings on the east side of the street across from single family homes on the west side of the street.  We don't believe that this circumstance is the intention of the new code.


This example shows that stories cannot be translated into height without measuring and that the new code may not reflect well conditions on the ground.


K. Wells






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