OBJECTIONS TO THE BUILDING REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS MUST BE FILED BEFORE JUNE 5 AT 3 PM.
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MONDAY JUNE 5 at 3 PM OBJECTION DEADLINE
OBJECTIONS TO THE BUILDING REQUIREMENTS FOR CORE AREA ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS MUST BE FILED WITH DENVER CITY COUNCIL BEFORE JUNE 5 at 3 PM.
June 4, 2023
Hello Denver East Neighbors-
On Monday, the City Council will consider changes to zoning regulations affecting the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units in our neighborhoods at the Council meeting.
On June 5, the City Council will consider the parameters in which an Accessory Dwelling Unit can be built on a proposed property. A copy of the chart is contained in the following link: denvergov.org/files/assets/public/community-planning-and-development/documents/zoning/text-amendments/adus-in-denver/adus_in_denver_recommendations_summary.pdf (See page 2 of the Summary of the Recommendations for the chart.)
The chart explains what the current requirements are to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit and then states the changes for each type of neighborhood. East Area Plan residents are located in the urban core.
If the City Council approves the chart, and if the proposed structure meets the building code requirements within this chart, your efforts to successfully object to the building of the Unit is unlikely. Once this chart is approved, the city will most likely take the next step to rezone all of Denver to permit Accessory Dwelling Units. (A rezoning allowing all Denver residents to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit is called a “blanket rezoning of Accessory Dwelling Units.”)
If a blanket rezoning is passed by City Council in the future, a proposed Accessory Dwelling Unit can be built without further City Council approval and over the objections of neighbors.
WE URGE RESIDENTS TO SUBMIT OBJECTIONS TO THE CITY COUNCIL BEFORE 3 PM ON MONDAY, JUNE 5.
BY WAY OF BACKGROUND: As you probably recall, the City Council approved the East Area Plan in November 2020. During the time the Council considered the Plan, only 41 citizen comments out of 6600 comments logged by the city (less than 1%) wanted to see Accessory Dwelling Units in the East Area.
The intent of the chart is to move density into our neighborhoods in the Core Area and maximize living space within an Accessory Dwelling Unit. Neighborhoods farther from the Core Area do not share the same burden of density.
City planners claim that they tried to minimize the use and privacy impacts of Accessory Dwelling Units on neighboring properties. The effects of the City’s proposal, however, will be invasions of the bulk plane, more shadowing, and alley balconies, all diminishing the privacy of neighboring properties.
The defects in the proposal arise out of the City’s concern for maximizing the rights of Accessory Dwelling Unit development while ignoring the sacrifice of enjoyment and privacy of the neighboring property owners.
Such density intensity IS NOT required in lots farther out from our neighborhoods.
A second, major defect in the proposal is that it leaves open the potential for absentee landlord ownership. The city will continue to require owner occupancy in single-unit zone districts farther from the Core Area. For us, the definition of ownership is subject to future “reexamination.” The potential for an increase in absentee residential ownership will affect the fabric of the neighborhoods and the potential for more gentrification or corporate ownership of homes. It has been estimated that 26,000 homes have been purchased by corporate entities in the past few years in Denver.
Without requiring a lot owner to reside on the site of property containing an Accessory Dwelling Unit, the City will promote the use of our neighborhoods to be developed and operate as rental properties by absentee landlords. The strength of our neighborhoods lies in property owners’ commitment to maintaining their homes in an environment where they live and to be neighbors in a community.
Again, residency is being required farther from the Core Area, but the definition of “residency” in our neighborhoods will be determined at a future date. The Council should decide that absentee ownership is not acceptable now, while the public is focused on the question.
Your submitted objection can be as simple as “I object.” Or you can expand the objection to include any of the following:
Treating different neighborhoods differently is inequitable.
Loss of privacy due to bulk plane invasion and or permitting balconies.
Being permitted to build to the alleyways.
Loss of each lot carries responsibility for the permeability of water runoff.
Height creates shadowing on your property.
Requiring the same residency requirements to build in urban areas as you do in the suburbs.
The council should decide now that absentee ownership is not acceptable now, while the public is focused on the question.
Treating urban core differently than Chapter 59 properties.
Feel free to review the chart that is before City Council and get your letters in. We don’t know if it will change the course, but your letters will continue to show that residents do not agree with the direction of the City as provided in this Chart. This may be helpful for future objections.
City Council will vote to approve this chart on Monday, June 5. Get your comments in by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org by 3 PM on Monday, June 5th, 2023 with a copy to email@example.com.
If you would like to speak at this hearing, sign up here: fs12.formsite.com/qD2eXl/1psxjxiyuy/index.html
Information on what to do for speaking at the hearing:
You can sign up to speak starting at 3:00 p.m. on the day of the hearing. The sign-up period ends at 5:30 p.m.
You may speak in person or via Zoom. You’ll be sent information about the location and the link you need after you sign up.
Hearings are held at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays during the regular City Council meeting. Keep in mind that the council may have some other business to do before the hearing begins. You should plan on being present in the chamber or on Zoom shortly before 5:30 p.m.
Each speaker will have 3 minutes to speak. There is a countdown clock, so you’ll know how much time you have left. You cannot give your unused time to other speakers.
Please turn off cell phones or other devices that might make noise during your comments.
Begin by stating your name, city of residence, and if you feel comfortable doing so, your home address.
Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks during your comments.
Here is the link to the Accessory Dwelling Unit page for general information: denvergov.org/Government/Agencies-Departments-Offices/Agencies-Departments-Offices-Directory/Community-Planning-and-Development/Denver-Zoning-Code/Text-Amendments/ADUs-in-Denver
See Denver Post article explaining what Accessory Dwelling Units are: denverpost.com/2023/05/01/granny-flats-west-denver-valverde-athmar-park
Remember to please forward a copy of your comment to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that many of you have written already with a sense of your concerns being ignored. However, this is the first and last time you will be able to make a public record of your concerns to all of our Council members. Your former letters were only addressed by Community Planning and Development.
Thank you, Denver East Neighborhoods First
Please email us if you have any questions.
FINAL COMMENTS DUE TOMORROW, MAY 3, 2023 by 5PM
DEADLINE REMINDER FOR CITIZEN COMMENT ON “AUXILIARY DWELLING UNIT” (ADU’S)
May 2, 2023
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SUBMIT BEFORE THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS MAY 3, 2023? The ADU proposal will instruct how ADUs will be built in Denver. If an ADU proposal is submitted by a homeowner and meets these requirements, it is a DONE DEAL and it will be approved.
Hello Denver East Neighbors-
The City continues to process its plans to increase residential density in Denvers’ Core Area. The tool proposed by the City to accomplish this increase is a zoning device that will allow Auxiliary Dwelling Units (ADUs) to be added to lots in our area.
The City’s deadline for your comments to its planning staff is the close of business on May 3. Additionally, the public can comment on a revised draft of the proposed ADU by June 1 when it goes before City Council for final approval.
As you probably recall, the City approved the East Area Plan in November 2020. During this time, only 41 citizen comments out of 6600 comments logged by the City (less than 1%) wanted to see ADUs in the East Area.
Nevertheless, City planners plowed ahead with making ADUs easier for not only the residents in the East Area Plan but for all residents in Denver. Currently, the proposed Plan would allow ADUs without a minimum lot size and the penetration of bulk planes which can affect the privacy into your yard.
ADUs that are larger than the primary residence could be built, and in some instances, ADUs could be built without any setback from alleys. One of the main purposes of this proposal is to focus on maximizing density without regard for potential effects on neighboring properties in the core neighborhoods of Denver.
Such intensity IS NOT required in lots further out from our neighborhoods. We are speaking of shadowing into your property, the height of the ADU, and privacy concerns with penetration of the bulk plane and the introduction of balconies onto an ADU. See page 2 of the summary:
The City will continue to require owner occupancy in single-unit zone districts with clarification on the definition of ownership in the future but not in other zone districts which will increase absentee residential ownership.
Without requiring a lot owner to reside on the site of property containing an ADU, the City would promote the use of our neighborhoods to be developed and operate as rental properties by absentee landlords. The strength of our neighborhoods lies in property owners’ commitment to maintaining their homes in an environment where they live and to be neighbors in a community.
You can help shape the City’s plan for ADUs by providing feedback to the planning staff by the close of business on Wednesday, May 3
Here is the link to the ADU page for general information.
Once the draft Plan and strategy report is published (located on the homepage above) you can submit comments through the project comment form by the close of business on Thursday, June 1.
See Denver Post article on ADUs.
Please forward a copy of your comment to us at
Thank you, Denver East Neighborhoods First
April 18, 2023
*Corrected link to "Watching Erratic Passengers and Assaults on RTD Buses"*
Dear Denver East Neighbors-
The plan to move forward with center-running Bus Rapid Transit (“BRT”) on Colfax is a vanity project that should not move forward until and unless the City answers important questions, conducts objective studies, and engages the community most impacted by the proposal. The city has never directly reached out to the residents and businesses most impacted by the Colfax BRT project.
What needs to be addressed?
The City needs to justify moving forward with center-running BRT given the runaway costs of the project and other concerns stated below.
Since it was proposed, the costs of this project have increased from $135 million to $350 million. Residents should be presented with a comparison of costs and benefits that would result from the installation of a center-running bus as compared to a side-running bus.
The city’s message that we approved of center-running bus rapid transit, though repeated often, is simply not true.
Voters supported a ballot measure in 2017 to fund “rapid transit service and pedestrian improvements along Colfax to reduce congestion and increase safety.” Taxpayers did not specifically support bus rapid transit, nor center-running bus service, let alone the elimination of traffic lanes to provide for bus rapid transit.  Further, though 75% of respondents to a survey conducted in connection with the Colfax Corridor Connections Alternatives Analysis responded “yes” to the question “Do you agree with the recommendation for center-running BRT on East Colfax?”, citizens were never asked whether they supported center-running BRT over side-running BRT, nor provided with comparative information about the costs and benefits of each. In fact, 2,481 citizens signed a petition stating their opposition to center-running bus-rapid transit after plans for center-running BRT were presented in connection with proposals to adopt the East Area and Central Area Plans in 2020. The city ignored this petition. Under the circumstances, the city’s narrative that citizens support center-running BRT is extremely misleading.
Projections as to the number of passengers to be carried on center-running on East Colfax have dramatically decreased since the Colfax Corridor Connections Alternatives Analysis was first conducted. This begs the questions: Would our dollars better be used by implementing side-running, rather than center-running bus service, and does center-running BRT promote social and environmental justice?
Pre-pandemic ridership was just over 20,000 boardings per day. Projections suggested that, with BRT, ridership would increase to 50,000 boardings by 2035. However, Colfax ridership dipped 40% during the pandemic, to about 12,000 boardings per day. RTD’s data shows that there were 15,910 boardings per day during the summer of 2022. The city projects that by 2040, boardings on Colfax will increase by 7,600 per day. Based on those numbers, we can expect to have will have 23,510 boardings during the weekday by 2040 – only 3,510 new transit riders more than we saw pre-pandemic. This is a far cry from original projections offered in support of center-running BRT. Importantly, we will be building a transit line which equals about $99,715.00 per additional passenger ($350 million divided by 3,510 passengers) while irretrievably changing the landscape of Colfax by eliminating existing traffic lanes and parking spots. Further, the $350 million price tag for BRT does not take into account the loss of revenue for businesses, costs to the community of traffic diversion, or the environmental pollution caused by the construction and health risks placed on residents in an already polluted corridor/city that will arise as a result installing center-running BRT. Given this, we should be looking at alternatives, such as side-running BRT, and evaluating whether continuation of this project makes sense. The studies should be rerun to account for data obtained since the study was run in 2018. In particular, the following factors should be taken into account: (1) Ridership has not increased dramatically since the pandemic; (2) some form of hybrid work will stay in place; (3) the cost of living in Denver is driving people away from the Colfax corridor/core of Denver; (4) increased costs of living in Denver have pushed families out of Denver, increasing the likelihood that schools will be closed and/or that school populations will decrease and thereby lessening the need for bus service; (5) only 40% of employees have returned to downtown offices post-pandemic, resulting in a 24.7% office vacancy rate and lessening the need for bus ridership; and (6) costs of fare are increasing at a rate that will become unaffordable.
Residents’ requests for traffic and environmental studies have been ignored.
Despite repeated requests, residents have not been allowed to view the traffic and environmental impact studies that have purportedly been conducted and are left to wonder about the potential impact of BRT on our neighborhoods. Failure to provide the studies and the underlying data, more than five years into the project, contributes to a lack of trust and confidence in the city’s honesty about the project and heightens concerns about the project itself.
We encourage each of you to go on record that these studies should be produced immediately so that residents can evaluate the impact of the BRT before further implementation of the project is undertaken.
Even with a fancier bus, the BRT project has not addressed how crime, shortage of staffing, and drugs on buses will be handled, especially since RTD has reversed itself on removing the short-lived policy of removing transit riders who remain on the buses rather than deboarding for a destination.
The RTD documented at least 178 reports of assault or injury of passengers during 2021 and the first two months of 2022 according to a Problem Solvers analysis of RTD records. Combined, the 15 and 15L bus lines accounted for more than a third of all documented incidents. This is the most violent bus line in the city.
Projected loss of parking spaces on Colfax has increased without explanation and without discussion of the effect of such loss on businesses and residents on and near Colfax.
The city’s website previously stated that only 100 parking spaces would be lost in connection with the implementation of the BRT Now, the website states that 300 spaces will be lost. It is imperative that residents and businesses understand how and why the city arrived at this number and that the city identify the locations in which spaces will be lost. A study should be done to consider how the reduction and elimination of parking for new units will impact the corridor and abutting areas.
THE CITY SHOULD ADDRESS THESE CONCERNS BEFORE THE RESIDENTS WILL BUY INTO A PROPOSED CENTER RUNNING BUS.
Aside from the fact that we did not vote for a center-running bus and the reliance of the city on a survey for support of a center-running bus that is flawed, RTD has already stated we have a reliable route with frequent bus service. Better Speed can be accomplished with a side running dedicated bus lanes that are supported with pre-emption detectors at the signals and in the buses, signal controller upgrades, signage and pavement markings, kiosks to pay for trips prior to boarding, and bulb-outs. This would be a minimal cost and would be covered by the monies the project currently has. Construction costs would be minimal and thus potentially allow a better opportunity for businesses to recover from COVID losses, less business loss from major construction, and construction would occur with minimal disruption.
But the city has not addressed the true reason people do not ride the bus since the 15 has the current density to support any BRT. People do not ride the bus because of speed but because of the lack of cleanliness, safety, the decreased need due to hybrid work schedules, fewer people working downtown, and that the transportation doesn’t get everyone where they need to go. The reach of the Colfax bus is limited and does not justify the current anticipated costs – which we know will be overrun.
We can prevent another Great Hall debacle by having the city address our concerns with data based on our corridor.
If you cannot attend, please join via Zoom.
 Denver, Colorado, Streets and Transportation Bond Issue, Referred Question 2A (November 2017) - Ballotpedia
 Colfax Corridor Connections Alternatives Analysis, Appendix at 154, located at denvergov.org/content/dam/denvergov/Portals/705/documents/projects/ColfaxCorridor/Colfax-BRT-recommendation-summary-jan2019.pdf
 Study underway to look at feasibility of converting office buildings into housing, Denver searches for landlords willing to convert offices to housing, Can converting empty offices to apartments solve Denver’s housing shortfall?; bizjournals.com/denver/news/2022/05/17/denver-office-return-traffic-remote-work-commute.html; bizjournals.com/denver/news/2022/05/17/denver-office-return-traffic-remote-work-commute.html
 kdvr.com/news/problem-solvers/rtd-bus-route-with-most-assaults and Washington Post ran an article on how Denver’s problems are spilling onto its buses. washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/06/06/bus-denver-pendemic-violence See also: Watch erratic passengers and assaults on RTD buses
April 14, 2023
BRT Community Open House Tuesday, April 18, 2023 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Dear Denver East Neighbors-
The City continues to propose a center running bus without showing the residents the impacts on side streets, No conversations have taken place on the Environmental Impact Study. The City continues to promote the false narrative that residents prefer this alternative. We do not. See petition HERE. They have not provided any studies that support a center-running bus in our area as opposed to a side-running bus.
We need to continue to "show up" and ask the questions. To date, the meetings have involved the design and naming of the BRT. No hard discussions on the questions we are asking.
Please take the time to appear or sign up on Zoom.
They are continuing to move forward without the input of those most directly impacted. Please copy us with feedback and your concerns. More details on the issues we have identified coming later. An Article By Dennis Royer on the BRT
Colfax BRT Community Open House
(Join via Zoom HERE)
Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | 05:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Carla Madison Recreation Center – Multipurpose Room, 2401 E Colfax Avenue, Denver, 80206
Thank you, Denver East neighbors!
ADU deadlines to keep in mind:
You can watch the Land Use Transportation Infrastructure committee meeting on April 18th at 10:30 AM and hear the update of the proposal by the city to the committee, but members of the public can observe proceedings live on Denver's Channel 8 or online at Denver8.tv
Feedback received before May 3 will be reviewed by staff and used to fine tune the draft text amendment. Feedback received after May 3 will be forwarded to City Council for their consideration.
Public comment on both the public review draft and strategy report may be submitted via the project comment form until Thursday, June 1.
Final vote and hearing before City Council tentatively set.