Zoning Code Audit and Rewrite

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Public Engagement Kickoff - Golden Building Blocks

Greetings Community of Golden! It is time for the City to kick-off the public engagement effort for the Zoning Code Rewrite with a fun, new community-driven exercise titled, Golden Building Blocks. The City is asking you, the residents of Golden to help identify elements of the built environment that you feel best represent the community of Golden and its character. Over the next several months we want you to take pictures of buildings, roadways, city blocks and any other elements that can help City staff better understand the community's perspective on this topic. Through this understanding we will be better able to preserve the character of Golden through future city initiatives and specifically, the code rewrite.

Is it a roof, a yard, a porch, a building’s orientation? Is character best reflected by the sum of all the houses along a city block? Is it the landscaping? You tell us!

Click on the link below to be taken to the main Golden Building Blocks page for more information. In addition, If you click on the image below, you can download a flyer that has more information about the project.

Golden Building Blocks Webpage


The Zoning Code Audit Report Is Now Available

Over the past several months the consultant team has been hard at work analyzing the existing City of Golden Zoning Code for deficiencies and areas of improvement. As this process is now coming to a close, the consultants are required to deliver a report of their findings to City Council for discussion. The audit document, titled the Diagnostic Report, is now available on Guiding Golden. On May 21st, the consultant team discussed with City Council and Planning Commission the findings of the report as well as the tasks for the rewrite of the City of Golden Zoning Code. A copy of the slide deck from that presentation is available in the document library on this page. You can also review that discussion in full through the City of Golden Website.

Please see our FAQ for more information related to the audit and rewrite of the City of Golden zoning code.

*Due to issues with the current pandemic of COVID-19, it is possible that this meeting will be rescheduled to a later date.


Next Steps

  • Please read the report and provide your comments and any questions, below.
  • City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint study session on May 21, 2020 to review the Code Audit Report
    • Council will discuss and finalize the scope of the planned Code Rewrite, including the priorities and tasks of the rewrite and the public engagement process
    • On May 21, 2020 or soon after, Council will make the formal decision on when and how to move forward with the Code Rewrite
    • Once the scope of the rewrite is agreed upon, a more complete timeline will be available and posted here on Guiding Golden. There will be a number of opportunities for public input during the rewrite phase of the project, and those will be shown within the timeline and promoted via the City web site, social media and other communication methods

Code Audit Description

The City issued a Request for Proposals for firms qualified to conduct a zoning code audit and zoning code rewrite. Four submittals were received and, after an interview and background check process, staff selected a consultant group comprised of Pel-Ona Architects and Urbanists, Peter Park Planning and Design, and Metta Urban Design. Staff met with this team in the first week of September to discuss the scope of the project in more detail, and then with members of City Council and Planning Commission to share and discuss the draft scope before moving forward with approval of the project contract.

The zoning code audit is the initial phase, and is essentially a diagnosis of the current code and its shortcomings, before then moving on to the code rewrite process. The intent of the audit and rewrite of the zoning code is to streamline and modernize it, make it more user friendly, and bring it into better alignment with GV2030, the Comprehensive Plan and neighborhood plans, as well as the recently finalized Transportation Master Plan.


Public Engagement Kickoff - Golden Building Blocks

Greetings Community of Golden! It is time for the City to kick-off the public engagement effort for the Zoning Code Rewrite with a fun, new community-driven exercise titled, Golden Building Blocks. The City is asking you, the residents of Golden to help identify elements of the built environment that you feel best represent the community of Golden and its character. Over the next several months we want you to take pictures of buildings, roadways, city blocks and any other elements that can help City staff better understand the community's perspective on this topic. Through this understanding we will be better able to preserve the character of Golden through future city initiatives and specifically, the code rewrite.

Is it a roof, a yard, a porch, a building’s orientation? Is character best reflected by the sum of all the houses along a city block? Is it the landscaping? You tell us!

Click on the link below to be taken to the main Golden Building Blocks page for more information. In addition, If you click on the image below, you can download a flyer that has more information about the project.

Golden Building Blocks Webpage


The Zoning Code Audit Report Is Now Available

Over the past several months the consultant team has been hard at work analyzing the existing City of Golden Zoning Code for deficiencies and areas of improvement. As this process is now coming to a close, the consultants are required to deliver a report of their findings to City Council for discussion. The audit document, titled the Diagnostic Report, is now available on Guiding Golden. On May 21st, the consultant team discussed with City Council and Planning Commission the findings of the report as well as the tasks for the rewrite of the City of Golden Zoning Code. A copy of the slide deck from that presentation is available in the document library on this page. You can also review that discussion in full through the City of Golden Website.

Please see our FAQ for more information related to the audit and rewrite of the City of Golden zoning code.

*Due to issues with the current pandemic of COVID-19, it is possible that this meeting will be rescheduled to a later date.


Next Steps

  • Please read the report and provide your comments and any questions, below.
  • City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint study session on May 21, 2020 to review the Code Audit Report
    • Council will discuss and finalize the scope of the planned Code Rewrite, including the priorities and tasks of the rewrite and the public engagement process
    • On May 21, 2020 or soon after, Council will make the formal decision on when and how to move forward with the Code Rewrite
    • Once the scope of the rewrite is agreed upon, a more complete timeline will be available and posted here on Guiding Golden. There will be a number of opportunities for public input during the rewrite phase of the project, and those will be shown within the timeline and promoted via the City web site, social media and other communication methods

Code Audit Description

The City issued a Request for Proposals for firms qualified to conduct a zoning code audit and zoning code rewrite. Four submittals were received and, after an interview and background check process, staff selected a consultant group comprised of Pel-Ona Architects and Urbanists, Peter Park Planning and Design, and Metta Urban Design. Staff met with this team in the first week of September to discuss the scope of the project in more detail, and then with members of City Council and Planning Commission to share and discuss the draft scope before moving forward with approval of the project contract.

The zoning code audit is the initial phase, and is essentially a diagnosis of the current code and its shortcomings, before then moving on to the code rewrite process. The intent of the audit and rewrite of the zoning code is to streamline and modernize it, make it more user friendly, and bring it into better alignment with GV2030, the Comprehensive Plan and neighborhood plans, as well as the recently finalized Transportation Master Plan.


  • Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Diagnostic Phase of the Code Rewrite Tasks

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    3 months ago

    Q. Can I leave comments related to the diagnostic report?

    A. Yes, please see the comment tab to the right of this one. Any comments provided, will be delivered to City Council on May 21st.


    Q. What is the difference between the Code Audit Report (aka Diagnostic) and the Code Rewrite?

    A. The audit of the zoning code is a deep-dive analysis by our consultant team into the current state of our regulations. The consultants shall provide a report at the end of this process (diagnostic report) that outlines the main issues of the code that need to be...

    Q. Can I leave comments related to the diagnostic report?

    A. Yes, please see the comment tab to the right of this one. Any comments provided, will be delivered to City Council on May 21st.


    Q. What is the difference between the Code Audit Report (aka Diagnostic) and the Code Rewrite?

    A. The audit of the zoning code is a deep-dive analysis by our consultant team into the current state of our regulations. The consultants shall provide a report at the end of this process (diagnostic report) that outlines the main issues of the code that need to be rewritten. These ‘issues’ are specifically tailored to the agreed upon sections of Title 18 provided in the signed contract between the consultants and the City of Golden. The issues will be evaluated and rewrite tasks will be agreed upon once the diagnostic report has been reviewed by City Council. The rewrite phase will trigger once an agreed upon scope of work (tasks) have been decided.


    Q. What process did the consultants utilize to analyze the Zoning Code?

    A. The consultants broke their analysis into three major areas of study:

    • Critical reading – This process included a deep-dive analysis into the zoning code’s content, processes, and formatting. In addition to this, the consultants also analyzed our policy documents (GV 2030, Comprehensive Plan, and Neighborhood Plans). As you know, our policy documents identify the aspirations of the community for future development of the City. If our zoning code (regulatory document) is not able to produce the type of development advocated for in our policy documents, then a realignment must occur in the rewrite process.
    • A survey of the city’s physical environment – The consultants analyzed the current physical environment in the City and compared it to the aspirations outlined in our policy documents. For instance, what exactly does “small-town character” mean? This step in the audit helped our consultants contextualize our policy goals to the realities of what is currently built in the community. In addition, the consultants determined if the current zoning code (regulatory document) is capable of regenerating the types of developments that the community of Golden holds dear to heart.
    • Critical listening – This process included some small surveys on Guiding Golden and interviews with stakeholders at the onset of 2020. These conversations helped inform the consultants on deficiencies associated with the zoning code from individuals with direct, hand-on experience. This included Golden residents familiar with land use hearings and other aspects of the zoning code, members of Planning Commission and City Council, developers, architects and other land use professionals who use the code. Finally, City staff across several departments that use or are impacted by the zoning code, also provided input.


    Q. I heard that there was a stakeholder interview process during the Code Audit Phase. What did that consist of?

    A. The primary purpose of this task was to hear from those who use the code daily or those who have gone through a planning review process recently. To be able to reach and interview a fair representation of the community at large, an invitation to those who were interested in talking to the project team was posted on Guiding Golden. The project team interviewed residents, developers, architects, neighborhood groups and others, as well as Planning and Public Works staff, the City Attorney, Planning Commission, and City Council on January 14, 15, and 21, 2020. These Stakeholders were able to share their pinions about the strengths and weaknesses of particular parts of the code, and of the review process.

    Ultimately, these opinions factored into the consultant's research and is reflected in the Diagnostic Report. A summary of those interviews is also provided in the appendix.


    Q. I filled out a survey on Guiding Golden and/or participated in an in-person interview at the City offices to answer questions about the zoning code, was that information included in the report.

    A. Yes, it was. During the audit process the consultants reached out to a select groups of individuals from various aspects of the community. This included residents, developers, housing advocates, and other users of the code who understand our code and its zoning processes. At the onset of this year, the consultants interviewed several of these individuals to gather additional information regarding deficiencies with the code. However, it should be noted that this information was used to supplement the consultant team’s own professional analysis.


    Q. Will there be more opportunity to participate in this project once it enters the rewrite phase?

    A. Yes! On May 21st the consultant team and City Council will outline the public participation process for the zoning code rewrite. Once that information is fully determined, this Guiding Golden page will be updated.


    Q. The consultant’s report doesn’t outline issues for all the various sections of the zoning code, why is that?

    A. The consultants were tasked to identify what they feel are the main defects in the zoning code. Certain subsections in particular have significant issues with their substance (e.g. the actual laws they promote). Other sections may have been flagged for minor issues with their substance and outlined as tasks internal staff can address without the need of consultants.


    Q. What is the Zoning Rewrite Task Force (ZRTF)?

    A. During the contract negotiations for the Zoning Audit and Rewrite, City Council requested that a working group be formed with individuals who have first-hand experience with the code. This group comprises Golden residents, members of the development community, architects, representatives from Council and Planning Commission, and other users of the code. It is anticipated that this group will meet with the consultants on a monthly basis during the rewrite phase to discuss potential rewrite tasks and updates.


    Q. Were the ZRTF members vetted by City Council?

    A. Yes


    Q. Is the ZRTF a decision making body?

    A. No, the ZRTF’s main function is to provide informed opinions and suggestions to the consultants and staff with regard to identifying issues with the current zoning code, developing tasks in preparation for rewriting the code, and (later) reviewing draft code language in advance of the public process. All decisions related to the update or rewrite of the Zoning Code are City Council’s alone, and involve a public process.


    Q. What is the process for deciding what goes into the rewrite of the code once the audit is complete?

    A. A City Council study session will be held on May 21st to discuss the findings of the audit process (diagnostic report). The goal of that meeting will be to produce a list of tasks for the rewrite process formed from the findings of the report and the priorities identified in the scope of the project that was agreed to last October, 2019.

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  • Initial Outreach Results

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    3 months ago

    The consultant team has completed a summary for the initial/early phase of the code audit outreach process. The outreach effort included a brief survey administered through this webpage, requesting general feedback of the zoning code. Individuals who provided feedback were also invited to participate in stakeholder interviews in order to gather more refined details about their experiences with the code. Several individuals including local residents, developers, and professional service providers (e.g. architects, engineers) provided valuable and informative comments.

    All of the feedback from the stakeholder interviews has been summarized in the Initial Outreach Findings memo. Please bear in mind, this is NOT the formal audit report - it is a summary of outreach responses. In addition, information from online surveys that were completed at the time of publishing were also included in the summary. Any additional survey responses provided in February 2020 will be integrated into the final audit report. Both surveys have been closed as of March 1, 2020. The results of those surveys are available in the document center on this page.

    The consultant team has completed a summary for the initial/early phase of the code audit outreach process. The outreach effort included a brief survey administered through this webpage, requesting general feedback of the zoning code. Individuals who provided feedback were also invited to participate in stakeholder interviews in order to gather more refined details about their experiences with the code. Several individuals including local residents, developers, and professional service providers (e.g. architects, engineers) provided valuable and informative comments.

    All of the feedback from the stakeholder interviews has been summarized in the Initial Outreach Findings memo. Please bear in mind, this is NOT the formal audit report - it is a summary of outreach responses. In addition, information from online surveys that were completed at the time of publishing were also included in the summary. Any additional survey responses provided in February 2020 will be integrated into the final audit report. Both surveys have been closed as of March 1, 2020. The results of those surveys are available in the document center on this page.

  • What's next?

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    3 months ago

    In addition to public outreach, the consultant team has been busy analyzing the urban form of the community, researching the zoning code, and comparing these things to our long-range policy documents. The most important exercise of the audit process is determining how the urban form of Golden's buildings and the zoning code regulations align with our long-range vision. This consideration will form the basis of the Code Audit Report, which is due to be completed this spring. This final report will be reviewed by City Council in a public setting on a soon-to-be confirmed date. Stay tuned for more details.

    In addition to public outreach, the consultant team has been busy analyzing the urban form of the community, researching the zoning code, and comparing these things to our long-range policy documents. The most important exercise of the audit process is determining how the urban form of Golden's buildings and the zoning code regulations align with our long-range vision. This consideration will form the basis of the Code Audit Report, which is due to be completed this spring. This final report will be reviewed by City Council in a public setting on a soon-to-be confirmed date. Stay tuned for more details.

  • Consultant Chosen

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    10 months ago

    On Sept. 18, 2019, members of Planning Commission and City Council met with Planning staff and the consultant chosen for this project. They discussed the scope of the zoning code audit component of the project, prior to approval of the contract by City Council, which will happen at a later date.

    Background:

    The current zoning code, Title 18 of the Golden Municipal Code, was primarily developed in 1973, with some zoning districts dating back to 1960. While numerous additions and amendments to this code have occurred over the past 45 years, the code has never been reviewed and assessed in...

    On Sept. 18, 2019, members of Planning Commission and City Council met with Planning staff and the consultant chosen for this project. They discussed the scope of the zoning code audit component of the project, prior to approval of the contract by City Council, which will happen at a later date.

    Background:

    The current zoning code, Title 18 of the Golden Municipal Code, was primarily developed in 1973, with some zoning districts dating back to 1960. While numerous additions and amendments to this code have occurred over the past 45 years, the code has never been reviewed and assessed in a comprehensive manner. The code began as a typical Euclidean zoning code document, but has since evolved to contain design guidelines and standards, sustainability requirements, downtown regulations with height zone overlays, form-based code elements, and bulk plane regulations. The City is currently working on a number of code changes to address the preservation of neighborhood and community character, as well as the housing needs of the “missing middle” in Golden.

  • Residential Zoning Changes Adopted

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    10 months ago

    Over the summer, City Council voted to enact two Ordinances (2110 and 2114) that created new, residential zoning regulations for the Residential 2 (R2) and Residential 3 (R3) zone districts. These changes affect all single-household and multi-household development in the R2 zone district, but will be specifically limited to single-household and two-household developments in the R3 zone district. A brief summary of the regulations include the following:

    • All properties affected by these regulations will be required to satisfy a 50% maximum lot coverage regulation.
    • All redevelopment and new development will be required to construct a front porch element that orients...

    Over the summer, City Council voted to enact two Ordinances (2110 and 2114) that created new, residential zoning regulations for the Residential 2 (R2) and Residential 3 (R3) zone districts. These changes affect all single-household and multi-household development in the R2 zone district, but will be specifically limited to single-household and two-household developments in the R3 zone district. A brief summary of the regulations include the following:

    • All properties affected by these regulations will be required to satisfy a 50% maximum lot coverage regulation.
    • All redevelopment and new development will be required to construct a front porch element that orients the building entrance to the adjacent right-of-way. Corner lots will be given the flexibility of choosing their desired primary frontage to construct the porch element.
    • To reduce the vertical bulk of new construction and pop-tops, all properties affected will be required to satisfy the vertical bulk plane restrictions, also known as a graduated setback. Corner lots will be given the flexibility of choosing their desired primary frontage to apply the vertical bulk plane restrictions.
    • A 35’ maximum building height will be eliminated from the R2 and R3 zone districts except in instances for the R3 zone district where lot sizes are larger (min. 10,500 square feet) and greater side property line setbacks are required.

  • Minor Subdivision Regulations

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    10 months ago

    In addition to the residential zoning changes, alterations to the subdivision regulations are enacted to prevent oddly configured lots in Golden’s established neighborhoods. Moving forward, minor subdivisions of land will be limited to six (6) total lot boundaries when processed administratively.


    In addition to the residential zoning changes, alterations to the subdivision regulations are enacted to prevent oddly configured lots in Golden’s established neighborhoods. Moving forward, minor subdivisions of land will be limited to six (6) total lot boundaries when processed administratively.


  • Special Use Permit Regulations

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    10 months ago

    Council passed into law a requirement for special use permits in commercial 1 (C1) and commercial 2 (C2) zone districts. The new regulations require that when residential developments are constructed in the C1 and C2 zone district, building lot standards shall be required to follow the R3 zone district as opposed to the C1 or C2 zone district. The R3 building setbacks and building height restrictions are considered more appropriate for residential developments than those provided for commercial developments. Special considerations will be given to C2 properties located within the downtown district.

    For more information regarding these developments, please reference...

    Council passed into law a requirement for special use permits in commercial 1 (C1) and commercial 2 (C2) zone districts. The new regulations require that when residential developments are constructed in the C1 and C2 zone district, building lot standards shall be required to follow the R3 zone district as opposed to the C1 or C2 zone district. The R3 building setbacks and building height restrictions are considered more appropriate for residential developments than those provided for commercial developments. Special considerations will be given to C2 properties located within the downtown district.

    For more information regarding these developments, please reference the enacted ordinance provided at the link below, or contact the City of Golden planning department.

    Municipal Code