Guiding Development

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As a result of recent increased development activities throughout Colorado and specifically in Golden, we’ve seen the construction of new structures within existing neighborhoods that are of a larger mass and scale than the surrounding homes, and are felt by some to be out of step with the neighborhood character goals outlined in Golden Vision 2030 and the Comprehensive and Neighborhood Plans. This has heightened community interest in planning, and zoning-related topics.

There is currently a 120-day moratorium in place to provide time to evaluate zoning, process, and plans. Follow this page to find out what changes are being considered, how they may affect the community, and when there are opportunities for public input.

Background

July 25, 2019: City Council heard public feedback on the proposed Phase 2 changes for the R-2 and R-3 zone districts and voted to approve the changes. These changes include the following: Allowable encroachments into the new bulk plane standards for normal rooftop features like eaves and mechanical equipment for the home; Restrictions on Minor Subdivisions to prevent the manipulation of lot lines to increase developable area on a property; Special Use Permits for residential structures in commercial zone districts must now follow R-3 residential zoning requirements.

Restrictions on rooftop decks were discussed but not adopted into code, although it is possible an amended version will be brought forward at a later date.

June 13, 2019: City Council heard public feedback on the proposed Phase 1 changes for the R-2 and R-3 residential zone districts. They voted to approve the proposed changes. (see Council Memo below). As part of the Ordinance, Council also lifted a part of the current moratorium which put limitations on two-family development. Phase 2 recommendations will go before Council in July.


June 5, 2019: Planning Commission held a study session on June 5 and discussed Phase 2 changes for the R-2 and R-3 residential zone districts. Commission elected to recommend several of these additional code changes to Council, including new regulations for Minor Plats, minor encroachments into the bulk plane of the new graduated setbacks (Phase 1), upper and lower roof decks, and lower density standards for projects that require a residential Special Use Permit.

May 23, 2019: City Council set June 13 as the date for second reading and public hearing to amend parts of Chapters 18.12, 18.28 and 18.40 of the Golden Municipal Code regarding Phase 1 of the lot and bulk standards for residential developments in the R-2 and R-3 zone districts. The memo summarizes what the phase 1 changes are and the process leading up until this point.

May 16, 2019: City Council discussed the Phase 1 changes proposed for the R-2 and R-3 residential zone districts at study session on May 16, 2019, in advance of the related ordinance that will be heard on June 13, 2019. Staff presented the main elements of the changes under consideration, and Council asked for clarifications and some further background information in advance of the actual hearing. Council also requested additional code language for consideration related to graduated setbacks for lots 70 feet or greater in width.

May 15, 2019: Planning Commission held a study session meeting to discuss Phase 2 of proposed changes impacting the R-2 and R-3 residential zone districts. Commission requested draft code language, based on their discussion, for rooftop and inset decks, allowable encroachments into the proposed new graduated setbacks, as well as new rules for Special Use Permits that allow up to 100% residential uses in mixed use (commercial) zone districts. They also requested more research and continued discussion on new minor plat regulations (lot splits and assembly) and incentives to preserve existing structures when adding new units to a property, in order to reduce the number of scrape-off developments and preserve community character.

May 9, 2019: City Council reviewed and discussed an implementation report covering all the neighborhood plans developed since 2007. This discussion will help guide City efforts in ways other than development codes. The link below documents the implementation status of each of those plans.

April 3, 2019: Planning Commission met and finalized recommendations for an initial round of zoning code amendments to be drafted in coming weeks and presented to Council.

March 7 & 21, 2019: City Council gave formal consideration to a community request to consider needed zoning code amendments and to enact a temporary moratorium on certain land use and construction activities. On March 21st, Council approved Ordinance 2104 enacting a moratorium on the processing and issuance of building permits for duplex structures in the R2 and R3 zone districts, and the acceptance and processing of applications for Special Use Permits for 100% residential buildings in commercial zone districts, for site development plans for multi-family developments, and for variances related thereto. The moratorium extends until August 1st, 2019, unless terminated earlier, or extended longer.

February 28, 2019: Based upon earlier resident requests, City Council had a study session discussion about current concerns about the bulk, mass, and impact of in-fill development in neighborhoods, and the request for a temporary moratorium. Council provided direction to proceed with drafting a moratorium ordinance.

Fall 2018: The North Neighborhoods Guiding Golden survey provided the base information for many of the code changes discussed thereafter.

Learn more about Planning


As a result of recent increased development activities throughout Colorado and specifically in Golden, we’ve seen the construction of new structures within existing neighborhoods that are of a larger mass and scale than the surrounding homes, and are felt by some to be out of step with the neighborhood character goals outlined in Golden Vision 2030 and the Comprehensive and Neighborhood Plans. This has heightened community interest in planning, and zoning-related topics.

There is currently a 120-day moratorium in place to provide time to evaluate zoning, process, and plans. Follow this page to find out what changes are being considered, how they may affect the community, and when there are opportunities for public input.

Background

July 25, 2019: City Council heard public feedback on the proposed Phase 2 changes for the R-2 and R-3 zone districts and voted to approve the changes. These changes include the following: Allowable encroachments into the new bulk plane standards for normal rooftop features like eaves and mechanical equipment for the home; Restrictions on Minor Subdivisions to prevent the manipulation of lot lines to increase developable area on a property; Special Use Permits for residential structures in commercial zone districts must now follow R-3 residential zoning requirements.

Restrictions on rooftop decks were discussed but not adopted into code, although it is possible an amended version will be brought forward at a later date.

June 13, 2019: City Council heard public feedback on the proposed Phase 1 changes for the R-2 and R-3 residential zone districts. They voted to approve the proposed changes. (see Council Memo below). As part of the Ordinance, Council also lifted a part of the current moratorium which put limitations on two-family development. Phase 2 recommendations will go before Council in July.


June 5, 2019: Planning Commission held a study session on June 5 and discussed Phase 2 changes for the R-2 and R-3 residential zone districts. Commission elected to recommend several of these additional code changes to Council, including new regulations for Minor Plats, minor encroachments into the bulk plane of the new graduated setbacks (Phase 1), upper and lower roof decks, and lower density standards for projects that require a residential Special Use Permit.

May 23, 2019: City Council set June 13 as the date for second reading and public hearing to amend parts of Chapters 18.12, 18.28 and 18.40 of the Golden Municipal Code regarding Phase 1 of the lot and bulk standards for residential developments in the R-2 and R-3 zone districts. The memo summarizes what the phase 1 changes are and the process leading up until this point.

May 16, 2019: City Council discussed the Phase 1 changes proposed for the R-2 and R-3 residential zone districts at study session on May 16, 2019, in advance of the related ordinance that will be heard on June 13, 2019. Staff presented the main elements of the changes under consideration, and Council asked for clarifications and some further background information in advance of the actual hearing. Council also requested additional code language for consideration related to graduated setbacks for lots 70 feet or greater in width.

May 15, 2019: Planning Commission held a study session meeting to discuss Phase 2 of proposed changes impacting the R-2 and R-3 residential zone districts. Commission requested draft code language, based on their discussion, for rooftop and inset decks, allowable encroachments into the proposed new graduated setbacks, as well as new rules for Special Use Permits that allow up to 100% residential uses in mixed use (commercial) zone districts. They also requested more research and continued discussion on new minor plat regulations (lot splits and assembly) and incentives to preserve existing structures when adding new units to a property, in order to reduce the number of scrape-off developments and preserve community character.

May 9, 2019: City Council reviewed and discussed an implementation report covering all the neighborhood plans developed since 2007. This discussion will help guide City efforts in ways other than development codes. The link below documents the implementation status of each of those plans.

April 3, 2019: Planning Commission met and finalized recommendations for an initial round of zoning code amendments to be drafted in coming weeks and presented to Council.

March 7 & 21, 2019: City Council gave formal consideration to a community request to consider needed zoning code amendments and to enact a temporary moratorium on certain land use and construction activities. On March 21st, Council approved Ordinance 2104 enacting a moratorium on the processing and issuance of building permits for duplex structures in the R2 and R3 zone districts, and the acceptance and processing of applications for Special Use Permits for 100% residential buildings in commercial zone districts, for site development plans for multi-family developments, and for variances related thereto. The moratorium extends until August 1st, 2019, unless terminated earlier, or extended longer.

February 28, 2019: Based upon earlier resident requests, City Council had a study session discussion about current concerns about the bulk, mass, and impact of in-fill development in neighborhoods, and the request for a temporary moratorium. Council provided direction to proceed with drafting a moratorium ordinance.

Fall 2018: The North Neighborhoods Guiding Golden survey provided the base information for many of the code changes discussed thereafter.

Learn more about Planning


Ask us a question about development in Golden! We will do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Q&A

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  • Development seems to be way above the limits as set by the growth laws. What are you doing to control and limit growth? I do not want Arvada and Golden to ever meet. Please protect our open space!

    Mik asked about 1 month ago

    Residential projects that are within Golden’s jurisdiction are managed through the City’s 1% growth ordinance, and you can read more about how that process works by going to https://cityofgolden.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=c684204680db432091edfa253ce33327 This does not, however, pertain to commercial projects, which are not restricted in number but must adhere to Golden’s zoning code and Site Plan review process. You can read more about the associated regulations and public hearing process for new development projects at https://cityofgolden.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=0276905c44494b56b486bbc00f3792b8

    Development that is outside the City’s boundaries is more difficult to control, as this falls under a different jurisdiction, namely Jefferson County. While Golden can help influence the type of development that happens at our borders, the ultimate decision is still that of Jefferson County unless the City purchases the land. There has been talk within the community in recent months about the desire for a dedicated open space fund, and that would be one way to proactively limit growth at our borders.

  • As part of this initiative, will the City please consider increasing the number of parking spaces required per unit for new development? The current requirement is inadequate, and has led to tenants parking additional vehicles in public parking spaces on the streets and elsewhere to the extent that now we have to pay to shop downtown businesses.

    drice7070 asked 7 months ago

    Parking ratios for development continue to be one of the areas that the City evaluates on an on-going basis. This is a good suggestion and may be part of this round or future rounds of code reviews. 

    In terms of downtown, the implementation of the parking management system was not related to parking shortages but rather an effort to use a pricing model for all day parking users to encourage School of Mines patrons to park on campus rather than in downtown and neighborhoods. 

    Interestingly, our monthly records for use of the parking lots and structures show that 75% of the transactions downtown are the free 2 hour parking option. When combined with the free 2 hour on-street parking available downtown, about 90% of total users still park for free. It appears that this system has been very successful in assuring easily available parking for downtown users

  • When a person requests an exemption, how does the City define "hardship"? No definition is provided in the Code.

    Jrutter asked 7 months ago

    When City Council enacted Ordinance 2104, they were advised by the City Attorney that it is prudent to have a process for a special exception when a temporary moratorium is enacted.  Since the moratorium is a temporary measure, neither the process nor criteria appear in the City Municipal Code.  Rather, City Council will need to deliberate and on a case by case basis determine the meaning of the term “undue and substantial hardship”.  There may be different factors on a case by case basis, but in the end, Council will need to deliberate as a group and make such a determination.  Given the unique nature of the situation, such a determination will always be on a case by case basis and would not be considered precedent.