City of Golden Zoning Code Update

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Welcome! Thank you for your interest in the City of Golden's zoning code update. From now until the spring of 2021, the zoning code team, which consists of staff from the Planning Division and the consultants (Pel-Ona Architects and Urbanists, Peter J Park City Planning and Design, and Metta Urban Design) will be working to update specific sections of the City's zoning code. To begin this process, we need to gather some feedback from you, the community, to make sure our approach aligns with your desires.

You may have heard that the City has been working on a rewrite of its zoning code for some time; however, this is only partially true. For the last 4-5 months the zoning code team has been analyzing the existing zoning code for deficiencies and meeting with a working group (the Zoning Rewrite Task Force) to summarize those findings. A full report of that analysis, the Diagnostic Report, is available for your review at the link below. If you don't have the time to read the full report, there are some summary videos provided in this page's survey section that will bring you up to speed on the report's findings.

The findings, outlined in the Diagnostic Report, are the 'issues' that the zoning code team find to be the most critical problems associated with the City's zoning code as it relates to our goals as a community. These issues range from general legibility and user friendliness of the document to larger issues such as a disconnect between the types of structures being built in Golden vs those the community feel are appropriate for its character.

The key issues outlined in the diagnostic report have been summarized into the following categories:

Community Character - As communities grow over time, their zoning codes change to satisfy the development needs of the day. This continued process of adding to and tweaking the City's zoning code over time has created a number of problems in present day Golden. For instance, some older properties are no longer capable of satisfying their current zone district's development regulations because properties are required to be bigger than the standard, historic-parcel size of the neighborhood. Another example may be how new homes are permitted to be much bigger and bulkier than the majority of buildings present in the neighborhood – disturbing the pattern of the neighborhood.

Review Process - When a property owner wishes to redevelop or add to their land, they must first go through a site development process to ensure that their proposal satisfies zoning regulations. If the zoning document is confusing and its intentions are not clear, this can potentially prolong the review process and the results may not align with the code's original intent. Several sections of the current zoning code highlight this type of problem.

Navigation - As previously mentioned, the City's zoning code has been edited and altered significantly over the course of decades. This can create navigational issues within the code. For instance, a requirement may force the code reader to reference a number of different areas of the code to get an answer to a question, which may mean visiting older sections, newer sections or, is some rare cases, sections of the code that no longer exist. Navigation was identified as one of the key concerns related to our zoning code.

Parking - The current municipal parking requirements are extensive and often prevent the creation of small businesses due to extensive requirements. Lots that could potentially support a new business are gobbled up by larger entities that require the space to satisfy the City's parking requirements.

Housing Affordability - As the prices for homes increase year over year, it becomes harder and harder for Golden residents and employees to purchase or rent a home. The consultant team shall explore the options for increasing affordability through the zoning code in order to accommodate the housing needs of the City.

To alleviate these issues, the code team has proposed to create new zone districts that will better calibrate the regulations found in the code with the development goals of the City. These new zones districts will ensure that new construction is appropriately scaled to Golden's character in different areas of the City. It will also clean up the navigational issues by consolidating older sections in one better organized area of the zoning code and trimming the excess language that is no longer required. Finally, the new zone districts will be rewritten so that they are legible for the modern-day users of the code, and images, tables and diagrams will be added to further assist the user.

Please consider taking the survey, broken into multiple topics below. The information we gather from these surveys will help ensure the code update team that they are on the correct path moving forward and the Golden gets a new zoning code that preserves and enhances its unique character.

Thank you for your participation!

Introduction Video

Learn about the foundations of the Zoning Code Audit process and the general findings from the consultant team.

Welcome! Thank you for your interest in the City of Golden's zoning code update. From now until the spring of 2021, the zoning code team, which consists of staff from the Planning Division and the consultants (Pel-Ona Architects and Urbanists, Peter J Park City Planning and Design, and Metta Urban Design) will be working to update specific sections of the City's zoning code. To begin this process, we need to gather some feedback from you, the community, to make sure our approach aligns with your desires.

You may have heard that the City has been working on a rewrite of its zoning code for some time; however, this is only partially true. For the last 4-5 months the zoning code team has been analyzing the existing zoning code for deficiencies and meeting with a working group (the Zoning Rewrite Task Force) to summarize those findings. A full report of that analysis, the Diagnostic Report, is available for your review at the link below. If you don't have the time to read the full report, there are some summary videos provided in this page's survey section that will bring you up to speed on the report's findings.

The findings, outlined in the Diagnostic Report, are the 'issues' that the zoning code team find to be the most critical problems associated with the City's zoning code as it relates to our goals as a community. These issues range from general legibility and user friendliness of the document to larger issues such as a disconnect between the types of structures being built in Golden vs those the community feel are appropriate for its character.

The key issues outlined in the diagnostic report have been summarized into the following categories:

Community Character - As communities grow over time, their zoning codes change to satisfy the development needs of the day. This continued process of adding to and tweaking the City's zoning code over time has created a number of problems in present day Golden. For instance, some older properties are no longer capable of satisfying their current zone district's development regulations because properties are required to be bigger than the standard, historic-parcel size of the neighborhood. Another example may be how new homes are permitted to be much bigger and bulkier than the majority of buildings present in the neighborhood – disturbing the pattern of the neighborhood.

Review Process - When a property owner wishes to redevelop or add to their land, they must first go through a site development process to ensure that their proposal satisfies zoning regulations. If the zoning document is confusing and its intentions are not clear, this can potentially prolong the review process and the results may not align with the code's original intent. Several sections of the current zoning code highlight this type of problem.

Navigation - As previously mentioned, the City's zoning code has been edited and altered significantly over the course of decades. This can create navigational issues within the code. For instance, a requirement may force the code reader to reference a number of different areas of the code to get an answer to a question, which may mean visiting older sections, newer sections or, is some rare cases, sections of the code that no longer exist. Navigation was identified as one of the key concerns related to our zoning code.

Parking - The current municipal parking requirements are extensive and often prevent the creation of small businesses due to extensive requirements. Lots that could potentially support a new business are gobbled up by larger entities that require the space to satisfy the City's parking requirements.

Housing Affordability - As the prices for homes increase year over year, it becomes harder and harder for Golden residents and employees to purchase or rent a home. The consultant team shall explore the options for increasing affordability through the zoning code in order to accommodate the housing needs of the City.

To alleviate these issues, the code team has proposed to create new zone districts that will better calibrate the regulations found in the code with the development goals of the City. These new zones districts will ensure that new construction is appropriately scaled to Golden's character in different areas of the City. It will also clean up the navigational issues by consolidating older sections in one better organized area of the zoning code and trimming the excess language that is no longer required. Finally, the new zone districts will be rewritten so that they are legible for the modern-day users of the code, and images, tables and diagrams will be added to further assist the user.

Please consider taking the survey, broken into multiple topics below. The information we gather from these surveys will help ensure the code update team that they are on the correct path moving forward and the Golden gets a new zoning code that preserves and enhances its unique character.

Thank you for your participation!

Introduction Video

Learn about the foundations of the Zoning Code Audit process and the general findings from the consultant team.

  • This presentation provides an update of Golden’s Zoning Code Audit Diagnostic phase. This work was presented to the Zoning Rewrite Task Force in April of 2020. The following presentation summarizes the historical development of context types in Golden. It provides a short history of the evolution of zoning codes and how each code update has impacted development.

    This video segment provides background information that is helpful to answer the questions of the survey. 


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  • This presentation provides an update of Golden’s Zoning Code Audit Diagnostic phase. This work was presented to the Zoning Rewrite Task Force in April of 2020.

    The following presentation studies how the current code permits buildings that are problematic in their scale, size and disposition. It focuses on three zone districts that are labeled within the current code as R2, R3 and CMU.  

    This video segment provides background information that is helpful to answer the questions of this survey


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  • This presentation provides an update of Golden’s Zoning Code Audit Diagnostic phase. This work was presented to the Zoning Rewrite Task Force in April of 2020.

    The following presentation identifies a mismatch between the commercial parking regulations of the code and Golden’s desire to support smaller, local businesses as expressed in the Golden Vision 2030.

    This video segment provides background information that is helpful to answer Questions 5 and 6 of the survey.


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  • This presentation provides an update of Golden’s Zoning Code Audit Diagnostic phase. The topic of affordability was introduced to the project team by the Zoning Rewrite Task Force in April of 2020.

    The following presentation explains how the code can enable affordability further by permitting smaller structures such as ADUs, tiny houses, and mobile homes. It also briefly touches on preservation as a means of affordability.

    This video segment provides background information that is helpful to answer the questions of this survey.



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