City of Golden Zoning Code Update

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

The second draft of the updated zoning code is now available for review! Please reference the Zoning Code Draft Sections tabs at the side of this page for the updated version of the Zoning Code components. In addition, there is a summary of the changes provided below in the "Summary of Updates" section and also in a downloadable pdf document. We also want to share some important information about the draft, outreach, and schedule moving forward.

Office hours

We’re happy to announce that our virtual office hours are returning with a more flexible timeframe. Every Thursday, June 10 to July 8 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., staff will be available on WebEx anytime during that hour and a half each week to answer your questions and discuss the code draft. We are also happy to schedule appointments for other dates and times as well upon request, either online or in person.

We want to encourage everyone to take advantage of these office hours as the main means of outreach/contact through the second draft release process. If you have questions and comments, please join us!

There is also a brief survey provided below with a couple of data points we would like to collect if you would like to contribute.

City Council Study Session

Once we’ve all had time to digest the code, City Council will review comments and findings on July 20. This will be the opportunity for Planning Commission and City Council to provide staff with further direction. You may attend the meeting in person in Council Chambers (911 10th Street) on July 20 at 6:30 p.m. (please note: this is a study session, so there will be no opportunity for public comment at this particular meeting) or watch the meeting at GCO.tv or www.cityofgolden.net/agendas.

Mapping Process and Future Outreach

The draft zoning code can only take effect once the form zones are mapped to the city and the new zoning map is adopted by City Council. Beginning in the fall, staff will be engaging with the community at the neighborhood level to discuss how to apply the form zones across each neighborhood. We plan to meet with following neighborhoods initially:

  1. North Neighborhoods (properties north of Highway 58)
  2. Downtown Residents (8th / 9th Street Neighborhoods & 12th Street Neighborhood)
  3. Central Neighborhoods (East Street & CMU Neighborhoods along Jackson and Ford Street Corridors)
  4. Future Meetings for the South Neighborhoods will be determined after this first round

Summary of Updates

Building Form Zones & Adjustments

The modifications made to the form zones for Draft 2 consists of a variety of elements ranging from the exclusion of various form types in certain areas to minor adjustments made to the boundaries of the form zones themselves.

Urban Duplex

First and foremost, the Urban Duplex and Compact Urban Duplex have been removed from the Transition form zone based on feedback received from the public as well as City Council. These form types are still permitted under the Edge, Urban Edge, Main Street, and Strip form zones as they represent the highest density form zones across the city. Further consideration will be given to these form types when we enter the mapping phase of the code rewrite. (Section 18.29.100 under Form Zones & Building Form Types provides a description of each form zone and the form types permitted within.)

Peripheral / R1 & R1A Use Zones

Another large scale change related to the form zones is oriented around the R1 zone districts: R1 and R1A. The Peripheral form zone that includes the R1 zone districts now only permits a limited number of form types (3), which are all single household unit types. These include the Suburban House form type with its side-drive variant and the Village House form type that accommodates alley-loaded properties. It should be emphasized that these form types will not permit small lot subdivision, and the minimum lot sizes required for each will be consistent with what is permitted in the code today. However, the total size of the overall development will be capped at 3,200 above grade finished square feet (Suburban House type). However, this 3,200 square foot cap would not include finished basements, garages, attics, or other unconditioned accessory buildings. ADUs, on the other hand, are included in the total. (Section 18.29.107, page 13 under Form Zones & Building Form Types describes the Peripheral)

RE Use Zone

The RE zone district has been removed from the rezoning effort entirely. It shall be subject to existing zoning standards moving forward, as there are no current form types that would address the lower height limit and larger setbacks found in this zone district.

Map Adjustments

Finally, the form zone map has been updated based on feedback received during the first public outreach phase. This is not the final map, just a placeholder until the individual neighborhood engagement meetings occur and more specific input is received. These current modifications include the following areas:

  1. The half block near the intersection of 9th and Arapahoe has been adjusted to Transition.
  2. The north block of 9th street between Maple Street and Illinois Street has been adjusted to Core.
  3. Commercial properties in the West Downtown neighborhood between Miner’s Alley and Arapahoe Street have been adjusted to Main Street A.
  4. The Jackson Street corridor between 15th Street and 20th Street has been adjusted to Main Street B.
  5. All RE zoned properties have been removed from the zoning overlay map.

Building Form Types

The Form Types in the proposed code draft have largely remained unchanged aside from some significant adjustments related to parking, dwelling unit clarifications, and preservation.

New Form Types

As mentioned, most of the changes related to the form types involved removing certain form types from particular contexts across the city. With that said, there are two new form types we are adding to the code to assist with the development of residential structures on steep slopes. These are titled the Uphill House and the Uphill Duplex. These form types permit a direct access scenario directly from the frontage street to a garage position near the front setback of the lot. This accommodation was made with the understanding that it is very difficult to develop elements of a residence towards the rear of the lot where steep slopes are present on these properties. (p.37 and p.68 under Form Zones & Building Form Types)

Number of Dwellings / ADUs

In addition to these changes, we have updated several of the residential form types to indicate the number of dwelling units permitted and clearly indicated whether a form type allows for the development of an accessory dwelling unit.

(All House, Cottage, Compound, Cluster, Duplex, Row House, and Apartment building form types, except for the Four-Story Courtyard Apartment building form types have been adjusted accordingly under Form Zones & Building Form Types.)

Parking

Per the feedback we received from both the community and City Council, commercial uses will now reference the existing commercial parking standards housed in Chapter 18.36 of the new code. Each form type permitted in both a residential and/or commercial area of the city now has a residential standard as well as the reference to 18.36 for commercial uses. These updates have been made to the form zone sheets directly.

Preservation

The proposed form-based code offers the unique opportunity to enhance preservation across the City. One example of its approach is the ability to preserve an existing small structure on a lot but permit the construction of a second similar structure on the same property. The existing code makes this scenario impossible and promotes scraping and redevelopment – most recently in the form of large-scale duplexes.

In an effort to make preservation of existing home even more attractive, the code draft has been revised to permit more flexibility if a property owner wishes to expand an existing home.

Mostly Preserved Structure

The revised code draft introduces a process to establish a “Mostly Preserved Structure.” In this scenario, if 75% or more of an existing structure is preserved, the setback and building heights in the middle/rear of the lot are relaxed to allow the property owner to more easily add an addition. This process is identified as the “mostly preserved structure” process. For properties located in the historic districts, it shall be the role of Historic Preservation Board to grant a development a "Mostly Preserved Structure" status. However, this process will be available for structures outside the historic districts, and in this scenario, the planning division will confirm that 75% of the structure is being preserved prior to initiating a review for site development. Notes allowing for this accommodation have been added to the Side-Drive House, Village House, Cottage, Side-Drive Cottage and Duplex building form types. (See definition for "Mostly Preserved Structure" page 30 in 18.29.210 Form Zones and Building Form Types)

Building Form and Development Review

The proposed zoning draft outlines a process discussed with City Council and Planning Commission that will make all development proposals available to the public to review for a set amount of time after the planning division staff has made a determination to approve or deny a submission.

Calling Up an Application

Once an application to develop a form type has been reviewed administratively by staff, staff will create a report and analysis of the application materials and post it to Guiding Golden in its entirety for the community to review and ask questions. This review period will last for 15 days from the date posted. If any code requirements are observed by the public to have not been met within this review period of staff’s decision (with reference to the approval criteria for an application), and If City Council feels that the code deficiencies observed by the public are warranted, Council shall have the right to “call up” an application to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. (Section 18.29.400 page 108 in Form Zones and Building Form Types)

Landscaping & Site Development Standards

The new Landscaping and Site Development Regulations section has been updated to incorporate water conscious standards into our regulations moving forward.

Xeric Landscaping

The proposed draft of the code now requires at least 50% of the selected plant materials to come from recommended xeric plant materials lists. In addition, water conscious irrigation systems are now required. Additional guidelines have been implemented to encourage water-conscious practices with new developments. (Chapter 18.40)

Sidewalk Standards

The sidewalk standards from the existing code have been relocated to this section.(Chapter 18.40 page 2)

Shed Standards

Accommodations for accessory structures such as utility sheds have been added to the document. (Chapter 18.40 page 12)


The digital version of the form zone map makes it easy search the map for property addresses and see what form zone your property is in.


Don't Zone Out, Zone In!

Simply put, our zoning code is old… really old! It was developed over 50 years ago and although it’s been built upon and adjusted over the years, it’s not enough. The foundation of the code was based on an era long gone and those development preferences don’t represent the Golden community of today. Our decisions as a city are rooted in Golden Vision 2030, a document that is based off the vision, values, and needs expressed to us by you, our Golden community. We believe the Zoning Code should reflect those same modern beliefs.

So here we are, with a draft of the Zoning Code Rewrite based on a lot of research, work and insight from our consultants and community members who know the ins and outs of zoning. But they’re not the only ones affected by a rewrite. The truth is, anyone who works or lives in the City is impacted by pieces of the zoning code every day. That’s why it’s important to get your thoughts and feedback on this draft before we move forward. On Jan. 28, 2021 the Zoning Code Rewrite draft was unveiled at a virtual community meeting. You will find that draft and a video of the meeting right here.

Still can’t find what you need? Contact Cory Miller – cmiller@cityofgolden.net

The second draft of the updated zoning code is now available for review! Please reference the Zoning Code Draft Sections tabs at the side of this page for the updated version of the Zoning Code components. In addition, there is a summary of the changes provided below in the "Summary of Updates" section and also in a downloadable pdf document. We also want to share some important information about the draft, outreach, and schedule moving forward.

Office hours

We’re happy to announce that our virtual office hours are returning with a more flexible timeframe. Every Thursday, June 10 to July 8 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., staff will be available on WebEx anytime during that hour and a half each week to answer your questions and discuss the code draft. We are also happy to schedule appointments for other dates and times as well upon request, either online or in person.

We want to encourage everyone to take advantage of these office hours as the main means of outreach/contact through the second draft release process. If you have questions and comments, please join us!

There is also a brief survey provided below with a couple of data points we would like to collect if you would like to contribute.

City Council Study Session

Once we’ve all had time to digest the code, City Council will review comments and findings on July 20. This will be the opportunity for Planning Commission and City Council to provide staff with further direction. You may attend the meeting in person in Council Chambers (911 10th Street) on July 20 at 6:30 p.m. (please note: this is a study session, so there will be no opportunity for public comment at this particular meeting) or watch the meeting at GCO.tv or www.cityofgolden.net/agendas.

Mapping Process and Future Outreach

The draft zoning code can only take effect once the form zones are mapped to the city and the new zoning map is adopted by City Council. Beginning in the fall, staff will be engaging with the community at the neighborhood level to discuss how to apply the form zones across each neighborhood. We plan to meet with following neighborhoods initially:

  1. North Neighborhoods (properties north of Highway 58)
  2. Downtown Residents (8th / 9th Street Neighborhoods & 12th Street Neighborhood)
  3. Central Neighborhoods (East Street & CMU Neighborhoods along Jackson and Ford Street Corridors)
  4. Future Meetings for the South Neighborhoods will be determined after this first round

Summary of Updates

Building Form Zones & Adjustments

The modifications made to the form zones for Draft 2 consists of a variety of elements ranging from the exclusion of various form types in certain areas to minor adjustments made to the boundaries of the form zones themselves.

Urban Duplex

First and foremost, the Urban Duplex and Compact Urban Duplex have been removed from the Transition form zone based on feedback received from the public as well as City Council. These form types are still permitted under the Edge, Urban Edge, Main Street, and Strip form zones as they represent the highest density form zones across the city. Further consideration will be given to these form types when we enter the mapping phase of the code rewrite. (Section 18.29.100 under Form Zones & Building Form Types provides a description of each form zone and the form types permitted within.)

Peripheral / R1 & R1A Use Zones

Another large scale change related to the form zones is oriented around the R1 zone districts: R1 and R1A. The Peripheral form zone that includes the R1 zone districts now only permits a limited number of form types (3), which are all single household unit types. These include the Suburban House form type with its side-drive variant and the Village House form type that accommodates alley-loaded properties. It should be emphasized that these form types will not permit small lot subdivision, and the minimum lot sizes required for each will be consistent with what is permitted in the code today. However, the total size of the overall development will be capped at 3,200 above grade finished square feet (Suburban House type). However, this 3,200 square foot cap would not include finished basements, garages, attics, or other unconditioned accessory buildings. ADUs, on the other hand, are included in the total. (Section 18.29.107, page 13 under Form Zones & Building Form Types describes the Peripheral)

RE Use Zone

The RE zone district has been removed from the rezoning effort entirely. It shall be subject to existing zoning standards moving forward, as there are no current form types that would address the lower height limit and larger setbacks found in this zone district.

Map Adjustments

Finally, the form zone map has been updated based on feedback received during the first public outreach phase. This is not the final map, just a placeholder until the individual neighborhood engagement meetings occur and more specific input is received. These current modifications include the following areas:

  1. The half block near the intersection of 9th and Arapahoe has been adjusted to Transition.
  2. The north block of 9th street between Maple Street and Illinois Street has been adjusted to Core.
  3. Commercial properties in the West Downtown neighborhood between Miner’s Alley and Arapahoe Street have been adjusted to Main Street A.
  4. The Jackson Street corridor between 15th Street and 20th Street has been adjusted to Main Street B.
  5. All RE zoned properties have been removed from the zoning overlay map.

Building Form Types

The Form Types in the proposed code draft have largely remained unchanged aside from some significant adjustments related to parking, dwelling unit clarifications, and preservation.

New Form Types

As mentioned, most of the changes related to the form types involved removing certain form types from particular contexts across the city. With that said, there are two new form types we are adding to the code to assist with the development of residential structures on steep slopes. These are titled the Uphill House and the Uphill Duplex. These form types permit a direct access scenario directly from the frontage street to a garage position near the front setback of the lot. This accommodation was made with the understanding that it is very difficult to develop elements of a residence towards the rear of the lot where steep slopes are present on these properties. (p.37 and p.68 under Form Zones & Building Form Types)

Number of Dwellings / ADUs

In addition to these changes, we have updated several of the residential form types to indicate the number of dwelling units permitted and clearly indicated whether a form type allows for the development of an accessory dwelling unit.

(All House, Cottage, Compound, Cluster, Duplex, Row House, and Apartment building form types, except for the Four-Story Courtyard Apartment building form types have been adjusted accordingly under Form Zones & Building Form Types.)

Parking

Per the feedback we received from both the community and City Council, commercial uses will now reference the existing commercial parking standards housed in Chapter 18.36 of the new code. Each form type permitted in both a residential and/or commercial area of the city now has a residential standard as well as the reference to 18.36 for commercial uses. These updates have been made to the form zone sheets directly.

Preservation

The proposed form-based code offers the unique opportunity to enhance preservation across the City. One example of its approach is the ability to preserve an existing small structure on a lot but permit the construction of a second similar structure on the same property. The existing code makes this scenario impossible and promotes scraping and redevelopment – most recently in the form of large-scale duplexes.

In an effort to make preservation of existing home even more attractive, the code draft has been revised to permit more flexibility if a property owner wishes to expand an existing home.

Mostly Preserved Structure

The revised code draft introduces a process to establish a “Mostly Preserved Structure.” In this scenario, if 75% or more of an existing structure is preserved, the setback and building heights in the middle/rear of the lot are relaxed to allow the property owner to more easily add an addition. This process is identified as the “mostly preserved structure” process. For properties located in the historic districts, it shall be the role of Historic Preservation Board to grant a development a "Mostly Preserved Structure" status. However, this process will be available for structures outside the historic districts, and in this scenario, the planning division will confirm that 75% of the structure is being preserved prior to initiating a review for site development. Notes allowing for this accommodation have been added to the Side-Drive House, Village House, Cottage, Side-Drive Cottage and Duplex building form types. (See definition for "Mostly Preserved Structure" page 30 in 18.29.210 Form Zones and Building Form Types)

Building Form and Development Review

The proposed zoning draft outlines a process discussed with City Council and Planning Commission that will make all development proposals available to the public to review for a set amount of time after the planning division staff has made a determination to approve or deny a submission.

Calling Up an Application

Once an application to develop a form type has been reviewed administratively by staff, staff will create a report and analysis of the application materials and post it to Guiding Golden in its entirety for the community to review and ask questions. This review period will last for 15 days from the date posted. If any code requirements are observed by the public to have not been met within this review period of staff’s decision (with reference to the approval criteria for an application), and If City Council feels that the code deficiencies observed by the public are warranted, Council shall have the right to “call up” an application to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. (Section 18.29.400 page 108 in Form Zones and Building Form Types)

Landscaping & Site Development Standards

The new Landscaping and Site Development Regulations section has been updated to incorporate water conscious standards into our regulations moving forward.

Xeric Landscaping

The proposed draft of the code now requires at least 50% of the selected plant materials to come from recommended xeric plant materials lists. In addition, water conscious irrigation systems are now required. Additional guidelines have been implemented to encourage water-conscious practices with new developments. (Chapter 18.40)

Sidewalk Standards

The sidewalk standards from the existing code have been relocated to this section.(Chapter 18.40 page 2)

Shed Standards

Accommodations for accessory structures such as utility sheds have been added to the document. (Chapter 18.40 page 12)


The digital version of the form zone map makes it easy search the map for property addresses and see what form zone your property is in.


Don't Zone Out, Zone In!

Simply put, our zoning code is old… really old! It was developed over 50 years ago and although it’s been built upon and adjusted over the years, it’s not enough. The foundation of the code was based on an era long gone and those development preferences don’t represent the Golden community of today. Our decisions as a city are rooted in Golden Vision 2030, a document that is based off the vision, values, and needs expressed to us by you, our Golden community. We believe the Zoning Code should reflect those same modern beliefs.

So here we are, with a draft of the Zoning Code Rewrite based on a lot of research, work and insight from our consultants and community members who know the ins and outs of zoning. But they’re not the only ones affected by a rewrite. The truth is, anyone who works or lives in the City is impacted by pieces of the zoning code every day. That’s why it’s important to get your thoughts and feedback on this draft before we move forward. On Jan. 28, 2021 the Zoning Code Rewrite draft was unveiled at a virtual community meeting. You will find that draft and a video of the meeting right here.

Still can’t find what you need? Contact Cory Miller – cmiller@cityofgolden.net

  • Complete Form
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    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. 


    Take Survey
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    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


    Take Survey
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    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.


    Take Survey
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    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.



    Take Survey
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link