By Nikolaus Remus, AIA and Ignacio Correa-Ortiz, AIA
Have you ever requested a rezoning for a project because the current zoning did not seem to reflect the aspirations and the potential of the city and the community?
As an architect that practices in the City and County of Denver, you must be aware that the Department of Community Planning (CPD) has issued a draft Comprehensive Plan 2040, for public review through October 31.
One component of the draft that is for review is the existing Blueprint Denver: An Integrated Land Use and Transportation Plan (Blueprint).
If you are not familiar with Blueprint, you must, because Blueprint is the tool that CPD uses to calibrate the zoning code, which, in turn, dictates what you can build and where.
As the existing Blueprint becomes obsolete, one objection that rises is the stark difference between “Areas of Change” and “Areas of Stability,” where the city is segmented into such areas to indicate whether a particular zone lot is prone to redevelopment or not, and therefore its zoning would adjust accordingly through a rezoning application. On the other hand, on Tuesday, August 28, at an open house hosted by CPD, a citizen pleaded that the simplicity of areas of change and stability was worth leaving in the plan.
The proposed Blueprint, dubbed Blueprint Denver: A Blueprint for an Inclusive City, is divergently more complex, emphasizing that the land use and transportation plan (Blueprint) is about neighborhood character and quality of life. The two structural components of the draft Blueprint are “Complete Neighborhoods” and “Complete Networks.” Complete Neighborhoods refers to the opportunities a neighborhood must have three elements: 1) land use and built form, 2) mobility and 3) quality-of life-infrastructure. Complete Neighborhoods refers to the need to have a complete multimodal transportation network with more mobility choices.
To help CPD updating Blueprint, the City appointed a Blueprint Denver Task Force, comprised of many stakeholders and leaders in the community, including an AIA Colorado representative.
If the Blueprint update concerns you or your practice, then you are invited to attend two meetings on Wednesday September 12 and Wednesday September 26 at 5 PM.
Notwithstanding the importance of Blueprint for architects, you should also look at the other components of the Comprehensive Plan: Parks and Recreation, and Denver Moves: Transit, Pedestrians and Trails.
For more information from the City and County of Denver, including the draft document itself, go to the project web page at http://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denveright/land-use-transportation.html