Zoning law drafting process hits final stretch

City planners prepare for final readings of updated zoning ordinance

Casey Van Divier
caseyvandivier@yahoo.com
Posted 1/23/19

After more than a year of steady work drafting a new zoning ordinance, Northglenn city planners are ready to present a final draft of the document to council for approval. The City Council has …

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Zoning law drafting process hits final stretch

City planners prepare for final readings of updated zoning ordinance

Posted

After more than a year of steady work drafting a new zoning ordinance, Northglenn city planners are ready to present a final draft of the document to council for approval.

The City Council has scheduled a first reading of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) at its meeting on Jan. 28, with a final reading and public hearing scheduled for Feb. 11.

The city has been writing the new draft since July 2017. Northglenn had never conducted a comprehensive review of its zoning regulations since its incorporation in 1969. As a result, current laws often do not account for contemporary residential trends, said senior planner Eric Ensey.

During that time, the city has gathered feedback from the community, presenting working drafts to council and holding open houses for the public could learn more about the ordinance and suggested changes. Staff have reviewed the draft multiple times and have made changes as recently as December 2018.

One of the more significant changes would permit short-term rentals in districts where residential uses are allowed. Residents would need to have a permit to allow short-term rentals, according to the proposed changes. It also specified that accessory dwelling units may not be used for short-term rentals.

Those proposals stemmed from November 2018, when City Councilors expressed concern that requiring licenses for short-term rentals would help the city better track and monitor how short-term rentals are affecting the community.

Ensey said the city hopes to make one final set of changes to the ordinance that will be presented to council on Jan. 28 and incorporated into the draft by its final reading on Feb. 11, if councilors agree.

“It’s what we’re calling an errata sheet and it’s a list of minor clerical changes that still need to be incorporated into the document,” Ensey said of the proposed changes.

“There’s a couple of changes that are a little more substantive, but most of it is really clarification,” he said. “We saw a word that shouldn’t be in there or something along those lines.”

If approved, the ordinance will go into effect, as will a new zoning map drawn by the city, Ensey said.

“We’ve got new zoning districts that are outlined in the new code, and those will need to be on the zoning map,” Ensey said.

Most single-family residences should not notice any significant changes, with the exception of the name of their zoning district changing, if the ordinance wins approval.

“Where we may start seeing some of the more significant changes would be with redevelopment that occurs over time,” he said. “Developers will be subject to different regulations than what the current code might have.”

Among these regulations are more uniform building height requirements and a slightly more flexible standard for building entryway orientation.

“It would be on a site-by-site basis. If they have unique circumstances, then not every building would have to face the street,” Ensey said. “We would see that mostly with redevelopment on a uniquely shaped lot.”

Residents can read the UDO and find more information at newcodenorthglenn.org. Ensey also encouraged interested residents to speak at the city council meeting on Feb. 11. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 11701 Community Center Drive.

“Anyone who wishes to speak on the UDO, if they have comments for or against it, is welcome to speak up at the public hearing,” Ensey said.

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