Monday, March 19, 2007

Candidate Questionnaire: Downzoning

Each campaign is invited to respond to the question below by adding a comment to this post. Answers may be submitted by candidates themselves or their direct representatives. This is not intended for an ongoing debate, so please: only one answer/response per campaign.
Downzoning is a major concern throughout Denver, with neighborhoods seeking to retain their residential character by limiting their own development opportunities. People wonder as to the efficacy and purpose of this tool, as well as the availability of other options. What is your position on downzoning efforts in Denver neighborhoods?

1 comment:

Carla For Council said...

This is the question that is currently perplexing City Council. Do the property rights of one individual take precedence over the rights of his neighbors? If one resident chooses to build to the maximum envelope allowed and builds something that diminishes the aesthetic of the block, didn’t he just devaluate the rights and property values of everyone else?

I would be much more inclined to support a down zoning that is purely voluntary, such as the one that Congress Park is proposing, rather than one that includes a number of hostile properties, such as the R2 to R1 down zoning in the Sloan’s Lake area. The director of Community Planning and Development, Peter Park, prefers the later because it has more defined boundaries. I feel it is more important to respect the wishes of property owners than to have straight edges. I implemented a 30 square block zoning overlay and in 2 years of negotiating I was able to gain consensus from all with in the neighborhood blocks and leave out those that opposed being overlaid who were all on the periphery and along corridors where growth is appropriate and welcomed.

District 8's critical issues are as diverse as the people that live
here. Safety and education are fundamental and are always a priority. The most timely issue that District 8, and the rest of the city, will deal with over the next 4 years will be the adoption of the new zoning code. It will define how our neighborhoods look and how business develops for the next 50 years.

The hope is that the new zoning will set standards for future development more closely aligned with current housing stock in scale and mass. As a member of the Citizens Advisory board to the Zoning Code Task Force, I am familiar with the typologies that are being considered. Options include location of building mass for compatibility with surrounding structures, roof type and orientation, lot coverage, allowable units per lot, and even the importance of front porches.

Having worked in zoning task forces over the last 8 years on Colfax, West City Park and Congress Park I am intimately familiar with the language and how things get done.

I am currently consulting with the Park Hill Smart Growth group and the San Rafael neighborhood in developing their future means of protection.

Carla Madison
Candidate for Denver City Council District 8