In an effort to address the specter of a city with less and less open green space, members of the Denver City Council have voted unanimously to require developers to provide such space in all new projects.
The law, which will only apply to projects measuring more than five acres in size, specifically calls for 10 percent of a development’s land space to be set aside for open space.
That space must also be accessible to the public and visible from the street. The open space would also need to be contiguous.
In addition, the new law will require developers to hold community meetings earlier in the public input part of a project.
In a statement, Denver Mayor Michal Hancock said the input change will allow for a greater reliance on a “community-driven planning process ahead of new, large developments” with the goal of ensuring “that our neighborhoods’ priorities are met and supported.”
Denver’s Community Planning and Development department is tasked with implementing a review process for affected projects under the new law.
According to a press release issued by that office, developers will be given input early in the life of a project regarding neighborhood priorities, as well as “providing coordinated infrastructure improvements, publicly accessible open space, parkland, and quality design.”
Concerns regarding the diminishing amount of open space in Denver have become the topic of conversations in recent years throughout the city.
Earlier this year, the Denver Post reported that nearly half of the land within Denver’s city limits is now “paved up or built over, up from less than 20 percent in the mid-1970s.” The paper added that that figure could reach 70 percent in the next two decades.
By Garry Boulard
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