The construction of traditional townhouses that face streets and have front porches, front windows, and front pedestrian doors is expected to soon increase inside the city limits of Denver.
That’s because the Denver City Council has now approved a code change defining what a townhouse should look like, a change that will also govern how tall such structures can be, as well as the dimensions of any courtyards or driveways that may be a part of a given project.
The unanimous council vote comes in response to complaints from neighborhood residents and homeowners regarding a phenomenon known as the slot house.
Such multi-unit buildings, which are typically built as block-like two and three-story structures with front doors facing out to a courtyard and the side of the buildings fronting the street, have been likened by some detractors to looking like prison complexes.
The sideways design nature of the slot houses have proven popular with developers because they allow for the construction of more units on a given site, with many of those units going for $500,000 and up.
But in March, the council unanimously approved imposing a moratorium on the submission of all new slot home development plans.
The new council action, also on a unanimous vote, outright prohibits the construction of any new slot home projects, while also reaffirming the city’s code requirement that new townhouse projects must have design elements that better blend in with the surrounding neighborhood.
By Garry Boulard
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