A new area development plan in Denver foresees the building of larger mixed-use structures, inspired in part by planned future rapid transit construction.
What is officially called the East Area Plan, now approved by members of the Denver City Council, not only allows for taller buildings, but more density.
The East Area Plan specifically focuses on the growing neighborhoods of East Colfax, Hale, Montclair, and South Park Hill.
The larger purpose of the comprehensive plan, which has been the focus of public input for some three years, is to provide more affordable housing in the neighborhoods in question, while also carving out new green spaces.
But an integral part of the plan, according to its proponents, will allow for the construction of taller buildings on East Colfax Avenue, a busy throughway pegged for future mass transit development.
The taller building component, according to the plan, will address trends in the East Area which are pointing to a 30% increase in the section’s population over the next two decades.
Those taller buildings will have to comprise what is being called a “significant community benefit” by offering some affordable housing.
The new plan is also laying out a roadmap for apartment complex developments, as well as the building of accessory dwelling units on all vacant lots.
Noting that the ultimate purpose of the East Area Plan is to greatly reduce displacement, Laura Aldrete, executive director of the city’s community planning and development department, contended that while detractors may say the plan doesn’t go far enough, “it goes as far as a plan can go.”
City officials are anticipating the construction of a center lane-running bus rapid transit corridor along the east to west East Colfax Avenue within the next decade.
By Garry Boulard
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