DENVER -- Residents in the historic Humboldt Street neighborhood are used to circling the block to find a parking spot. They can't imagine what it would be like if a five-story, 108-unit complex with zero parking goes up right at 16th street and Humboldt.
"We’re in a very dense, high-traffic area. We barely have enough parking as it is today, and there’s literally been no consideration," said Bill Vanderlan, President of the Humboldt Street Neighborhood Association.
Monday, Denver City Council approved a seven-month moratorium on the development of micro-apartments and other small lot development with no parking. Several residents testified in support of the measure, and the vote was unanimous.
Lots that are zoned mixed-used commercial and are 6,250 square feet or smaller have been exempt from off-street parking requirements since 2010. At that time, city officials hoped to encourage the reuse of old buildings or small-scale development.
But council members and neighborhood associations argue that developers have found a kind of loophole.
"These projects, what is being proposed to be built was never the intent of this ordinance," said Councilman Jolon Clark, District 7.
According to city planning officials, 11 potential developments — including the one at 16th and Humboldt — are currently in the pipeline. Any of those projects with complete applications that are accepted by Community Planning and Development before August 25, 2016, are not subject to the moratorium.
Council President Albus Brooks said a committee made up of 12 to 15 people will begin looking at ways to potentially modify city code. He said residents, developers and experts will all be part of the conversation.
The City of Denver provided the following list of projects currently in the pipeline:
- Stout/Downing – 2 projects side-by-side – First design denied by Landmark Preservation Commission for mass and scale (located in a historic district). New concept underway. 25 units + 18 units. No parking proposed.
- 16th/Humboldt – 2 projects side-by-side – in formal SDP; no approval yet but could be soon. Initially proposed in 2014. Proposing 54 units + 54 units. No parking proposed.
- 1411 S Pearl – no approval yet but could be soon. Proposing 16 dwelling units and 6 parking spaces. Initially proposed in 2014.
- 1193 S Pennsylvania – 6 units – concept meetings only. Initially proposed in 2015.
- 3815 Jason St – 7 units – concept meetings only. Initially proposed in 2016.
- 135 Adams – office plus 37 residential – concept meetings only. Initially proposed in 2016.
- 2420 Welton Street – 4-story office – concept meetings only. Initially proposed in 2016.
- 660 Logan – 5 units, office space, 7 parking spaces provided. Concept only, proposed in 2016.
- 3022 Zuni – Proposed in 2014.