Community Planning and Development to Present Ordinance Changing Zoning Along East Colfax 

Vision for creating a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly East Colfax. Credit: Community Planning and Development

On Monday, December 11, Denver Community Planning and Development will present an ordinance changing the zoning classification for multiple properties along East Colfax between Grant Street and Yosemite Street in North Capitol Hill, Capitol Hill, City Park West, Cheesman Park, City Park, Congress Park, South Park Hill, Hale, Montclair, and East Colfax.

Adopted by the Denver City Council in November 2020, the East Area Plan provides a guide for how East Colfax, Hale, Montclair and South Park Hill should grow and evolve in the future. The vision and policy guidance in the plan touch on land use, urban design, housing, mobility, parks and the local economy. The following 6 themes summarize the approach to achieving the plan’s vision.

To implement the East Area Plan and support future Colfax bus rapid transit, the city is rezoning the properties along East Colfax from Broadway to Yosemite to include the DO-8 zoning overlay in addition to existing zoning regulations. The DO-8 overlay will encourage the creation of vibrant commercial and residential spaces, supporting a mix of uses that provide goods, services, and amenities alongside residential areas. The goal is to activate ground-floor uses, create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, and better integrate future development into existing neighborhoods, in accordance with feedback from residents and business owners during the East and East Central Area Plan process.

In Progress: Rezoning Hale Neighborhood to Allow for Accessory Dwelling Units

Implements Policy L6: Ensure East Area neighborhoods are inclusive places by thoughtfully integrating compatibly-designed missing middle housing and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in appropriate locations; and Strategy D, “Implement adopted citywide policies in Blueprint Denver to diversify housing choice through expansion of ADUs throughout all residential areas.

Councilmember Amanda Sawyer is currently sponsoring a legislative rezoning of the single-unit residential areas of Bellevue-Hale statistical neighborhood, including parts of Mayfair to allow for accessory dwelling units where they are currently not allowed.

Funding for Colfax Bus Rapid Transit and in Final Design Stage

RTD and Denver are positioned to recieved 126.9 million dollars in federal funding for the Colfax BRT with the final grant agreement anticipated in 2024 and service is anticipated to start in early 2027. The  East Colfax Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project  is entering the final design phase. This includes:

  • Further refining the BRT station design elements and working with Denver Arts & Venues on incorporating public art
  • Advancing Colfax streetscape concepts to promote both consistency and community character
  • Conducting further curbside access and safety analyses to address operations along Colfax and parallel streets
  • Working with Denver Economic Development & Opportunity to strengthen support for small businesses in advance of project construction

Adaptive Reuse Pilot Program along East Colfax

Through the East and East Central neighborhood planning efforts, community members identified adaptive reuse as an important piece of their community vision and priorities, particularly for older commercial buildings along East Colfax.

The East and East Central area plans emphasized the need for dedicated technical assistance, among other tools, to support future adaptive reuse projects along Colfax. In response to this public input, Community Planning and Development began budgeting for an adaptive reuse program in 2022.

The East Colfax Pilot Program targets the conversion of underutilized commercial buildings into a variety of new residential and commercial uses along Colfax from Broadway to Yosemite. Applications for the  East Colfax Adaptive Reuse Pilot Program are open now.

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