“Expanding Housing Affordability” Deadlines Extended for Existing Projects
On Monday, May 22, Denver City Council voted in favor of extending the deadlines of the city’s Expanding Housing Affordability (“EHA”) ordinances. The extensions maintain the intent of the ordinance as originally adopted by allowing adequate time for existing projects to move through development permitting. The extensions do not apply to any projects that were submitted on or after July 1, 2022.
- For projects subject to a Site Development Plan (SDP), the deadline for SDP approval is now May 17, 2024.
- For projects subject to an SDP and large development review (LDR) or subdivision, the deadline for approval is now September 13, 2024.
The city will allow additional time if, by the dates stated above, a project has received consolidated review comments from their project coordinator that will require a 4th round or more of formal SDP review. This would extend the above deadlines to August 31, 2024, for SDP projects and December 31, 2024, for LDR projects and subdivisions. This is only for projects that are at the fourth round of review or later, indicating they are close to completion and a redesign at that stage would require considerable investment and re-work. Projects in earlier review cycles (3rd round or fewer) that are not approved by the dates above would become subject to the EHA requirements.
Why were the deadlines extended?
Community Planning and Development believes extending this approval timeline is a fair response to a difficult situation that has impacted customers through no fault of their own. Like many municipalities recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, Denver was challenged by high application volumes and high staff vacancy rates in 2022. While review times are starting to decrease as a result of our strategic efforts over the past year, we expect it will continue to take time to return to target timeframes. We believe the extension times provided are fair and accurate, and keep with the spirit and intent of the deadlines initially set in the EHA ordinance.
First Quarter 2023 Update
Since reaching a peak in the fall of 2022, review times for all permit types have been steadily declining. In particular, as of March 2023, residential plan review times were up to seven weeks faster than they were in the fall of 2022.
The city expects this trend to continue as newly hired staff complete training and as the city remains focused on improving efficiency.