Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Cars are the key to high-rise proposal

Under existing R-3 zoning, any developer would have to provide a fixed number of parking spaces for each unit in a building. Currently the building envisioned for the RTD property at the University station would have about 210 units on 12 floors.

Under RMU-30 zoning, however, the parking requirement could be reduced by up to 50 percent under a “waiver.”

“We’re calling it a waiver because it waives out the existing requirement and replaces it with a much tougher requirement,” District 7 City Councilwoman Kathleen MacKenzie told The Source.

That waiver would make a developer prove that building occupants wouldn’t need as many parking spaces as the city requires.

“No parking space [requirements] will be reduced without showing that those cars aren’t going to be there,” MacKenzie said. “And they can’t use on-street residential parking as one of the ways that they solve the problem.”

Mile High Development says it’s willing to explore strategies to reduce the parking burden, including: reducing rent for residents who don’t have cars; participating in a car or ride-sharing program; providing EcoPasses for residents; sponsoring a shuttle system in conjunction with RTD, Transportation Solutions and the University of Denver; setting up a delivery service for groceries, prescriptions or dry-cleaning; providing parking areas for mopeds or scooters to encourage their use; and terminating the leases of tenants who park in the adjacent neighborhood.

Neighborhood residents say the plan is toothless and unenforceable. But a spokesman for Transportation Solutions, a transit group that would work with the developer, says it’s reasonable and predicts “good success.”

This article originally appeared in The Source, March 2007.

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