If city planners and other community leaders convince city council to approve a zoning change next week, developers will be allowed to build taller buildings in an area of the River North Arts District if they build affordable housing to go along with it.

The proposed rezoning would only allow the taller buildings if developers include some sort of affordable housing component. Taller buildings, some up to 16 stories, would be allowed closer to the RTD station at 38th and Blake. They would step down in size from there.

“This is a way for the city to capture some of the value that's being invested through the incredible confidence there is in the Denver Real estate market today,” said Brad Buchanan, Executive Director of Denver’s Planning and Zoning Departments.

Brad Buchanan, Executive Director of Denver's Planning and Zoning Departments

Developers who build non-residential buildings would either be required to pay a hefty amount into the affordable housing fund, or build some sort of beneficial community space like an art studio.

“It is to address the reality that growth while great for some people is not great for others... and there are impacts... the rising cost of housing,” Buchanan said.

The goal of the change is twofold: to provide more affordable housing and increase mobility in the city. Most of the incentives would be offered to build closer to the train station.

RiNo Art District Board Co-Chair Andrew Feinstein said there are already four projects in the pipeline to take advantage of the new zoning.

Denver City Council still has to sign off.

There is a public hearing on Monday, February 12, during the regular city council meeting.

Follow-up: Some residents don’t like rezoning plans for RiNo