Denver City Council Approves Extension to Exemption Deadlines Under EHA
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Denver City Council Approves Extension to Exemption Deadlines Under EHA

Brownstein Client Alert, May 14, 2024

The City of Denver adopted changes to its Expanding Housing Affordability (EHA) ordinances that extend the deadlines to receive final site development plan (SDP) approval in order to qualify for exemption from the EHA requirements and impose time frames for resubmittals of SDP applications under review.

On May 13, the Denver City Council voted 10 to 0 to approve Bill 24-0455 (amending the Denver Revised Municipal Code) and Bill 24-0456 (amending the Denver Zoning Code). The Denver City Council originally approved the EHA ordinances on June 8, 2022 (effective July 1, 2022), and previously amended the deadlines to receive final SDP approval on May 22, 2023. The EHA requires projects with 10 or more residential units to provide affordable housing on site or pay a fee-in-lieu to the Department of Housing Stability (HOST), and projects that have either nine or fewer residential units or are entirely nonresidential are required to pay increased affordable housing linkage fees.

These amendments, recommended by the Community Planning and Development Department (CPD), extend the exemption deadline by which previously submitted SDPs must be approved to qualify for an exemption from compliance with the EHA. Development projects that are exempt from the EHA will be subject to the prior affordable housing linkage fees adopted in 2016 and will not be obligated to provide on-site affordable housing or pay the fee-in-lieu required by the EHA. Notably, these amendments do not change the June 30, 2022, deadline for initial submission of concept SDPs.

As amended, projects subject to SDP review (including SDPs, SDP amendments, SDPs with subdivisions, and SDPs with LDR) can continue under the pre-EHA rules if they:

  • Submitted a concept site plan or amended site plan by June 30, 2022; and
  • Receive final SDP approval by April 18, 2025 (a consolidated extension from the previous deadlines of May 17, 2024 (or Aug. 31, 2024) for SDPs and Sept. 13, 2024 (or Dec. 31, 2024) for SDPs with subdivisions or LDR)

This amendment also establishes that all SDPs under review and subject to the grace period must resubmit plans to CPD within 90 days after the date CPD sends consolidated review comments. This requirement will apply to any resubmittal made to CPD after May 17, 2024.

These changes are consistent with the intent of the original EHA ordinances that allowed projects submitted by June 30, 2022, to continue forward under the prior linkage fees so long as they obtained approval by a certain point in time. Delays in city review time due to the influx of submittals in 2022 and 2023 delayed the ability for many projects to make significant progress toward approval. CPD provided statistics indicating that as of May 13, 2024, there are approximately 220 SDPs subject to the grace period and still under review. CPD also indicated that the new April 18, 2025, deadline is the final extension it will recommend to City Council and is the result of its analysis of how many SDPs are still currently under review and how long review and approval of the remaining projects is expected to take.


This document is intended to provide you with general information regarding changes to Denver's Expanding Housing Affordability ordinances. The contents of this document are not intended to provide specific legal advice. If you have any questions about the contents of this document or if you need legal advice as to an issue, please contact the attorneys listed or your regular Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP attorney. This communication may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions. The information in this article is accurate as of the publication date. Because the law in this area is changing rapidly, and insights are not automatically updated, continued accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

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