RiNo Arts District Design Guidelines Denver, Colorado
Community-supported design guidelines for development projects helps support the growing RiNo Arts District in Denver, Colorado. At the neighborhood’s request, these design guidelines were prepared not be enforced by the city, but by the RiNo Business Improvement District (BID) to ensure the neighborhood continues to control the process and allows for the creativity that is a hallmark of the community.
Encouraging Community Development with Creative Control
To help the BID leverage peer pressure in this process, Otak created a rating system associated with the design guidelines that will celebrate excellent projects. Otak presented the ideas and concepts to key community stakeholders, to the three RiNo boards, and at public meetings. As a result of feedback through this community process, and the anticipated future additional density around the 38th and Blake commuter rail station, RiNo felt that more powerful tools were necessary. To address this, the team led a community process to create a RiNo Design Overlay Zone. This overlay zone will provide stronger protection for key community values and require affordable housing for larger projects. Otak developed these ideas for RiNo, but former City Council President Brooks and Community Planning and Development also intended to use these ideas for the entire station area, including the affected parts of Globeville, Cole, and Elyria-Swansea.