Every redevelopment project in which DURA gets involved, by its nature, is difficult. If a proposed project did not have problems—financial, physical, or market driven—the private sector would be able to accomplish the redevelopment on its own and there would be no need for DURA assistance.
DURA becomes aware of potential projects in a number of ways. Projects may be brought to the authority’s attention by city leaders, neighborhood groups or developers, among others. Sometimes, as was the case with the revitalization of Denver’s downtown, redevelopment is part of a city policy directive.
Once DURA has a proposed project before it, the authority follows a structured process to take a redevelopment effort from concept to reality.
The first step is to conduct a blight study. This task is generally performed by consultants skilled in conducting blight studies.
A blight study has a two-fold purpose—to determine whether DURA can become involved in a project and to help establish the boundaries of the urban renewal area. Often the boundaries used for the blight study become the boundaries for the urban renewal area, but the final area also may be smaller than the area used for the blight study. In no circumstance may the urban renewal area boundaries be set outside the boundaries of the blight study area.
If blight is found, the next step in the process is development of a redevelopment plan. This plan provides a legal framework for implementing redevelopment activities in a project area.
A redevelopment plan is approved at public meetings by both the DURA Board of Commissioners and the Denver City Council.
Yes. DURA participates in a design review process, frequently in conjunction with the Planning Office and other city staff. The purpose of the review is to make sure that any proposed redevelopment project fits appropriately into the surrounding area and with any overall city planning objectives, as articulated in Denver Comprehensive Plan 2000 and Blueprint Denver, or neighborhood plans.
The Denver City Council through the approval of the redevelopment plan.
Yes. Once City Council has approved the redevelopment plan, DURA negotiates a redevelopment agreement with the developer. This document includes a detailed description of the project, the budget, how the tax increment will be used and a performance schedule, among other things.
There are several points at which the public can have input into the redevelopment process. People who reside in, own property in, or have a business in a neighborhood have the biggest stake in a redevelopment project because it affects their families and lifestyles. For that reason, a developer may seek neighborhood input on a project even before coming to DURA for assistance.
Once DURA has been asked to get involved in a redevelopment effort, it usually makes one or more presentations to neighborhood groups in the urban renewal area. The purpose of these presentations is to explain the project and seek input from the neighborhood. Members of the public also have the opportunity to attend DURA Board meetings to hear discussion on a project.
At the time the Denver Planning Board reviews the redevelopment plan, a public hearing is held at which any member of the community may speak.
When a redevelopment plan reaches City Council for approval, the public has another formal opportunity to comment on the plan. The state Urban Renewal Law requires a public hearing on every plan before City Council takes action, and that public notice be given 30 days before the hearing in a general circulation newspaper. All property owners, residents and owners of business concerns in the proposed urban renewal area must receive written notice of the public hearing.
The Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) offers language translation by utilizing Google's free translation service. While it's common to find some imperfections in these translations, the service provides easy access to translation in several different languages at no expense. If you have any specific questions or would like to speak with someone in Spanish, please contact DURA at 303-534-3872.