Potential Changes Coming to Sidewalk Fee Ordinance

By Allen Cowgill

A committee has proposed several major changes to Denver’s Ordinance 307, known also by its original campaign name, “Denver Deserves Sidewalks.”

The original ordinance, passed by voters in November 2022, called for sidewalk fees based on a property’s linear footage of sidewalk. Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval initiated a change to the ordinance that in October 2023, after discussion and concerns about postponing implementation, was unanimously supported by City Council. Fee collection has been delayed until July 2024 in order for a committee to make recommendations to address concerns such as residents on corner lots being charged higher-than-average fees and the burden of fees on lower-income residents.

The first major change proposed by the committee is a flat fee structure. Residents in single-family homes, or in a multifamily residence on a single parcel, would pay about $148 per year. Multifamily residences with more than one home on a parcel would pay about $28 per year per unit.

The second major recommendation is to enact discounts for income-qualified homeowners. These would mirror instant rebates currently offered on solid waste collection. Those rebates start at 50% off for residents at 60% or less of the area median income (AMI) and go up to a 100% rebate for residents that are at 30% or less of AMI.

The third major recommendation is to give Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) flexibility on the original nine-year timeline due to increases in construction costs. 

Denver City Council will consider recommended changes to the ordinance in the coming months.

Allen Cowgill is a member of the Ordinance 307 Committee.

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