A light rail line planned to run in the Colorado city of Aurora has many city officials and developers itching to build some high-density, mixed-use, walkable urban development. The only problem is the city's zoning ordinance forbids it.
"The city has to overcome an institutional hurdle to make transit-oriented developments, or TODs, possible around the light rail stations that will be built along Interstate 225."
"Currently Aurora's zoning laws discourage or even forbid the type of mix-used, high-density development that many would like to see surrounding the stations, according to city officials."
"Fostering the creation of TODs will offer Aurora residents a 'new lifestyle choice' by making destinations more accessible by foot or bicycle, according to city staff."
"But zoning restrictions in some future station areas set height limits that discourage vertical construction, forbid retail and residential units in the same lot or building and have requirements to set buildings back from the street which increases the distance between them and discourages walking or bicycling."