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The status of slot homes one year after a city-wide ban

When it comes to slot homes in Denver, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

5280 Denver's Mile High Magazine recently posited some predictions for the coming year in Denver's burgeoning real estate market. One prognostication, in particular, brought up the now one-year-old ban on slot homes and how developers are shifting more towards beauty and less on boxy for these multifamily dwellings.

Slot homes have had their share of controversy. The growth of these housing units led to complaints that they had no character and did nothing to promote a sense of community. The non-descript facades were unwelcoming and un-neighborly with non-functioning "front doors." The architectural style allowed developers to pack them close together, stretching the definition of a proper courtyard.

The more simplified slot-style caught the attention of city planners and architecture enthusiasts, who took their grievances to the Denver City Council. With some on the council seeing it as an abuse of zoning laws, the governing body unanimously passed an amendment last year to ban the slot style residences in specific zoning districts.

Disgruntled developers claimed that slot designs reduce unit density by nearly a third. Buyers, specifically the millennial crowd, are drawn to the "rowhouse" style. Prospective purchasers of all ages may find them to be more affordable both in the initial purchase price and ongoing maintenance costs.

Many developers continue to embrace their slot home agenda with a focus on areas of the city where they can build. However, some are listening to the objections and adopting a more "out-of-the-box" approach to the boxy design, specifically in the area of facades and floor plans.

Real estate rules and regulations at any governmental level are ever-changing and growingly complex. A real estate attorney with comprehensive legal knowledge can be valuable in a changing market.

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