The vision, comprehensive plan, and transportation master plan adopted in 2018 and 2019 further defined our values and aspirations as a community. They act as a guide to ensure the City never loses its heart and soul—what makes Littleton, Littleton—as it continues to grow and thrive.
The city has had antiquated zoning which segregated land uses to certain parts of the city and hadn’t been updated holistically since the 1970s. In 2020-2021, the City held an 18-month process transitioning the zoning and land use codes to a Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) to ensure consistency with the vision, comprehensive plan, and transportation master plan.
Different from the previous land use codes,
the Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) is an
online, easy-to-use, interactive document.
How did we get there?
Community character was central to this effort, and while character can refer to the natural and built elements that combine to create Littleton’s identity, the character identified by the community in the Comprehensive Plan looks beyond land use alone and introduces a character-based approach to consider things like density and layout, scale and form, and building or pavement coverage relative to open space or landscaping. How the automobile is accommodated is also a key factor in determining character. A much larger conversation had to occur in the community regarding the specifics of how community character should be defined for different areas of the city and the goals of the Comprehensive Plan implemented.
Drafting and adoption of the ULUC was a key step in the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan so that the policies of the Plan could become a reality as Littleton continues to develop and redevelop. The ULUC project was centered around:
- Consolidating regulatory documents (standards related to zoning, subdivision, signs, historic preservation, trees, and other aspects);
- Streamlining development review procedures (the process it takes to gain approval for projects that are consistent with City plans and policies, for example); and
- Improving the quality of the built and natural environments.
Crafting of the ULUC took place according to five Building Blocks, related to distinct areas of Littleton:
- Mixed use areas;
- Strategic corridors;
- Established and new neighborhoods; and
- Business/commercial areas.
The ULUC ordinance was adopted on October 19, 2021 and went into effect on October 28, 2021. More of the history of the ULUC and Envision Littleton process may be found under What is Envision Littleton?
A Work in Progress
While the ULUC is now in effect and available for public viewing on the city code landing page, many of the development processes are still a work in progress. These items will continue to be updated on the city website as the details are worked out and a Planner on Call is available to answer any questions by calling 303-795-3748 or emailing email@example.com. The Community Development Department hopes to have all new processes and procedures in place around the new year.
The ULUC itself is a work in progress and interactive document in which citizens may view pending text amendments to it or make comments about code sections directly in the code. ULUC comments may also be emailed directly to the Planner on Call using the email address above.
The procedure and conditions for proposing a text amendment to the ULUC are outlined in Section 10-9-4.4 (Code Text Amendment).
To receive email alerts about new text amendments in the ULUC and city code, subscribe to city news.