Design Guidelines Update

The City and County of Denver is updating the design guidelines used to evaluate building projects for local landmarks and properties within the boundaries of designated historic districts. The guidelines help ensure that each proposed project preserves key historic features and is compatible with the character of designated historic buildings, sites and districts. 

Draft guidelines & public comment
Following an intensive public outreach process, Landmark Preservation planners have released a proposed draft of the guidelines. The draft, posted chapter-by-chapter below, includes a summary of the character-defining features for eight of the city's designated historic districts. An additional chapter on signs is still to come. A copy of the draft is also available for review in person at the Records Counter on the 2nd floor of the Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave.

With the draft near completion, we are now soliciting input from Denver residents, neighborhood groups, architects, developers and the community at large. Upcoming opportunities for public input are listed in the column to the right. Members of the public may also contact city staff by phone or email. Click here for contact information. Although landmark staff welcome comments on the guidelines or other landmark issues at any time, please submit comments related to the draft below before the July 1 public hearing.

Project Background
Written in 1995, the current guidelines are difficult to navigate, do not have many illustrations and do not reflect recent advances in building and construction, including energy-efficient technology, such as solar panels. Updated guidelines will outline a “how to” approach and will provide easy-to-follow charts and graphs so that property owners and design professionals can more easily navigate through the design review and permitting process. The Denver Landmark Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing on the updated design guidelines July 1, 2014. The guidelines are slated to go into effect on October 1, 2014.

Previous Meetings

  • Denver Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, Zoning and Planning Committee, August 25, 2013
  • Landmark Preservation Commission presentation, Nov. 19, 2013
  • Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Committee, December 2, 2013
  •  Meeting with Larimer and Associates, January 10, 2014
  •  Meetings with Architect Stakeholders Groups, January 29, 2014
  • Landmark Preservation Commission presentation, February 4, 2014 
    Presentation (PDF)
  • Denver Metro Association of Realtors presentation, February 25, 2014, 10:00 a.m.
  •  Community Workshop, March 26, 2014 (East High School)
    Agenda (PDF)
  •  Landmark Preservation Commission presentation, April 1, 2014 
  •  Staff office hours
    Blair Caldwell Library, June 14, 2014
    Webb Municipal Building, June 17, 18, 24 and 25


Upcoming Events

LPC Discussion Item on Updated Design Guidelines
Denver Landmark Preservation Commission meeting
Tuesday, July 15, 1 p.m., 
Room 4.F.6, Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Avenue
Click here for updated staff report with updated summery of public comments.