Sign Design Guidelines Update in LoDo

Denver and the Lower Downtown Design Review Board are updating the design guidelines used to evaluate signage in the Lower Downtown Historic District (or LoDo).  These design guidelines encourage signs that create a lively pedestrian-friendly atmosphere while also respecting the district’s unique industrial and commercial heritage.
Signs add to the vibrancy and pedestrian-friendly character of LoDo. Creative and whimsical signage brands LoDo as a unique and lively historic neighborhood. Signs are also essential to identify and promote LoDo businesses.

The current LoDo design guidelines for signs were last updated in 2002 as part of the Design Guidelines for the Lower Downtown Historic District. The guidelines are abbreviated and don’t address sign planning for historic buildings or requirements for different sign types (wall, window, projecting, etc.). They also don't include examples, provide tips and information on the design review process and permitting, or reflect current sign technology. 

The updated design guidelines will provide a “how-to” approach for designing signage that meets business needs and LoDo goals to preserve historic character and promote pedestrian activity. The new guidelines will include illustrations, tips on planning signs in LoDo, information on permitting, and requirements for different sign types. The updated guidelines will also identify signage that can receive design review approval through an expedited administrative review process.

New Draft Sign Guidelines
Part I: Edits to the 2002 Design Guidelines (as currently amended) - Revised 10/23
Part II: Proposed NEW Appendix A - Revised 10/23 

On Thursday, October 2, 2014, the Lower Downtown Design Review Board held a public hearing on the proposed design guidelines. The original draft of the new guidelines was revised (see revised documents linked above) to address public comments received by staff and presented at the public hearing, as well as subsequent Board discussion. Adoption of the design guidelines is anticipated on November 6, 2014, with an anticipated effective date of January 1, 2015. Please contact landmark preservation staff for more information.

Previous Meetings and Public Outreach
-Notice of Proposed Rule Making for The Lower Downtown Historic District Design Guidelines (PDF)
-Presentation sponsored by LoDo District Inc., September 15, 2015, 4 p.m.
-Landmark staff office hours, September 29, 1:30-3:30 and September 30, 2-4 p.m.
-Lower Downton Design Review Board public hearing, October 2, 9 a.m. (Staff report, PDF)

Previous Sign Guidelines Drafts
Part I: Edits to the 2002 Design Guidelines (as currently amended)
Part II: Proposed NEW Appendix A

Signage enforcement in LoDo

City inspectors have begun an accelerated enforcement effort for signs in LoDo.

City staff is available to help you interpret zoning code and district design guidelines, and provide you with information on the permitting process.

  • For more information on sign regulations and enforcement, view our flier (PDF).
  • For a map of the LoDo Historic District boundary area, click here.



Key Dates

  • November 6, 2014, 7:30 a.m.
    LDDRB adoption*
    (staff report)
    Northern Trust Bank
    Community Room (1st floor)
    1400 16th Street Mall
    *Please note the board may choose to adopt the new guidelines at a subsequent meeting.

Contact Us

Drop-in sign assistance
Zoning Permits, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Landmark Counter, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Development Services Counter
Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax, 2nd Floor

Landmark design review
Meetings available by appointment

Zoning & sign permits

Customer Guides

For information on signs in Denver, see the following customer guides: