Former Chapter 59 Zone Districts

B-1 Limited Office District: 
This district provides office space for services related to dental and medical care and for office-type services, often for residents of nearby residential areas. The district is characterized by a low-volume of direct daily customer contact. This district is characteristically small in size and is situated near major hospitals or between large business areas and residential areas. The district regulations establish standards comparable to those of the low density residential districts, resulting in similar building bulk and retaining the low concentration of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Building height is controlled by bulk standards and open space requirements. Building floor area cannot exceed the site area.

B-A-1 Arterial Office and Multi-Unit Dwellings District:
 
Allows banks, offices, clinics, institutions, churches, multi-unit residences and office service uses. Requires 100 feet of arterial street frontage. Maximum lot coverage is 30%. Building floor area cannot exceed 2 times the site area. Building height is controlled by bulk standards. Maximum residential density is determined by the size of the units and the factors mentioned above. Arterial setback areas are required for landscaping.

B-2 Neighborhood Business District:
 
This district provides for the retailing of commodities classed as “convenience goods,” and the furnishing of certain personal services, to satisfy the daily and weekly household or personal needs of the residents of surrounding residential neighborhoods. This district is located on collector streets, characteristically is small in size, usually is entirely surrounded by residential districts and is located at a convenient walking distance from the residential districts it is designed to serve. The district regulations establish standards comparable to those of low density residential districts, resulting in similar standards. Building floor area cannot exceed the site area.

B-A-2 Arterial Service District:
 
This district is intended as a tourist oriented area, allowing restaurants and hotels or motels with accessory automobile service stations. Requires 100 feet of arterial street frontage. Zone lot coverage not to exceed 30%. Building height is controlled by bulk standards. Front setback areas are required for landscaping.

B-3 Shopping Center District:
 
This district is primarily to provide the retailing of most commodities and the furnishing of certain personal services, satisfying all household and personal needs of the residents of surrounding residential communities. This district is normally located on major arterial or collector streets at or near the intersection with another major arterial or collector street so that is has good vehicular accessibility. This district is characteristically large, usually is entirely surrounded by residential districts, and is located a convenient driving distance from the residential districts it is designed to serve. The district regulations establish standards comparable to those of low density residential districts, resulting in similar building bulk on smaller parcels and retaining a low concentration of vehicular traffic. Building height is controlled by bulk standards and open space requirements. Building floor area cannot exceed the site area.

B-A-3 Arterial General Business District:
This district is designed to accommodate uses that are oriented toward the motorist and residents of nearby neighborhoods. Included among such uses are bowling alleys, theaters, nightclubs, drive-in restaurants and service stations. Setback areas are required for landscaping. Ground coverage by buildings cannot exceed 30% of the site. Building height is controlled by bulk standards.

B-4 General Business District:
 
This district is intended to provide for and encourage appropriate commercial uses adjacent to arterial streets, which are normally transit routes. Uses include a wide variety of consumer and business services and retail establishments that serve other business activities, and local transit-dependent residents within the district as well as residents throughout the city. The regulations generally allow a moderate intensity of use and concentration for the purpose of achieving compatibility between the wide variety of uses permitted in the district. Building height is not controlled by bulk standards unless there is a property line to property line abutment with a residential use. Building floor area cannot exceed twice the site area.

B-A-4 Automobile Sales and Service District:
 
This district provides an area designed particularly for the special needs and characteristics of auto, boat and recreational vehicle sales and service activities. The city’s Comprehensive Plan encourages the establishment of this district in concentrated centers rather than in a linear arrangement along arterials. Ground coverage by structures cannot exceed 60% of the site area. Building height is controlled by bulk standards.

B-5 Central Business District:
 
Permits businesses, office and light-industrial uses along with residential and educational uses. Maximum floor area cannot exceed 10 times the site area, plus floor area premiums for the development of plazas, arcades and atriums. Off-street parking is not required. Building height is not controlled except for Federal Aviation Administration restrictions. Ground level retail uses are encouraged along the 16th Street Mall area.

B-7 Historic Business District:
 
This district is intended to preserve and improve older structures that are architecturally and/or historically significant. Allows light-industry, general retail, wholesale, offices and residential uses. Building floor area cannot exceed 2 times the site area; however, with premiums the floor area can be increased to 4 times the site area. Additional floor area is allowed with the development of residential units, underground parking or retail uses at the street level. Refer to Ordinance #109 Series of 1988, regarding design guidelines and height limitations.

B-8 Intensive General Business/High Density Residential District:
 
This district, primarily for activity centers, provides the concentration of retailing, personal and business services, as well as residential and cultural uses at a necessary intensity to efficiently be served by mass transit facilities. The regulations are designed to permit a highly concentrated, intense development of the enumerated facilities, limited by standards designed to provide light and air for street exposures of buildings in the district. Building floor area cannot exceed 4 times the site area plus floor area premiums for the development of plazas, arcades, or the provision of low-level light areas. Building height is not controlled by bulk standards.

B-8-A Arapahoe Square Zone District:
 
This is a mixed use zone district located in the Arapahoe Square (bounded by 20th Street, Larimer Street, Park Avenue West and Curtis Street) that encourages pedestrian activity areas and related uses while making auto related uses and other more intense uses conditional uses subject to design review. Housing, the arts, child care facilities and preservation of historic buildings are favored uses in this area and subject to generous floor area premiums above the basic 4:1 F.A.R. 

B-8-G Golden Triangle Zone District:
 
This is a mixed use zone district located in the Golden Triangle (bounded by Speer Blvd., Lincoln Street, and Colfax Avenue) that encourages pedestrian activity areas and related uses while making auto related uses and other more intense uses conditional uses subject to design review. Housing, the arts, child care facilities and preservation of historic buildings are favored uses in this area and subject to generous floor area premiums above the basic 4:1 F.A.R. 

H-1-A, H-1-B, H-2 Hospital Zone Districts: 
The H-1-A and H-1-B districts are intended to promote and encourage the maintenance and concentration of existing and proposed healthcare facilities and their related uses. The H-1-A and H-1-B districts are intended to contain the principal structures and related facilities of each healthcare institution. The H-2 district is intended to contain the peripheral area of each healthcare facility where there is abutment or close proximity to non-healthcare uses.

 
The H-1-A district generally corresponds to the R-3 zone district as to permitted structures and to the R-4 zone district as to permitted uses. The H-1-B district generally corresponds to the R-5 zone district for both permitted uses and structures. The H-2 zone district generally corresponds to the R-5 zone district for both permitted uses and structures with additional landscaping and buffering required.
I-0 Light Industrial/Office District: 
This district is intended to be an employment area containing offices, and light industrial uses which are generally compatible with residential uses. I-0 zoned areas are designed to serve as a buffer between residential areas and more intensive industrial areas. Bulk plane, setback and landscaping standards apply in this district. Building floor area cannot exceed 50% of the site area; however, office floor area may equal site area. Some uses are conditional uses. 

I-1 General Industrial District: 
This district is intended to be an employment area containing industrial uses which are generally more intensive than those permitted in the I-0 zone. Bulk plane, setback and landscape standards apply in this district. Building floor area cannot exceed twice the site area. Some uses are conditional uses. 

I-2 Heavy Industrial District: 
This district is intended to be an employment area containing uses which are generally more intensive than that permitted in either of the other two industrial zones. Bulk plane, setback and landscape standards apply in this district. Building area cannot exceed twice the site area. Some uses are conditional uses.

MS-1 Main Street 1:
The Main Street zone districts facilitate efficient utilization of land near transit. The regulations promote the appropriate form and function of Main Streets through a variety of standards including build-to requirements, display windows, height limitations, upper story stepbacks, a broad mix of allowable uses and flexible parking standards. MS-1 applies to sections of Main Streets in close proximity to stable residential areas with structures of one or two stories, and with zone lots typically less than one hundred twenty-five (125) feet in depth. MS-1 has build-to requirements for street frontages and a maximum height limit of 38’. 

MS-2 Main Street 2:
The Main Street zone districts facilitate efficient utilization of land near transit. The regulations promote the appropriate form and function of Main Streets through a variety of standards including build-to requirements, display windows, height limitations, upper story stepbacks, a broad mix of allowable uses and flexible parking standards. MS-2 applies to sections of Main Streets in close proximity to medium density residential areas with structures of two or more stories and with zone lots typically approaching or exceeding one hundred twenty-five (125) feet in depth. MS-2 has build-to requirements for street frontages, a minimum height limit of 24’ and a maximum height limit of 65’, and residential protection upper story stepbacks. 


MS-3 Main Street 3: 
The Main Street zone districts facilitate efficient utilization of land near transit. The regulations promote the appropriate form and function of Main Streets through a variety of standards including build-to requirements, display windows, height limitations, upper story stepbacks, a broad mix of allowable uses and flexible parking standards. MS-3 applies to the highest intensity sections of Main Streets within 600’ of the intersection of enhanced transit corridors and within one (1) mile of downtown Denver. MS-3 has build-to requirements for street frontages, a minimum height limit of 24’ and a maximum height limit of 100’, and residential protection upper story stepbacks.

C-MU-10 Commercial Mixed-Use District: 
The C-MU-10 district is the most restrictive of the commercial mixed-use districts, with the shortest list of allowed uses. It includes commercial uses appropriate for high-visibility locations such as employment centers and the intersections of arterial streets. The purpose of the district is to concentrate higher intensity commercial uses, spatially define streets, encourage higher site standards, and create a more attractive pedestrian environment. Uses incompatible with this purpose, such as auto-related uses, industrial uses, and single unit dwellings, are not allowed. Although residential uses are permitted in the “C-MU” districts, it is expected that residential uses shall be responsible for buffering themselves from nonresidential uses that may locate on adjacent property. Basic maximum gross floor area is equal to two (2) times the area of the zone lot. 

C-MU-20 Commercial Mixed-Use District:
 
The C-MU-20 district provides for a mix of commercial, residential, and industrial uses along or near arterials or other high traffic streets. Site and building design will be of a quality that enhances the character of the streets. A wide range of commercial and residential uses are allowed, along with limited industrial uses. Although residential uses are permitted in the “C-MU” districts, it is expected that residential uses shall be responsible for buffering themselves from nonresidential uses that may locate on adjacent property. Maximum gross floor area is equal to one (1) times the area of the zone lot.  

C-MU-30 Commercial Mixed-Use District:
 
The C-MU-30 district provides for a wide range of commercial, office, retail, industrial, and residential uses that allow property owners the flexibility to respond to the long-term evolution of development trends. Although residential uses are permitted in the “C-MU” districts, it is expected that residential uses shall be responsible for buffering themselves from nonresidential uses that may locate on adjacent property. Maximum gross floor area is equal to one (1) times the area of the zone lot.

 
R-MU-20 Residential Mixed-Use District:
The R-MU-20 district is primarily residential, allowing either single or multiple-unit dwellings. Along heavily traveled streets, development may be either residential or mixed-use, combining residential with neighborhood-serving retail, office, or service uses. No maximum residential density is prescribed; instead, the scale of buildings is determined by bulk plane, maximum height, setbacks, open space requirements, and parking ratios. The intent is to encourage a full range of housing types, including affordable housing. 

R-MU-30 Residential Mixed-Use District:
 
The R-MU-30 district is a primarily residential district allowing higher density multiple unit dwellings of a density appropriate to the center-city and other activity centers such as light rail transit stations. Supporting commercial development, such as consumer retail and service uses and small-scale office uses, is encouraged to create a truly mixed-use environment. No maximum residential density is prescribed. Instead, maximum height, setbacks, and open space requirements determine the scale of buildings.
 
T-MU-30 Transit Mixed-Use District:
The T-MU-30 district provides for urban development proximate to a mass transit railway system station to promote a mix, arrangement, and intensity of uses that support transit ridership and use of other transit modes. The district allows the broadest range of uses and most development intensity of the mixed use districts. The district is intended for use at station areas with adequate land area to create a viable transit oriented development (TOD) and to transition to the surrounding community. Specific additional criteria to be met in the T-MU-30 district are approval of a general development plan and site improvements which reinforce both the relationship of structures to the transit station and the pedestrian connections and linkages throughout the TOD. Basic maximum gross floor area is equal to five (5) times the area of the zone lot.

O-1 Open Space District: 
Allows airports, recreational uses, parks, cemeteries, reservoirs, community correctional facilities, and other public and semi-public uses housed in buildings. Setback requirements apply to the location of structures. 

OS-1 Open Space District: The OS-1 district is intended for publicly and privately owned parks, open space, natural habitats, golf courses, and a limited range of other uses, such as public recreation centers and concessions, that may enhance the use and enjoyment of open space. 

O-2 Open Space/Agricultural District:
Allows large tracts of open land utilized for agriculture or ranching activities, airports and under special conditions, oil and gas production.
P-1 Off-Street Parking District: 
Allows parking lots and structures. Bulk and setback regulations apply to structures. This zone is intended to provide needed business parking without the expansion of the business zone; e.g. a buffer between business and residential uses. Requires visual barriers adjacent to residential uses.
 
PUD Planned Unit Development: 
PUD is a form of development generally characterized by a unified site design for clustering buildings and providing common open-space, density increases, and a mix of building types and land uses. The process involves site plan review, during which the city agencies and neighborhood residents have considerable input in determining the nature of the development. In effect, any PUD is a specific zone district for a specific area, including precise regulations written by the applicant, and when approved by City Council, is enforced by the city. It allows maximum flexibility during the planning stage and maximum assurance that exactly what is proposed will be developed.
 
PRV Platte River Valley Zone District: 
This district is intended to promote and encourage diversified land uses and to integrate the district’s unique geographic location and setting, amenities of view, transportation linkages and open space. A variety of land uses are permitted to facilitate new development, allow for the reuse of eligible historic structures and to complement development in adjacent neighborhoods and downtown. New residential development and open-space is encouraged. Regulatory flexibility is provided to facilitate development responsive to current and future market conditions, and to encourage creativity in the development of the Platte River Valley. Subarea boundaries are delineated on the PRV zoning map. A subarea plan, including preliminary design guidelines, is required for all or part of the subarea to be used as a framework for private and public development projects. Rules and criteria adopted by the Planning Board govern the content and requirements of subarea plans. Plans for any given subarea must conform with the subarea zoning standards enacted by City Council.
 
CCN Cherry Creek North: 
Uses are similar to the B-3 district except that residential development is not permitted on the ground floor of any building. Proposed developments are reviewed by the CCN Design Advisory Board (DAB) for compliance with the CCN district guidelines. The goals of the district are to encourage a mixture of uses and to encourage low-scale, small lot development that reinforces and enhances the eclectic urban character of the area. Floor area premiums are available for open space and underground parking. Off-street parking requirements for retail uses is reduced and ground level residential development is not allowed.
 
Gateway Airport Gateway Zone District: 
The airport gateway is intended to provide a wide variety of compatible uses. A mix of residential, business, hotel and high technology based industry is permitted. The streets design is a neo-traditional grid system. Development will be guided by development and special review. This is the first district to include environmental controls in the zoning ordinance.
 
OD Overlay Zone District: 
These districts overlay existing standard zone districts. They are generally more restrictive than the underlying zone and control dimensional and operational requirements of uses, but do not add uses to the underlying zone. Please refer to the zoning ordinance for the specific requirements of each overlay zone.
R-S-4 Single-Unit Detached Dwellings, Suburban Density: 
Minimum of 12,000 square feet of land required for each dwelling unit. Home occupations are prohibited. Density = 3.6 dwelling units/acre.

R-X Attached or Clustered Single-Unit Dwellings, Low Density:
 
Development plan must be approved by City Council. Home occupations are prohibited. Minimum of 7,500 square feet of land area required for each dwelling unit. Density = 5.8 dwelling units/acre.
 
R-0 Single-Unit Detached Dwellings, Low Density: 
Foster family care and day care allowed as home occupations by permit. Minimum of 6,000 square feet of land required for each dwelling unit. Density = 7.3 dwelling units/acre. 

R-1 Single-Unit Detached Dwellings, Low Density:
 
Same as R-0 except that other additional home occupations and room-renting to one or two persons are allowed upon application and issuance of a permit. Density = 7.3 dwelling units/acre. 

R-2 Multi-Unit Dwellings, Low Density:
Typically duplexes and triplexes. Home occupations are allowed by permit. Minimum of 6,000 square feet of land required for each duplex structure with an additional 3,000 square feet required for every unit over 2. Density = 14.5 dwelling units/acre.

R-2-A Multi-Unit Dwellings, Medium Density:
2,000 square feet of land required for each dwelling unit unless site plan is submitted under the Planned Building Group (PBG) provisions, in which case 1,500 square feet of land is required for each unit. Home occupations are allowed by permit. Density = 21.8 dwelling units/acre (29 unit/acre under PBG, depending on open-space requirements).

R-2-B Multi-Unit Dwellings ; Medium Density:
Minimum 6,000 square feet of land required, with an additional 3,000 square feet required for every dwelling unit over two (2). Home occupations are allowed by permit. Density = 14.5 dwelling units/acre.  
R-3-X Multi-Unit Dwellings, Medium Density:
This is a medium density district intended to encourage new residential development. Building size is controlled by bulk standards and open space requirements. Building floor area cannot exceed 2 times the site area. Maximum lot coverage is 40%.

R-3 Multi-Unit Dwellings, High Density:
 
Building size is controlled by bulk standards, off-street parking and open space requirements. Building floor area cannot exceed 3 times the site area. Maximum density is determined by the size of the units and the factors mentioned above.

R-4 Multi-Unit Dwellings and/or Offices, High Density:
The purpose of this district is to provide a location for high density residential and intensive office development. Building size is controlled by bulk standards, off-street parking and open space requirements. Allows hotel or motel uses and limited accessory retail shopping. Building floor area cannot exceed 4 times the site area.

R-4-X High Density Office, Multiple Unit with Special Review Zone District:
This district allows most of the same uses as the R-4 zone district; however, parking lots, nursing homes and neighborhood service uses are conditional uses. The basic maximum floor area to lot area ratio is 4:1 and may reach 5:1 by meeting specific criteria. Undeveloped floor area may be transferred under special circumstances.

R-5 Institutional District:
Allows colleges, schools, churches and other institutional uses. Maximum lot coverage is 60% of the zone lot. Building height is controlled by bulk standards.

Denver Zoning Map


Denver Zoning map

  • Use the Denver Zoning map to look up the zone district for your property.
  • Then view the article to the left that applies to your zone district.

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