Project Guide for Driveways & Parking Pads

This guide is intended to provide you an overview of the permitting process for driveways and parking pads.  Driveways must be completed by a licensed contractor.

Help Me Get Started . . .

Before you start your project, you need to know what regulations apply to your property and what factors may impact your project. You'll need to consider:


Historic Landmark Status

If your property is in a local historic landmark district or is a designated landmark structure, the Landmark Preservation staff must complete a design review of your project before you begin. Use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right to determine your property’s landmark status. Changes to the exterior of landmarked properties require approval from Landmark Preservation prior to the issuance of appropriate zoning, building, curb cut, or revocable permits.   Visit the design review web page for more information.

 

Zoning

Zoning establishes standards for things such as the size and location of structures and acceptable uses for your property. Before you begin construction, you need to be sure your project is in compliance with the Denver Zoning Code. Use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right to determine the zoning for your property. In the results, click on your zone district for descriptions and definitions; then, click on your neighborhood context for more information on zoning in your area.



Parkways

Certain parkways and boulevards are specifically designated by ordinance to preserve their unique character. Each designated parkway has its own right-of-way width and regulations of setback distance of structures and signs. If you are unsure if you live along a designated parkway or for your parkway’s specific regulations, enter your address into the DevelopDENVER tool at right. Look under “Designated Parkways” on the results panel on the left. If a specific parkway appears, click on the “Details” button for information on setbacks.



Denver Forestry

If any portion of your project has the potential to affect the trunk, canopy or roots of the street trees around your property, before you begin, you must contact Denver Forestry by email (forestry@denvergov.org) or phone (720-913-0651) to evaluate your project. Any removal, trimming or planting of trees within the public right of way must be permitted through the City Forester’s Office.  Damages to street trees may result in the issuance of administrative citations and/or fines. Visit the Denver Forestry web page and click on Property Owner Resources for information on hiring a licensed tree service company or requesting a permit.



Transportation

Transportation review and approval is needed if you are changing the location of any driveways that connect to public streets or proposing improvements, such as changing the curb cut, within the “right of way” (ROW), which includes public streets and sidewalks. All ROW projects must be performed by a licensed contractor and in full compliance with the City Charter, ordinances, permitting processes and all other applicable standards, specifications and requirements. Licensed contractors can obtain ROW permits at Public Works Permit Operations, 2000 West 3rd Avenue, or directly from the ROW inspector at (303) 446-3469. NOTE: Alterations to a driveway that connects to an alley, instead of a public street or sidewalk, do not require transportation review.



Location of Utilities

When designing your project, you need to know where utilities are located. You cannot build over existing utilities. Before you dig, contact the Utility Notification Center of Colorado at 1-800-922-1987 or 811 to mark underground utilities for your project.

  • Landmark Certificate of Appropriateness - required by Historic Landmark Preservation if your property is located in a Landmark District or is designated as a landmark structure
  • Zoning Review 
  • Right of Way (ROW) Permit - only required if work is done in the right of way.  ROW improvements must be performed by a licensed contractor. 
  • Transportation review - required when proposed project involves a new curb cut or enlarging an existing curb cut.

  • Parkway approval - required if you live along a designated parkway.

  • Denver Forestry approval - required if project will impact the canopy or roots of street trees

For Landmark Certificate of Appropriateness:  

If your property is historically designated or located in a historic district, you will need a design review of your project to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness.  Visit the Design Review web page for more information.

 

For Zoning and Transportation:

Site Plan - The site plan should include the following:

  • Location of the existing driveway and the proposed driveway
  • Dimensions from the driveway to the property line and any adjacent driveways
  • Width and length of the driveway
  • Materials used

Estimate Fees

Zoning fees are based on valuation of the work to be completed including the labor and materials.   

ROW permit fees are based on the amount of work constructed and the amount of time they are occupying the ROW. 

 

View the permit fee schedules to estimate the fees required for your project.

There is no additional fee for the Transportation, Parkways or  Landmark Preservation.

 

Pay Fees

Fees can be paid in person at our office on the 2nd floor of the Wellington Webb Building or by mail:
Development Services
Wellington Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., 2nd Floor
Denver, Colorado 80202
We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card, cash and personal checks at our counter.

For Landmark Certificate of Appropriateness: 

Submit a design review application to Landmark Preservation.  The approval typically takes one to three weeks.  More complex projects or projects requiring Landmark Preservation Commission or Lower Downtown Design Review Board approval will take longer.

NOTE:  Obtain Landmark approval first before proceeding with other permits.



For Zoning:

Same Day Review - Present all construction documents to at the Permit Service Counter for review by City staff. Once review has been completed and all documents approved, permits will be issued.

The Transportation review will be done concurrently with the Zoning review.



Parkways Review:

Plan Review - If Parkways review is required, submit all construction documents at the Permit Service Counter for review by City staff. Once review has been completed and all documents approved, permits will be issued. The review process can take up to 30 days depending upon the complexity of your project.



For Right of Way:

The contractor can obtain the ROW permits at Public Works Permit Operations at 2000 West 3rd or directly from the ROW inspector at (303) 446-3469.



For Denver Forestry:

Contact Denver Forestry by email or by phone at 720-913-0651 if project will impact the canopy or roots of street trees.  Allow about 3 to 5 business working days for inspections and approval.

 All approved construction set of documents, permits and inspector signature card are to be available on site upon request.

Typical inspections for driveways and parking pads include the following:

  • Improvements in the ROW will be inspected by the ROW inspector.
  • Denver Forestry

 

NOTE:  The inspections listed above may vary depending on the complexity of your project. 

  • For existing driveways that are not going to be used anymore, the curb cut needs to be removed and replaced with standard curb, gutter, and sidewalk.

 

 

  • IF the ROW inspector requires the replacement of any damaged improvements in the ROW adjacent to your site because per Section 49-551.1 of the Denver Municipal Code, the property owner or lessee of any real property is responsible for the continuing care, maintenance, repair, and replacement of all improvements installed in the public ROW between the property line and the curb line adjoining their property. 

 

  • If significant improvements are being proposed within the ROW, then a Transportation Engineering Plan may be required. 

 

  • If the proposed driveway connects to a State HIghway, then CDOT access permits and a Transportation Engineering Plan will be required. 

 

  • For questions about the driveway location, Transportation Engineering Plan, or CDOT access permit requirements, please contact your Site Engineering Transportation Engineer using the "Find My Engineer" lookup.

Home Projects

Every project is different.  Depending upon the complexity of your project, the permit requirements and inspection process may vary from the information presented in this guide.  If you have any questions, please contact us.

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