Updating the design guidelines for landmark structures and districts

Published on September 20, 2021

Next week, Community Planning and Development’s Landmark Preservation staff will launch an update to the design guidelines that apply to most Denver landmark structures and historic districts. The city’s design guidelines help owners of individual landmarks and properties in historic districts make improvements to their properties while protecting the historic, architectural, or cultural features of the neighborhood.

“Denver’s current design guidelines were developed from 2012-2014 and received a minor update in 2016,” said Jennifer Cappeto, Denver Landmark Preservation Manager. “Updating these rules will benefit the owners of these properties who need greater flexibility while continuing to ensure our local landmarks retain their historically and culturally significant features.”

The design guidelines update will be divided into four phases. Each phase will include community meetings and input, public review of draft updates, and a public hearing and vote by Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission. The public is invited to learn more about this work in a Zoom event on September 29.

Project Kickoff Meeting with Q&A
September 29, 6-7:30 p.m.
Register via Zoom

The initial phase of this work will focus on how design guidelines apply to solar panels, retaining walls, additions, exterior finishes (cladding), landscaping, sheds, lighting, emergency egress windows, and fencing for landmark structures and districts.

Future phases are expected to include community conversations on how the design guidelines apply to accessory dwelling units, tandem houses, secondary structures, windows and similar exterior alterations, new infill development in historic districts, and potentially other topics identified by the community during the course of this work. These design guidelines only apply to structures that are designated as a local landmark or are located in a historic district.

Learn more about the design guidelines update and ways to participate in the process.