Other Regulations

In addition to zoning, other city ordinances, rules and regulations may affect land use or development. 

Subdivision, Land Use, Urban Design 


The Subdivision Rules and Regulations(PDF, 12MB) and the  Guide to Subdivision Rules and Regulations(PDF, 18KB) provide guidance on the process and requirements for dividing or separating a parcel of land into two or more parcels, lots, blocks, tracts, or sites.

General development plans (GDPs) - Replaced by Large Development Review (LDR)

Large development review replaces the general development plans that Denver historically required for large project sites with a new process that has a greater focus on how large developments will deliver tangible benefits to our neighborhoods. 

Projects that seek to amend an existing general development plan will be directed to use the new LDR process first.

Learn more about large development review.

Urban Design, Design Review, Design Standards & Guidelines

In some parts of Denver, development is reviewed for compliance with zoning requirements and additional discretionary design standards and guidelines to help ensure compatibility with a special context or to promote unique design objectives.

View Urban Design, Design Review, Design Standards & Guidelines for more information.

Landmark Preservation

Landmark Preservation was established through the Denver Landmark Preservation Ordinance in 1967 in order to help preserve Denver's history and character. 

Landmark Preservation staff perform the following services:

  • Assist with designation of historic districts and landmark structures
  • Conduct design review of exterior changes (including windows)
  • Help historic property owners with state income tax credits for preservation
  • Reviews demolition requests

For more information, see Landmark Preservation.

View Planes

Denver has height restrictions in several areas to protect views from certain points in the city. To find out if your site is affected by these restrictions, review the view plane ordinances.

Designated Parkways

Certain designated parkways and boulevards are regulated to preserve their unique character. Each parkway has its own right-of-way width, distance for setbacks of structures and regulations governing structures and signs. 

Learn more about designated parkways and setback requirements.





Bicycle Parking

View  Equipment Standards for Bicycle Parking Areas (PDF) for rules and regulations establishing the dimensional and equipment standards for bicycle parking areas (bike racks).

Parking Lot Landscaping

View  Rules and Regulations for the Landscaping of Parking Areas (PDF) for rules governing the appearance of surface parking areas.

Small Car Stalls

The Denver Zoning Code provides that up to 40 percent of provided parking stalls may be small (compact) spaces, so long as the owner/manager is able to limit such parking to employees or residents, assign such spaces appropriately, and enforce such restrictions. Compact spaces must be specifically requested in writing and including a detailed, scaled parking plan, a justification and a $100 fee.

For more information, view the small car stalls document (PDF).


Development Services Site Engineering

Site Engineering staff performs comprehensive plan review for all new development and redevelopment within the City and County of Denver for transportation, drainage and sanitary sewer uses.

For more information on these requirements, view Site Engineering.

Fire Department

The Denver Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau reviews some types of zoning applications to ensure consistency with fire and building codes.

For more information about these reviews, view the Denver Fire website.

Fox Station East

Rules and Regulations for 41st and Fox Station Area

As part of the effort to implement the 41st and Fox Station Area Plan, Community Planning and Development and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (formerly Public Works) created rules and regulations to help manage use of the streets by new developments within the east side of the 41st and Fox Station Area, and area encircled by interstates 70 and 25 to the north, east and south, and train tracks to the west. Given the geographic limitations of this area, the rules and regulations:

  • help ensure that existing roadways can accommodate both existing and proposed new development
  • set deadlines for site development plans (SDPs)
  • require transportation demand management plans with each SDP to reduce the number of trips taken by residents of each proposed project

The rules and regulations were adopted by the executive directors of Community Planning and Development and Public Works and are effective as of Monday, November 26, 2019.  

Group Living

For information on Denver's "household" definition, congregate living and residential care living, visit the Group Living Rules page. 

Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) / Affordable Housing

The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) required private developers to provide a certain number of affordable homes within developments of 30 or more homes. The revised IHO still governs projects with agreements or housing created while it was in effect, but for new development projects coming on line after January 1, 2017, the IHO was replaced by linkage fees that support Denver’s Dedicated Affordable Housing Fund.

See applications, resources, and information on the affordable housing linkage fee now in effect for new development projects in Denver.

PUD/PBG Development (Site) Plan

A planned unit development (PUD) is a custom zone district used to address a unique site, or a unique proposed development, when standard zone districts are not applicable. The PUD/PBG Development (Site) Plan Rules and Regulations contain the standards and approval process applicable to development plans (includes PUD site plans; planned building groups, mixed-use development plans, and planned developments).

For more information view Development (Site) Plan Review Regulations(PDF, 4MB) (PDF). 


Regulating Plan

A regulating plan is a tool in the Denver Zoning Code (section 12.4.13) used to narrow the broad flexibility otherwise allowed in some zone districts, as site-specific development proceeds. Commonly found in form-based zoning codes, regulating plans are used to designate pedestrian-priority streets, and apply allowed building forms, form standards, and land uses to specific sites. Regulating plans can ensure plan-recommended features like building height transitions; building scale and separation; winter solar access for pedestrians; active storefronts and ground floor uses; high-quality design; charm and viability.

A regulating plan may be used when clear adopted plan recommendations cannot be fully achieved with an existing zone district, or when seeking greater predictability about future development than a zone district offers.  A regulating plan can bridge the gap between an adopted plan and future zoning of the area. It prescribes and regulates certain elements of a specific project, but does not alter the official zoning of the property. In most zone districts, a regulating plan is optional.

Tiny Houses

“Tiny houses” are not prohibited in Denver per se, but there are aspects of some tiny houses that do not align with city codes. Each tiny house is different, and there is no industry-standard definition of a tiny house.

In general, smaller dwelling units offer myriad benefits to individuals and the community at large including sustainability, affordable housing and accommodation for shifting demographics (like single-person households and downsizing retirees).

But like any other structures built in the city, a small dwelling must meet health and safety codes to ensure the safety and quality-of-life of all city residents — current and future.

Here’s an overview of a few of some common tiny-house features that may clash with local health and safety codes. Just as there is no standard definition of a tiny house, there is no one code or regulation that addresses all tiny house considerations. The mobile aspect of many tiny houses may be the biggest obstacle for those who wish to occupy these types of mobile homes in Denver.

Not hooking up to the municipal water system:

International Residential Code (building code)

  • R306.1: Every dwelling unit shall be provided with a water closet, lavatory and bathtub or shower. R306.2: Each dwelling unit shall be provided with a kitchen area and a sink.
  • R306.3: All plumbing fixtures shall be connected to a sanitary sewer or an approved private sewage disposal system.
  • R306.4 All plumbing fixtures shall be connected an approved water supply and shall be provided with hot and cold water.

Denver Housing Code: Water

  • Dwellings must be connected to the municipal water system or other approved system (sec 2-203). (For details contact Denver Environmental Health.)

Not hooking up to the municipal sewer system:

Denver Revised Municipal Code: Disposal of wastes and use of public sewers

  • The owner of any building situated within the city and abutting on any street or alley in which there is now located or may in the future be located a public sewer of the city, is hereby required, at his expense, to connect the building directly with the public sewer designated by the manager of public works.  Sec. 56-102., F.

Home on wheels:

Denver Zoning Code: Mobile homes

  • The Denver Zoning Code allows a residential property to park or store a trailer or RV on an improved surface (asphalt, for example … not grass) on the rear half of the lot if the trailer or RV is less than 22 feet long and is operable. The trailer or RV may not be lived in or otherwise occupied.

Size of home:

2015 International Residential Code (building code): Minimum area

  • R304.1 Minimum area. Habitable rooms shall have a floor area of not less than 70 square feet. Exception: kitchens..
  • R304.2 Minimum dimensions: Habitable rooms shall be not less than 7 feet in any horizontal dimension. Exception: kitchens.


  • Reclaimed or recycled gray water systems require a permit from the state. (For details contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.)

Updated 7/2016

Zoning Permit Suspension and Revocation

The Denver Zoning Code grants Community Planning and Development (CPD) authority to suspend and/or revoke zoning permits.

The Rules & Regulations Regarding Suspension or Revocation of Zoning Permits (PDF) is CPD's adopted policy establishing the process for notice, determination and appeal of a suspension or revocation of a zoning permit. The policy was adopted in August 2016 and amended in January 2017.

Permit violations that could result in permit suspension or revocation are listed in Denver Zoning Code Section (PDF).





If you use assistive technology and would like to access the content in the PDF documents on this page, please contact planning@denvergov.org.