Text Amendments to the Zoning Code

Current Regulatory Projects

The projects listed below will lead to updates (also called "text amendments") to the Denver Zoning Code. The Denver Zoning Code is a living document that must be periodically amended to keep it current and relevant. Amendments are based on recommendations from adopted city plans, industry changes, process improvements, and similar needs to ensure that zoning outcomes match the code's intent.

All amendments include public feedback and must be adopted by City Council before taking effect.

Bringing Plans to Life

Community Planning and Development (CPD) collaborates with communities through citywide and neighborhood planning. These plans offer community-driven policy guidance for the city. Zoning code amendments help put those policies into effect.

Citywide PlansComprehensive Plan 2040 and Blueprint Denver are long-term plans that establish a vision for Denver to be inclusive, connected and healthy. The projects listed above will implement specific policy recommendations from these plans and ensure that the Denver Zoning Code reflects the city's adopted values.

Neighborhood and Area Plans: Neighborhood and area plans address citywide goals at the local level, to ensure they are applied in a way that makes sense for each neighborhood and that they meet individual neighborhood needs. Zoning code amendments help implement these recommendations for communities.

City Council Initiatives

Projects are listed here when a City Council member requests a text amendment, sometimes accompanied by a legislative rezoning. Council offices usually do preliminary work and outreach before making the official request and are the best sources for background information on the project.  

Sunnyside Conservation Overlay – Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval, District 1

This proposed overlay would modify design standards that apply to areas zoned for houses and duplexes. The objective is to refine the rules so new houses, duplexes and additions are compatible with existing neighborhood design characteristics, while still allowing flexibility and creative architecture. The overlay is anticipated to address topics like front porches, building bulk, and exterior materials. Council District 1 conducted a 3-year outreach process and assembled a neighborhood working group that includes several practicing architects. Councilwoman Sandoval is also requesting a rezoning (map amendment) to apply the proposed overlay to all Single Unit (SU-) and Two Unit (TU-) zoned properties in the Sunnyside neighborhood. 

Comments or questions may be submitted to Brad Johnson, Senior City Planner (brad.johnson2@denvergov.org). 

Next steps:

A public review draft will be available in the coming weeks.

Cherry Creek East Conservation Overlay and Design Overlay – Councilman Chris Hinds, District 10

Two overlays are proposed for the Cherry Creek East neighborhood, bounded by S. Steele Street, E. Cherry Creek North Drive, E. Alameda Avenue, S. Colorado Boulevard, and E. 1st Avenue. The Conservation Overlay (CO) seeks to promote pedestrian-friendly street frontages and enhance neighborhood safety and includes standards applicable to the Row House (RH) zone district with requirements for an Unenclosed Porch, enhanced landscaping, and additional lighting. The Design Overlay (DO) seeks to enhance and promote a quality urban en­vironment with a vibrant sense of place and would apply to Mixed Use (MX), Residential Mixed Use (RX), Main Street (MS), Multi Unit (MU), and Residential Office (RO) zone districts with requirements that allow for wider sidewalks and more landscaping, additional open space, and new structured parking standards.

The proposed overlays follow a multi-year process led by the Cherry Creek East Association with assistance from City Council District 10, consultants, and input from area residents, businesses, and the development community. Councilman Hinds will also request a rezoning (map amendment) to apply the proposed overlays to subject properties in the Cherry Creek East neighborhood. 

Comments or questions may be submitted to Senior City Planner Libby Kaiser (Libby.Kaiser@denvergov.org).

Next steps:

A public review draft will be available in the coming weeks.

Code Maintenance Bundles

Just like infrastructure needs maintenance to stay in top condition, the Denver Zoning Code also needs regular maintenance to continue to respond to the needs of the city, while remaining modern and flexible.  Periodically, CPD proposes amendments to keep the code modern, clear and user-friendly. 

Recently Adopted Text Amendments

Text Amendment to Reestablish the Board of Adjustment with Updated Board Requirements and Procedures

City Councilmember Robin Kniech and City Councilmember Amanda Sandoval proposed a text amendment to reestablish the existing Board of Adjustment with updated requirements and procedures, including new professional qualifications and training requirements as well as adjustment to the authority and process for appointing board members.

  • Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee: Tuesday, January 18, 2022: Presentation(PDF, 1013KB)
  • City Council public hearing and adoption: Monday, February 22, 2022


Maximum Building Footprint Correction for Detached Accessory Dwelling Units in E-SU- Zone Districts

Community Planning and Development proposed a correction to two discrete numerical errors adopted with the 2021 Bundle of Denver Zoning Code Text Amendments on June 28, 2021. The error had resulted in a misstatement of the maximum building footprint for a detached accessory dwelling unit building form on some lot sizes in single-unit Urban Edge Neighborhood Context (E-) zone districts.


 2021 Bundle of Text Amendments  

This package included more than 160 proposed code changes to correct and clarify existing zoning rules or make small adjustments for consistency with adopted policy. The proposed changes included making off-street parking requirements more flexible for affordable housing, and updates to where detached accessory structures can stand on a lot, rules of measurement and more. 

Effective Date and Grace Period

The bundle of text amendments was adopted by City Council on June 28, 2021 and became effective on July 1, 2021. The following key dates determine how the update affects projects under review at the time of adoption.

  • Applicants who submitted zoning permit applications before June 30, 2021, may request to have their projects reviewed under the version of the zoning code effective on March 31, 2021. To make a request, contact your reviewer.
    • In such cases, the zoning permit must be approved by February 2, 2022.
    • If the zoning permit is not approved by February 2, 2022, the current rules would apply.
    • For those zoning permits approved by February 2, 2022, modifications to plans are allowed under the version of the zoning code effective on March 31, 2021 until December 30, 2022. For modifications made after December 30, 2022, current rules would apply.   

See previous versions of the Denver Zoning Code in the Legislative History section of this page. The current code is available at DenverGov.org/zoning.

Legislative History

All Adopted Denver Zoning Code Amendments

The Legislative History of Denver Zoning Code Text Amendments(PDF, 413KB) outlines zoning code changes adopted by City Council to date. The legislative history includes ordinance number, effective date, applicable Denver Zoning Code provisions, and keywords. Text amendments to the code follow the procedure set out in the Denver Zoning Code, Article 12, Section 12.4.11.

Strike-through Versions

The documents linked below show a marked-up version of the text amendment showing what changed.

 The Denver Zoning Code was originally published on June 25, 2010. The following are amendments to the original version of the code.  

The Denver Zoning Code was restated and republished on April 7, 2014. The following amendments are to the updated 2014 version of the code.

The Denver Zoning Code was restated and republished on July 6, 2015. The following amendments are to the updated 2015 version of the code.

The Denver Zoning Code was restated and republished on May 5, 2017. The following amendments are to the updated 2017 version of the code.

The Denver Zoning Code was restated and republished on May 24, 2018. The following amendments are to the updated 2018 version of the code.

The Denver Zoning Code was restated and republished on July 1, 2021. The following amendments are to the updated 2021 version of the code.

Page Replacements

The Denver Zoning Code was originally published June 25, 2010. It was re-published in its entirety including the 2021 Text Amendment Bundle on July 1, 2021.

 

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