Landmark Preservation Design Guidelines Update

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The Phase 1 draft of updates to the Design Guidelines for Denver Landmark Structures and Districts is expected to go before the Landmark Preservation Commission for a vote in late October/early November. 

Landmark houses on Champa St Overview

Starting in the fall of 2021, Landmark Preservation will work with the community and the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) to update the Design Guidelines for Denver Landmark Structures and Districts(PDF, 18MB). Last updated in 2016, the 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. Due to evolving needs and the desire for greater flexibility, Landmark staff and the LPC recognize that the design guidelines are in need of a comprehensive update. The design guideline update will be divided into four phases with each phase anticipated to last 9-12 months. 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.

Note: The design guideline update does not affect customized design guidelines written for specific historic districts, including Civic Center Historic District, Country Club Gardens Historic District, Country Club Historic District, Five Points Historic Cultural District, La Alma Lincoln Park, and the Lower Downtown Historic District. 

Row of three houses Timeline

We anticipate the guidelines to be updated in the following phases:

  • Phase 1 (fall 2021 to fall 2022):

    Revisions to guidelines for solar panels, retaining walls, and cladding materials for infill, additions, and accessory structures. Clarifications to existing guidelines about landscaping, sheds, lighting, egress windows, and fencing.

  • Phase 2 (TBD):

    Revisions to window guidelines and other alterations to historic buildings, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and accessibility. Clarifications to the remainder of the site work chapter, the signage chapter, and accessory structures not including ADUs or tandem houses.

  • Phase 3 (TBD):
  • Revisions to guidelines about infill construction, tandem houses, and additions.

  • Phase 4 (TBD):
    Development of a new chapter on alterations to non-contributing buildings. Revisions to all guidelines about commercial and institutional buildings except for site work and signage.

Get Involved

We want your input! Here’s how you can get involved in the process:

Upcoming meeting information coming soon!

If you need language interpretation, contact at least three business days before the meeting. If you need a sign language interpreter or real-time captioning via CART Services, contact at least three business days before the meeting. For all other public accommodation requests/concerns related to a disability, contact

Meeting archive:

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Row of landmark houses in Denver About the Design Guidelines

The current Design Guidelines for Denver Landmark Structures and Districts(PDF, 18MB) were developed through a public process from 2012-2014, with a minor update in January 2016. The guidelines serve as the rules and regulations that Landmark Preservation staff and the LPC use to evaluate proposed changes to individual landmarks or properties in historic districts. Landmark Preservation only reviews changes to the exterior of a site or property that requires a building or zoning permit. Changes to the Design Guidelines for Denver Landmark Structures and Districts must be adopted by the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC). Learn more about the design guidelines and the design review process for landmark properties and districts in Denver.