Special Note - COVID-19 Hearing Policies
We will resume BOA hearings on May 19, 2020. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are modifying several of our hearing policies. Please see the Information Sheet for hearing policies.
One of the largest changes is that the BOA will now be conducting hearings with a virtual attendance option through Cisco Webex, in an effort to promote social distancing. Physical attendance is still an option at the Webb Municipal Bldg., room 2.H.14, but we do encourage virtual attendance. Please see the Information Sheet for information on how to join the virtual meeting or follow the web link through our Current Docket page.
Another change is that we will now require any documents including exhibits and letters of support or opposition to be submitted no later than 8:00AM on the Monday prior to the Tuesday hearing. This will allow us to ensure that Board members, City staff, Appellants, and any interested parties will have digital access to all submitted materials. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please contact our office with any questions.
The Board’s meetings start at 9:00 A.M. on Tuesdays in Room 2.H.14, 201 West Colfax Avenue. The City intervenes and is represented by an Assistant City Attorney and a Zoning Representative (Inspector). The hearings are scheduled in increments of thirty minutes. Sometimes one or more hearings will take longer, which causes some delay in the schedule.
Please be sure to sign in under the tab for the address in which you are interested at our sign in table and turn your cell phones off before entering the hearing room.
For an overview of the general Board of Adjusment process, please refer to our Information Pamphlet (PDF).
The Board: The hearing is a semi-formal proceeding before the Board. The Board meets Tuesday mornings to hear and decide appeals. It is improper to contact any of the Board Members concerning an appeal outside of the public meeting, and to do so may result in one or more of the members recusing.
Appearances – Power Of Attorney: All landowners should appear in person at the hearing, unless extenuating circumstances exist: the owner’s testimony is vital to the Board. A representative of the landowners who is able to testify to all issues (hardship, etc.) may appear for them if he or she holds a properly executed Power of Attorney (see Forms page). If the property is held in co-ownership, each co-owner must appear in person, or one owner bearing a Co-owner Power of Attorney may represent the absent owner. If the property is held in the name of a company, corporation, association, partnership, church, etc., the person appearing must have a corporate Power of Attorney signed by a principal officer (i.e., President, Chairman of the Board, General Partner, etc.).
Legal Counsel: You are not required to have legal counsel, but you may be represented by an attorney if you like. On certain complex technical/legal questions, legal counsel is recommended. The Board or staff cannot recommend a specific attorney. You may call the Denver Bar Association, at 303-831-1309, to supply a referral to an attorney if you do not have one.
Evidence: The evidentiary rules for administrative hearings are not as strict as they are for a Court of Law. You have the right to bring or subpoena witnesses in your behalf and/or submit drawings, diagrams, photographs, documents, letters, or petitions that will help prove your case (see Tips & Miscellaneous page). If you want to subpoena someone, you must use the form available in the office of the Board and authorized by the Chairman of the Board.Note:A subpoena must be served at least 48 hours prior to the hearing (Rule 345, C.R.C.P.).
Demeanor: It should be remembered that because of the inherently stressful nature of these proceedings, emotions often run high and patience is strained. Therefore, a calm attitude, courtesy, and respect will contribute greatly to a smooth and judicious hearing. Since this is a quasi-judicial body, conduct and apparel appropriate to a Court of Law is proper (no men’s hats, no applause, no outbursts).
Burden of Persuasion: The appellant has the burden of convincing the Board of his or her right to relief. Any determination or finding of the Zoning Administrator shall be presumed to be correct until evidence is introduced which would support a contrary determination or finding. Therefore, the Burden of Proof is on the Applicant to prove his or her appeal.
Note: Your appeal and testimony should be based upon the criteria of the ordinance section under which you are requesting relief and you should be prepared to elaborate upon each point.
The Vote: The Ordinance and City Charter require the concurring vote of four members to reverse an order, requirement, decision or determination of the Zoning Administrator or to decide in favor of the Applicant. In the event one Board member is absent, you may request a postponement of the hearing or you may waive the right to a five member Board and have four members hear the appeal. If the absent member’s vote is necessary to provide the four concurring votes, he or she may listen to the tape recording of the testimony and cast his or her vote. If two members are absent, a quorum of three may hear the appeal, but at least one of the absent members must listen to the recording and cast his or her vote in order to decide the case. The Zoning Administrator, any objector, intervenor or the Board may also request a postponement for a five member Board to hear the appeal. However, the Board may decide to deny the request for a postponement and to proceed with the hearing.
Reconsideration, Rehearing or Review
1. No application Dismissed or Denied can be considered again except upon a request for rehearing or modification filed with the Board within thirty (30) days of the final decision setting forth:
(a) That new evidence has been discovered which could not have been presented at the original hearing.
(b) The reasons why the evidence could not have been presented.
(c) Submission of the new evidence or an offer of proof of new testimony.
2. Upon receipt of a request for a rehearing or modification conforming to Paragraph 1 above, the Board may upon motion by a member who voted on the prevailing side on the original decision, and by four (4) affirmative votes, grant a rehearing or modify the original decision. All parties appearing at the previous hearing(s) shall be notified in writing of the date of any rehearing. One-half of the original filing fee shall be paid by the person granted the rehearing and the notices required in Article IV shall be repeated.
3. The Board may also, on its own motion, review its decisions. If it changes a previous decision, this shall not prejudice anyone who has relied on the original decision.
Appeals to District Court
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Board may appeal, under Rule 106, Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, the decision to the Denver District Court within twenty eight (28) days after the date of the filing of the Board’s decision in the office of the Board (i.e., the date that the decision was made).
A Registered Neighborhood Organization may file an appeal if the property concerned falls within the neighborhood it represents (see Section 41-19 R.M.C.).
The Board strongly urges you to adhere to the following (Failure May Jeopardize Your Appeal):
Assistance: The staff of the Board may render limited assistance in the filing of the appeal, but may NOT give any legal advice or make any predictions on the outcome of a case.
ZPSES only: Submit your packet of information addressing the ZPSE criteria to the Board's office when you pick up your sign.
Wellington Webb Municipal Building
201 W. Colfax Avenue, 2nd Floor
Denver, CO 80202
Directions: The building is located on Colfax Avenue, approximately 2 blocks west of Broadway. The Office and Hearing Room (2.H.14) are located on the 2nd floor at the northeastern end of the building, near Court Place and 15th Street.
Board of Adjustment for Zoning Appeals
201 W Colfax Ave., Dept 201
Denver, CO 80202
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Outside Denver Call (720) 913-1311
TTY Service: 720-913-8479