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How Does the Denver Zoning Code Work?


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The Denver Zoning Code is context-based, an approach that sets standards for compatible development. Watch the video below to learn how the Denver Zoning Code works and read the Neighborhood Context section to learn about how context is defined locally. 


Code Intent 

The Denver Zoning Code is inteded to balance conservation and development, achieve design excellence in the built environment, and guide Denver's prosperous and sustainable future. 

For additional details on the code's intent, read Article 1 (PDF).

Image link to zoning map


Neighborhood Context

The Denver Zoning Code is organized by neighborhood contexts. A context-based approach sets standards for compatible development. The neighborhood contexts are distinguished from one another by their physical and functional characteristics including but not limited to: 

  • street, alley and block patterns
  • building placement and height
  • diversity, distribution and intensity of land uses
  • diversity of mobility options

Photo of suburban neighborhood

Suburban Neighborhood

Curving streets, single-family residential and shopping centers.

Photo of urban center neighborhood

Urban Center Neighborhood

Mixed use with both residential and commercial, high pedestrian activity, multi modal transportation.


Photo or urban edge neighborhood

Urban Edge Neighborhood

Curving and grid street patterns, single family residential and shopettes.

Photo of Downtown Neighborhood

Downtown Neighborhood

Mixed use, transit hub, tallest buildings, high pedestrian activity, historic areas.


Photo of urban neighborhood

Urban Neighborhood

Regular street grid, single-family homes, main streets and corner stores.

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Special Context and Districts

For areas that typically serve a principal purpose.


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General Urban Neighborhood

Predominantly multi-family grid and alley block pattern, main streets and corner stores, multi-modal.