Other Regulations

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

Design review is required through the establishment of design standards and guidelines through several zone districts. Learn more.

Subdivision, Land Use, Urban Design

The  Subdivision Rules and Regulations (PDF) and the  Guide to Subdivision Rules and Regulations (PDF) 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) establish a framework for large or phased projects in mixed-use zone districts. The GDP process provides a conceptual plan for integrating land uses with infrastructure. 

For more information, view General Development Plans.

Zoning ensures proper placement, height, bulk and use of a structure, but does not regulate aesthetics, which can be subjective. Some parts of Denver have additional design review through design standards and guidelines or zoning overlays; many were created by and are administered by a community group.

Projects in design review districts require additional review and approval.  View  Design Standards & Guidelines for more information.

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.

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.

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.


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

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

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).


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).

The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance requires private developers to provide a certain number of affordable homes within developments of 30 or more homes.

For more information, view inclusionary housing and required forms.

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.

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.

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.