Skip navigation

Paying online?

The City of Denver recently implemented a security enhancement to better protect our online payment processing system.  As a result of this enhancement, we are no longer able to accept payments from non-current browsers. If you are using an older browser version, please upgrade your browser to the most current version so that you can access the online payment service.

Denver's Green Roof Initiative

On November 7, Denver voters passed the Green Roof Initiative ("Initiative 300").

The initiative has an effective date of January 1, 2018. The green roof requirement will apply to projects that submit a site development plan on or after January 1, 2018, for any new building with a gross floor area of 25,000 square feet or more or a building addition that causes the building to become 25,000 square feet or more, and any existing building over 25,000 square feet that is seeking to do a roof replacement.

Community Planning and Development is presently working to harmonize existing laws and policies with this new law, and to build its requirements into our permitting and contractor licensing procedures.

Permitting details available below...

Per the terms of the green roof ordinance, projects over 25,000 square feet that require a site development plan review or "SDP" (new commercial construction, major additions, new construction of three or more residential units, and some tenant-finish/remodel projects undergoing change of occupancy) must have submitted a complete, formal phase site plan and paid the associated review fees by December 29th in order to be exempt from the green roof requirement.

Submit the formal site plan no later than December 22nd to guarantee that it can be logged in, and an invoice issued and paid, before the deadline. 

A concept plan is not sufficient for exemption from the green roof requirement

Please note that the SDP review process begins with a required concept phase, which entails submitting a conceptual site plan and application and attending a concept meeting to determine feasibility of the project, among other items. The concept site plan is not as detailed as the formal site plan submitted later in the process, has no review fees associated with its review, and is not sufficient to exempt a project from the green roof requirement. Projects that have not yet begun the concept phase will not be able to meet the December 29th deadline for exemption from the initiative. 

Buildings over 25,000 square feet will not be able to obtain roof permits online after January 1. These roofs, whether believed to be eligible for an exemption or not, must complete and submit the Green Roof Declaration Form linked below in order for staff to verify exemptions before issuing a roof permit. 

Submittal Requirements

Any roof project that will include a green roof component or is requesting an exemption or a variance must fill out the Green Roof Declaration Form below.

  • New buildings, additions, remodels, and tenant-finish projects will also need to download the Commercial Building Permit Guide (contains additional non-green-roof forms and instructions for these projects)
  • For any project that will include a green roof, request a variance, or request an exemption on the basis of major structural alterations being necessary, make a Log In appointment to submit the above information. 


Green roofs are subject to the same plan review and permit fee schedules as all other building permits. View building permit fees.

Changing your roof contractor after January 1

If you received a valid roof permit by December 31 and need to change the contractor listed on the permit, you may obtain a new permit without having to meet the green roof requirement.

Extensions of issued roof permits

For all permits, including roof permits, work must commence within 60 days from the date of permit issuance. You can request an extension of a roof permit if your construction schedule will extend the roof work out beyond 60 days. Extensions of valid permits will not require a project to meet the green roof standards.

Licensed roofing contractors in Denver will need to obtain licenses in lawn irrigation and green roof installation if they intend to build green roofs after January 2, 2018. These new license types help ensure a high standard of green roof construction by individuals who are skilled in selecting vegetation appropriate for our climate and equipping it for successful growth and maintenance going forward, long after a green roof installation is complete.

The new lawn irrigation and green roof license types are available for any entity having the appropriate experience who wishes to be part of a green roof design and installation team.

Please be aware these licenses are designed for people with irrigation and landscaping experience and do not explicitly cover roofing work, so a licensed roofer or building contractor will still need to be part of a green roof project.

At this time, only the following projects are exempt from the green roof requirement:

  • Projects that have submitted a complete building permit application or complete site plan application prior to January 1, 2018,
  • Residential buildings that are 4 stories or less or have a height of 50 feet or less (whichever is greater), and
  • Commercial greenhouses at grade, temporary structures, and air-supported structures.

The green roof ordinance allows applicants who are unable to provide the required green roof coverage to make a cash-in-lieu payment, contingent on approval of an exemption request made to the Planning Board. The ordinance (PDF) specifies the amount and terms of the payment. Your project must be logged in for plan review before you can request a variance.

Potential for modifications to the ordinance

The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) will lead a formal stakeholder engagement and public input process to review and possibly modify the ordinance. We are committed to honoring the will of the voters by meeting or exceeding the benefits that the green roofs ordinance would have for our climate, reduced heat island effect, and storm water management.

DDPHE has formed a Green Roofs Review Task Force of stakeholders to develop recommended modifications, clarifications, and improvements to the initiative through a collaborative, consensus-based process. (This group is separate and distinct from the Technical Advisory Group that will advise CPD on the implementation of the ordinance as written.) The Green Roofs Review Task Force meetings are open to the public to attend. View a list of the task force's members (PDF).

Meeting location and schedule:

All meetings will take place at 200 W 14th Ave, 2nd Floor, Grand Mesa Room.

Friday, Jan. 19, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Download meeting summary)
Wednesday, Feb. 7, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Download meeting summary and slide deck)
Wednesday, Feb. 14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Download meeting summary and slide deck)
Thursday, March 1, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Download meeting summary)
Wednesday, March 21, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Download agenda)
Friday, April 6, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wednesday, May 2, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Wednesday, May 23, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

To receive updates on the stakeholder engagement process and opportunities for public input, sign up for the DDPHE's Green Roofs Review Stakeholder Process email newsletter or view past newsletters.

Want to provide your input? If you have data, information, or a perspective that you believe is critical for the task force to have in order to do their work, please share it via email with

Any changes to the initiative would require the support of two-thirds of City Council, or 9 votes, which could not happen until mid-2018 at the earliest.


Administrative Rules & Regulations

CPD will hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed rules and regulations for implementing Article XIII, Chapter 10, of the Denver Revised Municipal Code (Denver Green Roofs).

All interested parties are invited to attend the hearing and present oral or written comments. You may also submit comments via email to: Comments will be accepted through the end of the hearing on Jan. 17.

Public Hearing

January 17, 2018 at 3 p.m.
Parr-Widener Community Room (#389)
City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street

Join the Technical Advisory Group

If you are interested in joining the Green Roof Technical Advisory Group, send a resume to

To learn more about the function and qualifications of this committee, please visit Denver's Boards & Commissions webpage and scroll down to "Green Roof Technical Advisory Group."