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Development Services News Archive

This is an archive page of news and updates from 2016 and earlier. The information presented below may still be useful to some readers but is no longer maintained or updated. Click here to view current Development Services news.

Using a third-party roof inspector

The option of a third-party inspection is available to roofing companies and property owners looking to avoid delays on Type-Approved (TA) projects and re-roofs of existing single-family and duplex homes. The third-party firm must file a report after the inspection. This policy was originally scheduled to end in February 2017 but has been extended indefinitely.

The third-party inspection form and your inspection report must be dropped off in-person or submitted to within 7 days of the final inspection.

Proposed Amendment to Denver Zoning Code

Urban House and Duplex Building Forms in the General Urban Neighborhood Context

As part of the city’s ongoing effort to keep the Denver Zoning Code modern, clear, and user-friendly, CPD plans to propose a series of text amendments and updates to the code in early 2017. A draft of these amendments will be available for public review and comment in January.

The text amendment bundle will include a proposal to remove an inconsistency among zone districts. Currently, in all zone districts other than the General Urban Neighborhood Context, Urban House and Duplex building forms are restricted to a single unit (for an Urban House) or two units (for a Duplex). One of the proposed text amendments will extend this use restriction to General Urban Neighborhood Context zone districts as well. Multi-unit uses will continue to be allowed in the General Urban Neighborhood Context and can be developed in other existing building forms, including Row House and Apartment.

The proposed text amendments will begin the legislative review process for potential adoption in early 2017.

Restroom for Everyone signGender-neutral Signs on Single-occupant Restrooms

Under the Denver Building and Fire Code (as amended 12/19/16), all single-occupant, family or assisted-use restrooms in Denver must have signage indicating that they are open for use to all persons, regardless of gender. 

Learn more and view examples here

Denver Building and Fire Code amendment package 2 approved by City Council

City Council has approved a set of amendments to the Denver Building and Fire Code (DBC) that were written to resolve errors, improve clarity, add an amendment for gender-neutral signage on single-stall restrooms, and add Section 305 of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code back in as an appendix to the International Building Code and International Residential Code.

Affordable housing fee: Guidance for Site Development Plans (SDP)

As of January 1, 2017, an affordable housing fee is in effect in Denver, which is a fee on new development square footage according to the fee schedule outlined here

  • Commercial or multifamily projects undergoing an SDP review must be logged in and have a project number on or before Friday, December 30, 2016. Plan ahead and allow at least three days for log-in and number assignment due to projected demand.
  • An SDP concept that has "major changes" requiring a new SDP submittal (a resubmittal) after January 1 will be considered a new project and will become subject to the fee. Visit the SDP webpage for a detailed list of what conditions and impacts will be considered "major changes" after January 1. 

Non-SDP projects must also be logged in for building permit review by December 30 to be exempt from the fee.

Installing a fire alarm system? Don't forget your permit.

Denver building codes allow for the use of a low-voltage fire alarm system in lieu of residential smoke alarms, if desired. These systems are permitted under the 2015 IRC 314.7. Come to our walk-through counter for a quick, same-day permit for your residential fire alarm system (which is not needed for smoke alarms on their own). Bring with you the documents listed on page 395 of the Denver Building and Fire Code under "N103.4.1 Plan submittal - Required Information for fire alarm permit walk-through."

Did you know? Tenant Finish projects can start construction while building plans are under review.

CPD allows commercial tenant finish projects to expedite construction and start interior demolition and preliminary (non-structural) framing, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and fire suppression and alarm work before building plans receive final approval. This is a time saver for developers wanting to take advantage of the time building plans are under review. In order to pull a preparatory demolition ("prep demo") and non-structural framing permit and other trade-specific permits during plan review, projects must be classified as IBC Group B or M occupancies (or some S1 and S2 occupancies), must have an affidavit signed by the architect or engineer stating that the plans submitted for review are 100% complete, and must have received their SUDP (wastewater) permit if it is needed. Construction can only be completed up to the point of rough inspection. The commercial construction permit must be issued before rough inspections occur. There are other limitations, so please consult ADMIN policy 131.2 for details on scope, fees, and process.

Tips for submitting commercial kitchen drawings

The kitchen exhaust system is a fundamental part of the construction drawings for restaurants and other commercial projects. It is also one of the most overlooked, often with little detail provided on plans as to how the system interfaces with the whole building design. 

  • To help expedite permitting and reduce delays, the IMC 506, 507, 508 policy outlines the minimum amount of information that must be included on mechanical plans for kitchen hoods, exhaust fans, pollution control units (grease scrubbers), and grease ducts, in order to comply with 2015 IMC Sections 506-508 and DBC Sections 133.1 and 133.2.
  • Drawings and fabrication details from the kitchen hood vendor or a kitchen designer (foodservice equipment plan) that are labeled "not for construction" are not sufficient. 
  • Projects must designate one licensed, professional engineer who takes responsibility for the holistic kitchen exhaust system, and include the elements listed in the IMC 506, 507, 508 policy on construction documents with the engineer's seal.

Updates to contractor licenses

Contractor Licensing periodically revises its license/certificate offerings to avoid duplicates and remove old, rarely used certifications. As part of this, CPD is no longer issuing the following Specialty Class D certificates/licenses: pneumatic tubes; raised access floor; suspended acoustical ceilings; and tile, marble, sandstone, granite, terrazzo, chemical broadcast, and troweled floor finish systems. We will continue to renew these licenses if already issued, but will no longer issue new licenses nor re-issue licenses that have been expired for more than three years.

Additionally, the electrical sign supervisor certificate/license has been transitioned to a sign supervisor certificate/license, which does not allow electrical work per the 2014 NEC. Updated qualifications and scope of work for the sign supervisor are available here.

Updated building policy clarifies the 2015 IECC compliance documentation required for residential projects

The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) pertains to the design and installation of energy-efficient buildings and systems. Construction documents submitted for plan review in Denver must include specific information describing how the project will comply with IECC requirements. Requirements vary based on the scope of work (e.g., residential versus commercial).

Specifically, for residential construction projects submitted for review, customers can select from a prescriptive path, a simulated performance path, or an alternate path using the Energy Rating Index (ERI) of the rated design. For each path, when new HVAC equipment is part of the design, customers must include with their construction documents the ACCA Manual J and S calculation packages for the HVAC equipment sizing. When new ducts are proposed as well, customers must also include the Manual D calculations.

Submit any questions to the building official at

2015 ICC codes now accessible from our website

As part of the 2016 Denver Building and Fire Code (DBC), Denver adopted eight of the 2015 ICC codes, which are international standards for building and fire safety developed by the International Code Council (ICC). The text of these codes are made available online through the ICC's publicACCESS program. You can reach each ICC code that we have adopted via the new "2015 ICC codes" section on our Building Code webpage.

Highlights from the residential permitting workshop on 10/27

10/28/16 - Thank you to Colorado Code Consulting, EnergyLogic, Dow Building Solutions, and RNL Design for helping host and sponsor a great evening on residential permitting and energy codes! Also congratulations to the lucky winners of the raffle items from Dow. If you were unable to attend, a copy of the slide deck presented by Denver's Development Services team is linked below. Make sure to sign up for our email updates to be notified in advance of future educational events.

Zoning permit suspension/revocation policy to be revised

10/11/16 - Minor revisions are in the works for the Rules & Regulations Regarding Suspension or Revocation of Zoning Permits (PDF). The proposed revisions to this policy will be presented to Denver's Planning Board on November 2. See for meeting details. A redline draft of the revisions is linked below.

Highlights from the commercial permitting workshop on 9/29

9/30/16 - A big thank you to Gensler, Exponent Inc., Colorado Code Consulting, and Group 14 Engineering for helping us orchestrate a successful presentation on "Navigating the Permitting Process for Commercial Projects." The event also included networking and a discussion of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). If you were unable to attend, we welcome you to download a copy of the evening's PowerPoint slides below. Also make sure to sign up for our email updates to be notified of the next public event in late October regarding permitting for residential projects.

Single-Family/Duplex Walk-Through check-in time to change 9/26

Starting Monday, September 26, check-in for Single-Family/Duplex Walk-through Service will open at 11:30 a.m., rather than 10 a.m., for counter service between noon and 4 p.m. Check-in closes when all spots for the day have been filled, so customers are advised to reserve theirs as soon as check-in opens at 11:30. Customers may check in online by clicking “Permit Counter Check-in” on the Development Services homepage, by texting “denver dev” to 626-414-3210 or by calling 720-880-3670.

For questions or comments, contact the residential team at

New guide is now available for pool projects

8/31/16 - Development Services staff have created a new customers guide to walk customers through the review and permitting process for pools on residential as well as commercial properties. The guide includes applications for the necessary zoning and general construction building permits as well as the application for project approval from the city's Department of Environmental Health, which is required for projects on commercial/multi-family properties. Click here to download the guide. 

Moratorium approved on small-lot parking exemption

8/22/16 - Denver City Council approved a moratorium on the use of the Denver Zoning Code’s small zone lot parking exemption for certain projects for seven months, starting August 25, 2016.

Moratorium approved on use of “garden court” form

8/22/16 - Denver City Council approved a moratorium on the use of the Denver Zoning Code’s garden court building form for one year, starting August 25, 2016.

Policy adopted for zoning permit suspension/revocation 

8/12/16 - Denver Community Planning and Development has adopted new rules and regulations establishing a process for notification, determination and appeal in the suspension or revocation of a zoning permit. Draft regulations were presented to the Denver Planning Board for a public hearing on May 18 and the final policy was officially adopted this month. The Denver Zoning Code grants CPD authority to suspend and/or revoke zoning permits and lists the violations that could result in permit suspension or revocation in Section, but previously there was no policy to detailing the process.

The Rules & Regulations Regarding Suspension of Revocation of Zoning Permits (PDF) are available on the CPD website on this page

Pool permitting forum August 31

Denver Community Planning and Development will host a forum for swimming pool and spa contractors covering all aspects of the city’s permitting process. Code experts will provide a step-by-step guide to approval for pools, spas, water features and associated work. The forum will cover submittal requirements, special conditions related to historic districts and landmarks, and keys to passing inspection. Space is limited – please RSVP by August 24 to

Navigating Denver’s Pool Permitting Process
August 31, 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Wellington Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6 

New zoning guide available for telecomm facilities

Development Services has created a new commercial zoning guide to walk customers through the review and permitting process for the siting, installation and construction of telecommunications facilities within Denver city limits. The guide includes an overview of the process and a submittal checklist, along with the zoning application. The guide can be found on the Zoning Permits for Commercial Projects page. 

Total Demolition Guide has been updated

7/6/16 - An updated Total Demolition Guide (PDF) is now available. The update includes new code references to reflect the adoption of the new Denver Building Code earlier this year as well as clarification of the process for inspection and approval from Office of the City Forester. Customers looking to begin the process for total demolition should make sure they have the most recent version of the guide in hand before starting the process. Visit the demolition page for information on the total demolition process. 

Notice on type approved structures

6/21/16 - Type Approvals under the 2011 Denver Building Code will expire 180 days after the 2016 Denver Building Code’s effective date, which is September 12, 2016. All work must be permitted and under construction for any type approved project prior to March 12, 2017.

Applicants seeking to continue with Type Approved structures will be required to submit new construction packages for review, establishing compliance of the Type Approved structures with the 2016 Denver Building Code. (2016 Denver Building Code Amendments Section 103.10.3)

Special Events: All proposed special events scheduled for more than 180 days after September 12, 2016, relying on Type Approved structures, must submit new construction packages for review, establishing compliance of the master structures with the new Denver Building Code before subsequent Type Approved permits may be issued.

Electrical meter releases now available online

The list of electrical meters released to Xcel Energy by our electrical inspectors is now available online on a weekly basis. Visit the Inspections page, then click the “Electrical inspections – meter releases” tab, under Additional Information.

Tip sheets explain zoning rules for single-family/duplex projects

6/3/16 - Three new “tip sheets” have been posted in the residential projects section of the Development Services website. A total of five of these guides (listed below) are now available to provide customers offer brief explanations on zoning regulations as they apply to single-family and duplex projects:

Electronic submittal now available for detached garage projects

4/11/16 - The Development Services residential team, serving single-family and duplex projects, is now accepting completed zoning and building permit applications for detached garages via email at Customers are encouraged to take advantage of this process change, which will eliminate the need to come to the Webb Building and wait in line for over-the-counter review. Reviews for emailed applications should be completed within seven days. 

Same-day service for detached garages will remain available at the Permit Counter only until May 5. After that date, customers may submit their applications via e-mail or may drop them off at the Permit Counter for expedited review (within seven days) by signing in to the Residential (Single-Family or Duplex) Walk-Through - All Others queue. 

See the Zoning and Building Permitting Guide - Detached Garage - Electronic submission (PDF) for complete instructions, including application and submittal checklist. 

Landmark staff shifts permit counter resources to on-call team

4/11/16 - Starting April 18, customers working on building projects on landmark or historic district properties can get their questions answered by Landmark Preservation staff via email or phone, or by setting up an appointment at any time during the business day. Landmark permit counter services, currently scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. daily, will be discontinued to give staff more flexibility as they work with customers. An “on-call” staff person will be available every day to support counter staff on other services as questions arise, and to meet with customers one-on-one by appointment. 

Residential guide outlines Log-in submittal requirements

3/25/16 - Customers submitting zoning and/or building permit applications for residential projects (single-family and duplexes) that must be logged in for review may submit their applications via the Log-in queue only when minimum submittal requirements are met. 

The Residential Permitting Guide (PDF) includes complete information on these requirements. Providing complete applications results in quicker turnaround for permits by ensuring review staff have all materials needed for a complete review, and by eliminating resubmittal requests that lengthen the review process. 

City Council adopts 2016 Denver Building Code

3/14/16 - The 2016 Denver Building Code was officially adopted by Denver's City Council on Monday, March 7, 2016 and signed by Mayor Hancock on Thursday, March 10, 2016. The city is now in a transition period until the new code's effective date: September 12, 2016. During the transition period, customers may apply for building permits under the 2011 Denver Building Code or under the new code. After the transition period, any customers wishing to apply under the old code, such as those currently drafting major projects, must do so with prior approval.

Visit for complete information. 

Electrical elevator upgrades and modifications require permits  

1/4/16 - As a reminder, all electrical modifications and upgrades to elevators (including but not limited to, new feeders and overcurrent device ratings) must be permitted and inspected.  Electrical engineered plans must be reviewed prior to permitting, with an electrical inspection following.  The electrical permit can be issued only to a Denver-licensed electrical contractor.  No electrical modifications or upgrades can be performed without the required electrical permit. Denver Fire Department conveyance permits must also be obtained by a licensed elevator contractor for all elevator alterations/modifications.  For information on conveyance permit requirements, call (720) 913-3514.

New “Logged-in Plan Pick-up” Queue Begins Service

11/16/2015 - Customers who only need to pick up approved plans (for commercial and residential construction permits only – COMMCON and RESCON) will be able to choose a new option in the check-in system. Currently, these customers must check into the “Log-in” line, which combines customers picking up plans and those bringing new plans in to start the review process, lengthening wait times for both. Having two dedicated lines will ensure customers move through their respective lines faster. (Posted 11/16/15)

  • The “Logged-in Plan Pick-up” queue will be available for customers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
  • If you are coming to the Permit Counter only to pick up your approved plans, you can check in at the kiosk, online or via phone between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and select “Logged-in Plan Pick-up.”
  • You will need to have the log number, proof of SUDP, contractor license and payment in contractor’s name.
This service will be available starting November 23, 2015.

Log-in Appointments Now Available for Complex Projects

11/16/2015 - As an alternate to waiting in line at the Permit Counter for the Log-in service, certain types of complex projects (see list below) will have the option of requesting an appointment Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

Appointment-Eligible Projects:

  • Master and type approved submittals from production homebuilders
  • Projects with a site development plan through the Project Coordination group
  • Logged-in plan pick-up for projects that have 3 or more commercial or residential construction permits (such as townhomes). This does not include any associated trades permits.

  • If your project is appointment-eligible, you may schedule an appointment via email at
  • Please include your name and brief project description in your email, and wait for confirmation from staff. 
  • NOTE: Appointments are usually scheduled a week in advance, so plan accordingly. 
This services will be available starting November 23, 2015. 

Quick Permits Available by Email or Fax

11/16/2015 - Contractors needing to pull permits for minor, trade-related, non-structural work ("Quick Permits") can avoid waiting in line at the permit counter by requesting them via email or fax. 

Permits numbered 2-11 are eligible for this service. 

Visit for complete instructions. 

This service is available now.

Sign up for email alerts

Keep informed on updated policies, new permitting guides, code amendments, counter closures, fee changes, and more by having notifications delivered straight to your inbox. 

Sign up here and choose "Code and Policy Alerts" as the email list.

Pardon our dust!

As part of our continuing efforts to improve customer service, the Development Services Permit Counter will be undergoing construction for several weeks.

The work will expand the counter, improve individual work stations and create new and better signage. Construction will be done primarily on nights and weekends and will not disrupt counter hours or staffing.