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Moratorium approved on use of garden court form

Takes effect August 25, 2016

On August 22, 2016, Denver City Council approved a moratorium on the use of the Denver Zoning Code’s garden court building form for one year. On August 7, 2017, council voted to extend that moratorium until June 4, 2018, or the effective date of an amendment to the Denver Zoning Code related to slot homes. Visit for more information on the Slot Homes Text Amendment project. 

About the Garden Court Form

The garden court building form was introduced in the Denver Zoning Code in 2010 and is used for multi-unit residential development where dwelling entrances may be oriented around a common, central open space, rather than exclusively orienting toward the street. Concerns from Denver residents about designs of garden court form buildings have prompted this council action.

Community Planning and Development will be reviewing the garden court form as part of a larger text amendment to the Denver Zoning Code to address "slot homes." For more information, click here

The Moratorium

During the moratorium, new projects using the garden court building form will not be approved. Amendments to already approved site development plans that use the garden court building form are also prohibited. 

Exceptions to the moratorium are:

  • Projects that have a street-facing courtyard width equal to or greater than the height of the associated buildings
  • Projects that have dwelling units arranged side-by-side and not above one another
  • Projects that have a minimum 50 percent permeable courtyard surface 

For the full text of the bill, click here: Read the bill >>

Effective Date

The moratorium will be enforced starting August 25, 2016. 

Questions about Your Project

If you have questions about whether the moratorium affects your project, please contact your assigned reviewer.


Garden court illustration in the zoning code

Garden court illustration in the zoning code.


Image example of an as-built garden court form

Example of an as-built garden court form.