Demolition of residential and commercial structures requires a weeks-long, multi-agency process involving reviews from local and state authorities. Demolition of a structure less than 200 square feet and under 8 feet in height does not require permits or inspections, unless the structure is a landmark, historic, or located in a historic district.
PLEASE NOTE: Properties formerly classified as residential whose structures have been fully demolished on January 1 are reclassified as vacant land and taxed at 29 percent of value as non-residential property regardless of prior use, zoning or future intended use(s). For more information on tax assessment, visit www.denvergov.org/assessor.
Landmark Preservation staff review total demolition applications to determine if the structures have potential for historical significance, per city ordinance, in an effort to preserve Denver’s cultural and architectural history. Landmark review is required for all structures, including those not currently designated as historic landmarks as well as structures outside of historic districts.
If a property is determined to have historic significance, it is possible that total demolition may not be allowed. See details in process description below or visit www.denvergov.org/landmark for information the demolition review and historic designation processes.
If you are demolishing a portion of your structure such as the removal of walls or sections of the roof in preparation for additions or remodeling projects, that demolition is to be included in the scope of work of construction permits.
Before you start your project, you need to know what regulations apply to your property and what factors may impact your project. You'll need to consider:
Any project that involves changes to the exterior of landmark structures or properties in historic landmark districts must be reviewed by Landmark Preservation staff before you begin. The appropriate zoning, building, curb cut, or revocable permits needed for the project will be issued only after design review has been completed and the project has been approved. To determine your property’s landmark status, use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right. Then, visit the design review web page for more information.
Zoning establishes standards for things such as the size and location of structures and acceptable uses for your property. Before you begin construction, you need to be sure your project is in compliance with the Denver Zoning Code. Use the DevelopDENVER tool to the right to determine the zoning for your property. In the results, click on your zone district for descriptions and definitions; then, click on your neighborhood context for more information on zoning in your area.
If any portion of your project has the potential to affect the trunk, canopy or roots of the street trees around your property, before you begin, you must contact Denver Forestry by email (email@example.com) or phone (720-913-0651) to evaluate your project. Any removal, trimming or planting of trees within the public right of way must be permitted through the City Forester’s Office. Damages to street trees may result in the issuance of administrative citations and/or fines. Visit the Denver Forestry web page and click on Property Owner Resources for information on hiring a licensed tree service company or requesting a permit.
Denver Building Code provides minimum standards for building in order to safeguard public safety, health and welfare. The permitting and inspection process ensures that all home projects meet these standards and that all dwellings are safe and habitable at the time of construction.
Location of Utilities
When designing your project, you need to know where utilities are located. You cannot build over existing utilities. Before you dig, contact the Utility Notification Center of Colorado at 1-800-922-1987 or 811 to mark underground utilities for your project.
Location of Existing Sewer Lines
If you plan to build a new structure over or within 2 feet of the existing sanitary sewer, you will need to replace the sanitary sewer with approved materials. A plumbing contractor can help you locate the sewer lines on your property. Visit Wastewater Sewer Use and Drainage Permit (SUDP) for application, guidelines and other specific information. Contact the Department of Public Works at 303-446-3759 for additional details.
STEP 1.A Obtain approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
1.B Obtain approval from Office of City Forester
1.C Obtain approval from Landmark Preservation
For locally designated landmarks or properties in locally designated historic districts, total demolition requires review by the Landmark Preservation Commission OR a certificate of non-historic status issued within the last five years.
For all other properties, landmark staff will review the property within 10 days of submission to determine if it has potential for historic designation.
Submit the following to Landmark staff in person on the 2nd floor of the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave., or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org:
IF structure is found to have no potential historic significance, landmark sign off on the demolition.
IF a structure is found to have potential for historic designation, Landmark staff will post a demolition notice, in accordance with the process defined in the Landmark Preservation Ordinance, Denver Revised Municipal Code Chapter 30, Section 30-6(1)(b). If no application for landmark designation is submitted for the property by the end of the posting period, Landmark staff will sign off on the demolition. If the posting results in an application for landmark designation for the property, Landmark staff will move forward with the designation review process.
See www.DenverGov.org/landmark for a full description of the demolition notice/posting process and the landmark designation process.
STEP 2.A Obtain approval from Denver Water
STEP 2.B Obtain approval from Wastewater Management
Each agency must confirm that all utilities and service lines have been shut off, cut off, capped or otherwise controlled and bills have been paid prior to pre-inspection.
STEP 2.C Public Works Approval (if applicable):
Construction engineering approval is required if the structure is at the zero lot line and/or the demolition will impact the public right-of-way with equipment, construction/demolition materials.
For Wastewater and Public Works approval, you will need your Total Demolition Application and a site plan showing entire site with property lines, location of all structures and extent of all demolition.
STEP 2.D Adjacent Property Owner Notification:
You must notify all adjacent property owners (sides and rear) using the Notification Form (page 6 of the guide) at least 10 business days before a demolition permit may be issued. Property owner information is available at www.denvergov.org/assessor.
Return receipts (one per property) OR personally signed Notification Forms (one per property) must be submitted to the city before demolition permit may be issued.
Complete the Affidavit Form (page 7 of the guide) and submit in person to staff or in dropbox at Inspections counter on the 3rd floor of the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave. This will initiate/schedule the pre-inspection.
At the pre-inspection, the inspector confirms that all service lines have been shut off, cut off, capped or otherwise controlled. To check the status of your inspection, visit denvergov.org/epermits and follow the following steps:
Once the pre-inspection has been approved, you can apply and pay for the demolition permit.
Once your pre-inspection is completed, you may complete your submittal at the Development Services Permit Counter (sign in for Single-Family & Duplex Walk Through service), get your permit and pay the appropriate fees.
To get your #1D building permit, you must bring:
The minimum amount of insurance coverage shall be: $500,000 for Building Class A and Demolition Class A contractors; $300,000 for Building Class B, Building Class C, Demolition Class B, and Moving contractors; $300,000 for homeowners. The Certificate of Insurance shall state “for demolition operation,” and the amount of insurance coverage required shall cover explosion, collapse, and underground.
Building permit fees are based on valuation of the work to be completed including the labor and materials.
Right-of-way permit fees are based on the amount of work constructed and the amount of time they are occupying the right-of-way.
NOTE: The fees change yearly.
City Forestry fees are $65.00
There are no fees for Landmark review.
Development ServicesWellington Webb Municipal Building201 W. Colfax Ave., 2nd FloorDenver, Colorado 80202
After demolition is complete, please schedule your final inspection in person or by phone, using the automated inspections request line, 720-865-2501. You will need your permit number and inspection code (110 for demolitions).
On-site, the inspector will conduct the final inspection and will contact you if corrections are needed. Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will finalize the permit.
You may contact Building Records (email@example.com or 720-865-2982) to obtain a copy of the final permit.