News from Denver CPD that may impact building and development projects
Development news from Community Planning and Development (CPD)

In this issue you will find:

  • A farewell and thank you for Denver's building official, Scott Prisco
  • New fee for large development projects
  • City Council approves group living update 
  • Golden Triangle zoning strategy update
  • Third-party inspection resources
  • Landmark Preservation webinar series
  • 2020 Energize Denver award winners
A farewell and thank you for Scott Prisco
Photo of Scott Prisco
Scott Prisco, who has served as Denver’s building official for the last six years, will resign his position with the City and County of Denver on March 11 to embark on a new adventure with his family in Maryland.

As building official, Scott brought an expertise in sustainable development that elevated Denver's policies and work around climate change. Under his leadership, Denver adopted its first-ever “Denver Green Code” for climate-conscious construction and has adopted energy codes that put us on a path toward net-zero-energy new construction by 2030. Scott championed and developed our current Denver Building and Fire Code, which combines national standards for building safety with forward-thinking amendments tailored to meet local needs. He has ensured the continued safety of construction in Denver, and successfully managed several years of record-breaking permit and inspections demands.

Thank you, Scott for your work over the past six years. While you will be missed in Denver, we wish you all the best in your next chapter.
Interim building official

Starting March 12, Eric Browning, P.E. will serve as Denver's interim building official. Eric has worked for the city for 10 years, most recently as the architectural / structural plan review supervisor. He is a registered professional engineer in both California and Colorado and holds a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Vermont and an M.S. in structural engineering from UCLA. Eric can be reached at or (720) 865-2815.
New fee for large development projects

Starting March 1, the city will assess a review fee for large development projects in Denver. The fee will only apply to the few projects that are of the size and scale that would require the city’s large development review process. Typically, this includes projects that are over five acres in size or that require substantial new infrastructure, like a new street grid or changes to the regional stormwater system.

This fee will help recover costs of administering the large development review process, which today is the only piece of project review and permitting that has been performed free-of-charge for applicants.

City Council approves group living update 

At a public hearing on Monday, February 8, Denver City Council voted to pass the much-needed “Group Living” package of amendments to the Denver Zoning Code. The amendments are the product of three years of work by city staff, Denver residents, housing providers, and city councilmembers.

The approved zoning amendments increases the number of unrelated adults who may live together to five, up from two in a house and four in an apartment, and adjusts rules for residential care facilities so they are regulated by the number of people they serve, rather than by the type of service they offer. It also expands the land available for community corrections from about 3,210 acres primarily in industrial areas and downtown to about 19,000 acres throughout the city in commercial and mixed-use areas.

Learn more about these amendments at

Download the newly amended Denver Zoning Code at

PLEASE NOTE: The URLs to download the code have changed. If you have the zoning code or any of its sections bookmarked, you may need to update your links. New links are available from
Former Chapter 59 bridge amendment

As a continuation of the group living amendments, City Council President Stacie Gilmore is sponsoring a bill to make the Denver Zoning Code’s recently-updated definition of “household” effective citywide, including in the approximately 20% of the city still under Former Chapter 59, or the “old code.” The proposed “bridge amendment” would mean that all households citywide would be regulated the same in terms of how many people can live together. City Council is expected to hold a public hearing on this text amendment to the Denver Revised Municipal Code on Monday, April 5.

Golden Triangle zoning strategy update
Golden Triangle Boundary Map
Over the last several months, city planners have been reviewing public input on the preliminary zoning strategy for the Golden Triangle. The goal of the zoning strategy is to achieve the plan vision for an eclectic, inclusive, and engaging community. The existing “one size fits all” approach applies the same zoning rules to all projects in the Golden Triangle regardless of size. The proposed changes would tailor the rules based on lot size to provide flexibility for smaller projects and ensure larger projects contribute quality design and neighborhood benefits. An updated strategy report is now ready for community members to review and comment on.

Third-party inspection resources

The option of a third-party inspection is available to roofing companies and property owners looking to avoid delays. The third-party firm must file a report after the inspection. Additional costs apply and may vary depending on which third-party inspector you hire.

For certain development projects, IBC sections 1704 and 1705.17 of the 2019 Denver Building and Fire Code require the owner to hire a special inspector to perform an inspection of fire-resistant penetrations and joints. Firestop inspections and tests should be completed in addition to the inspections performed by the building inspector.

Landmark Preservation webinar series
We're answering all of your Landmark Preservation questions. Join us for one or more focused webinar sessions.

Each session will be held at 12 p.m. via Zoom.

Here's what's coming up:

Visit our YouTube page for replays of all past webinars.
GID building in Denver
2020 Energize Denver award winners

Historically, the Energize Denver Awards have been given to the three office, multifamily and hotel buildings with the most improved energy performance. In 2020, two new categories were added to the list: COVID Adaptation and Resilience and Individual Leadership. From energy efficiency to health and safety, the 2020 Energize Denver Award winners are leading the way toward a sustainable and healthy future for the Denver community.

Recaps from our last newsletter

  • In 2020, CPD issued just over 60,000 permits.

  • The value of the construction materials and labor used on those permits was roughly $3.25 billion

  • Building inspectors completed approximately 224,000 inspections last year.

  • Zoning and neighborhood inspectors completed around 50,000 inspections.

  • Roughly 97% of customers are submitting for plan review and permits electronically, our highest number to date.

  • Please note that our building inspectors are now conducting construction inspections as early as 8 a.m.

  • Reminder: Shovel all sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, and bus stops around your home or business as soon as it's practical and safe. Learn more at

  • Watch the 9News story about the Latino/Chicano Historic Context study our Landmark Preservation team is embarking on this year.

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