News from Denver CPD that may impact building and development projects

Soul Street on Clarkson

Development news from Community Planning and Development (CPD)

In this issue, you will find:

  • Meet Dennis Shults - Denver's new Deputy Building Official
  • Denver passes pivotal measure to expand housing affordability
  • Register for the final set of IECC/DGC energy committee hearings
  • Updated solar photovoltaic (PV) policy
  • Nominate a project for the 2022 Mayor's Design Awards
  • Registered Neighborhood Organization registration opens in July
  • June is Colorado Workplace Safety Month
  • ICYMI: Recaps from our last newsletter

Denver hires new Deputy Building Official

Dennis Shults headshot

Join us in welcoming Dennis Shults, Denver's new Deputy Building Official and Inspections Manager!

Dennis comes to Denver from the Town of Breckenridge, where he served as the Chief Building Inspector. There, he reviewed plans for and inspected both residential and commercial construction projects.

Dennis has extensive experience in the construction industry, having been licensed in the Kansas City metro area as a Master Electrician and General Contractor for over 20 years. Although he is originally from the Midwest, Colorado captured his heart when he attended the Colorado School of Mines, where he earned his Mechanical Engineering degree.

Dennis brings experience and a proven track record of success in the inspections area, which will be invaluable in helping us meet our citizen’s needs. When not discovering great cuisine, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, biking, ATVing, and skiing. 

As Deputy Building Official, Dennis will manage the building inspections teams and lead the investigation of building code and ordinance violations, making decisions and recommendations on complex code enforcement cases. Welcome to the city, Dennis! 

“I am looking forward to leading a great team of inspectors as well as supporting the building community here in Denver.” -Dennis Shults

Dennis Shults can be reached at or 720-865-2924.

Expanding Housing Affordability graphic

Denver passes pivotal measure to

expand housing affordability

On Monday, June 6, Denver City Council voted to approve the historic “Expanding Housing Affordability” policy, a joint effort of Mayor Michael B. Hancock’s Department of Community Planning and Development and Department of Housing Stability in collaboration with City Council, residents, businesses, housing developers and others, to increase access to affordable housing across Denver. The city engaged with partners and the broader community for over a year to develop the new policy, which will take effect in Denver starting July 1. Development applications received by June 30 may continue under current rules. (Learn more about effective dates.) 

Under the new ordinance, all new residential developments of 10 or more units must designate 8% to 12% of the units as affordable for a period of 99 years, regardless of whether the units are for rent or for sale. The exact percentage will vary based on the level of affordability offered, but in all scenarios, these homes would need to be affordable for households making less than the area median income (AMI).   

In higher-cost areas of the city, such as downtown and Cherry Creek, developers would need to designate 10% to 15% of new units as affordable. The ordinance also includes zoning and financial incentives to help offset the cost of building affordable units and to increase the overall supply of housing in Denver. 

As part of the Expanding Housing Affordability ordinance, the city will also increase the funding used to build and preserve affordable housing for people with lower incomes. The city’s linkage fee, implemented in 2017 to support Denver’s first dedicated Affordable Housing Fund, will now gradually increase over the next four years to bring Denver more in line with other cities nationally. Development projects that include affordable housing are exempt from the fee. 

Learn more >>

View effective dates >>

Register for the final set of IECC/DGC energy committee hearings

2021 IECC book cover

As we wrap up technical advisory committee hearings, we want to thank everyone who's participated in this process. From joining us for a working group meeting to writing code proposals and sitting on an advisory committee, we couldn't do the work that we do without support and guidance from our development community. Thank you!

Final set of committee hearings: Four new IECC/DGC energy committee hearings have been added to the schedule. 

Register for this series of meetings >>

Anticipated timeline: The final proposed Denver Building and Fire Code and Denver Green Code are expected to move through the legislative process this fall. These codes will become effective four months after their adoption date. The city currently anticipates an adoption date of November 1, 2022, and an effective date of March 1, 2023, for the new building code. These are tentative, draft dates, which may be subject to extension if the code adoption process takes longer than expected. During the four-month grace period between the adoption date and the effective date, projects will be able to apply for building permits under either the 2019 building code or the new 2022 building code.

Explore the code adoption
flush-mounted solar

Updated solar PV policy

The Residential and Commercial Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Energy System Permits policy has been revised to clarify:

  • when separate (construction / non-electrical) permits are required for work relevant to the PV system, such as roof structure modifications, and
  • when a structural integrity letter may be provided for one- and two-family and IRC townhouse units. 

The policy also outlines when the licensed PV (electrical) contractor can perform limited structural reinforcing (i.e., “sistering” and blocking), creating a more streamlined permitting and inspections process.

Read the updated solar PV policy >>

Nominate a project for the 2022 Mayor's Design Awards

Meow Wolf at night

Since 2005, the Mayor’s Design Awards have honored projects throughout the city for excellence in architecture, exterior design and place-making. The awards are presented to Denver homeowners, business owners, nonprofits, and artists for their creative contributions to the public realm through innovative design. Many different types of projects are eligible. Previous award winners range from restaurants and galleries to private single-family homes to plazas and other shared public spaces. Help us recognize the building and placemaking projects that are elevating our community.

Nominations are due Friday, September 9, 2022. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony later this year. To nominate a project, learn more about the Mayor’s Design Awards and see past winners, visit

Registered Neighborhood Organization registration opens in July

Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs) are groups formed by residents and property owners within a neighborhood who meet regularly and whose organizational and contact information is kept on file with the city’s Community Planning and Development Department. Like all organizations active in the Denver community, RNOs are an important part of the fabric of the city and play a key role in the ongoing effort to make Denver a great place to live and work.

New groups can register with the City of Denver during the month of July.

Learn more >>

Colorado Workplace Safety Month Graphic

June is Colorado Workplace Safety Month

In recognition of National Safety Month in June, Governor Polis has proclaimed June to be Workplace Safety Month in Colorado. A vital part of protecting both employees and employers is ensuring that contractors and construction professionals carry the proper workers' compensation insurance, which is required for almost every employer in Colorado. The Division of Workers’ Compensation provides information and resources to help you protect your workers and your bottom line from potential fines and paying for uninsured injuries out of pocket. They also offer free resources, safety programs, and savings of up to 10% off insurance premiums for certified employers. Visit the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment's employers webpage or call 303-318-8700 to learn more.

Additional resources:


Recaps from our last newsletter

  • The ability to estimate permitting timelines is an important factor in managing your project and is why we recently launched a new review times dashboard. Volumes today are much higher than they were pre-pandemic, and the city currently has a backlog of permit applications.

  • In partnership with the Five Points Business Improvement District (BID), city staff and volunteers assembled furnishings and built a new outdoor dining and community gathering space, "Soul Street on Clarkson."

Your resource for permitting and policy changes

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