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Design Review for Solar Panels

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Landmark Preservation reviews applications for the installation of solar panels on all Denver landmarks and historic district structures. Applications are reviewed for consistency with the appropriate design standards and guidelines. Please read the following instructions carefully to ensure timely design review of your project.

1 - Determine which design guidelines apply

Your location and type of project determines which design standards and guidelines you should follow. If you are unsure about whether your project is in a historic district, check the landmark and historic districts map.

In certain neighborhoods and historic districts, additional design guidelines may apply.

2 - Collect submittal materials

Design review applications must adequately describe the project and provide sufficient information to evaluate the proposal. Documentation must clearly illustrate the existing conditions as well as any proposed alteration(s).

All applications for window or door replacement must include the following information:

Please click the submittal elements for downloadable materials and additional information. To avoid delays, please only submit complete applications.

Photographs of existing conditions showing the existing building, roof, and surroundings are required and must be:

  • In color
  • Labeled with direction and orientation to the street
  • No smaller than 4"x6" in size (or between 1024 x 768 pixels and 1280 x 960 pixels)
  • Arranged on one or more sheets within the drawing set (PDF format)

For examples of acceptable photos and tips for taking good photos, download Landmark Standards: Photographs (PDF) and the Photo Page Example (PDF).

All projects must submit a dimensioned and scaled site plan including:

  • Street address
  • North arrow
  • Scale (plans must be drawn to a measurable scale)
  • Location of streets, sidewalks, alleys (any right-of-way or easement), property lines, and all existing structures
  • Location of proposed solar panels
  • Location of all proposed electrical equipment associated with the solar panels
  • Location of fences, retaining walls, exterior stairways and ramps, driveways, etc.
  • Front setbacks of adjacent properties
  • Original grade elevation at intersection of side property lines and minimum setback
  • Spot grade elevation at rear corners of property
  • Primary street setbacks of adjacent properties (the distance from the front property line to the face of the enclosed area, not porch or awning)

Submit existing and proposed roof plans that include the following:

  • Street address
  • North arrow
  • Scale (plans must be drawn to a measurable scale) 
  • Major dimensions
  • Existing roofing materials 
  • Proposed arrangement of solar panels 
  • Dimensions of panels and distance from the roof ridge(s) and eaves
  • Major roof protrusions (chimneys, mechanical vents, skylights)

The following details of construction are required:

  • Enlarged section details showing installation of the panels on the roof, with dimensions and material information.
  • Information about removal and on-site storage of any roof tiles, if existing, to accommodate installation of the solar panels. 

Submit Your Application

Complete the required application and submit it, along with any supporting materials, by email to  Your submission should include two attachments:

  • PDF with the completed form ("yourname-app.pdf") 
  • PDF that combines all supporting materials ("yourname-app-materials.pdf")

File size should not exceed more than 25 MB combined. Contact us if you are having trouble with your electronic submission.

Every project is different. Depending upon the complexity and specifics of your project, process and time frame may vary from the information presented on this website and in the application materials. If you have any questions, please contact us.

NOTE: All materials submitted with your application become the property the City and County of Denver. The materials are part of public record, can be used in a public hearing, and cannot be returned.

3 - Staff review, revision and LPC or LDDRC presentation (if applicable)

Administrative Review

  • New solar panels and electrical equipment that meet the design guidelines

A - Staff will evaluate the completeness of your application and perform a preliminary design guideline evaluation within a few days. If necessary, staff will provide comments or request revisions.
B - If an application is found to be complete and meets the design guidelines, landmark staff will issue an approval within a few days. Projects that are approved will be issued a certificate of appropriateness (see Step 4 below). If a project cannot be approved administratively, it must be reviewed by the LPC or LDDRC. 

LPC or LDDRC Review

The Landmark Preservation Commission reviews projects on individual landmarks and properties in historic districts except properties in the Lower Downtown Historic District, which are reviewed by the Lower Downtown Design Review Commission.

LPC/LDDRC review will result in approval, approval with conditions, continuance or denial.

Projects that are approved with conditions must submit the requested adjustments to the final construction drawings to landmark staff before a certificate of appropriateness will be issued.

Projects that are continued must provide additional information as requested by the LPC or LDDRC, and must return to the LPC/LDDRC for approval.

Projects that are denied must go before the LPC/LDDRC again with a revised submittal that addresses the LPC's or LDDRC’s comments.

4 - Certificate of Appropriateness issued

Once the project has been approved by LPC/LDDRC, landmark staff will issue a certificate of appropriateness and stamp the drawings.

The certificate of appropriateness and stamped drawings must be included with plans and materials submitted to Development Services when applying for building or zoning permits. If drawings submitted for a building permit vary in any way from the stamped drawings issued by Landmark staff, the permit drawings will need to be revised or the Landmark stamped drawings will need to be revised. If drawings submitted for a building permit vary substantially from drawings approved by staff or LPC/LDDRC, the project may need to return to the LPC/LDDRC for approval. During the inspections process, the completed project must match the work shown on the Landmark-approved stamped drawings. 

Please coordinate with landmark staff on any changes. 

solar drawing