In July 2019, Denver implemented a new review process for large development sites. The new process is designed to ensure these sites—which tend to be developed in phases over time—are given clear direction at the earliest stage of project planning on how they are expected to meet priorities important to Denver’s neighborhoods, including, for example, providing coordinated infrastructure improvements, publicly accessible open space, parkland, and quality design.
During large development review, city staff will outline the regulatory or planning steps expected of new developments in order to stay consistent with the recommendations of Blueprint Denver and other City Council-adopted plans. The outcome of LDR is a written framework agreed to by multiple city agencies that coordinates the infrastructure improvements, development requirements, and other regulations that apply to the entire area proposed for future development. This framework will govern city review of sites within this area as it develops over time.
All applications for a rezoning, subdivision request, or a site development plan will prompt city staff to consider if the site in question needs large development review (LDR). The evaluation is made by a Development Review Committee comprising the executive directors of Community Planning and Development, Public Works, and Parks and Recreation based on the criteria summarized below and detailed in Denver Zoning Code Section 188.8.131.52.
Note: LDR does not apply to properties zoned under the Former Chapter 59 zoning code, unless the project is requesting to rezone the property, or any portion of the property, to a Denver Zoning Code zone district.
Projects already underway when the new LDR / IMP regulations took effect (July 2019)
Some projects that have already applied for rezonings, subdivisions, or site development plans, but have not had these applications approved yet, may be evaluated according to the LDR criteria or may require an IMP.
For questions, contact your assigned city reviewer or project coordinator.
Details on each of the above steps are available in Article 12 of the Denver Zoning Code (Section 12.4.12).
Projects subject to large development review are required to host a community information meeting, during which the developer must share their development concept, its relationship to adopted plans, and any next steps that would be open to public comment.
If there is not already an adopted plan for the area or if plan guidance is lacking, city planners will also use this meeting to discuss the timing and type of any planning process where neighbors can be involved before development occurs.
Many projects subject to LDR will have to complete an infrastructure master plan, or “IMP,” before development applications can be approved. An IMP is a conceptual, technical master site plan that coordinates horizontal infrastructure systems, open space, and public park systems for large sites that may evolve through multiple phases of development over the years and could change ownership. All subsequent site development plan or rezoning applications submitted for portions of the large development area must be consistent with the IMP.
IMPs are required in the following scenarios:
IMPs are further detailed in Denver Zoning Code Section 12.4.14.
Large development review is specific to the Denver Zoning Code, and generally replaces the use of general development plans that Denver historically required for large project sites with a new process that has a greater focus on how large developments will deliver tangible benefits to our neighborhoods.
Projects that seek to rezone into the Denver Zoning Code and amend an existing Former Chapter 59 general development plan will be directed to use the new LDR process first to review a framework with requirement development steps.
If the criteria for large development review or an infrastructure master plan may apply to your project, schedule a pre-application meeting with our staff before applying for rezonings, subdivisions, or development permits.
You will need:
To schedule, call 720-865-2982 (option 8), or email Development.Services@denvergov.org.