Beginning March 1, Denver’s Community Planning and Development will begin assessing a new review fee for large development projects in the city. 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.
Called the “large development review fee” or LDR fee, these funds will help the city recover costs of administering the large development review process, which itself is relatively new. Large development review was established in summer 2019 in order to guide new development in line with the recommendations of the Blueprint Denver land use and transportation plan and other City Council-adopted plans.
“Right now, LDR is the only piece of project review and permitting that has been performed free-of-charge for applicants. By implementing a fee to cover the cost of these reviews, we can continue providing a high level of service to both applicants and residents who depend on detailed city evaluation of proposed new development,” said Laura E. Aldrete, executive director of Community Planning and Development.
The new fee will have three tiers that reflect the complexity of the project under review:
Tier 1, $1,500 application fee:
- Applies when an adopted plan already exists to guide development review, such as the Far Northeast Area Plan
- Fee covers staff time to perform the review
- 7 projects in 2020
Tiers 2 and 3, $160,000 and up:
- Applies when an adopted plan does not exist, did not envision the type of development now proposed, or is too old to be relied upon
- Fee covers staff time to perform the review plus staff time, professional services, and public engagement to ensure residents have an opportunity to participate in creating a vision and plan for the area before a development proposal moves forward
- 0 projects in 2020
In 2020, there were seven projects citywide subject to large development review, and all of these were in areas where adopted plan guidance already exists (Tier 1). At most, city staff only expect to see one or two projects per year that would fall into the higher tiers. These are projects like the redevelopment of the Loretto Heights campus or the Stadium District’s new mixed-use neighborhood hub, both of which were already underway before LDR went into effect.
All land development review and permitting fees are available online at denvergov.org/dsfees.