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  • Thomas Greiman

Denver Building Permit Approval Times Almost Reach 300 Days


Time is one of the most important factors for land development companies and others who seek to build here in Denver. The current landscape for Denver’s construction industry is difficult with obtaining city approvals and permits being a significant hurdle to overcome. Nearly every Denver Architect, Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, and necessary development team should be aware of this. After all, timeliness on a completed build can make or break a project. If time projections are off by a significant margin from preconstruction and the actual start of construction, the project and land development company could see significant losses. Builders and developers can see the City’s current time expectations on their website for Time to Permit Approval. In the last 30 days as of this Monday, September 26th, 2022 the average duration of a Major Commercial Project to obtain permit approval is approximately 148 days. Whereas the average time of Major Residential Projects is reaching about 296 days for approval.

Screenshot of Denver's Community and Planning Resource Website on Sep. 2022


Time To Permit Approval

To develop and build in the City and County of Denver, land development companies and construction companies will need to follow Denver’s Community Planning and Development Review Process. This process is known by many seasoned professionals and requires a handful of plan submittals to the Building Department. This also requires the knowledge and work from various other professionals that come including architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, electrical engineers, and more. The process is already a laborious project management task that can take months to gather the necessary information and team to supply the correct documents to the city. Additionally, these submittals will have multiple rounds of comments from the city reviewers. Land Development and Construction Companies here in Denver have criticized the additional time to project timelines to edit and resubmit as it delays construction greatly.

Major Commercial Projects in Denver Require a Site Development Plan Review

On top of that, Denver’s Community Planning and Development Department requires that Commercial Projects produce a Site Development Plan or SDP. This is a document that will coalesce important information about the proposed development’s site, structure, impact, and more. More importantly, Denver requires this document to be submitted before any land development company or team can submit it for permit approval. This step can be seen as a major deciding factor for a land development company that is weighing options to pursue its project. However, as noted by the City’s website, the project’s building permit review can occur while the Site Development Plan review is underway. Raptor Civil Engineering is well versed with Denver’s requirements and nuances for a Site Development Plan. Raptor’s team is aware of the timeliness that is needed for producing a site development plan and will be able to help nearly any project size submit and reach approval quickly.

Site Development Plans Include

Denver’s Community Planning and Development will expect a number of disciplines to be present on the Site Development Plan. For land development companies this can be a challenge, especially if it is the first or even fourth time submitting a project. A few examples of pages that will be included in a large commercial construction development SDP will be:

  • Survey

  • Site Plan

  • Grading Plan

  • Utility Plan

  • Landscape Plan

  • Site Details

  • Planting Details

  • Exterior Elevations

  • Floor Plans

  • Roofing Plan

  • Photometric Plan

Civil Engineering Companies Can Help Land Development

Site Development Plans contain a lot of information from many different disciplines all of which the City and County of Denver use to determine if the project scope stays within zoning and code requirements. Raptor Civil Engineering is able to help land development teams and construction companies meet the strict requirements put forth by city reviewers. Ultimately, a leading professional in the construction industry here in Denver can greatly help move the project forward from conceptual phases toward construction.


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