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  • Eric Burtzlaff, PE

Denver Right of Way Dedication Checklist

If you are doing a new development in Denver, it's possible you will be required to do a right-of-way (ROW) dedication. Between existing narrow alleyways and new detached sidewalk requirements, you will likely need to know the process.


What is a right-of-way dedication?

A ROW dedication is a process to dedicate (give) a piece of land you own to the City of Denver. This process is required when you are giving the City a wider alleyway or more street frontage for public improvements like sidewalks.


What is required to complete this process?

The city has a checklist which explains everything in great detail. This can be found at the bottom of this blog post. Here's the breakdown of requirements.


Legal Description and Exhibit of the Area:

This is prepared by a Colorado Licensed Land Surveyor. This includes an exhibit showing a detailed metes/bounds description of the area being dedicated. The legal description will describe that description via text. A link to guidelines for legal descriptions can be found in the checklist file.


Title Policy, Commitment, or Binder effective within the last 90 days:

The 90 days part is REALLY important. The City wants proof that you own your property and furthermore, proof that there's no encumbrances/easements that come along with that property. Your title policy is that proof. It's many times likely that you will need request an updated policy to be current and meet the 90 day requirement. This is completed by your title company.


Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Determination:

The City of Denver wants to ensure that the land being conveyed to them does not have environmental concerns/history. You will need to reach out to the Environmental Quality Division of the City to determine if an ESA will be required. If required, this is prepared by an environmental engineer and can take several weeks to complete. They are generally required when a large right of way dedication is necessary or if your land has a history of hazardous materials (i.e. old gas station, industrial plant, etc...). If you are in a historically residential portion of the City, it is typically not necessary to have an ESA, but you still need confirmation from the City prior to approval.


The process is quite straight-forward but its imperative to get your right of way dedication process started as soon as possible in your project. You will submit all the items listed above along with the checklist. Once approved, you will record the executed agreement with the City of Denver Clerk and Recorder.


Raptor Civil Engineering has experience with right of way dedications and can point your design team in the correct direction for consultants and help navigate this process.


Here's the latest City of Denver Right of Way Dedication checklist as of September 2020:

Right of Way Dedication Checklist
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