As we are all aware, the commercial real estate game is full of rules and regulations. There’s no end to the forms you are required to fill out. One process you should be aware of is rezoning.

When to rezone

Essentially, you must rezone property when you are changing its use. For example, if you are changing from residential to commercial, you must rezone it with the city. Different regulations apply to different pieces of property, so you likely must rezone it officially.

The rezoning process

In Denver, the rezoning process often requires between four and six months. Here is an overview:

  1. Pre-application review: review request form, Large Development Review for sites over five acres, a pre-application meeting
  2. Informal public outreach: contact affected community and nearest City Council Member
  3. Application: completed and signed electronic application with fee sent to Community Planning and Development (CPD), review within 15 days, notice sent if incomplete
  4. City review and resubmittal: review by the case manager and City agencies, resubmittal if the application is incomplete
  5. A public hearing with Planning Board: hearing scheduled and notification sent, posting at the property within 15 days, submit a signed affidavit of posting, case manager presents CPD recommendation, you present to the Planning Board, public presents, Planning Board makes a recommendation to Council, submit rezoning notice fee
  6. City Council meeting: Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee schedules, notifies and holds meeting, the case manager presents application and recommendations, questions, public comments
  7. Mayor and Council meet: case manager presents the application to mayor and City Council
  8. City council reads ordinance: City Council reads ordinance, case manager attends
  9. City council public hearing: hearing is scheduled, notice sent, property postings and affidavit sent to case manager, case manager presents application and recommendations, you present to City Council, Council accepts or denies
  10. Following steps: accepted rezoning sent to Mayor and zoning map is updated, conditions followed, denied rezoning may be appealed at District Court or resubmitted after 12 months

The rezoning process can be different for each piece of property. It’s important to follow Denver’s steps correctly because you can easily lose time and money if you have to resubmit.