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You can find out the zoning on your property by visiting the interactive property information map and turning on the Zoning Districts layer. To verify what is on the map, or if you have additional questions, call the Zoning Hotline at 303-234-5931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Typically, just a street address is needed. A PDF of the zoning map is also available by request. The zoning map is updated as frequently as possible but may not reflect the most up-to-date zoning if a property was recently rezoned.
See guiding documents.
Setback requirements vary depending upon the property’s zoning and the type of structure being built. Typically, a house will have greater setbacks than a shed. Look up the property on the zoning map or contact the Planner of the Day to get a verification of zoning and the development standards for your zone district. Development Standards.
You can have a fence 4 feet in height from the front wall of your structure to the front property line (in your front yard). A fence can be 6 feet high if it is located in the area from the front wall of the structure back to the rear property line (in your side and rear yards). If your property is a corner lot where two public streets intersect, you must maintain “sight” distance at the intersection for vehicles using the streets. A fence in this area is limited to 36 inches to 42 inches in height based on how busy the abutting streets are. Please refer to Section 26-603 of Article VI for the regulations concerning fences, walls and obstructions to view.
Barbed wire fences are allowed only in the Agricultural zone districts or in residential zones for the keeping of large animals. They are required to be located three feet inside another fence, which is at least 42 inches high. Electric fences are not permitted. Please refer to Section 26-603 of Article VI for the regulations concerning fences, walls and obstructions to view.
In residential zone districts, you are allowed to have two recreational vehicles or trailers on your residential property. Only one of the RV’s can be parked in the area from the front wall of house to the front property line and must be located six feet inside the front property line on a prepared parking surface such as asphalt, concrete, brick pavers or contained gravel a minimum of six inches thick. The other RV must be stored in the side or rear yard. If the RV or trailer exceeds 6 feet in height, it must meet the accessory structure setbacks for the zone district in which the house is located. Please refer to Section 26-621 of Article VI for the regulations concerning residential parking.
You are allowed to have a business in your home provided that there are no adverse impacts to the neighborhood. Examples of the types of home occupations allowed include flower arranging, tailoring, daycare for up to six children and telephone sales. Employees of the in-home business are limited to those who live on the premises and one employee who does not. Up to 25% of the area of the home can be used for the home occupation. A sign is permitted up to two square feet in size. A business license is required for a home occupation. Please refer to Section 26-613 of Article VI for the regulations concerning home occupations.
You are allowed to have up to four garage sales per year. A garage sale permit is required which is available from the front desk receptionist at City Hall.
Not always. The R-2 zone district allows both single-unit and two-unit (duplex) residences. However, in order to have a legal duplex on an R-2 zoned property, a minimum of 12,500 square feet of lot area with 100 feet of lot width is required. A single-unit residence in the R-2 zone district requires 9,000 square feet of lot area with 75 feet of lot width. Conversion of a single-unit residence to a duplex requires building permits, as well as zoning approval.
In the residential zone districts in the city, you are allowed a trash dumpster no larger in size than 2 cubic yards. Trash enclosures and dumpsters screens require zoning permits.
If you have an approved in-home business (home occupation), you are allowed one non-illuminated sign up to two (2) square feet in size which can be feestanding or wall-mounted. Permanent flagpoles are permitted. Building permits are required for freestanding signs, wall signs, and flagpoles. Temporary yard signs are also allowed and do not require a permit; you may have an unlimited number of small yard signs up to four (4) square feet. Please contact the Planning Division at 303-235-2846, if you have specific signage questions.
The type and size of signage allowed on commercial properties varies by location and use. Section 26-709 of the City Code determines which types of signs are permitted based on the use of the property. Section 26-710 determines the standards for permanent signs. All permanent signs require building permits. Painted signs and window signs that are proposed separately from a larger sign package require a zoning permit. Please contact the Planning Division at 303-235-2846 if you have questions about a specific location or sign type.
A pre-application conference is required for all potential land use cases except variances, plus building permits for commercial or multi-unit residential construction. The purpose of these meetings is to provide an opportunity for potential development applicants to discuss land use proposal with various city staff persons from the Community Development Department. While city staff cannot predict the outcome of any land use development application, they can respond as to process and feasibility of approval. Pre-application meetings are held each week on Thursday afternoons.
The division of a duplex and the underlying land can be accomplished by the creation of a deed dividing ownership. The city does not review the paperwork as this process is exempt from the subdivision regulations. The transfer of property can be accomplished by deed. It is highly recommended that an attorney specializing in real estate or a professional land surveyor provide guidance on the transfer.
The characteristics of the floodplain impacting your property and the type of structure being built will dictate what process is required to build on your property. Any construction in the 100-year floodplain will require a floodplain permit from the City. A class I floodplain permit is typically required for the construction of a non-habitable structure such as a fence or shed. A class II floodplain permit, which requires special approval from the City's Floodplain Administrator, is required for construction of a habitable structure such as a house.
There are two major drainage ways that traverse the city from the west to the east. Both Lena Gulch and Clear Creek have 100 year and 500 year floodplains that impact over 1,500 privately owned properties. To find out whether your property is in the floodplain, contact the Engineering Division in the Community Development Department. You can also look at the floodplain map on the City’s website. Due to the small scale, we recommend you speak with a city employee to verify the information.
The public hearings are quasi-judicial in nature. This means that the deciding body should make a decision only on the testimony presented at the public hearings. Please do not contact the Mayor, Planning Commission members or City Council representatives to discuss the merits of the case prior to the public hearing. It could jeopardize their ability to hear the case. If you have comments to provide, please submit them in writing to Planning staff to be included in the public record and to be forwarded to decision makers. Comments are accepted online on Wheat Ridge Speaks.
A zone change protest is a formal, written protest regarding a proposed zone change which can be submitted by adjacent property owners within 100 feet of the subject property. A valid protest that meets the ownership and geographic requirements of the code and charter will change the voting requirement needed to approve a zone change ordinance. Without a protest, a zone change ordinance requires at least five (5) positive votes for approval; with a protest, a zone change ordinance requires at least six (6) positive votes (a “super majority”) for approval. Please note that zone change protests should be submitted via email to email@example.com.
The Community Development Department has established a policy concerning outdoor food vending at a particular location. Please contact the planner of the day at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-234-5931 for a copy of the policy.
For corner lots bounded by public streets or private drives with vertical curves and where the application of the standard sight triangle regulations does not provide adequate sight clearance to protect the public safety, the city shall determine the necessary vertical height clearance and the sight triangle dimensions in order to ensure a safe sight distance. Please refer to Section 26-603 of Article VI for the regulations concerning fences, walls and obstructions to view.
In 2009, the City adopted four new zone district categories relating to mixed use. The mixed use zone districts are designed to allow a wide range of land uses, encourage quality design, and enable higher density development for targeted commercial corridors as well as the future transit-oriented development at the Ward Road GoldLine end of line commuter rail station in the northwest portion of the City. The entitlement process for a zone change to a mixed use zone district category is quicker and requires less up front expenses compared to a zone change to planned development. The four mixed use zone districts are Mixed Use-Commercial, Mixed Use-Commercial Interstate, Mixed Use-Commercial TOD and Mixed Use-Neighborhood. See Article XI - Mixed Use Zone Districts in the Municipal Code.
There are three ways to participate in City Council and Planning Commission meetings:
Learn more about public meetings, public hearings and how to participate with this short guide. /documentcenter/view/31002/public-hearings---a-guide-to-participating-in-city-meetings---rev-oct-11-2019
Yes, most driveways need right-of-way permits which are issued by the Public Works Department. Driveway connections to the street look different throughout the City. Some driveways have curb and gutter, some connect to asphalt, and some have to consider road side ditches. Driveways have both minimum and maximum widths and required separation from street intersections. Many of these design requirements are in Section 26-501.F.
Contact the Public Works Department to learn more.