DESIGN REVIEW BOARD
The Lower Downtown Design/Demolition Review Board (LDDRB) is responsible for review of projects within the Lower Downtown Historic District, essentially the area bounded by Speer Boulevard, Wynkoop Street, 20th Street, and the alley between Market and Larimer Street. A surprise to many people is that Union Station is not included in the boundaries of the district nor is Larimer Square.
Any property within the district is subject to design review guidelines and these guidelines are the basis upon which the LDDRB approves new construction, modification to existing structures, and signage on projects within the district. The current design review guidelines emerged from the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Plan developed between 1995 and 1998.
Most of the controversy regarding construction within the historic district comes from height, scale, and mass issues. Generally, height in the district is limited to 55 feet; 85 feet for new construction, and 130 feet in several special review districts within the district. In addition, penthouses of 15 feet above these height restrictions can be added to historic structures and new buildings within the district. Mass and scale are much more subjective but the guidelines provide that breaks should be provided in building massing to mimic the historic nature of building mass in the district and scale should be in context to existing contributing historic structures.
Meetings of the LDDRB are typically the first Thursday of each month, are open to the public and attendance by interested parties is encouraged. Minutes of the meetings, meeting dates, agendas and guidelines for the district are all listed in the City and County of Denver web site at:
Mike West fills the position of “a resident of the district” on the LDDRB and also serves on the LoDoNA Board. He welcomes your input on projects within the district. Mike can be reached at 303-436-1366 or emai: email@example.com.