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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is zoning?

Zoning regulates whether land can be used for residential, commercial or industrial purposes, what land uses can occur, where a building can be located on a lot, and how large that building can be. It also regulates other elements of site development, such as lot size, parking, accessory structures, landscaping, and signs.

What is the Land Development Code (LDC)?

The LDC is a set of rules that regulate development and land use and is one of the most important documents to shape the future of Arvada. The LDC classifies land into distinct areas called zoning districts. Each zoning district specifies the uses that may occur and establishes standards for new development and construction, such as setbacks, height, and lot coverage. Typically, zoning codes establish districts for residential, commercial, mixed-use, and industrial land use classifications which are shown on a zoning map. 

Why update the LDC?

The City’s current code does not adequately implement the community’s vision for the future as identified in the 2014 Arvada Comprehensive Plan. In addition, many of the zoning regulations may not relate to the current built environment, creating nonconformities, or may not allow for desired forms of development. An updated LDC can address these problems by removing unnecessary regulations and provide for zoning that will reflect the community’s vision.

What is the relationship between the Comprehensive Plan and the LDC?

The Arvada Comprehensive Plan contains the vision, goals and policies for growth and development in Arvada that were developed through an extensive public process that resulted in the adoption of the Plan in 2014.

The LDC is a key regulatory tool used to implement many policies of the Arvada Comprehensive Plan that apply to land use and the type and density of development. The new version of the LDC that will result from this update will use the Comprehensive Plan policies as the basis for updating the development regulations. The zoning map will be updated as part of this project to reflect any changes in zoning districts.  

Who is managing the project?

The project is being managed by the City’s Community Development Department with a consultant team of Fairfield and Woods, LLC and Logan Simpson. Fairfield and Woods, LLC has completed previous zoning consulting work for the City, and Logan Simpson drafted the 2014 Arvada Comprehensive Plan.

What is my zoning?

You can find out the zoning of your property on our Zoning District Interactive Map. Enter your address in the address search box and click on the parcel for a pop-up box with more zoning information.            

What’s the difference between the LDC and the Building Code?

The LDC regulates how the property is used and how that use affects the surrounding community. The LDC identifies land uses, the maximum height of buildings, the maximum percentage of the lot that can be covered by buildings, setbacks, parking and loading requirements, and signs. It also identifies the approval, variance and appeal processes.

The Building Code is concerned with the physical building itself, including issues of life safety and accessibility of disabled persons. A wide range of topics are covered, including occupancy and type of construction, size of a building, number of exits, fire suppression systems, building materials, and mechanical systems.

Where can I get copies of project documents and  meeting summaries?

The Documents page contains links to background documents, meeting summaries, and presentations. Links to the Code modules will be added as they become ready for public review.

How can I get involved?

All residents, property owners, business owners, and stakeholders in Arvada are encouraged to participate in the development of the new LDC! Please visit our Get Involved page to learn the many ways you can participate.