May require submittal of Design Review Request.
Landscaping is the construction or modification of any natural exterior surface element of a property including grading, drainage, plants, flowers, trees, irrigation, paths, and certain site features.
For newly constructed properties, all landscaping must be completed by the owner within six (6) months of occupancy, unless occupancy occurs between September and December, in which case landscaping must be completed by June 30 of the following year.
The following landscape elements require Committee approval. Other minor landscape alterations do not require committee approval.
- Any landscaping projects for newly constructed properties not already reviewed by the LDRC’s design committee.
- Major landscaping modification projects (landscaping disturbing or affecting in excess of 10% of the surface area of the Lot)
- Removal, planting or replacing any tree requires the submission of a Design Review Request Form. Removal, planting or replacing any tree in the tree lawn ALSO requires approval from the City of Denver Forestry Division.
- Drainage modifications
- Grading modifications
- Retaining walls
- Water features (ponds, fountains, etc)
- Sculptures and Yard Ornaments
Removal, planting, or replacing trees has its own set of guidelines, please see the Trees section of this document for more information.
All lots shall have properly maintained grass according to city standards or other acceptable plantings. Stone or other non-plant ground covers may be used as an accessory only (not the primary ground cover). All landscaped areas shall be irrigated with an automatic sprinkler system with sprinkler heads that are appropriate for the area to be covered. Artificial grass and any other artificial plant material will not be placed in areas exposed to public view and must be the color of natural grass. All rocks used in landscaping shall be material native to Colorado.
Planting concepts, plant varieties, and irrigation techniques that minimize water consumption are encouraged. Landscaping with drought-tolerant plantings should be aesthetically pleasing and harmonious to the neighborhood. Drought-tolerant landscaping proposals must be submitted in a Design Review Request which includes design drawings, plant lists, and a plan for establishing the plantings and for ongoing maintenance and weed control. For more information on water conservation, refer to the Denver Water Department publications.
A “tree lawn” is the area between a sidewalk and the curb. Any tree lawn area adjacent to an owner’s property is the responsibility of that owner to maintain. Any tree lawn landscaping project requires the submission of a Design Review Request. For more information on removing, planting, or replacing trees in the tree lawn, which has its own set of guidelines and City of Denver Forestry rules, please see the Trees Design Guidelines. For more information on tree lawn landscaping, please see the Tree Lawn Design Guidelines.
Planting concepts, plant varieties, and irrigation techniques that minimize water consumption (xeriscape) are encouraged. For more information on water conservation, refer to the Denver Water Department publications.
Grading of yards will be done in a manner to direct drainage away from the structure, toward either the front or rear property lines. Ponding of runoff should be avoided. Directing drainage onto adjacent property is not permitted. Grades should generally not exceed a 3:1 slope (run: rise).
Water features, such as ponds and fountains, and statuary are permitted but must be approved by the Committee. Such features must conform to and harmonized with the surrounding landscape, and not create an unreasonable noise level for adjacent property owners.
Other landscaping features must adhere to the following:
Birdbaths: Birdbaths will not exceed a height of 6 feet and are not permitted in the front yard.
Birdhouses and Birdfeeders: Birdhouses and birdfeeders shall not exceed 1 foot but 2 feet and may only be installed in the backyard. They cannot be installed on lot line fence4s and shall not be greater than 10 feet high.
Chimineas and Portable Firepits: LCMA currently defers to City of Denver code: click here, and restrictions concerning the use of chimineas and portable firepits. Chimineas and portable firepits are permitted only in the rear lot and on the ground floor and must not create a public nuisance.
Clotheslines: Clotheslines shall be retractable and must be retracted when not in use. Clotheslines shall be placed in the backyard and shall be no more than 6 feet high at its highest point. Clotheslines shall be kept in good repair and tidy in appearance. Clothes placed on the clotheslines shall not remain on the line for more than a 24-hour period.
General Height Restriction for Landscape Features: Unless provided otherwise in these Design Guidelines, Rules and Regulations, no improvement structure, object, or feature shall be placed in any yard that exceeds a height of 10 feet, measured from grade, without an approved Variance.
Yards will be properly maintained, kept free of weeds and invasive grasses, and mowed, trimmed, and thinned in an attractive and healthy condition. Owners have the duty to provide for regular weeding, pruning, and maintenance of all plantings, including trees. Vegetation and ground cover will not encroach on sidewalks, driveways, alleys, streets, fences, and neighboring properties. Diseased or dead plant materials and trees shall be removed and dead trees will be replaced in a reasonable timeframe (30 days unless during winter). Yards shall be kept free of trash, construction materials, and unsightly storage – this includes front, side, and back yards, areas enclosed by fencing, and areas adjacent to rear-lot fencing, garages, and alleys. Property owners are responsible for maintaining the landscaped portions of the city right-of-way abutting their property (tree lawn) in accordance with Denver municipal codes, to include the trees and sod between the curb and sidewalk, as well as the space between rear-lot fences and alleys. Driveways, setbacks, adjacent sidewalks, and “teardrops”, including areas landscaped with river rock on either side of a home, garage, and/or driveway, will be kept weed-free and well-maintained. Landscaping shall not encroach on sidewalks, pedestrian throughways, and alleys.
All landscaping improvements such as irrigation systems, retaining walls, edging, and planters and plant materials shall be maintained in good condition.
Evaluation Criteria for landscaping includes, but is not limited to:
- Materials and installation methods must be appropriate;
- Integrates well with existing landscaping;
- Reasonably conforms and harmonizes with surroundings.