ALERT: Colorado is on a statewide Stay-at-Home order (effective March 26-April 11) asking residents to stay home unless they are performing critical activities. All City of Commerce City facilities and rec centers remain closed to the public through April 17. Visit for updates.


On occasion, there are unique circumstances on a specific property that make the strict application of the bulk standards in the Land Development Code (LDC) or PUD unfeasible. The variance process is intended to provide flexibility for these unique situations.

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Height Exceptions

Each zoning district classification identifies a maximum height for structures. On occasion, unique situations make the strict application of the Land Development Code (LDC) inappropriate or unachievable. The height exception process is intended to provide some flexibility for these unique situations. Please note that the height exception process is for structures that are directly related to primary operations on a site that surpass the zoning district’s maximum allowable height. Extended heights for fences, outdoor storage, and accessory structures are processed using the traditional height exception application.

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Minor Modification

This process provides a way to change a previous land use approval and may be processed as a concurrent review with development plans, building permits, and subdivision plats. In order to save the applicant time and also ensure zoning objectives are met, the city has determined that some minor exceptions to code requirements may be processed by administrative review. The development subject to minor modification involves small percentages or dimensions and may be for residential, commercial or industrial projects.

The following deviations from the city’s general standards or approved PUD zone documents are considered minor modifications:

  • Up to 20% of any minimum or maximum standard
  • Additional one foot of fence height
  • Up to 50% of the minimum fence setback
  • A screen fence instead of an open style fence
  • A reduction to the Floor Area Ratio requirement

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Master Model Elevation Review

The Planning Division reviews Master Model Elevations to ensure compliance with any Planned Unit Development (PUD) requirements, the requirements for single-family detached residential construction found in Article VII of the Land Development Code (LDC), and the proposed Master Model Elevation’s compatibility with existing homes in the development.

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Neighborhood Meetings

Commerce City promotes citizen participation in the development review process. The city encourages neighborhood meetings between resident groups, developers and the public, especially when development may have significant impact on a surrounding area.

Neighborhood meetings may be held for: annexations, zone changes, subdivisions, planned unit developments (PUD), development plans, uses-by-permit, conditional use permits or master model reviews. These meetings provide an opportunity for the applicant to interact with the residents of the neighborhood and community.

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Outdoor Storage Permits

This process allows the issue of outdoor storage permits for specific properties in some industrial-zoned districts. All properties zoned I-1, which are not identified for Outdoor Storage Permits, are prohibited from using the property for outdoor storage. Properties zoned I-2 and I-3 are permitted to have outdoor storage as a use-by-right in accordance with the Land Development Code (Sec. 21-5254) requirements for outdoor storage.

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Floodplain Permits

On rare occasions, the city may grant a permit to build structures or store materials in a designated floodplain. The City is authorized to impose any condition(s) on the approval of a Floodplain Development Permit that are necessary in order to carry out the general purpose and intent of the Land Development Code (LDC) or the Comprehensive Plan.

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Special standards and processes apply to the addition of telecommunications facilities (such as antennas and cell towers) to properties within the city. City regulations manage what type of facilities are installed, allowable locations and design standards for each type.

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Severed Mineral Rights

If the mineral rights on a property are not owned by the party proposing the development, the applicant must notify the owner(s) of severed mineral interests of the proposed development. 

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Derby Downtown District 

Properties in Derby are subject to different design standards and approval processes through the Derby Review Board. Visit the Derby page for more on developing in the district.