The Planning Department works closely with other city departments to ensure that all property development is of high quality, meets all safety standards and is consistent with the city's goals.
A citywide cross-departmental group called the Development Assistance Team, or DAT, oversees the efficient and thorough review of all development proposals. DAT is an internal weekly staff meeting to coordinate the review of all development proposals in Lakewood.
The purpose of the initial consultation is to ensure you have access to the information you will need to proceed with you development proposal. The first step is to contact the Planner of the Day, who is available during business hours to answer any general questions you may have related to zoning and land use regulations. The Planner of the Day will determine if your project requires any discretionary planning review. You may contact the Planner of the Day in person at the Building Permit Counter**, by sending an email to POD@lakewood.org or by calling 303-987-7571.
For very simple development proposals, the Planner of the Day may determine that an over-the-counter conversation is all that is needed to provide you with the right information. In other situations, the Planner of the Day will require you to arrange a consultation meeting with a planner and staff from other divisions. You may request a consultation meeting online.
By the end of the initial consultation, you should be familiar with the basic land use regulations that apply to your proposed project, and you should have a good understanding of the required next steps.
**The Building Permit Counter is currently closed to the public. Please visit the Public Works Department webpage for up-to-date information on when the Counter will reopen.
The purpose of the preplanning application is to allow city staff the opportunity to provide preliminary feedback on your development concept early in the design process. Preplanning applications will be assigned to a project planner, who then coordinates the staff review of your proposal through the DAT process. The project planner will prepare a comprehensive written summary of all city staff comments, which will include an overview of the planning approvals required.
The entire preplanning application review process typically takes four weeks to complete, but may vary depending upon staff case load. A complete preplanning application is required along with an application fee which must be paid online. Information about fees can be found on our Planning Fees webpage. Completed applications received by 5 p.m. Thursday will be scheduled for the initial DAT review the following week. Preplanning applications must be submitted online using the eTRAKiT portal.
Please note: If staff determines that a special use permit or rezoning is required as part of your development proposal, you will need to hold a neighborhood meeting before submitting a formal land development application.
Once you have completed the preplanning application process, you may choose to move forward with a formal land development application to request city approval of your proposed development. Formal land development applications will be assigned to a project planner who will coordinate the city’s review of your proposal. The initial review will include a referral to essential outside agencies – West Metro Fire Protection District, Xcel Energy, other utilities and other jurisdictions, if necessary. The project planner will prepare a comprehensive written summary of all comments from city staff and outside agencies. Once you have addressed all comments, you may resubmit your revised application. With more complex development proposals, multiple re-submittals are often required before the formal land development application is ready for a decision. Land development applications and and supporting documents are submitted using eTRAKiT.
A final decision on your application can be made only after all comments have been addressed. Depending on the nature of your request, a decision can be made by the planning director, the Board of Adjustment, the Planning Commission, or City Council.
Processing time varies based on the complexity of the proposed development and can range from one month to more than one year.
You may submit a building permit once you get the go-ahead from the project planner. At a minimum, the planner will want to complete the first site plan review to ensure that the building location and footprint are acceptable before allowing a building permit application to be submitted.
Building plans are reviewed by building and planning to ensure the proposed development meets all building code requirements and complies with the approved planning application.
After all required documents for the formal land development application are approved, but typically before the building permit is issued, the permit counter supervisor will schedule a pre-construction meeting with you, your contractor, the property owner and our project team. The purpose of the pre-construction meeting is to go over the on-site and off-site improvements, and to ensure you understand all the permits and inspections needed throughout construction.
Following this meeting, the building permit may be issued.
After all required permits are issued for a project, several inspections are required throughout construction. All project-specific inspection requirements, including the process and timing for scheduling required inspections, are reviewed at the pre-construction meeting.
Once all required inspections are completed, a certificate of occupancy may be issued.
You may contact the Planner of the Day in person at the Building Permit Counter, by sending an email to POD@lakewood.org or by calling 303-987-7571.