The Denver City Hall building is pictured on Oct. 3,2020. (Forrest Czarnecki/The Denver Gazette)

The Denver City Council land use committee unanimously approved numerous changes to the city’s fire, building and green codes Tuesday as part of a mass cleanup effort.

If approved by the full council, the changes will update the current codes established in 2019. This comes as city officials continue to work toward developing new codes to be implemented in 2021 or 2022.

“The intent of this package is to provide one final cleanup of language within these code documents,” said interim building official Eric Browning. “While we are pursuing additional advancements and amendments through our 2021 and 2022 codes, those conversations are currently undergoing.”

The proposed changes consist of dozens of grammatical corrections, language clarifications and coordination between currently contradictory codes, according to Browning’s presentation.

Substantial changes to the fire code include allowing more sprinkler and fire alarm projects to be processed as walk-though permits, new bike lane elements in fire lane widths and service contractor engineers to perform routine tests on fire pumps without being licensed by the fire department.

For the building code, changes include allowing the use of lithium batteries for smoke alarms in single-family dwellings being converted to congregate residences and providing more time and options to prove compliance to the international energy conservation code.

Building code changes also include multiple updates and clarifications regarding electric vehicle charging such as requiring chargers on all paths and specifying that at least 70% of a building’s required charging spaces must be among the 50% of parking spaces closest to the entrance.

The green code’s proposal changes center on clarifying language and organization, in addition to adding back a section that was mistakenly deleted in a previous printing.

All of the proposed code changes will have to be approved by the full City Council in the coming weeks before being implemented.


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