DENVER (KDVR) — The Mile High City is constantly under renovation, but the mountains aren’t going anywhere, and it’s not a coincidence. There’s a reason you can still see the Rockies in some parts of the city.
Denver doesn’t have height limits for buildings downtown, which is why there are buildings as tall as 56 stories. But there are rules against blocking the view of the mountains in some places. The almost unobstructed view of the mountains can be chalked up to plane ordinances, which mainly protect the view of the mountains and east-facing views of downtown.
When it comes to the size of the building, it all depends on the plane ordinances in a specific area.
“View plane ordinances specify a reference point and formulas that calculate allowable building height for buildings in a specific area adjacent to the reference point,” said Amanda Weston, marketing and communications specialist for Denver’s Community Planning and Development .
Weston uses the “City Park view plane” as an example. This protects the view of the mountains from the back of the Museum of Nature and Science. However, there are other spots in City Park where you can’t see the mountains because they aren’t protected.
Only specific areas are in the plane ordinances. Views from private residences are never protected. Whether it’s a single-story home or a high rise, other buildings are allowed to block the view from the residence, according to Weston.
Before building, construction must check with the plane ordinances to make sure they aren’t obstructing a protected view. Thanks to plane ordinances, the backdrop of the Rockies decorates more of the Denver skyline and you’re still able to see them from many points in the city.