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DC-19-0005: Lodging Uses – Short Term Rentals and Bed and Breakfast

DC-19-0005: Proposed Boulder County Land Use Code Text Amendments related to Lodging Uses - Short Term Rentals and Bed and Breakfast

Mountain landscape looking west

Public Meetings and Hearings

Meetings will be posted when scheduled, and notifications will be sent to the Land Use Code Update email list. Sign up for updates.

Short-Term Dwelling Rental Virtual Open House, July 30, 2020

A Virtual Open House was held on Thursday, July 30, 2020, to review the latest public input to date. View the video recording of the open house.

Summer 2020 Updates:

Survey on Short-Term Rentals in Unincorporated Boulder County

Boulder County sent out an informational survey polling the public for thoughts on regulating short-term dwelling rentals. This survey was open from Oct. 28, 2019 through Dec. 2, 2019 and there were 1,567 total respondents. Some notable results include:

  • More than 85% of respondents felt as though there should be short-term dwelling rentals in Boulder County with varying levels of oversight.
  • More than 74% of respondents thought there should be a local management requirement.
  • A majority of respondents felt as though there should be some form of owner-occupancy requirement.
  • 76% of respondents did not think a minimum-stay was appropriate.

View or download the full survey responses. Note, this was an informational survey and thus not intended to be a representative sample of Boulder County.

Staff’s preliminary outline for regulation

Based on survey results, discussions with the public, and a review of other jurisdictions’ regulations, staff’s preliminary outline for the draft regulations is as follows:

  • Short-term dwelling rentals will be required to have a Boulder County license and follow specific license regulations, very similar to Boulder County’s Marijuana Licensing Program. County governments in Colorado were recently granted licensing authority through HB-20-1093.
  • There will be two separate categories of uses for Short-term Dwelling Rentals:
    • An Accessory Residential Use: This use will be on properties where there is a Principal Use as a single-family dwelling. There will likely be some residency or owner-occupancy requirements for this use. This use might be appropriate for an administrative review.
    • A Lodging Use: This use will be for houses that are used primarily for short-term rentals and not primarily used as a single-family house. This use will likely require a more intensive review, including a public hearing.

The timeline for this update is to provide proposed draft regulations to the Boulder County Planning Commission in the fall of 2020. Sign-up to receive Planning Commission meeting notices via email or text message.


On July 2, 2019, the Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to pursue text amendments to Article 4-507 of the Boulder County Land Use Code related to two Lodging Uses: Short-term Dwelling Rentals and Bed and Breakfast. The existing use provisions for Short-term Dwelling Rentals (STRs) were created in 2008 as part of DC-07-002.

The proposed changes are for the unincorporated areas of Boulder County, not in cities like Boulder or Longmont. Boulder County’s unincorporated areas comprise the rural, mountainous and plains communities that are not a part of any incorporated municipality.

View more information on the current Short-term Dwelling Rentals regulations of the Land Use Code.

The use provisions need an update considering current development, housing availability, and economic conditions in the county. Best planning and land use regulation practices regarding STRs have evolved significantly since the existing use provisions were put in place. In addition, staff has heard input from county residents that the existing regulations do not adequately address the impacts of STRs. Staff intends to explore updating use provisions related to owner-occupancy, business registration, neighborhood compatibility, rental frequency, and preventative safety. Staff also intends to update the definition and provisions for the Bed and Breakfast (BnB) use and clarify the distinction between the Short-term Dwelling Rentals and Bed and Breakfast uses.

Contact for this Docket

Jasmine Rodenburg, Senior Planner

Submit a Comment on DC-19-0005


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