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Short-term Dwelling Rentals

Short-term Dwelling Rentals

Proposed Boulder County Land Use Code Text Amendments related to Lodging Uses – Short Term Rentals and Bed and Breakfast

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. Read more.

Short-term Dwelling Rental Information in Unincorporated Boulder County (Not in Cities or Towns)

View City of Boulder rental housing information or contacts for other cities and towns within Boulder County.

The Boulder County Land Use Code defines Short-term Dwelling Rentals as dwellings that are rented in durations of less than 30 days. This includes dwellings rented out by individual owners and dwellings rented out on behalf of an owner by a property management group. Download the Short-Term Dwelling Rentals Registration Form.

Dwellings rented on a month-to-month or longer basis are not considered Short-term Dwelling Rentals but rather part of the otherwise applicable dwelling use.

Short-term Dwelling Rentals regulations from Boulder County Land Use Code Article 4-507 Lodging Uses:

1. Definition: A dwelling that is rented in durations of less than 30 days. This includes dwellings rented out by individual owners and dwellings rented out on behalf of an owner by a property management group. Dwellings rented on a month-to-month or longer basis shall not be considered as part of this use but rather part of the otherwise applicable dwelling use.
2. Districts Permitted:

  • a. By right in all districts if rented between one and 14 nights per year, with no additional use restrictions under this Article 4-507(E).
  • b. By right in A, F, H, MI, T, B, C, and ED if rented between 15 and 45 nights per year, provided the Additional Provisions (Article 4-507(E)(6)) are met.
  • c. By Limited Impact Special Review in RR, ER, SR, MF, MH, LI, and GI if rented 15 or more nights per year, provided the Additional Provisions (Article 4-507(E)(6)) and the special use criteria in Article 4-601 of this Code are met.
  • d. By Limited Impact Special Review in A, F, H, MI, T, B, and C if rented 46 or more nights per year, provided the Additional Provisions (Article 4-507(E)(6)) and the special use criteria in Article 4-601 of this Code are met.

3. Parking Requirements: One space per bedroom
4. Loading Requirements: None
5. Additional Provisions For All Short-Term Dwelling Rentals:

  • a. Historic accessory dwelling units are eligible for short-term dwelling rental use. Family care and agricultural accessory dwelling units are not eligible for this use.

6. Additional Provisions For Rentals of 15 Nights or More Per Year:

  • a. Short-term dwelling rentals subject to these Additional Provisions as specified above, must meet the following standards:
  • (i) Owners must complete a short-term dwelling rental registration form and submit it to the Land Use Department where the registration form shall be available for public review. The registration form will include the address of the rental unit, the number of bedrooms in the house, the owner’s name, address, and phone number, and the name and phone number of a property manager, if applicable.
  • (ii) Dwellings must have an on-site wastewater system recognized and approved by Boulder County Public Health according to their applicable regulations. Existing systems do not need to be repaired or replaced unless required by Boulder County Public Health.
  • (iii) Dwellings must have been constructed under a valid building permit and received final inspection approval and meet applicable Building Code requirements as required when the dwelling was constructed or when upgrades to the structure subject to a building permit were made. Structures built before building permit requirements were imposed shall be structurally sound, with any plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling systems in a good state of repair.
  • (iv) The parcel on which the dwelling is located must be a legal building lot under this Code, and legal access from a public road to the subject parcel must be demonstrated.
  • (v) Dwellings must contain operable fire extinguishers in each bedroom and in the kitchen.
  • (vi) Dwellings must contain operable smoke detectors in each bedroom and additional locations where appropriate.
  • (vii) Dwellings must contain an operable carbon monoxide detector in the dwelling installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • (viii) This use must comply with the adopted Boulder County noise ordinance as applicable.
  • (ix) A map clearly indicating the subject parcel boundaries and appropriate parking spaces must be provided to renters.
  • (x) For dwellings rented out 45 nights or less per year, two adults per bedroom with a maximum of eight people may occupy one dwelling, unless the Director approves a greater capacity, which can be demonstrated based on parking, parcel size, the on-site wastewater system, or other relevant circumstance.
  • (xi) For dwellings rented 46 nights per year or more, the maximum occupancy of the dwelling shall be two adults per bedroom with a maximum of eight people or a lower number of people based on the size of the permitted and approved on-site wastewater system, unless the Director approves a greater capacity, which can be demonstrated based on parking, parcel size, the on-site wastewater system, or other relevant circumstance.
  • b. For rental intensities that require Limited Impact Special Review:
  • (i) The requirement for Limited Impact Special Review may be waived if the Director determines the short-term dwelling rental will not have the potential for significant conflict with the criteria listed in Article 4-601 of this Code. The Director may impose written terms and conditions on the short-term dwelling rental use as may be reasonably necessary to avoid conflict with the review criteria in Article 4-601. Any short-term dwelling unit for which the Director waives Limited Impact Special Review shall still be subject to the Additional Provisions of Article 4-507(E)(6).
  • (ii) Notice of the waiver application being reviewed shall be sent to referral agencies and adjacent property owners.
  • (iii) If the Director grants a waiver, the owner shall submit an annual report to the Department which shall be made available for public review. The report shall indicate the number of nights the dwelling was rented in the previous year, the number of bedrooms, contact information for the owner and property manager (if applicable) of the dwelling, and additional items as required by the Director related to the administration of this Article 4-507(E).
  • c. Compliance with these additional provisions shall be the responsibility of the owner. The County reserves the right to enforce these provisions in accordance with applicable zoning and building enforcement procedures.

Please reference the Boulder County Land Use Code for the full text regarding these regulations. If you have questions, please use the Ask a Planner form or call 303-441-3930.

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