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News Archive

November 5, 2023

Proposed Ordinance Updates When Vehicles Can Be Removed from County Roads and Property

The Commissioners Will Consider the Changes at a Public Hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 7

Boulder County, Colo. -- The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is proposing changes to the county’s current traffic and parking ordinance (Ordinance 2017-1), which will be considered by the Boulder County Commissioners at a public hearing on Tuesday (Nov. 7). The proposed ordinance (Ordinance 2023-3) updates and clarifies parking regulations by refining the definition of “abandoned vehicle”, expanding the scope of citable offenses, adopting a graduated penalty schedule, and incorporating new enforcement processes designed to promote and facilitate compliance.

The changes have been proposed in response to an increase in vehicles being parked continuously on county property, including roads, for extended periods of time. It can be challenging for the Sheriff’s Office to remove these vehicles under the county’s existing traffic and parking ordinance even if the vehicles have been abandoned and/or impact public health, safety, or welfare.

Members of the public are invited to share comments in person, online via Zoom, or by phone during the public hearing at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7.


Call-in information: 1-833-568-8864, Webinar ID: 160 129 7984

In-Person Comment Registration:

Written comments may also be shared online.

Proposed Ordinance

During the public hearing, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office will present details information about current enforcement challenges and resident complaints and the development of the proposed ordinance.

Proposed Ordinance 2023-3 includes the following:

  • Defines “Abandoned Vehicle” as any vehicle that is left in one location on public property without the consent of the public property owner for a continuous period of more than 72 hours, excluding vehicles registered to a directly adjacent property.
  • Prohibits a person from parking an Abandoned Vehicle or Inoperable Motor Vehicle on public property in unincorporated Boulder County and on county-owned property in incorporated areas of Boulder County.
  • Before removing an abandoned or inoperable vehicle, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office will use reasonable efforts to notify the vehicle’s owner and allow 72 hours to move the vehicle to a lawful location. An operable vehicle must be moved at least 700 feet from its current location to not be considered continuously parked.
  • Where a vehicle is parked for a continuous period of more than 72 hours and the driver or owner is present, an officer will provide verbal or written notice of the violation and allow such person to immediately move the vehicle in lieu of a financial penalty. If the owner cannot be located, despite reasonable efforts, then the vehicle may be removed pursuant to this section of the ordinance.
  • Where a vehicle’s driver or owner asserts, or an officer identifies, a financial or other hardship impacting a person’s ability to move their vehicle, the officer will provide information about community and social services available through the county that may provide assistance.

Read the proposed ordinance for full details.

Collage of all three Boulder County Commissioners