Stage 1 fire restrictions, enacted for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits on Open Space

Apply for a free Special Use Permit on a Parks & Open Space property.

Special Use Permits Are Required For

  • Activities that have 25 or more people.
  • Activities that do not fall under the generally accepted definition of passive use, regardless of the number of people. Examples of passive use are hiking, biking, birding, and fishing.
  • Activities that occur outside open hours (open hours are sunrise to sunset).

Research & Drones

Please do not apply for a Special Use Permit if you are interested in conducting research or using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones). Those activities have their own permitting process. Permits for drones filming or photographing commercial activities will not be considered.

Commercial Activity

Permits will not be issued for any commercial activity such as:

  • Races or events
  • Filming movies or commercials
  • Guiding services
  • Equipment demonstrations
  • Riding activities of a commercial horse stable, riding school, or livery
  • Individuals engaging in still camera photography are exempt and do not need to apply for a permit if the activity occurs during open hours and has less than 25 people.

Conditions & Approval

  • Applications are reviewed on an individual basis considering:
    • Activity details
    • Impact on resources
    • Number of people
    • Number of parking spaces needed
    • Location
    • Day of the week
    • Time of the event (properties are open from sunrise to sunset; after-hours requests require additional review and may take longer for approval)
  • Special Use Permits will not be issued to areas closed to the public.
  • Approval of event does not give exclusive rights to a location or parking facility.
  • If, in the opinion of the Board of County Commissioners or the Director of Parks & Open Space, the activity will cause significant impact to the natural environment or will require significant departmental resources, the county may prescribe a fee that includes the costs expected to be incurred by the department, impose other use restrictions, or deny permission for the activity.
  • At the discretion of the county, applicants may be required to obtain insurance for their organization.

Special Use Permit Application

Applications may take up to 30 days to process depending on the complexity of the request.

Submit Application

Guide Me

Not sure if you need a Special Use permit?

Answer a few questions using the guide to find out if you need a permit.

Guide Me

Contact Us