Draft Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Bed & Breakfast Land Use Code Language and Associated Licensing Ordinance as of August 26, 2020
After receiving input from the public, reviewing neighboring jurisdictions’ regulations, and additional research, staff has drafted proposed Text Amendments to Article 4 of the Boulder County Land Use Code along with a Licensing Ordinance to regulate Short-Term Dwelling Rentals and Bed & Breakfast uses. Public input was requested on these drafts. A Virtual Open House was held on September 17, 2020 to discuss the draft language.
View the proposed Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Bed & Breakfast Land Use Code Text Amendments as of August 26, 2020. You will find the existing Land Use Code language in the draft, with strikethroughs. The new language is found in red. The docket review process for these proposed Text Amendments to Article 4 of the Land Use Code will include a public hearing before the Boulder County Planning Commission and the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners (following recommendation from the Planning Commission). Public comment will be taken at both hearings. Confirmation of hearing dates and times will be published here and in local newspapers.
View the proposed Licensing Ordinance as of August 26, 2020. All Short-Term Dwelling Rentals (excluding Bed & Breakfasts) will be required to get a license. This Licensing Ordinance is a stand-alone document, separate from the Text Amendments described above. However, both of these documents work together to regulate Short-Term Dwelling Rentals. The review process for the proposed Licensing Ordinance will include a first reading at a public meeting before the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners and a second reading at a public hearing before the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners. Public comment will be taken at the second reading. Confirmation of the public meeting and public hearing dates and times will be published online at the link above and in local newspapers.
Here is a brief summary of the proposed changes:
- Clarify the distinction in the Land Use Code among Bed and Breakfast, Short-Term Dwelling Rental, and Vacation Rental uses:
- Bed and Breakfast: A principal lodging use where a facility is rented to one or more guest parties at a time, the owner or manager resides on-site during rental periods, and at least one meal per day is served to guests.
- Vacation Rental: A principal lodging use where a single-family dwelling is not owner-occupied and is rented to one guest party at a time more than 60 nights per year.
- Short-Term Dwelling Rental: An accessory residential use where a single-family dwelling is owner-occupied or is rented to one guest party at a time 60 nights or fewer per year.
- Introduce a Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Vacation Rental licensing program through the adoption of a Licensing Ordinance that coordinates with the proposed Land Use Code text amendments.
Past Public Meetings and Hearings
Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Virtual Public Hearing: Docket DC-19-0005 and the Short-Term Dwelling Rental Licensing Ordinance, Dec. 3, 2020
The Board of County Commissioners held two separate public hearings to consider the final adoption of the proposed Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Bed and Breakfast Text Amendments and the proposed Short-Term Rental Licensing Ordinance 2020-01, on Dec. 3, 2020.
Item No. 1: Community Planning & Permitting Department Docket DC- 19-0005: Proposed Boulder County Land Use Code Text Amendments related to Lodging Uses – Short-Term Dwelling Rentals and Bed and Breakfast. Public testimony will be taken.
BOCC Action Requested: Approval /Adoption
Item No. 2: Second Reading of the Boulder County Commissioners’ Ordinance No. 2020-01: An Ordinance by the Board of County Commissioners for the County of Boulder for the Licensing of Short-Term Rentals and Vacation Rentals within the Unincorporated Area of Boulder County.
BOCC Action Requested: Approval /Adoption
View or download the staff recommendations for each public hearing:
Staff has not changed the proposed Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Bed & Breakfast Text Amendments since the Planning Commission Hearing on Oct. 21, 2020. Instead, staff addressed the public testimony and written public comments and Planning Commission’s directive in the Staff Recommendation for the Text Amendments.
Staff made minor changes to the Licensing Ordinance since the version published as part of the Planning Commission hearing on October 21, 2020. View the changes shown in redline.
Board of County Commissioners Public Meeting: Short-Term Dwelling Rental Licensing Ordinance, Nov. 12, 2020
County Attorney’s Office: First Reading Ordinance 2020-1 – An Ordinance by the Board of County Commissioners for the County of Boulder for the Licensing of Short-Term Dwelling Rentals and Vacation Rentals within the Unincorporated Area of Boulder County. No public testimony was taken at this meeting.
Action Requested: No Action / Information Only
Planning Commission Public Hearing, Oct. 21, 2020
The Boulder County Planning Commission held a public hearing on Oct. 21, 2020. The Planning Commission recommended that the Board of County Commissioners approve Docket DC-19-0005 Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Bed and Breakfast update and adoption of the proposed text amendments with the following condition:
- The Board of County Commissioners concurrently adopts the proposed Short-Term Rental and Vacation Rental Licensing Ordinance.
Additionally, the Planning Commission directed staff and the Board of County Commissioners to consider the following:
- Reduce the minimum acreage below the one-acre minimum in the Vacation Rental Use.
- Increase the 60 day limitation in the Secondary Dwelling Accessory Short-Term Rental Use.
- Establish a waiver or other process to ask for an exception for all of the use categories.
- An administrative process for the Secondary Dwelling Accessory Short-Term Rental Use.
- A review of the efficacy of these Text Amendments and Licensing Ordinance after they get implemented (perhaps annually).
- Further mechanisms for communication with the public to demonstrate what the regulations currently are and how they will be changing.
Virtual Open House, September 17, 2020
A Virtual Open House was held on Thursday September 17, 2020. For those unable to attend, feel free to view the recording of the open house or view the presentation materials. This presentation reviewed the proposed language for the Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Bed & Breakfast Land Use Code update along with the associated Licensing Ordinance. Throughout the presentation, we had polling questions for attendees. View the polling results. We also had two small group sessions following the virtual open house. View the recording from small group number 1 and small group number 2.
Staff reviewed all public comments, referral comments from internal and external agencies, and conducted additional research. Staff then updated the proposed language for the Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Bed & Breakfast Land Use Code update and Licensing Ordinance informed by the public and referral comments along with the additional research.
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.
Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in our Virtual Coffee with a Planner Sessions and Virtual Open House. We have appreciated your input.
For those of you who couldn’t attend either opportunity, please review the presentation from the Virtual Open House. This will have a brief review of what our current code requires for Short-Term Dwelling Rentals and Bed & Breakfasts, how and why we are proposing to change the code language, what feedback we have heard thus far, and what next steps we are taking. We also had two breakout sessions at the Virtual Open House. View the presentations with polling results:
Staff is now in the process of drafting the regulations.
Currently, we anticipate presenting the changes to the Planning Commission on October 21, 2020. Subsequent to the Planning Commission hearing, the Board of County Commissioners’ hearing on the final adoption of the new regulations is anticipated to occur in November or December 2020. The implementation of regulations will then likely happen in early 2021. The schedule has not yet been finalized and specific dates will be determined later. Please keep tabs on this website, or sign-up for updates to stay posted for more information.
Survey on Short-Term Dwelling Rentals in Unincorporated Boulder County, Fall 2019
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 were 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.