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Site Plan Review Waiver (SPRW)

The Boulder County Community Planning & Permitting office at 2045 13th St., Boulder is open to the public on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are available on Tuesday but are not required. Schedule an appointment.

Site Plan Review Waiver (SPRW)

Search or view SPRW Development Applications

Site Plan Review (SPR) regulations allow for certain types of minor projects, which are likely to be less impacting, to be waived from the full SPR process that would normally be required to approve their construction. These projects are eligible for an expedited review called the “Site Plan Review Waiver (SPRW),” during which the SPR standards are analyzed in a shorter time frame (2 weeks).

Waivers from SPR may be granted if the Community Planning & Permitting Department does not find the proposal to be in conflict with the standards listed in Article 4-806 of the Boulder County Land Use Code. However, the SPRW determination may include written terms and conditions. The project, even if granted a waiver, is subject to the applicable building permit and building code requirements.

Article 4-806 requires that adjacent property owners be notified of the request to waive SPR and be given seven days to respond.

Pre-Application Conference

Applicant(s) must first contact the Community Planning & Permitting Department to make an appointment for a Pre-Application Conference with a Planner to discuss the proposal. To schedule a pre-application conference, please call 303-441-3930 or email using the Ask a Planner form.

Eligible Construction Projects

  • In the plains, nonresidential accessory structures that are less than 5,000 square feet
  • In the mountainous areas, nonresidential accessory structures less than 2,000 square feet
  • Increases in residential floor area up to 2,000 sq. ft., which result in a total residential size on the parcel that is 125% or less of the median residential floor area for the defined neighborhood
  • Earthwork involving less than 500 cubic yards

Eligible Renewable Energy System Projects

The Board of County Commissioners approved new regulations relating to Small Renewable Energy Systems that became effective on June 30, 2009.

The renewable energy systems eligible include that offer a streamlined processes while seeking to protect neighborhood compatibility. Wind and solar energy generation systems can be either accessory uses, i.e. they only provide energy to the principal use on the property, or principal uses, i.e. the only or primary use of the parcel is the renewable energy system itself.

There are three possible land use reviews based on the type and magnitude of the proposal:

  • Site Plan Review Waiver
  • Site Plan Review
  • Special Use Review

Ground-mounted small solar energy systems, such as ground-mounted PV, that are accessory to a residence are eligible for the expedited “Site Plan Review Waiver” process, as are small wind-powered energy systems that meet the height of zone district or are roof-mounted no more than 5-15 feet above the roof. For those systems that require SPRW or SPR, the typical pre-application conference is not required. See the Land Use Publication Renewable Energy Systems for more details.

Natural Landmarks and Areas

Development proposed on conservation easements held by Boulder County or located within a Natural Landmark or Natural Area (including the associated 250 ft. buffer) described in the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan cannot be waived.

Submittal Schedule for Planning Applications

The Community Planning & Permitting Department manages the number of planning applications accepted each week in order to align with available resources. Once you have had a Pre-application Conference and have a complete application ready for review, please contact Community Planning & Permitting at 303-441-3930 to get on the schedule to submit your planning application.

Contact Us

Community Planning & Permitting (formerly the Land Use Dept.)

Email: Ask a Planner Form
Main: 303-441-3930

Courthouse Annex Building

2045 13th St.
Boulder, CO 80302


8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday
Map and Directions

Mailing Address

Community Planning & Permitting
PO Box 471
Boulder, CO 80306
Community Planning & Permitting website