Staff met with City Council on January 18 in Study Session to
discuss Planning Commission and staff’s recommendations regarding regulation of
short-term rentals in Golden. Council agreed further regulation was necessary
and directed staff to begin to work with the City Attorney to draft an
ordinance for Planning Commission and Council’s further review and discussion.
Council has indicated that they want all future applications for this type of
land use to be considered based upon updated criteria and requirements. As a
result, Council has decided to put a moratorium on new residential short term
rentals (Tourist Homes) in place for six months, in order to give the City time
to draft, review and agree upon an ordinance to create this new regulatory
Several regulatory changes are being further
investigated and considered for short-term rentals in Golden including the following:
Currently vacation rentals such as AirBnB
and VRBO, to name a few, are regulated under “Tourist Homes.” Short-term
rentals, indicating rentals less than 30 days, should align with the sales and use
tax code and be defined in the Golden Municipal Code as Short-term Rentals.
Short-term rentals should require a special
use permit and be reviewed administratively similar to small animal permits and
neighborhood farmer’s markets, with an appeal process to Planning Commission.
Short-term rental special use permits
should be subject to a 2-year renewal requirement rather than a five-year
requirement, currently available to Tourist Homes. The
fee for a two-year permit would be $200.
All residentially zoned districts (RE,
R-1, R1-A, R2, and R3) and Planned Unit Developments (PUD) which are
residential in nature, would allow short-term rentals with the following
o The property in which the short-term
rental is to be located must be the owner of record’s primary residence or, in
the case of multiple dwelling units on one lot, the owner must reside in one of
the dwelling units.
o The owner of record must occupy their
primary residence for at least 10 months per year; this allows for limited
short-term whole house rental (such as a “home exchange”) in residentially
o No more than 4 unrelated or related and
unrelated individuals may occupy a dwelling unit, which can be tracked by requiring
owners to submit rental agreements upon request
While the regulations would be different
if the short-term rental is taking place in a commercial zoned districts (C1,
C2, CMU), where vacation and short term rentals are a use by right, all short
term rentals would need a sales and use tax license, a life safety affidavit,
and proof of liability insurance.
Council wishes to further research parking
requirements for short-term rentals, as well as how this would fit into the current
context of residential parking requirements. This could include no off street
parking requirement, a requirement for one parking space per short-term rental
dwelling unit (similar to the requirement for 1 parking space for an Accessory
Dwelling unit), or a requirement to park per bedroom rented.
A lodging tax is very common in other municipalities
in Colorado; the tax would be assessed for hotels and bed and breakfasts, but could
include short-term rentals. This tax option will be further investigated
through Golden’s Investment Forum Task Force. Funds received could help to fund
affordable housing, parks, open space acquisition, and more.
The condition of the property in which a
short-term rental special use permit is requested should be reviewed by staff
as a part of the short-term rental permit process. This could include:
o Review of any past Planning or Building
Code Violations and a determination by staff if an inspection is required based
on the condition of the structure.
o Signing of a Life/Safety Affidavit
(adequate carbon monoxide alarm, fire alarms, and extinguisher)
o Proof of Liability Insurance sufficient to
cover injuries to guests, as set by the City Manager.
would include monitoring short-term rentals and citations for non-compliance.
o Short-term rentals would be required to
display a short-term rental permit number on all advertising and on the
property (such as in a window) for tracking purposes.
o Citations would escalate for
o The City Manager would have the authority
to revoke a short-term rental special use permit and potentially require that a
property owner forfeit the ability to renew based on the type or number of
As of this writing, there are nine
permitted “Tourist Homes” in Golden. These permitted short-term rentals could
be grandfathered in, but may be required to provide a life/safety affidavit,
posting the permit number on the rental as well as all advertising, and would
likely have to comply with the new short-term rental regulations upon
expiration of their current permit.
Special Use Permits by code typically run
with the property. Regulatory changes for short-term rentals would additionally
require the permit to be tied to the owner of record, rather than just the
property. This would ensure, in the case of a sale, that the new owners are
required to reapply for a permit and meet all regulatory requirements.
*Please share your thoughts on the above referenced regulatory options and any other general feedback on short term rental regulation!