Wheat Ridge City Council passed an ordinance, Ordinance 1723-Series 2021, requiring hotels and motels doing business within the City of Wheat Ridge to acquire a hotel/motel license in addition to a business license. The ordinance, that passed on October 25, 2021, requires all hotels and motels to apply for a hotel license with a fee of $300. For questions about the application process, contact Wheat Ridge Licensing at 303-235-2869 or [email protected]
For hotels/motels wanting to offer extended stays of 30 days or more, an additional extended stay hotel license is required. Changing all or part of an existing hotel to accommodate extended stays is considered a change in land use. A zoning review and approval is required and may also require a special use permit approval. For questions about the steps in this zoning approval process, contact the planner of the day at 303-234-5931 or [email protected].
In addition, for anyone doing business in Wheat Ridge, a business license is required and the fee is $20.
Ordinance 1723 was specifically enacted by Wheat Ridge City Council to protect the health and safety of the community. The Hotel License requires that all hotels and motels that are providing lodging services to meet certain minimum standards for public safety and health. Those businesses that are providing extended stay services of 30 days or more must meet certain minimum standards and provide certain amenities to ensure extended stay units are livable. City Council’s unanimous decision to approve the ordinance is supported by City staff who believe requiring hotels and motels to meet these new minimum standards will decrease criminal activity and calls for service by the Wheat Ridge Police Department as well as improve the safety and living conditions of those electing longer stays in these businesses.
At the time the ordinance was written there were nine hotels/motels in Wheat Ridge with a total of approximately 972 rooms. While these nine hotels represented less than .05% of the total number of households and businesses in the City, the calls for service (CFS) from the Wheat Ridge Police Department to these establishments totaled approximately 10% of the total police calls. This new licensing ordinance for hotels will increase safety and create healthier environments for those relying on short-term and extended stay housing in Wheat Ridge. In addition to collaborating with owners of hotels/motels to meet the new requirements, the City will also work closely with the Homeless Navigator and other area resources to assist lodgers displaced by the new licensing requirements in order to assist them with finding more appropriate long-term housing.
The nature of calls for service at hotels is not limited to, but includes unwanted parties, disturbances, welfare checks, theft, suspicious persons and vehicles, illegal drug use, domestic violence, assaults, motor vehicle thefts, and the recovery of stolen vehicles.
Requirements for Hotel/Motel Licensees:
Requirements for extended stay (30 days or more):
1. NEW APPLICATION: Complete a printed application and send to City of Wheat Ridge, 7500 W. 29th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033. You may also email the application to [email protected]
If you fill out the online application it will be emailed to the licensing team and they will follow up with your next steps.
RENEWAL: Complete a hotel license application and submit to City of Wheat Ridge. You will be contacted when your application is approved by the City Treasurer. You will then be contacted for the license payment fee.
If you fill out the online application it will be emailed to the licensing team and they will follow up with your next steps.
- What is the purpose of these regulations?
There are nine hotels in the City of Wheat Ridge with a total of 972 rooms. While these hotels represent less than .05% of the total number of households and businesses in the City, the calls for service from the City’s Police Department to these establishments constitute approximately 10% of total police calls. In order to address the significant public safety and related concerns involving hotels and motels within the City, City Council determined that it was necessary to adopt the licensing program for hotels in order to reduce the number of calls for service (CFS) at these establishments. The City’s interest in adopting these new regulations is for the protection of the health and safety of the public.
- How do I obtain a hotel license?
In order to be properly licensed in Wheat Ridge, hotels businesses must obtain the following two licenses annually:
- City Business License ($20)
- Hotel License ($300)
In addition, if a licensed hotel chooses to provide extended stay operations (stays of 30 days or more), it will need to be approved for:
- Hotel License Addendum for Extended Stay Operations
Existing hotel businesses must submit an application and fee for a hotel license renewal by January 1st. Find licensing forms on the Hotel / Motel Licensing page. The hotel license must be renewed annually along with the City business license.
Existing hotels who allow duration of guest stays of more than 30 days shall have until September 30, 2022 to either limit stays to 30 days or less or obtain an approved extended stay addendum.
- What are the requirements of a hotel license?
The purpose of the Hotel License is to ensure that the unique requirements to operate this type of business are met. A Hotel is a transient lodging establishment renting individual rooms for temporary occupancy and typically not including facilities for cooking. The term “hotel" includes establishments also known as "motels." For the purposes of the Ordinance, it does not include the short-term rental of private homes or rooms by private homeowners. To operate a hotel, the business must obtain a hotel license and meet the following requirements:
- The applicant shall have achieved and maintained a call for service (CFS) rate of 1.8 within twelve (12) months of obtaining a hotel license. This rate must be decreased to 1.5 by January 1, 2023. The City may, in its sole discretion, permit extensions of the twelve (12) month period, not to exceed a total of an additional six (6) months during which time the hotel license shall be deemed extended.
- The applicant shall demonstrate participation in the City’s certified crime free hotel/motel program by contacting the City’s Crime Prevention Team at 303-235-2910 prior to the application submittal (initial deadline, January 1, 2022).
- The applicant shall have made all necessary corrective actions in response to the City’s most recent annual hotel/motel inspection program report for the subject location. This program is enforced through the City's police and community development departments, in cooperation with applicable fire protection districts.
- The applicant shall demonstrate compliance with the City's landscape inspection program, as applicable and as certified by the Community Development Department.
- The applicant shall demonstrate compliance with the applicable series of adopted international building and property codes applicable to the subject property, including the International Property Maintenance Code, as demonstrated by certification from the City's chief building official.
- The applicant shall establish and maintain an approved security plan, including crime prevention through environmental design, video surveillance, security guards, fencing, and lighting, as approved by the City's police department. To schedule a review of the security plan, contact Crime Prevention at 303-235-2910. Each establishment will be reviewed based on the current crime issues and trends and be required to adjust, if necessary, based on that review. Officers from the Wheat Ridge Police Department will conduct outreach to ensure that the requirements are understood and to assist with the development of the plan.
- How is the Call for Service rate determined?
Calls for service are public initiated dispatched calls for police assistance that are generated by the community, through a call or text to 911 or the non-emergency line. Calls for service (CFS) rate is equal to the total calls for service at the licensed premises divided by the total number of hotel rooms in the applicable period. The Police Department’s Crime Prevention Team will work with hotels to provide the CFS Rate on a monthly basis. Calls for service will be calculated through the 2022 calendar year and compliance for the call for service rate of 1.5 must be achieved by December 31, 2022. Hotels that are not in compliance at that time are subject to suspension and/or revocation of their hotel license.
- How were the new CFS compliance numbers determined?
In determining the desired CFS Ratio in Wheat Ridge, the police department considered recommendations of the Problem-Oriented Policing Center (POP), the 1.0 industry standard, and examples of ratios in other communities.
The POP Center is a nonprofit organization comprising affiliated police practitioners, researchers and universities dedicated to the advancement of problem-oriented policing. The mission of the POP Center is to advance the concept and practice of problem-oriented policing in open and democratic societies.
Motels with low CFS/room ratios set a natural baseline for what can be accomplished at similar properties, which is how the 1.0 standard was established.
For the passage of Ordinance 1723, the City of Wheat Ridge chose a 1.8 ratio, similar to that of Lakewood for 2022, before increasing to 1.5 in 2023. The 1.8 ratio would represent an overall reduction of CFS in hotels by 40%. At 1.5, the reduction would be 50%. It is important to understand that half of the hotels are already compliant with the standard. The other four hotels significantly exceed the standard causing the average CFS ratio among the eight hotels to be 2.9 (for 2020) and 2.6 (for 2022). The fact that four of the hotels are able to achieve a ratio between 0.1 and 1.2 in the same city/area would certainly lead to believe that a standard of 1.5 is achievable for all hotels and would create a significant reduction in calls for service and resources and increase safety.
- What is the Hotel License Addendum for Extended Stay Operations?
The Hotel License Addendum permits a hotel to offer extended stay operations beyond 30 days. Changing all or part of an existing hotel to accommodate extended stays is considered a change in land use. As such a zoning review and approval is required and may require a special use permit approval. Please contact the planner of the day at 303-234-5931 or [email protected] to understand the steps in this zoning approval process.
To qualify for extended stay operations, the hotel must provide the following in-room characteristics:
- Minimum size for entire unit: 300 square feet
- Minimum size for living room: 120 square feet
- A defined bedroom must be provided separate and apart from other portions of the unit
- The following minimum kitchen/cooking facilities are required (but may not be located in the defined bedroom or bathroom): refrigerator, cooktop, dedicated sink, cabinets with cooking/dining supplies
- The maximum sleeping occupancy per room or unit shall be two persons per dedicated bedroom
- Personal possessions may not be stored within shared common areas, on exterior balconies, interior corridors or in a manner that prohibits adequate movement and ingress/egress within the unit, with the exception on balconies for items such as bikes, strollers, and coolers
- Housekeeping must be available, although an additional charge may be made for the same
And the following common characteristics:
- The following common area amenities must be available to the residents of all extended stay lodging facilities:
- 24-hour desk staffing;
- universal wireless internet available included within room charge;
- In-room or common area laundry facilities adequate for number of gue
- A minimum of three of the following common area amenities shall be provided at the choosing of the extended stay lodging licensee, subject to the City’s review and approval:
- business center of a size at least 120 square feet;
- a fitness center of at least 350 square feet for every 200 rooms;
- a swimming pool at least 15 x 25 x 4 feet deep.
- meeting areas or conference rooms of a size at least 150 square feet
- on-site restaurant or other available food options provided adequate for number of guests
The City Treasurer has authority to determine that one or more of the common area amenities is not needed, when considering the age, location and size of the hotel property, and the portion proposed to be devoted to extended stay lodging.
- What would a sufficient guest book or guest log record look like?
The City will conduct inspections of guest books or other records to check for compliance with the length of stay requirement and properly maintaining sufficient guest books or records is expected.
This excel document is an example of guest log. /DocumentCenter/View/35387
- What are examples of acceptable forms of identification that a hotel or motel could use when checking in a guest?
Please visit this website for a list of forms of identification.