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If a business provides goods and services to the public, it is required to remove barriers to access if doing so is readily achievable. Such a business is called a public accommodation because it serves the public. If a business is not open to the public but is only a place of employment like a warehouse, manufacturing facility or office building, then there is no requirement to remove barriers. Such a facility is called a commercial facility.
Examples include the simple ramping of a few steps, the installation of grab bars where only routine reinforcement of the wall is required, the lowering of telephones, and similar modest adjustments.
The ADA places the legal obligation to remove barriers or provide auxiliary aids and services on both the landlord and the tenant. The landlord and the tenant may decide by lease who will actually make the changes and provide the aids and services, but both remain legally responsible.
The ADA requires that all new construction of places of public accommodation, as well as of "commercial facilities" such as office buildings, be accessible. Elevators are generally not required in facilities under three stories or with fewer than 3,000 square feet per floor, unless the building is a shopping center or mall; the professional office of a health care provider; a terminal, depot, or other public transit station; or an airport passenger terminal.
When the first ADA standards were introduced in 1991, existing small businesses and some public buildings were allowed to avoid complying unless they added new construction or renovated their properties. In 2010, the updated regulations removed the “grandfather clause.” While you didn't have to instantly meet the 2010 standard, your property did have to meet the 1991 regulation.
This is the real problem facing your business and the courts. The revised standards include small stipulations for a wide range of access points such as parking lots, parking spaces, doors, elevators, ramps, hand rails, door knobs and work stations.
Only an expert in ADA compliance, such as an attorney, city inspector, or contractor will have a full understanding of the differences. It is often in the property owner's best interest to reach out for assistance from the ADA or city to bring everything up to date before any of these costly lawsuits have a chance to be filed, for compliance seems to be the only real defense in the current litigious atmosphere.
Federal tax incentives are available to encourage businesses to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These incentives support businesses as they remove architectural barriers and accommodate employees and/or customers with disabilities. Many states also offer similar tax incentives.
Unfortunately, many business owners and employers are unaware that these incentives exist. Make sure your business takes advantage of these valuable incentives!
Service animals are defined as dogs (and, as a modification, miniature horses) that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.
More information on Service Animal are on the Rocky Mountain ADA Center website:
Rocky Mountain ADA Center
There is grant funding available for commercial properties in the City of Wheat Ridge. Please click link below:
Wheat Ridge Business District
Snow Removal and Accessibility
Visit the Electronic Permit Submittalt page. All permitting is currently online. Permit submittal checklists can be located here: Checklists. For questions, please email: email@example.com.
To schedule an inspection, send your request through our online Inspection Request Form. For the inspection AM/PM schedule, check here daily: Today's AM/PM schedule
Every permit issued shall expire 365 days after issuance, regardless of activity.
Building & Inspection Services has adopted and is currently enforcing the 2018 IBC, IRC IPC, IMC, IFGC, IECC, IFC; 2018 IPMC; 2020 NEC; ANSI 117.1-2009, 1997 Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, and NFPA 99. Current adopted codes and amendments can be located here: Current Codes
Please complete the application related to your scope of work: Electronic Permit Applications; If you are not sure or do not see the scope of work listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are working our normal business hours each day. Due to the amount of incoming applications, processing time can be up to 3 business days. Emails and applications are handled in the order they are received. All permit and contractor licensing applications are currently online. Please visit Building & Inspection Services for more information.
The Building Division shall accept applications for electronic permit issuance and shall process and issue such permits in accordance with the following procedures and requirements located here: http://www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/1651/Electronic-Permit-Submittal
For information on how payments can be made, please visit: Payments
The inspectors are available between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. and again between 3:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., depending on the inspection load.
Yes, for requirements and the Contractor’s License Application, please visit: Contractor Licensing and Registration. For licensing requirements: License Classes and Fees. Licensing questions should be directed to email@example.com.
The City of Wheat Ridge reciprocates with Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Park County, Fort Collins and City of Boulder.
For asphalt shingles, the City of Wheat Ridge requires that all shingles be nailed with a minimum of six (6) nails per shingle. Ice and Water shield is required at eaves and shall extend a minimum of two (2) feet inside exterior walls. Drip edge is required at eaves. All other types of roofing shall comply with adopted codes and policies and manufacturers installation guidelines.
Building & Inspection Services maintains a digital archive of address files which includes records of applications, building permits, and other information pertinent to that address dating back to 1995.
Here are the instructions for the online archive to locate permit copies and inspection results:
For best results, use the path below:
Select Community Development (or CommDev) -> Building Division -> Address Files -> Select Street Name -> Select Addres
Any building records prior to 1995 are maintained on microfilm in the Community Development Department at the City Municipal Building. A public information request (PIR) is required to research those documents and information. Public Information Request Form
You are allowed to have up to four garage sales per year. A garage sale permit is required which is available from the front desk receptionist at City Hall.
If you have an approved in-home business (home occupation), you are allowed one non-illuminated sign up to two (2) square feet in size which can be feestanding or wall-mounted. Permanent flagpoles are permitted. Building permits are required for freestanding signs, wall signs, and flagpoles. Temporary yard signs are also allowed and do not require a permit; you may have an unlimited number of small yard signs up to four (4) square feet. Please contact the Planning Division at 303-235-2846, if you have specific signage questions.
The type and size of signage allowed on commercial properties varies by location and use. Section 26-709 of the City Code determines which types of signs are permitted based on the use of the property. Section 26-710 determines the standards for permanent signs. All permanent signs require building permits. Please contact the Planning Division at 303-235-2846 if you have questions about a specific location or sign type.
The public hearings are quasi-judicial in nature. This means that the deciding body should make a decision only on the testimony presented at the public hearings. Please do not contact the Mayor, Planning Commission members or City Council representatives to discuss the merits of the case prior to the public hearing. It could jeopardize their ability to hear the case. If you have comments to provide, please submit them in writing to Planning staff to be included in the public record and to be forwarded to decision makers. In January 2020, comments will be accepted online through “Wheat Ridge Speaks”–more details are coming soon!
A zone change protest is a formal, written protest regarding a proposed zone change which can be submitted by adjacent property owners within 100 feet of the subject property. A valid protest that meets the ownership and geographic requirements of the code and charter will change the voting requirement needed to approve a zone change ordinance. Without a protest, a zone change ordinance requires at least five (5) positive votes for approval; with a protest, a zone change ordinance requires at least six (6) positive votes (a “super majority”) for approval. Learn more about the requirements and process associated with a zone change protest. Please note that zone change protests should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org while City Hall is closed to the public and public meetings take place virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are three ways to participate in City Council and Planning Commission meetings:
Learn more about public meetings, public hearings and how to participate with this short guide: Public Hearings: A Guide to Participating in City Meetings
The planning process involves gathering data, visioning, identifying community issues and goals, examining future trends, developing possible future scenarios, selecting a preferred scenario, and creating an action plan for implementation. Long range planning depends on public input and strives to build consensus around a future vision.
Planning documents can help guide investment in streets, housing stock, and public facilities. Plans can also protect natural resources while directing preferred development to appropriate locations. Along with the City's zoning ordinance, long range plans direct how land can be developed.
A comprehensive plan includes a consensus-based vision, goals, and objectives, and individual chapters that examine all aspects of a community (for example: land use, transportation, economic development, recreation, sustainability, historic preservation, and urban design.
It can take many months or years to complete a comprehensive plan. Once completed, comprehensive plans are adopted as official policy documents by the local governing body. City of Wheat Ridge Comprehensive Plan
Because planning shapes the built environment, local planning has a direct impact on how you travel and where you live, shop, play or work. Regional planning encourages cooperation among communities and addresses air quality, transit options, and highway networks.
The City of Wheat Ridge has adopted several subarea plans. City of Wheat Ridge Subarea Plans
November 5, 2019
One seat in each of Districts I, II, III and IV, the City Clerk, and City Treasurer who both serve at large. All terms are four years.
Candidates must be at least 18 years of age on Election Day, a registered elector and a Wheat Ridge resident for one year.
Go to the Jefferson County voter registration site http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/vote/VoterHome.html
City Council Meetings are on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month @ 7:00 p.m.Study Sessions are held on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month @ 6:30 p.m.
Yes. City Council Meetings are televised live on Cable Comcast Channel 8, WRTV8 Now, and YouTube Live the night of the City Council Meeting. City Council Meetings are taped and are aired the following two weeks according to the Channel 8 schedule
City Council meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. •Citizens’ Right to Speak 1. Citizens, who wish, may speak on any matter not on the Agenda for a maximum of 3 minutes and sign the Public Comment Roster. 2. Citizens who wish to speak on Agenda Items, sign the General Agenda Roster or appropriate Public Hearing Roster before the item is called to be heard.
City Council Agenda Packets are posted on the City Website the Thursday prior to Monday's City Council Meeting
There are three ways to participate in City Council meetings:
Go to GoVoteColorado.com to register, check your registration, and much more.
Your ballot will be sent by mail. You can vote by returning your ballot, with a stamp, in the mail or by dropping it off (no stamp required) at a ballot drop-off location.
Ballot Drop-off Locations Jefferson County
BallotTrax is a free service for Jefferson County voters that allows you to track your ballot online. You can also sign up to receive messages by email, phone or text when your ballot has been sent to you and received by Jeffco Elections. However, your phone company’s text message or voice rates may apply. Track My Ballot
The last day to register prior to an election is now determined by the method that the voter chooses to submit their registration.
Up to 22 days prior to the election [Computation of time CRS 1-1-106(2)]
Up to 8 days prior to the Election
In-Person at any time during which registration is permitted including Election Day
Find all the details HERE
Check out our Election Archive.
Send an email to HomelessNavigator@ci.wheatridge.co.us; however, if urgent, contact the non-emergency number for WRPD 303-237-2220.
Only email the Homeless Navigator if the individual or family is/are asking for help and are receptive to resources.
It is a better idea is to contact the WRPD non-emergency number (303-237-2220) if individuals are seen camping or beginning to gather in areas around the City. Let the dispatcher know of the location of those who may need services so those individuals can be contacted. There are multiple safety aspects to consider before interacting with an individual on a public street or right of way. Email the Homeless Navigator and she can reach out to individuals and provide them with the appropriate resources.
Instead of providing cash or gifts of food to individuals, consider giving to local non-profits or agencies that serve families and individuals experiencing homelessness or make a donation to the Wheat Ridge Community Foundation to support the work of the Homeless Navigator http://bit.ly/DonateWRHomelessNav
Please provide the individual with the email address of the Homeless Navigator and encourage them to reach out. It’s also fine to send an email to the Homeless Navigator informing them of the situation.
The Homeless Navigator does not assist with moving camps or asking individuals to leave a space. Please contact the WRPD non-emergency number at 303-237-2220.
Call the non-emergency number 303-237-2220 and let Dispatch know the location of those individuals.
WR2020 is a community-based organization that is implementing a visionary strategy to reclaim and build upon this heritage.
City staff, City Council and a team of consultants, Winston Associates and czbLLC, crafted a plan (The Neighborhood Repositioning Strategy or NRS) to position Wheat Ridge to compete more effectively with its neighboring communities to attract and retain engaged citizens, strong families and businesses. At the heart of this plan is the creation of an organization (WR2020) to implement ten interrelated strategies.
WR2020 will initiate projects and will work cooperatively with the City, businesses and other organizations to implement them. WR2020 intends to complement--not replicate or replace—existing city staff and committee roles in planning, urban renewal, and elsewhere in government. WR2020 will have an Executive Director and a small, highly skilled, professional staff. WR2020 will initially be funded by the city and will develop additional sources of income.
These members are the champions who will spearhead and support the organization. The Nominating Committee seeks a broad range of members that reflect the diversity of the community and represent local residents, local and regional businesses, employers, civic groups, and more.
WR2020 members are invited to contribute their energy, unique skills and expertise by providing ideas, execution strategies and support to the professional staff of WR2020. Members will be asked to participate in workgroups or subcommittees to help steer the organization and attend an annual meeting. Ultimately, WR2020 members will elect from among themselves a board of directors of 13-15 people with two members appointed by the Wheat Ridge City Council.
Mayor Starker (303) 235-2800
You may qualify if you are indigent, pursuant to State guidelines, and if the Assistant City Attorney is seeking jail as a possible sentence. You must meet certain income guidelines, complete an application, pay a fee (unless waived), and provide the necessary documentation.
For criminal convictions per violation, the maximum fine allowed is up to $2,650.00 and the maximum jail sentence is up to 364 days.
The Y-DAP class is offered by the Denver Family Therapy Center to youth under the age of 21 that have been charged for the first time with Possession/Consumption Alcohol, Possession/Consumption of Marijuana, and/or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Y-DAP is a drug and alcohol prevention and education program for adolescents, young adults, and families. Once the certificate of completion is provided to the Court, the charges may be dismissed.
You can get information regarding your license from Colorado Dept of Motor Vehicles. The number for Driver Services is (303) 205-5613. You may visit their web-site at
Discovery requests are addressed to the Assistant City Attorney. There is a $15 fee for discovery for general cases and a $7.00 fee for traffic cases.
The City of Wheat Ridge requires all resident dogs to be licensed. Proof of valid rabies vaccination is one requirement to obtain a Foothills Animal Shelter dog license. The Wheat Ridge Community Services Team fully enforces the county dog license requirement. Similarly, failure to provide proper valid dog license proof may result in the issuance of a warning notice or municipal summons for owners of unlicensed dogs. for a license...
You can purchase a dog license at Foothills Animal Shelter by calling 303-278-7577. The Animal Shelter is located at 580 McIntyre Street Golden, CO 80401. Dog licenses are also available at City Hall. Stop by Records between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. M-F. Your local veterinary office can also provide a license. Please contact your veterinarian for more information. NOTE: In addition to the processing fee, proof of your dog’s current rabies vaccination is required to obtain a dog license.
Unattended dogs may be impounded as a leash law violation. A dog is considered unlawful if it freely leaves a confined private property and proceeds unattended into the public right-of-way or surrounding properties. Cats are devoid of this enforcement, regardless of domestic or stray status.
Muncipal codes enforced by the Community Services Team include: Chapter 15 Nuisances; Chapter 16 Misc. offenses against public safety; Chapter 17 Parks and recreation; Chapter 24 Vegetation; and Chapter 26 Zoning specific to residential parking. In all cases, a Community Services Team officer will be dispatched to investigate the complaint in a timely manner.
Additionally, failure to heed citation notification compliance can result in the assessment of abatement costs or a property tax lien attached to the unlawful property. The property will be monitored to expedite clean-up compliance given ‘due process’ notification to a current responsible owner.
The telephone reporting unit is a good place to call first at 303-980-7300. If you are calling after hours or no one is available, you can dial the non-emergency police department number at 303-237-2220.
When a citizen calls to report a crime, an officer is usually sent to initiate the report. The responding officer conducts the initial investigation and is responsible for the collection of evidence. If the crime is serious or complex, the officer may request assistance from Investigations or the Crime Lab. Some reports may be taken by phone by the Telephone Reporting Unit at 303-980-7300. This is offered as a convenient service to citizens. For certain crimes, the citizen may be referred directly to Investigations to speak to a detective.
In felony cases, the report (once completed) will be reviewed by a supervisor. After the report is accepted, Records will forward the report to Investigations. An Investigations supervisor will review the report and determine which detective will receive the case.
The case may be assigned for active investigation if there are suspects, evidence, or other leads that may allow the case to be solved.
Cases with identified suspects, evidence, or other leads are prioritized based on the seriousness of the crime and the availability of investigative resources. Even some “solvable” cases cannot be actively investigated due to the volume of other cases or limited investigative resources.
If the restraining order is related to a domestic violence situation there is no fee for either filing for or service of the restraining order.
For non-domestic violence related cases you may contact your local county court. In Jefferson County call 303-654-3259.
For additional information regarding restraining orders please feel free to contact the Victim Outreach Information at 303-202-2196.
The police department Ride-A-Long application can be found on this web site in Police Department under Ride-A-Long tab.
How do I swear out a warrant on an individual?
Citizens do not swear out warrants. Citizens need to file a complaint with the police department. If probable cause exists that someone has committed a crime the officer will apply for a warrant if appropriate.
It is unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or to permit or assist another to make, continue or cause to be made, any unreasonable noise which, under all of the circumstances presented, would annoy, injure or endanger the comfort, repose or peace of a person of ordinary sensitivities. The following noises and circumstances shall be deemed as prima facie unreasonable. Refer to Section 16-103 of the City Code for the full regulation.
If you and your neighbor are unable to talk your problems out, you may want to contact the department’s non emergency number 303-237-2220 or come to the police department to discuss the situation with an officer. Depending on the type of conflicts, an officer may refer you and your neighbor to mediation or to a specialized unit within the department.
Statistically, the WRPD dispatch center answers approximately 200,000 phone calls per year. Of the calls received, officers are dispatched to nearly 50,000 calls for service and officers generate another 50,000 police events. Many times our call load exceeds the number of officers available to respond immediately. Therefore we must prioritize calls for service.
In general, we are fortunate that we are able to respond to true emergency calls within three minutes. These are obviously our first priority. Other calls are divided in three additional categories of varying priority. All calls are dispatched according to where they fall within this prioritization (based upon all calls holding at any given time period). This is a dynamic process- a call which maybe the first to be dispatched at one moment, then may fall to 4-5 within seconds depending on what new calls come to the dispatch center.
Generally, calls are prioritized based upon 1) the gravity of the offense (what type of crime is being committed), 2) the urgency of action ( is someone being hurt or is someone is in danger) and 3) Probability of apprehension (are the perpetrators still at the location). This is the same basis used for assigning follow-up investigations. Many times a single event (especially vandalism or car break-ins) is not "cleared" by catching the suspects while they are committing the crime. Often we have to conduct an analysis of many separate events, using pieces of information learned from each of these events, to make a criminal case. We employ two analysts to assist with this task. Unfortunately, the clearance rate for these types of crimes is not high, either in Wheat Ridge or other parts of the country. The Wheat Ridge Police Department strongly encourages you to report all incidents to us so we can examine all the pieces as outlined above. If an officer has not followed-up with you as promised, we encourage you to contact the shift supervisor thru our dispatch center 303-237-2220.
If a background or criminal history check is for Wheat Ridge only, the request is made at the Wheat Ridge Police Records Bureau. The requestor must provide full name and date of birth of the person for whom the background or criminal history check is being run. There is a fee for this service. Wheat Ridge PD Fee Schedule
Motor Vehicle Verification System
The Municipal Contractor License is issued through the Public Works Department and is required to perform construction in street right of way.
The City’s right of way/infrastructure work has different standards/requirements than codes followed for building construction. These two licenses require different areas of knowledge for construction. The Municipal Contractor License also requires a bond in addition to liability and workers compensation insurance. These licenses and requirements help to assure that the contractor is qualified to perform the different types of work and comply with the City codes/standards & specifications/requirements for work in the COWR. Municipal Contractors License App
The typical PW review time for most developments is ten to fifteen working days. This time frame may be extended depending upon the following conditions: 1. Technical scope and complexity of the development. A highly complex project will involve many different technical documents and ultimately require more review time than a less complex one. 2. The quality of the submittal. Full and complete submittals will minimize staff review time. Please keep in mind partial submittals will not be considered as being under review. 3. Existing staff workload at the time of the application. In an effort to treat every applicant the same, all submittals to Public Works are reviewed on a first-come first-serve basis. The total length of the Public Works review process involves items 1 through 3 above, and ultimately the number of re-submittals required to address all comments in a satisfactory manner.
Paper copies of the official FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) depicting the floodplain boundaries are available for inspection at the Wheat Ridge City Hall, Department of Public Works, Engineering Division. If you wish to determine if your property lies within the floodplain by viewing the FIRMs online, you can examine them on the
The City’s right of way/infrastructure work has different standards/requirements than codes followed for building construction. These two licenses require different areas of knowledge for construction. The Municipal Contractor License also requires a bond in addition to liability and workers compensation insurance. These licenses and requirements help to assure that the contractor is qualified to perform the different types of work and comply with the City codes/standards and specifications/requirements for work in the COWR.
The City of Wheat Ridge is not a full service City. Private companies provide trash pickup service.
The City performs inspections and maintenance of surface facilities (swales, ditches, etc.) and subsurface facilities (inlets, manholes and stormwater pipes) that comprise the City’s drainage system.
- Independent blight study or conditions survey has been prepared and presented first, to the municipality’s Urban Renewal Authority (the Authority) or Board, and second, to its Council;- Market analysis has been completed in order to determine the potential for future uses within the urban renewal area, and their potential timing; - Urban renewal plan document and supporting financing plan (impact analysis) have been prepared;- Stakeholders have been contacted and invited to comment on future uses and required improvements within the area; and- Council accepts the findings of the conditions survey and adopts (by resolution) the urban renewal plan.
When a redevelopment project is being planned, the Urban Renewal Authority or Board analyzes how much additional property and/or sales taxes may be generated once it is completed. That “tax increment” then can be used by the urban renewal entity either to finance the issuance of bonds or to reimburse developers for a portion of their project costs. In either case, the new tax revenue that is created must be used for improvements that have a public benefit and that support the redevelopment effort, such as site clearance, streets, utilities, parks, the removal of hazardous materials or conditions, or site acquisition.Source: Denver Urban Renewal Authority
(a) Slum, deteriorated, or deteriorating structures;(b) Predominance of defective or inadequate street layout;(c) Faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness;(d) Unsanitary or unsafe conditions;(e) Deterioration of site or other improvements;(f) Unusual topography or inadequate public improvements or utilities;(g) Defective or unusual conditions of title rendering the title non-marketable;(h) The existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other causes;(i) Buildings that are unsafe or unhealthy for persons to live or work in because of building code violations, dilapidation, deterioration, defective design, physical construction, or faulty or inadequate facilities;(j) Environmental contamination of buildings or property; (k.5) The existence of health, safety, or welfare factors requiring high levels of municipal services or substantial physical underutilization or vacancy of sites, buildings, or other improvements;(l) If there is no objection of such property owner or owners and the tenant or tenants of such owner or owners, if and, to the inclusion of such property in an urban renewal area, “blighted area” also means an area that, in its present condition and use and, by reason of the presence of any one of the factors specified in paragraphs (a) to (k.5) of this subsection (2), substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the municipality, retards the provision of housing accommodations, or constitutes an economic or social liability, and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals or welfare. For purposes of this paragraph (1), the fact that an owner of an interest in such property does not object to the inclusion of such property in the urban renewal area does not mean that the owner has waived any rights of such owner in connection with laws governing condemnation.
Source: Colorado Revised Statute 31-25-103(2).
* Based on conditions survey findings, modify boundaries for urban renewal area, if necessary
Residents within an area that are senior citizens are further protected under the Homestead Exemption. Referendum A, the homestead exemption for senior citizens, passed on a state-wide vote in November of 2001. The amendment provides an actual value reduction (exemption), up to a maximum of $100,000. This applies only to primary residences for citizens over the age of 65. Also, this actual value reduction is applicable only to a primary residence that has been owner-occupied for the 10 years immediately proceeding the subject tax year. This homestead exemption for senior citizens began with 2002 property taxes that were payable on or after January 1, 2003.
Planning and Zoning Commission – review urban renewal plan for consistency with comprehensive plan; consider (and opine on) proposed projects within the area
Urban Renewal Authority – make recommendations to the governing body of municipality that created district; prepare conditions survey, urban renewal plan and financing plan for district and present to governing body for authorization;(by ordinance) powers relating to implementation of the project plan authorized by governing body; acquire blighted, deteriorated … real property for preservation or restoration of historic sites; acquire, construct, reconstruct or install public works or improvements; enter into agreements to implement plan including for – the acquisition of property, reimbursement to developer, sale of land, issuance of bonds, etc.; and, any power necessary and convenient to carry out implementation
An STR is a dwelling unit, or portion of a dwelling unit, that is used for lodging for a period of less than 30 consecutive days.
Basically, a property owner can rent out their house, or rooms in their house, to guests for a short period of time. STRs are usually listed on web-based platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway, Stayz, and Expedia.
Regulating STRs has been a focus of City Council since 2018, and several study sessions have been held for Council to explore various regulation options. Before the ordinance was approved, STRs existed in Wheat Ridge but were completely unregulated and not even mentioned in the City Code. Without any regulations, STRs were challenging for the City to enforce or to shut down offenders. City Council was clear about the creation of an ordinance that allows STRs, but limits how many there can be in the community. The ordinance creates appropriate licensing requirements and puts significant responsibility on STR hosts to be good neighbors. Licensed STRs will also provide revenue to the City in the form of Lodgers’ Tax, starting August 1, 2021.
An STR host must be the owner of a property:
Owners of apartments or mixed-use buildings on commercial corridors may be permitted to have additional STRs. STRs in condos may already be restricted by the Homeowners Association (HOA) or other ownership agreement. If not, the code limits condo developments to four total STRs per development to prevent a large number of condos from being converted into STRs. These details are included in the ordinance.
Yes. A cap on the total number of STRs in each City Council district will take effect on November 1, 2021. This will limit the number of “whole house” STRs in each district to 2% of the total number of dwelling units within that district (in single-family homes, duplexes, and single-family attached townhomes). This cap does not apply to “partial house” STRs or STRs in commercial districts. STRs registered prior to November 1, 2021 will not be affected by the cap unless a license is allowed to lapse.
If the maximum number of STRs for any district is reached, applications will be placed on a waitlist until the number of STRs in that district fall below the number allowed.
The 2% limit was put in place by City Council to reduce the impacts of STRs on neighborhoods and limit the overall number in each district.
Read the entire ordinance
The ordinance relies on STR hosts to “be a good neighbor” and has provisions to reduce the impacts of STRs on neighboring properties. Licensed STR hosts are required to notify their neighbors of approved licenses. The STR application also requires an emergency contact that can respond to the property within 60 minutes. The license must be posted within the STR.
If there are complaints regarding an STR operation, Wheat Ridge residents can use the link below to submit a complaint regarding potential violations of the STR ordinance. This is not a tool for generic complaints unrelated to STRs or inquiries about the ordinance.
For issues related to general property maintenance or nuisance and not specifically related to STRs (such as noise, weeds, trash, or illegal parking), please contact WRPD Code Enforcement at 303-235-2926. For emergencies, please call 911.
Not necessarily. ZIP codes cross city boundaries and are not accurate for determining your own or your customer's city for tax purposes. The tax resources page provides ways to identify cities for tax.
The Wheat Ridge Housing Authority does not provide rental housing, section 8 housing choice vouchers, senior housing, rehabilitation or emergency housing. Instead, please contact Foothills Regional Housing (formerly known as Jefferson County Housing Authority or JCHA). Foothills Regional Housing serves the City of Wheat Ridge as well as other areas within the county. They can be reached at (303) 422-8600 or https://www.foothillsrh.org/ or you can visit their office at 7490 W. 45th Avenue.