Short-term rental licensing requirements in Boulder County continue to negatively impact local tourism

Overly restrictive regulations coupled with inconsistent application hurt responsible property owners, vacationers and the local economy

BOULDER, Colo., March 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inconsistent and unnecessarily restrictive requirements for short-term rental licenses in Boulder County continue to negatively impact property owners, local businesses and travelers wishing to visit Boulder County, motivating members of the local community to launch the “Rent Fair Boulder” campaign. 

Boulder County resident and homeowner Phillip Epstein recently applied for a short-term rental license at his property at 6940 North 63rd Street, but he is concerned that the new regulations are too complicated, excessively severe and could hamstring the county’s long-standing tradition of tourism through vacation rentals. By applying for this license, Epstein is facing restrictions that are either inconsistent with neighboring properties, damaging to the ability to continue operating short-term rental or both. 

“We are responsible owners doing responsible things, and short-term rental is a wonderful use of our property as it provides another way for people to visit beautiful Boulder County and inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into our local economy,” said Epstein. “Unfortunately, these unreasonable new rules and their application continue to have a negative impact on a number of properties, responsible property owners — some of whom have successfully operated rentals for decades with no adverse impact on surrounding neighbors — and travelers who want to enjoy everything the Centennial State has to offer.”

The five-acre Epstein property, which exceeds all minimum zoning requirements and is located on a main “arterial” road with numerous businesses operating nearby, has hosted hundreds of responsible visitors to Boulder County, including the U.S. Olympic climbing team, a 70-year-old father with his adult children running their first Ironman and many vacationing families. However, the new restrictions required for continuing the short-term license will impact Epstein’s ability to continue to offer the property to travelers. 

Specifically, the following restrictions are now required to secure the license:

  • While the ordinance specifically notes that there are no restrictions on short-term rentals except having to go through the review process, county staff, the county planning commission and county commissioners decided to impose a limit on the number of nights available for rental to 180 each year. This conclusion was reached on the basis that the use is potentially “not compatible with the neighborhood’s character,” ambiguous language that makes determining “acceptable” use next to impossible.
  • Renewal would also require the fully licensed and managed commercial commissary kitchen on the property to be decommissioned.
  • Only “agricultural use” would be allowed in the property’s outbuildings, and storage of nonagricultural items would be prohibited, something not required of other properties and which has no impact on the surrounding area.
  • Existing parking must be relocated to allow adequate space for a fire truck to turn around in the lot. Although there currently is a sufficient area in which a fire truck can turn around at the Epstein property, this is a requirement that is also not being made of other properties in the area. 

“The Boulder County staff report on our application confirmed our use of the property under our current license had no adverse traffic or noise impacts and is consistent with the surrounding neighborhood,” said Epstein. “However, if implemented, these restrictions will have a negative economic impact that will do further damage to our pandemic-battered economy.”  

Epstein’s application is being heard at the Boulder County commissioners meeting in April 2022. For more information regarding Phillip Epstein’s property and concerns, please visit for more information.



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