Short Term Rentals

Short Term Rental

Vacation rentals or short-term rentals (STRs) are rentals that are typically listed online through sites such as Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO) and AirBnB for less than 30 days. An increase in short-term rental activity came to the City’s attention in early 2017 through a variety of means, including inquiries on permitting the use, concerns regarding sales tax collection, and neighbor complaints.

Based on this interest, staff researched practices in other communities for temporary lodging regulations, contacting local operators to ensure appropriate tax collection, and tracking complaints. Several public hearings and study sessions were held by both City Council and Planning Commission. Additionally, staff launched a public engagement forum on to encourage discussion on any regulations being considered and survey the public.

Regulations and a licensing system, Ordinance 2078 pdf download, was adopted by Golden City Council on May 24, 2018.

Short Term Rental (STR) Licensing

Short Term Rental LicensesOverview

The City of Golden requires dwelling units that rent for less than 30-days to be licensed. The City recognizes both short-term rentals (STRs located in residential zoning districts) and tourist home rentals (STRs located in commercial zoning districts).

Short Term Rental License

STRs are located in residential zoning districts and are occupied by the property owner for at least 10 months of the year and have a portion of the dwelling unit rented for less than 30 days. This may include duplexes or carriage houses if located on the same property that is used as the primary residence. Only one license will be granted per lot.

Tourist Home License

Tourist Homes are located in commercial zoning districts and have a unit or portion of a dwelling unit rented for less than 30 days. Tourist homes are NOT required to be the primary residence or occupied by the owner of record and home owners may rent the entire house for less than 30 days year-round.

Requirements for All Short Term Rentals

  • Primary and accessory structures are allowed to be rented on a short-term basis. All structures must comply with the regulations for primary and accessory structures including maximum size, height, lot coverage, and setbacks for the property’s zone district.
  • If a lot contains more than one legal dwelling unit, including accessory dwelling units, only one dwelling unit on the lot is eligible for a license.
  • Licensed properties must provide and maintain fire, hazard, and liability insurance coverage of 1 million per occurrence. AirBnB and VRBO provide coverage, although they encourage their hosts to obtain coverage as well.
  • A Life/Safety Self-Certification Affidavit must be completed. Each property shall be equipped with an operational smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher in the licensed dwelling unit. Properties may be subject to additional inspection as requested by the Chief Building Official
  • A Sales and Use Tax License is required including periodic remittance of all applicable taxes.
  • Occupancy of a short-term rental shall not exceed the total number of unrelated persons that are otherwise permitted to occupy the property per the dwelling unit’s zoning district. For example, a single family lot may have no more than four unrelated individuals occupying the property.
  • Parking must be provided to meet the requirements for off-street parking spaces as would otherwise be required to serve the use. Properties that cannot meet parking requirements will be required to come into compliance or obtain a variance. Parking requirements are available in the FAQ section.
  • Dwelling units located in residential zoning districts must be the primary residence of the owner of record at least 10 months a year.


  • Licenses are $200 for two years and are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • License must be posted in the dwelling unit used as a short-term rental.
  • License number must be included in all advertising.
  • View a list of Currently Licensed STRs and Tourist Home properties.

Know Your Zoning District

Use our EZ Maps tool to determine the zoning district in which your property resides.

STR’s located in the residential zoning districts require proof of primary residency upon application (RE, R-1, R1-A, R-2, R-3 and PUD’s that are residential in nature).

STR’s located in the commercial zoning districts do not require proof of primary residency upon application (C-1, C-2, RC, CMU and PUD’s that are commercial in nature).

Applying for a Short Term Rental License

Applicants will be required to provide the following:

  • Name, email and phone number of the Owner of Record
  • Name and phone number of emergency contact other than the owner (contact provided must be able to respond within 4 ours of request)
  • Proof of fire, hazard, and liability insurance coverage of 1 million per person
  • Proof of primary residence (if applying for a STR license in a residential zoned district).  Acceptable forms of proof include:
    • Voter registration
    • Car Registration
    • Driver’s License
    • Tax documents
    • Utility Bill
  • A description of the area to be rented (example: back bedroom and bath, downstairs portion of house, etc.)
  • A description of the parking available to renters (in addition to the parking used by the owner in residential zoned districts)

APPLY ONLINE for your short term rental license.

Have the information listed above ready in order to complete the online license registration.  If you have questions during your online registration process or experience any technical issues, please contact the STR Helper help center at 303-479-3193.

Please allow up to 10 business days for processing. Once approved, a copy of your license will be emailed to you and must be posted in the dwelling unit.

Application Packet

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