Short Term Rentals FAQs

What is a Short Term Rental?

Short Term RentalsSTRs are dwelling units that are rented for less than 30 days. Two types of STR Licenses are available depending on the property’s zoning designation:

  1. A Tourist Home Rental License is for a dwelling unit that is zoned commercial and does not have a primary residence requirement. Tourist Home dwelling units may be rented in its entirety to one party at a time for periods of less than 30 consecutive days.
  2. A Short Term Rental License is a dwelling unit that is the owner of record’s primary residence and a portion of the home is leased to one party at a time for periods of less than 30 consecutive days. Owners must reside in their STR at least 10 months out of the year.

Where will Short Term Rentals be allowed?

  • Short Term Rental Licenses are allowed as an accessory use in all residential zoning districts in Golden including RE, R-1, R1-A, R-2, R-3 and PUD’s that are residential in nature. Note: a Short Term Rental License requires the owner of record to reside in the dwelling unit as their primary residence.
  • Tourist Home Licenses are allowed as an accessory use in all commercial zoning districts in Golden including C-1, C2, RC, CMU and PUD’s that are commercial in nature. A Tourist Home License does not have the primary residency requirement.

What licenses are needed to operate a Short Term Rental?

STR operators not only need to be in a zone that allows this use, they must also get a sales tax license, and collect and remit taxes. At this time, only AirBnB has an agreement with the City of Golden to collect sales tax on behalf of hosts and remit to the City. If the host advertises and rents on a short-term basis through any other company, they must remit sales tax to the City.

STRs and Tourist Homes require a license. This license is $200 for two years.

What happens to Short Term Rentals that were operating illegally?

In many cases, home owners who operated a short-term rental were not aware it was illegal without a permit or not allowed in their zoning district. Ordinance 2078 allows short term rentals as an accessory use to all residential zoning districts. Home owners are asked to come into compliance by applying for the appropriate license (STR license if zoned residential or Tourist Home license if zoned commercial) and getting a Sales and Use Tax License.

If a licensed STR property is sold, the new owners will have the ability to apply for a new license in their name, however, licenses are non-transferrable.

What does a Short Term Rental License entail?

  • Both Short Term Rental and Tourist Home Licenses are $200 for two years and are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  • License must be posted in the dwelling unit rented on a short-term basis.
  • License number must be included in all advertising.
  • The owner’s name, phone number, and a phone number of local emergency contact in addition to the owner must be provided.
  • Proof of primary residence (if applying for a short-term rental license in a residential district.)
  • A description of the area to be rented (ex. back bedroom and bath; downstairs portion of house, accessory unit on the property, etc.)
  • Owner must complete and self-certify that the dwelling unit meets required life and safety standards.
  • Properties may be subject to additional inspection.
  • Sales tax collection and remittance.
  • Proof of fire, hazard and liability insurance coverage of 1 million per person.
  • Meet off-street parking requirements as required by code.

What are the parking requirements?

Number of off-street spaces required for non-downtown areas:

  • Single family residence: 1
  • Multifamily residence: 1.5 for each unit that has one or two bedrooms and 2 spaces for each unit that has three or more bedrooms.

Number of off-street spaces required for downtown areas:

  • Single family residence: 1
  • Multifamily residence not greater than 800 square feet with no more than one bedroom: 1
  • Multifamily residence greater than 800 square feet, each unit must have 1.5 spaces for one or two
    bedrooms and 2 spaces for each unit that has three or more bedrooms.

Can a Carriage House, one side of a duplex, or an adjacent property that I reside in be considered for a Short Term Rental license in a residential zoning district?

A carriage house (Accessory Dwelling Unit) or one side of a duplex that is not a primary residence can be a short term rental if it is located on a lot containing a primary residence. An adjacent property does not qualify.

How will the City enforce and what are the penalties for operating without a license?

The City is contracting with a specialized company that scrubs over 25 online sites daily and provides listings and address information. The City will use this information to notify STR operators who are not licensed or not in compliance with the requirements of their license.

The City will seek voluntary compliance prior to issuing any fines.

Violations of any provision of Chapter 18.22, Temporary Lodging Regulations, may result in a civil penalty according to the following schedule:

  • First violation = $150
  • Second violation = $300
  • Third violation = $1,000
  • The City may revoke a license or make a property ineligible for a license in the future.
  • The City may issue any order reasonably calculated to ensure compliance.

Do STR regulations result in a regulatory taking of the property?

The STR regulations are designed to reasonably address legitimate policy concerns and impacts on the public from the use of property for STRs. Therefore, the regulations will not result in a regulatory taking of property.

What if I had an existing permit allowing me to conduct short term rentals prior to the effective date of the new regulations?

A dwelling unit permitted as a “Tourist Home” as a special use prior to March 8, 2018 is considered a nonconforming use for the duration of the term of the special use permit. Upon expiration of the existing special use permit, the dwelling unit may be used as a short-term rental provided the dwelling unit to be licensed meets the new license requirements.

Per Ordinance 2078 pdf download, the City’s records indicate that the properties located at 922 10th Street, 1180 9th Street and 1114 Illinois Street, which are zoned R-3, and were issued a special use permit to operate a Tourist Home prior to March 8, 2018, are not required to meet the primary residency requirement upon application for a short-term rental license as they were not living on their properties at the time they were granted the special use permit.

COG Mesa

 Golden was named after Thomas L. Golden,
a gold prospector who arrived in Jefferson County in 1858.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa