Gilpin Commissioners reduce new community development fees

For short-term rentals, camping, home-based businesses, and contractor registration

By Randy Beaudette

Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners conducted a work session on March 30, 2021 to address the new Community Development Regulations and Fees.

Board-Chair Linda Isenhart opened up the online meeting promptly at 9:00 am along with Commissioners Web Sill and Sandy Hollingsworth. Also joining online were County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Brad Benning, Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate, and Community Planner Tami Archer.

Work Session Purpose

Revised Community Development Fee Schedule (Resolution 21-05) was discussed at the March 16th Commissioners meeting, but the BoCC passed a motion of continuance to allow for additional time to review the contents and understand the ramifications of Resolution 21-05. To note: The Revised Zoning Regulations that generated this fee schedule was approved at the Commissioners January 5th meeting.

Short Term Rentals

  During the pandemic, the staff at the Community planning office was asked to send notices to Short Term Rental (STR) operators to ensure they were in compliance with the County and State Health Orders. But because Gilpin County at that time did not require Short Term Rentals to be permitted, this task was not possible. Since then, Community Development has implemented a permit process for the STRs. A fee of $365 annual fee for the STR permit was proposed at the March 16 meeting that would cover the personnel costs of the application review, inspections, and permit issuance process. After much discussion, the Commissioners agreed to introduce a proposition to reduce the fee to $200.

Private Camping Permit

One of the top complaints to the Community Development office is long term-camping on private property. These cases are difficult to enforce because Gilpin County has no process to monitor such activity. After discussion with the County Attorney, a short-term camping permit was added to the zoning code which was modeled after the Clear Creek camping permit process. The permit will allow the County to track camping on private property which will allow campers to stay 30 days total in one calendar year at the cost of $15 per permit. This zoning regulation does not affect commercial operations or Temporary Housing Permits which are associated with new home construction. The Commissioners agreed that this Zoning Regulation that was amended in January is overstepping property owner’s rights and that they wish to target the repeat violators and not punish folks for enjoying their property. It is suggested that an amendment to the newly amended Zoning Regulations be introduced in the near future that will identify zoning violators without infringing on property owner’s rights. Currently the zoning regulations limit private property camping to 30 days, but there will not be fee assessed to the issuance of the permit.

Change of Use permit

The amendment to the Zoning Regulations included a requirement to obtain a County issued Change-in-Use permit. This requirement allows staff to review and permit home-based businesses in addition to assuring zoning compliance for changes in commercial uses. Home-Based business established before February 15, 2021 are exempt from the Change-in-Use permit process, but any business either Home-based or Commercial that changes their business model or establishes a new business is required to comply with the amended Zoning regulations. In Resolution 21-05, there is a $100 proposed fee associated with the Change-in-Use permit. The Commissioners amended that fee to $25 for Home-Based businesses, and $100 for Commercial Change-in-Use permits.

Contractor Registration

The amended Zoning Regulation requires licensing of building contractors. The license ensures that they are in compliance with building code regulations which is required by surrounding jurisdictions. The Contractor License permit helps protect citizens of the County from unsafe conditions and requires contractors to carry professional liability insurance. During the discussion on this subject, the consensus was to change Contractor Licensing to Contractor Registration due to the extensive resources that may be consumed to license the various contractors. Plumbers, electricians, and on-site waste contractors are licensed by other independent agencies which are required in Gilpin County. Resolution 21-05 proposes a fee of $100 for Contractor Registration.

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR)

The amended Zoning Regulation also added the public hearing component to the Option I Transfer of Development Rights. The proposed $500 fee covers staff time to prepare for public hearings and to post the hearing notice on the property. Option II and III TDR (when available) may require a fee of $500 plus $100 per lot in the receiving area.

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