Other Permits

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Christmas Tree Lots  

A Miscellaneous Permit and an Electrical Permit are required for all Christmas Tree Lots. Miscellaneous Permits are issued by Planning & Zoning while Electrical Permits are issued by Building Safety. Christmas Tree lots are generally allowed in commercial, industrial, corridor and similar Planned Development zone districts.

Christmas tree lots are required to meet the following standards:

  • Must be at least 50 feet away from all roads and buildings
  • Must have sanitary facilities available
  • Temporary buildings or trailers associated with the sales lot, as well as all tree-related debris and materials, must be removed from the site by January 15
  • No overnight sleeping or residential uses are allowed

Required submittal items for a Miscellaneous Permit for a Christmas tree lot include:

  • A site plan, to scale, showing the location sales lot and any temporary buildings or structures. The site plan must also show property lines, nearby roadways and buildings.
  • A parking plan showing the parking spaces that will be “removed” with the lot, and that there are enough parking stalls for the temporary tree lot use and any existing nearby uses.

Applications and Documents

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Defensible Space

The mountainous areas of Jefferson County are at risk for wildfires. The County requires a Defensible Space Permit (i.e. wildfire mitigation work) on properties above 6,400 feet in elevation in the following instances:

  • New residences or replacements of residences
  • Additions of more than 400 square feet of livable space, cumulatively measured from May 21, 2002 (when Defensible Space regulations took effect)
    • Generally, homes, decks and ADUs are considered livable space
  • New development projects, such as new subdivision plats
  • When required by a note on a subdivision plat

Wildfire mitigation work must be inspected by a County-approved forester (PDF). Please get in touch with a Planner to see if your project may require a Defensible Space Permit.

Applications and Documents

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Events

Many events require a Special Event Permit. Zoning regulations limit the type and number of events that can take place on private property and in the Right-Of-Way. Full details on rules and regulations regarding events can be found in the Special Events section of the Zoning Resolution

Types of Events

Events exempt from this permitting process include:

  • Funeral processions
  • Residential gatherings customarily incidental to a residentially-zoned property (e.g. birthday parties, etc.)
  • Events which have received a permit or approval by some other governmental entity (e.g. JeffCo Open Space) and are contained on that agency’s property
  • Events in a building that are associated with the property’s zoning (i.e. riding events at a horse staple, etc.)
  • Emergency events

A Special Event Permit is generally not required if the event is an allowed use under the zoning, and the event meets the following criteria:

  • The event does not operate between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. the next day
  • The event is entirely on private property with the permission of the landowner
  • All parking is contained on-site or on nearby private property with the permission of the landowner
  • No on- or off-site grading or topographic alteration is required
  • The event does not create undo traffic congestion or the potential for traffic collisions
  • There is no food service offered for public consumption or sale
  • Adequate water, sanitation, and refuse collection is provided
  • No noise, dust, smoke, glare, light trespass, or other form of environmental or visual pollution is generated which would have a significant negative effect on neighbors

Events that will always require a Special Event Permit include:

  • Temporary events not wholly contained within a building or structure including “Parade of Homes” type events, carnivals, circuses, festivals, concerts, revivals, parades, road races, and other similar events
  • Any event affecting or within a public Right-Of-Way
  • Any event for a use not allowed in the zone district

Permitting Process

Special Event Permit Applications are required to be submitted at least 90 calendar days before the event date. Required items include:

  • Special Event Permit Application
  • A cover letter addressing all items listed on the back of the application
  • A site plan drawn to scale displaying all of the existing features of the property (structures, property lines, parking spaces, restrooms, etc.) along with the proposed temporary additions (portable toilets, temporary structures, water stations, etc.)
  • Written confirmation from the property owner(s) agreeing to the use of the property for the event or a copy of the lease agreement (this includes any offsite parking)
  • Evidence of availability of and access to water and sanitization services
    • If the event is utilizing porta-potties, evidence of a maintenance contract specifying the servicing and removal of the porta-potties
  • Evidence of a refuse contract
  • Written permission from the local fire protection district and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • For events proposed on County property or in the Right-Of-Way:
    • Evidence of insurance; for details please see the Special Events Section of the Jefferson County Zoning Resolution
    • A plan for providing public notification along the route of races involving complete or partial closure of roads/streets
    • Written permission from the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol for events impacting CDOT ROW

Applications and Documents

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Fireworks Stands

A Fireworks Sales Permit from the County and permits from the local fire protection district are required in order to operate a fireworks stand anywhere in the County. Firework stands may be permitted prior to the Fourth of July, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Fireworks stands are generally allowed in zone districts that allow for retail sales and similar Planned Development zone districts.

Fireworks stands are required to meet a number of standards related to storage, vegetation, fire safety and more. These requirements are outlined in the County’s Fireworks Sales Policy (PDF). Additional regulations from your local fire protection district may apply.

A Fireworks Sales Permit Application must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the anticipated first day of sales. Permits are only valid for 60 days once issued. A checklist of items required as a part of the application are included in the application documents and in the County’s policy.

Applications and Documents

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Home Businesses

Planning & Zoning has regulations that may allow you to operate a commercial business on a residential property, provided you meet all regulations and have the necessary permits. The Home Occupations section of the Jefferson County Zoning Resolution has detailed regulations about which types of home businesses are allowed.

Miscellaneous Permits

These are typically simple home office types of home businesses that have few impacts and only one customer or visitor at a time. Here are some examples of home businesses requiring Miscellaneous Permits:

  • Home offices with customers, clients or a coworker who doesn’t live there
  • Small home daycares (less than six children) (state permit required)
  • Tutoring, private music lessons, etc.

Administrative Exception

Home businesses that are a little more impactful. This process involves a review by the Director of Planning and Zoning. More details on this process can be found on our Exceptions and Relief page. Some examples of businesses permitted through this process are:

  • Home salons, massage and acupuncture
  • Online sales and mail-order businesses (such as Etsy or Ebay shops)
  • Large home daycares (less than 12 children) (state permit required)

Board of Adjustment

Home businesses that don’t fit all criteria outlined in the Home Occupations section involve a public hearing. More details on this process can be found on our Exceptions and Relief page. Some examples of businesses permitted through this process are:

  • Gunsmithing and firearm transfers
  • Wood shops
  • Dog Training

Some Home Occupations are not allowed through these processes and may require Rezoning the property. Please get in touch with a Planner about your business plans so we can determine which process works best for you.

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Signs

Most signs require a Sign Permit before construction. Signs need to meet required setbacks, height limitations, and any limitations on square footage or sign types. These regulations are determined by the property’s zone district and property characteristics.

Signs may not be in easements or floodplains. Easements are often found centered on lot lines for the purpose of drainage or utilities.

There are a handful of signs that are prohibited by the County, including off-site signs, billboard, balloons and other “lighter than air” type signs.

There are also a handful of signs that do not require permits, including some types of temporary signs, window signs, bus bench signs, flags less than 30 square feet, and parking lot or drive through directional types of signs.

We recommend getting in touch with a Planner about your project and determine exactly which documents will be required as a part of the permitting process, as those do change depending on the scope of the project and property characteristics.

Applications and Documents

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Short Term Rentals

Planning & Zoning is currently working on updating the regulations regarding Short Term Rentals. For updates or questions, please email us here.

Short Term Rentals (Airbnbs, VRBOs, etc.) are not a permitted use by right in Jefferson County. Property owners must obtain a Special Exception to allow for the special use of the property before applying for a Short Term Rental Permit to allow the use. The County defines short-term rentals as any rentals for less than one month (30 days). The Special Exception process involves a hearing before the Board of Adjustment. The Special Exception must be renewed after six months, followed up by a new Short Term Rental Permit, then renewed annually thereafter, each time followed up by a new Short Term Rental Permit. The process can be lengthy and expensive.

Only properties meeting the following standards can apply for a Special Exception to allow a Short Term Rental:

  • The property must be at least one acre
  • The building standards (setbacks, height, etc.) of the property’s underlying zone district must be met
  • Adequate parking is provided
  • Defensible Space requirements are met
  • Valid water and wastewater service must be demonstrated
  • The dwelling has no more than five bedrooms

Applications and Documents

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Solar Panels

  • Roof-mounted solar panels flush against the roof of an existing residential or commercial structure do not require any permits from Planning & Zoning. Electrical Permits from Building Safety are likely necessary.
    • These must be solar panels intended to serve primarily the property, and not intended solely to sell energy back to the grid commercially.
  • Roof-mounted solar panels extending up to five feet above existing structures require a Miscellaneous Permit. Electrical Permits from Building Safety are likely necessary.
    • These must be solar panels intended to serve primarily the property, and not intended solely to sell energy back to the grid commercially.
  • Commercial solar installations, intended to sell energy back to the grid, require going through a Special Exception process to allow for the use, followed by a Miscellaneous Permit.

All solar panel installations need to meet required setbacks and height limitations. Setbacks are how far structures need to be from the property lines. Setbacks for solar panels are taken from the edge of the panel, not from the support structure beneath it. Both setbacks and height limitations are determined by your property’s zone district. There are additional rules and regulations in the Alternative Energy Resources section of the Zoning Resolution.

Applications and Documents

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Telecommunications

Most telecommunication uses require a Telecommunication Permit before construction. This includes new towers, other antenna support structures, new antennae (including replacement of existing) and associated equipment. Telecommunication Permits are frequently used for personal wireless services (cell towers and antennae swaps), amateur radio facilities, broadcast facilities, two-way commercial radios and earth-based satellites.

The Zoning Resolution lists exemptions to the Telecommunication Permit process. Telecommunication uses are not allowed in all zone districts. In those zone districts that do allow for the use, the facilities need to meet required setbacks, height limitations and design standards determined by the zone district.

We recommend getting in touch with a Planner about your project and determine exactly which documents will be required as a part of the permitting process, as those do change depending on the scope of the project and property characteristics.

Applications and Documents

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Wind Turbines

  • Wind energy conversion systems (such as wind turbines) serving a residential or commercial use on the same property require a Miscellaneous Permit.
    • These must be wind turbines intended to serve primarily the property, and not intended solely to sell energy back to the grid commercially.
  • Commercial wind turbine installations, intended to sell energy back to the grid, require going through a Special Exception process to allow for the use, followed by a Miscellaneous Permit.

All wind turbine installations need to meet required setbacks and height limitations. Setbacks are how far structures need to be from the property lines. Height for wind turbines is measured to the top of the hub, not to the top of the blade as it is rotating. Both setbacks and height limitations are determined by your property’s zone district. There are additional rules and regulations in the Alternative Energy Resources section of the Zoning Resolution.

Applications and Documents

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