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  • Regulation Revision

    Over the years, regulations have been fluid, with county staff continually drafting revisions to the documents in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Jefferson County. The original zoning resolution was adopted by the county commissioners in 1946 and the land development regulation was adopted in 1978.

    Land Development Regulation, Section 2, Waivers
    Zoning Resolution, Section 4 and 5, Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
    Previous Changes to the Regulations

    The County is proposing changes to the Land Development Regulation, Section 2, Waivers

    Jefferson County staff is drafting an amendment to Section 2 of the Land Development Regulations regarding waivers. The amendments to the LDR are intended to allow the BCC, at the time of BCC hearing, to overturn waivers granted by the Director of Planning & Zoning.

    Staff’s goals for this revision are:

    • To rename “Waiver” to more accurately reflect the process – now called “Alternative Standards/Requirements”
    • To clarify the process – a process and timeline for requests is proposed
    • To improve transparency - notification of Alternative Standards/Requirements requests is required
    • Clarify the appeal process – clarifies that either the applicant or other entity may appeal the determination of the Director of P&Z within 30 days  


    View a red-marked copy of the revisions to Section 2 Adobe PDF Icon
    View a clean copy of the revisions to Section 2 Adobe PDF Icon
    View a red-marked copy of the revisions to Section 3 – Notification Adobe PDF Icon

    The PC hearing is scheduled for November 12th at 6:15 pm, and the BCC hearing is scheduled for November 25th at 8:00 am.  

    View all supporting documents for the waiver regulation revision, Case No. 14-111681AM 

    For more information contact Russell Clark, 303-271-8754.  

    The County is proposing changes to Zoning Resolution, Section 4 and 5, Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

    On Tuesday, November 18, the Board of County Commissioners decided to continue the hearing for the Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulation update until Tuesday, December 9. The Board requested that staff develop potential language to add to the regulation in regard to site design for accessory dwelling units on properties more than 1 acre (to address meadows, steep slopes, view corridors and other constraints identified in the Comprehensive Master Plan) and a note that can be recorded under the real property records to give notice to future property owners that there are separate regulations pertaining to the accessory dwelling unit.

    Public testimony will be taken at this hearing, but will be limited to the new items requested by the Board.

    An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an additional dwelling that can either be added to an existing single family detached dwelling, or built as a separate accessory structure on the same lot as the primary dwelling. These types of structures are often called “granny cottages.” To be considered an ADU, the unit has provisions for an independent kitchen, and must be clearly subordinate to the main dwelling. 

    Currently, to qualify for an ADU a property owner must prove at a Board of Adjustment hearing that the ADU will only be occupied by a family member, the property is a minimum of one acre, and adequate water and sanitation is provided. Draft 1 of the revisions was released in March. Draft 2 was released in July. Changes have been made to Section 5 and various versions of Draft 3 are in the Draft 3 folder. This folder contains a clean version of Draft 3, a version that shows just the changes since Draft 2, and a version that shows all changes from the existing regulation. It also contains changes that are now being proposed to Section 34 of the Zoning Resolution, the Mountain Ground Water Overlay District. Those documents say Draft 1 since this is the first time staff is proposing changes to that section. You can also view staff’s responses to the comments received on Draft 2 in the Draft 2 comment response log-8-20-14.

    The three major changes proposed are as follows.

    1. Process - The process is proposed to be changed from a Board of Adjustment hearing to an administrative process where the decision is made by staff based on specific criteria. This is why the location of the regulation is changing from Section 4 to Section 5 of the Zoning Resolution.

    2. Occupant - The requirement that the ADU be occupied by a family member is proposed to be removed and replaced by a requirement that one of the units must be occupied by the property owner. The other unit could be occupied by a family member, a caretaker, a nanny, or a renter.

    3. Lot and Unit size - The minimum lot size has been reduced, but the maximum unit size is also reduced on a tiered scale, so that as lot size is reduced so is the size of the ADU.

    Valid proof of water and sanitation will still be required.

    The intent of these regulation changes is not to double the density allowed in an area, or to allow the ADU to be sold off as an independent unit. The intent is to create more housing options for Jefferson County citizens. This would allow some citizens to age in place by having a second unit for perhaps a caretaker or grown children.

    The Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 29 at 6:15 pm. The Board of County Commissioners hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, November 18 at 8:00 am. Public testimony is taken at both hearings. The hearings are located in Hearing Room 1, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden.

    View all supporting documents for the ADU regulation revision, Case No. 13-115927AM  

    Presentation - ADU Community Meetings April 2014 Adobe PDF Icon
    Meeting Notes - April 23 Adobe PDF Icon
    Educational Materials – Draft 1Adobe PDF Icon

    For more information contact Heather Gutherless, 303-271-8716. If Heather is unavailable, you may also contact either Dennis Dempsey, 303-271-8734 or Christiana Farrell, 303-271-8740.

    Previous Changes to the Regulations