Page Contents

Chapter 9-9: Development Standards1

9-9-1 Intent.Go to the top

The purpose of this chapter is to indicate the site improvement standards, including related public improvements, for all development. The development standards are the code requirements that describe how specific portions of a project must be designed. Development standards address the physical relationship between new development and redevelopment and adjacent properties, public streets, neighborhoods, and the natural environment. They are intended to ensure that new development is consistent with the quality and character of the built environment in the city.

9-9-2.  General Provisions. Go to the top

No person shall use or develop any land within the city except according to the following standards, unless modified through a use review under Section 9-2-15, "Use Review," B.R.C. 1981, or a site review, Section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981, or a variance granted under Section 9-2-3, "Variances and Interpretations," B.R.C., 1981.

(a)  Fire and Life Safety: All development shall meet the applicable requirements of Chapter 10-8, "Fire Code," B.R.C. 1981.

(b)  Maximum Permitted Buildings on a Lot: No more than one principal building shall be placed on a lot in the RR, RE, RL, and RM zoning districts unless approved under the provisions of Section 9-2-14, "Site Review," or 9-7-12, "Two Detached Dwellings on a Single Lot," B.R.C. 1981.

(c)  Parcel as Building Lot and Merger of Nonstandard Lots or Parcels: The following standards shall apply for the purposes of determining whether there is a building site:

(1)  Single Parcel Under More Than One Ownership: Where a single parcel of land under more than one ownership has not been subdivided as required by this code, another ordinance of the city, state law, or judicial decree, it shall be deemed to be one building lot.

(2)  Merger of Nonstandard Lots or Parcels in All Classifications Except RR and RE: A nonstandard lot or parcel and a contiguous lot or parcel, whether nonstandard or conforming, in all zoning districts except RR-1, RR-2, and RE shall be deemed merged as one building lot if such lots have been held under one ownership continuously at any time since February 8, 1984.

(3)  Merger of Nonstandard Lots or Parcels in RR and RE: A nonstandard lot or parcel and a contiguous lot or parcel, whether nonstandard or conforming, in the RR-1, RR-2, and RE zoning district classification shall be deemed to be merged as one building lot if:

(A)  Such lots or parcels have been held under one ownership continuously at any time since February 8, 1984; and

(B)  Such lots or parcels were not created as a building site that met the minimum lot size for the zoning district in place at that time of subdivision; were not subdivided under City of Boulder subdivision regulations in place on and after September 18, 1951; and do not meet the minimum development requirements for nonstandard lots or parcels in Subsection 9-10-3(b), B.R.C. 1981.

(4)  Sale of a Portion of a Merged Lot or Parcel Prohibited: No portion of such a merged building lot or parcel shall be used or sold in a manner which diminishes compliance with the minimum lot requirements established by this chapter.

(d)  Zoning Standards for Lots in Two or More Zoning Districts: Existing buildings located in more than one zoning district shall be regulated according to the applicable use standards for the zoning district in which the majority of the existing building is located. Any building additions or site improvements shall be regulated according to the zoning district in which such additions or improvements are located. In the event that an existing building is split in half between two zoning districts, the city manager shall determine which use standards shall apply based upon the historic use of the building and the character of the surrounding area.

(e)  Entire Use Located on One Lot: No person shall include as part of a lot area, open space, off-street parking area, or yard required by this chapter for any building or use any part of a lot area, open space, off-street parking area, or yard required by this chapter for any other building or use, unless approved under the provisions of Section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981.

Ordinance Nos. 7684 (2009); 7925 (2013)

9-9-3 Building Design.Go to the top

(a) Window Requirements for Buildings: Window areas required by Section 9-7-1, "Schedule of Form and Bulk Standards," B.R.C. 1981, must be located on any ground floor facade facing a public street and shall be made of transparent materials, meaning glass, or other similar materials that possess a minimum sixty percent transmittance factor and a reflectance factor of not greater than 0.25, or otherwise designed to allow pedestrians to view activities inside the buildings. This standard shall not apply to residential uses that occur along the ground floor facade.

9-9-4 Public Improvements.Go to the top

(a) Design and Construction Standards: The City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards is hereby adopted by reference, and has the same force and effect as though fully set forth in the Boulder Revised Code, 1981.

(b) Design and Construction of Public Improvements: All development shall meet the applicable requirements of the Boulder Revised Code, 1981, including, without limitation, Chapter 8-2, "Streets and Sidewalks," and title 11, "Utilities and Airport," and all public improvements shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards.

9-9-5 Site Access Control.Go to the top

(a) Access Control: Vehicular access to property from the public right of way shall be controlled in such a manner as to protect the traffic-carrying capacity and safety of the street upon which the property abuts and access is taken, ensuring that the public use and purpose of public rights of way is unimpaired as well as to protect the value of the public infrastructure and adjacent property. The requirements of this section apply to all land uses, including single-family residential land uses, as follows:

(1) For all uses, except single-family residential, the standards shall be met prior to a final inspection for any building permit for new development; redevelopment exceeding twenty-five percent of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure; or the addition of a dwelling unit.

(2) For single-family residential uses, the standards of this section shall be met prior to a final inspection for any building permit for new development; the demolition of a principal structure; or the conversion of an attached garage or carport to a use other than use as a parking space.

(b) Access for Properties Subject to Annexation: Each parcel of land under a single ownership at the time of its annexation will be reviewed in terms of access as one parcel (regardless of subsequent sales of a portion) unless the property is subdivided at the time of its annexation.

(c) Standards and Criteria for Site Accesses and Curb Cuts: Any access or curb cut to public rights of way shall be designed in accordance with the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards and the following standards and criteria:

(1) Number of Access Points Permitted: One access point or curb cut per property will be permitted, unless a site plan or traffic study, approved by the city manager, demonstrates that additional access points and curb cuts are required to adequately address accessibility, circulation, and driveway volumes, and only where additional accesses and curb cuts would not impair any public use of any public right-of-way, or create safety or operational problems, or be detrimental to traffic flow on adjacent public streets.

(2) Access Restrictions: On arterial and collector streets, or if necessary for the safe and efficient movement of traffic, all accesses shall be designed and constructed with physical improvements and appropriate traffic control measures to assist or restrict turning movements, including, without limitation, acceleration or deceleration lanes, access islands, street medians, and signage, as may be required of the development if the city manager finds that they are necessary to preserve the safety or the traffic-carrying capacity of the existing street. The city manager shall determine the length and degree of the required access restriction measures for the property.

(3) Residential Access to Arterial and Collector Streets Restricted: No residential structures shall have direct access onto an arterial. However, if no alternative street access is possible, an access may be permitted subject to the incorporation of any design standards determined to be necessary by the city manager to preserve the safety and the traffic-carrying capacity of the arterial or collector.

(4) Access From Lowest Category Street Required: A property that has frontage on more than one street, alley or public access shall locate its access or curb cut on the lowest category street, alley or public access frontage. If more than one access point or curb cut is necessary, an additional access or curb cut will be permitted only where the proposed access or curb cut satisfies the requirements in this section.

(5) Property Right to Access: If a property cannot be served by any access point or curb cut that satisfies this section, the city manager will designate the access point or curb cut for the subject property based on optimal traffic safety.

(6) Multiple Access Points for Single-Family Residential: The city manager will permit multiple access points on the same street for single-family residential lots upon finding that there is at least one hundred linear feet of lot frontage adjacent to the front yard on such street, the area has a limited amount of pedestrian activity because of the low density character, and there is enough on-street parking within three hundred feet of the property to meet the off-street parking needs of such area. The total cumulative width of multiple curb cuts shall not exceed the maximum permitted width of a single curb cut. The minimum spacing between multiple curb cuts on the same property shall not be less than sixty-five feet.

(7) Shared Driveways for Residential Structures: A detached single-family residential lot that does not have frontage on the street from which access is taken may be served by a shared driveway that meets all of the standards and criteria for shared driveways set forth in the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards.

(8) Minimum Driveway Width: The minimum width of a driveway leading to an off-street parking space shall not be less than nine feet. A driveway, or portion of a driveway, may be located on an adjacent property if an easement is obtained from the impacted property owner. (See figure 9-1 of this section.)

Figure 1: Minimum Driveway Width

Figure 9-1: Minimum Driveway Width

(9) Exceptions: The requirements of this section may be modified under the provisions of section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981, to provide for safe and reasonable access. Exceptions to this section may be made if the city manager determines that:

(A) The topography, configuration of a lot, or other physical constraints makes taking access from the lowest category street, alley or public access frontage impractical, or the character of the existing area is such that a proposed or existing access to the street, alley or public access frontage is compatible with the access of properties in such area;

(B) The site access and curb cuts would not impair public use of the public right-of-way; create safety or operational problems or be detrimental to traffic flow on adjacent public streets; and

(C) The site access and curb cuts will minimize impacts to the existing on-street parking patterns.

(d) Site Access in the Transit Village: In the area that is a part of the Transit Village that is shown on Appendix G of Title 9, "Land Use Regulation," B.R.C. 1981, all properties that request a development approval that includes any additional residential units or the addition of any nonresidential floor area shall take primary vehicular access off of a street that is consistent with the approved Transit Village Connection Plan and that is not a street that is classified as minor arterial or above on the Transportation Master Plan. Secondary vehicular access on a street that is classified as minor arterial or above may be approved if it meets all of the requirements of this section.

(e) Access Permit Required: Prior to the issuance of a building permit, a proposed site access or curb cut to public right-of-way must receive any necessary permits, including:

(1) City Streets: Any site access or curb cut proposed and constructed in city rights-of-way, including, without limitation, streets and alleys, require a permit under chapter 8-5, "Work in the Public Right-of-Way and Public Easements," B.R.C. 1981.

(2) State Highways: In addition to the permit required in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, any site access or curb cut proposed, constructed, modified, or accessing a site where a change of use is being proposed on a State Highway requires a State Highway access permit as specified in the State Highway Access Code (SHAC). Applications for a State Highway access permit shall be made to the City of Boulder, which is the Issuing Authority. The city, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Transportation, will review all applications for conformance with SHAC design and construction requirements prior to issuance of a State Highway access permit.

Ordinance Nos. 5986 (1998); 7287 (2003); 7655 (2009); 7681 (2009); 7738 (2010)

9-9-6 Parking Standards.Go to the top

(a) Rationale: The intent of this section is to provide adequate off-street parking for all uses, to prevent undue congestion and interference with the traffic carrying capacity of city streets, and to minimize the visual and environmental impacts of excessive parking lot paving.

(b) Off-Street Parking Requirements: The number of required off-street parking spaces shall be provided in tables 9-1, 9-2, 9-3, and 9-4 of this section:

(1) Residential Parking Requirements:

TABLE 9-1: RESIDENTIAL PARKING REQUIREMENTS BY ZONING DISTRICT AND UNIT TYPE

Zone District Standard
RR, RE, MU-1,
MU-3, BMS,
DT, A, RH-6
RMX-2, MU-2, MH, IMS
RL, RM, RMX-1, RH-4, RH-5, BT, BC, BR, IS, IG, IM, P, RH-2
RH-1
RH-3
MU-4, RH-7
Minimum number of off-street parking spaces for a detached dwelling unit (DU)
1
1
1
1 space for detached DUs construction prior to 9/2/1993. Use the requirements below for DUs built after 9/2/1993
1
0
Maximum number of off-street parking spaces for an attached DU
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
1 space per DU
Minimum number of off-street parking spaces for an attached DU
1
1 for 1- or 2-bedroom DU 1.5 for 3-bedroom DU 2 for a 4 or more bedroom DU
1 for 1-bedroom DU 1.5 for 2-bedroom DU 2 for 3-bedroom DU 3 for a 4 or more bedroom DU
1 space for first 500 square feet and 1 additional space for each 300 square feet or portion thereof not to exceed 4 spaces per DU
1 for 1-bedroom DU 1.5 for 2-bedroom DU 2 for 3-bedroom DU 3 for a 4-or-more-bedroom DU
0
Accessible space requirement 0 spaces for the first 7 DUs, 1 space per 7 DUs thereafter
Bicycle parking requirement No bicycle parking spaces are required in the A, RR, RE, RL, RM, and RMX districts. In all other zoning districts, at least 3 bicycle parking spaces or 10 percent of the required off-street parking spaces, whichever is greater, are required. After the first 50 bicycle parking spaces are provided, the required number of additional bicycle parking spaces is 5 percent of the required off-street parking spaces.
N/A
N/A
Short-term bicycle parking requirements
N/A
At least 4 spaces or 1 space for every 10 DUs, whichever is greater
At least 4 spaces or 1 space for every 10 DUs, whichever is greater
Additional long-term bicycle parking space requirement
N/A
Two spaces per DU
Two spaces per DU

(2) Supplemental Requirements for Residential Uses:

TABLE 9-2: SUPPLEMENTAL PARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC USES IN ALL ZONES

UseParking Requirement
Roomers within a single-unit dwelling
1 space per 2 roomers
Residential developments in which 1-bedroom units are 60 percent or more of the total
1.25 spaces per 1-bedroom unit
Rooming house, boarding house, fraternity, sorority, group quarters and hostels
2 spaces per 3 occupants
Efficiency units, transitional housing
1 space per DU
Bed and breakfast
1 space per guest room + 1 space for operator or owner's DU within building
Accessory dwelling unit, owner's accessory unit
1 space, paved, in addition to the requirement for the principal DU
Group homes: residential, custodial or congregate care
Off-street parking appropriate to use and needs of the facility and the number of vehicles used by its occupants, as determined through review
Cooperative housing units
1 space per 2 occupants
Overnight shelter
1 space for each 20 occupants, based on the maximum occupancy of the facility, plus 1 space for each employee or volunteer that may be on site at any given time computed on the basis of the maximum numbers of employees and volunteers on the site at any given time
Day shelter
Use the same ratio as general nonresidential uses in the zone
Emergency shelter
1 space for each 20 occupants, based on the maximum occupancy of the facility, plus 1 space for each employee or volunteer that may be on site at any given time computed on the basis of the maximum numbers of employees and volunteers on the site at any given time, plus 1 space for each attached type dwelling unit
Existing duplexes or multi-family dwelling units in the RL-1 zoning district
Greater of 1.5 spaces per unit or number of spaces required when units were established

(3) Nonresidential Parking Requirements:

TABLE 9-3: NONRESIDENTIAL PARKING REQUIREMENTS BY ZONING DISTRICT2

Zone District
Standard
RH-3, RH-7, MU-4
(within a
parking
district)
RH-3, RH-7, MU-4
(not in a
parking
district)
DT, MU-3, BMS
(within a
parking
district)
BCS, BR-1,
IS, IG,
IM, A
RMX-2, MU-2,
IMS, BMS
(not in a
parking
district)
MU-1,
MU-3
(not in a parking district)
RR, RE, RL, RM,
RMX-1, RH-1,
RH-2, RH-4, RH-5,
BT, BC, BR-2, P
(not in a
parking
district)
Minimum number of off-street parking spaces per square foot of floor area for nonresidential uses and their accessory uses
0
1:400
1:400 if residential uses comprise less than 50 percent of the floor area; otherwise 1:500
1:300 if residential uses comprise less than 50 percent of the floor area; otherwise 1:400
1:300

Maximum number of off-street parking spaces per square foot of floor area for nonresidential uses and their accessory uses

N/A

1:400 if residential uses comprise less than 50 percent of the floor area; otherwise 1:500

N/A

Bicycle parking requirement
N/A
No bicycle parking spaces are required in the A, RR, RE, RL, RM and RMX districts. In all other zoning districts, at least 3 bicycle parking spaces or 10 percent of the required off-street parking spaces, whichever is greater, are required. After the first 50 bicycle parking spaces are provided, the required number of additional bicycle parking spaces is 5 percent of the required off-street parking spaces.
Short-term bicycle parking requirements
At least 3 spaces or 1:4000 sq. ft. if residential uses comprise less than 50 percent of the floor area, or 1:5000 sq. ft., whichever is greater
At least 3 spaces or1:3000 sq. ft., whichever is greater
N/A
Long-term bicycle parking
At least 3 spaces or 1:2000 sq. ft. if residential uses comprise less than 50 percent of the floor area, or 1:2500 sq. ft., whichever is greater
At least 3 spaces or 1:1500 sq. ft., whichever is greater
N/A
Accessible parking requirement

A proportion of spaces in any parking facility provided to serve nonresidential uses shall be reserved as accessible parking spaces according to the following:

Total Number of Parking Spaces Provided     Required Minimum Number of Accessible Spaces
1 to 25
 
1
26 to 50
 
2
51 to 75
 
3
76 to 100
 
4
101 to 150
 
5
151 to 200
 
6
201 to 300
 
7
301 to 400
 
8
401 to 500
 
9
501 to 1,000
 
2 percent of total
Over 1,000
 
20 plus 1 for each 100 over 1,000

(4) Supplemental Requirements for Nonresidential Uses:

TABLE 9-4: SUPPLEMENTAL PARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR NONRESIDENTIAL USES IN ALL ZONES

UseParking Requirement
Large daycare (less than 50 children)Determined through review
Nonresidential uses in General Improvement Parking DistrictsNo parking required
Restaurant, brewpub, or tavern – interior seatingGreater of 1 per 3 seats, or the ratio for the use module
Restaurant, brewpub, or tavern – outdoor seating:
a. Outside seats for restaurant, brewpub, or tavern with up to and including 50 interior seats if outside seats do not exceed the greater of 6 seats or 25 percent of interior seats; or
b. Outside seats for restaurant, brewpub, or tavern with more than 50 interior seats if outside seats do not exceed the greater of 12 seats or 20 percent of indoor seats
No additional parking spaces required
c. Outside seats for restaurant, brewpub, or tavern in excess of requirements of Subsection a or b of this use 1 space per 3 outdoor seats in excess of exempted outdoor seats
d. Outside seats for restaurants, brewpubs, or taverns that do not meet the parking requirement for their indoor seatsThe maximum number of outdoor seats shall be calculated in accordance with the following formula:
(the number of parking spaces provided on site) x 3 x (the percentage of seats permitted in Subsection a or b of this use) = the maximum number of outdoor seats that may be provided without providing additional parking
Motels, hotels, and bed and breakfasts1 space per guest room or unit, plus required spaces for nonresidential uses at 1 space per 300 square feet of floor area
TheaterGreater of 1 parking space per 3 seats, or the parking ratio for the zone district
Gasoline service stationGeneral ratio for the use zone plus storage of 2 vehicles per service bay
Religious assembly: (See Paragraph (f)(8) of this section for permitted parking reductions)
a. Religious assemblies created prior to 9/2/19931:300
b. Religious assemblies created after 9/2/19931 space per 4 seats, or 1 per =50 square feet of assembly area if there are no fixed seats – assembly area includes the largest room plus any adjacent rooms that could be used as part of the assembly area
c. Uses accessory to a religious assembly and created after 9/2/1993Uses accessory to the religious assembly shall meet the standards applicable to the use as if the use is a principal use
d. Total parking of a religious assembly and accessory uses created after 9/2/1993Parking for the religious assembly use and any accessory use shall be for the use which has the greatest parking requirement
Small recycling collection facility1 space for attendant if needed
Large recycling collection facilityGeneral parking ratio for the zone plus 1 space for each commercial vehicle operated by the facility
Recycling processing facilitySufficient parking spaces for a minimum of 10 customers, or the peak load, whichever is greater, plus 1 space for each commercial vehicle operated by the facility

(c) General Parking Requirements:

(1) Rounding Rule: For all parking space requirements resulting in a fraction, the fraction shall be:

(A) Rounded to the next higher whole number when the required number of spaces is five or less; or

(B) Rounded to the next lower whole number when the required number of spaces is more than five.

(2) Parking Requirements for Lots in Two or More Zoning Districts: For lots that have more than one zoning designation, the required parking for the use(s) on the lot may be provided on any portion of the lot, subject to the provisions of this title.

(d) Parking Design Standards:

(1) Location of Open or Enclosed Parking: Open or enclosed parking areas are subject to the following requirements:

(A) No parking areas shall be located in any required landscaped setback abutting a street. However, in RR, RE, or RL-1 districts, if all off-street parking requirements of this chapter have been met, persons may park up to two additional vehicles in the driveway leading to the parking area. The requirements of this subsection may be varied to allow the required off-street parking to be located within the front yard setback pursuant to a variance being approved by the BOZA per Subsection 9-2-3(j), B.R.C. 1981.

(B) Required parking areas shall be located on the lot or parcel containing the use for which they are required.

(C) No parking areas shall be located closer than ten feet from a side yard adjacent to a public street in the BMS and MU-2 zoning districts.

(2) Parking Stall Design Standards: Parking stalls shall meet the following standards, based on stall type. In all cases, the minimum maneuvering area to the rear of any parking stall shall be no less than twenty-four feet. If the proposed use anticipates long-term parking as the major parking demand, the city manager may reduce those minimum parking stall sizes.

TABLE 9-5: STANDARD PARKING DIMENSION STANDARDS

Parking
Angle
(degrees)
Curb Length
C
Stall
D
Aisle Width
Bay Width
One Way
A1
Two Way
A2
One Way
B1
Two Way
B2
90
9'
19'
24'
24'
62'
62'
60
10.4'
21'
18'
22'
60'
64'
45
12.7'
19.8'
13'
20'
52.6'
59.6'
30
18'
17.3'
12'
20'
45.6'
54.6'
0
23'
8'
12'
20'
20'
36'

TABLE 9-6: SMALL CAR PARKING DIMENSION STANDARDS

Parking
Angle
(degrees)
Curb Length
C
Stall
D
Aisle Width
Bay Width
One Way
A1
Two Way
A2
One Way
B1
Two Way
B2
90
7.75'
15'
24'
24'
54'
54'
60
9.2'
17'
18'
22'
52'
56'
45
11.2'
16.1'
13'
20'
45.2'
52.2'
30
15.5'
14.3'
12'
20'
40.6'
48.6'
0
20'
8'
12'
20'
28'
36'

Figure 2: Parking Dimensions Diagram

Figure 9-2: Parking Dimensions Diagram

(A) Standard Stalls: All off-street standard parking spaces shall meet the minimum size requirements as indicated in table 9-5 and figure 9-2 of this section.

(B) Small Car Stalls:

(i) Small Car Stalls Allowed: A proportion of the total spaces in each parking area may be designed and shall be signed for small car use according to table 9-7 of this section.

TABLE 9-7: SMALL CAR STALLS

Total Spaces Required
Allowable Small Car Stalls
5 - 49
40 percent
50 - 100
50 percent
101 or greater
60 percent

(ii) Dimensional Standards: All small car stalls shall meet the minimum size requirements as indicated in table 9-6 and figure 9-2 of this section.

(C) Accessible Parking Stalls:

(i) Dimensional Standards: Accessible parking spaces shall be eight feet wide and nineteen feet in length, with the standard width drive lane. Individual spaces shall have an additional five foot-wide, diagonally striped aisle abutting the passenger side of the space. If such spaces are provided in adjacent pairs, then one five foot aisle may be shared between the two spaces. Accessible parking spaces shall conform to the construction and design standards in the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards and be located to maximize convenience of access to the facility and minimize the need to cross the flow of vehicular traffic. (See figure 9-3 of this section.)

Figure 3: Accessible Parking Space Design

Figure 9-3: Accessible Parking Space Design

Accessible spaces must measure eight feet by nineteen feet and be flanked by a five foot diagonally-striped aisle. Two adjacent spaces may share a single five foot aisle. The aisle must be at the same grade as the accessible space and any adjacent sidewalk must slope to meet the grade of the aisle. The slope may not exceed 1:12.

(ii) Parking Waiver for Previously Conforming Accessible Parking Spaces: If a previously conforming required accessible parking space was rendered nonstandard by the amendment to subparagraph (d)(2)(C)(i) of this section which required the five foot aisle, and its owner desires to add such an aisle, and the addition will reduce the available parking below that required for the premises, such owner may apply to the city manager for a parking waiver. The manager shall grant such a waiver insofar as it is necessary and appropriate to permit all required parking spaces for the disabled to be conforming spaces.

(3) Drive Aisles:

(A) There is a definite and logical system of drive aisles to serve the entire parking area. Drive aisles shall have a minimum eighteen-foot width clearance for two-way traffic and a minimum ten foot width clearance for one-way traffic unless the city manager finds that the parking stalls to be served require a greater or lesser width. A physical separation or barrier, such as vertical curbs, may be required in order to separate parking areas from the travel lanes. (See figure 9-4 of this section.)

Figure 4: Drive Aisles

Figure 9-4: Drive Aisles

Drive aisles provide access to parking areas but not to individual spaces. Drive aisles serving two-way traffic must be a minimum of eighteen feet wide. Drive aisles serving one-way traffic must be a minimum of ten feet wide. Raised planters, curbs, or other physical barriers may be necessary to separate parking areas from travel lanes. See tables 9-5 and 9-6 of this section for parking aisle dimensions.

(B) Turnarounds are provided for dead-end parking bays of eight stalls or more. Turnarounds must be identified with a sign or surface graphic and marked "no parking." The use of accessible parking spaces as the required turnaround is not permitted. (See figure 9-5 of this section.)

Figure 5: Parking Turnaround Spaces

Figure 9-5: Parking Turnaround Spaces

In dead-end parking bays with eight or more stalls, a turnaround space must be provided and properly marked.

(4) Parking Access:

(A) No parking stall is located so as to block access by emergency vehicles.

(B) Driveways located in required yards are situated at an angle of approximately ninety degrees to the street to which they connect.

(5) Parking Design Details:

(A) If parking lot lighting is provided, all lighting shall comply with section 9-9-16, "Lighting, Outdoor," B.R.C. 1981.

(B) All parking areas are paved with asphalt, concrete, or other similar permanent, hard surface except for parking areas for detached dwelling units.

(C) Suitable curbs or barriers to protect public sidewalks and to prevent parking in areas where parking is not permitted are provided, except for parking areas for detached dwelling units.

(D) All open off-street parking areas with five or more spaces shall be screened from the street and property edges, and shall provide interior lot landscaping in accordance with section 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981.

(E) Driveways parallel to public sidewalks are separated from such walks by an eight-foot landscaped area or a solid wall at least forty-two inches in height.

(F) Wheel or bumper guards are located so that no part of a vehicle extends beyond a parking area boundary line, intrudes on a pedestrian way, or contacts any wall, fence, or planting. A vehicular overhang may, however, intrude into a private pedestrian way located on the perimeter of a parking lot if the pedestrian way is not less than six feet in width. (See figure 9-6 of this section.)

Figure 6: Permitted Vehicular Overhang

Figure 9-6: Permitted Vehicular Overhang

(G) Within the DT zoning districts, at-grade parking is not permitted within thirty feet of a street right-of-way unless approved as part of a site review approval under section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981. For the purpose of this subparagraph, the term "street" does not include "alley."

(6) Parking Study: At the discretion of the city manager, a parking study may be required to demonstrate that adequate parking is provided either for parking provided per zoning requirements or in conjunction with a parking reduction request. The scope of a parking study may consist of analysis of any or all of the following factors: joint use of parking areas, peak parking demand for each land use, unusual parking demand based on type of land use, availability of nearby on-street parking, vicinity of high frequency transit, and Institute of Transportation Engineers Parking Generation estimates.

(e) Parking Deferrals:

(1) Criteria for Parking Deferral: The city manager may defer the construction and provision of up to ninety percent of the off-street parking spaces required by this section, in an industrial district, thirty-five percent in a commercial district, and twenty percent in any other district if an applicant demonstrates that:

(A) The character of the use lowers the anticipated need for off-street parking, and data from similar uses establishes that there is not a present need for the parking;

(B) The use is immediately proximate to public transportation that serves a significant proportion of residents, employees, or customers;

(C) There is an effective private or company car pool, van pool, bus, or similar group transportation program; or

(D) The deferred percentage of residents, employees, and customers regularly walk or use bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicular forms of transportation.

(2) Parking Deferral With a Concurrent Use Review: If a proposed use requires both a review pursuant to section 9-2-15, "Use Review," B.R.C. 1981, and a public hearing, the city manager will make a recommendation to the approving agency to approve, modify and approve, or deny the parking deferral as part of the use review approval.

(3) Site Plan: Applicants for a parking deferral shall submit a site plan demonstrating that the total required parking can be accommodated on-site and designating the land to be reserved for future parking.

(4) Landscaping: Landscaping shall be provided as required under section 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, and shall be indicated on the site plan.

(5) Notice of Change of Condition: No person having an interest in property subject to a parking deferral shall fail to notify the city manager of any change in the conditions set forth in paragraph (e)(1) of this section that the manager considered in granting the deferral.

(6) Construction of Deferred Parking Areas: The city manager may require the construction of the deferred parking at any time upon thirty days' written notice by mail to commence construction of such parking. No person having an interest in the property shall fail to comply with such a notice.

(f) Parking Reductions:

(1) Parking Reduction: The city manager may grant a parking reduction for commercial developments, industrial developments and mixed use developments to allow the reduction of at least one parking space, with the total reduction not to exceed twenty-five percent of the required parking, if the manager finds that the requirements of paragraph (f)(3) below are met. The city manager may grant a parking reduction exceeding twenty-five percent for those uses that are nonconforming only as to parking, if the manager finds that the requirements of subparagraph (f)(1)(B) of this section have been met. Parking reductions are approved based on the operating characteristics of a specific use. No person shall change a use of land that is subject to a parking reduction except in compliance with the provisions of this subsection.

(A) Parking Reduction for Housing for the Elderly: The city manager may reduce by up to seventy percent the number of parking spaces required by this chapter for governmentally sponsored housing projects for the elderly.

(B) Uses With Nonconforming Parking: The city manager is authorized to approve a parking reduction to allow an existing nonresidential use that does not meet the current off-street parking requirements of subsection (b) of this section, to be replaced or expanded subject to compliance with the following standards:

(i) An existing permitted nonresidential use in an existing building may be replaced by another permitted nonresidential use if the new use has the same or lesser parking requirement as the use being replaced.

(ii) A nonconforming nonresidential use in an existing building may be replaced by a conforming nonresidential use or another nonconforming nonresidential use, pursuant to subsection 9-10-3(c), B.R.C. 1981, if the permitted or nonconforming replacement use has the same or lesser parking requirement as the use being replaced

(iii) An existing or replacement nonresidential use, whether conforming or nonconforming, that does not meet current parking requirements, shall not be expanded in floor area or seating or be replaced by a use that has an increased parking requirement unless a use review pursuant to section 9-2-15, "Use Review," B.R.C. 1981, and a corresponding parking reduction pursuant to this subsection (f) are approved.

(iv) Before approving a parking reduction pursuant to this subsection, the city manager shall evaluate the existing parking arrangement to determine whether it can accommodate additional parking or be rearranged to accommodate additional parking in compliance with the design requirements of subsection (d) of this section. If the city manager finds that additional parking can reasonably be provided, the provision of such parking shall be a condition of approval of the requested reduction.

(v) A nonconforming use shall not be replaced with a use, whether conforming or nonconforming, that generates a need for more parking.

(2) Residential Parking Reductions: Parking reductions for residential projects may be granted as part of a site review approval under section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981.

(3) Parking Reduction Criteria: Upon submission of documentation by the applicant of how the project meets the following criteria, the city manager may approve reductions of up to and including twenty-five percent of the parking requirements of this section (see tables 9-1, 9-2, 9-3 and 9-4), if the manager finds that:

(A) The parking needs of the use will be adequately served through on-street parking or off-street parking;

(B) A mix of residential uses with either office or retail uses is proposed, and the parking needs of all uses will be accommodated through shared parking;

(C) If joint use of common parking areas is proposed, varying time periods of use will accommodate proposed parking needs; or

(D) The applicant provides an acceptable proposal for an alternate modes of transportation program, including a description of existing and proposed facilities, proximity to existing transit lines, and assurances that the use of alternate modes of transportation will continue to reduce the need for on-site parking on an ongoing basis.

(4) Alternative Parking Reduction Standards for Mixed Use Developments: The parking requirements in section 9-9-6, "Parking Standards," B.R.C. 1981, may be reduced if the following standards are met. These standards shall not be permitted to be combined with the parking reduction standards in paragraphs (f)(3) and (f)(5) of this section, unless approved as part of a site review pursuant to section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981. A mixed use development may reduce that amount of required parking by ten percent in the BMS, IMS, MU-1, MU-2, MU-3 and RMX-2 zoning districts, or in all other nonresidential zoning districts in section 9-5-2, "Zoning Districts," B.R.C. 1981, a twenty-five-percent parking reduction if the following requirements are met:

(A) The project is a mixed use development that includes, as part of an integrated development plan, both residential and nonresidential uses. Residential uses shall comprise at least thirty-three percent of the floor area of the development; and

(B) The property is within a quarter of a mile walking distance to a high frequency transit route that provides service intervals of fifteen minutes or less during peak periods. This measurement shall be made along standard pedestrian routes from the property.

(5) Limiting Factors for Parking Reductions: The city manager will consider the following additional factors to determine whether a parking reduction may be appropriate for a given use:

(A) A parking deferral pursuant to subsection (e) of this section is not practical or feasible for the property.

(B) The operating characteristics of the proposed use are such that granting the parking reduction will not cause unreasonable negative impacts to the surrounding property owners.

(C) The parking reduction will not limit the use of the property for other uses that would otherwise be permitted on the property.

(6) Parking Reduction With a Concurrent Use Review: If a proposed use requires both a review pursuant to section 9-2-15, "Use Review," B.R.C. 1981, and a public hearing, the city manager will make a recommendation to the approving agency to approve, modify and approve, or deny the parking reduction as part of the use review approval.

(7) No Changes to Use: No person benefiting from a parking reduction shall make any changes to the use that would increase parking.

(8) Parking Reductions for Religious Assemblies: The city manager will grant a parking reduction to permit additional floor area within the assembly area of a religious assembly which is located within three hundred feet of the Central Area General Improvement District if the applicant can demonstrate that it has made arrangements to use public parking within close proximity of the use and that the building modifications proposed are primarily for the weekend and evening activities when there is less demand for use of public parking areas.

(g) Bicycle Parking:

(1) Required Bicycle Spaces: Bicycle parking spaces must be provided as required by tables 9-1 and 9-3 of this section.

(2) Bicycle Facilities: Both bicycle lockers and racks shall:

(A) Provide for storage and locking of bicycles, either in lockers or medium-security racks or equivalent installation in which both the bicycle frame and the wheels may be locked by the user.

(B) Be designed so as not to cause damage to the bicycle.

(C) Facilitate easy locking without interference from or to adjacent bicycles.

(D) Consist of racks or lockers anchored so that they cannot be easily removed and of solid construction, resistant to rust, corrosion, hammers, and saws.

(E) Be consistent with their environment in color and design and be incorporated whenever possible into building or street furniture design.

(F) Be located in convenient, highly visible, active, well-lighted areas but not interfere with pedestrian movements.

(3) Short-Term Bicycle Parking: Short term bicycle parking is intended to offer a convenient and accessible area to park bicycles for customers and other visitors. Short term bicycle parking shall be located:

(A) On the public access level;

(B) Within fifty feet of the main building entrances; and

(C) Outside the building.

(4) Long-Term Bicycle Parking: Long-term bicycle parking offers a secure and weather protected place to park bicycles for employees, residents, commuters, and other visitors who generally stay at a site for several hours. Long term bicycle parking shall meet the following standards:

(A) Long term bicycle parking is required to be covered and shall include use of one of the following:

(i) A locked room;

(ii) An area enclosed by a fence with a locked gate;

(iii) An area within view of an attendant or security guard or monitored by a security camera; or

(iv) An area visible from employee work areas.

(B) The bicycle parking area shall be located on-site or in an area within three hundred feet of the building it serves.

(C) Adequate lighting shall be provided for the bicycle parking area and the route to the building entrance.

(D) The bicycle parking area shall include adequate clearance around racks or lockers to give cyclists room to maneuver, and to prevent conflicts with pedestrians or parked cars.

(E) If the bicycle parking is provided in an auto parking garage, the bicycle parking spaces shall be clearly marked as such and shall be separated from auto parking.

(5) Bicycle Rental Stations. Bicycle rental stations that have permission to locate on public property or private property shall post signs with the following information:

(A) Location of the station on a map of the area;

(B) Name of the station if applicable;

(C) Traffic law information that the city manager may require, including information about areas where riding bicycles on sidewalks is permitted or prohibited; and

(D) Sponsor identification or logo, if applicable, that meets the requirements of Subsection 8-6-11(b), B.R.C. 1981. The sign permitting requirements in Section 9-9-21, "Signs," B.R.C. 1981, do not apply to any such sponsor identification or logo.

(h) Parking and Storage of Recreational Vehicles: No person shall park, store, or use a travel trailer, tent trailer, pickup camper or coach, motorized dwelling, boat and boat trailer, snow vehicle, cycle trailer, utility trailer and van, horse trailer or van, or similar vehicular equipment in a residential district unless the following requirements are met:

(1) Such vehicular equipment is stored or parked on private property no closer than eighteen inches to any proposed or existing public sidewalk and so as not to project into the public right-of-way;

(2) On corner lots, any such vehicular equipment that exceeds thirty-six inches in height is not parked in the triangular area formed by the three points established by the intersection of property lines at the corner and the points thirty feet back from this intersection along each property line;

(3) No travel trailer, tent trailer, pickup camper or coach, motorized dwelling or van is used for the conduct of business or for living or housekeeping purposes except when located in an approved mobile home park or in a campground providing adequate sanitary facilities;

(4) Any travel trailer, tent trailer, detached pickup camper or coach, boat and boat trailer, cycle trailer, utility trailer and van, horse trailer and van parked or stored out-of-doors is adequately blocked or tied down or otherwise secured so that such vehicle does not roll off the lot and is not moved about by high winds; and

(5) No vehicular equipment regulated by this section is stored out-of-doors on a residential lot unless it is in condition for safe and effective performance of the functions for which it is intended.

(i) Parking Costs Separated From Housing Costs in New Residential Buildings: In the RH-7 and MU-4 zoning districts, all off-street parking spaces accessory to residential uses in new structures of ten dwelling units or more, or in new conversions of nonresidential buildings to residential use of ten dwelling units or more, shall be leased or sold separately from the rental or purchase fees for dwelling units for the life of the dwelling units, such that potential renters or buyers have the option of renting or buying a residential unit at a price lower than would be the case if there were a single price for both the residential unit and the parking space. Parking spaces that are unused or unsold with a residential unit may be leased or otherwise permitted to be used by persons who are not residents, tenants, or visitors to the property.

Ordinance Nos. 7484 (2006); 7522 (2007); 7568 (2007); 7577 (2007); 7589 (2008); 7597 (2008); 7646 (2009); 7655 (2009); 7681 (2009); 7777 (2011); 7850 (2012); 7878 (2012); 7938 (2013)

9-9-7 Sight Triangles.Go to the top

(a) Sight Triangle Required: Where a driveway intersects a public right-of-way or where property abuts the intersection of two public rights-of-way, unobstructed sight distance as described in subsection (c) of this section shall be provided at all times within the sight triangle area on the property adjacent to the intersection in order to ensure that safe and adequate sight distance is provided for the public use of the right-of-way.

(b) Obstruction Prohibited: No person shall place or maintain any structures, fences, landscaping, or any other objects within any sight triangle area described in subsection (c) of this section that obstructs or obscures sight distance visibility through such structures, fencing, landscaping, or other objects by more than twenty-five percent of the total view in the vertical plane above the sight triangle area between a height of thirty inches and ninety-six inches above the roadway surface, except for the following:

(1) Landscaping, structures, or fences that protrude no more than thirty inches above the adjacent roadway surface may be permitted within the sight triangle area.

(2) Trees may be planted and maintained within the sight triangle area if all branches are trimmed to maintain a clear vision for a vertical height of ninety-six inches above the roadway surface and the location of the trees planted, based on the tree species expected mature height and size, does not obstruct sight visibility by more than twenty-five percent of the sight triangle area.

(c) Sight Triangle Area: For purposes of this section, the sight triangle area is:

(1) Driveways: The area formed at a corner intersection of public right-of-way and a driveway, whose two sides are fifteen feet, measured along the right-of-way line of the street and the edge of the driveway, and whose third side is a line connecting the two sides (see figure 9-7 of this section);

(2) Alleys: The area formed at a corner intersection of an alley public right-of-way and a street right-of-way whose two sides are fifteen feet, measured along the right-of-way line of the alley and the right-of-way line of the street, and whose third side is a line connecting the two sides (see figure 9-7 of this section); or

Figure 7: Sight Triangle at the Intersection of a Driveway or Alley and a Street

Figure 9-7: Sight Triangle at the Intersection of a Driveway or Alley and a Street

The shaded area is required to be kept free of all structures, landscaping, fences, and other materials. The triangle is measured from the property line within alleys and the edge of pavement for driveways, as in this example.

(3) Streets: The area formed at a corner intersection of two public rights-of-way lines defined by a width of dimension X and a length of dimension Y as shown in table 9-8 and figure 9-8 of this section. The Y dimension will vary depending on the speed limit and configuration of the intersecting street, and is outlined in the table below. The X distance shall be thirteen feet measured perpendicular from the curb line of the intersecting street. This triangular area is significant for the determination of sight distance requirements for right angle intersections only.

Figure 8: Sight Triange at Intersection of Streets

Figure 9-8: Sight Triangle at Intersection of Streets

The shaded area is required to be kept free of all structures, fences, landscaping and other materials. The size of the sight triangle is based on the size of the road and speed limit, as shown in the table below.

TABLE 9-8: SIGHT TRIANGLE REQUIREMENTS

Lane Usage
Additional Facilities
Speed Limit
Y Distance (Left)
Y Distance (Right)
2 lanes
None
25 mph
155 feet
105 feet
30/35 mph
210 feet
145 feet
Bike lane or on-street parking
25 mph
110 feet
85 feet
30/35 mph
150 feet
115 feet
Bike lane and on-street parking
25 mph
90 feet
75 feet
30/35 mph
125 feet
100 feet
3 or 4 lanes
None
25 mph
155 feet
80 feet
30/35 mph
210 feet
110 feet
40/45 mph
265 feet
135 feet
Bike lane or on-street parking
25 mph
110 feet
65 feet
30/35 mph
150 feet
90 feet
40/45 mph
195 feet
115 feet
Bike lane and on-street parking
25 mph
90 feet
60 feet
30/35 mph
125 feet
80 feet
40/45 mph
160 feet
100 feet
5 or more lanes
None
25 mph
155 feet
60 feet
30/35 mph
210 feet
85 feet
40/45 mph
265 feet
110 feet
Bike lane or on-street parking
25 mph
110 feet
55 feet
30/35 mph
150 feet
75 feet
40/45 mph
195 feet
95 feet
Bike lane and on-street parking
25 mph
90 feet
50 feet
30/35 mph
125 feet
65 feet
40/45 mph
160 feet
85 feet

(d) Modifications: The requirements of this section may be modified by the city manager, pursuant to section 9-2-2, "Administrative Review Procedures," B.R.C. 1981, if accepted engineering practice would indicate that a modified visibility distance, either greater or lesser, would be acceptable or necessary for the safety of pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists.

(e) Violations: No person shall violate or fail to prevent or remedy any violation of the provisions of this section on such property. When a violation of this section is observed, the city manager will provide a written notice to correct the condition to the property owner or occupant, whichever is applicable. Personal service of such notice or mailing such notice to the last known address of the owner of the premises by certified mail shall be deemed sufficient service. Any such notice shall describe the violation, describe the corrective measures necessary, and set forth a time limit for compliance, dependent upon the hazard created, which time limit shall not be less than seven days from the service of the notice.

(f) Failure to Comply: In the event that there is failure to comply with the notice when the time limit prescribed therein has expired, the city manager may trim or cause to be trimmed, or otherwise remove the obstruction described in the notice. Such action shall not preclude any prosecution for violation of the terms of this section. The costs of such action shall be paid by the property owner, and, if not paid, may be certified by the city manager to the county treasurer for collection as taxes.

(g) Public Nuisance: Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, any landscaping, structure, fence or other obstruction which the city manager deems as an immediate and serious danger to the public, is hereby declared a public nuisance and shall be trimmed or removed within twenty-four hours after notification by the city manager. If the property owner or occupant fails to do so, the city manager may trim or remove the nuisance. The costs of such action shall be paid by the property owner, and, if not paid, may be certified by the city manager to the county treasurer for collection as taxes

Ordinance Nos. 5986 (1998); 7522 (2007)

9-9-8 Reservations, Dedication, and Improvement of Rights-of-Way.Go to the top

(a) Purpose: The city is authorized to acquire right-of-way by purchase, gift, or condemnation. Additionally, the city is also instructed to establish and maintain a city street system pursuant to sections 43-2-123 to 43-2-125, C.R.S. The purposes of this section are:

(1) To ensure public access to all lots and parcels of land and for the provision of fire, police and emergency services, mail delivery, garbage collection and recycling services, and public and quasi-public utility services.

(2) To promote and create an interconnected city through acquisition of right-of-way to allow for transportation systems that provide for the integrated and multi-modal movement of all modes of transportation including, without limitation, pedestrians, bicycles, skaters, and motor vehicles.

(3) To create an interconnected transportation system that will enhance the safe, convenient, and efficient movement of all modes of transportation.

(4) To provide for the installation or placement of utility services including, without limitation, water, sewer, electricity, gas, drainage, telephone, and cable television services for properties abutting city streets and alleys.

(5) To establish minimum standards for public rights-of-way and public improvements in order to ensure the consistent and equitable provision of public streets and alleys.

(b) Conformance With the Comprehensive Plan and Right-of-Way Plans: The arrangement, character, extent, and location of all rights-of-way shall conform to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and to all right-of-way plans approved by the city council, including, without limitation, the North Boulder Right-of-Way Plan and the Transportation Master Plan. No person shall place any structure in an area designated as a public street, alley, bike path, path, or sidewalk in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan or any other right-of-way plan approved by the city council.

(c) Reservation of Right-of-Way:

(1) Streets Designated as Collectors or Greater: If the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan requires a greater width for an abutting street than thirty feet from the centerline, and the additional right-of-way is not required by subsection (d) of this section to serve the subject property, then the area beyond thirty feet from the centerline shall be reserved for future purchase by the city.

(2) Approved Right-of-Way Plans: All right-of-way on the property as shown on the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Master Plan, or approved right-of-way plan shall be reserved for future dedication to or purchase by the city.

(3) Modification of Right-of-Way Plans: Rights-of-way, not designated by the Transportation Master Plan, required to be reserved or dedicated pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section may be modified. The city manager is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 1-4, "Rulemaking," B.R.C. 1981, as amended, to provide for the modification of right-of-way plans. For the purposes of this paragraph, "modification" means a change which introduces new elements into the details, or cancels some of the elements, but leaves the general purpose and effect of the plan intact. A modification may include, without limitation, moving the location of a street or right-of-way, changing the width of a right-of-way, or the design standards for a street cross section.

(4) Right-of-Way Width: A reservation area for right-of-way shown on an approved street plan shall not be less than sixty feet in width. The reservation area shall be wider if an approved street plan anticipates the need for a larger street.

(5) Setback From Reservation Area: The setback shall be as set forth in chapter 9-7, "Form and Bulk Standards," B.R.C. 1981, or the reservation area boundary, whichever is greater.

(d) Dedication of Right-of-Way: At time of annexation, subdivision, or issuance of a building permit for new development, or redevelopment involving a change in use or the addition of a dwelling unit, all street and alley rights-of-way abutting, crossing, and necessary to serve the subject property as designated in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan or an approved right-of-way plan, or as proposed as part of any project or development proposal, shall be dedicated to the city as set forth in this section.

(1) Right-of-Way Dedication Required for New Streets and Alleys: The right-of-way required for a new street or alley shall be wide enough to include and accommodate all of the necessary public improvements: the paved roadway section including, without limitation, travel lanes, turning and speed change lanes, transit lanes, bicycle lanes, and parking lanes; curbs and gutters or drainage swales; roadside and median landscaping areas; sidewalks; and any necessary utility corridors. The minimum width of right-of-way to be dedicated shall be:

(A) New streets - sixty feet;

(B) New alleys - twenty feet; or

(C) In accordance with the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards, approved pursuant to chapter 9-12, "Subdivision," B.R.C. 1981, for residential streets and alleys.

(2) Right-of-Way Dedication Along Existing Streets: The city manager will require dedication of additional right-of-way along existing streets if the impacts generated by the existing use or new use are roughly proportionate to the dedication required, after considering any of the following conditions:

(A) The existing right-of-way abutting the subject property is narrower than the right-of-way abutting adjacent properties within the street block and is narrower than the minimum right-of-way width required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

(B) The existing street right-of-way has not previously been improved with street paving, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks meeting previous or current city standards and is narrower than the minimum right-of-way width required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

(C) Additional right-of-way is required pursuant to paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(3) Additional Right-of-Way Dedication: The city manager may require right-of-way dedication in excess of the right-of-way dedication requirements set forth in this subsection if public right-of-way improvements that provide a benefit to and are necessary to serve the subject property or development require additional right-of-way.

(4) Dedication Not Required: Dedication of additional right-of-way will not be required along existing streets or alleys where the existing right-of-way has been improved with street paving, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks meeting previous or current city standards and the impacts of proposed development or redevelopment would not require additional public right-of-way improvements as set forth in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, or where the existing right-of-way is wider than the minimum right-of-way width set forth in paragraph (d)(1) of this section and the impacts of proposed development or redevelopment would not require additional public right-of-way improvements pursuant to paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(e) Dedication of Rights-of-Way for Other Than Streets and Alleys: Rights-of-way for utilities and transportation movements other than streets or alleys shall be dedicated to the city, purchased by the city, or funds sufficient for purchase shall be provided to the city, if and to the extent that such right-of-way provides a benefit to a property or offsets an impact of the annexation, subdivision, or development of the property, as the case may be, that is roughly proportionate to the cost of the dedication.

(f) Apportionment of Costs: The city manager may assess the acquisition costs of any right-of-way area and all public improvements required to construct a street, alley, bike path, path, or sidewalk thereon to other property owners in the surrounding area, if and to the extent that the street provides a benefit to a property that is roughly proportionate to the cost of such dedication or improvement. Such costs shall be collected no later than the time of annexation, subdivision, issuance of a building permit for new development, or redevelopment involving a change of use or the addition of at least one dwelling unit.

(g) Right-of-Way Improvements: All street, alley, or pedestrian rights-of-way abutting, crossing, and necessary to serve the subject property shall be improved at the time of issuance of a building permit for new development, or redevelopment involving a change of use or the addition of a dwelling unit.3 All right-of-way improvements shall meet the following standards:

(1) Right-of-Way Improvements for New Streets and Alleys: The right-of-way improvements required for new streets and alleys shall meet or exceed the following minimum standards:

(A) The right-of-way improvements shall include the following elements: the roadway paving including, without limitation, travel lanes, turning and speed change lanes, transit lanes, bicycle lanes, and parking lanes; curbs and gutters or drainage swales; roadside and median landscaping; sidewalks and trails; and any necessary utilities.

(B) The minimum right-of-way improvements for new streets and alleys shall meet or exceed the base street standards, or residential street and alley standards approved pursuant to chapter 9-12, "Subdivision," B.R.C. 1981, required in the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards.

(2) Right-of-Way Improvements to Existing Streets and Alleys: The city manager may require right-of-way improvements up to the half width or centerline of the right-of-way along existing streets and alleys given any of the following conditions:

(A) The existing street right-of-way has not previously been improved with street paving, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks meeting previous or current city standards.

(B) Additional right-of-way improvements are required pursuant to paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(C) Sidewalk construction or reconstruction is required by section 8-2-17, "When Sidewalks Are to Be Constructed or Reconstructed," or 8-2-22, "Sidewalk Required Prior to Issuance of Building Permit," B.R.C. 1981.

(3) Additional Right of Way Improvements: The city manager may require right of way improvements in excess of the right of way improvement requirements set forth in this section, if public right of way improvements that directly benefit and are necessary to serve the subject property or development require additional right of way improvements.

(4) Improvements Not Required: Right of way improvements will not be required if:

(A) The city manager has determined that right of way improvements are not appropriate at the time of development or redevelopment, given the future construction of right of way improvements completed as part of a planned or scheduled public improvements project as designated in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Master Plan, capital improvements program, or an approved right of way plan, and the city manager has accepted a suitable and adequate financial guarantee to guarantee the completion of the minimum and required right of way improvements that directly benefit and are necessary to serve the subject property.

(B) Along existing streets or alleys, the existing right of way has been improved with street paving, curbs and gutters, and sidewalks meeting previous or current city standards and the impacts of proposed development or redevelopment would not require additional public right of way improvements pursuant to this section.

(C) The right of way improvement would be for an alley located in low-density and medium-density residential zoning districts; such alley improvements are only required as part of an assessment district.

(h) Subdivision Requirements: The requirements of this section are in addition to those prescribed by chapter 9-12, "Subdivision," B.R.C. 1981.

Ordinance Nos. 5747 (1995); 5986 (1998); 6093 (1999)

9-9-9 Off-Street Loading Standards.Go to the top

(a) Off-Street Loading Requirements: Any use having or requiring off-street parking shall provide an off-street delivery/loading space. The spaces shall be sufficient in size to accommodate vehicles which will serve the use. The location of the delivery/loading space shall not block or obstruct any public street, parking area, parking area circulation, sidewalk or pedestrian circulation area. Loading areas shall be screened pursuant to paragraph 9-9-12(d)(5), B.R.C. 1981.

(b) Modifications: The off-street loading requirements may be modified by the city manager if the property owner demonstrates that the use of the building does not require an off-street loading space and that the safety of pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists is not impaired. Process requirements for such administrative modifications are contained in section 9-2-3, "Variances and Interpretations," B.R.C. 1981.

9-9-10 Easements.Go to the top

(a) Off-Site Easements: No person shall construct or maintain a part of any structure that projects onto an adjacent property without a recorded easement or covenant granting such a right from the owner of such adjacent property.

(b) Structures in Public Easements Prohibited: No person shall construct or maintain a part of any structure in a public easement without first obtaining the written consent of the easement owner.

(c) Structures in Private Easements: No person shall construct or maintain a part of any structure in a private easement without:

(1) Obtaining the written consent of the easement owner, or

(2) Providing notice to the easement owner and demonstrating, to the satisfaction of the city manager, that the applicant has the appropriate property interest necessary to construct such structure.

9-9-11 Useable Open Space.Go to the top

(a) Purpose of Open Space: The purpose of useable open space is to provide indoor and outdoor areas for passive and active uses to meet the needs of the anticipated residents, tenants, employees, customers and visitors of a property, and to enhance the environment of a development or building. Open space can be used to:

(1) Create spaces that encourage social interaction;

(2) Provide useful, attractive outdoor spaces that include both sun and shade;

(3) Provide interesting and usable places, both public and private, active and passive, inside or outside of a building, where people can be aware of the environment in and around a building or group of buildings;

(4) Provide visual connections between small open areas on a site, and larger open spaces beyond;

(5) Provide connections between the inside and the outside of a building; and

(6) Provide separation between buildings and uses.

(b) Open Space Requirements: Open space shall be provided in the quantities specified in chapter 9-8, "Intensity Standards," B.R.C. 1981.

(c) Open Space Standards for Buildings Over Twenty-Five Feet in Height: Certain building types shall provide open space in the following amounts:

(1) Nonresidential Buildings up to Thirty-Five Feet in Height: Any building that contains a business or industrial use which is up to thirty-five feet in height shall provide at least ten percent of the total land area as usable open space.

(2) Buildings Between Thirty-Five and Forty-Five Feet in Height: Any building over thirty-five feet but less than forty-five feet in height shall provide at least fifteen percent of the total land area as useable open space.

(3) Buildings Over Forty-Five Feet in Height: Any building over forty-five feet but less than fifty-five feet in height shall provide at least twenty percent of the total land area as useable open space.

(d) Use of Required Setbacks to Meet Open Space Requirements: Setbacks may be used to meet open space requirements so long as the setbacks meet all other standards of this section.

(e) Types of Useable Open Space: Useable open space includes:

(1) Landscaped areas meeting the requirements of sections 9-9-12, "Landscaping and Screening Standards," and 9-9-13, "Streetscape Design Standards," B.R.C. 1981; including open air plazas; fountains and waterfalls; pedestrian arcades; small seating areas; and vest-pocket parks.

(2) Outdoor activity or recreational elements such as play fields, swimming pools or hot tubs, and hard surface areas constructed at the ground level, that are unenclosed by an overhead structure, including, without limitation, tennis, volleyball, or basketball courts.

(3) An outdoor garden or landscaped courtyard, designed for the use of the occupants of the building, with a minimum dimension of at least twenty feet or more, proportional to the height of a building. The minimum dimension shall increase at least one foot in width for each one foot of height over thirty-five feet. Seating and other elements encouraging use and occupation shall be included in its design, and it should form an integral part of the circulation pattern within the project. To the extent practical and achievable on a given property, such outdoor garden or landscaped courtyard area shall also meet the following standards:

(A) Provide southern exposure and sunlight into the open space area;

(B) Hard surface areas shall be paved with unit pavers, such as bricks or quarry tiles or porous pavers, or poured-in-place materials. If poured-in-place materials are selected, they shall be of decorative color or textures;

(C) At least twenty-five percent of the area shall be dedicated to gathering areas that include amenities such as seating, tables, grills, plantings, shade, horseshoe pits, playground equipment and lighting;

(D) The required open space shall be visible directly from an adjoining public sidewalk, along a street frontage; and

(E) All spaces shall provide a minimum of one tree per one thousand square feet of space, planted in the ground or accommodated in tree vaults over parking garages.

(4) All landscaped areas, plazas and patios, used as open space, and located adjacent to a street, alley, driveway or parking lot, and protected from vehicular encroachment by a vehicular barrier which may include, without limitation, a bollard, wall, fence or curb.

(5) Exterior paved surfaces, except public sidewalks less than five feet in width and those paved areas specifically prohibited in subsection (i) of this section, may be used as open space subject to meeting the following additional standards:

(A) The pavement surface shall be decorated with elements such as brick, stone, concrete pavers, exposed aggregate, textured concrete, patterned concrete or colored concrete. A decorative surface shall not include a standard, uncolored concrete or asphalt surface, unless it is stamped with a pattern. An area that also includes utilities that may be located underneath such paved surface is not required to be of a decorative surface.

(B) The paved areas shall be accessible and open for use by the tenants, occupants or visitors of the building. To enhance the use of such areas, the paved areas shall include passive recreation amenities which include, without limitation, benches, tables, ornamental lighting, sculpture, landscape planters or movable planting containers, trees, tree grates, water features, or active recreation amenities which include, without limitation, areas for basketball, volleyball or racquet sports.

(f) Special Open Space Requirements Applicable to Residential Uses: Useable open space for residential uses also includes:

(1) Individual balconies, decks and patio areas that are not intended or designed to be enclosed, if the minimum size of such individual balcony, deck or patio is not less than thirty-six square feet and not less than forty-eight inches in any dimension or porches that meet the requirements of section 9-7-4, "Setback Encroachments for Front Porches," B.R.C. 1981. Such areas shall count for no more than twenty-five percent of the required useable open space.

(2) Pedestrian ways, plazas or atria within a building that are designed for the specific use and enjoyment of the residents or tenants of that structure that include passive recreational amenities which may include, without limitation, benches, tables, ornamental lighting, sculpture, landscape planter or movable planting containers, trees, tree grates or water features, but only if these areas are visually or physically connected to the outside. If a hallway is used as a pedestrian way or open space area within a building, it shall be at least twice as wide as the minimum width required by chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981. Such areas shall constitute no more than twenty-five percent of the required useable open space. The areas described in this paragraph or other common interior multiple use or recreational areas may constitute no more than seventy-five percent of the required useable open space for housing for special populations such as the elderly that may have need for more of such areas, if approved through site review under section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981.

(3) An uncovered parking area and drive that serves only one detached dwelling unit on a lot or parcel.

(4) If specifically approved as part of a site review, landscaped areas of public or private rights of way that are not anticipated to be converted to public or private highways, streets or alleys within the next ten years. Such areas shall constitute no more than ten percent of the required useable open space.

(5) Wetlands shall constitute no more than fifty percent of the required useable open space.

(6) In the BMS, MU, IMS and BR-2 zoning districts, individual balconies, decks, porches and patio areas that will not be enclosed count one hundred percent toward the private open space requirement, provided that such balcony, deck, porch or patio is not less than seventy-two inches in any dimension nor less than sixty square feet in total area. In the BR-2 zoning district, the dimensions and locations of private open space may be varied if the private open space adequately meets the needs of the occupants of the dwelling units and is approved as part of a site review pursuant to section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981.

(g) Special Open Space Requirements Applicable to Residential Uses in the RH-3 and RH-7 Zoning Districts. Residential uses in the RH-3 and the RH-7 zoning districts shall include within its usable open space area an outdoor garden or landscaped courtyard that meets the requirements of paragraph (e)(3) above.

(h) Special Requirements for Nonresidential Buildings: Useable open space for a building containing a business or industrial use may be indoors or outdoors but must be at ground level, accessible from public areas and open to use by the public. Indoor useable open space shall not constitute more than fifty percent of the required amount of open space and may include, without limitation, malls, pedestrian ways, plazas and other open areas within a building if the open space is oriented directly toward the major pedestrian entrance of the building. Malls, pedestrian ways and plazas shall include passive recreation amenities which include, without limitation, benches, tables, ornamental lighting, sculpture, landscape planters or movable planting containers, trees, tree grates or water features. If a hallway is to be considered a pedestrian way or an open area within a building that is oriented directly toward the major pedestrian entrance of the building and used as indoor open space, it shall be at least two times the minimum width required by chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981, in order to permit the installation of indoor passive recreation amenities.

(i) Prohibitions: Portions of a lot on which a structure or unenclosed use is located shall not be counted as useable open space unless allowed in subsection (d), (e), (f) or (h) of this section. Portions of a lot that are unenclosed include those areas that are designed such that they cannot be enclosed and are generally open to the sky above, except for a balcony or deck. The following are specific examples of areas that may not be counted as useable open space:

(1) Paved areas intended for pedestrian use, which are located adjacent to alleys or driveways and are not physically separated from the alley or driveway by a barrier such as a fence, wall, bollard or elevated planter or curb which prevent use of the area by any vehicle;

(2) A recessed window or doorway of less than twenty-four square feet in ground area and less than three feet in any horizontal dimension;

(3) Any landscaped area less than two feet in width unless located within an elevated planter that is less than eighteen inches in height;

(4) Public or private rights of way for highways, streets or alleys;

(5) Roofs that do not meet the provisions of paragraph (f)(1) of this section;

(6) Parking areas and garages that do not meet the provisions of paragraph (f)(3) of this section;

(7) Land area with a slope in excess of fifteen percent unless approved as part of a site review;

(8) Balconies, decks and patio areas attached to a single-family detached dwelling unit which are:

(A) Attached at the same level or below the first floor above grade and where the deck floor exceeds six feet above grade; or

(B) Constructed over an enclosed building.

Ordinance Nos. 7522 (2007); 7535 (2007); 7577 (2007); 7655 (2009); 7681 (2009); 7699 (2009); 7700 (2009); 7878 (2012)

9-9-12 Landscaping and Screening Standards.Go to the top

(a) Purpose: The purpose of the landscaping and screening requirements set forth in this chapter is to:

(1) Provide minimum requirements for the landscaping of lots and parcels, street frontages, streetscapes and paved areas;

(2) Provide minimum requirements to ensure the proper installation or cultivation, and maintenance of landscaping materials;

(3) Promote sustainable landscapes and improve the quality of the environment by enhancing air quality, reducing the amount and rate of storm water runoff, improving storm water runoff quality, the spread of noxious weeds, and increasing the capacity for groundwater recharge;

(4) Minimize the amount of water used for landscaping by promoting Xeriscape€ practices and improving irrigation efficiency;

(5) Enhance the appearance of both residential and non-residential areas, and reduce the visual impacts of large expanses of pavement and rock; and

(6) Minimize impacts between uses both on-site and off-site. Landscaping can improve the compatibility of adjacent land uses and screen undesirable views. The landscaping standards also enhance the streetscape by separating the pedestrian from motor vehicles, auto fumes, and dust, providing shade, attenuating noise, and filtering air, buffering wind, and reducing glare.

(b) Scope: This section and Section 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, apply to all nonresidential and multi-family residential developments unless expressly stated otherwise.

(1) The standards in this section and Sections 9-9-13, "Streetscape Design Standards," and 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, shall be met prior to a final inspection for any building permit for:

(A) New development;

(B) Redevelopment involving expansion of the total building floor area which exceeds twenty-five percent of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure for any use except a property with three or fewer attached dwelling units;

(C) Redevelopment involving the expansion of the total floor area for a property that has three or fewer attached dwelling units, shall meet the landscaping standards as follows:

(i) Redevelopment valued at more than twenty-five percent, but less than fifty percent of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure shall require compliance with the street and alley tree requirements and the trash and parking screening requirements;

(ii) Redevelopment valued at fifty percent or more, but less than seventy-five percent of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure shall require compliance with the street and alley tree requirements and the trash and parking screening requirements and the front yard landscape requirements; and

(iii) Redevelopment valued at seventy-five percent or more of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure shall require compliance with the landscape regulations.

(D) Redevelopment exceeding one hundred percent of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure and not involving expansion of the total building floor area; or

(E) The addition of a dwelling unit.

(2) When additional parking spaces are provided, or for a change of use where new off-street parking spaces are provided, the provisions of Section 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, shall be applied as follows:

(A) When the number of additional parking spaces that will be provided exceeds twenty-five percent of the number of existing parking spaces on the site, all standards in Section 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, shall be met for the entire parking lot (existing and new portions) prior to the final inspection for a change of use or concurrent with the addition of the parking spaces.

(B) When the number of additional parking spaces that will be provided is less than twenty five percent of the number of existing parking spaces on the site, the standards in Section 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, shall be met for the new portions of the parking lot prior to the final inspection for a change of use or concurrent with the addition of the parking spaces.

(c) Modifications to the Landscape Standards: The city manager is authorized to modify the standards set forth in this section and Sections 9-9-13, "Streetscape Design Standards," and 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, upon finding that:

(1) The strict application of these standards is not possible due to existing physical conditions;

(2) The modification is consistent with the purpose of the section; and

(3) The modification is the minimum modification that would afford relief and would be the least modification of the applicable provisions of this chapter.

The manager shall require that a person requesting a modification supply the information necessary to substantiate the reasons for the requested modification. The details of any action granting modifications will be recorded and entered in the files of the planning department.

(d) General Landscaping and Screening Requirements:

(1) Landscaping Plan: A landscaping plan designed in accordance with this section and Sections 9-9-13, "Streetscape Design Standards," and 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, shall be provided for all developments except detached dwelling units. The site plan shall include the following:

(A) A site plan with a north arrow showing the major details of the proposed landscaping and irrigation, prepared on a scale not less than one inch equals thirty feet providing sufficient detail to evaluate the features of the landscaping and irrigation required by this section and Sections 9-9-13, "Streetscape Design Standards," and 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981;

(B) The location of property lines and adjacent streets, the zoning and use of adjacent properties, the existing and proposed locations of all buildings, sidewalks and curb cuts, bike paths and pedestrian walkways, drive aisles and curb islands, utilities, and easements, and the existing location, size, and type of all trees one and one-half inch caliper or greater;

(C) The location of existing and proposed parking lots including the layout of parking spaces and interior and perimeter parking lot landscaped areas, and the dimensions and total area (in square feet) for each interior parking lot landscaped area;

(D) The location, design, and materials of all other landscaped areas, including, without limitation, planting strips along all streets, earth berms, retaining walls, fences, water features, benches, trash enclosures, lights, and paved areas. Where fencing is used for required screening, a scaled drawing of the fence elevation must be included;

(E) The locations of all proposed plant material, drawn at the size the materials will be within five years of initial planting;

(F) The locations of all proposed planting of all ground surfaces. Grass surfaces must be identified as sod or seed with the blend or mix specified;

(G) The botanical and common names and sizes of all plant material;

(H) Location and dimensions of sight distance triangles at all intersections of streets and curb cuts;

(I) Location and type of irrigation and of plant groupings by water use zone; and

(J) A chart comparing the landscaping requirements of Sections 9-9-13, "Streetscape Design Standards," and 9-9-14, "Parking Lot Landscaping Standards," B.R.C. 1981, to the proposed materials, including, without limitation, the following information: total lot size (in square feet), total parking lot size, including all drives and driveways (in square feet), total number of parking stalls required and the total provided, total interior parking lot landscaped area required and the total provided, total perimeter parking lot landscaping required and total provided, total number of street trees required and the total provided, and total quantity of plant material required and the total provided.

(K) The location, size, and species of all existing trees on the property and within the landscape setbacks of all properties adjacent to the development site.

(2) Landscape and Screening Maintenance and Replacement: The property owner shall maintain the landscaping plan as originally approved, and provide for replacement of plant materials that have died or have otherwise been damaged or removed, and maintenance of all non-live landscaping materials, including, but not limited to, fencing, paving and retaining walls from the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion.

(3) Open Space: Required useable open space shall meet the provisions of this section and Sections 9-7-1, "Schedule of Form and Bulk Standards," and 9-9-11, "Useable Open Space," B.R.C. 1981.

(4) Pedestrian Access: In all zones except A, P, RR, RE, RL, and RM, paved pedestrian walkways, a minimum of three feet in width, shall be provided as follows:

(A) Between at least one building entrance and the sidewalk adjacent to the street;

(B) Between the parking lot and the entrance to any buildings larger than 10,000 square feet in size.

(5) Screening of Trash Collection and Recycling Areas, Service Areas, and Loading Areas: Trash collection and recycling areas, service areas, and loading areas shall be screened on all sides so that no portion of such areas are visible from public streets and alleys and adjacent properties. Required screening may include new and existing plantings, walls, fences, screen panels, doors, topographic changes, buildings, horizontal separation, or any combination thereof.

(6) Outdoor Service Yards and Storage Areas: Service yards and outdoor storage areas in commercial and industrial areas shall be screened from public areas, streets, alleys, and adjacent areas through the use of one or more of the following: walls, fencing, or plantings.

(7) Setbacks: All setbacks adjacent to a street shall be landscaped in accordance with the standards set forth in Section 9-9-13, "Streetscape Design Standards," B.R.C. 1981, including, without limitation, that area between the property line and the edge of the pavement or curb of the adjacent street.

(8) Minimum Overall Site Landscaping: In all zones except A, P, RR, RE, RL and RM, one tree and five shrubs are planted for each 1,500 square feet of lot area not covered by a building or required parking.

(9) Materials: All material required in a landscaped area shall be live plant material, except as approved by the city manager to provide attractive screening, plazas, or pedestrian access. Plant materials shall be planted in sufficient quantity to completely cover within five years of initial planting, all landscaped areas, including temporary mulched areas, and under trees.

(10) Mulches:

(A) Temporary mulches are required in all shrub, tree, and perennial planting beds until full plant coverage is achieved. Organic mulches include wood and bark chips, straw, grass clippings, and seed hulls. Inorganic or inert mulches include weed-barrier fabrics, gravel, and rock.

(B) Non-living materials such as bark or rocks shall not be used, except as temporary mulch until full plant coverage is achieved, or as permanent mulch under shrubs.

(C) Rocks larger than three inches in diameter shall not be used in the public right of way or adjacent to sidewalks, and shall be used only upon approval of the city manager as a decorative feature. Rock mulches shall not be used in landscaped areas on the south, west, or southwest-facing sides of buildings or in interior parking lot landscaped areas except under the following conditions:

(i) All plants within the rock mulched area are from very low, low, or moderate water use zones and spaced to fill the beds within three years of initial planting; or

(ii) Rock is used as a specific ornamental feature in a limited area or as a pedestrian path.

(11) Minimum Plant Sizes: All materials planted under the provisions of this title shall meet the following requirements:

(A) Deciduous trees are at least two-inch caliper measured six inches above the ground, except ornamental and flowering trees, including, without limitation, the trees identified as "small maturing trees" on the approved street tree list in Section 3.03-1, City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards, that are at least one and one-half inch caliper measured six inches above the ground;

(B) Evergreens are at least five feet tall; and

(C) Shrubs are five-gallon container size.

(12) Grading Standards for New Earth Berms: Berms adjacent to paved surfaces shall be graded to capture all irrigation runoff or to convey it to an appropriate water quality design feature as described in the Urban Storm Drainage Criteria Manual, Vol. 3 (Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, Denver, Colorado).

(13) Soil Preparation and Planting Specifications: Site preparation and all planting shall be completed, at a minimum, in accordance with the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards. Site preparation in any development, including detached dwelling units, shall include tilling the soil to a minimum depth of six inches below the finished grade, together with soil amendments, including, without limitation, compost, manure, or peat, that are appropriate to ensure the health and sustainability of the landscaping to be planted.

(14) Water Conservation: Landscaping shall be designed to conserve water through application of all Xeriscape landscaping principles. Xeriscape€ landscaping principles do not include artificial turf or plants, mulched or gravel beds, or areas without landscape plant material, bare ground, weed-covered or infested surfaces, paving of areas not required for pedestrian access, plazas, or parking lots, or any landscaping that does not comply with the standards of this section. Xeriscape™ landscaping principles include:

(A) Planning and design that ensures water-conserving techniques are coordinated and implemented in the landscape;

(B) Grouping plants with similar water and cultural requirements (such as sun and climate) together in the same water use zones and on the same irrigation zones;

(C) Limiting the use of high water use turf grass and plantings to high-use areas with high visibility or functional needs;

(D) Use of efficient irrigation systems;

(E) Use of mulches;

(F) Improving soils to allow better water absorption and proper drainage; and

(G) Continued maintenance, including weeding, pruning, fertilizing, pest control, and irrigation maintenance.

(15) Xeriscape Landscape Standards: The following Xeriscape landscape standards shall apply to all required landscaped areas:

(A) Plants from the same water use zone shall be grouped together on the same irrigation zones. Water use zones shall be consistent with the Waterwise Plant List as shown in the City of Boulder, Landscape Requirements for Streetscape, Parking Lots, and All Other Developments or based on other lists which meet the same criteria for water use and adaptability if approved by the city manager;

(B) The total amount of high water use zones on a property shall not exceed fifty percent of the total landscaped area. The total amount of high water use turf grass shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the total landscaped area. Turf grass areas designated for high use or a specific recreational use shall be excluded from the total landscaped area under this requirement. Trees in tree grates shall also be excluded from the total landscaped area under this requirement;

(C) The use of high-irrigation turf and plantings shall be limited to high-use areas with high visibility or functional needs;

(D) High water use turf grass shall not be used in landscaped areas with any one dimension less than ten feet in width unless drip, subsurface, or low-volume irrigation is used in that area;

(E) Very low and low water use zone plants and turf grass shall be used to the extent practicable;

(F) Plants or turf grass from a high water use zone shall not be planted on slopes or berms at a 4:1 slope or greater.

(16) Irrigation: The following standards shall apply to irrigation systems for required landscaped areas:

(A) All landscaped areas, including, but not limited to, trees in tree pits, raised planters, planting in the public right of way, and all landscaping required in this chapter, shall be irrigated with a permanent, automatic irrigation system designed to provide efficient irrigation coverage with minimal overspray onto non-landscaped areas.

(B) The city manager may approve the use of temporary irrigation systems if all plant material is from the very low or low water use zones.

(C) Low-volume, drip, or subsurface irrigation systems shall be used in the following conditions:

(i) In landscaped areas where any one dimension is less than six feet in width and surrounded by impervious surfaces;

(ii) In all non-turf grass areas.

(D) Trees shall be zoned separately from turf grass when located in a low or very low water use zone.

(E) A soil moisture sensing device or other irrigation management system shall be required for irrigation systems in turf areas.

(F) The landscape plan shall indicate the nature, location, and specifications of the irrigation system which shall be used. Separate irrigation circuits should be specified for different zones on the landscape plan. The landscape plan shall have sufficient detail to show that adequate irrigation will be provided to all required landscape areas and plant materials.

(G) The irrigation system shall be designed to correlate to the organization of plants into zones with similar watering requirements.

(H) Irrigation systems shall be designed to maximize efficient water use and minimize the waste of water.

(17) Noxious Weeds: All landscape plans must comply with the current state weed and nursery lists.

(18) Tree Protection: All existing trees six inches or more in caliper and located in any development, including detached dwelling units, in the required setback or on the property line shall be protected from construction impacts, unless the tree is a noxious weed. Trees over six inches in caliper shall be protected from construction impacts within the drip line of the tree in a manner that is consistent with the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards' tree protection for construction site standards.

(19) Final Inspection: Labels that identify the botanical or common name of the plant material shall be on all trees at the time of final inspection.

Ordinance Nos. 5930 (1997); 7079 (2000); 7088 (2000); 7279 (2003); 7331 (2004); 7713 (2011); 7921 (2013)

9-9-13 Streetscape Design Standards.Go to the top

Streetscape improvements shall be designed in accordance with the following standards:

(a) Scope: The standards set forth in this section apply to all land uses, including single-family residential land uses.

(b) Street Trees: A planting strip consisting of deciduous trees shall be planted along the full length of all public and private streets in all zoning districts. When possible, trees shall be planted in the public right of way. Large deciduous trees and detached sidewalks are desired wherever possible and shall be planted at a minimum, in accordance with Subsection (d) of this section.

(c) Alley Trees: Except for existing single-family lots, along all alleys adjacent to or within a residential zone, trees shall be planted at an overall average of one tree per forty linear feet within ten feet of the pavement or edge of alley.

(d) Streetscape Requirements: Street trees must be selected from the approved street tree list set forth in the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards, unless an equivalent tree selection is approved by the city manager. Table 9-9 of this section sets the minimum planting interval for street and alley trees. The specific spacing for each development is dependant upon tree type (for a list of tree species in each type, see Approved Street Tree List, in the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards) and existing conditions as identified in this section or an equivalent approved by the city manager.

TABLE 9-9: STREETSCAPE REQUIREMENTS

Existing or Approved Condition
Required Planting
Sidewalk Condition
Planting Strip Width
Utility Location
Tree Type
Minimum Tree
Planting Interval
Detached Up to and including 8 feet or more
Buried
Large
30 feet—40 feet
Overhead
Small
15 feet—20 feet
More than 6 feet to 8 feet
Buried
Medium
25 feet—30 feet
Overhead
Small
15 feet—20 feet
4 feet—6 feet: This planting strip width is less than desirable
Buried
Small
15 feet—20 feet
Overhead
Small
15 feet—20 feet
Attached Trees must be planted 4 feet—5 feet from the sidewalk. Trees may be planted on private property if there is not adequate right of way.
Buried
Large
30 feet—40 feet
Overhead
Small
15 feet—20 feet
Urban sidewalk of 12 feet or wider (BMS, BR-1, BR-2, and MU-3 zoning districts) Trees must be planted in irrigated tree grates or tree pits unless approved by the city manager. For tree grate dimensions and tree pit volume, see Design and Construction Standards, Table 3.05-5.
Buried
Large
20 feet—25 feet
Overhead
Medium
15 feet—20 feet

(e) Understory Planting: Except where planted in tree grates, all required street trees in the landscape strip shall be planted together with an irrigated understory planting that will cover the entire planting strip, except for walkways between the street and sidewalk, within five years of the initial planting.

(f) Special Area Streetscape Plans: In areas of the City where a streetscape plan has been adopted by city council, including, without limitation, downtown, University Hill, North Broadway, and the Boulder Valley Regional Center, landscaping improvements shall be completed in accordance with the adopted streetscape program.

(g) Water Conservation and Irrigation: All streetscape plantings shall comply with the Water Conservation and Irrigation standards as listed in paragraphs 9-9-12(d)(14), (d)(15), and (d)(16), B.R.C. 1981.

(h) The street and alley tree installations shall be considered complete if the required trees survive for one year from the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion. The city manager is authorized to require that an applicant provide the financial guarantee consistent with the requirements of section 9-2-20, "Required Improvements and Financial Guarantees," B.R.C. 1981. The financial guarantee will be released after one year after an inspection that confirms the tree is in good health.

Ordinance Nos. 5986 (1998); 7079 (2000); 7088 (2000); 7182 (2002); 7279 (2003); 7522 (2007); 7713 (2011)

9-9-14 Parking Lot Landscaping Standards.Go to the top

(a) Scope Required: This section shall apply to all surface parking lots with more than five parking spaces, regardless of whether the parking is required by section 9-7-1, "Schedule of Form and Bulk Standards," B.R.C. 1981. All parking lots shall be screened from the street and adjacent properties and contain interior lot landscaping in accordance with this section. Landscaping and screening standards set forth in this section are separate and in addition to the requirements of all other sections in this chapter unless expressly stated otherwise.

(b) Screening Parking Lots From The Street: A parking lot screen shall be provided for parking areas adjacent to rights-of-way, in accordance with the following standards:

(1) Minimum Height and Opacity: Parking lot screening may include landscape features such as planter boxes, walls, or hedges in combination with trees and plantings, but must provide a screen a minimum of forty-two inches in height along the full length of the parking lot adjacent to the street. Planted materials must provide a significant screen when fully grown that is at least forty-two inches in height as measured from the base of the sidewalk adjacent to the street, unless the parking lot is higher than the sidewalk, in which case it shall be measured from the base of the parking lot adjacent to the street. Fences shall be no taller than forty-eight inches in height.

(2) Minimum Width: The parking lot screen shall have a minimum width as follows:

(A) In all zones except the DT, BMS, IMS, and MU-3 zones, the minimum width of a parking screen shall be the same as the applicable minimum front or side yard setback requirement for the zone district in which the parking area is located, except that it must not be less than five feet in zone districts having smaller minimum front or side yard setback requirements.

(B) In the DT, BMS, IMS, and MU-3 zones, the parking lot screening requirement can be met by any one of the following:

(i) A planting area with a minimum of a six foot width between the sidewalk and the parking lot, planted with shrubs having a mature height no lower than forty-two inches in height;

(ii) A fence, hedge, or wall meeting the requirements of section 9-9-15, "Fences and Walls," B.R.C. 1981, and of a height no lower than forty-two inches and fences and walls shall be no taller than forty-eight inches as measured from the base of the parking lot adjacent to the street; and

(iii) Another method, if approved by the city manager, that forms a significant screen a minimum of forty-two inches in height and a maximum of forty-eight inches in height, for the full length of the parking lot adjacent to the street.

(c) Screening Parking Lots At Property Edges: A parking lot screen shall be provided for parking areas adjacent to property lines in accordance with the following standards:

(1) Screening Required: All parking areas shall be screened at property lines that are adjacent to residential use or zoning district or public park. Parking areas that abut a nonresidential use or zone, must be screened only when they contain no vehicular and pedestrian connection to the adjacent property.

(2) Minimum Screening Requirements: Parking lot screening required at property edges shall meet the following standards:

(A) A landscape strip at least six feet in width, planted with at least one tree per twenty-five linear feet, and an understory planting containing live plant material that will cover the area within five years of initial planting; and

(B) The parking lot screen shall be at least forty-two inches in height. One of the following methods of forming a screen along the full length of the property shall be used, except where breaks are needed to provide access for pedestrians, bicycles, autos, or required sight triangle:

(i) A fence or wall meeting the requirements of section 9-9-15, "Fences and Walls," B.R.C. 1981;

(ii) An earth berm meeting the provisions of paragraphs 9-9-12(d)(12) and (d)(15), B.R.C. 1981;

(iii) Shrubs planted at sufficient density to form a significant screen within five years of initial planting; or

(iv) Any combination of the above.

(d) Interior Parking Lot Landscaping: Interior parking lot landscaping (see figure 9-9 of this section) required by this subsection shall meet the following standards:

(1) Lots With Fewer Than Fifteen Spaces: No interior parking lot landscaping is required for parking lots with fifteen or fewer spaces, calculated using three hundred square feet (gross) per space.

(2) Lots With Sixteen to One Hundred Sixty Spaces: At least five percent of the parking lot area for parking lots with sixteen to one hundred sixty parking spaces shall contain interior parking lot landscaping.

(3) Lots With More Than One Hundred Sixty Spaces and No More Than One Double Loaded Row of Parking: At least five percent of the parking lot area for parking lots with more than one hundred sixty parking spaces and no more than one double loaded row of parking shall contain interior parking lot landscaping. For the purposes of this section, a "double loaded row" means two rows of parking adjacent to one another and not separated by a drive lane.

(4) Lots With More Than One Hundred Sixty Spaces and More Than One Double Loaded Row of Parking: At least ten percent of the parking lot area for parking lots with more than one hundred sixty parking spaces and more than one double loaded row of parking shall contain interior parking lot landscaping. No more than three double loaded rows of parking may be situated consecutively without providing a planting area, a minimum of eight feet in width along the center between rows for the full length of each parking row.

Figure 9: Interior Parking Lot Landscaping

Figure 9-9: Interior Parking Lot Landscaping

Only the shaded areas qualify as interior landscaping. Each landscaping area must be a minimum of one hundred fifty square feet in size and have no dimensions less than eight feet.

(5) Parking Lots Containing One Hundred Twenty Percent or More of The Minimum Required Parking Spaces: In order to mitigate the impacts of excessive pavement to water quality and to reduce the visual impacts of large expanses of pavement, open, at-grade parking spaces in excess of one hundred twenty percent of the minimum required in section 9-7-1, "Schedule of Form and Bulk Standards," B.R.C. 1981, a development shall provide additional parking lot landscaping over the amount required in other sections of this chapter as follows:

(A) For parking lots containing more than one hundred twenty percent and less than one hundred fifty percent of minimum required parking, interior parking lot landscaping shall be installed as required above, plus an additional five percent of the parking lot area as interior or perimeter parking lot landscaping. Perimeter parking lot landscaping shall not be located within a required front yard setback or a side yard adjacent to a street setback.

(B) For parking lots containing one hundred fifty percent or more than the minimum required parking, interior parking lot landscaping shall be installed as required above, plus an additional ten percent of the parking lot area as interior or perimeter parking lot landscaping. Perimeter parking lot landscaping shall not be located within a required front yard setback or a side yard adjacent to a street setback.

(C) The additional landscaping required by this paragraph may be used to meet the requirements for runoff reduction practices as described in the Urban Storm Drainage Criteria Manual, Vol. 3 (Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, Denver, Colorado) and the overall site water quality capture volume if it also meets the requirements set forth in the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards.

(6) Trees: At least one tree must be planted for every two hundred square feet of interior parking lot landscaped area. At least seventy-five percent of the required trees must be deciduous trees classified as either large or medium trees in the approved street tree list set forth in the City of Boulder Design and Construction Standards.

(7) Shrubs, Ground Cover: Shrubs and ground cover must be planted at sufficient density to completely cover the interior parking lot landscaped area within five years of initial planting.

(8) Minimum Dimensions: An interior parking lot landscaped area must be a minimum of one hundred fifty square feet in size and have no dimension less than eight feet. All trees shall be located at least three feet from the curb or planting edge.

Ordinance Nos. 7079 (2000); 7279 (2003)

9-9-15 Fences and Walls.Go to the top

(a) Purpose: The purpose of this section is to regulate the installation of fences, hedges, and walls to provide safety and security as well as visual barriers, while minimizing the impacts that result from fence location and height. A fence, hedge, or wall, which includes retaining walls, columns, posts, piers, or similar structures, or any combination of such structures, is permitted if it meets the standards of this section.

(b) Requirements: A fence, hedge, or wall is permitted if it meets the following conditions:

(1) Building Code and Sight Distance: All fences and walls meet the requirements of chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981, and section 9-9-7, "Sight Triangles," B.R.C. 1981;

(2) Location on Property: All property lines are located in order to determine that no fence, hedge, or wall extends beyond or across a property line, unless an agreement with the abutting property owner is obtained; and

(3) Location Near Sidewalks: No fence or wall is placed nearer than eighteen inches to any public sidewalk.

Figure 19: Level Grade

Figure 9-19: Level Grade

(c) Fence and Wall Height: No fence or wall shall exceed seven feet in height, except as otherwise permitted by this section. A fence or wall shall be measured as follows:

(1) Height Measurement - Generally: The height of a fence or wall shall be measured from the finished grade directly beneath a fence or upon which a wall is located. (See figure 9-10 of this section.)

(2) Fences on Retaining Walls: A fence located on or within three feet of a retaining wall, where both the fence and retaining wall are on the same property, shall not exceed a combined height of seven feet (see figure 9-11 of this section), except that:

(A) Fence and Retaining Wall on Property Line: The combined height of a retaining wall and fence or a fence, located on or within three feet of a property line, may exceed seven feet when the abutting property owners are in joint agreement. (See figure 9-12 of this section.) The fence shall not exceed an individual height of seven feet when measured from the highest elevation of grade within three feet of either side of the property line. (See figure 9-13 of this section.) In no event shall such a fence exceed twelve feet in height. (See figure 9-14 of this section.) A fence not exceeding forty-two inches in height may be placed on a retaining wall regardless of the combined fence and retaining wall height.

Figure 11: Fence on Retaining Wall

Figure 9-11: Fence on Retaining Wall

(3) Fences on Berms or Mounds: A fence or wall located on a berm or mound shall include the height of the berm or mound directly beneath the fence and above natural grade in the overall height measurement.

(4) Temporary Fences: A temporary fence on a construction site may be as high as required to protect the property during the period of construction.

(5) Modifications of Grade: No person shall modify the grade for the purpose of increasing the permitted height of a fence or wall. If there is evidence that a modification to the grade has occurred which results in lowering or increasing a fence or wall height, the city manager may consider any information to determine the unaltered grade. The manager will use this information to determine the appropriate maximum height of the fence or wall, which shall be the functionally equivalent height if such changes to the grade had not been made.

(6) Athletic Facilities: Fencing around athletic facilities, including, without limitation, tennis courts, may be ten feet in height so long as all portions above seven feet are constructed with at least fifty percent non-opaque materials.

(7) Noise Barriers Along Major Streets: Along any of the major roads shown in appendix A, "Major Streets," of this title, a fence or wall over seven feet in height may be approved by the city manager as part of a comprehensive noise barrier system.

(8) Modifications: The requirements of this section may be modified by the city manager subject to the provisions of subsection 9-9-7(d), or section 9-2-3, "Variances and Interpretations," B.R.C. 1981. Decisions by the city manager may be appealed to the BOZA.

Figures 12 and 13
Figure 9-12: Fence on or Within
Three Feet Figure
9-13: Fence Within Three Feet of
Retaining Wall Retaining Wall (Adjacent Owner Permission Required)

Figure 14

Figure 9-14: Fence on Grade (Adjacent Owner Permission Required)

(d) Other Fences:

(1) Electric or Barbed Wire Fences: No barbed wire or other sharp, pointed, or electrically charged fence may be erected or maintained except as follows:

(A) Temporary Construction Fences: A temporary fence on a site to protect the property during the period of construction which has an active building permit may be topped with barbed wire where the barbed wire is not less than eight feet above the ground and does not extend more than two feet above the temporary fence;

(B) Fences to Contain Livestock: in the A district, a barbed wire or electrically charged fence may be permitted provided it is used as an internal fence, not on the periphery of the property, to contain livestock;

(C) Location of Electric Fences: Electric fences may be permitted in the A district when used as an internal fence not on the periphery of the property to contain livestock, and in the A, RR, RE, and RL districts, as an internal fence not on the periphery of the property to protect crops and plantings. No person shall maintain an electric fence without a fence permit. All such electric fencing must meet the following requirements:

(i) Controllers are approved by Underwriters Laboratories and so designated on an attached label;

(ii) Electric fencing may not be located within five feet of the periphery of the property and must be located interior to a nonelectric fence which completely encloses the yard;

(iii) Electric fencing may not be located in a required yard abutting a street nor in a required vision triangle, as prescribed in section 9-9-7, "Sight Triangles," B.R.C. 1981; and

(iv) Electric fencing may not inhibit access by emergency equipment and operators thereof; and

(D) Location of Barb Wire Fences: In the B, IM, IG, IS, and P districts, a fence or wall set back at least twelve feet from the property line may have barbed wire if it is not less than eight feet above the ground and does not extend more than two feet above the fence or wall, notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.

Ordinance Nos. 5623 (1994); 5930 (1997); 7357 (2004); 7522 (2007); 7878 (2012)

9-9-16 Lighting, Outdoor.Go to the top

(a) Purpose: The purposes of the outdoor lighting standards are to:

(1) Provide adequate light for safety and security;

(2) Promote efficient and cost effective lighting and to conserve energy;

(3) Reduce light pollution, light trespass, glare and offensive light sources;

(4) Provide an environmentally sensitive nighttime environment that includes the ability to view the stars against a dark sky so that people can see the Milky Way Galaxy from residential and other appropriate viewing areas;

(5) Prevent inappropriate, poorly designed or installed outdoor lighting;

(6) Encourage quality lighting design; light fixture shielding, establish maximum uniformity ratios and establish maximum light levels within and on property lines; and

(7) Establish an amortization program to remove or replace light fixtures that exceed the requirements permitted by this section.

(b) Legislative Findings Regarding the Amortization Provisions: The city council adopts the following findings regarding the amortization provisions of this section:

(1) On balance, that the burdens created to individual property owners by the amortization provisions of this section are greatly outweighed by the benefits that will be provided to all of the citizens in and visitors to the City and areas that are in close proximity to the City. The value of the fixtures required to be replaced by this section are minimal, and that, on balance, the burden placed on the property owner is minimal, given the value of such fixtures against the benefits gained by such replacement, which is a substantial decrease of unnecessary light pollution.

(2) The amortization period, based upon the formula that is used by the United States Internal Revenue Service to depreciate fixtures attached to real property over a fifteen-year period, is reasonable and provides a rational basis for the amortization schedule set forth in this section.

(3) The adopted amortization periods, together with an opportunity for extensions beyond the time periods set in this section, will allow the property owner to recoup or recover costs or otherwise reap the benefits of the useful life of such improvements in a manner that is consistent with the generally accepted methods of depreciating fixtures utilized by the United States Internal Revenue Service.

(c) Scope: This section shall apply to all exterior lighting, including illumination from outdoor signs that impact the outdoor environment. No person shall install any light fixture unless such fixture meets the requirements of this section.

(1) Conformance at the Time of Building Permit Application: Compliance with the requirements of this chapter shall be required for all new development. The following outdoor lighting improvements shall be installed prior to a final inspection for any building permit for any redevelopment which exceeds the following thresholds:

(A) When development or redevelopment exceeds twenty-five percent of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure, then all existing unshielded exterior light fixtures shall be retrofitted with shielding to prevent light trespass.

(B) When development or redevelopment exceeds fifty percent of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure, then:

(i) All exterior lighting, except existing parking lot lighting, shall be brought into conformance with the requirements of this section; and

(ii) All existing parking lot light fixtures shall be retrofitted with shielding to prevent light trespass.

(C) When development or redevelopment exceeds seventy-five percent of the Boulder County Assessor's actual value of the existing structure, then all exterior lighting fixtures shall be brought into full conformance with the requirements of this section.

(2) Replacement of Fixtures: If an existing light fixture is removed, it shall only be replaced with a conforming light fixture.

(d) Design Standards: No person shall install or maintain any exterior lighting that fails to meet the requirements of this section:

(1) Maximum Light Levels at Property Line: The maximum light level at any point on a property line shall not exceed 0.1 footcandles within or adjacent to a residential zone or 0.2 footcandles in nonresidential zones except as follows:

(A) The light emitted by light fixtures mounted on a structure built within five feet of a public street right of way or sidewalk shall not exceed the maximum allowable light levels for "pedestrian areas" specified in subsection (e) of this section for the underlying zoning district or use. The maximum allowable light level shall include any existing or proposed street or pedestrian lighting located within the right of way. In no case shall the maximum allowable light level within the right of way, excluding street lights, exceed 0.2 footcandles when measured at the curbline.

(B) In nonresidential zoning districts, unless a variance has been granted, light levels exceeding 0.2 footcandles at the property line may be approved by the city manager upon finding that the increased light levels will not adversely affect an adjacent property owner. Evidence that the light will not adversely affect an adjacent property owner may include, without limitation, a statement from such property owner that it will not be adversely affected by the increased light levels. The maximum allowable light levels specified in subsection (e) of this section shall not be exceeded when measured on the property line.

(2) White Light Source Required: White light sources that include, without limitation, metal halide, fluorescent, or induction lamps, but excluding incandescent and halogen lamps, shall be required for any light fixture which exceeds two thousand four hundred lumens that is within a parking lot, vehicular circulation, or pedestrian use area.

(3) Use of High Pressure Sodium Lamps: Full cutoff high pressure sodium lamps, not exceeding a maximum lumen rating of sixteen thousand lumens, may be used in outdoor storage areas and other similar use areas not accessible to the general public and the need for good color rendering capabilities for safety and security is not necessary.

(4) Architectural Lighting of Building Facades: The lighting of a building facade for architectural, aesthetic, or decorative purposes is permitted subject to the following restrictions:

(A) Upward aimed building facade lighting shall not exceed nine hundred lumens. All upward aimed light shall be fully shielded, fully confined from projecting into the sky by eaves, roofs, or overhangs, and mounted as flush to a wall as possible.

(B) Building facade lighting exceeding nine hundred lumens shall be fully shielded, aimed downward, and mounted as flush to a wall as possible.

(C) Building facade lighting shall be fully contained within the vertical surface of the wall being illuminated.

(D) Building facade lighting that is measurable at the ground level shall be included in the maximum allowable light levels.

(5) Unshielded Lighting:

(A) Unshielded lighting that emits more than nine hundred lumens but less than or equal to one thousand two hundred lumens is permitted provided that it is activated by a motion sensor and provided it is aimed and located in such a manner as to prevent glare and light trespass. The light shall only go on when activated and go off within five minutes of activation. Motion sensor activated lighting shall not be triggered by any movement or activity located off the property on which the light is located.

(B) All lamps and bulbs less than nine hundred lumens located in residential zones shall be within a fully shielded fixture, or must be within a light fixture where the bulb or lamp are obscured from view by a material that diffuses the light. (i.e., frosted or milk colored materials), except as otherwise permitted in this section. (See figure 9-15 of this section.)

Figure 15: Fully Shielded Fixtures

Figure 9-15: Fully Shielded Fixtures

Examples of fully shielded light fixtures: Sconce, Pole, Canister, and Canopy. In each case the fixture has a solid housing with a flat lens or bottom and the bulb is fully within the housing.

(6) Signs: All exterior signs shall be required to meet the standards for this section. In addition, all exterior signs are also subject to the requirements set forth in Section 9-9-21, "Signs," B.R.C. 1981.

(7) Standards for Lights Adjacent to Residential Zoning Districts, Residential Uses, or Public Right of Ways: Any light fixture located within ten feet of a property line, of a residential zoning district, an existing residential use, or within ten feet of a public right-of-way, except as permitted in subparagraph (d)(1)(A) of this section shall be:

(A) Aimed away from the property line, residential zone, residential use, and/or right of way;

(B) Classified as an IESNA Type III or Type IV light fixture; and

(C) Shielded on the side closest to the property line, residential zone, residential use, or public right of way.

(8) Canopy Lighting: Lighting fixtures mounted under canopies used for vehicular shelter shall be aimed downward and installed such that the bottom of the light fixture or its lens, whichever is lower, is recessed or mounted flush with the bottom surface of the canopy. A full cutoff light fixture may project below the underside of a canopy. All light emitted by an under-canopy fixture shall be substantially confined to the ground surface directly beneath the perimeter of the canopy. No lighting, except that permitted by the sign ordinance, shall be permitted on the top or sides of a canopy.

(9) Flagpoles: A flagpole meeting the requirements of Section 9-9-21, "Signs," B.R.C. 1981, may be illuminated by one upward aimed fully shielded spotlight light fixture which shall not exceed three thousand five hundred lumens. The light fixture shall be placed as close to the base of the flagpole as reasonably possible.

(10) Strings of Lights: No person shall use a string of lights on property with nonresidential uses except as follows:

(A) Strings of lights may only be used if they are approved by the city manager as part of an outdoor lighting plan or landscape plan. The plan must comply with all of the standards of this Subsection. The purpose of such lighting is intended to create pleasing pedestrian spaces, such as outdoor dining or patio areas, utilizing low lighting levels.

(B) Strings of lights permitted under this subsection shall be displayed in compliance with the following standards:

(i) The string of lights contains only low wattage bulbs that are not greater than fifty lumens per bulb (equivalent to a seven watt C7 incandescent bulb);

(ii) The string of lights shall be located within a pedestrian way, plaza, patio, outdoor dining area, or the primary entry into a building;

(iii) The string of lights is not placed in any required landscape setback adjacent to a street;

(iv) The string of lights shall be displayed on a building, wall, fence, trees, and shrubs; and

(v) The string of lights shall not suspend horizontally between any buildings, walls, fences, trees, or shrubs (for the purposes of this paragraph, "horizontally" means any portion of the suspended string which dips less than forty-five degrees below the horizontal).

(11) Parking Lot Lights and Trees: Parking lot light fixtures and poles shall be located such that trees located within the parking lot do not obscure the operation of the light fixture.

(12) Full Cutoff Fixtures: Full cutoff fixtures shall be installed in a horizontal position as designed.

(e) Maximum Light Standards: No person shall operate any device which makes light in excess of the levels specified in this section. Light from any fixture shall not exceed any of the limits for the applicable zoning district or use classification in tables 9-10 and 9-11 of this section. In the event an applicant utilizes light levels at the highest level permitted for a specific use area, such lighting shall be substantially confined to that particular use area.

TABLE 9-10: ZONING DISTRICT REQUIREMENTS

Residential Zoning Districts
(Not Including Public Uses)
Commercial, Mixed Use, Downtown, Business, and Industrial Zoning Districts
Public Zoning District and Public Uses in Residential Zones

Maximum allowable light levels (measured in footcandles)

5.0 at building entries
5.0 at building entries
5.0 at building entries
3.0 in parking areas
5.0 in parking areas
5.0 in parking lots
3.0 along pedestrian walkways
3.0 along pedestrian walkways
3.0 along pedestrian walkways
2.0 in common open space areas
2.0 in outdoor storage areas (maximum uniformity ratio requirements are not applicable)
 
Maximum uniformity ratio (maximum to minimum)
n/a
10:1 (except as noted above)
15:1
Maximum lumen rating for a full cutoff luminaire shielded from view of adjacent streets and properties
8,500 - parking areas of 6 or more spaces
8,500 - pedestrian areas 14,000 - parking and loading areas
14,000 - parking and loading areas
4,000 - walkway lights and common areas
23,500 on 35 foot pole when permitted (parking and loading areas)
 
1,800 stairways and entryways
16,000 for high pressure sodium when permitted
 
Maximum lumen rating for an IESNA cutoff or semi cutoff fixture
900
1,250
1,250
Maximum lumen rating for an unshielded light fixture
900: except no lamp or bulb, other than for seasonal displays and landscape ornamental lighting, shall be visible beyond the property line
900
900
Controls
Motion sensors required for all unshielded fixtures in excess of 900 lumens
Recommended after close of business
Recommended after close of business
Maximum allowable pole height (includes base, pole and luminaire)
20 feet in parking lots
25 feet in parking lots
20 feet in parking lots within or adjacent to residential zones, otherwise 25 foot maximum
15 feet in all other areas
35 feet for contiguous parking lots of 5 or more acres in size
 
 
20 feet in all other areas
 

TABLE 9-11: SPECIAL USE REQUIREMENTS

 
Open Parking Structures and Parking Below a Building
Private Recreation Use
Public Recreation Use
Service Stations, Automobile Dealerships, Drive-Thru Windows

Maximum allowable light levels (measured in footcandles)

5.0 within open parking structure and parking below a building

5.0 for uncovered upper levels

5.0 for covered exterior pedestrian circulation areas that are a part of a parking structure or parking below a building

The lesser of 30 footcandles or the IESNA recommended standards for the specific sports venue

5.0 in parking lots

4.0 in pedestrian areas

The IESNA recommended standards for the specific sports venue

5.0 in parking lots

4.0 in pedestrian areas

5.0 in building entries and drive-up windows

20.0 under service station canopies

15.0 within vehicular display areas

5.0 in parking lots

3.0 along pedestrian walkways

Maximum uniformity ratio (maximum to minimum)

5:1 within parking structure

10:1 remainder of site

3:1 on sports field or court

10:1 remainder of site

3:1 on sports field or court

10:1 remainder of site

10:1
Maximum lumen rating for a full cutoff light fixture shielded from view of adjacent streets and properties
14,000

23,500 for field or court area

8,500 for parking and pedestrian areas

107,000 for sports field

23,500 for courts

14,000 for parking areas

8,500 for pedestrian areas

14,000
Maximum lumen rating for an IESNA cutoff or semi cutoff light fixture
1,800
1,250
4,000
1,800
Maximum lumen rating for an unshielded light fixture
900
900
900
900
Sports shielding
n/a
Internal and external
Internal and external
n/a
Light fixture aiming angle
n/a
n/a
Not greater than 60 degrees from nadir
n/a
Controls
Automatic daylight adaptation controls required
Field or court lights shall be turned off within 30 minutes of the last event or 12:00 midnight, whichever is earlier
Field or court lights shall be turned off within 30 minutes after the last event
Service station canopies and vehicular display lights shall not exceed 5.0 footcandles within 1 hour of the close of business

Maximum allowable pole height (includes base, pole, and light fixture)

12 feet for uncovered upper level parking

20 feet in residential zones

25 feet in all other zones

20 feet in parking lots within or adjacent to residential zones, otherwise 25 feet

35 feet for sports lighting or as approved by the city manager per section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981

20 feet when adjacent to residential zones, otherwise 25 feet in parking lots

20 feet in all other areas

(f) Prohibitions: No person shall install any of the following types of outdoor lighting fixtures:

(1) Mercury vapor lamps;

(2) Low pressure sodium lamps, unless within six hundred feet of an existing astronomical observatory, which is owned or operated by a governmental entity;

(3) Blinking, flashing, moving, revolving, flickering, changing intensity or color, and chase lighting, except lighting for temporary seasonal displays, lighting for public safety or required for air traffic safety;

(4) Any light fixture that may be confused with or construed as a traffic control device;

(5) Any upward oriented lighting except as otherwise provided for in this section;

(6) Searchlights, beacons, and laser source light fixtures;

(7) Exposed linear lamps that include, without limitation, neon, Light Emitting Diode (L.E.D.), and fluorescent lighting, primarily intended as an architectural highlight to attract attention or used as a means of identification or advertisement except as permitted by section 9-9-21, "Signs," B.R.C. 1981; and

(8) Any lamp or bulb, except for seasonal displays and landscape ornamental lighting, which is visible beyond the property line on which it is located.

(g) Lighting Plans Required: A lighting plan shall be submitted with any building permit application in which outdoor lighting is proposed or required, except when all proposed lighting is provided by fixtures of nine hundred lumens or less, and except for a single detached dwelling unit on an individual lot. The lighting plan shall include:

(1) A site plan showing the location of all buildings and building heights, parking, and pedestrian areas on the lot or parcel;

(2) The location and description including mature height of existing and proposed trees and the location of light fixtures on adjacent properties or the street right-of-way within ten feet of the subject property;

(3) The location and height above grade of all proposed and existing light fixtures on the subject property;

(4) The type, initial lumen rating, color rendering index, and wattage of each lamp source;

(5) The general style of the light fixture such as cutoff, lantern, coach light, globe, and a copy of the manufacturer's catalog information sheet and IESNA photometric distribution type, including any shielding information such as house side shields, internal, and/or external shields;

(6) Control descriptions including type of controls (timer, motion sensor, time clock, etc.), the light fixtures to be controlled by each type, and control schedule when required;

(7) Aiming angles and diagrams for sports lighting fixtures; and

(8) A light calculation which shows the maximum light levels on a grid not to exceed ten feet by ten feet across the entire site and a minimum of ten feet beyond the lot or parcel property line. The grid shall also indicate maximum to minimum uniformities for each specific use area such as parking and circulation areas, pedestrian areas, and other common public areas.

(h) Final Inspection and Certification: Prior to a building permit final inspection or the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the applicant shall provide certification that the outdoor lighting as installed complies with the approved illumination plan and the requirements of this section unless waived or amended by the city manager in writing. The certification shall be submitted in a format prescribed by the city manager. The certification shall be completed by the architect, electrical engineer, electrical contractor, or lighting consultant responsible for the plans or the final installation.

(i) Exceptions: The standards of this section shall not apply to the following types of exterior lighting:

(1) Ornamental Lighting: Low voltage (twelve volts or less), low wattage ornamental landscape lighting fixtures, and solar operated light fixtures having self-contained rechargeable batteries, where any single light fixture does not exceed one hundred lumens.

(2) Strings of Light: Strings of light, not exceeding a maximum of fifty lumens per lamp, (equivalent of a seven watt C7 incandescent light bulb) on properties located in all residential zoning districts or on properties that are used exclusively for residential uses shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.

(3) Aviation Lighting: Lighting used exclusively for aviation purposes. All heliport lighting, except lighting associated with emergency facilities, shall be turned off when the heliport is not in use.

(4) Right-of-Way Lighting: Public lighting that is located within the right-of-way.

(5) Seasonal Lighting Displays: Lighting displays from November 15 through January 30 of the following year.

(j) Variances and Exemptions: The city manager is authorized to grant variances to this section in accordance with the following standards:

(1) Equivalent Material: The provisions of this section are not intended to prevent the use of any design, material or method of installation not specifically prohibited by this section provided any such alternate has been approved by the city manager. The city manager may approve any such alternate provided that the proposed design, material or method provides an approximate equivalent method of satisfying the standards of this section.

(2) Variance: The city manager may grant a variance from the provisions of this section if the city manager finds that one of the criteria of subparagraph (j)(2)(A), (j)(2)(B) or (j)(2)(C), and subparagraphs (j)(2)(D) and (j)(2)(E) of this section have been met:

(A) There are special circumstances or conditions applying to the land, buildings, or outdoor light fixtures for which the variance is sought, which circumstances or conditions are peculiar to such land, buildings or outdoor light fixtures and do not apply generally to the land, buildings or outdoor light fixtures in the neighborhood;

(B) For nonresidential uses, there are occupational safety lighting requirements for activities or processes that occur outdoors that are required by another governmental agency; or

(C) Upon a finding by the city manager that outdoor lighting in specific areas of the community, that otherwise meets the requirements of this section is not adequate and additional lighting is necessary to improve safety or security for the property or its occupants; and

(D) The granting of the variance will generally be consistent with the purpose of this section and will not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare; and

(E) The variance is the minimum variance that provides the relief required.

(3) Temporary Lighting Exemption: The city manager may grant an exemption from the requirements of this section for temporary outdoor activities that include, without limitation, fairs, carnivals, sporting events, concerts, and promotional activities, if the city manager finds the following:

(A) The length of time that the temporary lighting is to be used is not longer than thirty days;

(B) The proposed lighting is designed in such a manner as to minimize light pollution, light trespass, and glare as much as feasible; and

(C) The proposed lighting will comply with the general purpose of this section.

(k) Amortization: All exterior lighting fixtures which do not conform to the following standards shall be brought into conformance no later than fifteen years from the date of adoption of this section, July 15, 2003.

(1) Extension of Amortization Period: The city manager may extend the amortization period of this section. The city manager shall provide a compliance date for meeting the requirements of this section under a plan whereby the owner's actual investment in the improvements before the time that the use became nonstandard under this section can be amortized within a definite time period. The city manager shall consider the following factors in determining a reasonable amortization period:

(A) The owner's investment in improvements and other assets on the property before the time the improvements became nonstandard.

(B) Any costs that are directly attributable to the establishment of a compliance date, including demolition expenses and reconstruction expenses.

(C) Any return on investment since inception of the use, including net income and depreciation.

(D) The anticipated annual recovery of investment, including net income and depreciation.

(2) Compliance Requirement: If the city manager establishes a compliance date for a nonconforming use, the use must cease operations on that date and it may not operate thereafter unless it meets the lighting standards of the Boulder Revised Code.

(3) Appeal: A property owner that requested the extension of an amortization period under this section that is aggrieved by any decision of the city manager denying such an extension may appeal to the BOZA by providing a notice to the city manager of the owner's intent to appeal within fourteen days after receiving notice of the City's decision. The hearing shall be held in conformance with the requirements of subsection 9-2-3(g), B.R.C. 1981.

(4) Exempt From Amortization Requirements: The following shall be exempt from the amortization provisions, but not the shielding requirements, of this section:

(A) Existing high pressure sodium and metal halide light fixtures which do not exceed the maximum allowable light levels of subsection (e) of this section by more than twenty percent;

(B) Existing high pressure sodium and metal halide light fixtures mounted on poles which exceed the maximum allowable pole heights of subsection (e) of this section, but do not exceed thirty-five feet in height and do not exceed the maximum allowable light levels of subsection (e) of this section;

(C) Existing high pressure sodium and metal halide light fixtures which exceed the maximum lumen ratings of subsection (e) of this section, but comply with the maximum allowable light levels of subsection (e) of this section.

(5) Special Amortization Requirements: Notwithstanding the fifteen-year amortization period set forth above, the following types of fixtures or bulbs shall be replaced sooner, as follows:

(A) Replacement of Unshielded Mercury Vapor Light Fixtures: Existing unshielded mercury vapor light fixtures shall be removed or replaced with a light fixture that meets the requirement of this section by September 1, 2005.

(B) Replacement of Bulbs: To the extent that compliance with this section can be achieved by replacement of a light bulb, the light bulb shall be replaced with one that meets the requirements of this section upon its failure or by September 1, 2004, whichever is earlier.

(C) Aiming of Fixtures: To the extent that compliance with this section can be achieved by re-aiming a fixture, such fixture shall be re-aimed by September 1, 2004.

Ordinance Nos. 6017 (1998); 7297 (2003); 7484 (2006); 7522 (2007); 7568 (2007); 7577 (2007)

9-9-17 Solar Access.Go to the top

(a) Purpose: Solar heating and cooling of buildings, solar heated hot water and solar generated electricity can provide a significant contribution to the City's energy supply. It is the purpose of this section to regulate structures and vegetation on property, including City-owned and controlled property, to the extent necessary to ensure access to solar energy, by reasonably regulating the interests of neighboring property holders within the City.

(b) Applicability of Section:

(1) Private Property: All private property is subject to this section.

(2) Development Approval: No proposed development permit may be approved for any structure that would violate the basic solar access provided by this section unless the object or structure is exempt or an exception is granted by the city manager or the BOZA for such purpose.

(3) Government Property: Governmental organizations not under the jurisdiction of the City may elect to enjoy the benefits of solar access under this section if they also consent in a written agreement with the City to be bound by its restrictions.

(4) City Property: Property owned or possessed by the city is subject to, and enjoys the benefits of this section. The city may submit applications, make objections and take actions that are afforded to any other person subject to the provisions of this section.

(c) Solar Access Areas Established: Three solar access areas are hereby established: SA Area I, SA Area II and SA Area III. The purpose of dividing the City into solar access areas is to provide maximum solar access protection for each area of the City consistent with planned densities, topography and lot configurations and orientations.

(1) Solar Access Area I (RR-1, RR-2, RE, RL-1 and MH): SA Area I is designed to protect solar access principally for south yards, south walls and rooftops in areas where, because of planned density, topography or lot configurations or orientations, the preponderance of lots therein currently enjoy such access and where solar access of this nature would not unduly restrict permissible development. SA Area I includes all property in RR-1, RR-2, RE, RL-1 and MH zoning districts.

(2) Solar Access Area II (RL-2, RM, MU-1, MU-3, RMX, RH-1, RH-2, RH-3, RH-4, RH-5, and I): SA Area II is designed to protect solar access principally for rooftops in areas where, because of planned density, topography or lot configuration or orientation, the preponderance of lots therein currently enjoy such access and where solar access of this nature would not unduly restrict permissible development. SA Area II includes all property in RL-2, RM, MU-1, MU-3, RMX, RH-1, RH-2, RH-3, RH-4, RH-5 and I zoning districts.

(3) Solar Access Area III – Permits – Other Zoning Districts: SA Area III includes areas where, because of planned densities, topography or lot configurations or orientations, uniform solar access protection for south yards and walls or for rooftops may unduly restrict permissible development. Solar access protection in SA Area III is provided through permits. SA Area III initially includes property in all zoning districts other than those set forth in paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section.

(d) Basic Solar Access Protection:

(1) Solar Fence: A solar fence is hereby hypothesized for each lot located in SA Area I and SA Area II. Each solar fence completely encloses the lot in question, and its foundation is contiguous with the lot lines. Such fence is opaque and lacks any thickness.

(A) No person shall erect an object or structure on any other lot that would shade a protected lot in SA Area I to a greater degree than the lot would be shaded by a solar fence twelve feet in height, between two hours before and two hours after local solar noon on a clear winter solstice day.

(B) No person shall erect an object or structure on any other lot that would shade a protected lot in SA Area II to a greater degree than the lot would be shaded by a solar fence twenty-five feet in height, between two hours before and two hours after local solar noon on a clear winter solstice day.

(C) Solar fences are not hypothesized for lots located in SA Area III. Solar access protection in SA Area III is available under this section only through permits, as hereinafter provided.

(2) Height: Unless prohibited by another section of this title, nothing in this section prevents a structure in SA Area III from being erected up to a height of thirty-five feet if located within the allowed building envelope. However, unless an exception is granted pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, no such structure may exceed thirty-five feet in height if any such excess height would cause the structure to violate, or to increase the degree of violation of, the basic solar access protection provided for any lot in SA Area I or SA Area II.

(A) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the principal building on a lot in SA Area I or II from being erected within the building envelope up to the height of the solar fence in the area in which the structure is located.

(B) Each application for a development permit for a building of a height greater than allowed by this subsection shall:

(i) Include a graphic representation showing the shadows that would be cast by the proposed structure between two hours before and two hours after local solar noon on a clear winter solstice day;

(ii) The solar fences on all lots that the shadows would touch;

(iii) All possible obstructions of solar access protected by permit; and

(iv) Provide additional information as may be required by the city manager.

(3) Insubstantial Breaches and Existing Structures: Insubstantial breaches of the basic solar access protection or of the protection provided by a solar access permit are exempt from the application of this section. A structure in existence on the date of establishment of an applicable solar access area, or structures and vegetation in existence on the date of issuance of an applicable solar access permit, are exempt from the application of this section. For purposes of this section, structures are deemed to be in existence on the date of issuance of a development permit authorizing its construction.

(4) Temporary Solar Obstructions: Unavoidable temporary obstructions of protected solar access necessitated by construction activities or other necessary and lawful purposes are exempt to the extent that they do not exceed ten days in any three month period and thirty days in any year.

(5) Solar Analysis: When a solar analysis is required for any review process, it shall be prepared in compliance with the methods described in materials provided by the city manager.

(e) Amendment of Solar Access Areas:

(1) Purpose: The planning board may amend solar access areas on its own motion or on petition of any person with a property interest in the subject area. A petitioner shall submit a list to the planning board of the names and addresses of all owners of property within and adjacent to the subject area and within one hundred feet to the north and sixty feet to the east and west of the subject area.

(2) Public Hearing and Notice Required: Before amending a solar access area, the planning board shall conduct a public hearing on the proposal. The board shall provide notice for the hearing pursuant to the requirements of section 9-4-3, "Public Notice Requirements," B.R.C. 1981.

(3) Review Criteria: A solar access area may be amended only after the planning board determines that one or more of the following conditions applies to the subject area:

(A) The subject area was established as a particular solar access area in error, and as currently established it is inconsistent with the purposes of the solar access areas;

(B) Permissible land uses and densities in the subject area are changing or should change to such a degree that it is in the public interest to amend the solar access area for the area; or

(C) Experience with application of this ordinance has demonstrated that:

(i) The level of solar access protection available in the subject area can be increased without significant interference with surrounding property; or

(ii) Application of the ordinance has unreasonable interference with use and enjoyment of real property in the subject area.

(4) Impact of Changes: When any area is amended from SA Area I to another solar access area or from SA Area II to SA Area III, any solar access beneficiary whose solar access is affected by such change may apply for a permit to provide solar access protection to any solar energy system installed and in use on the date the change becomes effective.

(f) Exceptions:

(1) Purpose: Any person desiring to erect an object or structure or increase or add to any object or structure, in such a manner as to interfere with the basic solar access protection, may apply for an exception.

(2) Application Requirements: An applicant for an exception shall pay the application fee prescribed by subsection 4-20-33(b), B.R.C. 1981, and apply on a form furnished by the city manager that includes, without limitation:

(A) The applicant's name and address, the owner's name and address, and a legal description of the lot for which an exception is sought;

(B) Survey plats or other accurate drawings showing lot lines, structures, solar systems, dimensions and topography as necessary to establish the reduction of basic solar access protection expected on each lot that would be affected by the exception, together with a graphic representation of the shadows that would be cast by the proposed structure during the period from two hours before to two hours after local solar noon on a clear winter solstice day. The requirements of this subparagraph may be modified by the city manager, depending upon the nature of the exception sought;

(C) A list of all lots that may be affected by the exception, including the names and addresses of all owners of such lots;

(D) A statement and supporting information describing the reasons that less intrusive alternatives, if any, to the action that would be allowed by the exception cannot or should not be implemented; and

(E) A statement certifying that the proposed structure would not obstruct solar access protected by permit.

(3) Public Notice: The city manager shall provide public notice pursuant to section 9-4-3, "Public Notice Requirements," B.R.C. 1981.

(4) City Manager Action: The city manager may grant an exception of this section following the public notification period if:

(A) The applicant presents the manager with an affidavit of each owner of each affected lot declaring that such owner is familiar with the application and the effect the exception would have on the owner's lot, and that the owner has no objection to the granting of the exception, and

(B) The manager determines that the application complies with the requirements in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, and

(C) The manager finds that each of the requirements of paragraph (f)(6) of this section has been met.

(5) Appeal of City Manager's Decision: The city manager's decision may be appealed to the BOZA pursuant to the procedures of section 9-4-4, "Appeals, Call-Ups and Public Hearings," B.R.C. 1981. Public notification of the hearing shall be provided pursuant to section 9-4-3, "Public Notice Requirements," B.R.C. 1981. The sign posted shall remain posted until the conclusion of the hearing.

(6) Review Criteria: In order to grant an exception, the approving authority must find that each of the following requirements has been met:

(A) Because of basic solar access protection requirements and the land use regulations:

(i) Reasonable use cannot otherwise be made of the lot for which the exception is requested;

(ii) The part of the adjoining lot or lots that the proposed structure would shade is inherently unsuitable as a site for a solar energy system; or

(iii) Any shading would not significantly reduce the solar potential of the protected lot; and

(iv) Such situations have not been created by the applicant;

(B) Except for actions under subparagraphs (f)(6)(D), (f)(6)(E), and (f)(6)(F) of this section, the exception would be the minimal action that would afford relief in an economically feasible manner;

(C) The exception would cause the least interference possible with basic solar access protection for other lots;

(D) If the proposed structure is located in a historic district designated by the city council according to section 9-11-2, "City Council May Designate or Amend Landmarks and Historic Districts," B.R.C. 1981, and if it conformed with the requirements of this section, its roof design would be incompatible with the character of the development in the historic district;

(E) If part of a proposed roof which is to be reconstructed or added to would be incompatible with the design of the remaining parts of the existing roof so as to detract materially from the character of the structure, provided that the roof otherwise conformed with the requirements of this section;

(F) If the proposed interference with basic solar access protection would be due to a solar energy system to be installed, such system could not be feasibly located elsewhere on the applicant's lot;

(G) If an existing solar system would be shaded as a result of the exception, the beneficiary of that system would nevertheless still be able to make reasonable use of it for its intended purpose;

(H) The exception would not cause more than an insubstantial breach of solar access protected by permit as defined in paragraph (d)(3) of this section; and

(I) All other requirements for the issuance of an exception have been met. The applicant bears the burden of proof with respect to all issues of fact.

(7) Conditions of Approval: The approving authority may grant exceptions subject to such terms and conditions as the authority finds just and equitable to assist persons whose protected solar access is diminished by the exception. Such terms and conditions may include a requirement that the applicant for an exception take actions to remove obstructions or otherwise increase solar access for any person whose protected solar access is adversely affected by granting the exception.

(8) Planning Board: Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection, if the applicant has a development application submitted for review that is to be heard by the planning board and that would require an exception, the planning board shall act in place of the BOZA, with authority to grant exceptions concurrent with other actions on the application, pursuant to the procedures and criteria of this section.

(g) Solar Siting:

(1) Siting Requirements: For purposes of insuring the potential for utilization of solar energy in the city, all planned unit developments and subdivisions shall be designed and constructed in compliance with the following solar siting requirements:

(A) All residential units in Solar Access Areas I, II, and III have a roof surface that meets all of the following criteria:

(i) Is oriented within thirty degrees of a true east-west direction;

(ii) Is flat or not sloped towards true north;

(iii) Is physically and structurally capable of supporting at least seventy-five square feet of un-shaded solar collectors for each individual dwelling unit in the building; and

(iv) Has unimpeded solar access under either the provisions of this section or through easements, covenants, or other private agreements among affected landowners that the city manager finds are adequate to protect continued solar access for such roof surface;

(B) Each residential unit in Solar Access Area I has an exterior wall surface that meets all of the following criteria:

(i) Is oriented within thirty degrees of a true east-west direction;

(ii) Is located on the southernmost side of the unit; and

(iii) Is immediately adjacent to a heated space;

(C) Each nonresidential building with an anticipated hot water demand of one thousand or more gallons a day has a roof surface that meets all of the following criteria:

(i) Is flat or oriented within thirty degrees of a true east-west direction;

(ii) Is physically and structurally capable of supporting a solar collector or collectors capable of providing at least one-half of the anticipated hot water needs of the building; and

(iii) Has unimpeded solar access under either the provisions of this section or through easements, covenants, or other private agreements among affected landowners that the city manager finds are adequate to protect continued solar access for such roof surface;

(2) Waivers: Upon request of any applicant for a building permit or a subdivision or planned unit development approval, the approving authority may waive such of the requirements of this paragraph as it deems appropriate if it finds that any of the following criteria are met:

(A) Any structure or structures subject to the requirements of this paragraph are designed and intended to be unheated;

(B) Topographic features, land slope, shading by objects, structures, or vegetation outside the control of the applicant, or the nature of surrounding development or circulation patterns when combined with the requirements of this paragraph:

(i) Makes use of solar energy not feasible in some or all of the structures to be erected;

(ii) Will result in a substantial decrease in the density of land use in the subdivision or planned unit development;

(iii) Will result in an increase in transportation or other energy use that substantially outweighs the potential for increased solar energy use created by adherence to these requirements; or

(iv) Will be inconsistent with the floodplain management requirements of section 9-3-2, "Floodplains," B.R.C. 1981;

(C) Substantial planning, design, or other preliminary expenditures have been incurred by the applicant prior to July 1, 1982, and adherence to the standards of this paragraph would work an undue hardship on the applicant; or

(D) The applicant's proposal incorporates the following additional energy resource and conservation option points in excess of the requirements of subsection 10-5.5-2(y), "Resource Conservation – Green Points," B.R.C. 1981:

(i) 2 points - to qualify for a waiver of the requirement of subparagraph (g)(1)(A) of this section;

(ii) 3 points - to qualify for a waiver of the requirement of subparagraph (g)(1)(B) of this section; and

(iii) The city manager finds that adequate protection for any solar energy systems to be installed is provided either under the provisions of this section, or through covenants, easements, or other agreements among affected landowners.

(h) Solar Access Permits:

(1) Purpose of Solar Access Permit: In order to promote opportunities for the use of solar energy and where basic solar access protection established by this section is inadequate to protect potential solar energy users, or to insure maximum utilization of solar energy resources consistent with reasonable use of surrounding property, persons may obtain permits under this section. Beneficial use is the limit and measure of any right conferred by permit and no permit shall restrict use of other property beyond the extent reasonable to insure efficient and economical beneficial use of solar energy by the permittee. Further, no permit shall restrict the reasonable use and enjoyment of adjacent properties.

(2) Eligibility Standards: Any owner or possessor of property who has installed a solar energy system or who intends to install such a system within a year from the date of application may apply for a permit if:

(A) The lot for which a permit is requested is included in SA Area III;

(B) The system that has been or will be installed is capable of applying to beneficial use substantial amounts of solar energy outside the hours of the day during which basic protection is provided for under this section;

(C) A solar energy system is in existence on the lot or is planned to be built within a year and the lot is changed from SA Area I to another solar access area or is changed from SA Area II to SA AREA III, resulting in a diminution or elimination of protection previously afforded the user or potential user of the solar energy system;

(D) A new structure is built on a lot in SA Area I or SA Area II after the effective date of this section whose locations renders the basic solar access protection inadequate, and the structure could not reasonably have been constructed at a location where it would have substantially benefited from the basic solar access protection provided by this section; or

(E) The applicant demonstrates that there are substantial technical, legal, or economic factors that render it infeasible to collect a reasonable amount of solar energy by utilizing the basic solar access protection available under this section without a permit. Such factors include, without limitation, structural characteristics of the applicant's building that limit possibilities for economical retrofit of a solar energy system or shading by objects, structures, or vegetation that are beyond the applicant's control and are exempt from the requirements of this section.

(3) Application Requirements: An applicant for a permit shall pay the fee prescribed by subsection 4-20-33(a), B.R.C. 1981, and complete an application in writing on a form furnished by the city manager that includes, without limitation:

(A) The applicant's name and address, the owner's name and address, and a legal description of the lot where the solar energy system is located or will be located;

(B) A statement by the applicant that the solar energy system is already installed or that the applicant intends to install such a system on the lot within one year of the issuance of the permit;

(C) A description of the existing or proposed size and location of the system, its orientation with respect to south, and its elevation and orientation from the horizontal;

(D) A statement describing the beneficial use to which solar energy is or will be applied and certifying the energy capacity of the system in BTUs or BTU equivalents and its reasonable life expectancy;

(E) A statement and accurate drawings describing the access protection desired beyond the basic solar access protection provided by this section, specifying the hours of the day, seasons of the year, and locations on the applicant's lot for which protection is desired;

(F) A description of all existing vegetation, objects, and structures wherever located that will or may in the future shade the solar energy system, together with a map or drawing showing their location to the extent possible;

(G) Information showing that the applicant has done everything reasonable in designing and locating the system so as to minimize the impact it will have on use and development on nearby land;

(H) Survey plats or other accurate drawings showing lot lines, dimensions, and topography of the lot on which the solar energy system is or will be located and all surrounding properties that are intended to be subject to the permit; and

(I) A list of all lots that may be affected by the permit, including the names and addresses of all owners of such lots.

(4) Public Notice: The city manager shall provide public notification pursuant to the requirements of section 9-4-3, "Public Notice Requirements," B.R.C. 1981.

(5) Permit Issuance: The city manager shall issue a solar access permit and may impose additional conditions or restrictions as the manager deems appropriate if the application complies with the requirements of paragraph (h)(7) of this section.

(6) Appeal of City Manager's Decision: The city manager's decision may be appealed to the BOZA pursuant to the procedures of section 9-4-4, "Appeals, Call-Ups and Public Hearings," B.R.C. 1981. Public notification of the hearing shall be provided pursuant to section 9-4-3, "Public Notice Requirements," B.R.C. 1981.

(7) Permit Requirements: In order to issue a permit, the approving authority must find that each of the following requirements has been met:

(A) The applicant meets at least one of the eligibility standards of paragraph (h)(2) of this section;

(B) The applicant has done everything reasonable in designing and locating the proposed solar energy system to minimize the impact it will have on use and development of nearby land. However, the fact that an alternate design or site may be more expensive does not necessarily establish that the applicant's failure to select that alternate design or site is reasonable. In making this finding, the board or the city manager may consider whether the additional cost of alternative, less intrusive sites or solar energy systems, if any, would exceed the difference between the adverse effects, if any, imposed on other lots by the proposed site and solar energy system and the adverse effects, if any, that would be imposed on other lots by alternative sites or solar energy systems;

(C) Issuance of the permit is consistent with reasonable use and enjoyment of nearby land, excluding landscaping considerations. Issuance of the permit will be presumed not to be consistent with reasonable use and enjoyment of nearby land if issuance would prevent any affected property owner from erecting, consistent with legal requirements, a structure of a size, character and usefulness reasonably typical of those in existence on similar lots subject to the same zoning requirements located within one-fifth mile of the lot in question. However, nothing in this subsection prohibits issuance of a permit only because it would impose requirements on a neighboring lot owner that are more restrictive than the height or setback requirements that would otherwise apply, if reasonable use and enjoyment of such lot is preserved; and

(D) Issuance of the permit is consistent with reasonable landscaping of nearby land. In determining consistency, the board shall consider the need for any additional landscaping in the future, including any energy conservation value that such landscaping may have.

(8) Conditions of Approval: The board may grant permits subject to such terms and conditions as it finds just and equitable.

(9) Records: The city manager shall maintain complete records of all permits that have been issued and shall make them readily available for public inspection.

(10) Expiration of Permit: A solar access permit expires if:

(A) A functioning system is not installed within a year after the issuance of the permit;

(B) The solar energy system protected by the permit has not functioned to fulfill its intended purpose for a continuous period of two or more years; or

(C) The term established under paragraph (h)(11) of this section expires.

(11) Term of Solar Energy System: The city manager or the BOZA shall specify the term of each solar access permit, which shall be for the reasonable life expectancy of the particular solar energy system, as determined by the manager or the board. At the expiration of a permit, it may be renewed in the same manner as new permits are issued.

(12) Renewal of Permit: If no functioning solar energy system is installed within a year of the issuance of the permit, the city manager may grant a renewal of up to one additional year to the holder of the expired permit if the permittee demonstrates that the permittee has exercised due diligence in attempting to install the system.

(13) Enforcement: A solar access permit is enforceable by the beneficiary if, and only if, the beneficiary has properly recorded the permit in the real property records of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder with re-spect to each affected lot in such a manner that it could be detected through a customary title search.

(A) On sale, lease or transfer of the lot on which the protected solar system is located, the right to enforce its terms passes to the beneficial user of the system.

(B) No property owner shall be requested to remedy vegetative shading unless a protected solar system is installed and functioning.

(14) Impacts of Vegetation on an Issued Permit: Upon application of a beneficiary to the BOZA, vegetative shading may be remedied to the extent necessary to comply with the terms specified in a solar access permit. However, no vegetation in the ground and growing at the time the permit application is filed may be ordered removed or trimmed. After notice to at least the beneficiary and the vegetation owner, the board shall hold a hearing and, based on evidence submitted by any interested party, may issue any necessary order and specify the time in which actions thereunder must be performed. Absent unusual circumstances, the cost of remedying shading from vegetation not in the ground and growing at the time the permit application is filed shall be borne by the vegetation owner. If an owner or possessor of real property who receives an order to remedy vegetative shading fails to comply within the specified time, the city manager may order the condition remedied and charge the actual cost thereof to the person to whom the order is directed, who shall pay the bill. If any person fails or refuses to pay when due any charge imposed under this subsection, the manager may, in addition to taking other collection remedies, certify due and unpaid charges to the Boulder County Treasurer for collection as provided in section 2-2-12, "City Manager May Certify Taxes, Charges and Assessments to County Treasurer for Collection," B.R.C. 1981.

(i) Authority to Issue Regulations: The city manager and the BOZA are each authorized to adopt rules and regulations necessary in order to interpret or implement the provisions of this section that each administers.

Ordinance Nos. 7484 (2006); 7522 (2007); 7535 (2007); 7568 (2007); 7655 (2009); 7878 (2012)

9-9-18 Trash Storage and Recycling Areas.Go to the top

The following standards shall apply to the construction of trash storage and recycling areas for attached dwellings and all business and industrial buildings or uses:

(a) Covered Area: Trash storage and recycling area shall be accommodated within the structure, or adequate common area shall be included on site and indicated on a site plan.

(b) Hard Surface Required, Screening and Landscaping: All outdoor trash recycling storage and containers shall be placed on a hard surface, including, without limitation, concrete, and shall be screened in accordance with section 9-9-12, "Landscaping and Screening Standards," B.R.C. 1981.

(c) Maintenance and Service: Trash storage and recycling areas shall include adequate space for the maintenance and servicing of containers for recyclable materials that are provided by local disposal and recycling companies.

(d) Adequate Space for Trash and Recyclables: The amount of space provided for the collection and storage of recyclable materials shall be at least as large as the amount of space provided for the collection and storage of trash materials.

(e) Convenience and Accessibility: The recycling area shall be at least as accessible and convenient for tenants and collection vehicles as the trash collection and storage area.

(f) Minimum Clearance: A minimum height clearance of six feet eight inches shall be required if the space is provided in a covered enclosure.

Ordinance No. 7331 (2004)

9-9-19 Swimming Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs.Go to the top

A swimming pool, spa, or hot tub may be permitted in any district as an accessory use, subject to the following additional requirements:

(a) Location: Such use may not be located in any required front yard or side yard abutting a street;

(b) Fences or Walls Required: All pools, spas, and hot tubs shall be fenced as required by chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981.

(c) Gates or Doors: All gates or doors opening through such enclosures must be equipped with self-closing and self-latching hardware keeping the gate or door securely closed at all times when not in use.

9-9-20 Addressing.Go to the top

(a) Building Address Required: Buildings shall be numbered according to a city addressing system. The city manager will issue an address when issuing the building permit.

(b) Building Numbers: Building numbers shall be constructed of durable material distinctly legible, of contrasting color, at least three inches high, and prominently displayed on the building or on a wall or other suitable structure so as to be readily visible from the street of address. All buildings under construction shall comply with this section as soon as any structure above the foundation is erected. Numbers more than twenty-four inches high shall be subject to all of the provisions of section 9-9-21, "Signs," B.R.C. 1981, to the extent of such excess.

(c) Installation and Maintenance of Assigned Address: No person shall use an unauthorized address or fail to install or maintain the assigned address in compliance with the requirements of this section.

(d) Proposed Street Names: Proposed street names shall be subject to approval by the city manager. Street names shall conform to the city street name plan on file at the planning department.

9-9-21 Signs.Go to the top

(a) Application and Legislative Intent:

(1) Application of Section: This section applies only to signs erected on private property by the owner or lessee in possession of that property, or by persons acting with the permission or at the request of the owner or lessee. It applies only to signs which are visible beyond the boundaries of the property upon which they are located. There are two exceptions to this rule which are most conveniently included in this section: signs erected on private property as part of a sign program which was a condition of approval of development under this title; and signs on private vehicles located on public property. This section does not apply to a sign carried by a person, whether on public or private property. This section does not apply to signs, other than those on vehicles, on public property.4

(2) Intent: The purpose of this section is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the city by regulating the design, construction, and installation of private signs in the city. The city council recognizes that signs are necessary means of visual communication for the public convenience and that businesses and individuals have the right to identify themselves and convey messages by using signs that are accessory and incidental to the use on the premises where the signs are located. In this section the council intends to provide a reasonable balance between the right of a business or an individual to identify itself and to convey its message and the right of the public to be protected against the visual discord that results from the unrestricted proliferation of signs, especially off-premises billboards. The ability to convey messages by signs is important to the proper and efficient functioning of society. However, the natural desire to speak more "loudly" through signs which are more numerous, larger, higher, and closer to the street than the signs used by one's neighbors and competitors requires a set of rules applicable to all similarly situated. With a level playing field the community as a whole benefits and no individual is disadvantaged in communicating. The council also intends by this section to ensure that signs are compatible with adjacent land uses and with the total visual environment of the community and that the value of nearby property and the economic health of the community as a whole are protected from visual blight. Another purpose of this section is to protect the public from hazardous conditions by prohibiting signs that: are structurally unsafe, particularly in light of the unique wind hazards in the city, obscure or distract the vision of motorists, or compete or conflict with necessary traffic signs and warning signals. In adopting this section, the council recognizes that the size of signs that provide adequate identification in pedestrian-oriented areas differs from that necessary in vehicular-oriented areas where traffic is heavy, travel speeds are greater, and required setbacks are greater.

(A) The city council recognizes that since the sign code was originally enacted in 1971, most nonconforming signs have been eliminated through attrition and through the amortization provision of chapter 48 of the Revised Code of the City of Boulder, Colorado 1965. But nonconforming signs may enter the city as it annexes developed land, and code changes may make conforming signs nonconforming. The council recognizes that permitting the continuation of such nonconforming signs provides an unfair competitive advantage over persons whose signs conform to the section requirements and intends that signs that do not conform with this section be eliminated as expeditiously as practicable to protect the public safety and welfare and the visual environment.

(B) The city council recognizes the right of residents of the city to fully exercise their right to free speech by the use of signs containing noncommercial messages that are subject to minimum regulations regarding size, number, structural safety and visual setbacks.

(C) The city council finds that certain types of signs are not appropriate for regulation by permit under this section because they:

(i) Would not create a structural safety or traffic safety hazard;

(ii) Would promote public safety or the dissemination of public information;

(iii) Would not give rise to aesthetic or traffic concerns;

(iv) In the case of art, are deemed a privilege of individual creative expression;

(v) In the case of other noncommercial signs, are accessory to the exercise of first amendment rights;

(vi) With respect to real estate signs, the council finds that a small "for sale" or "for rent" sign is an important means of advertising real estate and does not create a traffic hazard. In fact, appropriate real estate signs prevent traffic hazards by easing the task of the motorist looking for the property. In addition, the council finds that a substantial portion of such rentals occur as a result of prospective tenants examining areas of interest to them looking for signs indicating that space is for rent, and that approximately fifty-four percent of the dwelling units in the city are rental units;

(vii) With respect to permitted construction warning signs, the council finds that such signs are essential to warn persons entering the property of dangers created by the construction and that their prompt and unfettered use constitutes a compelling governmental interest and requires a different form of regulation;

(viii) With respect to permitted garage sale signs, the council finds that sporadic "garage sale" signs for garage sales permitted under this title do not constitute a commercial use of residential property and do not compromise the residential values served by the restrictions on home occupations, and that other means of advertising such sales are unacceptably burdensome. The need for such sales in the City, and the attendant signs on the premises where the occupant lives and is holding the sale, is particularly high because of the large college student population (approximately one-fourth of the City's population), and the high proportion of persons living in rental housing as opposed to owner occupied housing (approximately fifty-four percent of the dwelling units in Boulder are rental units), and who have from time to time a pressing need to unburden themselves from possessions they have determined they cannot reasonably take with them to their new place of abode;

(ix) With respect to permitted lost animal signs, the council finds that notices in newspapers or other means of communicating this information are inadequate, and that notice of the animal's loss near the site of the loss is necessary to increase the likelihood and timeliness of the animal's return to its owner, and promotes the government's interest in avoiding euthanasia and the other costs attendant upon stray animals;

(x) With respect to permitted private traffic signs, the council finds that such signs serve a compelling governmental interest in the safe movement of traffic in private parking lots and drives and serve a function which cannot effectively be served in any other manner;

(xi) With respect to signs required by law, the council finds that the law requiring the sign is sufficient regulation of the sign, and that it is inappropriate for the government to require a sign to be posted but count it against allowable private signage, and that such signs by definition serve a compelling governmental interest in a site-specific manner which cannot otherwise be served as effectively;

(xii) With respect to small permitted residential wind signs, the council finds that the safety valve for personal expression provided by such signs serves a compelling governmental interest and is within the penumbra of the First Amendment;

(xiii) With respect to permitted utility warning signs, the council finds that the dispersed nature of utility lines throughout all the community does not lend itself to the property by property regulation otherwise used in this code, and that warning of the location of utilities and of their hazards so that persons will not be injured thereby, so that fire, police, and other public emergency services may be conducted expeditiously and safely, and so that the essential public functions served by such utilities will not be impaired constitutes a compelling governmental interest and requires a different form of regulation;

(xiv) With respect to permitted vehicular signs, the council finds that regulation of bumper stickers and other forms of personal expression is inappropriate in a free and highly mobile society and that such signs are ordinarily small, whereas regulation of commercial signs on motor vehicles, which the council finds are often large, is appropriate for those who have chosen to engage in commerce within the City and serves a substantial governmental interest in aesthetics and traffic safety;

(xv) With respect to permitted window signs, the council finds that such signs present no structural hazards and provide a method by which messages may be displayed on short notice by the property owner or tenant as that person perceives the need to communicate without need for any government role in the protection of the broader public interest, and that within the limitations given have not and will not cause aesthetic blight or traffic hazards of the sort unacceptable to the community;

(xvi) With respect to signs on bicycles, the council finds that the use of signs on bicycles will not cause aesthetic blight or traffic hazards of the sort unacceptable to the community and will service a substantial governmental interest by reducing the cost of an environmentally beneficial transportation option that will relieve vehicular congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health by providing opportunities for exercise; and

(xvii) Because of the extraordinary importance, amounting to a compelling societal and governmental interest, of election campaigning for public office and of voting on initiatives and referenda, and because political speech has its fullest and most urgent application during a political campaign from the time a candidate is nominated for electoral office until the day after the election, and from the time an initiative or referendum is placed on the ballot until the day after the election, the limit of one noncommercial residential sign within the residential noncommercial sign setback should not apply to signs urging the election or defeat of such candidates, or the passage or defeat of such measures, and the applicable provisions of this sign code reflect this determination. Without in any way limiting the applicability of the general severability provisions of section 1-1-4, "Severability of Parts of Code," B.R.C. 1981, but mindful of the possibility that a reviewing court might disregard such an otherwise clear expression of legislative intent because of its generality, the city council intends that this exception for signs during campaigns be considered severable from the remainder of the sign code should it for some reason be found wanting under the state or federal constitutions, just as it intends all other provisions of this sign code to be severable.

(D) Council finds that commercial signs towed over the City by aircraft are a distraction to motorists, pedestrians, and other users of the public streets and ways, and impair traffic safety, and constitute unfair competition for earthbound advertisers who comply with the City's sign code when made by multiple passes over the City, and therefore are detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the City, and urges the Federal Aviation Administration to place suitable restrictions upon any certificate of waiver to prohibit towing such signs over the City.

(b) Prohibitions and Prohibited Signs:

(1) Conformity With Sign Code Required: No person shall display, construct, erect, alter, use, or maintain any sign in the City except in conformance with the provisions of this section. No person shall display, alter, use, maintain, or enlarge any legal, nonconforming sign except in conformity with the provisions of this section. No person shall perform or order the performance of any act contrary to the provisions of this section or fail to perform any act required by the provisions of this section.

(2) Sign Permit Required: Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, no person shall display, construct, erect, alter, or relocate any sign without first applying to the city manager and obtaining a permit under this section.

(3) Specific Signs Prohibited:5 No person shall erect, install, post, display, or maintain any of the following signs:

(A) Animal: A sign that involves the use of a live animal.

(B) Flashing: A sign with lights or illuminations that flash, move, rotate, scintillate, blink, flicker, vary in intensity, vary in color, or use intermittent electrical pulsations.

(C) Height: A sign twenty-five feet or more above the ground level.

(D) High Window: A window sign exceeding four square feet in area twelve feet or more above the ground level.

(E) Illuminated: An illuminated sign with any of the following characteristics:

(i) A beam or ray of light used to illuminate the sign shines directly from the sign onto the surrounding area.

(ii) Direct or reflected light from any light source associated with the sign creates a traffic hazard or distraction to operators of vehicles or pedestrians on the public right-of-way.

(iii) The sign is directly illuminated and is in a residential or an agricultural zoning district.

(iv) If a sign is indirectly or internally illuminated and is in a residential or an agricultural zone, the illumination may not continue between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., unless the illumination is required for safety purposes.

(v) No illuminated sign visible from and located within three hundred feet of any property in a residential zoning district may be illuminated between the hours of 11:00 p.m. or one-half hour after the use to which it is appurtenant is closed, whichever is later, and 7:00 a.m.; but this time limit does not apply to any light primarily used for the protection of the premises or for safety purposes.

(F) Illusion: A sign with optical illusion of movement by means of a design giving the illusion of motion or changing of copy, including, without limitation, a sign that presents a pattern capable of reversible perspective.

(G) Moving: A sign with visible moving, revolving, or rotating parts or visible mechanical movement of any description or other apparent visible movement achieved by electrical, electronic, or mechanical means, except for gauges and dials that may be animated to the extent necessary to display correct measurement. Electronic signs which change the message not more than once per minute are considered copy changes and not prohibited moving signs. Vertical rotating cylindrical signs, in which the text or graphic is on the surface of the cylinder, and nothing beyond the radius of cylinder surface rotates, whose rotating part does not exceed twelve inches in diameter and thirty inches in height, are not considered prohibited moving signs.

(H) Non-Appurtenant or Off-Premises: An off-premises commercial sign not appurtenant and clearly incidental to the principal use of the property where located.

(I) Obstructing: A sign or sign structure that obstructs or interferes in any way with ingress to or egress from or use of any standpipe, fire escape, required door, required window, or other required exit way; or any sign that obstructs any window to such an extent that light or ventilation is reduced to a point below that required by any provision of this code or other ordinance of the City.

(J) Projected Image: A sign that incorporates a projected image.

(K) Roof: A roof sign, except as specifically permitted by subsection (d)(11) of this section.

(L) Sound: A sign or building that emits any sound, except for a work of art located in a zoning district other than an agricultural or a residential district, which may emit noncommercial human voice or music recordings which do not exceed fifty dBA, measured at the nearest property line, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

(M) String of Lights: A string of light bulbs used in connection with commercial premises for commercial purposes and attached to or suspended from a structure. This prohibition does not apply to a string of lights in a window for which a permit has been issued under subparagraph (d)(14)(I) of this section, concerning wall signs.

(N) Traffic Vision Obstruction: A freestanding sign or sign structure between a height of two and one-half feet and ten feet above the street elevation, other than a pole twelve inches or less in cross-sectional area, within the corner triangular areas described in section 9-9-7, "Sight Triangles," B.R.C. 1981.

(O) Unsafe: A sign or structure that constitutes a hazard to safety or health including, without limitation, any sign that is structurally inadequate by reason of inadequate design, construction, repair, or maintenance, is capable of causing electrical shock to persons likely to come into contact with it, or has less than three feet horizontal or eight feet vertical clearance from overhead electric conductors that are energized in excess of seven hundred fifty volts.

(P) Vehicular: A sign displayed on a motor vehicle if:

(i) The vehicle is not in operable condition;

(ii) The sign is roof-mounted and has more than two faces or any face exceeds four square feet in area;

(iii) More than two signs are mounted on the roof of the vehicle;

(iv) The sign, if not roof-mounted, is not painted on or securely affixed on all edges to the surface of the side of the body of the vehicle;

(v) The principal use of the vehicle at the time of the display is for display of the sign;

(vi) It is a commercial sign which does not identify the owner of the vehicle or a good or service which may be purchased from the owner;

(vii) It is a commercial sign and the vehicle is not being operated in the normal course of business;

(viii) It is a commercial sign and the vehicle is not parked or stored in the normal course of business in an area appropriate to the use of the vehicle for delivery or another commercial purpose; or

(ix) It is a commercial sign and the vehicle, if parked on private property, is not parked within the setback requirements of this section, unless no other reasonable provision can be made for such parking.

(x) It is a specific defense to a charge of violation of subparagraph (b)(3)(P)(vi) of this section that the vehicle was licensed by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for the commercial transportation of passengers, or was engaged in such transportation but was exempt from such licensure.

(Q) Wind: A wind sign, except as permitted for flags in subparagraph (c)(1)(B) of this section, or in a residential or agricultural zone as permitted in subparagraph (c)(1)(I) of this section.

(R) Bicycles: A sign displayed on a bicycle if:

i. The bicycle is not in operable condition; or

ii. The signs exceed two square feet in area.

(c) Signs Exempt From Permits:

(1) Specific Signs Exempted: The following signs are permitted in all zoning districts and are exempt from the permit requirements of this section, but shall in all other respects comply with the requirements of this code except as expressly excepted below:

(A) Construction Warning: A sign not exceeding sixteen square feet erected by a licensed construction contractor on property on which it is working to warn of danger or hazardous conditions. Such sign is also exempt from the setback, limitation on number of freestanding signs, and total sign area regulations of this section.

(B) Flags: Up to three different flags per property, subject to the following restrictions:

(i) The total area of all flags shall not exceed seventy square feet;

(ii) The area of each such flag shall be exempt from the sign area limitations of paragraph (d)(2) of this section, but shall not exceed forty square feet, with no one dimension of any flag greater than eight feet;

(iii) The flag pole or other structure on which such a flag is displayed shall be treated as part of any building to which it is attached for all height computations and not as an appurtenance or a part of the sign;

(iv) No freestanding flagpole shall exceed twenty feet in height outside of the principal building setbacks or thirty-five feet in height within the principal building setbacks; and

(v) No flag bearing an explicit commercial message shall constitute an exempt flag.

(C) Garage Sale: One garage sale sign per property in an agricultural or residential district placed on private property owned or leased by the person holding the garage sale, for a period not to exceed ten consecutive days and not more than twice in a calendar year. The sign must be within the total signage permitted for the parcel.

(D) Lost Animal: One lost animal sign per property placed on private property with the permission of the owner for a period not to exceed ten consecutive days, in an agricultural or residential district and within the total signage permitted for such parcel.

(E) Noncommercial: A work of art that in no way identifies or advertises a product, service, or business or impedes traffic safety, a political sign, or any other noncommercial sign.6

(F) Private Traffic: A private traffic directional sign guiding or directing vehicular or pedestrian traffic onto or off of a property or within a property that does not exceed three square feet per face in area and six feet in height, does not contain any advertising or trade name identification, and is not illuminated, internally illuminated, or indirectly illuminated. But a private traffic control sign that conforms to the standards of the state traffic control manual defined in subsection 7-1-1(a), B.R.C. 1981, may exceed three square feet per face in area but shall not exceed seven square feet per face or eight feet in height. Such sign also is exempt from the setback, limitation on number of freestanding signs, and total sign area regulations of this section.7

(G) Real Estate: One temporary, non-illuminated real estate sign per property or per dwelling unit street frontage, set back at least eighteen inches from the nearest public sidewalk, that does not exceed six square feet per face in area and a total of twelve square feet in area and four feet in height in the RR, RE, RL, RM, RMX, RH, and MH zones or sixteen square feet per face and a total of thirty-two square feet in area and seven feet in height in any other zone, but only if the sign remains in place no more than seven days after sale or rental of the subject property. The area of such a sign shall not be deducted from the allowable sign area or number of freestanding signs for the building or business unit. If the property owner or tenant is not using this real estate sign allowance, such person in possession of the property may place a noncommercial sign conforming with these limitations in lieu of such a real estate sign.

(H) Sign Required by Law: A sign required or specifically authorized for a public purpose by any federal, state, or city law of any type, including, without limitation, the number, area, height above grade, location or illumination authorized by the law under which such sign is required or authorized. But no such sign may be placed in the public right-of-way unless specifically authorized or required by law. Except for a warning sign or barricade of a temporary nature, any such sign shall be securely affixed to the ground, a building, or another structure. So much of such a sign as is required by law also is exempt from all other provisions of this section.

(I) Residential Wind Sign: A wind sign in a residential or an agricultural zone, within the limitations set forth in subsection (d) of this section, notwithstanding the prohibition of subparagraph (b)(3)(Q) of this section.

(J) Utility Warning: A sign not exceeding sixteen square feet erected by a public utility within a utility easement on property on which it is working to warn of danger or hazardous conditions or to indicate the presence of underground cables, gas lines, and similar devices. Such a sign also is exempt from the setback, limitation on number of freestanding signs, and total sign area regulations of this section.

(K) Vehicular: A sign displayed on a motor vehicle if not prohibited by this section.

(L) Window: A non-illuminated window sign of no more than four square feet in area and placed no more than twenty-five feet above finished grade, if the total area of such signs fills less than twenty-five percent of the area of the architecturally distinct window, and such signs do not exceed twenty-five percent of the total allowable sign area for the building or business unit. The area of a window sign not exempt from permit requirements under this subparagraph is calculated as a part of and limited by the total allowable sign area for the premises.8

(2) Copy Change and Maintenance: No permit is required for copy changes or maintenance on a conforming sign if no structural changes are made. This exception does not apply to copy changes in signs covered by a private sign program as specified in subsection (k) of this section.

(d) Size Limitations and Other Rules for Certain Signs:

(1) Awning: An awning sign that extends more than fifteen inches beyond a wall of a building shall comply with the following conditions:

(A) The total area of such awning sign may not exceed the lesser of one hundred fifty square feet or one square foot of sign area for every linear foot of awning length. Awning length is that portion of the awning that is parallel to the building wall on which it is located.

(B) No awning sign may project above, below, or beyond the face of the architectural projection on which it is located, except for an awning sign that meets the following standards:

(i) An awning sign may project horizontally beyond the face of a marquee or canopy no more than twelve inches, measured from the bottom of the sign, if necessary to accommodate the letter thickness and required electrical equipment;

(ii) An awning sign composed entirely of individual opaque alphanumeric characters twelve inches or less in height may project above the point at which they are attached to the marquee or canopy by no more than the height of the character plus two inches;

(iii) The canopy or marquee to which the awning sign is attached must be located over an entry to the building; and

(iv) The awning sign shall be substantially parallel with the building wall to which the canopy or marquee is attached.

(C) Awning signs that extend fifteen inches or less from a wall of a building shall be considered to be wall signs, subject to the requirements of paragraph (d)(14) of this section.

(D) Permission to construct, install, and maintain an awning sign over the public right-of-way must be obtained from the city manager pursuant to section 4-18-3, "Sidewalk Banner or Awning Permit Required," B.R.C. 1981, prior to the issuance of the sign permit.

(E) For purposes of determining projection, clearance, height, and materials, an awning sign shall be considered a part of and shall meet the requirements for a marquee, canopy, or awning, as specified in the city building code, chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981.

(F) If an awning sign is located on a marquee, canopy, or awning and is internally illuminated through translucent material, the entire illuminated area of the awning or awning sign shall be included in the calculation of the area of the sign.

(2) Banner: A banner is permitted for any permitted use in a business or industrial zoning district if the person wishing to display such sign applies therefore and obtains a permit, but such sign may be displayed for a maximum period of thirty consecutive days at the same location, one time during the first year of such use by the occupant. The area of the single sign permitted under this exception shall not exceed fifty square feet in total area and shall not exceed twenty feet in height, including, without limitation, the appurtenance on which the banner is displayed. Such a sign shall be firmly attached on at least all four corners.

(3) Downtown Pedestrian District:

(A) An application for a permit for a sign to be located in the downtown pedestrian district, as shown on the map in appendix E, "Downtown Pedestrian District," of this title, and which otherwise complies with all applicable provisions of this section and is not exempted under subparagraph (d)(3)(B) of this section shall be presented by the city manager to the downtown management commission for comment. The downtown management commission shall return the application within ten working days to the manager with its comments. The manager shall forward the comments to the applicant, who may resubmit the application to the manager in its original form or as amended based upon the downtown management commission's comments. If the downtown management commission fails to give its comments to the manager by the ten-working-day deadline, or if the applicant resubmits the original application unaltered after considering the downtown management commission's comments, the manager shall issue the permit. If the application is resubmitted with amendments, the manager shall issue the permit if the amended application still complies with all other applicable provisions of this section.

(B) Sign permit applications which meet the following criteria are exempt from the downtown management commission comment procedure of subparagraph (d)(3)(A) of this section:

(i) The top of the sign is located no higher than the windowsill level of the second story of the building;

(ii) The sign is not internally illuminated;

(iii) If the sign is indirectly illuminated the light source must not be visible to pedestrians on public property, and all mounting hardware and electrical ducting must be concealed or integrated into the sign design;

(iv) If the sign is illuminated by neon, it does not exceed four square feet in area;

(v) The sign is not painted directly on the wall of a structure;

(vi) The sign uses a commercially available typeface;

(vii) The sign is rectangular or circular;

(viii) The sign is composed of colors from a palette approved by regulation by the downtown management commission; and

(ix) If a freestanding sign, it does not exceed seven feet in height or twenty square feet in area per sign face.

(4) Construction: A sign identifying the type, duration, and responsible party of construction of a property in any zoning district is permitted only if it is:

(A) Limited to a freestanding, wall, or window sign or signs not exceeding thirty-two square feet in total area and sixteen square feet per face and seven feet in height, with no riders or attachments in nonresidential zones, and twelve square feet in total area and six square feet per face and four feet in height in residential zones. Such signs are exempt from the sign area regulations of this section;

(B) Displayed only on the property to which the sign pertains, and no more than one such sign per street upon which the property has frontage; and

(C) Displayed only for the duration of construction for which a building permit has been obtained until issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

(D) A construction sign may be erected only if an exempt real estate sign is not displayed on the same property.

(5) Fence-Wall: A sign displayed upon a fence, or upon a wall that is not an integral part of a building or that is used as a fence, shall be erected or mounted in a plane parallel to the fence or wall and shall not extend above the top of the fence or wall or project more than fifteen inches from the face of the fence or wall. Such sign is subject to all requirements of this section applicable to freestanding signs, including, without limitation, maximum area per sign, maximum sign height, minimum setback, and number of permitted signs.

(6) Freestanding:

(A) A freestanding sign in any zoning district shall be set back the following distances, and no point on any such sign may extend beyond the required setback line:

(i) Except in BMS, DT, and MU-1 districts, a sign up to and including seven feet in height shall be set back ten feet from any property line adjacent to a street. In the BMS, DT, and MU-1 districts, no setback is required for such a sign, but no sign may be located within eighteen inches of a public sidewalk or obstruct the view of motor vehicle operators entering or leaving any parking area, service drive, private driveway, street, alley, or other thoroughfare.

(ii) A sign over seven feet in height shall be set back at least twenty-five feet from any property line adjacent to a street in all zones.

(iii) No sign in a business or industrial district may be located less than twenty-five feet from any adjacent residential zoning district line.

(B) In addition to any other permitted signs on the property, no more than one freestanding sign may be maintained for each street frontage of the property.

(C) If a property has more than one street frontage, the freestanding sign permitted for each frontage must be located adjacent to that frontage, and the minimum permissible horizontal distance between freestanding signs on the same property is seventy-five feet.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (d)(6)(K) of this section, the maximum permissible total area of any freestanding sign is one hundred square feet; and the maximum permissible area of any one face of any freestanding sign is fifty square feet. For buildings with a linear frontage of less than or equal to one hundred feet, the maximum permissible sign area of all freestanding signs on a property is one and one-half square feet of sign area for every linear foot of building frontage up to a maximum of one hundred square feet per sign and fifty square feet per face. For a building with a linear frontage greater than one hundred feet, the allowable sign area for freestanding signs shall be deducted from the total allowable sign area for all signs for the building.

(E) Unless otherwise specified in subsection (e) of this section, the maximum permissible height of freestanding signs is the lesser of: twenty-five feet or one and one-fourth times the height of the principal building on the property where the sign is located.

(F) The horizontal distance between freestanding signs on adjacent properties must be not less than the height of the taller sign.

(G) The area of the support structure of a freestanding sign is counted in the total area of the sign to the extent that the support structure exceeds the minimum required for the support of the sign. But if the sign is less than seven feet in height, a plain pedestal for a freestanding sign shall not be counted in the total area of the sign.

(H) A flag on flagpole shall not be subject to this paragraph, but shall be regulated as set forth in subparagraph (c)(1)(B) of this section.

(I) Supports for a freestanding sign shall be designed in accordance with the requirements of this code and shall not be placed upon any public right-of-way or public easement, except pursuant to the terms of a lease to the adjacent property owner.

(J) Where a freestanding sign is located in a vehicular parking or circulation area, a base or barrier of concrete or steel, not less than thirty inches high, shall be provided to protect the base of the sign from damage by vehicles.

(K) The maximum total sign area for freestanding signs may be increased by one-third when such signs are located adjacent to the following major streets or specified portions thereof:

(i) Arapahoe Avenue - from 28th Street to the east city limits;

(ii) Baseline Road - from Broadway to Foothills Parkway;

(iii) 28th Street - from Arapahoe Avenue to Iris Avenue;

(iv) 30th Street - from Arapahoe Avenue to the Diagonal Highway;

(v) 63rd Street - from the north city limits to the south city limits; and

(vi) Lookout Road - from the west city limits to the east city limits.

But the increased sign area permitted in this subparagraph does not include any increase in sign height.

(L) All freestanding signs located within two hundred fifty feet of the nearest right-of-way line of Foothills Parkway (Colorado State Highway 157) or Pearl Parkway east of Foothills Parkway and visible from such parkway shall be further limited to a maximum height of twelve feet.

(7) Historic District or Building: In addition to satisfying the provisions of this section, signs installed or maintained on a historic building or in a historic district must comply with the provisions of chapter 9-11, "Historic Preservation," B.R.C. 1981.

(8) Noncommercial Nonresidential: A noncommercial sign, including, without limitation, a work of art or a political sign in all nonresidential zoning districts that does not impede traffic safety is exempt from the total sign area and setback limitations of this section, except the following:

(A) Noncommercial freestanding, projecting, suspended, and awning signs are subject to the total sign area and setback limitations of this section.

(B) Prior to placing a noncommercial wall sign of more than nine square feet in area on an exterior wall, the building owner shall give thirty calendar days' notice to the city manager by delivery or by first class mail, effective on mailing, including the building address and a colored representation of the sign. The city manager may comment on the sign but shall have no power to prevent it from being placed on the building wall.

(C) Noncommercial signs on temporary construction barriers not located in the public right-of-way shall be deemed not to be wall or freestanding signs subject to regulation under this section during that period of time for which a building permit for the property which necessitated the barrier is valid.

(9) Noncommercial Residential: A noncommercial sign, including, without limitation, a work of art or a political sign, in all residential zoning districts, that does not impede traffic safety is exempt from the total sign area and setback limitations and wind sign prohibitions of this section, subject to:

(A) Noncommercial signs shall be set back at least eighteen inches from any public sidewalk adjacent to a street or from the curb or outer edge of the roadway if there is no such sidewalk.

(B) Noncommercial signs within twenty-five feet of any public sidewalk adjacent to a street, or thirty feet of the curb or outer edge of the roadway if there is no such sidewalk, shall not exceed seven feet in height or thirty-two square feet in total area, with no face larger than sixteen square feet, and there shall be only one such sign. However, during a political campaign from the time a candidate is nominated for electoral office or nominated or certified for a primary election, or a recall election date is set, until the day after the election, and from the time an initiative or referendum or other measure to be voted upon by the electors is placed on the ballot until the day after the election, this limit of one noncommercial residential sign in the setback shall not apply to signs urging the nomination, election, or defeat of such candidates or recall of such officials, or the passage or defeat of such measures. These election signs in the setback in excess of the one otherwise permitted may not exceed twelve square feet in total area per sign, with no face larger than six square feet.

(C) There are no setback, number, or area limitations in residential zoning districts for noncommercial signs which are set back farther than twenty-five feet from the property line. If a side of a residential building is closer than thirty feet to the public sidewalk, or thirty-five feet to the curb or outer edge of the roadway if there is no such sidewalk, then that area within five feet of such building side shall be excluded from the restrictions of subparagraph (d)(9)(B) of this section, if applicable.

(D) Reference in this paragraph to sidewalks, curbs, and roadway edges does not authorize placement of signs off premises on public property or in the public right-of-way.

(10) Projecting:9 A projecting sign shall comply with the following conditions:

(A) Signs projecting over public property may not project more than thirty-six inches from a wall of a building, and the maximum permissible total area for such a sign is the lesser of:

(i) One square foot of sign area for each linear foot of frontage of the building upon which such sign is displayed; or

(ii) Eighteen square feet per sign, with no face of the sign exceeding nine square feet.

(B) Signs projecting over private property may not project more than six feet from a wall of a building nor beyond the minimum required building setback line and may not exceed twenty-four square feet in total area, and no face of a sign shall exceed twelve square feet.

(C) Projecting signs must have a minimum clearance above the sidewalk of eight feet and may not extend twelve feet or more above the sidewalk nor above the roof line.

(D) Any end panel on a projecting sign is considered a face of the sign and included in the area of that sign if the end panel is twelve inches or more in width.

(E) No more than one projecting sign may be maintained per tenant space frontage at the ground level of a building. The minimum horizontal distance between projecting signs on a building shall be twenty-five feet.

(11) Roof: A sign may be erected upon or against the side of a roof having an angle of forty-five degrees or more from the horizontal, but must be architecturally integrated with the building and roof by a dormer or similar feature. Such a sign is a wall sign and must comply with the provisions of paragraph (d)(14) of this section concerning wall signs, and must not project more than a total of fifteen inches horizontally, measured at the bottom of the sign, from the side of the roof upon which it is displayed.

(12) Subdivision: In addition to other such signs that may be allowed, signs identifying a subdivision of a property in any zoning district may be issued a sign permit if they comply with the following:

(A) A freestanding, wall, or window subdivision sign not exceeding thirty-two square feet in total area and sixteen square feet per face, not exceeding seven feet in height, and set back at least ten feet from any public right-of-way, with no riders or attachments;

(B) Displayed only on the subdivision to which the sign pertains, no more than one such sign per street frontage, and with a minimum distance between such signs in a single subdivision or property of one thousand feet;

(C) Displayed on or after the date of filing of the subdivision plan and removed within two years from the date of issuance of the first building permit in the subdivision or within thirty days from the time that seventy-five percent of the properties or dwellings in the subdivision or filing thereof have been sold, whichever is sooner.

(13) Suspended: A suspended sign may not exceed ten square feet in total area or five square feet per face; may not project beyond the outside limits of the architectural projection to which it is attached; and shall have a minimum clearance above the sidewalk of eight feet. The minimum permissible horizontal distance between suspended signs is fifteen feet.

(14) Wall: A wall sign shall comply with the following conditions:

(A) The total area of all wall signs on a face of a building may not exceed fifteen percent of the area of that portion of the building face between ground level and the roof line or a line twenty-five feet above grade level, whichever is less.

(B) The total area of all wall signs on an architecturally distinct wall, where two or more such walls form a face of a building, shall not exceed twenty-five percent of such wall.

(C) No part of a wall sign may be located more than twenty-five feet above grade level.

(D) No wall sign may be attached to or displayed against any parapet wall that does not extend around the entire perimeter of the roof enclosed by the parapet. No sign on such a parapet wall may extend more than twenty-four inches above the roof elevation immediately behind the sign, unless approved as part of a site review under section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981.

(E) No wall sign may extend above the roof line of a building except as permitted on a parapet wall. No wall sign may be displayed on the wall of a mechanical room or penthouse or other such enclosed space which is not habitable by the occupants of the building.

(F) The length of a wall sign shall not exceed seventy percent of the length of the wall or the width of the leased space of the wall on which it is located, whichever is less.

(G) The lettering height for wall signs located within two hundred fifty feet of the right-of-way of Foothills Parkway (Colorado State Highway 157) or Pearl Parkway east of Foothills Parkway, and visible from such parkway, shall not exceed twenty-four inches.

(H) The lettering height for wall signs located within the B.V.R.C. and the BMS, MU-3, DT, and BT-2 zoning districts shall not exceed twenty-four inches for single lines of copy and a total of thirty-two inches for multiple lines of copy, and any graphic symbol may not exceed thirty inches in height.

(I) A string of lights which extends on or around the perimeter of a window is subject to the following conditions: the linear length of a string of lights counts as fifty percent of the allowable square footage for wall signs. The maximum linear length of all strings of lights in windows cannot exceed ninety feet.

(e) Limitations on Area, Number, and Height of Signs by Use Module:

(1) Use Modules: The use modules set forth in section 9-6-1, "Schedule of Permitted Land Uses," B.R.C. 1981, apply to this section, and the boundaries of such districts are determined by reference to the zoning map of the city and to interpretation of such map under section 9-5-3, "Zoning Map," B.R.C. 1981.

(2) Maximum Sign Area Permitted: The maximum sign area permitted per property, maximum area per sign face, maximum number of signs, and maximum height of freestanding signs in the use modules in the city are as in table 9-12 of this section, except as modified by other provisions of this section.

TABLE 9-12: LIMITATIONS ON AREA, NUMBER, AND HEIGHT OF SIGNS BY USE MODULE

Maximum Sign Area Permitted
Per Property
Maximum Area Per Sign Face
Maximum Number
Signs Permitted
Maximum Height of
Freestanding Signs
Residential and Agricultural Districts (RR, RE, RL, RM, RMX, RH, and A)
For detached dwelling uses: 4 square feet
2 square feet
1 per use
7 feet
For attached dwelling uses: 32 square feet
16 square feet
1 per street frontage
7 feet
For other uses permitted by zoning chapter 9-6, "Use Standards," B.R.C. 1981: 32 square feet
16 square feet
1 per street frontage
7 feet
For other uses permitted by special review and for lawful nonconforming uses: the lesser of 50 square feet or the maximum sign area for the use in the zoning district in which the use is permitted by chapter 9-6, "Use Standards," B.R.C. 1981
16 square feet
The lesser of 1 per street frontage or 2 per use
7 feet
Public District (P)
The greater of: 15 square feet or 1/2 square foot of sign area for each foot of street frontage
50 square feet for freestanding signs. See subsection (d) of this section for limits on other signs
1 per street frontage for freestanding signs. 1 per ground level tenant for projecting signs. No limit on other signs
7 feet
Downtown, Mixed Use, and Business - Transitional Districts (BMS, BT, MU, DT)
Any use that is permitted in a residential zone shall be regulated as in the residential zoning districts
For any use not permitted in residential zones, other than MU-3, in addition to freestanding signs, as permitted in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, 1.25 square feet of sign area for each linear foot of total building frontage for the first 200 feet of frontage, plus 0.5 square feet of sign area for each foot of frontage thereafter
See subsection (d) of this section for area restrictions
1 per street frontage for freestanding signs. 1 per ground level tenant for projecting signs. No limit on other signs
See paragraph (d)(6) of this section for height restrictions
Business - Community, Business - Commercial Services, Business - Regional, and Industrial Districts not in the B.V.R.C. (BC, BCS, BR, IS, IG, IM, and IMS)
For any use permitted in residential zones, as regulated in residential zoning districts
See subsection (d) of this section for area restrictions
 
Varies with setback; see paragraph (d)(6) of this section
In addition to freestanding signs, as permitted in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, 2 square feet sign area for each linear foot of total building frontage for the first 200 feet of frontage, plus 0.5 square foot sign area for each linear foot of frontage, except as provided in subparagraph (d)(6)(D) of this section
See subsection (d) of this section for area restrictions
 
See paragraph (d)(6) of this section for height restrictions
Boulder Valley Regional Center and Regional Business Districts
Properties zoned BR-1 and properties located within the Boulder Valley Regional Center unless zoned BT-1 or BT-2
For any use not permitted in residential zones, in addition to freestanding signs, as permitted in paragraph (d)(6) of this section, 1.5 square feet of sign area for each linear foot of total building frontage for the first 200 feet of each frontage, plus 1/2 square foot sign area for each additional linear foot of each frontage
See subsection (d) of this section for area restrictions
1 per street frontage for freestanding signs. 1 per ground level tenant for projecting signs. No limit on other signs
See paragraph (d)(6) of this section for height restrictions

(f) Computation of Signs and Sign Area:

(1) Regular Shape: In computing the area of a sign, this section shall be administered using standard mathematical formulas for regular geometric shapes, including, without limitation, triangles, parallelograms, circles, ellipses, or combinations thereof.

(2) Irregular Shape: In the case of an irregularly shaped sign or a sign with letters or symbols directly affixed to or painted on the wall of a building, the area of the sign is the entire area within a single continuous rectilinear perimeter of not more than eight straight lines enclosing the extreme limits of any writing, representation, emblem, or any figure of similar character, together with any material or color forming an integral part or background of the display if used to differentiate such sign from the backdrop or structure against which it is placed, but if a freestanding sign structure is not a fence which functions as such, the sign area shall be the area of the entire structure.

(3) Sign Structures: In computing the area of a sign, the portion of the sign structure to be included is that which is visible and viewed in the same plane as the sign face and which is made a part of the background of the display.

(4) More Than One Element: The total surface area of signs composed of more than one sign element includes the vertical and horizontal spacing between each element of the sign.

(5) Three-Dimensional: For three-dimensional figure signs, the sign area is the total area, projected on a vertical plane, of each side of the sign that is visible beyond the boundaries of the property upon which the figure is located. For purposes of this paragraph, a figure is considered to have a side for each ninety degrees or part thereof of visibility from a public right-of-way.

(6) Attachments: Any temporary or permanent rider or attachment to a sign or sign structure is included as part of the total sign area for the sign to which it is attached.

(7) Two Faces: A sign is computed as having two display faces if the angle between two faces is equal to or less than sixty degrees. If a sign has two or more display faces, the area of all faces and all noncontiguous surfaces is included in determining the sign area.

(8) Number of Signs: For the purpose of determining the number of signs that may be subject to the provisions of this section, a sign shall be considered to be a single display surface or display device containing elements clearly organized, related, and composed to form a unit. Where elements are displayed in a random manner without an organized relationship of elements or where there is reasonable doubt about the relationship of elements, each element shall be considered to be a single sign.

(9) One Use of Building Frontage: Building frontage used as the basis of determining permitted sign area for one use may not be used again as the basis for determining the permitted sign area for another use, but nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit the additional use from erecting a sign that would otherwise be authorized by the provisions of this section.

(10) More Than One Frontage: For the purpose of determining the total allowable sign area for buildings with more than one frontage, the following criteria apply:

(A) If a building has more than one frontage, the maximum sign area for the building is based on the total horizontal length of not more than two contiguous frontages; and

(B) Signs may be located on any side of the building, but the total sign area on any one side of the building may not exceed the area permitted on the basis of that frontage considered independently of other frontages.

(g) Permits and Applications:

(1) The owner or tenant of property on which a sign is to be located or an authorized agent thereof or a sign contractor licensed by the city shall apply for a sign permit in writing on a form furnished by the city manager, shall sign the application, and shall pay the fee prescribed in section 4-20-21, "Sign Contractor License Fees and Sign Permit Fees," B.R.C. 1981. There is no fee for signs placed by a homeowner on residential property, for banners, or for exempt signs.

(2) The owner of a multi-tenant or multiple use property or an agent of the owner shall apply for all sign permits for the property or shall develop a plan for apportioning permitted sign area among tenants and file such plan with the city manager, in which case each tenant may apply for a sign permit in conformity with the plan.

(3) The applicant shall submit the following information as part of the application:

(A) The name, address, and telephone number of the owner or persons entitled to possession of the sign and of the sign contractor or installer;

(B) The street address or location of the proposed sign;

(C) Complete information required on application forms provided by the city manager, including a site plan and elevation drawings of the proposed sign, copy of the proposed sign, and other data pertinent to the application;

(D) Plans indicating the scope and structural detail of the work to be done, including details of all connections, guy lines, supports, footings, and materials to be used;

(E) Complete application for an electrical permit for all electric signs if the person building the sign is to make the electrical connection; and

(F) Statement of the sign's valuation.

(4) Within five working days of the date of the application, the city manager will either approve or deny the application or refer it back to the applicant for further information.

(5) No person issued a sign permit under this section shall change, modify, alter, or otherwise deviate from the terms or conditions of the approved application or permit without first requesting and obtaining approval to do so from the city manager.

(6) If the sign conforms to all other applicable requirements of this section, no permit is required for maintenance of the sign.

(h) Expiration of Permit:

(1) If a person to whom a permit is granted under this section has not commenced work on the sign within sixty days from the date on which the permit was issued or if substantial building operations under such permit are suspended for a period of 60 consecutive days, the permit automatically expires, but the city manager may grant an extension of the time limits provided in this paragraph for construction delays that are not the result of willful acts or neglect by the permittee, upon a written request for such an extension received by the manager before expiration of the permit.

(2) The city manager shall not refund any permit fees paid under this section if any permit is revoked pursuant to subsection (t) of this section, or expires under this subsection.

(i) Inspections:

(1) In enforcing the provisions of this section, the city manager may enter any building, structure, or premises in the city at reasonable times to perform any duty imposed by this section.

(2) The city manager may require footing inspections on the day of excavation for a freestanding sign.

(3) The city manager may require inspection of an electrical sign before its erection within forty-eight hours after being notified that the sign is ready for inspection.

(4) A permit holder or agent thereof shall notify the city manager when a sign is complete and ready for final inspection, which shall be no more than sixty days after work is commenced.

(j) Licensed Sign Contractor Required to Install Signs: No person other than a sign contractor licensed under chapter 4-21, "Sign Contractor License," B.R.C. 1981, shall install any sign for which a permit is required under this section, except:

(1) A homeowner may install a sign on the premises of such person's residence, for which a permit is otherwise required, if the homeowner obtains a permit and complies with all requirements of this section other than that of licensed sign contractor installation.

(2) Banner signs for which permits are required.

(3) Window signs for which permits are required.

(k) Signs in Approved Site Review Developments:

(1) A sign located in an approved site review development shall conform to all requirements of this section, including those of the district in which the property is located, except for those subsections dealing with sign setbacks from property lines and spacing between projecting and freestanding signs if alternative setbacks and spacing are specifically shown on a site plan approved under section 9-2-14, "Site Review," B.R.C. 1981, or approved as part of a sign program for the site review project. In no case may the total square footage for signage permitted under this section be increased through a site review or sign program.

(2) Sign lettering and graphic symbol height as specified in subparagraph (d)(14)(H) of this section concerning wall signs may also be varied in accordance with paragraph (k)(1) of this section.

(3) If a condition of site review development approval requires a uniform sign program, the following additional conditions shall apply:

(A) The owner or developer of the site review development shall submit a uniform sign program to the city manager for approval prior to the issuance of any sign permits within the planned unit development. Such program shall include, as a minimum:

(i) Type of sign permitted (wall sign, projecting sign, awning sign, window sign, etc.).

(ii) Type of construction (individual letters, cabinet, internal or indirect illumination, etc.).

(iii) Color.

(iv) Size of sign (maximum height of letters, maximum length of sign, and maximum size).

(v) Location of sign.

(B) The aggregate area of all signs and the size of any freestanding sign shall not exceed that permitted in subsection (e) of this section.

(C) The owner or developer of the site review development shall notify all potential tenants or property owners of the sign program at the time of sale or lease of the property.

(D) The property owner or developer or an authorized representative shall review all signs for compliance with the sign program prior to a tenant applying for a sign permit and shall countersign the application signifying such compliance.

(E) The sign program may not be altered without written permission of the city manager. In addition, no changes may be made without the written permission of a majority of tenants whose existing signs are in compliance with the previously established sign program.

(4) The city manager shall apply the following standards in approving or denying a sign program or request to alter a sign program:

(A) All signs shall be in compliance with law;

(B) The program shall ensure a reasonable degree of sign uniformity and coordination within the program area and will enhance the visual quality of the area;

(C) The program shall be simple, clear, and to the point;

(D) The program shall limit the number of signs allowed for each tenant of the area;

(E) Signs shall be compatible with the area in color, shape, and materials;

(F) A color plan for signs is required;

(G) Signs are simple and clearly legible; and

(H) Freestanding signs are integrated in appearance with their surroundings.

(5) The city manager may write uniform sign program guidelines to serve as an example of a sign program which meets the requirements of this subsection.

(l) Structural Design Requirements:

(1) Signs and sign structures shall be designed and constructed as specified in this subsection to resist wind and seismic forces. All bracing systems shall be designed and constructed to transfer lateral forces to the foundations. For signs on buildings, the dead and lateral loads shall be transmitted through the structural frame of the building to the ground so as not to overstress any of the elements thereof. The overturning moment produced from lateral forces may not exceed two-thirds of the dead load resisting moment. The structural frame of the building or the anchoring of the sign shall be adequate to resist uplift due to overturning. The weight of earth superimposed over footings may be used in determining the dead load resisting moment, if it is carefully placed and thoroughly compacted.

(2) Signs and sign structures shall be designed and constructed in compliance with the city building code, chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981, including all requirements to resist seismic forces.

(3) Wind loads and seismic loads need not be combined in the design of signs or sign structures. Signs shall be designed to withstand the loading that produces the larger stresses. Vertical design loads, other than roof live loads, shall be assumed to be acting simultaneously with the wind or seismic loads.

(4) The design of structural members shall conform to the requirements of the city building code, chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981. Vertical and horizontal loads exerted on the soil shall not produce stresses exceeding those specified in the city building code.

(5) The working stresses of wire rope and its fastenings shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the ultimate strength of the rope or fastening. Working stresses for wind loads combined with dead loads may be increased as specified in the city building code, chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981.

(m) Construction Standards:

(1) Signs and sign structures shall be securely built, constructed, and erected in conformity with the requirements of this subsection.

(2) Supports for signs or sign structures shall not be placed on property not owned or leased by the sign owner.

(3) Materials of construction for signs and sign structures shall be of the quality and grade specified for buildings in the city building code, chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981. Plastic materials shall be those specified in the building code that have a flame spread rating of 0-25 or less and a smoke density no greater than that obtained from the burning of untreated wood under similar conditions when tested in accordance with the building code standards in the way intended for use. The products of combustion shall be no more toxic than the burning of untreated wood under similar conditions.

(4) All sign structures, except for construction signs, those signs specifically excepted in subparagraphs (c)(1)(A), (c)(1)(E), (c)(1)(G), (c)(1)(H), (c)(1)(J), and (c)(1)(L) of this section, window signs, and signs located inside buildings, shall have structural members of heavy timber or incombustible material. Wall signs, projecting signs, and awning signs shall be constructed of incombustible material, except as provided in paragraph (m)(5) of this section or as specifically approved by the city manager. No combustible materials other than approved plastic shall be used in the construction of electric signs.

(5) Nonstructural elements of a sign may be of wood, metal, approved plastic, or any combination thereof.

(6) Members supporting unbraced signs shall be so proportioned that the bearing loads imposed on the soil either vertically or horizontally do not exceed safe values. Braced ground signs shall be anchored to resist specified wind or seismic loads acting in any direction. Anchors and supports shall be designed for safe bearing loads on the soil for effective resistance to pull-out amounting to a force of twenty-five percent greater than the required resistance to a depth of not less than three feet. Anchors and supports shall be guarded and protected when near driveways, parking lots, or similar locations where they could be damaged by moving vehicles.

(7) Signs attached to masonry, concrete, or steel shall be safely and securely fastened thereto by means of metal anchors, bolts, or approved expansion screws of sufficient size and anchorage to support safely the loads applied.

(8) No anchor or support of any sign, except flat wall signs, shall be connected to or supported by an unbraced parapet wall.

(9) Display surfaces in all types of signs shall be of metal or other approved materials.

(10) Signs intended for temporary placement of less than six months and which have no electrical or other special features:

(A) If less than six square feet per face and under four feet in height, may be constructed of any sturdy material and shall be anchored securely to the ground or a building, fence, or other structure and may be supported by any suitable support which will withstand the wind loading.

(B) A freestanding sign more than six square feet in area or four feet or more in height shall have at least two supports pounded at least two feet into the ground.

(C) Construction warning signs placed over concrete or asphalt or other materials into which posts may not conveniently be driven may instead be held in place by weights sufficient to withstand the wind.

(11) The city manager may approve the use of any material if an applicant submits sufficient technical data to substantiate such proposed use and if the manager determines that such material is satisfactory for the use intended.

(12) Where any freestanding sign has a clearance of less than eight feet from the ground, there shall be provided a barrier or other adequate protection to prevent hazard to pedestrians and motorists.

(n) Electric Signs:

(1) An electric sign shall be constructed of incombustible material. An electric sign shall be rain tight, but service holes fitted with waterproof covers may be provided to each compartment of such sign. All electric signs installed or erected in the city shall bear the label of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., on the exterior of the sign.

(2) No electric sign shall be erected or maintained that does not comply with the city electrical code, chapter 10-6, "Electrical Code," B.R.C. 1981.

(3) No electric equipment or electrical apparatus of any kind that causes interference with radio or television reception shall be used in the operation of an illuminated sign. Whenever interference is caused by a sign that is unfiltered, improperly filtered, or otherwise defective, or by any other electrical device or apparatus connected to the sign, the city manager may order the sign disconnected until it is repaired.

(o) Sign Maintenance: No person shall fail to maintain a sign on such person's premises, including signs exempt from the permit requirements by subsection (c) of this section, in good structural condition at all times. All signs, including all metal parts and supports thereof that are not galvanized or of rust-resistant metals, shall be kept neatly painted. The city manager is authorized to inspect and may order the painting, repair, alteration, or removal of a sign that constitutes a hazard to safety, health, or public welfare because of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, or obsolescence, under the procedures prescribed by subsection (t) of this section.

(p) Continuation of Legal Nonconforming Signs: A legal nonconforming sign that is not required to be discontinued under the provisions of subsection (q) of this section, may be continued and shall be maintained in good condition as required by subsection (o) of this section, but it shall not be:

(1) Structurally changed to another nonconforming sign, to a degree that would require a sign permit;

(2) Structurally altered in order to prolong the life of the sign, except to meet safety requirements;

(3) Altered so as to increase the degree of nonconformity of the sign;

(4) Expanded;

(5) Re-established after its discontinuance for ninety days;

(6) Continued in use after cessation or change of the business or activity to which the sign pertains;

(7) Re-established after damage or destruction if the estimated cost of reconstruction exceeds fifty percent of the appraised replacement cost as determined by the city manager; or

(8) If the landmarks board finds that a sign which otherwise would violate this section was, before January 6, 1972, an integral part of a building, since designated as a landmark, or in a historic district since designated, pursuant to chapter 9-11, "Historic Preservation," B.R.C. 1981, and is a substantial aspect of the pre-1972 historic character of such building, then such a sign is exempt from the provisions of paragraphs (p)(2), (p)(6), and (p)(7) of this section, and the period of discontinuance for such a sign in paragraph (p)(5) of this section shall be one year.

(q) Discontinuance of Prohibited Legal Nonconforming Signs:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (q)(2) or (q)(3) of this section, a legal nonconforming sign prohibited by subsection (b) of this section shall be removed or brought into conformity with the provisions of this section within sixty days from the date on which the sign became nonconforming.

(2) A legal nonconforming sign described in subparagraph (b)(3)(C), (b)(3)(D), (b)(3)(H), or (b)(3)(K) of this section is subject to the amortization provisions of subsection (r) of this section, unless excepted by paragraph (q)(3) of this section.

(3) Existing legal signs in the city which became nonconforming solely because of a change in this sign code enacted by Ordinance No. 5186 (1989) or Ordinance No. 6017 (1998) are subject to all the requirements of subsection (p) of this section, but are not subject to the sixty-day discontinuance provisions of paragraph (q)(1) of this section or the amortization provisions of subsection (r) of this section. Such amortization provisions are also inapplicable to lawfully permitted nonconforming advertising devices, as those terms are defined and applied in the Outdoor Advertising Act, 43-1-401 et seq., C.R.S.10 The city manager is authorized, subject to appropriation, to remove such devices by eminent domain proceedings.

(r) Amortization Provisions: Except for signs described in paragraph (q)(1) or (q)(3) of this section, or a temporary sign, a legal nonconforming sign shall be brought into conformity or removed under the following schedule:

(1) A sign that exceeds the maximum area or height limitations of this section by twenty percent or less will be treated as a conforming sign and need not be removed or altered, but if such sign is replaced or renovated it shall conform to all requirements of this section.

(2) A sign having an original cost of $100.00 or less shall be brought into conformity with the provisions of this section or removed within sixty days after the date on which the sign became nonconforming under this section.

(3) A sign having an original cost exceeding $100.00 that is nonconforming only in the respect that it does not meet the requirements of this section concerning height, setback, distance between signs on the same or adjacent properties, or limitations on window signs, shall be brought into conformity with the requirements of this section or removed or a contract for timely completion of such work shall be executed within one hundred eighty days after the date upon which the sign became nonconforming under this section.

(4) A sign having an original cost exceeding $100.00 that is nonconforming as to permitted sign area or any other provision of this section that would require the complete removal or total replacement of the sign may be maintained for the longer of the following periods:

(A) Three years from the date upon which the sign became nonconforming under the provisions of this section by annexation or code amendment; or

(B) A period of three to seven years from the installation date or most recent renovation date that preceded the date on which the sign became nonconforming. But if the date of renovation is chosen as the starting date of the amortization period, such period of amortization shall be calculated according to the cost of the renovation and not according to the original cost of the sign. The amortization periods in table 9-13 of this section apply according to the original cost of the sign, including installation costs, or of the renovation:

TABLE 9-13: AMORTIZATION SCHEDULE

Sign Code or Renovation Cost
Permitted Years From Installation
or Renovation Date
$101 through $1,000
3 years
$1,001 through $3,000
4 years
$3,001 through $10,000
5 years
Over $10,000
7 years

(5) To be eligible for an amortization period longer than three years pursuant to subparagraph (r)(4)(B) of this section, the owner of a sign shall, within one year from the date on which the sign became nonconforming, file with the city manager a statement setting forth the cost of such nonconforming sign, the date of erection or the cost and date of most recent renovation, and a written agreement to remove or bring the nonconforming sign into conformity with all provisions of this section at or before the expiration of the amortization period applicable to the sign.

(s) Appeals and Variances:

(1) Any aggrieved person who contests an interpretation of this section which causes denial of a permit, or who believes a violation alleged in a notice of violation issued pursuant to paragraph (t)(2) or (t)(3) of this section, to be factually or legally incorrect, may appeal the denial or notice of violation to the BOZA or board of building appeals in a manner provided by either such board under the procedures prescribed by chapter 1-3, "Quasi-Judicial Hearings," B.R.C. 1981, or may, in the case of a denial, request that a variance be granted. An appeal from a denial and a request for a variance may be filed in the alternative.

(A) An appeal from an interpretation which causes denial of a permit or from a notice alleging a violation of subsections (l), (m), (n), and (o) of this section shall be filed with the BOZA.

(B) An appeal from any other interpretation alleging any other violation of this section shall be filed with the BOZA.

(C) An appellant shall file the appeal, request for variance, or both in the alternative with the BOZA within fifteen days from the date of notice of the denial or the date of service of the notice of violation. The appellant may request more time to file. If the appellant makes such request before the end of the time period and shows good cause therefore, the city manager may extend for a reasonable period the time to file with either board.

(2) No person may appeal to or request a variance from the BOZA if the person has displayed, constructed, erected, altered, or relocated a sign without a sign permit required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The boards have no jurisdiction to hear an appeal nor authority to grant any variance from the permit requirements of this section. But the BOZA has jurisdiction to hear an appeal of a notice of violation alleging violation of the permit requirements if the appeal is from the manager's interpretation that a permit is required, and the appellant's position is that the device is not a sign or that it is exempt from the permit requirements under subsection (c) of this section.

(3) An applicant for an appeal or a variance under this subsection shall pay the fee prescribed by subsection 4-20-47(b), B.R.C. 1981.

(4) Setbacks, spacing of freestanding and projecting signs, and sign noise limitations are the only requirements which the BOZA may vary. If an applicant requests that the BOZA grant such a variance, the board shall not grant a variance unless it finds that each of the following conditions exists:

(A) There are special physical circumstances or physical conditions, including, without limitation, buildings, topography, vegetation, sign structures, or other physical features on adjacent properties or within the adjacent public right-of-way that would substantially restrict the effectiveness of the sign in question, and such special circumstances or conditions are peculiar to the particular business or enterprise to which the applicant desires to draw attention and do not apply generally to all businesses or enterprises in the area; or

(B) For variances from the noise limitations of subparagraph (b)(3)(L) of this section, the proposed variance is temporary in duration (not to exceed thirty days) and consists of a temporary exhibition of auditory art; and

(C) The variance would be consistent with the purposes of this section and would not adversely affect the neighborhood in which the business or enterprise or exhibition to which the applicant desires to draw attention is located; and

(D) The variance is the minimum one necessary to permit the applicant reasonably to draw attention to its business, enterprise, or exhibition.

(5) If an applicant requests that the board of building appeals approve alternate materials or methods of construction or modifications from the requirements of subsections (l), (m), (n), and (o) of this section, the board may approve the same under the standards and procedures provided in the city building code, chapter 10-5, "Building Code," B.R.C. 1981.

(6) Except as provided in paragraph (s)(7) of this section, the BOZA has no jurisdiction to hear a request for nor authority to grant a variance that would increase the maximum permitted sign area on a single property or building, or from the prohibitions of paragraph (b)(3) of this section. But the BOZA has jurisdiction to hear an appeal of a permit denial or of a notice of violation alleging that a sign would exceed the maximum permitted sign area or is prohibited if the appellant's position is that the sign does not exceed such area or is not prohibited by such paragraph.

(7) The BOZA or board of building appeals may make any variance or alternate material or method approval or modification it grants subject to any reasonable conditions that it deems necessary or desirable to make the device that is permitted by the variance compatible with the purposes of this section.

(8) The city manager's denial or notice of violation becomes a final order of the BOZA or board of building appeals if:

(A) The applicant fails to appeal the manager's denial or order to the board within the prescribed time limit;

(B) The applicant fails to appeal the order of the board to a court of competent jurisdiction within the prescribed time limit; or

(C) A court of competent jurisdiction enters a final order and judgment upon an appeal filed from a decision of the board under this section.

(t) Enforcement:

(1) The city manager may enforce the provisions of this section in any one or more of the following ways:

(A) by issuing a criminal summons and complaint, followed by prosecution in municipal court.

(B) If the city manager desires to use self-help to remove a sign for which a permit has been issued, by issuing a notice of violation, revoking a permit, removing a sign, and collecting the cost of removal pursuant to paragraph (t)(2) of this section.

(C) If the city manager desires to use self-help to remove or correct a sign for which no permit has been issued, by issuing a notice of violation, correcting the violation, and collecting the cost of correction pursuant to paragraph (t)(3) of this section.

(D) by removing any sign posted in violation of subsection 5-4-15(a), B.R.C. 1981, concerning posting signs on government property. Such signs are a public nuisance. After such removal the manager may also file a civil complaint in municipal court against the person who posted the sign or the beneficiary of the sign or both. The court shall award the city as damages the costs of removal of the sign and restoration of the surface upon which it was posted. This judgment shall be enforceable as any civil judgment.

(E) by filing a civil complaint for declaratory or injunctive relief in District Court.

These remedies are cumulative and not exclusive, and use of one does not foreclose use of any other also.

(2) If the city manager finds that any sign for which a permit has been issued does not comply with the permit or approved permit application or violates any provision of this section or any other ordinance of the city, the manager may send a notice of violation to the owner of the sign by first class mail to the address on the sign permit application. The notice shall state the violation, and any required corrections, and that if the corrections are not made within thirty days or an appeal filed within fifteen days pursuant to subsection (s) of this section, the permit shall be revoked, and the manager may then proceed as specified in paragraphs (t)(4) and (t)(5) of this section.

(3) The city manager may issue a notice of violation ordering the sign owner or possessor or property owner to alter or remove a sign which is in violation of this section and for which no permit has been issued within thirty days from the date of the notice. Notice under this paragraph is sufficient if it is mailed first class to the address of the last known owner of the real property on which the sign is located as shown on the records of the Boulder County Assessor. The notice shall state the violation, order removal of the sign or state any reasonable corrections which would bring the sign into compliance with this section, and that if removal or correction is not accomplished within thirty days or an appeal filed within fifteen days pursuant to subsection (s) of this section, the manager may proceed as specified in paragraphs (t)(4) and (t)(5) of this section. If the violation is of paragraph (b)(2) or (b)(3) of this section, the manager may require removal of the illegal sign within one day from the date of actual notice or five days from the date of mailing of mailed notice.

(4) If the property owner or sign owner or possessor fails to complete alteration or removal as required by the notice given as prescribed by paragraph (t)(2) or (t)(3) of this section, or to appeal pursuant to subsection (s) of this section, or loses such appeal and it becomes a final order pursuant to paragraph (s)(8) of this section, the city manager may cause such sign to be altered or removed at the expense of the owner or possessor of the property or sign and charge the costs thereof to such person.

(5) If any property owner fails or refuses to pay when due any charge imposed under this subsection, the city manager may, in addition to taking other collection remedies, certify due and unpaid charges, including interest, to the Boulder County Treasurer to be levied against the person's property for collection by the county in the same manner as delinquent general taxes upon such property are collected, as provided in section 2-2-12, "City Manager May Certify Taxes, Charges, and Assessments to County Treasurer for Collection," B.R.C. 1981.

(6) The penalty for violation of any provision of this section is a fine of not more than $2,000.00 per violation. In addition, upon conviction of any person for violation of this section, the court may issue a cease and desist order and any other orders reasonably calculated to remedy the violation. Violation of any order of the court issued under this subsection is a violation of this subsection, and is punishable by a fine of not more than $4,000.00 per violation, or incarceration for not more than ninety days in jail, or both such fine and incarceration.

(u) Rules and Regulations: The city manager is authorized to adopt reasonable procedural rules and interpretive regulations consistent with the provisions of this section to aid in its implementation and enforcement.

(v) Compliance With State Law Required: In addition to compliance with this section, all signs to which the provisions of the Outdoor Advertising Act, 43-1-401 et seq., C.R.S., and its supplemental regulations apply shall comply with such Act and regulations.11 Signs which do not so comply shall be deemed illegal nonconforming signs under this section.

(w) Substitution Clause: It is the intention of the city council that this sign code not favor commercial over noncommercial messages. However, all sign codes are complex, and sometimes when provisions which do not appear to be related are read together, unintended results may occur. If any provision of this code is judicially construed to allow a commercial message but not a noncommercial message, then the property owner may substitute any noncommercial message under the same limitations as to physical characteristics and location of the sign as would apply to a commercial message on such sign.

Ordinance Nos. 4879 (1984); 5186 (1989); 5223 (1989); 5255 (1989); 5377 (1991); 5562 (1993); 5639 (1994); 5640 (1994); 5930 (1997); 7332 (2004); 7365 (2004); 7484 (2006); 7522 (2007); 7777 (2010)

9-9-22 Trip Generation Requirements for the MU-4, RH-6 and RH-7 Zoning Districts.Go to the top

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide the trip generation requirements for the MU-4, RH-6 and RH-7 zoning districts for developments that are not served by a general improvement district or other approved organization that provides transportation related services. Further, it is the purpose of this section to:

(1) Provide approaches to mitigate the impacts of traffic generated by development and redevelopment.

(2) Ensure that the amount of land used for parking is the minimum necessary to serve development in the area.

(3) Provide opportunities for parking that is provided in a development to be used in an efficient manner during all times of the day or evening.

(b) Scope. The applicant for any additional floor area for a property located in the MU-4, RH-6 and RH-7 zoning districts shall demonstrate that the development does not exceed the trip generation allowance standards of this section. The requirements of this section do not apply to development proposals within general improvement districts or other organizations that have service plans which include travel demand management and parking management programs that have been approved by the city council to generally meet the objectives described in this section.

(c) Property Trip Generation Allowance. The applicant for any development subject to the requirements of this section shall be required to demonstrate that fifty-five percent of the trips generated by the development during the highest peak travel time shall be:

(1) Made by a mode of transportation that is an alternative to single occupant vehicle use, including, without limitation, walking, bicycling, carpooling, vanpooling or public transportation.

(2) Avoided through programs such as alternate work schedules, including telecommuting or compressed work week programs.

(d) Trip Generation Calculation. The trip generation allowance shall be calculated using standard calculation methods commonly accepted by the Institute of Traffic Engineers for the uses of land that are proposed for the development during the highest peak travel times. The applicant shall provide the city manager with information necessary to demonstrate that the appropriate number of trips for the proposed development has been provided.

(e) Trip Reduction and Mitigation. The applicant shall demonstrate how it will generate fifty-five percent alternative mode use as described in subsection (c) at the highest peak travel time through a travel demand management plan.

(f) Travel Demand Management Plan. A travel demand management plan shall be submitted with all development applications that add a nonresidential use floor area or an additional dwelling unit that demonstrates compliance with the trip generation requirements. Any combination of the following methods may be incorporated into the travel demand management plan to achieve the requirements of this section.

(1) Parking management strategies.

(2) Enhanced design and amenities.

(3) Financial incentives.

(4) Trip reduction programs and policies.

(5) Marketing and outreach.

(g) Components of a Travel Demand Management Plan. An applicant may divide a travel demand management plan into two components: (1) infrastructure and amenities; and (2) a travel demand management operations program. As part of a development approval, the city manager will approve separate trip generation reductions attributable to each element of the travel demand management plan.

(1) Infrastructure and Amenities. The infrastructure and amenities component of the travel demand management plan shall include all of the elements of the travel demand management plan that require the construction of either private or public improvements. The improvements may include, without limitation, facilities such as showers and changing facilities, parking area design, amenities that support alternate mode use such as covered and secure bicycle parking or enhanced pedestrian, bicycle and transit access. Unless otherwise approved in the infrastructure and amenities plan, all public and private improvements shall be constructed prior to or concurrent with the construction of the buildings within the development. If construction of such improvements is to occur later, the applicant shall submit, subject to the review and approval of the city manager, an improvement construction phasing plan. The applicant shall demonstrate that phasing of the construction of improvements is necessary because such improvement cannot be effectively or efficiently utilized until a given level of development has been completed on the property.

(2) Demand Management Operations Program. The demand management operations program shall be the plan that is used by the tenant or occupant of a development or a portion thereof. The demand management operations plan shall include those programs necessary to meet the trip reduction requirements of this section, including without limitation the following:

(A) Parking management strategies that may include unbundled parking, paid parking areas or car pool or vanpool preferred parking areas.

(B) Active promotion of alternate modes through marketing and outreach programs to employees or residents.

(C) Financial incentives for employees or residents to alternate modes such as public transit passes, subsidized transit or vanpool fares or a parking cash-out program.

(D) Policies and programs including bicycle or carshare services, telework stations in residential buildings or telecommuting and compressed work week programs for employees.

(E) A plan for monitoring the effectiveness of the travel demand management plan that is submitted to the city manager on a biannual basis, using guidelines and performance measures developed by the city. The monitoring plan shall state whether the monitoring shall be done by the owner, occupant, tenant or other designated organization.

(3) Sustainable Funding. The costs of a travel demand management program shall be the responsibility of the owner, occupants, tenants or visitors to the development. The applicant shall be required to demonstrate how the facilities and programs will be initially funded and funded over time to ensure implementation and ongoing operation of the facilities and programs.

(h) Monitoring and Evaluation. The owner of any property that has a travel demand management plan shall be responsible for ensuring that the monitoring and evaluation component of the travel demand management plan is completed as required by this section. Monitoring and evaluation data shall be submitted to the city manager on a biannual basis. The monitoring and evaluation data shall be in a form acceptable to the city manager and shall address the effectiveness of the approved travel demand management plan in reaching the trip generation requirements of this section. If the monitoring data shows that the travel demand management plan is not meeting the trip generation requirements of this section, the owner shall submit a revised travel demand management plan that meets the requirements of this section within thirty days of a request by the city manager.

(i) City Manager May Issue Rules. The city manager may adopt rules necessary for the implementation and interpretation of this chapter under the procedures of Chapter 1-4, "Rulemaking," B.R.C. 1981. Such rules may address, without limitation, the following topics:

(1) Methods for determining how programs and facilities impact trip generation rates;

(2) Methods of evaluating approved travel demand management plans during the biannual review processes; and

(3) Monitoring procedures and practices for approved travel demand management plans.

(j) Compliance Required. No person shall fail to comply with the requirements of this section or any rule issued by the city manager under this section. No person shall fail to submit the operations monitoring component of a demand management operations plan to the city manager on at least an annual basis. No person shall violate the terms of an approved travel demand management plan.

Ordinance No. 7655 (2009)


1 Adopted by Ordinance No. 7476.

2 See also table 9-4 of this section.

3 See also section 8-2-23, "Alley Paving Required Prior to Issuance of Building Permit," B.R.C. 1981.

4 Signs located on private or public property without the permission of the owner can be a form of trespass and are governed by provisions found in title 5, "General Offenses," B.R.C. 1981. Certain provisions concerning signs as they might affect public traffic control devices are found at section 7-2-26, "Display of Unauthorized Sign, Signal, or Marking Prohibited," B.R.C. 1981. Other provisions which might allow a private party to place a sign on public property are found in chapters 4-11, "Mall Permits and Leases," 4-18, "Street, Sidewalk, and Public Property Use Permits," and 8-6, "Public Right-of-Way and Easement Encroachments, Revocable Permits, Leases, and Vacations," B.R.C. 1981, and elsewhere in this code. The structural requirements for signs located on private property and not regulated by this section are found in the city's building codes in title 10, "Structures," B.R.C. 1981, although the city manager may take guidance from the structural requirements for signs found in this section.

5 Searchlights and beacons are also prohibited by section 9-9-16, "Lighting, Outdoor," B.R.C. 1981.

6 Such signs may, however, be further regulated by paragraphs (d)(8) and (d)(9) of this section.

7 See section 7-2-25, "Overlapping Prohibitions," B.R.C. 1981, and subparagraph (b)(3)(N) of this section for prohibitions related to private traffic devices.

8 See subparagraph (b)(3)(D) of this section for prohibited window signs.

9 A lease or license granting permission to construct, install, and maintain a sign projecting over the public right-of-way or other public property must be obtained from the city manager prior to the issuance of the sign permit.

10 Root Outdoor Advertising, Inc. v. City of Fort Collins, 759 P.2d 59 (Colo. App. 1988).

11 In general, the State Outdoor Advertising Act applies to signs located within six hundred sixty feet of a state highway and visible from such highway. State permits as well as city permits are required for certain of such signs and the city must condemn and pay compensation for such signs if they are legal nonconforming signs which the city seeks removed. Colorado Department of Highways, Division of Highways Roadside Advertising regulations are found at 2 Colorado Code of Regulations 601-3.

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