Denver Zoning Against Tourism!

Posted in the Denver Forum

cabmac

Denver, CO

#1 Oct 14, 2010
My husband and I are Realtors in Denver. We started vacation rentals during the DNC to supplement our declining income. At that time we researched the Denver Municipal Code to insure that we were within the legal boundaries of the zoning code. There was nothing in the code that regulated the length of time for rentals. We were recently cited and received a cease and desist order from the Denver Zoning Dept. to shut down our rentals. Our zoning city inspector informed us, at a meeting with Charlie Brown, that he didn’t even know how to write the citation or cease and desist orders so Mike O’Flarety wrote them. Coincidently he told us that Mr. O’Flarety, the temporary zoning administrator, lives within 2 blocks of one of these properties and about 8 blocks from another. His wife serves on the local neighborhood association Stokes Place/Green Bowers. Mike also admitted that they are aware that there are approximately 250 short term rentals in the City and County of Denver but told us on at least 3 occasions “don’t tattle”. The city has even given lodging permits to local vacation rentals. The office administrator informed us that they don’t allow short term rentals as the City and County of Denver is not a tourist city! We and many other local businesses beg to differ.

When we arrived at the zoning department to file an appeal for these orders we were informed by Janet Tilden, office administrator, that there was nothing on the appeal form for short term rentals so she would just charge us with the cheapest offense as we had 2 of them. Little did we know that this was done by design. That has now become a major problem as she appealed unrelated persons. Obviously this was nothing short of trickery and deception. This deception is easy to prove as there is nothing on our citations or cease and desist orders that match up with what is on the appeal. Now we’re no longer sure what we’re trying to defend.

We contacted the department today to find out when the notebook required for the Board of Appeals is due. Janet informed us that if we couldn’t bring it in on Friday when we pick up our sign then to bring it in on the day of the hearing which is 10/26/10. While compiling all of our documentation we realized that Friday is a city furlough day and the offices won’t be open. If we don’t have our sign posted in front of the residences by 10/16/10, Saturday morning, by 9:00 a.m. then our hearing will be cancelled for of the Board of Appeals and we lose. Even more bizarre is that my husband just ran into the city inspector, Mike Madden, in the alley directly behind our 4-plex building in Congress Park. This is not his territory. Even though he didn’t recognize us on multiple occasions in the Wellington Web building he did recognize my husband today. He told him that because tomorrow is a furlough day he’s helping out in this area. What a coincidence that he would find himself directly behind another one of our properties don’t you think? They are aware that we operate 2 vacation rentals in this building as well.

We don’t know why we’re being targeted by the city as “selective enforcement” but can only believe that it leads directly back to the beginning. Our vacation rentals are within blocks of Mike O’Flarety’s personal residence. It appears that they are not going to stop until they’ve completely shut us down and we no longer have an income.
Dave

Denver, CO

#2 Jan 31, 2013
Sorry about your predicament. We have a similar problem with a carriage house that has been rented out for years. We changed it into a vacation rental, which for some reason is a zoning violation. In other words, no problem if one person rents it for six months. If someone rents it for five months, well that's a danger to the safety and welfare of Denver residents.(pardon the sarcasm).

Anyhow, I hope you've found an acceptable solution to the problem. Unfortunately, these properties are about twice as profitable as short-term rentals. I'm afraid we'll be switching back to a long-term lease. Any thoughts on the matter?
MikeK

Denver, CO

#3 Mar 21, 2014
Hi cabmac,

I know this post is a few years old, but I wanted to see how this turned out for you guys. My wife and I live in Denver for 7 months out of the year, but we own a whitewater rafting company that requires us to move to the mountains for the remaining 5 months. Last year we rented our house out while we were gone as a short term rental and had great success except that we were cited by code enforcement and received a cease and desist notification. Our case was dropped because we moved back into our house as we always do and at that time had come back in to compliance.

No one could ever explain what the actual code infraction was and we are hoping to rent our house out again this summer, so we are looking for any information assistance we can find in regards to short term rentals in Denver. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

MikeK
Jules

Aurora, CO

#4 Apr 25, 2014
Yes, I too would like to know what happened. I have heard of people receiving citations, but no evidence of actual laws that outlaw short term rentals . . .

Level 9

Since: Aug 08

Taste great in milk!

#5 Apr 25, 2014
cabmac wrote:
My husband and I are Realtors in Denver. We started vacation rentals during the DNC to supplement our declining income. At that time we researched the Denver Municipal Code to insure that we were within the legal boundaries of the zoning code. There was nothing in the code that regulated the length of time for rentals. We were recently cited and received a cease and desist order from the Denver Zoning Dept. to shut down our rentals. Our zoning city inspector informed us, at a meeting with Charlie Brown, that he didn’t even know how to write the citation or cease and desist orders so Mike O’Flarety wrote them. Coincidently he told us that Mr. O’Flarety, the temporary zoning administrator, lives within 2 blocks of one of these properties and about 8 blocks from another. His wife serves on the local neighborhood association Stokes Place/Green Bowers. Mike also admitted that they are aware that there are approximately 250 short term rentals in the City and County of Denver but told us on at least 3 occasions “don’t tattle”. The city has even given lodging permits to local vacation rentals. The office administrator informed us that they don’t allow short term rentals as the City and County of Denver is not a tourist city! We and many other local businesses beg to differ.
When we arrived at the zoning department to file an appeal for these orders we were informed by Janet Tilden, office administrator, that there was nothing on the appeal form for short term rentals so she would just charge us with the cheapest offense as we had 2 of them. Little did we know that this was done by design. That has now become a major problem as she appealed unrelated persons. Obviously this was nothing short of trickery and deception. This deception is easy to prove as there is nothing on our citations or cease and desist orders that match up with what is on the appeal. Now we’re no longer sure what we’re trying to defend.
We contacted the department today to find out when the notebook required for the Board of Appeals is due. Janet informed us that if we couldn’t bring it in on Friday when we pick up our sign then to bring it in on the day of the hearing which is 10/26/10. While compiling all of our documentation we realized that Friday is a city furlough day and the offices won’t be open. If we don’t have our sign posted in front of the residences by 10/16/10, Saturday morning, by 9:00 a.m. then our hearing will be cancelled for of the Board of Appeals and we lose. Even more bizarre is that my husband just ran into the city inspector, Mike Madden, in the alley directly behind our 4-plex building in Congress Park. This is not his territory. Even though he didn’t recognize us on multiple occasions in the Wellington Web building he did recognize my husband today. He told him that because tomorrow is a furlough day he’s helping out in this area. What a coincidence that he would find himself directly behind another one of our properties don’t you think? They are aware that we operate 2 vacation rentals in this building as well.
We don’t know why we’re being targeted by the city as “selective enforcement” but can only believe that it leads directly back to the beginning. Our vacation rentals are within blocks of Mike O’Flarety’s personal residence. It appears that they are not going to stop until they’ve completely shut us down and we no longer have an income.
Yes.
Veronica

Boulder, CO

#6 Jul 10, 2014
I am considering turning my rental property in Denver into a Vacation Rental Property and I am trying to find out what is the zoning for this? Did any one get a definitive answer?

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