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A dwelling unit is a building or portion thereof used for residential occupancy. What is an illegal dwelling unit? An illegal dwelling unit is one built or occupied without obtaining the necessary land use approvals and/or a proper building permit. In some circumstances it is possible to make an illegal dwelling unit legal. Please contact the CDS at 303-621-3136 or email and the Building Department at 303-621-3140 for details. You may also call 720-595-3610 and ask to speak to the Zoning Compliance staff.
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Any violation of the regulations contained in the Elbert County Regulations and Ordinances. Common violations include:
Some of these issues are complicated and often vary by situation. Please use the links provided below for a general description of some of these issues. You may contact the Planning Department at 303-621-3136 or by email to ask questions regarding your specific situation. You may also call 720-595-3613 and ask for the Zoning Compliance staff.
If there is a violation of the Land Use Code, the Code Compliance staff member will notify the Planning Department and have the owner/tenant seek approval for the use that is not currently allowed. This can sometimes take several months to accomplish.
Home occupations are considered an accessory use and are intended to allow property owners the full use of their property while maintaining the integrity and character of the neighborhood. All home occupations must follow certain requirements as described in the Elbert County Zoning Regulations
In general, short term rental is not allowed unless the use has received approval from the Community & Development Services Department. The increased popularity of vacation rental sites such as VRBO, AirBnB, Home Away, etc., has brought this issue to the forefront of many planning departments across the country. Depending on the zoning district, an owner may seek approval for this use via a Special Use by Review process through the Planning Department.
The term “tiny house” usually means one of two things: 1) an RV/trailer/house on wheels, or 2) a small house on a foundation, whether prefabricated (manufactured/modular) or built on site. A “tiny house on wheels” is considered a Recreational Vehicle (RV) and is regulated by the Land Use Code instead of the Building Codes. There are restrictions on where and when they can be lived in. They are not considered permanent homes and cannot be occupied year-round. An RV (including a “tiny house on wheels”) can be used as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use. An RV can either have its own motor power or be mounted on or towed by another vehicle, including camping trailers, fifth wheel trailers, motor homes, travel trailers and truck campers. Other uses of an RV include a temporary dwelling during construction when permit is obtained.
A small house on a foundation is required to meet the regulations of the International Residential Code. Please contact the Building Staff to discuss these requirements at 303-621-3135.
No. Elbert County does not have a housing code that regulates maintenance and repairs of rental properties. The County is limited to enforcing minimum structural standards of existing buildings.
No. The County does not have a property maintenance code. Due to several factors including the agricultural nature of the County, there are no regulations as to how high weeds grow, or if a lawn is mowed, or whether a sidewalk is cleared of snow.
The use of RVs as permanent housing has become an increasingly common situation and problem in Elbert County. For the most part, a property owner may "recreate" on their property for 30 days in a calendar year. The RV must then be closed up and placed in a state of storage.
A properly licensed and registered RV can be stored on a property that has a residence. The RV registration and the property owner must be the same person/entity.
Yes. The Elbert County Zoning Regulations limits the number of unrelated people allowed to occupy a residence located in unincorporated areas of the County. In unincorporated Elbert County, a single family residence may be occupied by a “family” as found in the definitions.
A vehicle is considered junk when it is unregistered, inoperable, unlawful or dismantled. Only those vehicles that do not qualify as junk vehicles and are owned by the occupant of the home may be stored outside as long as the vehicles are licensed, insured and operable.
A "junk vehicle" is described as follows: A vehicle that is inoperable (unable to move under its own power), or is partially or totally dismantled or has all or portions of its body work missing or substantially damaged or is not registered with the State of Colorado as required by C.R.S. § 42-3-103 or by C.R.S. §§ 42-12-401 and 42-12-402, and/or the number plate assigned to it is not permanently attached to the vehicle as required by C.R.S. § 42-3-202 or is lacking proper equipment to the extent that would be unsafe or illegal to use on public road rights-of-way or otherwise not equipped with lamps and other equipment as required by C.R.S. §§ 42-4-202—42-4-227. This definition does not include implements of husbandry, farm tractors, farm or ranch equipment or vehicles customarily operated in a farm or ranch operation.
Outdoor storage of junk and debris is not allowed. Any accumulation of appliances, car parts, old furniture, scrap materials, etc. that is a visual blight to the area must be removed from the property or stored inside a structure on the property. Only items that are accessory to the residence, for example a barbeque grill, patio furniture, etc., is allowed.
If the issue is storage of junk and debris, or outdoor storage, Code Compliance staff will investigate Report a Concern. If the issue is garbage and trash, The Colorado Department of Health & Environment investigates illegal dump sites. They can be contacted at 303-692-3408. For reference, a “dump” is a place where people dump and/or bury trash that should be taken to an appropriate sanitary landfill site to monitor for odors, air emissions and ground water.
You must first seek approval from the Elbert County Community & Development Services Department. Most zoning districts allow one (1) single-family dwelling per lot/parcel. The Zoning Regulations provides several options for additional accessory dwelling units, under specific conditions. Accessory uses and structures must be 1) secondary and incidental to the principal use of the property and 2) located on the same lot with the principal use.
Horses for the use of an occupant, and/or their guests are allowed in most residential zoning districts provided the number of horses does not exceed one horse per one half-acre as outlined in Article XIV Section (C) of the Elbert County Zoning Regulations.
Household pets inclusive of, but not limited to, dogs and cats shall be permitted in all zones allowing for residential use provided that not more than four (4) animals of more than four (4) months of age are kept by the property owner/occupant of any residential unit. Please see the Zoning Regulations (PDF) regarding other animals.
No. A single-wide mobile home or similar structure that was not constructed or intended for the specific purpose or use as a storage building is prohibited from being converted and used as a storage building in Elbert County.
Sign regulations are intended to provide the public with an opportunity for safe and effective identification of uses and locations within the County balanced with the attempt to avoid clutter and protect visual appearance and maintain property values. Signs are regulated pursuant to ECZR Article XI.