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Outdoor activity is not recommended when the air quality index is orange or higher. With the AQI, the lower the number, the better and the colors are like a stoplight.
Find out what the current air quality index is at www.AspenAirQuality.com.
If you must work outside when the air quality is poor, take measures to protect yourself and your employees:
At EPA’s AirNow.
From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The impacts of wildfire smoke on Aspen’s air quality can only be predicted for 1- 2 days. We recommend the following websites for more information about where smoke is moving and air quality levels:
It is hard to predict if Aspen will be impacted by wildfire smoke during your visit. Unfortunately, summers in the west and across the nation are regularly impacted by wildfire smoke. The best thing to do is be prepared. We encourage you to speak with your doctor about the impacts of wildfire smoke based on your current health.
You can find more information about wildfire smoke and air quality on the following websites:
Keep indoor air quality clean in your home by:
Aspen 360°, which used to be called Aspen Citizens Academy, is a program for residents to learn about their local government. Programs like Aspen 360° are generally free or low-cost programs that meet for a series of sessions and explore the role, responsibilities, limits, and services provided by governments. While programs range greatly in size, length, scope, and presentation, these courses aim to better inform participants of the issues that face local government. For more information, please contact email@example.com
When the 2022 application is available, a link will be posted on this site. If you have questions, please contact theAspen 360° team in the Communications Office.
The bus lanes are for RFTA buses and emergency vehicles only, 24 hours daily, 7 days per week. Failure to comply with the designated bus lanes may result in a three-point ticket and a $100 fine. For more information, review the State Highway 82 Bus Lanes Operation Study (PDF).
Need to turn right? Use the striping on the roadway as a guide. Do not cross double white lines.
If an emergency vehicle is approaching, stay in your lane. The emergency vehicle will pass using the bus lane.
The carpool and single occupant vehicle lanes merge from left to right into one lane prior to the Harmony Road intersection. Follow roadway striping prior to the Harmony Road signal. Please be patient and polite.
City-owned properties and large commercial properties (20k sq. ft. +) will be the first properties required to benchmark. Smaller commercial properties and multi-family properties will be phased over time.
This table shows the exact square footage of properties required to benchmark and by when:
No, none of these residential buildings are required to benchmark under Ordinance No. 05.
Building owners required to benchmark under the Building IQ program need to input their property information and annual utility bill data into the EPA's ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool and share the information with the City of Aspen. The City's partner, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE), is available to help with this entire benchmarking process. Get started today by clicking here.
Owners of commercial properties 20,000 square feet and larger are required to get a building assessment, which looks at building performance and energy and water usage, and can be done for free through our partners at CORE. To schedule an assessment, click here.
For all help with benchmarking, contact CORE.
See table below for the list of properties 20,000 square feet or larger. The properties on this list have to benchmark and share the report with the City of Aspen by December 1, 2022.
465 N Mill St
637 E Hyman Ave
601 Rio Grande Pl
420 E Hopkins
520 E Durant Ave
411 E Main St
711 E Cooper Ave
205 S Mill St
300 Puppy Smith St
333 E Durant Ave
300 E Hyman Ave
120 N Mill St
506 E Main St
0076 Boomerang Rd
401 Castle Creek Rd
550 S Spring St
1450 Ute Ave
10 Club Circle
675 E Durant Ave
355 S Monarch St
310 E Main St
845 Meadows Rd
24 Prospector Rd
415 E Dean St
315 E Dean St
There is no charge to building owners or to the City of Aspen to use the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager platform to benchmark.
Click here to schedule a free commercial energy assessment and portfolio consultation with the City's partner, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE).
By providing information about a building’s energy use and comparing its performance to similar buildings, benchmarking empowers building owners, managers, and other stakeholders to make more informed decisions, identify opportunities to improve energy and water use in their buildings, and save money. Evidence of these benefits is already available: by analyzing data from over 35,000 buildings that used the free EPA tool, ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and received an ENERGY STAR® score from 2008 to 2011, US EPA found that average energy use declined by 7%. For more benchmarking trends, visit US EPA’s DataTrends Series, found at www.EnergyStar.gov/DataTrends.
ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager is a free online tool developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) that allows you to track and assess energy and water use across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. With Portfolio Manager, you can calculate the building's energy performance, compare it with similar buildings and monitor it over time. When you benchmark a building in Portfolio Manager, one of the key metrics you'll see is energy use intensity, or EUI.
The EUI expresses a building’s energy use as a function of its size or other characteristics. For most property types in Portfolio Manager, the EUI is expressed as energy per square foot per year. It’s calculated by dividing the total energy consumed by the building in one year by square footage. For many building types, Portfolio Manager calculates the ENERGY STAR® rating, which indicates how efficiently buildings use energy on a 1-100 scale, where a score of 50 indicates average energy performance. Buildings with a score of 75 or better are top performers and may be eligible for the ENERGY STAR® certification. Some building types are currently not eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR® score, but can still benefit from benchmarking, as Portfolio Manager calculates other energy performance metrics such as EUI.
No, per Ordinance No. 05 - Building IQ, property owners must use ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager to benchmark and report their covered buildings to the City of Aspen. Like many other jurisdictions across the nation, Aspen is using the reporting functionality of Portfolio Manager to ensure compliance with Building IQ.
Email Climate@aspen.gov and we are happy to help answer your questions.
If a covered property changes ownership, at the time of transfer, the former owner shall furnish to the new owner an electronic copy of the record representing the covered property within the benchmarking tool, utility customer consent documentation, (if any), the request to a qualified utility for aggregated data (if any), and any other information about the property that is necessary for benchmarking the covered property.
A UBID is a unique way to identify a property, building, or campus of buildings that is more specific than an address, parcel number, or building name. The City of Aspen is using UBIDs to attribute a unique identifier (separate from address or parcel numbers, which can be confusing) to properties under the Building IQ ordinance to ensure utmost clarity in property identification. Each property under the Building IQ ordinance will have a UBID, which the property owner will add to the property’s Portfolio Manager account.
Do you have questions about how to enter your UBID in Portfolio Manager? Click here for instructions, or get in touch with CORE.
Read our guide on Avoiding Application Rejection & Multiple Review Cycles.
You can find permit status on our Permit Status and Data page.
Before beginning construction, contractors should verify that their project is exempt by contacting a Permit Coordinator.
You can view fee schedules in our Document Library.
Visit our Tree Removal Permit page.
Fill out a Construction Parking Permit Request through the Parking Department.
Please see our Build or Remodel page to learn about requirements and permits for building projects. In every case any Land Use approvals must be obtained before a building permit will be accepted. Submittal requirements checklists are available at the Building Development Department by the front desk.
There are very few areas of new construction, repair or alteration that do not require permits. Each of the International Codes specifies that all work requires a permit and then provides exceptions to that rule. The safest course of action is to call the Building Department to determine if work that you propose to do requires a permit. A Permit Coordinator can be reached at 970-920-5090. Please see our Build or Remodel page to learn about requirements and permits for building projects.
Please see our Build or Remodel page to learn about requirements and permits for building projects.
Please see the Building and Energy Codes page.
If you require assistance in calculating estimated fees, our Permit Coordinator can be reached at 970-920-5090. Additional Information on fee schedules is available in our Resource Center.
Processing of applications for new residential or commercial work in the City of Aspen is expected to take 6 to 10 weeks. These time frames assume complete application information and no unforeseen problems with referral department approvals.
City of Aspen adopts a standard "Building Valuation Table" published by the International Conference of Building Officials in the Building Standards Magazine. The square footage is multiplied by the value provided to obtain an assigned value for the proposed structure which reflects the cost of construction for this region. The permit and plan check fees are based on average of that estimated cost. Please see City of Aspen Valuation Policies for Residential (PDF) and Commercial (PDF) projects. If your project's valuation does not match our policy, please see the Valuation Adjustment Policy (PDF).
You can request an inspection online on our inspections page. Inspections must be made while the work is accessible and visible. Requests made before 7 a.m. will be performed on the same day.
New buildings, or suites in buildings that were previously not occupied, require a Certificate of Occupancy. Also, significant changes in use of an existing building require a review culminating with a new Certificate of Occupancy. If, however, you propose to occupy a building or suite that was previously occupied by a similar use, a new Certificate of Occupancy is not required.
For asphalt composition roofing material, the International Building and International Residential Code allows the application of one additional layer of roofing material for a total of two.
A building application expires if not issued within 180 days from the application date. A building permit expires 360 days after issuance if work has not begun or 180 days after work has been suspended or abandoned.
The Building Official can grant two 90-day extensions on a permit prior to expiration. A letter outlining the reason for the extension must be received prior to expiration date. Please note that if a permit expires, it cannot be extended or renewed. A new permit must be applied for before starting construction.
Projects with a valuation of more than $100,000 are subject to paying a 2.1% City of Aspen Use Tax deposit on construction materials at the issuance of the Master Building Permit. The deposit is calculated as follows: [(Project Valuation - $100,000) x 50%] x 2.1%
All projects with the exception of those doing work under a fence, sign, awning or fire suppression permits are subject to paying a 0.5% Pitkin County Use Tax deposit at the issuance of the Master Permit. The deposit is calculated as follows: (Project Valuation x 50%) x 0.5%
Any entity doing business within the City, directly or indirectly, must obtain a combined sales tax and business license. You are considered engaged in business if you:
Yes, you must renew your business license each year and pay the annual fee based on the estimated monthly average full time employees of your business.
Most likely. If you are providing any type of service, bringing goods into the City, and/or deriving profit within City limits, you are engaged in business within Aspen and therefore, a business license is required.
If one or more of the following occurs:
A Transportation Impact Analysis, or TIA, assesses the transportation impacts of proposed projects on surrounding and supporting transportation infrastructure and services. A TIA determines if the adverse effects constitute significant impacts, and, if so, how the significant impacts can be mitigated.
City of Aspen Ordinance #8 of 2014 adopted the TIA process with the goal of providing a technical approach to transportation impact analysis for development projects within the City that is simple, consistent, and fair while ensuring that the City continues to meet its longstanding goal of limiting trips over the Castle Creek Bridge at 1993 levels.
See Table 1 on page 7 of the TIA Guidelines document for a simple means of determining your project category. If your project is exempt, nothing further is required. Should your project be considered minor, you will need to complete a level one TIA. Major projects must complete a level two TIA. Projects that fall into more than one category will be subject to the highest requirement.
A Level One TIA requires that the project determine its trips generated using a simple excel-based tool. The project will also be required to use the same tool to determine which measures it will use to mitigate those trips. This information must be submitted as part of the land use application, along with a narrative report. Detailed information on this process can be found on page 12 of the TIA guidelines document.
A Level Two TIA will require, at a minimum, a site plan review, trip generation capacity analysis and the use of the TDM/MMLOS tool to determine trip mitigation. The contents of a Level Two TIA will vary based on the nature of the proposed project. Please see page 20 of the TIA Guidelines document for more information.
The accompanying narrative explains why certain mitigation methods were chosen, and ensures that a project is utilizing the most appropriate mitigation measures. The narrative should also outline the proposed monitoring system, which is not addressed in the excel-based tool. Make sure the items addressed in your narrative match your selections in the tool.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) is the application of strategies and policies to reduce travel demand (specifically that of single-occupancy vehicles).
Multi-Modal Level of Service (MMLOS) evaluates the safety and quality of access and flow for transit, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The City of Aspen’s preference is that trip mitigation be achieved via the mitigation measures identified in the TDM and MMLOS toolkits. However, there is also the opportunity for capital and operational/maintenance contributions should they make sense for a specific project, or if a project exhausts all other mitigation options.
These types of contributions will be assigned credits as per the most recent information in the TIA Guidelines document and must be approved by City of Aspen Transportation and Engineering staff. More information can be found on page 14 of the TIA Guidelines document.
Read through the TDM and MMLOS glossaries located in the TIA Guidelines document. Short definitions of various measures are also found in the MMLOS and TDM tool by hovering over the measure. When considering measures, think about who will occupy your project and what measures make sense for them.
Also consider the surrounding neighborhood and proximity of various services. Look at any deficiencies in the area that you may be able to improve, both for your residents/customers and others. Finally, contact the appropriate staff if you need to discuss a measure in detail.
If your project lacks specific tenants, you should take care to select measures that make sense for the general type of use proposed. For example, if you know it will be a retail space but you have not yet selected a specific tenant, select measures that will serve retail type uses, such as subsidized bus passes or bike share memberships.
The TIA process is meant to provide improvements to existing conditions. Therefore, infrastructure and/or programs currently in place will not receive credit. Improvements to existing infrastructure and/or programs are generally eligible for credit. Examples include an increased bus pass subsidy or an improvement to an existing bus stop.
Measures are eligible for credit only once. For example, an employee vanpool may receive credit as a TDM measure for “employee vanpool” but may not receive concurrent credit as an employee vanpool and an employee shuttle. Be sure to read the definitions of specific measures to assist in your selection.
Car To Go provides its members with access to a fleet of hybrid vehicles parked around Aspen. Cars are owned, maintained and insured by the City of Aspen. Both individual and corporate memberships are offered. For more information please call 970-920-5066.
A Car To Go corporate membership is a low cost, time-saving alternative to owning and operating a company fleet and/or managing a mileage reimbursement program. With a corporate membership, your business can access a fleet of small and mid-size sedans, SUVs and even a pickup truck. Use the cars for meetings or site visits. For more information please call 970-920-5066.
Once you’ve become a corporate member, employees simply complete a short application and orientation. Vehicle reservations take just seconds and can be made via internet or phone. For more information please call 970-920-5066.
To get going, email or call the Car To Go office at 970-920-5066.
Yes. It is required that you contact the Electric Department for a line locate. This is for your safety and for the protection of electric transmission lines. Call our office at 970-920-5148 to schedule a locate.
We are on call 24 hours a day. If you need to contact us after hours, please call City Dispatch at 970-920-5310.
Call the Electric Department at 970-920-5148. We will need address of location, on-site contact name and phone number.
Call the Utility Billing Office at 970-920-5030 or 970-920-5031.
For more information on Photovoltaic Installation, see the Application for Photovoltaic (PV) Installation (PDF). For more information, please call the Electric Department at 970-920-5148.
Call the Electric Department at 970-920-5148 and ask for Ron Christian.
Call the Utility Billing Office at 970-920-5030 or 970-920-5031.
For more information about Main Street banners, see Engineering’s policy, procedures and application.
Call the Electric Department at 970-920-5148, or, submit an online report.
Please refer to the Residential ECU Calculator for your Service Area Cost. You can also reach us at CMPhelp@cityofaspen.com to determine your specific service are charge.
Potential water unit assigned to every fixture on your property that determines your tap size & monthly utility bill.
Service Area Charge x the ECUs = Final Tap Fee
CoA representative and contractor or project representative will walk the property to count fixtures, bedrooms, hose bibs, etc. as well as, landscape area to assess the built conditions compared to the original Utility Connection Permit.
1961 - The current Castle Creek Bridge was built with a maximum lifespan of 75 years (2036).
1995 - The community, Aspen City Council, Pitkin County Commissioners, Town of Snowmass Village Council, CDOT, and FHWA developed the project need, intent, and 10 project objectives.
1996 - 59% of Aspen voters said, “yes” (41% “no”), to authorize a right-of-way over Marolt and Thomas properties for a two-lane parkway and corridor for light rail with a number of stipulations.
1997 - Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was completed.
1998 - Record of Decision (ROD) was finalized.
2001 - 54% of Aspen voters said, “no” (46% voted, “yes”), to change the right-of-way over Marolt and Thomas properties for a two-lane parkway and exclusive bus lanes until the community supported light rail funding.
2007 - The reevaluation of the ROD proved the document and plan were still valid.
2007 - Comprehensive community outreach was completed with no clear political consensus on a path forward.
2008 - Roundabout construction was completed.
2009 - BRT lanes were implemented from the airport to the roundabout.
2015 - Rubey Park Transit Center was completed.
2018 - 8th Street bus stop improvements and pedestrian safety improvements were completed.
Community-Based Planning: An inclusive process focused on limiting vehicle trips to decrease downtown congestion.
Transportation Capacity: Meets future traffic capacity needs, but keeps vehicle trips to the level in 1994.
Safety: Addresses concerns like pedestrian safety and higher-than-average accident rates through the S-Curves.
Environmentally Sound Alternative: Minimizes and mitigates adverse impacts.
Community Acceptability: Fits the character of the community and is aesthetically acceptable to the public.
Financial Limitations: Realistic current and expected funding levels and programs.
Clean Air Act Requirements: Limits vehicle trips to manage air quality in accordance with local and national goals.
Emergency Access: Provides an alternative route over Castle Creek for emergency vehicles to access incidents inside and outside of downtown.
Livable Communities: Keeps within the small town character and scale of the Aspen community, which enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors.
Phasing: Provides phasing so future transit options can be accomplished.
The plan implementation cost was last estimated in 2016 and is listed below. Construction costs have increased significantly since 2016.
A new estimate will be sought during the plan development phase of the project.
Funding for the plan will be a combination of local, state, and federal dollars. However, we won't know the specifics until there is consensus in the community on the path forward for a new bridge.
CDOT and the FHWA determined that the Preferred Alternative met the project need, intent, and 10 objectives.
Increases future transit options like trackless trams or driverless buses.
Provides better emergency access and evacuation routes.
Reduces accident rates on the S-Curves.
Increases transit capacity while decreasing transit time with continuous bus lanes from the roundabout to downtown.
Eliminates the S-Curves so traffic will move more smoothly without the two, ninety-degree turns.
Creates direct access in and out of town due to a straighter alignment.
Creates an open space corridor connecting Marolt-Thomas Open Space to the Aspen Golf Course.
Creates a trail connection from the Marolt Bridge to the golf course that is uninterrupted by roadways.
Decreases traffic and congestion in the West End and Cemetery Lane neighborhoods.
The Preferred Alternative is the approved option; it is not a silver bullet.
Travel times for general-use vehicles will improve by a couple of minutes, but will not solve the traffic or congestion problems.
The Preferred Alternative will increase travel times from Cemetery Lane to the hospital, Aspen schools, and Aspen Highlands.
The Preferred Alternative requires the existing Castle Creek Bridge to be repaired and eventually replaced to provide traffic access to Cemetery Lane and McLain Flats. It will also serve as a second exit from town.
The Preferred Alternative was intended as a phased approach. Elements that have been completed as of 2022 include:
The next phase of the Preferred Alternative is the Highway 82 realignment and a new Castle Creek Bridge.
As an incentive to encourage voters to support a sales tax referendum, the City created Food Sales Tax Refunds. It was intended to partially reimburse voters for the approximate amount of sales tax that they would pay annually on grocery purchases due to the imposition of a 1% City sales tax.
The refund is $55 per person per year. If you are blind, you receive an additional $55. Additionally, if you are 65 or over as of December 31, 2021, you will receive an additional $55, plus an additional $55 senior citizen allowance. These amounts are cumulative, so if you are 65 or over as of December 31, 2021 and blind, you would receive $220 ($55 + $55 + $55 + $55).
A qualified applicant is required to:
✓ Submit the Food Sales Tax Refund application by deadline of 5pm April 15, 2022
✓ Have resided within the Aspen city limits for the full 2021 year (1/1/21-12/31/21)
✓ Have been registered to vote in the City of Aspen the full 2021 year (1/1/21-12/31/21)
✓ Be able to prove residency within Aspen city limits for 2021 and if still living within the City, ensure your current address is the same as your registered voter address.
For persons barred from registering to vote, i.e. have a felony conviction or are non-citizens, residency within the City of Aspen for the full 2021 year will need to be proved. Non-citizens must provide a copy of their US Permanent Residency Card (i.e. Green Card) or valid work visa.
If you have lived in Aspen for the full year but moved residences within the City limits:
Proof of all new physical addresses (we have your previous address on file)
Proof of address on Dec-31-2021
Proof of registered voter address update
If you are barred from registering to vote (due to non-citizenship or felony conviction):
Proof of all physical addresses in 2021, including address on 1/1/2021 & 12/31/2021
Copy of your US Permanent Residency ‘Green’ Card or valid work visa (if applicable)
If you successfully received a food sales tax refund in 2020 and have not moved:
No further documentation is required
If you have not moved and your registered voter address did not change:
Voter Registration List:
The City of Aspen will have a Voter Registration List for all eligible voters registered prior to January 1st of the previous year. The Voter Registration List will be used as evidence that they were a registered voter of the City of Aspen for the full calendar year for which the refund applies. If the applicant’s current address is different than the registered voter address, proof of update of registered voter address change is required (i.e. you will need to update your voter address before submitting your Food Sales Tax Refund request form)
Note: Only physical addresses will be accepted. Documents detailing a PO Box address will be rejected.
Accepted proof of address documents to demonstrate you resided in Aspen during the year:
• January and/or December utility bill
• Lease or rental contract
• Bank statement
To check or update your voter address, please visit the Colorado Secretary of State, voter registration website or click this link: https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/olvr/findVoterReg.xhtml
A qualified dependent eligible to be claimed on an applicant’s food tax refund must be claimed as a dependent for personal exemption on the applicant’s federal tax return. A qualified dependent may be a child, college student or adult; however, the dependent must be able to be claimed on the federal tax return for the tax year of the refund.
Note: No person who may be claimed as a personal exemption on another resident's application for refund shall be entitled to a food tax refund individually. A food tax refund may not be claimed on more than one (1) application for the same person.
All applications must be completed online by 5PM Wednesday April 15, 2022. There are absolutely no exceptions. A kiosk is available at City Hall if you need assistance with computer access.
427 Rio Grande Pl2nd FloorAspen, CO 81611
It is your responsibility to submit your application CORRECTLY AND ON TIME
Refund checks will be mailed to successful applications AFTER the submission period closes on April 15th 2022. Checks will be mailed to your nominated mailing address.
In order to raise revenues for specific purposes (25% to fund the Local Transit Services and 75% to promote tourism in Aspen), voters have approved a Lodging Tax of 2%. The tax is imposed on the leasing or renting of rooms or other accommodations in commercial lodging establishments. Funds dedicated to transportation services pay for regional transit services provided by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and for local public transportation within the City. Funds dedicated to tourism promotion are appropriated by City Council to a professional marketing entity for advertisement, promotion, etc, which is currently the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. The person who is renting the accommodations is required to pay the tax and the person from whom the accommodations are rented is required to collect and remit the tax to the City. The lodging tax is 2.0%.
Lodging taxes are reported on your sales tax return. The tax is imposed on the leasing or renting of rooms or other accommodations in commercial lodging establishments. The person who is renting the accommodations is required to pay the tax and the person from whom the accommodations are rented is required to collect and remit the tax to the City.
Lodging taxes are reported on your sales tax return. A taxpayer whose monthly tax due to the City is less than ten dollars may file returns and pay sales and lodging tax monthly or annually at the end of each calendar year. A taxpayer whose monthly tax due to the City is ten dollars or more must file returns and pay sales and lodging taxes monthly and continue to file monthly for each month of the remainder of the calendar year. Every taxpayer is required to file a return, whether or not tax is due, and remit any tax due to the City on or before the twentieth day following the end of the reporting period.
No, if an entity is tax exempt, you do not need to collect sales and lodging taxes. In order for a governmental entity to take advantage of the tax exemption, the purchase must be paid directly to the seller by governmental funds, for example, with a credit card in the name of the exempt governmental agency. When using a credit card, verification that the purchase is for governmental purposes and will be paid for by the governmental entity is required. Evidence of this must be retained in the seller’s records. A purchase by a government employee using cash or personal check, even if the employee presents a tax exemption number and plans to be reimbursed, is not tax exempt.
If the entity is charitable or religious, the federal or state tax exemption number must be presented to the seller. For each sale, the vendor must record this number, date of sale, and name of organization. Keep this record in your permanent files for audit purposes. In addition, in order to be tax exempt, the organization must be conducting regular religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational business. For example, a church that has tax exempt status would have to pay applicable sales and lodging taxes to a hotel if church members are on a ski vacation, even if the lodging services were paid with a church check.
Yes, if you rent your home on a short-term basis, you are required to collect and remit sales and lodging taxes to the City. A short term rental is defined as any period that is 30 days or less. The total combined sales and lodging tax rate for Aspen is 11.3%; however, the City’s portion of that tax is 4.4% which should be remitted directly to the City and is not collected through any third party vacation rental service.
Yes, you need to file a business license/occupation tax return with the City. As you are engaged in business within City limits for the purpose of deriving profit, this constitutes the need for a business license. A business license is required each calendar year. The fee is based on the amount of Aspen employees associated with the business. Generally, as individuals are renting out their homes and acting as their own agent, there are zero employees, and you would be subject to the minimum fee of $150 (each calendar year).
Yes, you must collect sales and lodging taxes on such fees. It is considered part of the room charge and is not exempt from taxes.
The RETTs are paid using the City of Aspen Real Estate Transfer Tax Transmittal Form. The form is submitted with the payment and the original deed to the City Cashier. The Cashier will review, approve and stamp the documents prior to recording with the Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder's office. Documents may also be mailed for review to: Finance Department, City of Aspen, 130 South Galena Street, Aspen, CO 81611.
The City of Aspen's RETTs are assessed against the purchaser. Failure to pay the RETTs will result in the filing of a lien against the property.
Failure to obtain the City's "Paid" or "Exempt" stamps for both RETTs on the deed prior to recording may result in the purchaser's inability to sell the property with a clear title in the future.
Yes, there are RETT exemptions. These exemptions must be properly applied for, documented, and the deed must be stamped "exempt" by the City Cashier prior to recording. The reasons for exemption are listed on the RETT Exemption Application (PDF).
RETT exemptions regarding foreclosures have recently been clarified (4/10). To view the ordinance amending the exemptions for foreclosures.
Real Estate Transfer Tax Exemptions may be applied for by completing the City of Aspen Real Estate Transfer Tax Exemption Application.
No new Real Estate Transfer Taxes may be adopted in Colorado. However, Aspen's RETTs were adopted prior to the amendment to the constitution.
For additional information or questions, please contact the Finance Department at 970-920-5043, 130 South Galena Street, Aspen, CO 81611, or e-mail us.
Yes, the City of Aspen is a home rule city. Neither the Colorado Department of Revenue nor any other taxing authority may collect taxes on behalf of the City. Any person who is engaged in business in the City of Aspen must obtain a City license and collect and remit Aspen taxes on all taxable transactions. Tax returns and remittances must be sent to the City of Aspen and not to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Payment to the wrong jurisdiction does not relieve a retailer of its liability to the City.
The vendor’s fee deduction is a credit to taxpayers who remit their sales tax return by the due date. This deduction is provided since the taxpayer is acting as an agent for the City by collecting and remitting sales tax on taxable sales. The deduction is 3.3% of total tax collected up to a maximum of $50.
While there are a variety of deductions allowed on the sales tax return, common deductions include the following:
Excess tax is accounted for on line 6 of the sales tax return. No retailer may retain any tax collected in excess of the tax computed, and should report the excess collections on the return for the period in which it was collected and include it in the calculation of tax due.
Yes, Aspen sales tax must be collected on all deliveries.
The general contractor is responsible for paying use tax on all construction materials brought into the City unless the subcontractor already paid sales tax on those items. The general contractor should provide each subcontractor with a use tax exemption certificate. If this is provided, the subcontractor does not need to charge Aspen sales tax.
If a dispute arises between a retailer and a purchaser who claims a sale is exempt from tax, the retailer must collect and the purchaser should pay the tax. The purchaser can submit a claim for refund to the City within 60 days from the date of purchase. Any refund will be issued directly to the purchaser.
Possibly. Since 2009, the Finance Department has a sales and use tax audit program. The audit period includes all reporting periods with due dates which fall within the 36 month period preceding the date of the notice of audit.
Yes, all direct sales to charitable organizations in the conduct of their regular religious or charitable organizational functions and activities, when billed to and paid for by the organization, are exempt from sales and lodging tax.
Yes, all direct sales to the United States Government, the State, its departments or institutions and its political subdivisions (counts and local governments, school districts and special districts), when acting in their governmental capacity only, and when billed to and paid for by the governmental entity are exempt from sales and lodging tax.
For charitable organizations, the Colorado's Department of Revenue issues a "Certificate of Exemption" that authorizes it to purchase items and services used in the conduct of their regular charitable functions and activities without paying Colorado sales tax. This is sufficient documentation for the City of Aspen.
For governmental entities, some will have a Colorado issued tax exemption number, although they are not required to have one (tax exemption numbers begin with a "98"). In order for a governmental entity to take advantage of the tax exemption, the purchase must be made with a prescribed government form or purchase order, and paid directly by funds from the governmental entity. A credit card in the name of the exempt entity is acceptable. Some local governments issue credit cards in both the employee's name and agency's name. In many instances the bill is paid directly by the governmental entity and are tax exempt. It is not necessary for governmental entities to present a tax exemption number in order to make a tax exempt purchase.
A purchase by a governmental agent who is making the purchase out of personal funds, even if the employee presents a tax exemption number and plans to be reimbursed, is not tax exempt.
In cases where the seller invoices on a delayed basis for a purchase, the billing must be made directly to the governmental entity and not the person making the purchase.
Wholesalers must obtain a standard sales tax license and pay the $16 license fee, but are not required to pay the $50 deposit. More information can be found on the Colorado website.
Service oriented businesses generally do not need to collect sales tax. Persons engaged in the business of rendering service are consumers, not retailers, of the tangible personal property which they use incidentally in rendering the service. If, in addition to rendering service they regularly sell tangible personal property to consumers, they are retailers with respect to such sales and they must obtain a license, file returns, and remit tax on such sales.
Bad debts and returned goods previously reported as taxable sales are deductible.
Any rental over 30 days is considered a long term rental and sales and lodging taxes are not due. This applies to all lodging establishments, including condominiums and single family homes. If you rent your home less than 30 days, it is considered a short term rental and sales and lodging taxes must be collected and remitted to the City on a quarterly basis. Please contact the Finance Department for more information.
A foodborne illness (FBI) is a disease caused by consuming contaminated food or drink.
Foodborne illnesses can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins. Some of the most common types of diseases are Norovirus, Salmonella, and E. coli.
The most common symptoms of foodborne illness are vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. In some cases, people may experience severe symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and high fever.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms or have any concerns about your health, please seek medical attention.
If you suspect you acquired a foodborne illness in Aspen, please report it to us at 970-920-075. More information on our reporting process and response can be found here.
A foodborne disease outbreak is defined as an incident in which two or more persons experience a similar illness resulting from the ingestion of a common food.
Anyone can get a foodborne illness, but certain groups of people are more likely to get sick and to have a more serious illness. This includes adults ages 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years of age, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women.
Click here to learn about the four simple steps you can take at home to protect you and your loved ones from foodborne illnesses.
HOV lanes on SH82 are indicated by a large, white diamond painted on the pavement in the right lane, as well as standard black and white regulatory signs along the roadways. HOV lanes are open from Basalt to Buttermilk.
No, High Occupancy Vehicle lanes will be strictly enforced Monday through Friday, from 6 to 9 a.m. up valley (to Aspen), and from 3 to 6 p.m. down valley (to Basalt).
Primarily buses and carpools with at least two people in the car, counting the driver. Yes, kids count too! Motorcycles and alternative fuel vehicles can also use HOV lanes at all times, even if traveling alone.
In 1987, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process began for the section of highway between Basalt and Buttermilk. An EIS is required for most highway projects in order to determine the best transportation solutions and what is best for the environment. Because of the decisions in the study, peak-hour HOV lanes became a part of the SH82 widening plan. HOV lanes encourage carpooling and riding the bus, which helps improve our air quality.
The City of Aspen has an online employment application. To view our current open positions go to the Job Opportunities page.
No, applications that reference “see resume” will be considered incomplete.
Yes. If you are interested in a job that is not currently being recruited for you can set a Job Alert. To do this select your specific job criteria below and click search. From here you can save the search and create a Job Alert that will notify you by email of new opportunities that match this search criteria.
Each positions timeline varies but will follow this general format. Applications that meet minimum qualifications will be forwarded to Hiring Managers. After the closing date, Hiring Managers will review and reach out for phone screens. Once phone screens are complete, an in-person interview will be conducted and an offer will be made shortly after.
You can contact us, or go online to find licensed childcare. On our home page click on the link to "find childcare ". If you are looking for care in a different region in Colorado go to Colorado Shines for information anywhere in Colorado. If you are looking for a different childcare arrangement such as an au pair, or babysitting while you are visiting Aspen, your best bet is the yellow pages or an online search for other services that are not licensed in Colorado.
Early Childhood Education is expensive to provide for many reasons; childcare is regulated by the State of Colorado and must follow rules regarding staffing ratios and group size, and teacher qualifications for example that have a direct effect on the budget. Many programs work to improve the quality of their services by lower ratios and group size, or hiring more highly qualified teacher which also costs more money. In our resort area it is very difficult to be competitive in the job market and pay a living wage to staff. Programs also have rent or building expenses.
Kids First has Financial Aid available to working families who live or work in Aspen's Urban Growth Boundary, who use licensed childcare in Pitkin County and who meet the financial qualifications. You may find that application on this site or ask your childcare provider for one. We can also refer some families to other sources of childcare assistance with different qualifications; if you need some direction email or call us at 970-920-5363.
Kids First and Aspen Family Connections have resources and materials that may help you talk to your employer about your childcare needs. Most employers do not realize how difficult it is for families with young children to maintain stability in both their home and work lives. You may also contact us by email or at 970-920-5363 and ask one of our staff about your particular concern. Most of us have been there and understand how challenging this time is for you.
Your first call should be to the director of the early childhood program you are concerned about. They are the person who can do something about the issue and most of them truly want to know your concerns. If you are not satisfied you may contact us about a concern you have; you may also want to call Colorado Childcare Licensing if it is a safety, abuse or neglect issue. Kids First may be reached at 970-920-5363 or email and to reach Colorado Division of Childcare - licensing call 1-800-799-5876.
Kids First has information and start up funding if you are interested in running your own business as a family childcare home provider. We welcome your questions, explain the benefits, and guide you through the steps necessary to become licensed. You may also call our local licensing specialist, Mark Lapka at 970-945-9191 ext. 3068 or email for more information and for information about the required pre-licensing training.
The application packet is in the list on the right hand side of this page, as well as all the parts and forms you may need. We have applications at the Kids First office at 215 North Garmisch in Aspen, or your licensed childcare program can also provide it for you.
Families are expected to pay between 10 and 20% of their gross income for childcare. Monthly financial aid a family receives from Kids First is based on a number of factors:
o The monthly/yearly gross income of the family
o Number in the family
o How many children you have in childcare
o How many days a week the child will attend
o The daily rate of your program/child’s classroom
We encourage you to try out the pre-calculator, on this page, to see if you qualify before filling out the complete application.
Please see the guidelines for details, or call the office - 920-5769
Financial aid dollars are given directly to the programs on a quarterly basis, and show up on your tuition statement as a credit.
All families must reapply annually at the May 1 deadline.
You may use any licensed childcare provider in Pitkin County. Childcare programs who wish to offer Kids First financial aid must also offer Colorado Childcare Assistance to families.
The moratorium is a legally authorized means for Aspen City Council to delay the performance of a legal obligation. In this case, the moratorium put a temporary pause on the issuance of residential building and vacation rental permits.
Per Ordinance No. 8, Series 2022, there is a temporary moratorium on the acceptance of any new land use application seeking a development order or notice of approval, and on the acceptance of certain building permit applications for all residential uses in all zone districts within the city of Aspen. The moratorium on residential building permits extends until August 8, 2022.
The moratorium applies to residential properties within Aspen city limits. It does not apply if:
Per Ordinance No. 26, Series 2021, there is a moratorium on the issuance of new vacation rental (short-term rental) permits until September 30, 2022.
The moratorium on the issuance of certain residential building permits ends on August 8, 2022.
The moratorium on the issuance of short-term rental permits ends on September 30, 2022.
Per the City of Aspen municipal code, a vacation rental is defined as “The short-term occupancy of a residential dwelling unit by the general public for a fee. A vacation rental shall not include the rental of individual rooms within a residential dwelling unit.” Therefore, a “vacation rental” is also known as a “short-term rental”.
If you submitted an application for a vacation rental permit prior to 5 p.m. on December 8, 2021, and it was approved, you may continue to operate under your vacation rental permit until September 30, 2022. We are not accepting additional vacation rental permit applications at this time.
The deadline to apply for a vacation rental permit was 5 p.m. on December 8, 2021. If you submitted an application for a vacation rental permit prior to 5 p.m. on December 8, 2021, and it was approved, you may continue to operate under your vacation rental permit until September 30, 2022. We are not accepting additional vacation rental permit applications at this time.
As outlined by the Municipal Code, a vacation rental dwelling unit is considered a vacation rental (short-term rental) if it is rented or leased for a short term period, which is defined as a length of time that is equal to or less than thirty (30) consecutive days without limitation in the following zone districts: Lodging Zone Districts, Commercial Zone Districts, Mixed Use Zone Districts, and Residential Zone Districts.
We are not accepting additional vacation rental permit applications at this time. The exception to this is if a property had a vacation rental permit last year and the ownership changed hands. Then, the new owner can request a permit. Questions? Contact our finance department.
There are a lot of similarities between lodges and vacation rentals (short-term rentals), including:
This is where the similarities end. Lodges are commercial properties, and vacation rentals operate in residential properties. Lodges are generally located in areas of the city (zone districts) that are intended and designed to provide for the impacts of commercial uses. Vacation rentals, being operated in residential buildings or neighborhoods, are often not located in areas that can withstand the impacts of these rentals without burdening neighbors or Aspen’s infrastructure. Property taxes for lodges are based on commercial tax rates. Vacation rentals, being located in residences, have a much lower property tax burden. Lodges generally have 24-hour, seven days per week, on-site management. Vacation rentals are typically managed or rented by off-site entities including property management firms or real estate agents. Lastly, under current regulations, the requirements for lodges to ensure the safety of their guests, provide for a quality visitor experience, and contribute to Aspen’s efforts to facilitate a functioning economy and maintain a sustainable system of infrastructure, are significantly more rigorous than those required of vacation rentals.
If you have a clean Driving History for the past FIVE years you would be eligible to take a Defensive Driving Class or complete an online Traffic School.
View options for Traffic School.
If your business would like to place, advertise, and sell products in the public right of way (e.g. sidewalks, pedestrian mall, walkways, etc.) you will need to first obtain an Outdoor Merchandising License from the Community Development department. For more information, please contact the Community Development Department.
You can apply for a license, find additional information, and research requirements on the Outdoor Merchandising License Application (PDF). For more information, please contact the Community Development Department.
Parking tickets written by the Aspen Parking Department may be disputed within 10 days of issue date online or sign up for a court date with the City of Aspen Municipal Court.
Contact the Aspen Parking Department 970-920-5267 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If your vehicle was towed after hours please contact the Police Department or Dispatch.
You must first go to or call the Aspen Parking Department located at 427 Rio Grande to pay your fines and get a release for your vehicle. The Parking Department will tell you where you can retrieve your car. The Office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Payment for tows must be cash or credit cards only. If you have outstanding parking tickets all parking tickets will need to be paid along with the tow fee before your vehicle is released.
The City of Aspen does not have an area to accommodate RV camping.
Brush Creek Park & Ride intercept lot does have 24 hour day storage parking.
Buttermilk parking lot has RV storage for multiple days from May 1st to November 1st. Please call for rates. 970-429-1761. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
Title 24: Traffic and Motor Vehicles contains the City of Aspen’s Parking Ordinances.
Revenue collected contributes to providing a number of transportation alternatives including eight free transit routes, carpool permit provision and more. Visit our Transportation Department for more information.
You may obtain an electronic permit for each vehicle you own at your registered Aspen address (limit of five permits).
Each residence in a Residential Permit Parking Zone receives one free guest permit that authorizes parking for up to 72 hours while the guest is parked at the host address. The pass is displayed on the guest vehicle's rear view mirror. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
You may obtain a Residential Parking Permit by following our guidelines, and choosing one of four Residential Permit Parking Zones. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
No, all vehicles regardless of permits are subject to a 72 hour limit. Additionally, all vehicles must comply with "No Parking 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.," and other posted restrictions. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
Businesses in our enforcement zone holding a valid City of Aspen business license may buy one permit for $125.00 yearly. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
If you are visiting, ask your host for a Guest Permit (valid only while actually visiting at a permit holder's address and parking in the immediate vicinity). Day passes ($8) are available at the Parking Department or City Market and allow all day parking in any residential zone.
Carpools of two or more adults, are eligible for free carpool permits that allow parking in any residential or carpool zone all day. These passes are only available at the Brush Creek Park & Ride. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
Even if you have a Residential Parking Permit you can not leave your cars parked more than 72 hours on the City street. This could possibly result in your car being towed. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
The easiest way is to down load the "PayByPhone" or "Flowbird" app. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
Pay stations are located mid-block and accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover as well as coins. Follow the directions on the pay stations and simply enter your license plate number into the meter. (No need to display ticket on your dashboard.)
You may park for 2 hours for free in the residential zone but if you leave and come back to the zone you will need to pay $8/day to park (This applies even if you were not in the zone for 2 hours). For more information please call 970-920-5267.
Parking is limited and expensive. We encourage you to use alternative transportation whenever possible. If you need to have your vehicle the parking garage is the least expensive choice when you buy the 10 visit pass for $50. Parking in the residential area is $8/day.
Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV - Not all electric cars qualify) may park for free and can get a permit to park in the residential areas. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
Please call the Parking Department for information at 970-920-5267.
If you have a handicapped permit from another area we still recognize the permit and you may park in any legal parking space (handicapped or non-handicapped spot). No payment necessary. For more information please call 970-920-5267.
10:00 a.m. to 10:59 a.m. – $2.00 per hour
11:00 a.m. to 2:59 p.m. – $4.00 per hour
3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – $2.00 per hour
10:00 a.m. to 10:59 a.m. – $4.00 per hour
11:00 a.m. to 2:59 p.m. – $6.00 per hour
3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – $4.00 per hour
For more information please call 970-920-5267.
Carpool permits are obtain daily at the Parking Kiosk located on the Brush Creek Park and Ride lot. This is a drive-through service. The hours are 6 a.m. to 12 pm. For more information click here or please call 970-920-5267.
For more information please call 970-920-5267.
Aspen's Quality Office's Wildfire Mitigation Division can give more information about wildfire mitigation.
Click here to view.
Download the COA Parks, Trails and Open Space map here.
Please call the City of Aspen's Parks Department directly at PH: 970-920-5120. Thank you.
Obtaining a permit for your security alarm system is essential in order to guarantee that emergency response personnel have access to the most current and accurate information for your property.
The Aspen Police Department will respond to your residence if it is being burglarized or if there is a report of a potential crime in progress. However, officers will not respond to residential security alarm activations if they are not permitted. In order to receive officer response to a security alarm activation, your security system must be permitted.
The cost for a security alarm permit is $114.
Security alarm system permits must be renewed every year at the beginning of the year.
We kindly ask that a security alarm system owner works with their alarm company to ensure proper maintenance and adequate training on the effective management of their security alarm system. While the Aspen Police Department is available to respond to your emergencies, the time spent responding to operator error or poor system maintenance prevents public safety resources from responding to true emergencies. In 2020, the Aspen Police Department responded to 1,055 alarm calls. The vast majority of the calls were determined to be false alarms. The intent of the Aspen Police Department’s Alarms Management Program is to facilitate the reduction of false alarms through engaging the alarm industry, educating users, and incentivizing responsible alarm practices.
If a false alarm is reported, the property owner may incur a fee of up to $380.
First false alarm: $118
Second false alarm: $237
Third and fourth false alarms: $358
False alarms for banks: $380
Visit www.AspenPolice.com to complete a security alarm system permit application, update important permit information, and pay any outstanding fees.
Reference Title 26 Part 100 Section 26.104.110 to determine whether your property falls within the definition of “Lodge Uses”. Individual owners of units at lodge or condo-hotel properties are not eligible for the Lodging Exempt permit and must apply for a Classic or Owner-Occupied permit.
If a property is located in the L Zone, it does not necessarily mean the property is eligible for an STR-LE Permit. A property must meet the definition of “Lodge” in the Land Use Code to be eligible for a Lodging Exempt Permit. Individual owners of units at lodge or condo-hotel properties are not eligible for the Lodging Exempt Permit and must apply for a Classic or Owner-Occupied Permit.
Use the Permit Selection Flowchart to determine which STR permit(s) you may be eligible to apply for.
If you believe an STR is in violation of Ordinance No. 09, Series 2022, you can file a complaint through Aspen 311 Connect.
Yes, all qualified owner’s representatives are required to have a current, valid business license from the City of Aspen Finance Department.
2021-2022 STR permits may name a third-party management company as the qualified owner’s representative (QOR) on their renewal application for 2023. If the management company wishes to be added to a 2021-2022 permit before that permit is renewed for 2023, they must create a MuniREVS account and request to be added to the current permit by contacting the Finance Department.
Staff anticipate being able to issue any new Classic Permits in capped zones in February 2023. Renewal applications from 2022 must be processed first to determine whether any new Classic Permits will be available.
Permittees who do not live within the Roaring Fork Valley or Colorado River Drainage from No Name to Rifle are required to name a qualified owner’s representative (QOR) on permit applications. Permittees who live within the Roaring Fork Valley or Colorado River Drainage but are unable or unwilling to be available for in-person emergency response must also name a QOR for their STR unit.
Brokers with a licensed real estate company may use the real estate company’s business license.
STR permits require that a permittee has at least 10% ownership of the property. If the property owner is willing to be named as the permittee, then the lessee could act as the qualified owner’s representative (QOR) if they can fulfill the requirements of the Qualified Owner’s Representative outlined in Ordinance No. 9, Series 2022 and the STR Program Guidelines.
The wildlife protection policy is printed on the STR permit document that the permittee will receive once the permit is issued.
STR operators are required to display the STR permit, in-unit messaging, STR business license, and Good Neighbor Guide in an obvious location in the STR unit. Acceptable locations include inside an informational binder, on the coffee table, displayed in frames, or other places where the renters can easily access the information.
The permit number should be included in all third-party advertisements such as on VRBO, Airbnb, or similar. The permit number can be included in the advertisement title, description of the property, or in the part of the posting specifically designated by the third-party company.
Permittees named on STR permits will need an STR-specific business license. Qualified owner’s representatives will need either an STR-specific business license, or, if applicable, they may use the business license associated with their real estate or property management firm (these are most often “real estate” business licenses).
Timeshares and fractional ownership properties do not qualify as short-term rentals and are not regulated by Ordinance No. 9, Series 2022, so STR permits for these property types are not required. Please check with the Finance Department to see what the business license and associated tax requirements are for these properties.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to confirm whether a property has a current STR permit.
Permits may not be transferred between addresses.
Explore the STR Eligibility Map to determine which zone district your property is located in.
Explore the STR Eligibility Map to determine whether STRs are permitted in your zone district.
If your residence is located within Aspen city limits, you will only need an STR permit through City of Aspen. If your residence is located outside of Aspen city limits, you’ll only need a Pitkin County STR Permit. Find out whether your residence is in or out of Aspen.
All permit applications require the full name of one person with an ownership interest in the property. If the title to the STR property is held by a corporation, partnership, association, trust, or similar entity, the name and contact information of any officer, director, or stockholder holding at least 10% of interests in the entity is required as the “Permittee” on the application.
LLCs, trusts, or other business names will not be allowed on new STR permit applications after October 1, 2022. Applicants renewing 2022 STR permits where a trust, LLC, or similar was previously named must choose a natural person to assume the permittee role in the renewal application for 2023.
Permittee contact information may not be changed after a permit is issued as permits are non-transferable. Changes to permittee information will result in the termination and revocation of a permit and the new permittee will be required to apply for a new permit.
Reference the STR Program Guidelines for a detailed description of the Neighborhood Notice process and requirements for new Classic and Owner-Occupied STR permits.
Each STR permit application lists the required supplemental documents necessary to submit with the application type. Required documents are also listed for each permit type in the STR Program Guidelines.
STR data and tracking is a new program and will continue to evolve in the coming months. With that said, our STR mapping application is not yet perfect and is intended for informational purposes only. Staff are committed to updating the GIS application to accurately reflect the current, issued STR permits on a regular basis. The fact that your STR permit is not shown on the STR Eligibility Map does not necessarily indicate an issue with your permit.
To check if you have a valid STR permit for your property, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Rentals of 30 days or more are considered “long-term rentals” and do not require an STR permit from the City of Aspen. Long-term rentals require a business license from the Finance Department. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about long-term rental requirements.
Public notices are required as a part of the application process for all new Classic and Owner-Occupied STR permits. Before a new permit is issued, permittees must post a notice at their property for 15 days and mail a notice to all property owners within 300 feet of the property for which they are seeking the new STR permit. The purpose of the public notice is to make neighbors aware of the new STR use for which the applicant is seeking a permit. If desired, neighbors can provide public comment about the application using the contact information provided in the notice.
No. Small cell facilities are allowed in the public right of way per federal and state laws, just like other utilities. The City of Aspen has developed a permitting system to ensure that small cell facilities are placed in a way that minimizes their impacts within the areas that the city is allowed to regulate.
Small cell facilities are low-powered antennas that provide cellular and data coverage to smaller geographic areas, supplementing the larger cellular network and improving service for wireless customers. They are installed and operated by private companies.
Small cell equipment will initially meet current 4G (LTE) voice and data demands, but city staff understands it may be modified with future 5G higher-speed equipment as technology changes.
Research shows that mobile data traffic in North America has grown significantly, and is projected to continue increasing at a rapid rate with the proliferation of mobile devices. Wireless companies have indicated that existing infrastructure is becoming congested and cannot continue to meet the demands of their customers.
Wireless carrier companies have indicated that until recently, wireless phone service in general has been managed using large antennas mounted on towers located on both public and private property. Those antennas serve relatively large areas, or “cells” that may include several miles. According to wireless carriers, existing cell sites are already becoming congested, and installing more cell towers covering large areas will not keep up with projected demand for high speed wireless data. To meet demands for wireless data, carriers have begun using new lower-powered antenna technology to “offload” data traffic from the larger cell towers. Each of these smaller antennas serves a much smaller area (1-2 blocks) but with much higher data volumes. This type of wireless infrastructure is referred to as “small cell.”
The city has developed regulations to provide for architectural compatibility of small cell facilities, including using the same colors for poles as others in the area, camouflaging equipment where possible, and prohibiting ground-mounted cabinets.
Generally, existing poles do not have the structural capacity to handle the weight of the small cell equipment. The size of existing poles also does not allow for the camouflaging of the equipment within the pole so additional cabinets would be strapped to the pole. The City’s current regulations provide incentives for the industry to replace existing poles with new ones that can meet both the small cell and other needs.
While the City of Aspen is not a public health agency, City staff track information provided by other agencies and organizations, such as the Federal Communications Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These resources may be helpful to people who wish to understand more about public health in relation to radio frequency (RF) radiation.
The industry's intent for deploying small cell facilities is to improve their reliability and coverage. Each site is usually connected to a specific provider.
Small Cell infrastructure is regulated under both state and federal law. Colorado state law was amended in 2017 by House Bill 1193 to create a use-by-right for small cell facilities in any zone district and shortens the time frame within which the City must act on an application for a small cell facility to 60 or 90 days. It also gives providers the right to locate or collocate small cell facilities on a City’s lights poles, traffic signals, and similar infrastructure in the City’s rights-of-way.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has numerous regulations that local governments must follow, leaving very little room for municipalities like Aspen to regulate the wireless carriers on where they install the technology, how dense the small towers are, and how long Aspen has to respond to an application for installation. Federal Communications Commission rules allow for very dense deployment of the technology in municipal rights-of-way anywhere in the United States.
In 2018, the FCC removed regulatory barriers that would have allowed local governments more control over the deployment of necessary small cell infrastructure. The ruling is entitled: Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment. The ruling is currently facing legal challenges by several local governments.
The FCC’s most recent ruling and order regarding small cell infrastructure became effective on January 14, 2019. Among other things, the ruling imposes new “shot clocks” for the processing of small cell applications. For new standalone facilities, a city has 90 days to process the application. For facilities located on city infrastructure, a city has 60 days. The ruling and order limit the permit fees municipalities can charge providers. The new FCC ruling also clarifies that municipalities are prohibited from adopting regulations that “materially inhibit” a particular small wireless facility deployment. Finally, the ruling establishes that aesthetic standards adopted by local governments applicable to small cells must be objective and reasonable, no more burdensome than those applied to other types of infrastructure deployments, and published in advance. A link to the full declaratory ruling, report, and order can be found here.
The City of Aspen is working diligently to protect the community’s character, aesthetics, and values to every extent possible within the federal guidelines.
Aspen does have some control over the design and location of the small cell infrastructure. For instance, what the poles look like or how far apart they can be. Aspen recently amended its Land Use Code to respond to changing state and federal regulations regarding small cell infrastructure. This code amendment also adopted design guidelines that are applicable to small cell facilities. Aspen is currently in the process of creating more detailed and comprehensive design guidelines with consultant HRGreen with the goal of protecting Aspen’s character and unique identity while delivering small cell technology according to state and federal law to residents, guests, visitors, businesses, and emergency services.
Aspen is proactively developing standards that address aesthetics and spacing requirements for small cell installation in the public right-of-way while also complying with state and federal law. By law, small cell facilities are allowed in the public right-of-way just like other utilities.
The Community Development, Utilities, Engineering, Attorney, Environmental Health, Information Technology, City Manager, and Communications Departments are all aligned and working as a team to respond to the FCC guidelines while protecting the community’s character. The integration of small cell technology requires the implementation and reliance on land use codes, right-of-way permits, utility lines, historic preservation, fiber network, cybersecurity, electric service, streetlight infrastructure, legal agreements, and communication and outreach.
Small cells provide coverage and capacity, meaning how far the mobile signal reaches and how much connectivity you have on your mobile device. Small cells may provide faster downloads as smart phones and other wireless devices have a connection to the network that can handle massive amounts of data at higher speeds. In a place like Aspen where mountains can get in the way of phone service, the mobile networks may be more reliable. Small cells are a particular benefit for emergency services, which can integrate new technologies like Next Generation 911 and early warning systems for natural disasters as well as have more reliable and faster service around Aspen.
The FCC regulations expressly prohibit local governments from regulating small cells “on the basis of the environmental effects of radiofrequency emissions”. See 47 USC 332(c)(7)(B)(iv). Additional resources:
The City of Aspen’s Land Use Code requires the wireless carriers to comply with all federal regulations regarding radiofrequency emissions.
Yes, the City has received interest from carriers about small cell installation.
A Special Event Permit is required for any organized activity consisting 50 or more people involving the use of, or having impact upon the following:
Temporary use of private property in a manner varying from its current land use.
All commercial filming or photography shoots.
The total cost of your Special Event application will vary based on the complexity of your event and how many additional permit applications and approvals you need.
Special Event Permit Application Fees:
There is an application fee for Special Event permit applications. For profit organizations the fee is $145.00 and Non profit organizations the fee is $56.00.
Other departments and review agencies will also have fees associated with their permit applications. (e.g. parking, tent permits, alcohol license)
Surety bonds may be required as a condition of approval with your permit application. This is done to protect the City and the community from any losses or damages caused by your event.
The bond amount the event producer may need to post, if at all, will be determined by the Special Event Review Committee. The committee takes the following things into consideration when deciding if a surety bond is necessary:
Requirements to Serve Alcohol at Special Events:
Special Event Liquor License Application Requirements:
Please complete the following application and submit as directed below:
Special Event Liquor Permit Application
City Clerk427 Rio Grande PlaceAspen, CO 81611(970) 429-2687Fax: (970) email@example.com
If you are serving food at a public event, you must have a current Retail Food Service License and fill out the Temporary Event Food Service Application Form which can be found here:
Temporary Food Service Application
Requirements for Serving Food at a Public Event:
Submit your application and direct any questions to:
Environmental Health Specialist(970) 920-5075Nick.Trautner@cityofaspen.comCity Hall; 2nd Floor130 S. Galena St.Aspen, CO 81611Monday – Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
All vendors selling or promoting their business must be licensed with the City of Aspen.
Temporary Business Licenses for Vendors:
A temporary business license is designed for those conducting business within the City of Aspen on a temporary basis, and it is cheaper and easier to obtain than an annual business license.
7 Day Temporary License - $50.00
Not-for-Profit Organization - $0.00
Apply for a Temporary Business License:
Complete the following online application form
City of AspenFinance Department427 Rio Grande PlaceAspen, CO 81611970-920-5043Aspen_Sales_Tax@cityofaspen.com
Tent Permits are reviewed and inspected by the Aspen Fire Protection District and are required for any temporary tent, canopy or membrane structure larger than 400 square feet.
Permit Exemptions for Tents, Canopies and Membrane Structures:
Tent inspections are usually set up by the company responsible for the structure. If you do not have a tent contractor, you will need to make sure your tent structures are inspected.
Tent inspections are scheduled through the Aspen Fire Protection District, and should be done so at least 1 week in advance of the event date. Inspections must take place before the event, but after the tent is set up.
Schedule a tent inspection with the Aspen Fire Protection District by calling 970-925-5532
Liability insurance coverage must be provided for all Special Events hosted within the City limits and the City of Aspen must be listed as an additional insured. If your event includes alcohol, a minimum liquor liability coverage of $1,000,000 must be included. Commercial general liability insurance is required in the following minimum amounts $1,000,000 each occurrence; $2,000,000 aggregate
Obtain General Liability Insurance:
If you do not already have adequate coverage, the City may be able to assist applicants in obtaining liability insurance.
For additional information, please contact:
Tara NelsonCity Attorney's OfficeCity of AspenCity Hall; 2nd Floor130 S. Galena StAspen, CO 81611(970) firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Events may be granted variances to the maximum decibel levels laid out in the Noise Ordinance. However, there are several guidelines for this variance, depending whether your event is private or public. The Environmental Health Department has a noise meter you may borrow to help ensure you are in compliance with the following guidelines.
A parking plan for attendees in addition to essential equipment and vehicles will be a part of your Special Event Permit Application.
Once your parking plan is approved through the special event application process, Parking Permits must obtained through the City of Aspen Parking Department.
Apply for Parking Permits in person to the Parking Department:
Please find a copy of the Parking Reservation under the Documents section.
City of Aspen Parking Department
455 Rio Grande Building (Galena Plaza across from the Library)
Aspen, CO 81611
Hours: 8:30am - 5pm (M-F)
The City of Aspen provides space for banners across Main Street with the intent of advertising community events, be it for Arts organizations, Non-Profits, or Not-for-Profit organizations.
The City Engineer’s Office facilitates the hanging of banners across Main Street with the Electric department in accordance with Municipal Code 26.510.030 (B)(3). Reservations will be taken each year on the first business day in November for the upcoming year.
Please see the following application:
Main Street Banner Application
Banners or Flags on Light Posts Along Main Street and in the Downtown Core
The City of Aspen provides space to hang banners and flags on Main Street and in the downtown core on light posts with the intent of celebrating significant anniversaries of local non-profit organizations beginning in the 10th year anniversary and for prominent local, regional, national or international events. The United States, Colorado, Aspen, or foreign country flags shall be permitted at the discretion of the City Manager. Space is reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. Applications must be received three months in advanced in order to be considered. The fee is $510 for the total of 30 spaces.
Light Pole Banner & Flags Application
The Special Events Department is your resource for obtaining a permit for photo/film shoots in the City of Aspen. Please fill out our single page form so that we may guide you through any additional steps needed to get your proposal reviewed and permitted. Please find the application link here: Permit Application.
When holding your event, it is very important you adhere to the approved plans from your application process.
Staff will be inspecting your event in order to ensure you comply with standards, and you will be expected to carry out the approved plan to pass inspections. If you make significant changes to your event, you will want to notify staff and update your event plan.
You will need to notify Special Events staff for an updated plan and unexpected changes.
Aspen is home to more than 30 annual events attended by approximately 40,000 people. Special events are the face of Aspen to many locals and visitors and demonstrate our environmental values.
If your special event requires a permit you will need to:
Please visit our website for more details and resources: Sustainable Events
The City’s Streets team conducts snow removal activity when there are three inches or more of snow in one storm event.
The City of Aspen has tested various deicing chemicals in the search for an environmentally safe, effective, and affordable alternative to sanding the roads. We are currently applying no type of deicer chemicals to any street maintained by the City of Aspen.
The Street Department uses an average of 389 tons of 3/8’’ washed chip rock per winter season to improve traction on the City streets. This material is hard and dustless, thereby helping to reduce dust/PM-10 in the air. The City applies sanding material in the commercial core, on Main Street, and on bus/emergency vehicle routes and roads that have steep grades. Gravel is also applied at major intersections where stopping and turning are difficult.
Snowplows are the first to mobilize in a storm. Plowing activity occurs in Downtown Aspen and the residential areas when there are three inches or more of snow. The goal of plowing is to move the snow out of the roadway. Snow removal is the process where dump trucks are used to collect all of the snow that was plowed to the sides of the roads. The trucks take the snow to a snow storage site next to the Aspen Animal Shelter. Only snow from the downtown core is taken to the snow storage site. Snow in residential areas is left to melt off, enter the filtration systems of the City’s stormwater infrastructure, and flow into the Roaring Fork River.
The Street Department primarily completes snowplow operations at night. Snow removal operations only occur at night, generally from 11 p.m.- 9 a.m.
We prioritize the streets according to traffic volumes and public safety requirements, focusing first on bus routes and primary access routes for emergency vehicles. The priority order for plowing activities is: Main Street, Downtown Core, alleys, bus routes, artillery roads, residential streets, residential alleys.
Driveway maintenance (snow removal, cleaning, etc.) remains the responsibility of the property owner. The response time to relocate the plow blade angle makes it infeasible to try and blade snow away from driveways.
To request a new street sign, please contact Engineering at 970.920.5080 or EngineeringHelp@cityofaspen.com.
A pothole is a chunk of asphalt that is missing from the roadway. A sinkhole is where the asphalt is intact but has sunk due to instability of the ground beneath it.
A utility cut occurs when someone has cut into the street to access the utilities below. Most of these are done by private contractors. If it has not been permanently patched in a long period of time, or if the patch has sunk severely, please contact the Engineering Department at 970.920.5080 or EngineeringHelp@CityOfAspen.Com.
For repair of a pothole or a sinkhole, please contact the Street Department at 970.920.5130, or submit an online request.
For information about towing locations, contact the Aspen Parking Department at 970.920.5267 or Parking@CityOfAspen.Com.
The public right of way, including those areas between the sidewalk on both sides of most roadways, is owned by the City. Private property owners are allowed to place objects such as mailboxes, sprinkler systems, landscaping and driveways in the public right of way. Property owners are responsible for maintenance, replacement or any damages to the objects on City property caused by, but not limited to, snow removal, street sweeping or other City activities. For more information, please contact the Street Department at 970-920-5130.
This is the Account Set-Up Fee and it is automatically charged to an account when the account changes names. For more information, please call Utility Billing at 970-920-5030.
Complete the Automatic Payment Form on-line and submit. The form will be received by Utility Billing staff and processed. Depending upon when the form was received, the auto pay feature will be effective for the next monthly bill.
Complete the on-line Utility Billing form.
A meter inspection needs to be completed. Contact the Utilities Program Manager, Keith Wester to schedule one. His contact information: Email: email@example.com / Phone: 970.429.1995.
An inspection is done at no cost to the customer to insure the installation and equipment meets city ordinances. A meter technician inspects the meter, located inside your property, as well as your remote, located on the exterior of your property. If you would like a copy of the ordinances forwarded to you, please call 970-920-5030/5031.
Tap fee payments are made at the Finance window, located on the first floor in City Hall, 130 South Galena Street, Aspen Colorado. All questions concerning tap fees should be directed to 970-429-1974.
No, you contact 811. It is required that you contact the Utilities Notification Center of Colorado at 811 before you dig. They will need the address of location, on-site contact name and phone number and detail of work requested. For more detailed information, please click here: https://www.cityofaspen.com/1272/811---Before-You-Dig.
We are on call 24 hours a day. If you need to contact us before or after hours, please call City dispatch at 970-920-5310.
In an emergency, please contact City dispatch at 970-920-5310. For a non-emergency, please contact our office during business hours at 970-920-5110 with details of the location of the leak.
It is illegal to connect to a fire hydrant within the City of Aspen water system. Please refer to our Filler Hydrant Program page for details. For more information, please contact the Water Department at 970-920-5110.
Please call Engineering at 970-920-5080 or visit our webpage on Water Utility Connection.
Please email Keith Wester, our Utilities Program Manager, or call 970-920-5110.
Your tap water is safe without one. If you have an internal problem with your plumbing, you may want to consider a filter or treatment system. For more information, please contact the Water Department at 970-920-5110.
The Aspen Water Department frequently tests for these parasites in the water under provisions of the Long Term Surface Water Treatment Rule (LTSWTR2). Giardia is common in our source water but as to date no Cryptosporidium has been detected. Effective treatment and filtration processes remove and/or inactivate all parasites prior to our distribution system. Under the Federal governments Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR), we are required to maintain a detectable disinfectant level in the distribution system at all times. For more information, please contact the Water Department at 970-920-5110.
Commercial spot-free rinse for the dishwasher does not always work to prevent a film on dishware. If glasses and even plastic items are coming out of the dishwasher covered in a dusty white film, try adding one-half to a full cup of white vinegar just as the final rinse begins. For some this works to prevent a white film on dishes, and the vinegar works to keep hard water deposits from building up inside the dishwasher and the working components and drains.
Hard water can be remedied with a water softener, but even those with a water softener sometimes have problems with a white film on dishes. When a water softener is used, it is not necessary to completely fill the dishwasher detergent cups. The amount of detergent used can be cut in half. It could be an overuse of detergent causing the thin white film on glassware and other dishes. Cut back the amount of detergent used. Not only will this save money, but it will also help prevent the formation of white film on dishes.
For more information, please contact the Water Department at 970-920-5110.
Complete all permit documentation and submit.
Yes, any property within the Aspen Fire Protection District can be evaluated for its wildfire risk. For more information, please call 970-925-5532.
The assessment looks at all aspects of the building including construction, vegetation, and surrounding topography. The assessment criteria is based on guidelines recommended by the Colorado State Forest Service and the FireWise program. For more information, please call 970-925-5532.
The assessment is simply a recommendation to help lower wildfire risk to a property, neighborhood, and the Aspen community. Mitigation increases a property's chance of survival and helps emergency responders in the event of a wildfire. For more information, please call 970-925-5532.
There are a range of service providers that can do the recommended mitigation work or a property owner may conduct the work themselves. The City of Aspen will assist with mitigation efforts by organizing chipping days and hauling brush away.
It is not always possible to control a wildfire. Planning and preparation can make all the difference in property protection and community safety. We encourage community members to do their part. For more information, please call 970-925-5532.