March 16 Planning Commission agenda - Docket DC-16-0002: cultivation/processing of marijuana as a Residential Accessory Use

A Public Hearing has been scheduled regarding proposed Boulder County Land Use Code Amendment Docket DC-16-0002: Proposed Boulder County Land Use Code Amendments to Article 4 and Article 18 to address the cultivation and processing of marijuana as a Residential Accessory Use in unincorporated Boulder County. The Boulder County Land Use Code applies to areas in unincorporated Boulder County, not in cities or towns.

Planning Commission Public Hearing

Docket DC-16-0002: Proposed Text Amendments to Article 4 and Article 18 of the Boulder County Land Use Code to address the cultivation and processing of marijuana as a Residential Accessory Use. Action Requested: Recommendation of approval and certification of the docket by the Planning Commission to the Board of County Commissioners, following staff presentation and public hearing. Public testimony will be taken.
Agenda: Planning Commission meeting agenda for March 16, 2016
Date: March 16, 2016
Time: Approximately 3 p.m. The approximate start time of DC-16-0002 is 3 p.m. We sincerely value everyone’s time and make every effort to project the timing of agenda items. However, the length of time each item takes is situational and issue dependent and can’t always be accurately guessed, so please be aware that this docket may begin sooner or later, depending on the timing of the items before it.
Location: Commissioners Hearing Room, Third Floor, Boulder County Courthouse, 1325 Pearl Street, Boulder


A public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners is tentatively scheduled for April 5, 2016.

The Land Use staff and Planning Commission value comments on these proposed amendments. All public comment submissions are considered an item of public record and will be posted on the Boulder County website or made available by request under the Colorado Open Records Act. Information may include email address and other supplied personal information. Comments on this proposed Land Use Code amendment may be emailed to, or mailed to:

Boulder County Land Use
Bryan Harding
PO Box 471
Boulder, CO 80306



The state of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana has presented numerous land use challenges as the new laws have been implemented. The County recognized the votes to legalize marijuana and has undertaken sensible regulations to address the impacts while allowing the various associated uses. Through the evolution of these uses it has become evident there are certain aspects of the County’s regulations which do not fully address the impacts and potential hazards present. In addition, the land use regulations may permit more than what is allowed under state laws thus creating a situation where the cultivations/grows are for activities not permitted under state law. In regard to this the County has received several complaints about the residential cultivation and processing of marijuana. Complaints raise concerns about odors, safety concerns from fire, explosions and potential exposure to hazardous materials.

The current Land Use Code (which applies to areas in unincorporated Boulder County, not in cities or towns) allows personal cultivation and caregiver cultivation as Accessory uses and limits the area for the activity to no more than 300 square feet. Under that regulation it could be possible to grow more than 100 plants. The provisions also prohibit the use of flammable gases in any extraction. Staff is proposing to review the adequacy of the current regulations and draft amendments which then address any shortcomings. The goal is to have a clear regulatory framework which protects the safety of County residents and meet the intent of Accessory Use regulations. Land Use also wishes to ensure that the home marijuana uses under the code are roughly comparable to the regulations of other jurisdictions within the County to provide for more uniformity in enforcement and to avoid forum shopping by marijuana growers.

The referral letter and proposed draft Land Use Code text amendments regarding Docket DC-16-0002 are available at:

If you have any questions regarding Docket DC-16-0002, please contact Senior Planner Bryan Harding at 303-441-3984 or


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