Visit here for more information on COVID-19, including the public health orders,re-opening information, and Walkable Main Street information. 

Comprehensive Code Amendments

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

On January 8, 2019 the Town Council adopted a series of amendments to the Town’s Development Code.  The amendments will take effect on February 12, 2019.  This culminates over 18 months of work that involved a Comprehensive Code Steering Group, comprised of local architects and members of the Breckenridge Planning Commission, along with numerous meetings with the Planning Commission and the Town Council.  A public open house was held on the Code Amendments on November 6, 2018.  Below is a summary of the adopted Code changes.  Please visit this link to view the full draft of amendments.


Code Section

Proposed Code Changes



  • Align the definition of Building Height Measurement with the proposed building height changes under Policy 6A, which clarify that height measurements for shed roofs should be measured from the highest roof element (not the average, which is allowed to encourage gable roofs).
  • Reclassify remodels and additions of historic structures in the Conservation District as Class A Developments. This proposal is made to align the costs of review more closely with actual staff time required for review. These development proposals are some of the most complex that the Town deals with. The current fee structure is based on the classification of applications and Class B minor applications for historic remodels are significantly discounted compared to the staff time associated with their review.
  • Clarify the criteria for Employee Housing.
  • Revise the definition of Accessory Apartments to require a deed restriction to be recorded to ensure they are utilized for local workforce.
  • New definitions for Community Facilities and Institutional Uses.

Preliminary Evaluation


Eliminate Section 9-1-8 Preliminary Evaluation, as this has not been staff’s practice to undertake this. However, staff routinely conducts pre-application conferences and work sessions (as specified in the Code), which are similar in scope.

Duration of Point Assignments


Create a new Section 9-1-17-3.5 that clarifies the length of time points are available for a project. For example, a project may have an initial passing score of +3 points, and at a later date (still within the valid permit length) the owner may decide that they wish to heat a driveway, which could incur -3 points. The positive points earned initially could be carried over to offset the negative points incurred with the development modification.

Transfer of Density Requirement for Development Agreement


Revise Section 9-1-17-12 B to require development agreements for all transfers of densities, with the exception of transfers involving 0.5 SFEs or less.

Class A Development Permit Process


Amend Section 9-1-18-1 as an evidentiary packet is not something that staff has required and is thus proposed to be eliminated from the submittal requirements for Class A development permits.

9-1-18-4: Class D Development Permit Process


Amend Section 9-1-18-4 C. to remove the requirement for the director to approve or deny a Class D minor development application within seven days. The Department generally approves these within seven days. However, there are sometimes extenuating circumstances (sometimes involving additional information needed from applicants) that preclude our ability to always approve these within the timeframe. Section E. is proposed to be deleted because Policy 40A Chalet Houses is proposed to be eliminated.

Positive Points for meeting Land Use Guidelines


Amend Policy 2R to eliminate positive points for land uses consistent with the LUGs—that should be a minimum requirement. Negative points for incompatible uses are retained.

Calculation of Density


Add a provision clarifying the 1,000 square foot density rule for commercial equivalent units and other uses related to TDRs. Provide an explanation of how density is calculated using the conversion table.

Employee housing


Amend Policy 3A.E. to use the term Employee Housing consistently throughout the Code.

Community facilities and institutional uses


Add new sections under Policy 3A, one that clarifies community facilities and institutional uses are exempt from the requirement to transfer in density, per the policies of the Joint Upper Blue Master Plan. New definitions will be added to the Definitions section for community facilities and institutional uses. Another section is added clarifying that TDRs are required for any project that exceeds the zoned density of a property outside the conservation district.

Above ground density calculations


Add a new section H., which moves a section that was previously listed under Policy 5A Architectural Compatibility, as this section relates to density and more appropriately belongs under Policy 3A.

Density Calculations


  • Clarify that bonus density for Employee Housing, as allowed in 3A of the Code, does not incur negative points and note that density transferred into LUD 1 is not exempted from the table.
  • Create a new section A. that outlines point assignments for exceeding aboveground densities in the Conservation District.This section has been moved from Policy 24A because it more appropriately belongs under the 3R density heading.

Mass Bonus for Apartments/Condominiums

and LUD 18


  • Increase the mass bonus to 30 percent for apartments and condos.Common areas alone can get some projects to 25 percent of mass and it was recommended a small bump be provided to allow some amenities in addition to common areas.It is recognized that projects with even higher percentages of amenities, etc. would need to go to the Town Council for development agreement approval.
  • Include the exemption from negative points in the mass table for Employee Housing.
  • Clarify that the mass bonus is calculated based on the allowed aboveground floor area.
  • Provide a mass bonus for renovations/restorations to primary historic structures in Land Use District 18, which encompasses North French Street and North Ridge Street (north of Wellington).

Architectural Compatibility Minor Revisions


  • Amend Section A. to provide further exemptions to the three-color rule limit to account for some minor items.
  • Delete Section C. regarding Aboveground Density in the Historic District and instead include it under Policy 3A.
  • Revise Section E. so that preference numbers for solar placement correlate to each other.

Architectural Compatibility Minor Revisions


  • Clarification that within the Historic District that the architectural standards of the Handbook of Design Standards apply.

Building Height Clarifications


Amend Policy 9-1-19-6 A to clarify that height measurements for shed roofs should be measured from the highest roof element (not the average, which is allowed to encourage gable roofs).

Point Assignments for Building Heights


Amend Policy 6R to allow a project that incorporates mass into its roof to qualify for a positive point. Increase the potential for positive points for commercial/multi-family projects providing substantial stepping-down at the building’s edge.

Modifications to Policy 7R Site and Environmental Design


  • Eliminate Section E. Site Privacy and instead incorporate privacy considerations into Section B. Site Buffering.
  • Revise Section C. Retaining Walls to eliminate the specific reference to four foot walls (this height is what triggers that the wall be engineered and is a separate code requirement).Provide clarification that taller retaining walls, when they reduce overall site disturbance, are allowed without the assessment of negative points.In past applications, taller walls have been allowed but have been assessed negative points.This would represent a reset of this policy for future development applications.
  • Revise the point assignments under Section B. Site Buffering to provide a 2 multiplier instead of 4, but then also increase the points to -4 and +4.This allows the same maximum positive and negative points that currently exists, but allows the points to be assigned in increments of 2 as opposed to 4. This would allow more flexibility in point assignments.
  • Revise Section B. Site Buffering to make it clear that positive points are focused on tree preservation, distance separation, and berming and that new landscaping does not accrue positive points here but must be assigned under Policy 22R.
  • Revise the point assignments under Section D. to provide a 2 multiplier instead of 4, but then also increase the points to -4 and +4.This allows the same maximum positive and negative points that currently exists, but allows the points to be assigned in increments of 2 as opposed to 4.This would allow more flexibility in, for example, assessing negative points for excessively long driveways.
  • Eliminate the last sentence under Section D. because it is confusing and does nothing to improve the focus of the section.
  • Eliminate the references to Significant Tree Stands or Specimen Trees and Treed Backdrop under Section G. Significant Natural Features because tree preservation is already addressed under Section B. Site Buffering.

Ridgeline and Hillside Development Policy Minor Clarifications


Amend Policy 8A to clarify that positive points cannot be earned in other portions of the Code when the Absolute Policy 8 already contains specific requirements.

Building Setbacks Minor Clarification


Amend Policy 9A to revise the “Zero Setback” heading to identify it is intended to apply to commercial and related uses

Snow Storage Clarifications


Amend Policy 13R to clarify that 25% snow storage is the minimum amount desired and no positive points should be awarded for providing adequate snow storage. Negative points are retained. Also clarify that negative points are not warranted in a situation where a snowmelt system is employed.

Storage for Multi-Family Residential


Amend Policy 14R to focus it on multi-family residential projects. The current policy “encourages” storage to be provided but then only assigns negative points. Negative points have never been assigned for lack of storage. Because the policy “encourages”, negative points are eliminated and the potential for positive points is added. Also clarify that closets and garages should not count towards positive points.

Trash and Recycling

9-1-19-15A and 15B

Amend Policies 15A and 15B to add a focus on recycling, as it is now a Town and community-wide value.

Elimination of Absolute Loading Policy


Amend Policy 19A to eliminate the absolute policy regarding Loading, as this is not typically scrutinized in development review and the existing policy is in conflict with the standard practice in the Historic District of commercial loading on alleyways and on streets.

Positive Points for Recreational Facilities


Amend Policy 20R to clarify that points for recreational facilities should only be awarded for facilities that are available to the general public. Private recreational facilities can earn separate points under 24R Recreation and Leisure Amenities.

Open Space Policy Clarifications


  • Clarify that the 30% open space requirement is based on the gross square footage of a property.
  • Clarify the types of hardscape areas and small unusable landscaped areas that would not qualify as open space.
  • Provide an exception within the Core Commercial Character Area 6, which encompasses the 100 South Main Street block and the 100 East Lincoln Ave block, from incurring negative points for not attaining the 15% threshold for open space.Buildings in this area are allowed to be built up to the property line to mimic the historic development pattern and thus it is difficult to obtain good useable open space in these areas.

Landscape Policy Revisions


  • Remove the section regarding planting of trees along public right of ways because it conflicts with a similar section in the subdivision code.
  • Clarify that the rationale for Site Buffering is consistently addressed in the Code and focuses on screening from adjacent properties and public right of ways.
  • Require drip irrigation systems to promote the Town’s water conservation efforts.
  • Eliminate the potential for +6 points for landscaping: no project has been awarded +6 points, and the provision encouraging the “most landscaping possible” may actually overwhelm sites at maturity.
  • Insert additional measures that should be taken to receive +4 points for landscaping: incorporating the old provision from +6 points regarding largest possible size trees; and requiring that a water conservation checklist must be established for the property that includes a number of conservation measures.
  • Eliminate references to plantings in different Zones because the focus is on screening and is not dependent on distance from the structure.
  • Assign negative points for developments that provide larger areas of irrigated non-native turf (500 square feet or more).
  • Eliminate provision 13 because it conflicts with the open space policies regarding providing 30 percent open space.

Housing Policy Modifications



  • Revise the points table for employee housing to limit positive points to +5 points (unless a 100 % deed restricted project) and remove the exemption for commercial and multi-family residential projects under 5,000 square feet in size.

Point Assignments for Moving Historic Structures



  • Eliminate the reference under E. Conservation District to Main Street, as it placed particular emphasis on Main Street whereas the Town’s policy is to equally treat the entirety of the Historic District.
  • Increase the negative points associated with moving historic structures.Recent input from the State Office of Historic Preservation has indicated a concern with moving historic structures from their historic location.The policy would still allow movement but additional negative points are intended to further dissuade this practice.

Points for Transit


Amend Policy 25R to change the multiplier under this category to a “2” instead of “4”, but then change the points potential up to -4/+4. This will provide more flexibility in assigning points. For example, shuttle services for lodging are becoming a standard practice of doing business—some reward should still be considered for these but perhaps only +2 instead of +4, which is the minimum awarded now. Higher point assignments should be reserved for systems that serve the general public.

Infrastructure Policy Minor Clarifications


Amend Policy 26A to address some minor housekeeping items.

Drainage Policy Minor Clarifications


Amend Policy 27A to clarify timing of drainage permits.

Points for Aesthetically Attractive Drainage


Amend Policy 9-1-19-27R to encourage aesthetically attractive detention facilities.

Utility Undergrounding


Amend Policy 28A to provide an exception to the utilities undergrounding requirement when it applies to larger regional transmission lines. For example, the transmission line going near Airport Road has been exempted on a case-by-case basis on a number of development applications.

Construction Activities Policy Minor Clarifications


Amend Policy 29A to specific the file types required to be submitted for as-built construction drawings.

Air Quality Policy Elimination


Eliminate Policy 30R because it is narrowly applied to wood burning cooking appliances while other elements (e.g., grills and smokers) are not addressed. These appliances make up a minute portion of the overall emissions in the Town. Positive points were awarded in the past, 15 years ago, for projects that voluntarily agreed not to use wood burning devices. However, with the advent of Phase 2 certified wood stoves (required by the Code), it is no longer necessary to award positive points.

Water Quality Monitoring


Amend Policy 31A to add a provision allowing the Town to require ongoing water quality monitoring, which is essential in some development situations to ensure water quality is protected.

Elimination of Water Quality Policy


Eliminate Policy 32 A because the provisions are all very outdated and replaced by Building Code or Water Department requirements.

Energy Policy Changes to Point Assignments for Energy Ratings, Solar Ready Buildings, and Water Features


Amend Policy 33 R to set a new standard for residential development regarding energy savings. A HERS rating will now only be incentivized for achieving one positive point. Positive points higher than that will be based on the percentage increased energy efficiency compared to a home built to comply with the existing Residential International Energy Conservation Code. A new table is added to further specify point assignments for outdoor heated spaces, based on past precedent. The table also addresses water features, providing an option to power with renewable sources and increasing the negative point assignments for powering water features with conventional power sources. A new section is also included that awards one positive point for projects that are built solar and electric vehicle ready.

Hazardous Conditions Policy Clarifications


Amend Policy 34A to: clarify intention to keep sediment from transporting to neighboring properties; eliminate a reference to a wildfire plan which has been superceded by defensible space requirements; and to provide an updated reference to the Town’s flood prevention ordinance.

Subdivision Policy Clarification


Amend Policy 35 A to clarify that subdivisions must comply with master plans.

Temporary Structures Renewals


Amend Policy 36A to only allow renewal of temporary structure permits if they meet all applicable Code provisions, such as architecture (e.g., to avoid seeing an aesthetically unattractive temporary structure to be in place for longer than three years).

Riverwalk Definition and Riverwalk Compatible Improvements


Amend Policy 37A so that the definition of Riverwalk only extends north to Ski Hill Road. The policy allows for waivers from parking requirements and potential density bonuses in exchange for Riverwalk compatible amenities (e.g., landscaping, outdoor seating). The current definition extends further north to areas that do not directly abut the Riverwalk (alley and parking lots intervene) and these areas are recommended not to receive the same waivers and bonuses.

Permit Requirements for Home Childcare Businesses


Amend Policy 38.5 to align Home Childcare permits with Class D minor applications and to only require a permit renewal when ownership or location changes.

Elimination of Chalet Houses Provisions


Remove Policy 40 as it is antiquated and an early attempt to address short term rentals. The Town’s existing short term rental regulations are more comprehensive.

Exterior Loudspeaker Policy Clarifications


Amend Policy 42 A to reference the Town’s Noise Ordinance and to eliminate the requirement of a development permit for outdoor speakers.

New Murals Section


Amend Policy 43 to create a new section that outlines how murals will be addressed outside the Conservation District.

Radio Broadcast Policy Clarifications


Amend Policy 44 A to eliminate reference to banners, which are prohibited.

Elimination of Special Commercial Events Policy


Eliminate Policy 45 A because Special Commercial Events are regulated under the Town’s Special Event Ordinance, Title 4, Chapter 13 of the Town Code.

Fences Policy Modifications


Amend Policy 47 A to: clarify circumstances where a landscape wall would be allowed; and to change the process where a property owner may construct a fence next to a public trail so that the process is now administrative and does not require a variance hearing with the Planning Commission.

Vendor Carts Length of Permit


Amend Policy 49 A to provide the same three year permit validity for large or small vendor carts. Staff has had no issues with permit renewals for small vendor carts and it is unnecessary to require the renewals annually.

Special Areas Maps Clarifications


Amend 9-1-20 to eliminate references to two old maps that are no longer used.

Vacation of Lot Lines


Add a new subsection to the Subdivision Standards that allows the Town to require a vacation of an interior lot line when multiple properties are under single ownership and there are improvements/encroachments that extend across interior property boundaries.

Street trees


Amend the Subdivision Standards so that the placement of trees on streets is consistent with the requirements of the landscaping policy (e.g., every 15 feet instead of every 10 feet).

Parking Requirement Modifications


Amend the Town’s Off Street Parking regulations 9-3-8 to alter the parking requirements outside the Parking Service Area to:

  • include the accessory apartment parking requirement
  • eliminate the Industrial classification and instead break it into Manufacturing and Warehouse
  • change the requirement for Gas Station/Convenience Markets
  • change the parking requirement for restaurants to be based on square footage rather than seating
  • add a supermarket/grocery store category with a parking requirement
  • add additional parking space requirements for single-family residences

Parking Lot Requirements Modifications


  • Update the lighting provisions in Section E. for parking lots to include LEDs and comply with the International Dark Sky Association guidelines and other similar community lighting ordinances (Sedona, Ketchum).
  • Revise Section I regarding parking lot location to ensure that parking is setback from the property line with the expectation that snow storage may be placed in these areas.
  • Remove section K. Snowstacking because it conflicts with the snow storage requirements in 9-1-19-13

Development Agreement Clarifications


Amend Title 9, Chapter 9 of the Town Code to address submittal timelines for development agreements. There currently is no submittal timeline specified.

Exterior Lighting Clarifications


  • Update the Exterior Lighting provisions to add definition for LED lighting and to identify acceptable types of lighting
  • Provide clarification for lighting requirements in soffits
  • Specify requirements for photometric plans
  • Other minor clarifications