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There are nine hotels in the City of Wheat Ridge with a total of 972 rooms. While these hotels represent less than .05% of the total number of households and businesses in the City, the calls for service from the City’s Police Department to these establishments constitute approximately 10% of total police calls. In order to address the significant public safety and related concerns involving hotels and motels within the City, City Council determined that it was necessary to adopt the licensing program for hotels in order to reduce the number of calls for service (CFS) at these establishments. The City’s interest in adopting these new regulations is for the protection of the health and safety of the public.
In order to be properly licensed in Wheat Ridge, hotels businesses must obtain the following two licenses annually:
In addition, if a licensed hotel chooses to provide extended stay operations (stays of 30 days or more), it will need to be approved for:
Existing hotel businesses must submit an application and fee for a hotel license renewal by January 1st. Find licensing forms on the Hotel / Motel Licensing page. The hotel license must be renewed annually along with the City business license.
Existing hotels who allow duration of guest stays of more than 30 days shall have until September 30, 2022 to either limit stays to 30 days or less or obtain an approved extended stay addendum.
The purpose of the Hotel License is to ensure that the unique requirements to operate this type of business are met. A Hotel is a transient lodging establishment renting individual rooms for temporary occupancy and typically not including facilities for cooking. The term “hotel" includes establishments also known as "motels." For the purposes of the Ordinance, it does not include the short-term rental of private homes or rooms by private homeowners. To operate a hotel, the business must obtain a hotel license and meet the following requirements:
Calls for service are public initiated dispatched calls for police assistance that are generated by the community, through a call or text to 911 or the non-emergency line. Calls for service (CFS) rate is equal to the total calls for service at the licensed premises divided by the total number of hotel rooms in the applicable period. The Police Department’s Crime Prevention Team will work with hotels to provide the CFS Rate on a monthly basis. Calls for service will be calculated through the 2022 calendar year and compliance for the call for service rate of 1.5 must be achieved by December 31, 2022. Hotels that are not in compliance at that time are subject to suspension and/or revocation of their hotel license.
In determining the desired CFS Ratio in Wheat Ridge, the police department considered recommendations of the Problem-Oriented Policing Center (POP), the 1.0 industry standard, and examples of ratios in other communities.
The POP Center is a nonprofit organization comprising affiliated police practitioners, researchers and universities dedicated to the advancement of problem-oriented policing. The mission of the POP Center is to advance the concept and practice of problem-oriented policing in open and democratic societies.
Motels with low CFS/room ratios set a natural baseline for what can be accomplished at similar properties, which is how the 1.0 standard was established.
For the passage of Ordinance 1723, the City of Wheat Ridge chose a 1.8 ratio, similar to that of Lakewood for 2022, before increasing to 1.5 in 2023. The 1.8 ratio would represent an overall reduction of CFS in hotels by 40%. At 1.5, the reduction would be 50%. It is important to understand that half of the hotels are already compliant with the standard. The other four hotels significantly exceed the standard causing the average CFS ratio among the eight hotels to be 2.9 (for 2020) and 2.6 (for 2022). The fact that four of the hotels are able to achieve a ratio between 0.1 and 1.2 in the same city/area would certainly lead to believe that a standard of 1.5 is achievable for all hotels and would create a significant reduction in calls for service and resources and increase safety.
The Hotel License Addendum permits a hotel to offer extended stay operations beyond 30 days. Changing all or part of an existing hotel to accommodate extended stays is considered a change in land use. As such a zoning review and approval is required and may require a special use permit approval. Please contact the planner of the day at 303-234-5931 or firstname.lastname@example.org to understand the steps in this zoning approval process.
To qualify for extended stay operations, the hotel must provide the following in-room characteristics:
And the following common characteristics:
The City Treasurer has authority to determine that one or more of the common area amenities is not needed, when considering the age, location and size of the hotel property, and the portion proposed to be devoted to extended stay lodging.
The City will conduct inspections of guest books or other records to check for compliance with the length of stay requirement and properly maintaining sufficient guest books or records is expected.
This excel document is an example of guest log. /DocumentCenter/View/35387
Please visit this website for a list of forms of identification.