By Associated Press - Saturday, January 10, 2015

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Several Colorado communities are considering limits on special events after residents and neighbors complained they are causing problems.

Limits could be placed on foot races, cycling races, ski competitions and other events that officials say are taking a toll on resources and local residents.

Special events are big business in Pitkin County, including photo shoots, neighborhood foot races and high-profile events such as ski competitions and bicycle races.

Last year, Pitkin County issued 35 to 40 permits for special events, double the number of permits issued a decade ago, the Aspen Times reported Saturday (

The magnitude and scope of special events became a public issue after a flare-up over a wedding on the backside of Aspen Mountain. The controversy stemmed from the gala being held in an area that that now has restricted access because of its pristine, sensitive setting.

County officials say they are weighing the need to respect neighbors’ rights with the property rights of people who want to hold big events.

Under proposed rules, a major-event permit would be required if the events last longer than one day, amplified music is outside and huge structures are put up for the event. A minor-event permit would be required if more than 200 people attend, the event is held several times a year and if there are noiseless fireworks.

Sally Russo, who owns a home at Sopris Mountain Ranch and wants limits, told officials that residents who stage big events and parties should at least be required to notify their neighbors in advance and comply with stricter guidelines.

Denver plans to ratchet up a year-old moratorium on new running races or walks by adding limits in 2015 on nearly all new special events of other types on public property.

The rules follow a surge in special events on public property from roughly 350 in 2012 to 650 last year, according to city estimates.

During the busy season between April 15 and Sept. 1, most new events will be blocked. Early in the year and late in the year, the city will allow more leeway for new events.

Other cities have grappled with the space and resources taken up by more and more events.

According to the Denver Post (, Austin, Texas, placed a two-year moratorium on new street events in and near downtown. New York City for years has turned down applications for new street fairs, and San Diego has a 3-year-old moratorium on most events in three big parks between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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