Return to Table of Contents
31-15-401. General police powers.
(1) In relation to the general police power, the governing bodies of municipalities have the following powers:
(a) To regulate the police of the municipality, including employing certified peace officers to enforce all laws of the state of Colorado notwithstanding section 16-2.5-201, and pass and enforce all necessary police ordinances;
(b) To do all acts and make all regulations which may be necessary or expedient for the promotion of health or the suppression of disease;
(c) To declare what is a nuisance and abate the same and to impose fines upon parties who may create or continue nuisances or suffer nuisances to exist; except that a municipal ordinance may impose liability on the owner of real property for a nuisance committed on the property by a tenant in lawful possession of the property only if the municipality notifies the property owner and tenant of the nuisance before a fine or other liability is imposed;
(d) (I) To provide for and compel the removal of weeds, brush, and rubbish of all kinds from lots and tracts of land within such municipalities and from the alleys behind and from the sidewalk areas in front of such property at such time, upon such notice, and in such manner as such municipalities prescribe by ordinance, and to assess the whole cost thereof, including five percent for inspection and other incidental costs in connection therewith, upon the lots and tracts of land from which the weeds, brush, and rubbish are removed. The assessment shall be a lien against each lot or tract of land until paid and shall have priority over all other liens except general taxes and prior special assessments.
(II) In an assessment is not paid within a reasonable time specified by ordinance and a municipality complies with the recording and certfication requirements specified in subsection (1)(d)(III) of this subsection, the amount of the unpaid assessment may be certified to the county treasurer who shall collect the assessment, together with a ten percent penalty for cost of collection, in the same manner as other taxes are collected. The laws of this state for assessment and collection of general taxes, including the laws for the sale and redemption of property for taxes, apply to the collection of such assessments.
(III) A county treasurer shall accept for collection pursuant to subsection (1)(d)(II) of this section and section 31-20-105 a lien pursuant to subsection (1)(d)(I) of this section if:
(A) Within four months of abating a nuisance pursuant to subsection (1)(d)(I) of this subsection, a municipality files for recording a notice of lien with the county clerk and recorder of the county in which the real property is located; and
(B) Within one year of filing the notice of lien for recording specified by subsection (1)(d)(III)(A) of this section, a municipality certifies the amount of the unpaid assessment for which the lien was levied to the county treasurer of the county in which the real property is located.
(e) To prevent and suppress riots, routs, affrays, noises, disturbances, and disorderly assemblies in any public or private place;
(f) To prevent fighting, quarreling, dog fights, cock fights, and all disorderly conduct;
(g) To suppress bawdy and disorderly houses and houses of ill fame or assignation within the limits of the municipality or within three miles beyond, except where the boundaries of two municipalities adjoin the outer boundaries of the municipality; to suppress gaming and gambling houses, lotteries, and fraudulent devices and practices for the purpose of gaining or obtaining money or property; and to regulate the promotion or wholesale promotion of obscene material and obscene performances, as defined in part 1 of article 7 of title 18, C.R.S.;
(h) To restrain and punish loiterers, mendicants, and prostitutes;
(i) To prohibit and punish for cruelty to animals;
(j) To establish and erect jails, correction centers, and reform schools for the reformation and confinement of loiterers and disorderly persons and persons convicted of violating any municipal ordinance, to make rules and regulations for the government of the same, and to appoint necessary officers and assistants therefor;
(k) To use the county jail for the confinement or punishment of offenders, subject to such conditions as are imposed by law, and with the consent of the board of county commissioners;
(l) To authorize the acceptance of a bail bond when any person has been arrested for the violation of any ordinance and a continuance or postponement of trial is granted. When such bond is accepted, it shall have the same validity and effect as bail bonds provided for under the criminal statutes of this state.
(m) (I) To regulate and to prohibit the running at large and keeping of animals, including fowl, within the municipality and to otherwise provide for the regulation and control of such animals including, but not limited to, licensing, impoundment, and disposition of impounded animals.
(II) In case any municipality neglects or refuses to pass an ordinance in conformity with this paragraph (m), anyone impounding an animal running at large within the limits of said municipality shall notify the state board of stock inspection commissioners, and said animal shall be disposed of by said board as provided in article 44 of title 35, C.R.S.
(n) To regulate and license pawnbrokers as provided in section 29-11.9-102;
(o) To enact and enforce ordinances prohibiting gambling and the use of any gambling device, as the terms are defined in section 18-10-102, in a park, on a public way, or on a street; except that in enacting and enforcing the ordinances, a municipality, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, may also prohibit social gambling in or on parks, public ways, or streets. Nothing in this subsection (1)(o) shall be construed as prohibiting pari-mutuel betting or wagering under article 32 of title 44.
(p) (I) To adopt reasonable regulations for the operation of establishments open to the public in which persons appear in a state of nudity for the purpose of entertaining the patrons of such establishment; except that such regulations shall not be tantamount to a complete prohibition of such operation. Such regulations may include the following:
(A) Minimum age requirements for admittance to such establishments;
(B) Limitations on the hours during which such establishments may be open for business; and
(C) Restrictions on the location of such establishments with regard to schools, churches, and residential areas.
(II) The governing body of the municipality may enact ordinances which provide that any establishment which engages in repeated or continuing violations of regulations adopted by the governing body shall constitute a public nuisance. In addition to the power provided for in paragraph (c) of this subsection (1) the governing body of the municipality may bring an action for an injunction against the operation of such establishment in a manner which violates such regulations.
(III) Nothing in the regulations adopted by the governing body of the municipality pursuant to this paragraph (p) shall be construed to apply to the presentation, showing, or performance of any play, drama, ballet, or motion picture in any theater, concert hall, museum of fine arts, school, institution of higher education, or other similar establishment as a form of expression of opinion or communication of ideas or information, as differentiated from the promotion or exploitation of nudity for the purpose of advancing the economic welfare of a commercial or business enterprise.
(q) (I) To control and limit fires, including but not limited to the prohibition, banning, restriction, or other regulation of fires and the designation of places where fires are permitted, restricted, or prohibited.
(II) Nothing in this paragraph (q) shall be construed to preempt or supercede state, tribal, or federal law concerning the control, limitation, or other regulation of fires described in this paragraph (q).
31-20-105. Municipality may certify delinquent charges.
Any municipality, in addition to the means provided by law, if by ordinance it so elects, may cause any or all delinquent charges, assessments, or taxes made or levied to be certified to the treasurer of the county and be collected and paid over by the treasurer of the county in the same manner as taxes are authorized to be by this title.
31-20-106. County treasurer to collect municipal taxes – liens – publication.
(1) (a) It is the duty of the treasurer of said county and he is authorized to collect the municipal taxes in the same manner and at the same time as other taxes upon the same tax list are collected. The expense of construction and repair of sidewalks, streets, paving of streets, curb and gutter, drainage facilities, or other improvements, which are placed upon municipal streets, other than pursuant to part 5 of article 25 of this title, shall be assessed in the manner prescribed by the ordinance of any such municipality upon the property fronting upon the same. Except for the construction and repair of sidewalks, no such assessments for other construction shall be made by the municipality unless approved by petition signed by not less than sixty percent of the owners of property fronting upon the same and owning at least sixty percent of the property fronting thereon. Such assessment shall be a lien upon said property until it is paid. In case of failure to pay such assessment in a reasonable time, to be specified by ordinance, the assessment, at any time after such failure, may be certified by the clerk of such municipality to the officer having the custody of the tax list at the time such certification is made to be placed by him upon such tax list for the current year and collected in the same manner as other taxes are collected, with ten percent penalty thereon to defray the cost of collection. All the laws of the state for the assessment and collection of general taxes, including the laws for the sale of property for taxes and their redemption of the same, shall apply and have as full effect for the collection of all such municipal taxes as for such general taxes, except as modified by this title.
(b) Nothing in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) shall be construed to repeal existing statutes concerning the power to levy taxes, charges, and assessments and the procedures for the assessments and collection thereof.
(2) The county treasurer, at the close of every month and more often if the governing body of said municipality requires, shall pay over to the municipal treasurer all moneys collected by him upon the presentation to him of an order signed by the mayor and clerk of such municipality. Any such county treasurer shall be liable on his official bond for the faithful discharge of all the duties and obligations imposed upon him.
(3) In case of sale of any lot or tract of ground for delinquent sidewalk tax, the same shall be advertised and sold for such tax, and the certificate of sale and deed therefor shall be made separate from the sale certificate and deed for other taxes. The amount of sidewalk tax so assessed shall not be certified to the county clerk and recorder until notice of such assessment has been published for ten days in some newspaper published in such municipality as provided by the ordinance of such municipality, giving the lot owner an opportunity to be heard before the governing body, at the time and place designated, as to the justness and correctness of the amount so assessed. The provisions of this title relating to collecting the expense of construction and repairs of sidewalks shall be construed to be for the purpose of carrying into effect the police powers of municipalities as to such construction and repairs of sidewalks and shall not be construed as imposing a special tax under the taxing power. The ordinance of such municipality shall provide for a reasonable time after the order of such municipality for the construction or repairs of such sidewalks for the owners of such lots to construct or repair such sidewalks. In case any such owners fail to so construct or repair such sidewalk in the time and manner prescribed by said ordinances, such municipality may proceed to construct or repair such sidewalk and charge such owners as prescribed by ordinance and in the manner described in this section.
31-20-107. Municipality to pay share of county expenses.
The governing body of said municipality shall make in each year such allowance to be paid out of the general fund to the county as shall be a reasonable and just compensation for the extra labor imposed by this part 1 and shall also make an allowance, to be paid out of the general fund to the county in which said municipality is located, for the municipality’s proportion of the expense of advertising the sale of lands for delinquent taxes in each year, the amount to be certified to the governing body by the county clerk and recorder of the proper county.
Return to Table of Contents