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Basic Business Regulations

Business Use

Businesses must obtain a business license to operate in the city of Aurora. If a business owner would like to add another service, the business must obtain a new license.

Shopping Carts

Each business is responsible for picking up carts that are left in the surrounding neighborhood. The carts must be collected as soon as possible.

Fire Lanes

Fire lanes should not be used as parking spaces for customers or for loading and unloading materials or supplies. Fire lanes must be properly marked.

Exterior Maintenance

Every wall, window, roof, door and projections must be weather and watertight and must be kept free of holes, loose or rotting boards or timbers. Faded walls and doors must be painted and stained.

Fence or Wall Maintenance

Fences and walls must be maintained in good condition at all times, which includes the replacement of broken or missing portions of the fence or wall. A fence permit must be obtained prior to installation. Fences must be installed and be maintained according to approved plans.


Graffiti located on windows, dumpsters, fences or walls should be removed as soon as possible (within 24 hours) to reduce the blight and probability of reoccurrence.

Landscape Maintenance

In the event that landscaping (grasses, bushes and trees) on the site becomes diseased or dead, the owner or occupant must remove, revive, restore or replace the landscaping in accordance with city landscaping standards. Lots with an approved site plan must maintain the landscaping according to the plan. Trees must be trimmed to a clear height of 13 feet 6 inches above the surface of any public street, alley or highway, and 8 feet above any sidewalk. On corner lots, no vegetative material or other objects more than 26 inches in height may be installed or maintained in the visibility triangle or a corner lot.

Outdoor Storage

Placing any material(s) such as appliances, auto parts, building material, etc. or item(s) outdoors/outside on any property for storage purposes in commercial or business zones is prohibited unless specified on a site plan.

Parking Lot Maintenance

Driveways and parking surfaces must be maintained free of weeds, postholes, dirt, trash and debris. Businesses must paint and mark parking spaces and maintain the markings on the pavement.

Sidewalks and Alley Maintenance

Sidewalks must be maintained free of weeds, dirt, snow and ice, trash and debris. Alleys must also be maintained free of weeds, trash and debris.

Site Plan

Most businesses in Aurora have a development plan/site plan that includes conditions or limitations to a commercial site or business. These conditions include such things as the type of landscaping material, color of the building, parking spaces and signs. Once plans are approved, the property must be maintained according to the site plan.

Site Plans: Owners who want to build new buildings or development must submit plans/drawings to the Planning & Development Services Department. For more information, please call either the Office of Development Assistance (303.739.7345) or the Planning & Development Services Department (303.739.7250).

Redevelopment Plans: Owners who want to remodel or redevelop an existing site must submit plans/drawings to the Planning & Development Services Department. For more information, please call either the Office of Development Assistance (303.739.7345) or the Planning & Development Services Department (303.739.7250).

Changing or Amending Site Plans: Owners who would like to change any of the existing conditions on existing plans should contact the Planning & Development Services Department (303.739.7250).

Snow Removal

Public sidewalks must be maintained free and clear of snow and ice within 24 hours following a snowfall, and 48 hours after a snow emergency is declared by the city. Non-compliance with the city ordinance carries a $50 per day administrative fee. Failure to remove the snow after two administrative fees may result in a contractor removing the snow and the city billing the owner. Officers are not required to give a warning prior to issuing a snow ticket.

Trash/Litter Removal

Each business is responsible for removing trash, litter and garbage from its property. Trash must be removed from the property on a weekly basis, or more often if necessary. Trash dumpsters and containers must not be overflowing, and the surrounding area must be kept free of litter and trash. All dumpsters and containers should be placed so that they are not visible from the public street.

Outdoor Display Standards

Retailers of both new and used merchandise may display merchandise outdoors with the following restrictions:

  • Merchandise must be placed 10 feet back from all property lines.

  • Merchandise may be placed on private sidewalks as long as a 4-foot clearance is maintained.

  • Merchandise shall be located within the confines of the retailer's own or leased property.

  • No merchandise may be placed on landscaping, within 3 feet of either side of an active doorway, or within 10 feet directly in front of an active doorway.

  • Merchandise cannot be placed on a corner lot or in any location that would impair a driver's view.

  • Displayed merchandise shall be maintained in a neat, clean, tidy and orderly condition.

  • Parking lot sales are permitted as long as the sales are conducted as an extension from a permanent structure containing a retail business. Businesses cannot allow a sub lessee to occupy a parking lot for the purpose of conducting independent sales activity.

  • Displaying secondhand goods or merchandise outdoors shall be limited to 10 percent of the total gross floor area of the business, and in no event shall the sale area exceed 100 square feet.

  • Secondhand goods or merchandise shall not be left outdoors during non-operating hours of the business.

Some areas or locations are prohibited by a site plan agreement from displaying any merchandise outdoors.

Sign Regulations

Visit the sign code/permits page for specific information about the city's sign code and requirements, including temporary signs, sign permits and more.

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