In 1980, in a joint project with US West, Clear Creek County assigned rural addresses to all structures in the county to help locate people in the event of an emergency. Staff from US West assigned addresses to all structures through an extensive field and office project and provided this information to the county for future maintenance. The program was administered through the Building Department through 1987 when it was transferred to the Mapping Department.

In 1987, a large-scale project to update the rural address information was undertaken in conjunction with the Assessor's Office to improve the quality of the data through an exercise that matched the rural addresses with improved properties according to the assessment records. A database was created with address information and its accuracy has improved through time. The database has been recently been incorporated into the assessor's property records to provide more location information in the property appraisal process.

Program Description

The county's rural addressing system is a mileage-based system. This means that addresses are assigned to a building based on the distance a driveway comes off of an addressable road, as measured from its point of beginning.

In the event an emergency response, dispatch will use this addressing information to locate the scene of an incident. The concept of a mileage-based addressing system allows emergency response vehicles to locate driveway locations in the dark based on the odometer readings on their vehicles. This logical system is intended to assist users of the system.

How Is an Address Assigned?

Addresses are assigned when a building permit is pulled in the Building Department. This ensures the owner's intent to construct the building and assures the county the address assignment will be associated with a building rather than a vacant lot or an unfinished project. This also provides the county with a higher-integrity rural address dataset (which means higher quality and more accurate information).

When a property owner pulls a building permit, the site map is reviewed by the Mapping Department staff and the information is plotted on the address maps, measured for distance, and assigned an address in the book. This address is then placed on all permits associated with the building to ensure the address is used in all development paperwork. The new address is then added to a quarterly report that goes out to other county departments and outside agencies who are major users of the rural address system, such as the Evergreen Fire Protection District, the Public Services Company, and US West.

Obtaining an Address Prior to Pulling a Building Permit

Oftentimes, a property owner will want to have utilities installed on their property prior to pulling the building permit. Examples of this may be when a property owner pulls a driveway permit and wants to have utilities installed to prepare the site for further development. Many utility companies require a rural address before installing services to a lot.

The Mapping Department staff will work with property owners when they request an address in such a situation. At the request of an address by the property owner, staff will use the site plan from the driveway permit file, measure the distances, and place a temporary address on the property in the map book. The address assigned is based on actual distance, ensuring the assignment is accurate, but is not placed anywhere else in the system until the building permit is pulled. At the point a building permit is pulled, the temporary address is assigned permanently and the final address is recorded throughout the system (as noted in the process).