What is an Ordinance?

Ordinances generally govern matters not already covered by state or federal laws. An Ordinance is considered the most authoritative form of action taken by Town Council, and once adopted, the ordinance becomes an established law in Castle Rock.

The majority of ordinances deal with maintaining public health and safety, zoning, public morals, behavior and general welfare. Examples of ordinances would be those related to noise, snow removal, pet restrictions, and building and zoning regulations, to name a few.

Proposed ordinances

Prior to an ordinance going before Town Council for consideration, a public notice is published on our website. The public notice will have the full text of the proposed ordinance, a summary of the subject matter, the meeting date and time at which the proposed ordinance is scheduled to be considered at Council.

Proposed ordinances are submitted for a first reading and public comment. If the ordinance is approved at first reading, the ordinance is then scheduled for a second and final reading at a subsequent meeting. A simple majority vote of the seated Council, a minimum of four votes, is required for passage and adoption on second reading. 

Ordinances become effective 30 days following the date of adoption. 

Amended ordinances


If an ordinance is substantially amended after the first reading such that the published summary is no longer informative of the general content and effect of the amended ordinance, the notice of ordinance is re-posted and public notice is published again prior to second reading or final adoption.

Ordinances on Emergency Adoption


Ordinances adopted on an emergency basis are done so for the immediate preservation of public peace, health or safety. Within the ordinance, the reason for emergency adoption is identified. No less than three-fourths of the Councilmembers in attendance at the Council meeting, but not less than five Councilmembers, must vote in favor of adoption for an ordinance to be adopted on emergency basis. A minimum of five Councilmembers in attendance at a Council meeting requires all five Councilmembers vote in the affirmative for an ordinance to pass on emergency adoption.

Ordinances adopted on emergency adoption shall then be effective immediately.

A proposed emergency ordinance passed by the majority of Council, but less than the three-fourths requirement, is no longer considered an emergency adoption and shall be effective thirty days following the date of adoption.

Adopted ordinances


After adoption, a public notice is published on our website with the full text of the adopted ordinance along with the summary of the subject matter. 

Permanent record

After adoption, ordinances may be codified, at which point they become a part of the permanent record within the Municipal Code.