Boulder house concert in trouble

For those on the Front Range… one of the most intimate, community-oriented spots to hear music near Boulder is in trouble.

Greg and Debbie Ching, who host occasional concerts in their home near Nederland, are appealing a cease-and-desist order by Boulder County on Wednesday.

The Boulder Daily Camera had this article on Saturday’s front page:
“The Day the Music Died”

They have not been accused of violating any noise or traffic regulations. The County argues that the house concerts are an illegal business. Debbie and Greg are arguing that these are purely social events that enhance our community. They have hosted shows by Peter Mayer, The Duhks, The Mammals, and many others in their very welcoming mountain home.

Debbie and Greg are appealing this decision by the Boulder County Land Use Director on Wednesday, 7 February 2007 at 4 PM. The meeting room is on the third floor of the Boulder County Courthouse at 13th & Spruce.

If you have some time, please consider attending this meeting as a show of support, especially if you have attended one of their shows in the past. The Director of Land Use have told them that the volunteer Land Use Appeal Board do take into consideration numbers of supporters in the room.

Thanks for supporting live acoustic music,

geez is this thing still going on, I thought they resolved it last year. Where do we send letters?

I attended the zoning hearing in support of the Ching’s house concert series, and it was standing room only. The cease and desist order was upheld because the concerts were determined to consitute a business. The ruling was based on a particular definition of business that claims that taking donations from patrons allows the musical artists to “conduct business” on the Ching’s property. It’s very interesting, though, that the ruling allows the Chings to have a “party” with musical entertainment and pay the entire artist fee, they just can’t take donations from their guests. When everyone pays, it’s a business, but when only one person pays, it isn’t. This ruling, in effect, could also outlaw things like Avon and Tupperware parties because the salesperson is conducting business in a private home.

The movement has now begun to petition the Boulder County Commissioners to pass a law allowing House Concerts. Please take a moment to send a brief message urging the commissioners to address this as soon as possible. The email address is

If you’d like to read the article about the hearing in the Boulder Daily Camera, click this link:


I sent mine. :wave

Here is a copy of what I sent, in case someone doesn’t know what to say.

Dear Sir or Madame,

My name is (insert name here) and I would like to encourage you to take on the issue of allowing House Concerts in Boulder County as soon as possible. I believe the events to nurture communities and promote quality networking amongst Boulder County residents, particularly those that don’t have readily available public places to do so.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this matter.


(insert your name here)
(insert address here)
Boulder, CO (zip code)

…it doesn’t have to be fancy, they only need to know that this is an issue that the residents of Boulder consider to be a relevant one.

DEMOCRACY!!! :rock

I was unable to attend the hearings due to work. That said, it is
necessary to fight this. Hell, there may be no better and SAFER
environment to experience live music and comaderie than a house

Dustin, that was very polite. Here’s mine…

Get your land use issues in check. What you have done in the Ching Home party/Concert issue is a shame on you as charges of your community and the community at large in this country. The only thing that can come from the current state or your land issue is less fellowship of neighbors and more starving musicians. Does any community really need more of these two things?

I realize there are a few folks in your community that have a problem with these 'House Concerts' and I sincerely wish you luck in finding a nice way to tell them to get a life!

Okay, so I’m a little more ‘up front’, but… somebody was out of the office and I picked up a few more e-mail addresses if you folks are interested in sending another letter or two!

“I will be out of the office until Tuesday, March 6. If you need immediate assistance, contact ( ) If you have a question regarding your SCFD funding, contact ( ) or ( ).”

It couldn’t hurt to get more of the local community involved also!

My Best Wishes to the Ching family!

Hope Lin

Okay, I had a response…

I have forwarded your e-mail to Graham Billingsley, Land Use Director.  The Commissioners have directed him to review our current regulations and to determine if changes need to be considered.  Your name will be put on an e-mail list for updates and information about any meetings that are scheduled on this topic.

Marianne Reichert

Constituent Services Liaison

Yup, they are still in trouble. In fact I was working for a Colorado music magazine at the time, based in Denver who didn’t “get” the whole Bluegrass or Boulder scene, and never published my attached article as they felt it was “too political” of a topic.

I no longer work for this magazine and work for a more community-based magazine who gets the idea of what music is all about - for lack of a better term “it’s the soundtrack of our lives…”