Larimer County regulates access to county roads to maintain safe traffic flow, road drainage facilities, and efficient use of the County's roads. An access is defined as any driveway that provides vehicular access to or from any County right-of-way. Requirements for accesses can be found in the Urban Area Street Standards for areas included in city urban growth areas, and Rural Area Road Standards for rural properties.
An Access Permit is required for any access onto a:
A change in use of an existing access (as defined in the Larimer County Urban Area Street Standards and in the Rural Area Road Standards) onto any of the above described roads (i.e. changing a field access to residential access, etc.) requires an Access Permit.
NOTE: A Traffic Control Plan, developed by a certified traffic control company, must be submitted and implemented for all work performed within road rights-of-way, or that will directly affect the traveling public. Traffic Control Plan Approval Form
An Access Permit is not required for any access onto:
If you are unsure of whether an access permit is required, please contact Scott Hamilton:Scott Hamilton
Index to this page:
An access permit is required whenever a new access is proposed, an existing access is upgraded (paving, new culvert, etc), or a change in use of an existing access (i.e., changing a field access to a residential access, etc.) is requested. Acquisition of the permit is required before any work is done.
An existing access must be a well defined roadway (no primitive 2-track roads, etc.) that meets current requirements for its type, as stated in the Urban Area Street Standards - Access Requirements and Criteria and the Rural Area Road Standards - Access Requirements and Criteria. Anything less than what is shown in these documents must be upgraded to meet those requirements and an access permit is required.
Applications can be submitted though the online Citizen's Web
Portal at https://onlineportal.larimer.org.
A clear site plan showing the proposed location of the access must
accompany the permit. Payment for all permits must be received before
the permit is issued.
Fees for an access permit range from $50 for a single-family
residential access to $300 for a major access (such as for commercial
or subdivision use). This fee is due on application for the permit.
In most cases access permits are processed within 10 business days.
Prior to issuing the permit, an initial site inspection is performed to address adequate sight distance, drainage requirements, access surfacing, grade, setback regulations, and any other concerns specific to your property.
Accurate information is what is most needed for your permit to be quickly processed. Filling out the application form as completely as possible, giving accurate directions, and attaching a sketch plan of your proposed access will be extremely helpful. Clearly mark your proposed access location in the field and note on your sketch the type of marking material used. Acceptable marking materials include: stakes painted a bright color, high visibility plastic tape or cloth tied to your fence, or bright paint markings in the right-of-way, (remember that things tied to a fence frequently appear to be trash, make your markings stand out!) A sign noting your address should be used in addition to any of the above methods. Keep in mind that although you know where your property and proposed access are, we don't. The more obvious your markings, the easier it is for us to find your proposed location and quickly process your permit.
Yes. Access permits are frequently issued prior to a building
permit being requested. Because an access permit is often a requirement
for getting a building permit, retaining your copy of the access permit
is very important to avoid being charged for another one.
Larimer County's Risk Management Department requires that any
work done within the county's right-of-way be covered by a certain
level of insurance. Specific information can be requested from the Risk
Management Dept. (970) 498-7361. The purpose of this requirement is to
protect the property owner and the County in the event a mishap occurs
during the construction process.
Yes. However, the insurance requirement mentioned above applies
to work done by the property owner as well as work done by a contractor.
At a minimum, Larimer County requires an all-weather surface,
within the rights-of-way, on all accesses. This type of surface
includes road base, recycled asphalt, recycled concrete, asphalt, and
concrete) and is determined by the surfacing on the roadway you will
take access from.
There are many qualified contractors in our area. The phone
book, Better Business Bureau, and referrals from others are three good
ways to choose a contractor. Larimer County doesn't have a "list" of
contractor's names that can be given out. After you have made your
choice, give us a call and we'll quickly check their insurance status
with Risk Management.
A permit is good for ninety (90) days. A brief call to the Engineering Department will usually be sufficient to get an extension. If you haven't begun construction on your access and your permit has expired without an extension granted, a new permit will be required.
When construction is completed on your access and you are ready
for a final inspection, a request must be made to the Access and
Utility Coordinator - (970) 498-5709. 72 hours notice is required to
schedule the inspection. Note: the final access inspection is
frequently a sign-off item on building permits. Lack of a sign-off
release for this item will hold up your Certificate of Occupancy (CO).
A final access inspection should not be requested until all
construction work is completed on your site.
Why it's Important
By Ken Augustson
It is not uncommon for up to 50% of all traffic accidents to be
access related. Concern for the prevention of accidents should not
overlook the importance that access management can plan. Access managed
roads often experience a 50-65% reduction in accidents.
What is access management? It is managing how, where, and when
vehicles can turn onto or off a road. It involves providing access to
land development while simultaneously preserving the flow of traffic on
the surrounding road system in terms of safety, capacity, and speed.
Access control regulations should address driveway, inter-section,
and signal spacing, the denial of access requests where necessary, and
geometric design including turn lanes. Access standards vary according
to the function of the highway, allowing greater access and lower
design on slower collectors and more restrictive access and higher
standards on faster arterials with larger traffic volumes.
The six general benefits that can be expected are:
|-Improved traffic flow||-Improved fuel economy|
|-Fewer accidents||-Reduced vehicle emissions|
|-Reduced delay||-Increased capacity|
Decreasing the number of unexpected events and separating decision
points reduces accidents. This is accomplished by increasing the
spacing of those events when a decision(s) must be made by a driver,
that is, whenever another vehicle is encountered. This is especially
important at intersections when the other vehicle is traveling at a
slower speed than the through traffic.
In other words, an increase in the number of intersections or
driveways with an increase in traffic volume at those inter-sections,
may also increase the accident rate. Approximately 65% of driveway
accidents are related to left turning movements. Good access management
will maintain the roadway function, while separating the various
Some of the techniques used include:
|Medians, joint use access, channelization, deceleration
lanes, acceleration lanes, consolidating access, drive-way spacing,
corner clearance, frontage roads, visual cues for driveways,
maintaining proper sight distance, continuous two-way left-turn lanes.
Using these tools effectively can: limit the number of conflict
points a driver experiences during travel; separate the conflict points
that can not be eliminated; and remove slower, turning vehicles from
the traffic lanes.
The issues involved can be quite complex and controversial. Property
owners and developers may not like to have restrictions placed on their
access. However, agencies must weigh the public good against a private
The Wheel, Winter 1997
|Residential (1-2 Homes)||$50.00|
|Agricultural (Field Access)||$50.00|
|Residential (More than 2 Homes)
Without Road Improvements
|Commercial or Major Agricultural
Without Road Improvements
Any Access Requiring Road Improvements such as additional driving lanes, shoulders, or intersection changes.