The Rural Land Use Process is:

  • An alternative development process which offers the ability to subdivide property while still maintaining agricultural lands or other open space.  
  • Incentives can be granted to encourage clustered development to help retain the rural and agricultural lands of Larimer County.
  • The process is intended to be voluntary, user-friendly, and flexible.
  • Uses guidelines to allow flexibility for each unique piece of land.  
  • Land features that are of value to Larimer County residents are identified and efforts made to preserve them.
  • Less restrictive, faster, and more predictable in the outcome when compared to other development processes.


Fee Type Amount
Application Fee $500*
Hearing Fee $50 per home site
Final Plat Fee $500
Final Fees (paid by building permit applicant) $1250 per home site
Amended Plat Fee $885

*Additional fees such as the Wildfire Review Fee may also apply and would be in addition

Forms & Guidelines

Rural Land Use Process

Describes steps in the process

Final plat procedural guide packet

Used for applicants, surveyors, and engineers to help determine requirements for the final plat and needed documents

Standards and guidelines for roads and drainage

Standards were adopted by the Board of County Commissioners

Engineering certification forms

Used by engineers to certify the design/constructions of 

Road name signs and traffic control devices

All road names signs and traffic control devices must conform to these standards

RLUP Customer Responsibilities Handout

Six ways to help the final plat process

Addressing Requirements

Use these resources as a reference: Street Names, Subdivision Names

Rural Land Use Advisory Board

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to “advise the Rural Land Use Center staff on process negotiations and policy decisions, make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners regarding rural land development, changes to the Rural Land Use Process, and proposed preliminary rural land plans.


    1. Have at least 70 acres (you can combine your land with neighbors' land and participate together).
    2. Be willing to preserve at least two-thirds of the total land for preservation of agriculture, wildlife, and open spaces.
    3. Agree that preserved land must not be developed for at least 40 years.
    4. Have a plan defining the roles/responsibilities for managing residual land.
  1. Process allows you to:  
    • Cluster homesites in one area of property and preserve remaining land to be utilized for purposes such as agriculture, wildlife, and open spaces.
    • Benefit from your land financially by dividing it into smaller parcels and keeping the larger parcel for your continued use.
    Advantages include:
    • Protects and encourages continuation of existing agricultural uses.
    • Development review is faster and less restrictive than other county development processes and offers a more predictable outcome.
    • Property can be developed creatively, meeting the needs of the landowner, in a manner that preserves the rural character of Larimer County.
    • Private open space is created and unique natural features are preserved; maintaining rural characteristics of property tends to increase property values.
    • In return for efforts and increased costs to retain unique land characteristics, owners may be allowed more housing units than would be permitted under the standard state rules--one unit per 35-acres.
    • Site planning for cluster development can better utilize existing infrastructure and potentially reduce total infrastructure costs.
    • Flexibility in site location allows for better planning of roads and other infrastructure improvements.
    • The majority of development engineering work occurs after project approval.
  2. A conservation easement and/or protective covenant is a restriction that landowners place on their property to protect the land for a certain type of use, such as farming. This is a voluntary legal document that is recorded on the deed and restricts the land to agriculture and open space uses.

    The easement removes the development rights but the landowner still holds the title to the property, the right to restrict public access, and the right to sell, give, or transfer ownership of the property.