Zoning is a method used by local governments to create zones or areas for different types of land uses to provide separation between uses that may be incompatible. An example of this is having different zoning districts or areas for residential uses and for industrial uses.

Larimer County uses zoning districts to manage land uses and development of parcels in the unincorporated area of the county (outside of city or town limits). The zoning regulations also specify minimum lot sizes, minimum setbacks and maximum building heights. Click on the buttons below for more detailed information about zoning in Larimer County.

Additional Resources & Information

  • County Assessor – For information about valuation and assessment of property and access to on-line property records and maps.
  • Cities and towns in Larimer County – For links to cities and towns in Larimer County, as well as state agencies and other resources.
  • Estes Valley Plan Area – Information and contacts for unincorporated properties in the Estes Valley Plan Area 

FAQs

  1. You can find the zoning for a specific property in the unincorporated area several ways:

    • Find by parcel number - If you have the Assessor's parcel ID number for the property, you can find zoning information by entering that parcel number (with no dashes or hyphens) in the query form (click the button below). Zoning information is only available for properties located in unincorporated Larimer County. If inquiry is for property inside city/town limits, the jurisdiction name and contact phone number will be displayed.
      • If you have an address but no parcel number, go to the Assessor Property Record Search screen to find the parcel ID number for that address.
      • You can find more details about Larimer County's zoning districts on the Zoning Districts page.
    • Find on the zoning map - If you know the general location of the property and can find it on a map, you can view the zoning map on the Zoning Maps page. Please note that this is not an interactive map. If using the map option, we recommend that you verify the zoning of a parcel by contacting the Planning Department at (970) 498-7679 or email us.
    • Contact the Planning Department - To verify the zoning district for a particular property, call the Planning Department at (970) 498-7679 or send an email. Please be prepared to provide an address or parcel number to identify the property.
  2. These are two different designations, but they are sometimes confused with each other. Each parcel of land in the unincorporated area of Larimer County is zoned. Parcels also have a property tax assessment classification assigned by the County Assessor to classify, assess and value property.

    • Zoning districts are adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. The zoning district determines the uses that are allowed on a property. Section 4.0 of the Larimer County Land Use Code contains the zoning regulations. For more information on zoning districts in unincorporated Larimer County, see the Zoning Districts page. Contact the Larimer County Planning Department at (970) 498-7679 or by email for assistance with your zoning questions.
    • Property tax assessment classifications are determined by the County Assessor's Office based on the actual use that is present on a property. That classification is shown in the Assessor's property records for each parcel. For more information about assessment and valuation of property, contact the County Assessor's Office at (970) 498-7050.

    Sometimes a property tax assessment classification such as "Agricultural" or "ag-land" is assumed to be the zoning of a property. Larimer County doesn't have a zoning district called "Agriculture". In Larimer County, having an "agricultural" classification for a property means that the Assessor has identified the property as qualifying for agricultural assessment and valuation for property tax purposes. In other cases, the property tax assessment classification may indicate a use on the property that isn't allowed by the current zoning of that property. There are many possible reasons for that and Planning staff can help you determine the details in those situations and clarify the uses that are allowed.

  3. The purpose of zoning districts is to implement the Larimer County Master Plan, promote compatible land use patterns and establish standards appropriate for each zoning district. Each zoning district spells out the uses allowed on properties within that district, the minimum lot sizes, the maximum density allowed if a property in that district is developed, the building setbacks required from property lines, heights for structures, and accessory uses allowed.

  4. Each zoning district in the County lists setbacks from streets or roads, side, and rear property lines. Additional setback requirements are found in Section 4.9 of the Land Use Code. You can find detailed information about setbacks on the Setbacks page.

    Property owners and citizens are advised to contact the County Planning Department for setback information on specific properties due to the many factors and unique situations that affect setbacks. To confirm setbacks on your property call the Planner-on-call at (970) 498-7679 or send an email.

  5. The regulations for each zoning district lists what uses are allowed in that district. You can find the detailed information about each zoning district listed in Part II, Section 4.0 of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

    • Uses followed by an (R) are allowed by right but they may be subject to all other requirements of the Land Use Code.
    • Uses followed by an (SP) require approval through the site plan review process described in section 6.1.
    • Uses followed by a (PSP) require approval through the public site plan review process described in section 6.2.
    • Uses followed by an (MS) require approval through the minor special review process described in section 4.5.
    • Uses followed by an (S) require approval through the special review process described in section 4.5.
    • Uses followed by a combination of (R/SP/PSP/MS/S) may be allowed by right or require approval based on thresholds in section 4.3 (use descriptions).
    • Use descriptions in section 4.3 contain conditions that apply to certain uses.
    • The number of dwelling units allowed on a site is based on the presumption that all other applicable standards will be met. The maximum density established for a zoning district is not a guarantee that such densities may be obtained, nor a valid justification for varying other dimensional or development standards.
    • It's important to note that the zoning information provided online is general in nature. Specific properties may have different requirements than those noted by zoning district. Please contact the Planning Department at (970) 498-7679 or by email to verify allowed uses for specific properties.
  6. The first thing to do when you want to propose a new business use, whether it is a wedding venue or a group home or a doggie day care, is to check the zoning for your property and find out whether the proposed use is allowed. As noted in the response to the question above, each zone district lists the principal uses that are allowed and also indicates the level of review that is required for each use. If you're not sure whether your proposed use is allowed, contact the Planning staff at (970) 498-7679 or send an email for assistance.

    Getting back to the specific wedding venue question- This proposed use is generally classified as a "community hall" which is defined as a "facility used for recreational, social and cultural activities". This use is allowed in a limited number of zoning districts and requires review and approval through various review processes, depending on the zoning of the property and the proposed sizes of indoor/outdoor use areas. Contact the Planning staff at (970) 498-7679 or send an email for more details.

  7. Larimer County has several special area plans that respond to the unique conditions and character of those areas of the county. The zoning regulations in the Land Use Code apply in all of these areas except for the Estes Valley Plan Area. Unincorporated properties within the Estes Valley Planning Area are subject to the Estes Valley Development Code which is administered by the staff at the town of Estes Park. For details on the Estes Valley Development Code, contact staff in the Estes Park Community Development Department at the (970) 577-3720.

  8. In addition to the zoning districts that exist for each property in unincorporated Larimer County, there are also overlay zone districts that apply in certain areas. These are described in Section 4.2 of the Land Use Code. Overlay zone districts have development standards and requirements that apply in addition to those of the underlying zone district.

    One of these overlay zone districts is for the official floodplains which designate areas of the County where flooding may occur. The requirements of the floodplain overlay zone districts are intended to reduce flood danger. Contact Larimer County Engineering staff at (970) 498-5700 for more details.

    Other important overlay zone districts designate Growth Management Areas (GMAs) in the areas around the cities of Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor. These overlay districts provide regulations to guide development near the participating communities and help to facilitate cooperative growth management in urbanizing areas of the county. Cooperative Planning Area (CPAs) overlay zone districts may be designated in areas where the county and a municipality have developed a joint land use plan outside of the growth management areas.

    Some overlay districts may be designed to accomplish a specific goal for a limited area of the county such as transferable density units (TDU). The TDU overlay zone district allows for shifting of development densities from one ownership to another and exists only in the Fossil Creek Reservoir area of Larimer County.

    Contact the Planning Department at (970) 498-7679 or by email.

courthouse-offices

Contact Planning Department

Larimer County Planning Department
200 W. Oak Street, Third Floor, Fort Collins, CO 80521
On-call Planner:
(970) 498-7679
Email Planning Department
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