Land Use & Planning

In general, home rule governments have greater authority over land use and other types of local matters than other local governments. However, state laws grant land use and planning powers to all forms of local governments. 

General Laws for Local Governments

According to Colorado law, counties and municipalities have the ability to regulate activities that impact a community or surrounding area to provide for the planned and orderly use of land as well as protect the environment. These regulations and laws are referred to as the Local Government Land Use Control Enabling Act. The law also allows a local government to provide for the phased development of services and regulate the location of activities and development that may cause significant changes in population density.

Land Use & Planning

Zoning: A Board of County Commissioners may establish zoning for all or part of the unincorporated area of a county by dividing and classifying land according to its intended use (e.g. residential, commercial, or agricultural). This is accomplished by having a county's Planning Commission provide recommendations to the Board. Once a zoning plan is approved, the Board can amend the county zoning regulations only after submitted to the Planning Commission for review and suggestions. 

Zoning plans typically identify the type of use appropriate for a specific area. For example, a county may zone an area for agricultural activities. Other activities, such as commercial development, would be required to obtain a special use permit to utilize that area. 

County Comprehensive Plans: A county comprehensive plan or “master plan” is a planning document intended to guide the growth and long-term development of the unincorporated areas of a county. These plans are used to guide decisions made by a county's Planning Commission or the Board of County Commissioners. 

Click here to read Grand County's current Master Plan.