There are times when a proposed building location doesn't meet the minimum setback requirement for the property. This may be due to the shape of the property, natural features that are present on the site, or other reasons. The County's zoning regulations include variance processes that allow property owners to propose a different setback when there are exceptional conditions that affect the owner's ability to meet the minimum requirements. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact the Planning Department for more details.
"The purpose of a zoning variance is to grant a landowner relief from certain standards in the Land Use Code where, due to exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary and exceptional situations or conditions of the property, the strict application of the standard(s) would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties or exceptional and undue hardship on the property owner."
Board of Adjustment Variances: The County Board of Adjustment conducts public hearings to consider variance requests from the County's zone district setback and structure height requirements, as well as from the setback and height requirements found in Section 4.9 of the Land Use Code. The Board may grant variances when the requests are consistent with the review criteria in Section 4.6.3. of the Code.
Administrative Variances: The County Community Development Director is authorized to review certain types of setback variance requests through an administrative process described in Section 4.6.7 of the Land Use Code. These requests deal with specific situations involving waterways, county roads, corner lots, and variances up to 10% of the required minimum setback.
Go to the Zoning Variances section on the Application Forms page for more information.
Before beginning any development review process in unincorporated Larimer County, talk with our staff to determine which process is needed and to complete a pre-application conference. Contact staff at (970) 498-7679 or by email for more information.
Property owners and citizens are strongly advised to contact the County Planning Department for specific information about setbacks. If you would like more specific information or if you have a question that's not answered here, please contact the Larimer County Planning Department at (970)498-7679 or send us email.