Any violation of the regulations contained in the Larimer County Land Use Code. 

Common violations include: 

  • when and if a home occupation is allowed
  • when and if a short-term vacation rental is allowed
  • excessive junk and debris
  • the use of RVs
  • when and if “tiny houses” are allowed
  • the number of horses and pet animals allowed on a parcel
  • when and if multiple dwellings are allowed on a parcel
  • whether a particular use is allowed in a certain zoning district
  • the location and usage of signs, etc. 

Some of these issues are complicated and often vary by situation.   Please use the links provided below for a general description of some of these issues.  You may contact the Planning Department’s Planner on Call (POC) via email to ask questions regarding your specific situation.  You may also call (970) 498-7683 and ask for the Code Compliance staff person on call.   

If there is a violation of the Land Use Code, the Code Compliance staff member will notify the Planning Department and have the owner/tenant seek approval for the use that is not currently allowed.   This can sometimes take several months to accomplish. 

Home occupations are considered an accessory use and are intended to allow property owners the full use of their property while maintaining the integrity and character of the neighborhood.  All home occupations must follow certain requirements.  

Contact the Planning Department’s Planner on Call (POC) by email to ask questions regarding your specific home occupation situation.

In general, short term rentals are not allowed unless the use has received approval from the Planning Division.  The increased popularity of vacation rental sites such as VRBO, AirBnB, Home Away, etc., has brought this issue to the forefront of many Planning Departments across the country.  In unincorporated Larimer County, a dwelling cannot be rented for less than 31 days.  Depending on the zoning district, an owner may seek approval for this use through the Planning Division.   

 Zoning Map for Estes Valley.pdf  

The term “tiny house” usually means one of two things:  1) an RV/trailer/house on wheels, or 2) a small house on a foundation, whether prefabricated (manufactured/modular) or built on site.   A “tiny house on wheels” is considered a Recreational Vehicle (RV) and is regulated by the Land Use Code instead of the Building Codes.  There are restrictions on where and when they can be lived in.  They are not considered permanent homes and cannot be occupied year-round. 

An RV (including a “tiny house on wheels”) can be used as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use.  An RV can either have its own motor power or be mounted on or towed by another vehicle, including camping trailers, fifth wheel trailers, motor homes, travel trailers and truck campers.  Other uses of an RV include seasonal worker housing and a temporary dwelling during construction.   

A small house on a foundation is required to meet the regulations of the International Residential Code.   Please contact the Building Staff on Call to discuss these requirements at (970) 498-7660. 

No.  Larimer County does not have a housing code that regulates maintenance and repairs of rental properties.  The County is limited to enforcing minimum structural standards of existing buildings.

No.  The County does not have a property maintenance code.  Due to several factors including the agricultural nature of the County, there are no regulations as to how high weeds grow, or if a lawn is mowed, whether a sidewalk is cleared of snow, or the perceived dilapidated condition of a structure. 

The use of RVs as permanent housing has become an increasingly common situation and problem in Larimer County.   For the most part, a property owner may "recreate" on their other-wise vacant property for 180 days in a calendar year.  The RV must then be moved off the property.   These and additional RV use regulations can be viewed at  Land Use Code Article 3.5.3.F.

A properly licensed and registered RV can be stored on a property that has a residence.  The RV registration and the property owner must be the same person/entity.  An RV cannot be stored on a vacant lot.  Land Use Code Article 3.5.3.F.6.

Yes.  The Larimer County Land Use Code limits the number of unrelated people allowed to occupy a residence located in unincorporated areas of the County, with the exception of the Estes Valley Plan area, which is regulated by the Estes Valley Development Code.  In unincorporated  Larimer County, a single family residence may be occupied by a “living unit” .  See Article 20.0 Rules of Interpretation and Definitions

Contact the Planning Department’s Planner on Call (POC) by email to ask questions regarding your specific Land Use Code question.

A vehicle is considered junk when it is unregistered, inoperable, unlawful or dismantled.   Only those vehicles that do not qualify as junk vehicles and are owned by the occupant of the home may be stored outside as long as the vehicles are licensed, insured and operable.  Land Use Code Article 3.4.5.E and 20.3 Definition of a Junk Vehicle.

A "junk vehicle" is described as follows:  A vehicle that is inoperable (unable to move under its own power), or is partially or totally dismantled or has all or portions of its body work missing or substantially damaged or is not registered with the State of Colorado as required by C.R.S. § 42-3-103 or by C.R.S. §§ 42-12-401 and 42-12-402, and/or the number plate assigned to it is not permanently attached to the vehicle as required by C.R.S. § 42-3-202 or is lacking proper equipment to the extent that would be unsafe or illegal to use on public road rights-of-way or otherwise not equipped with lamps and other equipment as required by C.R.S. §§ 42-4-202—42-4-227. This definition does not include implements of husbandry, farm tractors, farm or ranch equipment or vehicles customarily operated in a farm or ranch operation.

Outdoor storage of junk and debris is not allowed.  Any accumulation of appliances, car parts, old furniture, scrap materials, etc., that is a visual blight to the area must be removed from the property or stored inside a structure on the property.  Only items that are accessory to the residence, for example a barbeque grill, patio furniture, etc., is allowed.  

Contact the Planning Department’s Planner on Call (POC) by email to ask questions regarding your specific Land Use Code questions.

If the issue is storage of junk and debris, or outdoor storage, Code Compliance staff will investigate.  Submit a Complaint.   If the issue is garbage and trash, The Larimer County Department of Health & Environment investigates illegal dump sites.  They can be contacted at (970) 498-6775.   For reference, a “dump” is a place where people dump and/or bury trash that should be taken to an appropriate sanitary landfill site to monitor for odors, air emissions and ground water. 

You must first seek approval from the Larimer County Planning and Building Departments.  Most zoning districts allow one (1) single-family dwelling per lot/parcel.  The Land Use Code provides several options for additional accessory dwelling units, under specific conditions.   Accessory uses and structures must be:

  • 1) secondary and incidental to the principal use of the property and
  • 2) located on the same lot with the principal use.  

If you already have a residence on your property, it must first be determined if the accessory dwelling will meet the Larimer County Land Use Code regulations.

  • You may contact our Planning Department by email at   

If  the Land Use Code regulations allow a second residence, and approval is obtained, it must then be determined if the structure itself can safely be changed to habitable space.  This is done through the building permit process when building, fire, soil, transportation, sewer and sanitation issues are addressed.  The most serious aspect of converting structures to living units without a building permit is that it often creates substandard, potentially dangerous conditions.  This can lead to potentially tragic results.


A dwelling unit is a building or portion thereof used for residential occupancy.  What is an illegal dwelling unit? An illegal dwelling unit is one built or occupied without obtaining the necessary land use approvals and/or a proper building permit.  

In some circumstances it is possible to make an illegal dwelling unit legal.  Please contact the Planner on Call by email and the Building Department by phone (970) 498-7660 or email  for details.  You may also call (970) 498-7683 and ask to speak to the Code Compliance staff on call. 

Personal horses or livestock for the use of the occupants of the lot and their guests, for purposes other than boarding or training, are allowed in all zoning districts that allow single-family dwellings, provided the number of animals does not exceed one animal per one-half acre of lot

For example, if you had a 4.3 acre parcel zoned RR-2 (rural residential), you would be allowed to have 8 horses or livestock total

Livestock is defined as: cattle, horses, mules, burros, sheep, swine, llamas, and goats, regardless of use, and any animals, except dogs and cats, that are used for working purposes on agricultural land and any other animal designated by the state agricultural commissioner, which animal is raised for food or fiber production.

For more information on equestrian operations, check out this handout or email the planner on call with questions:

You can have as many dogs and cats (pet animals) as you want as long as they do not become a public nuisance.  Pet animals are permitted as an accessory use to residential uses. Hobby breeder facilities and foster homes for pet animals are permitted as part of this accessory use. Article 3.4.4.H of the Land Use Code

For questions, please email the planner on call at

No.  A single-wide mobile home or similar structure that was NOT constructed or intended for the specific purpose or use as a storage building is prohibited from being converted and used as a storage building in Larimer County.   


Sign regulations are intended to provide the public with an opportunity for safe and effective identification of uses and locations within the County balanced with the attempt to avoid clutter and protect visual appearance and maintain property values.  Signs are regulated pursuant to Article 8 of the Larimer County Land Use Code.   

Try the Larimer County Community Development Online Portal where you can search by property address, parcel, case number, and more to obtain planning case records. If you have general questions for the Planning Department or on specific case files, please call (970)-498-7679 or email


Contact Code Compliance

200 W. Oak Street, Suite 3100
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 498-7683 
Hours: 8am - 4:30pm, Monday - Friday
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