Land Use Codes

A land use code is a planning implementation tool of the community’s comprehensive plan. The land use code can include zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, annexation policy, impact fees, public hearing processes, fence and sign permitting, and more. For example, a land use code may prescribe how tall a single-family home can be, the density of a planned community, the minimum parking requirements for a retail complex, or the allowed uses within a commercial building. 

Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Colorado

The Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Colorado guide and website enables Colorado communities to prepare for and mitigate multiple hazards by integrating resilience and hazard mitigation into plans, codes, and standards related to land use and the built environment. The guide includes model code language for integrating hazards into 11 planning strategies including development agreements, 1041 regulations, cluster subdivisions, stream buffers and setbacks, and stormwater ordinances. For more information visit

Model Land Use Codes

The Community Development Office has helped fund the development of several model codes and ordinances over the years through its Colorado Heritage Planning Grant program. The Model Land Use Codes are unified development codes that integrate zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, PUD regulations, sign code, and other land use regulations into one document. The Model Land Use Codes are not intended to prescribe local land use planning efforts but rather as a resource for local governments to use to tailor codes to meet their community's vision, goals, and objectives.

There are two model land use codes, one for municipalities (2002) and one for counties (2008).  They are both likely most useful for Colorado's smaller to medium-sized communities.  These models are intended to be used as a template rather than an "adopt as-is" code.  The model codes are most effective when communities tailor to their community context and needs.  We hope these models result in significant time and cost savings for your community. Since these model codes were developed several years ago, please consult your local government attorney to ensure your code changes reflect current statutes and case law.

The Model Land Use Codes are available for download below.  Please contact Andy Hill if you have any questions.

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Sample Land Use Codes

 Art. 11 Signs