Land Use Administration

The Department of Planning and Development is responsible for several activities relating to the development and administration of land within Pueblo County.

Planning and Zoning:

Current planning and zoning involves the review and evaluation of all map amendments (re-zonings), special uses, subdivisions, annexations and development proposed in the County. The Department administers, on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, Pueblo County's land use regulatory system. This regulatory system is represented in Pueblo County Code: 

The Department of Planning and Development is also responsible for enforcement of the Pueblo County Code. Enforcement activities range from determining the permissibility of a specific use within a given zone district to pursuit of violations of zoning regulations through the Board of County Commissioners and ultimately District Court.

Long-Range Planning: 

Long-range planning usually begins with the identification of a need to direct and manage future growth in a community or to specifically address an identified issue. The issue may be specific, such as the need for additional highway capacity; or be more general such as improving or maintaining the quality of life for the community. Simply stated, planning is a method of preparing for the future through a step-by-step process. The process generally involves collection and analysis of information, the development of alternative courses of action consistent with identified goals, and the implementation and monitoring of the recommended course of action. Comprehensive Plans present goals, objectives, and implementation strategies for future growth and development in the community.

National Flood Insurance Mapping Program:

The Department of Planning and Development is responsible for managing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). One of our chief responsibilities for this program is to provide and administer elevation certificates.

The Elevation Certificate is an important administrative tool of the NFIP. It is to be used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment or Revision (LOMA or LOMR-F).

The Elevation Certificate is required in order to properly rate post-FIRM buildings, which are buildings contructed after publication of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), for flood insurance Zones A1-A30, AE, AH, A (with BFE), VE, V1-V30, V (with BFE), AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/A1-A30, AR/AH, and AR/AO. The Elevation Certificate is not required for pre-FIRM buildings unless the building is being rated under the optional post-FIRM flood insurance rules.

Pueblo Regional Development Plan: 

The Pueblo Regional Development Plan is a policy document that helps guide physical growth within Pueblo County. This Comprehensive Plan addresses recommended future land uses, the timing of growth and the general character of growth.

The Pueblo County Planning Commission adopted the Pueblo Regional Development Plan on September 25, 2001. The Board of County Commissioners adopted the Plan on October 16, 2001. Pueblo City Council and the Pueblo Area Council of Governments also adopted the Plan.

The Pueblo Regional Development Plan can be viewed at the Department of Planning and Development, 229 W. 12th Street, or downloaded/viewed in .pdf format via the following links:

Special Studies and Other Information:

Special studies, or planning studies, usually address a single issue. They may be site specific or broad-based in scope. The study will often be in response to an identified need or problem. The findings, recommendations, or goals and objectives can be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan. Special studies are sometimes undertaken as a single component update of the larger, multi-element Comprehensive Plan. Types of special or planning studies might include creating a community profile, population and demographics data collection and analysis, economic base evaluation, housing studies, general land-use issues or patterns, inventory of community resources and public facilities, or transportation issues.

Related Files

 Land Use Action Requirements

Title 16 Subdivisions

Sketch Plan

Generally this is the initial step in subdividing property. Potential subdividers submit a sketch plan to the Board of County Commissioners prior to the submission of a preliminary plan. The sketch plan will enable the subdivider and the Board to render an informal preliminary review of the site plan for general issues and conditions which might affect the plan. The Board gives all sketch plan materials to the Planning Commission, which reviews them and returns the materials to the Board with its comments, suggestions, and recommendations. The Board reviews the materials and the report of the Planning Commission, and communicates its own comments, suggestions, and recommendations to the subdivider.

Preliminary Plan:

Subdividers submit required preliminary plan materials and supporting documents of a proposed subdivision to the Board of County Commissioners for approval prior to the submission of a final plat. Preliminary Plan materials include the map of the proposed subdivision, soils and geologic information, generalized storm drainage plans, proposed water supply and the proposed method for accommodating waste water disposal. The Board turns all preliminary plan materials over to the Planning Commission. In turn, the Planning Commission (Staff) distributes copies of the plans to various agencies for review and comments, suggestions, and recommendations. After receiving a response from the agencies, Staff prepares a written review for the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission reviews the proposal at a public hearing. The Board acts on the preliminary plan after receiving the recommendation of the Planning Commission and the Staff review at an official meeting of the Board.

Final Plat:

Final plats are submitted for subdivisions, which by definition is the division of land, lot, tract, or parcel into two or more lots, parcels, plats, or sites, or other divisions of land for the purpose of sale, lease, offer, or development, whether immediate or future. The final plat may be submitted for all or a portion of an area within an approved preliminary plan. The final plat is submitted to the Board of County Commissioners. The Board turns all final plat materials over to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission reviews the final plat submission for completeness and for conformity to the approved preliminary plan and any conditions upon which approval may have been made. The Planning Commission delivers its comments, suggestions, and recommendations regarding the final plat to the Board and to the subdivider. The Board acts on the final plat after receiving the recommendation of the Planning Commission and Staff review at an official meeting of the Board. If approved, the plat is recorded.

A parcel of land where the owner has intentions on building a residence for more than one family. Duplexes, tri-plexes, 4-plexes and apartments are included in this section. This request must be approved under this code.

Subdivision Exemption:

Land divisions may be "exempted" from subdivision regulations by State statute or through limited discretion of the Board of County Commissioners. A subdivision exemption is the division of land by two (2) different methods: statutory exemptions or discretionary exemptions.

See 17.04.040 Definitions. for definitions of Subdivision.

Plat Vacation:

Any plat or any part of a plat that has been duly recorded and approved by the Board may be vacated by the owner of the property by submitting a written application, documents, and a vacation plat to the County Zoning Administrator. The plat vacation is reviewed by the Planning Commission who makes recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for its review and action. The vacation plat, if approved, is filed and recorded in the County Clerk and Recorder's Office.

Lot Line Rearrangement:

Minor rearrangement(s) of lot lines or alterations may be made to an approved or recorded plat subject to approval of the County Zoning Administrator provided such minor rearrangement or alteration will not involve more than five lots, result in any lot not being in compliance with the zone district standards, alter any easement, right-of-way, necessitate or modify public improvements, or adversely affect the character of the approved or recorded plat. The lot line rearrangement plat is recorded at the County Clerk and Recorder's Office.

Lot Line Vacation:

Vacations of lot lines may be made to an approved or recorded plat subject to approval of the County Zoning Administrator provided such lot line vacations will not involve more than five lots, result in any lot not being in compliance with the zone district standards, alter any easement, right-of-way, necessitate or modify public improvements, or adversely affect the character of the approved or recorded plat. The lot line vacated plat is recorded at the County Clerk and Recorder's Office.

Vacation of public street, alley, easement of public way

An application may be filed to vacate a public street, alley, easement, or public way by an individual(s) with a vested interest. Before granting the vacation, the Board of County Commissioners must make certain findings. If the vacation is approved, the Board may reserve rights-of-way or easements for the continued and/or future use of utility lines, ditches, and canals. Upon approval of the vacation, a plat and deed(s) are recorded. The vacation of a public street/roadway/easement reverts ownership and use of the property to the adjoining landowners.

Road Name Changes:

Application is in the form of a Petition. The Board of County Commissioners takes action on a Petition for a Road Name Change.

Title 17 Land Use Division II. Areas and Activities of State and Local Interest (aka 1041):

House Bill (HB) 1041 (1974) established regulations and criteria designed to facilitate identification, designation, and administration of matters of state and local interest which were generally beyond the scope of traditional zoning or subdivision regulations.

These rules and regulations establish the findings and criteria by which each application must be evaluated. The Board of county Commissioners is the designated “Permit Authority” who must approve or deny the permit application by resolution at a properly noticed public hearing.

Title 17 LAND USE DIVISION III. HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATOR OR PROCESSOR SITE CERTIFICATE OF DESIGNATION (aka COD):

Pueblo County, pursuant to Colorado law (CRS 30-20-100 et. seq.), requires a permitting system for Waste Disposal Sites and Facilities. A Certificate of Designation is the approval document granted by the Board of County Commissioners which allows a waste disposal facility to begin operations. A Certificate of Designation is required by any type of waste disposal facility and may only be granted after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has reviewed and recommended approval of the specific facility.

Chapter 17.108 Flood Hazard Area Regulations:

The Pueblo County Flood Hazard Area Regulations were established to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions within the County. The regulations provide a method to review and approve or deny proposals for development or construction within designated flood hazard zones.

The areas of “special flood hazard” are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency based upon, “The Flood Insurance Study for the County of Pueblo,” dated September 29, 1989, and accompanying Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) also dated September 29, 1989. The regulations apply to any construction, development, or substantial modifications within the flood hazard area and the permit and authorization process is administered by the Director of the Department of Planning and Development.

Special District Service Plan:

The County's review and approval authority relative to special districts is set forth in State statute rather than locally adopted resolutions.

Article 1, Title 32 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) sets forth the criteria to establish and operate a "Special District." Section 32-1-202(1), CRS, requires the filing of a Service Plan with the County Clerk and Recorder's Office for approval by the Board of County Commissioners prior to petitioning the District Court to organize the proposed District.

A portion of 32-1-202(1) and 32-1-204(2), CRS, relate to review of the service plan by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is to review the service plan and present its recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners. The Board then sets a public hearing date for review and vote on the plan. The Board may approve the plan as is, disapprove the plan as is, or approve the plan with conditions.

Following approval by the Board of County Commissioners, the applicant may file a petition for organization of the special district in district court. The district court then sets and holds a hearing on the petition. Upon hearing and finding by the court that the petition conforms to all statutory requirements, a court order is issued directing an election be held regarding the organization of the district and five persons to serve as the initial board of the special district. If the majority of votes cast in the election favor creation of the district, the court will declare the special district "organized" and designate the first board of the district.

Public Information/Specific Research Request:

Public Information. The Department provides a great deal of public information on a daily basis. A few examples are: explaining the allowable land uses and possible subdivision options in a given zone district, identifying the specific requirements for parking lots and signs, distributing master listings of approved land use cases, or issuing a “zoning authorization” for building permits.

Specific Research Requests. On numerous occasions, the Department is requested by private land owners, realtors, or other persons, to research the history of a specific parcel of land, a specific use of the land, and/or the zoning of the land. The research will establish the date the parcel was created, as it is currently configured, and whether or not the parcel or any of the existing land uses have been legally established, as well as what the allowable land uses are for the parcel in accordance with the existing zone district.

Text Amendments (Changes to County Code):

Text Amendments are a process which allows for revisions to the Pueblo County Code by the public as well as employees of the county. The Department of Planning and Development specifically deals with changes to Title 16 Subdivisions and Title 17 Land Use. Text amendments are brought before the Pueblo County Planning Commission at a properly noticed public hearing for review and recommendation. The amendment is then heard by the Board of County Commissioners at a public hearing at which time evidence and testimony are taken and the recommendations of the Planning Commission are received. The Board may approve or reject the amendment by a resolution.  

Purposes of Planned Unit Development

PURPOSE. This district is established in accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes, Sections 24-67-101, et seq., for the following purposes:

  1. To further the public health, safety, integrity and general welfare within Pueblo County in an era of increasing urbanization;
  2. To provide for necessary commercial, recreational, and educational facilities conveniently located to residential housing;
  3. To provide for well-located, clean, safe and pleasant industrial sites involving a minimum of strain on transportation and other public facilities and services;
  4. To ensure that the provisions of the zoning laws and regulations promulgated thereunder which direct the uniform treatment of dwelling type, bulk density, and open space within each zoning district will not be applied to the improvement of land by other than lot-by-lot development in a manner which would distort the objectives of the zoning laws and regulations;
  5. To provide more flexibility and latitude of design;
  6. To provide more flexibility in the development review process;
  7. To provide for a greater variety of principal and accessory use in the development of land;
  8. To address the advantages resultant from technological change;
  9. To encourage a more efficient use of land and of public services, or private services in lieu thereof;
  10. To ensure adequate and timely public facilities and services;
  11. To lessen the burden of traffic on streets and highways;
  12. To conserve the value of the land;
  13. To provide a procedure which can relate the type, design and layout of residential, commercial and industrial development to the particular site, thereby encouraging the preservation of the site’s natural characteristics;
  14. To encourage innovative and creative development of parks, recreation areas, and open space; and
  15. To encourage integrated planning in order to achieve the above purposes.

Recorded PUDs

  • 148 E. Assembly Dr. PUD 2014-006
  • 148 E. Assembly Dr. PUD Amended 2016-004
  • 40th Lane Farm PUD 2010-001
  • 41 North Precision Drive PUD 2013-005
  • 67 Silicon PUD 2014-007
  • Amended Country Hollows PUD 2007-001
  • Ark River Investors PUD 2014-009
  • Brazil Estates PUD 2003-001
  • Cannasource PUD 2018-005
  • Colorado Cannabis PUD 2013-003
  • Compassionate Care PUD 2014-002
  • Country Hollows PUD 2005-003
  • Coyote Run Estates PUD 2006-001
  • Cuerno Verde PUD 2005-002
  • Cultiv8 Cannabis PUD 2014-008
  • Fort Reynolds PUD 2006-002
  • Generation Acres PUD 2006-003
  • Greenhorn Meadows Mobile Home PUD 2007-003
  • Heritage Organics PUD 2014-001
  • J.D. Vigil PUD 2002-001
  • Laughing Creek Ranch PUD 2007-004
  • Midwest Ranch PUD 2015-001
  • Midwest Ranch Amended PUD 2015-005
  • Monterey Villas PUD 2002-004
  • Nature Center Storage Facility PUD 2002-003
  • Olson Acres PUD 2003-002
  • Organic Solutions Amended PUD 2018-006
  • P.F.J., LLC PUD 2016-007
  • Phoenix Foundation PUD 2015-003
  • Pueblo West Organics PUD 2015-002
  • Sherwood PUD 2013-002
  • Smile High Farms PUD 2016-006
  • Snell PUD 2012-001
  • St. Charles River Estates PUD 2001-001
  • Stealey’s PUD 2007-002
  • The Eden Park One PUD 2018-004
  • The Greener Side PUD 2013-001
  • TJTA PUD 2016-002
  • Valley Pet Hotel PUD 2008-001
  • Warrior Kit PUD 2014-005
  • Welborn PUD 2015-008
  • Wildhorse Storage PUD 2015-004
  • Yeti Farms PUD 2014-011

For more information, please refer to recorded plats in the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder’s Department at the Pueblo County Courthouse:

215 West 10th Street

Pueblo, CO  81003

Purpose of the RLUP

AUTHORITY:  A cluster development is any division of land that creates parcels containing less than thirty-five acres each, for single-family residential purposes only, where one or more tracts are being divided pursuant to a rural land use process and where at least two-thirds of the total area of the tract or tracts is reserved for the preservation of open space in perpetuity.  No rural land use process shall approve a cluster development that would exceed one residential unit for each seventeen and one-half acre increment of the total area of the property.  The Cluster Development allows the property to be subdivided by a subdivision exemption per State Statutes and the Pueblo County Code.  The Rural Land Use Process is the development review for zoning for design principles.

 

PURPOSE:  The purpose of the rural land use process is to provide an alternative method of land division that encourages the clustering of single-family residential dwellings and the preservation of open spaces in the rural portions of the County.  it is the intent of this section to allow the County to consider flexible and creative subdivision design concepts under cluster development.

 

GOALS:  The goals of the Rural Land Use Process are as follows;

1.   To implement a simple and streamlined land use process as an alternative to platting, rezoning, or thirty-five (35) acre land division.

2.  To encourage alternatives to 35-acre parcels that would allow maximum retention of characteristics considered important to Pueblo County and most valued by its citizens.

3.  To maintain and enhance rural character by protecting, preserving, and conserving existing rural landscapes.

4.  To encourage development that promotes continued or future agricultural and ranching land uses and protects the County's rural character, open space, and the character of existing communities while recognizing current zoning.

5.  To preserve the agricultural integrity of Pueblo County and promote its continued productivity.

6.  To reduce infrastructure costs and impacts by providing greater flexibility and efficiency in the siting and design of services and infrastructure.

7.  To encourage and promote good use of the land while responding to lifestyle choices.

8.  To improve rural planning practices and designs by encouraging appropriate and site-sensitive rural residential development.

9.  To create compact neighborhoods within areas that are accessible to open space amenities and with a strong community identity.

10. To assure the preservation of open space and significant wetlands areas, and to protect wildlife or critical areas.

11. To preserve and conserve water resources.

Recorded RLUPs

• Cedarwood View Estates RLUP 2004-001
• Mountain View Estates RLUP 2003-001
• Twin Butte Estates Amended RLUP 2006-001

For more information, please refer to recorded plats in the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder’s Department at the Pueblo County Courthouse:

215 West 10th Street

Pueblo, CO  81003

Title 17 Land Use Division I. Zoning

Map Amendment (Rezoning):

Pueblo County is divided into nearly two dozen districts or zones for the purpose of land use regulation. Each of these zone districts identifies permitted land uses, both by-right and by-review, along with regulations governing minimum lot area, building sizes, building heights, setbacks of structures from property lines, parking requirements, and other development standards. Occasionally, it becomes necessary or desirable to change the zoning classification of a particular area to accommodate a different type of land use. A map amendment involves the process of changing the official zone classification for a particular area. Once a map amendment is approved by the Board of County Commissioners, the new zone area, or "rezoning", is added to the official map maintained by the Department of Planning and Development.

Planned Unit Development (PUD):

The planned unit development (PUD) district is an alternative to conventional land use regulations, combining use, density and site plan considerations into a single process. The PUD is intended to be a zoning map designation, applied to a parcel of land only after a site-specific and project-specific review of proposed land uses is conducted.

Rural Land Use Plan (RLUP):

The Rural Land Use process was adopted by Pueblo County to provide an alternative method of land division that encourages the clustering of single-family residential dwellings to maintain rural character, preserve open space, reduce the extension of roads and utilities, and offer landowners a new approach for developing the land without going through the full subdivision process. It provides a means of developing rural property while at the same time protecting wildlife habitat or critical areas, maintaining agricultural lands suitable for farming or ranching operations, and preserve and conserve water resources. In order to go through the Rural Land Use Process, the Cluster Development criteria must be met.

Similar Use Determination:

the Planning Commission may find, based upon the determination of the Pueblo County Zoning Administrator or upon its own finding, that a requested use is similar to those uses listed as uses-by-right or -by-review in the zone district in which the parcel is located. A similar use determination by the Zoning Administrator or by the Pueblo County Planning Commission shall not be site specific and shall thereafter be binding upon Pueblo County in the interpretation and administration of this Title unless and until the same is amended in accordance with law and regulation. Pueblo County provides a list of uses permitted by zone district. However, not all types of uses are listed. For uses that are not listed in the code the county must determine if such unlisted uses are similar to other permitted uses in the district

Special Use Permit:

In each zone district, land uses are divided into "uses-by-right," which are permitted without any review or approval, and "uses-by-review," which require review and approval by the Pueblo County Planning Commission prior to establishment of the use or activity. The concept of zoning relating to "special use" or "use-by-review" is that such uses are not inherently inconsistent with the "uses-by-right" of a zone district; however, a specific "special use" may not be appropriate at a specific location.

The Planning Commission is given the opportunity to consider the compatibility of the use with surrounding uses and impose reasonable conditions to ensure consistency with the character of the area and to minimize adverse impacts. Special Use Permits are granted by the Planning Commission rather than the Board of County Commissioners and appeal of the Planning Commission's action is to District Court. Special Use Permits run with the land and are not limited to the original applicant.

Zoning Variance:

In each zone district, there are specific building standards relating to setback distances and height limitations for structures. Sometimes, these standards cannot be accommodated due to the particular physical surroundings, shape, or topographical condition of a property. In these situations, the Zoning Board of Appeals (Board of County Commissioners) has the authority to relax certain dimensional regulations within the zoning code, such as lot width/depth and setback distances, so that property owners can have reasonable use of their property.

Off-Street Parking and Loading:

All new construction or significant modification of existing structures or land uses involving multi-residential, commercial, or industrial activities must submit an off-street parking plan for review and approval by the Department of Planning and Development. Minimum parking standards apply to all categories of land use within each zone district. These standards are designed to lessen congestion by providing paved, off-street parking to residents, employees, customers, clients, patients, and other visitors.

Outdoor Lighting:

All new construction or a significant modification of existing structures or land uses involving multi-residential, commercial, or industrial activities requiring outdoor lighting must submit an outdoor lighting plan for review and approval by the Department of Planning and Development. Staff reviews the outdoor lighting plan for conformance with the applicable provisions of the County Code.

Advertising Devices and Signs:

The County Code requires property owners, or their representative, to submit a sign plan prior to erecting advertising devises on a property or building. Each zone district has standards relating to the type (e.g. freestanding, wall mounted, etc.), number, location and height of permitted signage. Staff reviews the sign plan for conformance with the applicable provisions of the County code.

Certificate of Nonconformance (Includes Use, Structures, Parcels of Record):

A Certificate of Nonconformance is a recorded document that identifies a specific use, parcel, and/or structure which lawfully existed prior to the enactment of the Pueblo County code, or any subsequent amendments thereof (i.e., map amendments), but which does not conform to the requirements of the zone district in which it is located. Certificate of Nonconformance is the formal name of the recorded instrument recognizing uses or structures that are "grandfathered" under zoning.

Home Occupation:

Home Occupations allow the operation of a "small business," primarily an office or a service, as an accessory use in an individual's residence. The "business" is limited to performance standards that are identified in the Pueblo County Code. A home occupation is allowed upon completion of a Home Occupation Disclosure Form available through the Department.

Zoning Authorizations for Building Permit:

The Department of Planning and Development determines what zone district a property lies in. Applicants must submit a plot plan indicating lot width and depth; combined square footage of structures on the property, both established and proposed; and the distance structures are setback from the property line on sides, the front, and the rear. This Department verifies that the proposed use of the property, the structural setbacks, lot depth and width, all meet the zone district requirements.

Appeal of Zoning Administrator's Decision:

(Chapter 17.140 Appeals Article 2 Pueblo County Zoning Board of Appeals)

If an individual, firm, or corporation disagrees with a decision of the Zoning Administrator (Director of Planning) regarding an interpretation of the County code, such interpretation may be appealed. The appeal must be filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals (Board of County Commissioners) and requires a properly noticed public hearing during which evidence and testimony are taken. The Zoning Board of Appeals may find in favor of the appeal or deny the appeal based on the specific conditions of each case.