Building Department

The Building Department administers building codes as adopted by the Board of County Commissioners for the design, construction, and renovation of all structures and onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) in unincorporated Alamosa County.

Types of Permits issued:

  • Building Permit
  • Reroofing Permit
  • Demolition Permit
  • OWTS Permit
       How to apply for a building permit

The following list is a summary of the required items, the complete checklist of the required documents with an example site plan is available using the link below. 
click for complete list:  Printable Building Packet
When you submit your completed application, the Building Division staff will give you an approximate date when you can expect to hear from the County. The actual time it takes to receive approval is determined by the clarity and completeness of your application materials, as well as the number of other applications awaiting review. If your submitted documents are complete, accurate and meet all the code requirements, the possibility of your application requiring resubmittal or correction is reduced. 
Building Permit Submittals 
o    Proof of Legal Water 
o    Proof of Legal Sanitation 
o    County Driveway Permit or CDOT Access Permit for road and driveway may be required.
o    HOA approval must be provided if there is an active HOA.
o    Complete set of construction drawings

To apply click here.

       How to apply for an OWTS permit

Purpose 

On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems Act, 25-10- 101, et seq., C.R.S. (OWTS Act); and, Colorado Water Quality Control Commission On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Regulation Number 43, 5 CCR 1002-43 (Regulation 43).

The purpose of Regulation 43 is to:
•    Eliminate or control the causes of diseases and infections
•    Protect public health, safety and welfare
•    Protect the quality of the environment
•    Reduce the pollution of the air, land and water
•    Regulate waste from residences, businesses, industrial buildings, and other uses
It is declared to be in the public interest to establish regulations regarding On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems in Alamosa County, Colorado and to provide the authority for the administration and enforcement of such regulations.
Responsibility

These regulations govern all aspects of permits, performance, location, construction, installation, maintenance, alteration, use, and repair of OWTS in Alamosa County except those aspects that are specifically reserved by law solely to the State of Colorado.
Whenever it is uncertain as to whether an OWTS ( formally known as ISDS) should be reviewed under these regulations or state regulations, the more stringent and restrictive applies.

Copies

The On-Site Wastewater Treatment System include standards and requirements for installing an individual sewage disposal system (septic tank / leach field).
Offline amendments and reformatting of the document are ongoing. Hard copies of the current document are available in the Alamosa County Land Use and Building Department. 

OWTS Contractor & Cleaner Licensing

Becoming a Septic Contractor/Installer

Septic Contractors/Installers must be licensed by the Alamosa County Land Use and Building Department. Licensing involves taking an open book test from the OWTS Regulations. Tests may be taken during regular business hours Monday-Friday. A copy of the Regulations may be purchased at our office. Please be aware that testing takes, on average, about 2 hours. Once you have passed the test, you will then need to pay a $25.00 licensing fee.  Licenses must be renewed each year. If your license expires you must test again to reinstate your license.

Question and Answers: 
How long is the permit valid? 
The septic system permit is valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance. 

Who can install a septic system?
All systems must be installed by a licensed Alamosa County septic installer.  For a list of our latest licensed installers, please click here

What inspections are required during installation?
Your OWTS permit fee entitles you to one inspection during the construction process Additional inspection fees will be charged if more inspections are necessary. All components of the system must be left exposed until the inspection is completed unless otherwise approved in advance by the inspector. Arrangements for all inspections should be made at least one business day in advance of the requested inspection time.

Does snow and winter weather affect my ability to construct an OWTS? 
OWTS are generally constructed between April – November due to the challenges of working in freezing temperatures and snow.  Alamosa County usually puts a hold on all systems once frost is visible in the ground.  

       How to apply for an electrical or plumbing permit

All building permits that require electrical or plumbing components must have permits issued by the State of Colorado. You may apply online here.

Building Framing with Construction worker

Inspection & Plan Review Policy

All inspection requests require a minimum 24-hour notice. Permit applications are processed in the order they are received.

  • Residential Building Plans require a minimum of 7-business days of review.
  • Commercial Building Plans require a minimum of 14-business days of review.
  • Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) plans require a minimum 72-hours of review
  • Re-roof and fencing permits may still be issued same day but certain applications may take up to 24-hours to review.

Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS)

  • New regulations for OWTS (septic systems) were adopted statewide in 2014 through Regulation 43.

  • Property Owners:
  • Installers:
    • All systems contractors must become licensed as a competent technician as defined by Regulation 43 and pass a test to install in Alamosa County.
      • More information about becoming a competent technician is available here.

Construction Design Standards

The Alamosa County Building Department requires the following design standards for ALL Construction:

  • Design Standard:
    • 2012 International Residential Code(s)
      • IBC – IRC – IMC
    • Energy Code: 2009 IECC
  • Roof Snow Load:
    • 30 PSF
    • 40 PSF – Zapata Subdivision
  • Wind Velocity:
    • IRC – 90 MPH (Exposure C w/ a 3 second gust)
    • IBC – 115 MPH
  • Seismic Zone: 1
  • Occupancy Category: Type V-N, R-3 or Type V-I
  • Elevation: 7,500'
  • Frost Depth: 40" with a 6" exposure (water lines at a minimum of 5’ or 60”)
  • Insulation: R-10 Foundation wall
    • R-49 Ceiling
    • R-21 Walls
  • Climate Zone: 6

Manufactured Home Regulations

  • Zoning Requirements:
    • Single Section Manufactured homes (single-wides) may not be older than 15 years.
      • Single-wides need to go through the Special Use Permit application process for most zoned districts.
    • Multi-Section Manufactured homes (double-wides) may not be older than 1976
  • All Manufactured Homes must sit on a permanent foundation.
    • Foundation Drawings stamped by a Colorado Licensed Engineer are required.
    • List of Local Engineers.
  • Manufactured Home Permit Costs:
    • Based off of Sq footage of the structure. 2021 IBC & IRC standards.
  • Sample Manufactured Home Plans

Person writing on paper on top of table

Frequently Asked Questions

         When do I need a building permit?

All structures over 200 square feet need a permit as do fences over 6 feet, solar panels, demolition projects, re-roofing, decks/patios, residential additions of any kind, and onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS).

       What are the current building codes?
  • 2012 International Building Code (IBC)
  • 2012 International Residential Code (IRC)
  • 2012 International Mechanical Code ( IMC)
  • 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
       What are your insulation requirements?
  • Walls: R-21 
  • Ceilings: R-49
  • Foundation wall: R-10
       Do you require contractors to be licensed?

Contractor licenses are not required in the county for construction except for OWTS Installers/Cleaners and Manufactured Home Installers.

       How much do permits cost?

Building permits are based on the cost of construction which is calculated by using this guide.

  • Roofing: $100 (per building)
    • Ex. House with detached garage is $200 if re-roofing garage also.
  • OWTS Permit Price:$400
  • Demolition Permit Price:$0 (State Demolition Permit Required)

 

Monthly Permit Reports

Monthly Permit Reports are generally available no later than two weeks into the following month i.e. January reports should be available by February 14th. If the report is unavailable and it is past the two week mark, please call the Land Use office at (719) 589-3812 for assistance.

More detailed permit summaries are available by request for a fee. A CORA request must be submitted and approved before more detailed reports can be generated by our department.
 

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