Land Use & Development

Planning in Alamosa County is guided by the County Master Plan and the Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) adopted in 2009.

  • These guidelines promote public safety and stabilize property values while balancing the need for economic development with our agricultural heritage.
  • Residential uses are allowed in most zoned districts of the county with the exception of Commercial (C) and Industrial (I).
  • Most types of businesses require zoning review, please call the Land Use office to discuss the type of business and location.

Land Use Applications

These are the most common types of applications.

  • Each process requires the same application but the submittal requirements are different for each.
  • The Current Hearing Schedule gives the submittal deadlines for upcoming hearing dates.

Download the current Alamosa County Land Use Application.

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       Amendment to Zoning

This is an application to change zoning. The proposed change must be compatible with existing zoning. Zoning a single lot differently than surrounding lots is called “spot zoning” and is illegal.

Eligible applicants must fill out an Amendment to Zoning Application, submit supplementary documentation, and pay a $600 fee. The process takes between 60-90 days. You must attend two public hearings.

  • One before the Planning Commission and one before the Board of County Commissioners.
Legal Notice is sent to all neighbors within 1,500’ and published in the paper 30-days before each hearing.

           Minor Subdivisions

    Any division of land that creates lots smaller than 35 acres must go through the Minor Subdivision process. The property must not have been subdivided in at least fifteen years and must not be in an environmentally sensitive area. Minor subdivisions may not create more than a total of four lots and are often discouraged further than 3-miles outside of the City of Alamosa. Minimum lot size is 1 acre. You must have a survey completed by a registered, land surveyor. Here is a list of local surveyors.

    Eligible applicants must fill out a Minor Subdivision Application, submit supplementary documentation, and pay a $600 fee. The process takes between 60-90 days. You must attend two public hearings:

    • One before the Planning Commission and one before the Board of County Commissioners.
    Legal Notice is sent to all neighbors within 1,500’ and published in the paper 30-days before each hearing.

             Major Subdivisions

       Any subdivision creating more than a total of four lots is a major subdivision. Major subdivisions require four hearings: two for a preliminary plat and two for a final plat after required improvements are installed. The cost of a Major subdivision is $3,000 plus $50/per lot.

      • ​​Traffic studies may be required.
      • Installation of central water and sewer may be required
      • Underground utilities are required.
      • Street lighting is required within three miles of the City of Alamosa.
      • Installation of curb and gutter may be required.
      • A financial security is necessary in lieu of improvement completion.
      • ​A warranty or guarantee is required for all improvements after completion.​

             Replat/ Plat Vacation

      These applications change the shape of lots or consolidate lots but do not create additional lots. You must have a survey completed by a registered, land surveyor. Here is a list of local surveyors.

      Eligible applicants must fill out a Replat/Plat Vacation Application, submit supplementary documentation, and pay a $300 fee, Plat Vacations in the Zapata subdivision require an approval letter from the HOA. The process takes about 60 days. There is an administrative hearing with the Land Use Administrator. You are not required to attend the hearing. Legal Notice is published in the paper 30-days before the hearing.

               Special Use Permit

        These are for activities that are eligible in certain zoned districts but must be evaluated individually by the Board of County Commissioners. They are usually subject to conditions on a case-by-case basis.

        Eligible applicants must fill out a Special Use Application, submit supplementary documentation, and pay a $500 fee, The process takes between 60-90 days. You must attend two public hearings:

        • One before the Planning Commission and one before the Board of County Commissioners,
        Legal Notice is sent to all neighbors within 1,500’ and published in the paper 30-days before each hearing. *Medical marijuana businesses must apply for a Special Use Permit but there are additional requirements and the fee is $1,000.

                 Variance/Board of Adjustment

          An application to request special exception to the Land Use Code because of unique characteristics of a property or exceptional circumstances. Variance eligibility is rare.

          Eligible applicants must fill out a Variance Application, submit supplementary documentation, and pay a $500 fee, The process takes between 60-90 days, You must attend one public hearing before the Board of Adjustment. Legal Notice is sent to all neighbors within 1,500’ and published in the paper 30-days before each hearing.

            Code of the West

            Life in the country is different from life in the city. County governments are not able to provide the same level of service as municipal governments.

            • To that end, we encourage our rural residents to familiarize themselves with the County's Code of the West Policy.
            • Choosing to purchase rural land outside the boundaries of the City of Alamosa means you are accepting that school buses, road maintenance, mail, cellular/internet/phone, water/sewer, electrical, trash, and even emergency services may be limited, slow, or not available at all.
            • The Code of the West keeps with the spirit of westward expansion and is a guide for those who wish to emulate the pioneer lifestyle by living outside city limits.

            Cowboy at sunset

            Right to Farm and Ranch

            Agriculture is a way of life in Alamosa County. It is an important part of the economy and adds intrinsic value to life in Alamosa County.

            • Agriculture, as a business, brings with it noise, odors, dust, mud, smoke, and other inconveniences, such as weed burning, chemicals, equipment and livestock on public roads, noises at all hours of the day and night, and viewshed disturbance.
            • Alamosa County has adopted the Right to Farm and Ranch Policy to maintain our agricultural way of life.

            Green tractor

            Solar Development

            Alamosa County has two types of solar installations:

            1. Residential/Commercial solar which is an accessory use and requires a building permit.
            2. Utility-scale solar which is defined as an installation which produces more than 2 megawatts.

            Utility-scale solar installations require a HB 1041 Permit process for a Major Facility of a Public Utility for Areas and Activities of State Interest .

            • A 1041 permit requires a more robust permitting process and a full environmental review.
            • There are 5 utility-scale solar facilities in operation in Alamosa County and 3 facilities that are permitted for development.
              • These facilities generate 136.7 Megawatts or enough electricity to power over 22,418 homes in Colorado.
            • Read more in the Alamosa County Solar Quick Reference.
            • Read more about Alamosa County's 1041 Regulations.

            Solar Field in Alamosa County

            Economic Development

            Alamosa County is a business friendly community. For more information about economic development in Alamosa County and the San Luis Valley, download the San Luis Valley Development Resources Group (SLVDRG)'s 2013 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

            • SLVDRG administers the Enterprise Zone and offers incentives for qualifying new business facilities.
              • Businesses in the Enterprise Zone may qualify for tax credits that encourage job creation and investment.
              • SLVDRG operates the SLV Revolving Loan Fund.

            Alamosa Colorado Welcome Center