Building/Land Use/Subdivision

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Building Permits

Generally, no building permits are required and no certificates of occupancy are issued for the construction and placement of any structures in the unincorporated area of Delta County.  However, development must comply with land use standards (type of use, setbacks, etc) in the Land Use Code [NOTE: ALSO CHECK FOR PLAT NOTES THAT RESTRICT DEVELOPMENT].  All structures and on-site wastewater treatment systems (e.g. septic) must meet the following required setbacks.

25 feet
Edge of any ditch
25 feet
Edge of road right-of-way (public and private)
15 feet
Interior property lines, other than abutting road
50 feetTop of bank (river, stream, creek)

Any questions involving snow loads or other construction questions will have to be directed toward a registered professional engineer/contractor. One exception to building permits is that lands within the Highway 92 Overlay require a building permit.

Development Fees

The Planning and Community Development (Land Use) fee schedule is established under Resolution 2021-R-007 adopted March 16, 2021, to include permit types from the 2021 Land Use Code.  These are the fees that are currently in effect.  

Impact fees shall apply to new all development pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Land Use Code, to be established by resolution.  The current resolution retained existing impact fees (Fire Mitigation, Parks and Open Space) that apply to subdivisions only.  The Fire Mitigation (Impact) Fee of $500/lot is assessed and distributed to the Fire District where the project is located.  This fee helps fund capital projects related to fire suppression.  The Open Space Impact Fee of $300/lot is assessed and accounted by Commissioner District to use for supporting parks and recreation within that District.  The Land Use Code identifies adding a Road Impact Fee, and will require a study how to apply the fees to various types of development.

Electrical and Plumbing Permits/Inspections

Electrical and plumbing work in the unincorporated areas of Delta County requires permits from the State Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Professions and Occupations.   

Electrical Permit/Inspection:  The unincorporated area of Delta County is under the Colorado State Electrical Board Inspection. Office hours for questions and information: Weekdays 8-9 AM.

Floodplain Regulations

Boundaries of a floodplain are established by FEMA through Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Floodplain regulations are included as an appendix to the Delta County Land Use Code.  Ordinance 2013-002 establishes regulations for development in the floodplain, and requires a permit from the Delta County Environmental Health Division.  Information about what is required can be found on the Environmental Health webpage under the Flood Plain Protection tab.  

Highway 92 Overlay Image Opens in new windowHighway 92 Overlay District

In 2006, Delta County established the Highway 92 Overlay District (Resolution 2006-R-016), which generally consists of the area between H Road on the South, Homestead Road on the North, 1800 Road on the West and 2000 Road on the East (see map).  Subsequently Ordinance 2006-09 adopted the International Residential Code for one- and two-family dwellings and the International Building Code for other structures.   Inspections required by these regulations shall be performed by an ICC certified building inspector registered with Delta County.  Copies of inspection reports shall be submitted to the Delta County Planning Department.

Inter-Governmental Agreements (IGA)

Delta County has Inter-Governmental Agreements (IGA) with the City/Towns within the County.  This agreement establishes how the municipalities coordinate for development within three miles of the corporate boundary.  Delta County will consult the appropriate City/Town for recommendation on development applications in the unincorporated area located within three miles of the municipality.

Land Use Guidelines

The General Development Application Instructions provide a step-by-step narrative of the land use process, and the Land Use Matrix provides a brief summary.  These guidelines are for informational purposes to aid in understanding the Land Use Code process for all types of uses (Allowed, Permitted, Limited, Specific, and Conditional). 


In 2013, Delta County adopted an Ordinance 2013-01 prohibiting the operation of marijuana facilities (cultivation, manufacturing testing and retail) within the unincorporated areas of Delta County.  In 2018, Ordinance 2018-01 was adopted to allow limited cultivation or production of up to 12 plants per residential property.   

Right to Farm 

Colorado is a “Right to Farm” state as set forth in CRS 35-3.5-101 et seq.  Delta County Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution 99-R-020  (amending Resolution 99-R-033) establishing a “Right to Farm and Ranch Policy” recognizing all types of agricultural activities and operations are necessary for the continued vitality of the County’s economy.  Under State law and County policy, effects of agricultural activities (noise, dust, odor, smoke, etc.) may not be considered nuisances, so long as they are operated with the law and in a non-negligent manner.  A vision statement in the Master Plan states that “Delta County will remain an agricultural county by protecting agricultural lands and operations and supporting agricultural innovation.”

Special Events

No land use permit required pursuant to the Land Use Code, but a permit is required from Environmental Health for temporary events with food services - see the Health Department's Food Safety web page  for detailed information.  In addition, Chapter 2, Section 3.E of the Land Use Code establishes regulatory standards for Special Events to follow (access/parking, sanitation/cleanup, noise, security/fire protection, etc.).  


The following generally reflects the different types/processes for subdivision, all starting with submitting a pre-application form and fee submitted to the Planning Department:

Sketch/Concept Plan: An informal plan provided as part of the pre-application that helps illustrate the intended project, but is not required to be professionally drawn or to scale.

Minor Plat: 2-Lot subdivision - creating a second lot. 

Replat: Amending a Final Plat, including but not limited to, revising notes recorded on the Final Plat (no new lots created).  Might also include reconfiguring the lots, provided all lots are part of the original Final Plat (also see Lot/Boundary Line Adjustment).

Lot/Boundary Line Adjustments: Adjusting lot lines between existing parcels/lots, resulting in an equal number of lots (no new lots created).    

Boundary Adjustment (35+ Acre): Adjustment or revision of established, undisputed, existing boundary lines between parcels not previously subdivided, where such adjustment does not result in creating an additional lot less than 35 acres of land and none of which is intended for use by multiple owners.  Resolution 2003-R-027  requires review of street plans in “35-acre plus” subdivisions (Land Use Code Appendix).

The process for a 35+ acre Boundary Adjustment is Administrative.  Parcels 35+ acres in size can be created, but Planning must verify that no new lots less than 35 acres are created [NOTE: parcels being created through a Boundary Adjustment should not be divided by a public road].  Once Planning verifies compliance of the proposed Boundary Adjustment, then the County Surveyor completes a technical review prior to recording the plat.  

Preliminary Plat: Subdivision creating 3+ lots requires consideration by the Planning Commission, who will make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.  

Cluster Design:  Allows for consideration of a smaller lot configuration and may allow for more lots that the minimum allowed by zoning in exchange for a layout of clustered that are designed to protect significant agricultural, natural, scenic or archaeological resources.  

Variance:  Minimum lot area, width and frontage are established by zoning.  The County may consider creation of new lots that do not conform provided specific findings are met: unique conditions (e.g. shape or topography), special circumstances (e.g. hardship), and conforms to other land use standards.  Variance requests are considered by the Board of Adjustments at a public hearing.  Lots involved with granting a variance may not be subdivided further.