Development Services - Planning Department
The Planning Department facilitates community and economic development while protecting the health, safety, and general welfare of present and future residents of Archuleta County.
The Community Plan is a vision for the future of your community, in text and maps. Planning is how we achieve that future.
The Planning Department staffassists citizens by:
- Implementing the approved Archuleta County Community Plan
- Administering the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations, including zoning, subdivision, mining and floodplain regulations.
- Providing guidance to property owners and neighbors through permitting processes.
The Planning Commissionis the statutory land use planning body for the County. The Planning Commission is responsible for adopting the Community Plan, recommending changes to the Land Use Regulations, and investigating and recommending action on land use applications.
Land Use Changes
Most "development", including construction, change of use of property, mining, temporary uses, division of land under 35 acres, and any work done in a floodplain, is reviewed with a Land Use Permit. Zoning information on your property is available on the Assessor's Online Map (Portico). You can review the Land Use Regulations in the left tab. Contact Planning staff early in your project to check on permit requirements.
IMPROPERLY DIVIDED PARCELS (Under 35 acres)
Archuleta County Board Resolution 2018-54 provides a one-year process to legalize Improperly Divided Parcels (IDPs) under 35 acres created without Board approval since 1972. See Planning Proposals in left tab.
Archuleta County Planning Department is now accepting Archuleta County Vacation Rental permits for short-term rental of homes, condos, or townhouses, after a Pre-Application Conference. More information is available in the left tab.
Call to schedule a required Pre-Application Conference before completing a Vacation Rental Permit application, 970.264.1390 (after 9am MST, M-F).
You can camp in an RV (including many "TIny Homes") on your own residential property with a TEMPORARY USE PERMIT for a 120-day camping season each year. All homes for permanent residence must meet building codes and require a building permit. Link to the Building Dept. in the side tab.
Land Use Permits can only be approved for a Legal Lot, which is a lot, parcel or tract of land created prior to September 1, 1972, or after that date by Subdivision Review or exempted by the Board of County Commissioners. Any division of land under 35 acres since that date must go through Subdivision Review.
Our residents and visitors value dark skies they don't enjoy in the city. All new outdoor lighting, including replacement fixtures, are required to meet Section 5.4.4 of the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations, in particular:
- Full cut-off fixture--light cannot shine up into the sky.
- Fully shielded fixture with opaque or translucent shielding--bulb light cannot be visible.
PUBLIC INFO ONLINE FOR LAND USE PERMITS
Citizen Access for Planning & Building permits is now available online. Look up development information and plans, via the Accela hosted website:
(Note: Our mobile app is still a work in progress. For best results, access via a desktop connection.)
The Archuleta County Land Use Regulations apply to all development of buildings, structures, and uses of land in unincorporated Archuleta County. Any complaints shall be in writing and signed by the complainant. The County shall not be obligated to investigate complaints not filed in writing.
Land Use Complaint Form (PDF).