Rio Grande County Land Use

Office Hours: Monday – Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

925 6th Street Room 208
Del Norte, CO 81132

Phone: 719-657-4003
Fax: 719-657-2514

Welcome to our County!

Getting Started in Rio Grande County

Land Use AdministratorDixie

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to live in Rio Grande County?

Now that you are here, where do you settle in?

Will you choose a city, subdivision close to a city, or property on which to build your dream home to get away from it all? In making your decision, please keep in mind that Rio Grande County has adopted a “Right to Farm” ordinance.

Farmers & ranchers will most definitely have different and varying work hours and also equipment that you might find to be noisy and disturbing. Most farmers and ranchers have been here in the "Valley" for a number of years and take pride in their farming and ranching businesses and operations.  Dust, odor, farm animals, and all matters that go along with the operation of their business might be new to you. Take some extra time to view the surrounding neighborhood.  See what other homes surround your area of interest.  

Colorado has an open range law. If you do not want cattle, sheep, or other livestock on your property, it is your responsibility to fence them out. It is not the responsibility of the farmer or rancher to keep the livestock off your property. A copy of the “Right to Farm” ordinance is available in the Land Use Administration Office.

All of Rio Grande County is zoned.  Please contact  the Land Use Administration Office prior to purchasing  property and inquire about the zoning of the property you may be thinking of purchasing. We are eager to assist you in attaining the knowledge you require in order to make a purchase you will be satisfied with "after your purchase".

Rio Grande County does not have a “leash law” for domestic pets.  Any pets are the responsibility of the owner.

Rio Grande County does not have funding for  mosquito control.  Check with the towns for information regarding pest services.

Rio Grande County's Weed Control Office is located in Monte Vista, Colorado at 0164 W 3 N. Darrel Plane can be reached at (719) 852-4804 or (719) 580-0089.

If you have now purchased your property and feel you would like to get started building that dream home or are ready to have your modular set on your property, make sure you check with the Land Use Office for zoning and also with the Rio Grande County Building Department before you begin to build. If your recently purchased property requires fencing and/or out-buildings you may have planned, this also requires that you check with the proper Rio Grande County office. This will avoid construction delays and any misunderstandings of code requirements.

If you own a river front lot, we encourage you to again use COMMON SENSE. It is very tempting to build as close to the river as possible. You need to think about the consequences before you build. Building close to the bank, putting decks out over the river, or even cutting willows or any trees along the bank could have a very negative effect on the flow and course of the river on your property. You may also want to check with your independent insurance agent regarding flood insurance and their coverage in the event of rising water and any potential water damage to your structures. It is the responsibility of the property owner to obtain all permits involved for the construction of a new home.

Permits Needed:

  1. Zoning (building permits) Permits
  2. Septic System Permits
  3. State Plumbing and Electrical Permits
  4. Well Permits
  5. State Access Permits (if needed to access property off of a State Highway) (Additionally, you may want to check to make sure your property has a legal access.)
  6. Covenants and Homeowners Association Requirements (if you are building in an approved subdivision).

Remember: it is much easier to do it right the first time!

The above list represents only a small number of things that property owners within Rio Grande County may need to know. Please ask if you are uncertain. It is the goal of this county to make the transition to this life as easy as possible. You will find that zoning and building codes protect us all.