Have you ever wondered what ‘Zoning’ means in home and/or business ownership? And, I am not talking about daydreaming in company meetings…In conjunction with zoning regulations and resolution, every city and subdivision is assigned a zone before any building can begin. It is especially important to understand what zoning means before conducting business, adding additions to the home or acquiring animals.


Douglas County Zoning Resolution

A Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County, Colorado that establishes land use classifications within zone districts. The health, safety, convenience, aesthetics and welfare of the present and future residents of Douglas County are assured through the regulations, prohibitions and procedures described within the document.

This Zoning Resolution governs the use of land for residential and non-residential purposes, limits the height and bulk of buildings and other structures, limits lot occupancy and determines the setbacks and provides for open spaces, by establishing standards of performance and design.

The Zoning Resolution also prescribes:

Procedures for changes and modifications of districts, uses by special review, variances, and other permits, allowing for nonconforming uses and buildings, providing regulations for accessory uses and buildings, defines terms, provides a means of appeal, and remedies for violation of its provisions. The methods for modification to the Zoning Resolutions are also established.



The job of enforcement is quite challenging, considering that the County is comprised of approximately 844 square miles of land regulated by multiple zoning documents, but vital to maintaining a quality living environment and orderly development. Zoning enforcement is the responsibility of the Zoning Administrator, the Zoning Compliance Official(s), and the Site Development Administrator(s) who must not only be knowledgeable of the County Zoning Resolution, but must also be knowledgeable of more than 55 separate PD development plans. For land zoned Planned Development (PD), development standards are created that set forth land uses, setbacks, and other design standards that differ from the County Zoning Resolution. Zoning violations are principally handled on a complaint basis. The landowner on a voluntary basis corrects the majority of zoning violations. Landowners are taken to court for final resolution in less than 1% of the cases. Protective Covenants Where a protective covenant is more restrictive than the zoning regulations, the covenant is enforceable by the landowners within the subdivision. On the other hand, if a protective covenant would permit a use prohibited by County zoning regulations, the County would intervene and would require the landowner to take corrective action. House Bill 1231, which became law July 1, 1988, allows individual homeowners and homeowner associations to enforce their neighborhood protective covenants in small claims court. This is less costly and time consuming than going to District or County court. 54 Following is a listing and an explanation of a few of the most commonly violated regulations. Trash, Junk, Inoperative Vehicles. The number one complaint concerns the accumulation of junk, trash or inoperative vehicles. Junk, trash or inoperative vehicles may not be stored outside in any zoning district. An inoperative vehicle may be kept in a garage; however, the garage may not be used for the purpose of salvaging or parting-out vehicles or equipment. Junkyards or auto wrecking yards are only allowed as a use by special review in the General Industrial (GI) zoning district. (Section 2 General Requirements, subsection 206) Household Pets/Animals In the residential zoning districts, household pets are limited to a maximum of 4 dogs, or cats, or a combination thereof. In the A-1/LRR/RR/ER zoning districts domestic livestock are permitted based on parcel/lot area. Setbacks apply to corrals, arenas, and barns and only a limited area of the lot may be devegetated. (See the animal charts in this document which summarize these regulations, or Section 24 Animals for more detailed information.)


To learn what zoning will allow and not allow for your specific property:


What zone are you?