February 11th - Clarifications To Proposed
Livestock Regulation Amendments...
In 1963 when
Larimer County addressed livestock in the Land Use
Code there were mostly horses and cows in the
region. Today’s livestock choices also include
emus, alpacas, ostriches, llamas and others. The
County is updating the land use code regulations
to reflect these additional livestock choices.
Citizens can review the proposed amendments to the
livestock regulations on the county’s web site
and attend a
public hearing on the issue on Wednesday, February
15 at 6:30p.m. in the Larimer County Courthouse
Offices Building Hearing Room, 200 West Oak
Street, Fort Collins.
with any proposed changes, there are numerous
questions circulating about these proposed
amendments. Here are some clarifications:
How will the revised regulations affect my
existing livestock or equine facility? Will I have
to get rid of my animals or equine facility if the
revised regulations are adopted?
If existing uses are consistent with the new
regulations there will be no effect at all.
Any use that is legally established before an
amendment to the Land Use Code cannot be
eliminated by new regulations. If the
existing legal use is not consistent with the new
regulations the use becomes ‘non-conforming’
and is “grandfathered” in, meaning it is still
okay even if the land is sold. However these
‘non-conforming uses cannot be extended,
expanded or changed in character without going
through an appeal process, which may or may not
Why do we need an ‘Animal Unit Equivalent’?
Animal Unit Equivalents are based on weight and a
table in the proposed amendments reflects this so
that all animals are treated the same. Horses and
cows, for example, are given a value of 1 based on
1,000 pounds of weight and other livestock are
compared to this. Because horses and cows have
more potential impact on a neighborhood than a
llama or alpaca the animal unit equivalent would
allow more of the smaller animals letting the Code
treat all animals equally.
Where did the stocking rate of one animal unit
equivalent per acre of land come from?
The recommended stocking rate that is proposed
came from the Agricultural Advisory Board, a group
of citizen volunteers from the agricultural
industry who applied and were appointed by the
Board of County Commissioners to serve on the
Agricultural Advisory Board.
Where did we get the numbers for the table?
The original proposed table was prepared by the
Cooperative Extension Office. This table was
revised to include numbers suggested at a Planning
Commission hearing. These revised numbers were
also reviewed by the Extension Office. There are
hundreds of such tables in existence and the
numbers vary considerably depending on the purpose
of the table. The proposed amendments equate
an animal unit to approximately 1,000 pounds of
animal weight, an average weight of a cow or
Why do we need animal regulations now?
Again, Larimer County has had some animal
regulations since the first Zoning Resolution was
approved by the County Commissioners in 1963.
These regulations are silent on many types of
animals, such as emus, alpacas and others. The
proposed regulations attempt to address all the
different types of animals. Having
precise regulations helps everyone. Animal
owners, as well as neighbors, know how many
animals are allowed by right and if the property
owner wants additional animals there is a process
for the County Commissioners to consider such a
What if I want more animals than the regulations
allow “by right”?
The Board of County Commissioners is authorized,
by the regulations, to approve additional animals
through the Minor Special Review and Special
Review processes. These reviews are intended
to address potential impacts of animal uses on the
environment and the neighborhood. The
applications are referred to various agencies
which will make recommendations to the
Commissioners. The neighbors will be also
notified so they have an opportunity to comment.
The final decision rests with the Board of County
How will the revised regulations affect 4-H
A draft of the proposed amendments was referred to
the Extension Office and 4-H representatives
support the regulations because the proposed
changes are intended to address land stewardship,
and the 4-H program wants to promote stewardship
among its members. Like any other livestock owner,
4-H projects would be expected to meet the
regulations. The non-conforming use provisions
would also apply to a property that has had 4-H
projects in the past. If the use is legally
established, these revisions to the livestock
regulations will not change anything.
Larimer County Planning Commission will hold a
public hearing on the proposed amendments on
Wednesday, February 15 at 6:30p.m. in the Larimer
County Courthouse Offices Building Hearing Room,
200 West Oak Street, Fort Collins. The Planning
Commission will make a recommendation to the Board
of County Commissioners who also will hold a
hearing on the topic. Citizens can view the
suggested comparisons on the County’s web site,
the Virtual Courthouse at: http://www.larimer.org/hot/PCCodeAmendments15Feb06.pdf,
or simply go to www.larimer.org
and check under Hot
further information please contact Al Kadera in
the Larimer County Planning Department at (970)