Most cities and towns, as well as many counties, have developed land use codes specific to floodplain and riparian areas. Certain municipalities have also developed ‘special use’ permits that must be approved for specific activities.

Limited Impact Special Use (LISU) Review

For example, Boulder County has a Limited Impact Special Use (LISU) Review. This permit is required for developments or uses that may potentially have a significant impact on the property, such as large earthwork projects (more than 500 cubic yards), wind powered electric generators (wind turbines) or accessory dwellings for agricultural units. This permit is approved by the Board of County Commissioners and a pre-application appointment must be made with a County Planner through the Land Use Department.

Hazard Mitigation Review

Another land use code unique to Boulder County is the Hazard Mitigation Review (HMR). This set of regulations was created following the 2013 flood and applies to rebuilding homes in its aftermath. The goals of the program include rebuilding resilient and sustainable communities through wise decisions, assessing the safety of the proposed restoration/construction and educating owners on risks with respect to future events. The HMR process involves evaluating the hazards on a property in order to allow safer and more resilient properties. If you are the owner of a destroyed or severely damaged structure in unincorporated Boulder County, you can contact the Flood Rebuilding & Permit Information Center to begin the process.

Land Use Department:

Flood Rebuilding & Permit Information Center: