Planning, Zoning and Building

Planning and Zoning
The Town of Grand Lake administers the oversight for planning and zoning activities within the municipal boundaries.  In January 2006, the Town of Grand Lake adopted the Comprehensive Land Use (Master) Plan to guide future development of Grand Lake. 
To view the Town of Grand Lake Zoning Map, click here.
 Please note: color variations of individual user computers and website browsers may vary.  If you are unable to determine your Zoning District, pleasr contact Grand Lake Town Hall for verification.
2006 Comprehensive Land Use (Master) Plan

Town of Grand Lake Wayfinding Masterplan

Town of Grand Lake Grand Avenue Streetscape Masterplan

Improving Trail Connections - Trail Routes between Grand Lake and Arapho National Forest

Town Building Department
The Town of Grand Lake contracts building services (permit review, issuance and project approval) with the Grand County Building Department. 

How it works:
  1. Submit a complete Building Permit Application to Town Hall.
  2. The Town reviews the application for compliance with Town Regulations.
  3. The Town forwards the application to the Grand County Building Department.
  4. The Grand County Building Department reviews the application for compliance with the applicable Building Code.
  5. The Grand County Building Department will notify the application contact when the permit has been approved.
  6. Approved building permits are available for pickup at the Grand County Building Department.  Payment is made directly to Grand County.
Town Planning and Zoning Inspections typically include:
Pre-Site Inspection
Setback Inspection
Final Inspection 
For Town inspections, please contact Town Hall and allow up to 24 hours for inspection. 

Building Code Inspections (concrete, framing, drywall, roofing, etc.) are administered by the Grand County Building Department.  Please contact them directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I want to build within the Town limits what do I need to do?

The first step is to pick up a building permit application at Town Hall or by downloading the application from the Applications and Forms
section of this website. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Town Planner ( or by calling 970.627.3435) to discuss your project. 

The Town of Grand Lake contracts for building services with Grand County Department of Building and Sanitation.  The Town will review your plan normally within a week's time and forward the application to Grand County. The Town is responsible reviewing compliancy with municipal regulations. The Town will also charge a use tax and an affordable housing fee based on the square footage of your project; fees are due at the time of permit pickup at the Grand County.  

If a water tap has not been purchased for the property, you must purchase a tap in conjunction with the submittal of the permit application.

If I own two lots, can I build one house over both lots?

Yes, you can build one house over two lots as long as a lot line agreement is signed. The lot line agreement states that the two lots cannot be sold separately unless the structure (house), and/or any other encroachments, over the two lots is/are removed and all current zoning regulations are met.

This agreement will be recorded with Grand County. A recording fee of is required and the applicant will be responsible for the fee. For a copy of the lot line agreement email us at
Who assigns an address for my lot?

The Town is responsible for assigning addresses in the Town of Grand Lake. To determine what your address is contact us at

The Town makes every effort possible to ensure the addressing within the Town is accurate and up to date to be able to aide emergency service personnel, utility providers and delivery providers in locating the addresses.  Please contact Town Hall if you believe that your property has been misaddressed.
What are the setbacks on my lot?

Each zoning district has different required setbacks. Here are the setbacks for the most common zones; for all others please review our zoning regulations by clicking here and navigating to Chapter 12-2: Zoning Regulations:
Max Height
Min. Lot Size
Single Family District - High Density
5,000 sq ft
Commercial Transitional District
5,000 sq ft
Commercial District
2,500 sq ft
What colors can I paint my house?

The Town of Grand Lake has Design Review Standards, which requires that any exterior work completed on a structure must first be approved by the Town. The Town's current Design Review Standards can be found at: .  Color palette can be found at the end of the Municipal Code section.
How close can I build next to a lake, river, or wetland in the Town limits?

To help preserve the environmental quality of our lakes, rivers and wetlands, the Town of Grand Lake requires a 30' setback from the high water mark of a river or lake and 30' from the end of a wetland. A variance to this setback may be allowed if hardships can be proven. 
I want to subdivide my property, what is required to do this?

The Town of Grand Lake requires that any subdivision of land must conform to the Grand Lake Land Subdivision Regulations. If there are four or fewer lots being created a minor subdivision will be allowed.

For larger projects the regular four-step subdivision process is required. The Planning Commission requires a Sketch Plan Review, Preliminary Plat Review (Public Hearing) and a Final Plat Review before moving onto Final Plat Review with the Board of Trustees. To find out more, go to our Land Subdivision Regulations (Municipal Code Chapter 12-6) as well as Land Use Development Standards and Procedures (Chapter 12-9).
I want to build a boathouse on the lake; do I need approval from the Town?

Yes, in Grand Lake, construction of boathouses and covered boat docks is a special use case and requires a public hearing before issuance of a Building Permit. The public hearing will be held before the Planning Commission and such factors as size, lake bed disturbance, surrounding property owners' concerns and other relevant factors will be considered. A nonrefundable fee is required.
Uncovered boat docks do not require a public hearing before the Planning Commission if the boat dock meets the requirements of the Zoning Regulations. A building permit is required.
Property that is within the Town and which borders Shadow Mountain Lake will be required to comply with the regulations of the United States Forest Service for the construction and installation of boathouses, covered and uncovered boat docks. For additional information refer to our Zoning Regulations.