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Know The Facts

The members and supporters of FoCoForward came together to provide the facts about the recently adopted Land Development Code (LDC) and to respond to misinformation being spread by a group opposing the LDC. The existing Land Use Code was last updated in 1997. The new code puts our climate, transit, and housing goals into action. Our City deserves an updated plan that allows Fort Collins to grow gracefully and responsibly in the decades to come.

All quotes in italics below are taken from the Preserve Fort Collins website, November 2022.


“Sadly, this law will only accelerate gentrification and push workers, the middle class and renters further to the fringes, while enriching real estate developers and speculators”


“Shamefully, the City Council did this as secretively as possible, blindsiding residents by not publishing the details on their agenda website, and ignoring staff recommendations and citizen requests to allow more time for public input”


The updated code reduces wealth disparities by increasing homeownership opportunities and affordable housing options. Specific changes in the code facilitate greater access to jobs, education, and critical services to improve economic prosperity and reduce poverty rates.


Overturning the updated code will further disenfranchise residents who are struggling to live & thrive in our community. 


The updated code increases housing equity by expanding housing supply, diversifying home prices, & addressing disproportionate poverty rates for residents of color.


The process to update the code began in early 2021, immediately following the adoption of the Housing Strategic Plan. The City hosted four information sessions, three interactive input sessions, a series of virtual workshops, & weekly office hours specifically to discuss the proposed revisions.
Regular updates were included in various City development newsletters.
Presentations were made to more than a dozen advisory boards, commissions, & community groups to inform policy decisions at key points along the way.
City Council discussed proposed revisions during multiple public meetings, with several community comment opportunities.

Policy changes were informed by data analysis and extensive best practice research in other cities and states, and the code itself was “stress tested” to ensure that it will actually deliver on affordable housing goals.   

Why it is Important

Healthy, affordable housing is not distributed equitably across Fort Collins.


In the early 1900s zoning in Fort Collins explicitly excluded residents from certain neighborhoods based on race, and our housing situation continues to suffer from those decisions today. The new Land Development code is designed to increase access to housing that is affordable by adding more types and sizes, thereby lessening the impact on our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of color) and low-income residents.

Why it is Important

The updated plan was thoroughly researched & vetted over the course of two years with multiple opportunities for public review.

When you consider the plans that informed the changes (City Plan, Active Modes Plan, Transit Master Plan, Our Climate Future, and the Housing Strategic Plan), this work has been going on for well over 5 years.


“Fort Collins’ quality of life is at risk, under pressure from big-money interests and a government all too willing to go along with them.”


As can be observed in other communities with similar land use policies, such as Denver, allowing one additional living unit on a residential lot does not offer the necessary scale or investment return potential to attract speculators and large real estate interests.


With heavy restrictions remaining in place on short-term rentals, coupled with the cost associated with constructing and permitting an ADU, that housing option will primarily attract families seeking additional space for parents, grandparents, or children.

Across the community, Fort Collins remains an attractive location and will continue to draw interest from real estate developers to serve pent up demand, and this will not change.  However, the costs of water, permitting, construction, and land assembly within established neighborhoods minimizes the profit potential of any significant redevelopment.  Rather, we can expect to see higher density within new neighborhood developments.    

Why it is Important

The updated code opens the door for more responsible, incremental infill development to provide a more diverse range of housing options. 

The processes in place for developments have strict rules and regulations that will be followed and are stronger than those we have in place today.

Curious what zone you are in? Check out the city provided map here.


“To make matters worse, the new Land Development Code will NOT lead to any measurable improvement in housing affordability, as it does NOTHING to guarantee or mandate affordable housing, not even for those that need it the most.”


“With these land use code changes, developers could put up a tri-plex next to you with inadequate notification and no neighborhood meeting. The first time you would find out about it might be when the bulldozer shows up next door. And then it will be too late to do anything.“ 


The updated code will not preserve & protect Fort Collins.


Small multi-family buildings will only be allowed in neighborhoods zoned for them if at least one unit is set aside as an affordable* home. 

These changes are paired with stronger, market-calibrated incentives to build affordable housing units in mixed use areas and along major transportation corridors throughout the city. 


*From the code:

Affordability Standards: 

Rental and for-sale projects shall provide one of the following minimum options:

Rental Units:

10% units at 60% AMI; or

20% units at 80% AMI

For Sale:

10% units at 80% AMI; or

20% units at 100% AMI


The updated code encourages & ensures opportunities for early public involvement.


All projects must meet the requirements in the code to be approved.


Housing projects in many zones will be subject to a Basic Development Review (BDR) with no public hearing & staff decision-making, BUT new building & design standards are clearer & more predictable, allowing for less subjectivity & limiting staff discretion in reviewing projects. 


No changes have been made to public notification processes. Yellow "Development Under Review" signs, mailed notices, email newsletters, & other notification processes remain the same.
BDR decisions can also be appealed, which triggers a public hearing with the Planning & Zoning Commission, & their decision could also be appealed to City Council.


The updated code does not alter existing
requirements related to historic preservation; natural resource protection; parks, open space and trails; landscaping and tree protection; neighborhood compatibility standards; infrastructure requirements and engineering design standards; traffic control; and development standards that do not
relate to housing development. 


Each proposed project must meet all applicable code requirements.


Duplexes, small apartment/townhouses, & ADUs can increase housing options without changing neighborhood character. Examples of such housing options that are virtually indistinguishable from a single-unit house already exist in many Fort Collins neighborhoods, including the Old Town area.


No changes have been made to existing short-term rental (ex. Air BnB, VRBO) or occupancy (U+2) regulations.

Why it is Important

If developers want to build triplexes, affordable units are a must. Rowhouses (3 units) & small apartment buildings (5 units) must include affordable options to be allowed extra units. 

Overall, the updated code will incentivize building more affordable homes in the city much more effectively than the current code.

Why it is Important

Residents will still be informed of development actions in their neighborhoods and will still be able to appeal changes they have concerns about.

Why it is Important

Policies & procedures are in place that can increase housing options without changing neighborhood character.

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