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Urban Agriculture


In 2011, City Plan, our community's comprehensive plan, was updated and contained four goals related to local food production. Since that plan was updated, staff has been working to align our policies and regulations with the goals outlined in our comprehensive plan. We have updated our Land Use Code to permit urban agriculture in all zone districts, allow farmers markets in more zone districts, and allow a greater number and types of animals to be raised (see "What have we already accomplished" below).

What have we accomplished already?

In July of 2013, the City adopted the first phase of Land Use and City Code changes to implement City Plan. The adopted Land Use Code changes include:

  • Establishing an urban agriculture licensing system allowing urban agriculture in all zone districts and
  • Allowing farmers markets in more zone districts.

Adopted City Code changes include:

  • Scaling the number of allowable chickens based on lot size,
  • Allowing ducks to be raised,
  • Allowing two dwarf or pygmy goats per household for milk production, and
  • Updating the beekeeping ordinance to reflect current best practices.

Please note that the Larimer Humane Society administers the licensing and enforcement of animals within City limits. If you are looking for a license to raise poultry or goats, please visit their website.

Further Resources:

What are we Working on Now?

Urban Agriculture Phase Two: Hoop Houses and Farm Animals

In 2013, City Council adopted phase one of the Urban Agriculture code changes (see below). During the public outreach and discussions with Council, staff was asked to examine two other issues:

  1. Should standards be developed for the raising of farm animals? We are re-examining and possibly adopting standards for the raising of farm animals. This effort affects districts where they ARE currently allowed but NOT regulated: Urban Estate, Rural Lands, Residential Foothills, and River Conservation.
  2. Should we begin to remove We are also considering removing barriers to year round food production by allowing hoop houses, which are temporary structures that can increase growing seasons and protect plants from the extremities.

On November 20, the City hosted an open house to discuss these two issues. We're also conducting an online survey which asks several questions on these two topics. We invite you to take our online survey.

Staff is currently reviewing the feedback from the open house and the draft results from the online survey to determine next steps. If you would like to be kept in the loop on where we are heading with this issue, please join our email list or contact for more information.

How do I Get Involved?

To ensure consistency with the community’s goals, neighborhood compatibility, and subarea plans, extensive public outreach will occur throughout the process. As urban agriculture is a community priority, this effort will engage our residents in a discussion that seeks to further the consistency between our Land Use Code and City Plan. Do you want to get involved? Contact us at

Past Events & Outreach

October 28, 2013 – Free Class on Licensing & Raising Goats

pic The Gardens on Spring Creek is one example of a local community garden.

pic In 2008, the City permitted up to six chickens per lot within city limits.

Do you want to raise goats within our city limits? On Monday, October 28, 2013, in the Community Room at 215 N. Mason St, representatives from the City, Larimer Humane Society, and Colorado State University reviewed the City's standards and what is needed to obtain a license to raise a goat as well as best practices for raising goats in an urban environment. In July of 2013, the City of Fort Collins adopted standards allowing for two miniature goats per lot. For more information, please see the video.

October 17, 2013 - Hoop House Focus Group

City staff met with individuals who had expressed an interest in working on the proposed code changes related to hoop houses. Please see the notes from this meeting and staff’s research on this issue.

September 24, 2013 - Farm Animals Focus Group

City staff met with individuals who had expressed an interest in working on the proposed code changes related to farm animals. Please see the notes from this meeting and staff’s research on this issue.

July 16, 2013 - City Council Second Reading

City staff presented the urban agriculture code changes to Council and the changes were adopted on First Reading. Please see the complete packet (Item 26) provided to City Council.

July 2, 2013 - City Council First Reading
On January 31 in Community Room 1 at the Old Town Library, staff discussed the proposed Land Use Code changes and gave presentations on the code changes at 5 and 6 p.m.

May 14, 2013 - Council Work Session

Staff presented the urban agriculture code changes to Council and receive their feedback on the process and the changes themselves. We expect a formal hearing before Council. Please refer to the City Council Work Session packet.

January 31, 2013 - Open House

On January 31 in Community Room 1 at the Old Town Library, staff discussed the proposed Land Use Code changes and gave presentations on the code changes at 5 and 6 p.m.

Open House Presentation - Lindsay Ex Open House Boards Meeting Notes

Summer and Fall 2012 – Online Survey

Over 610 individuals responded to our survey on the City’s urban agriculture Land Use Code change efforts. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to provide feedback. Please view the full survey results or the survey results at-a-glance.

July 24, 2012 - Stakeholders Discussion

City staff met with 10 community members to discuss their perspectives on the proposed Land Use Code update. The meeting was advertised on Facebook, Twitter, the project’s website and announcements were sent to the City’s Homeowners Association list, and the alumni from the CityWorks 101 program.

Presentation by Be Local Northern Colorado (Hill Grimmett) – Urban Agriculture and Economics City of Fort Collins (Lindsay Ex) – Urban Agriculture Practices and How the City Supports Urban Agriculture Meeting Notes

June 19, 2012 - Interested Citizens Kick-off

Interested citizens, farmers, and City staff (25 present) discussed the existing urban agricultural practices and what practices folks desire to implement in Fort Collins. The meeting was announced to all known farming and affiliated organizations with the local, agricultural community and were asked to share the meeting information with anyone else who might be interested in attending.

Presentation by CanDo (Kristin Kirkpatrick) Meeting Notes

What is Urban Agriculture?

According to the American Planning Association, urban agriculture entails the production of food for personal consumption, education, donation, or sale and includes associated physical and organizational infrastructure, policies, and programs within urban, suburban, and rural built environments.

What others Are Doing

Austin, Texas
Be Local Northern Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity
Portland, Oregon
The Gardens on Spring Creek
Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Contact

Lindsay Ex | Senior Environmental Planner | 970-224-6143 |