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Southwest Enclave Annexation

Annexation Approved - October 2006

In October 2006, City Council passed Ordinance No. 137-2006 annexing the Southwest Enclave (aka Southwest Annexation) and implementing the first phase of annexation. This area was annexed in 4 phases. Find the maps under Downloads to see the boundaries of the 4 phases. Voters upheld the annexation at the April 3, 2007 election, (for election results, visit by voting against the repeal of the ordinance. Phase 1 was annexed on October 31, 2006, Phase 2 on December 27, 2007, Phase 3 on January 1, 2010, and Phase 4 on January 1, 2014.

So what does this mean for those of you in the Phase 1 through Phase 4 areas? You are now within Fort Collins city limits. This will have some impacts on area property owners. Please see the frequently asked question (FAQs) below. You may also contact various City departments for more information. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Will the City make me change my business sign?

    Answer: All existing, permanent signs (in place prior to the effective annexation date) which do not comply with the City of Fort Collins sign code must be brought into compliance within 7 years. This means non-compliant signs must be made compliant by April 6, 2013. In some cases the signs can be lowered in height, relocated on the property or building, or reduced in size. There will be some instances when a sign or signs will need to be removed in order to comply with the sign code.

    The City will send a letter to affected property owners 2-3 years before the April 6, 2013 deadline. The letter will describe the nature of the nonconforming sign or signs needing modification or removal.

    Non-permanent signs such as banners, portable signs, vehicle-mounted signs and signs with flashing, blinking or other animation effects must be removed or corrected by June 5, 2007. The installation, remodeling or removal of any sign requires a sign permit from the City.

    Please contact City Zoning with any questions at 970-416-2745 or

  • How will my current services like fire, water and etc. be different?

    Answer: Some service providers will change and others will remain the same. The following list summarizes the popular services.

    Type of service Current Provider New Provider
    Electric Poudre Valley REA or Xcel Energy City of Fort Collins Utilities
    Water Fort Collins/Loveland Water District Fort Collins/Loveland Water District (no change)
    Storm Drainage Larimer County City of Fort Collins Stormwater Utility
    Fire Poudre Fire Authority Poudre Fire Authority (no change)
    Law Enforcement Larimer County Sheriff's Office City of Fort Collins Police Services
    Road Maintenance Larimer County Road and Bridge City of Fort Collins Transportation Services
    Animal Control Larimer County Humane Society Humane Society (no change)
  • Will these services cost more than I currently pay?

    Answer: The answer to this question varies due to a number of factors like: size of the property, amount of developed vs. undeveloped land, and whether it is residential or business, etc. Some businesses will pay more fees, some less, and some the same. Probably the biggest change is the addition of monthly City stormwater utility fees, which are not assessed by the County. Stormwater fees are described in more detail below. In most cases, there is a small annual increase in property taxes.

  • How will my electric service be impacted? Will it cost more?

    Answer: City Utilities will assume responsibility for providing electric service. The City's base electric rates are typically lower than PVREA and Xcel and the vast majority of property owners will pay the same or less. City staff can estimate your new costs for its electric service based on your current usage with REA or Xcel. If you'd like to have this calculated, please contact Doug Martine, Electric Project Engineering Supervisor at 970-224-6152 or

    The electric utility will contact each property owner in advance of the changeover to City service with details of when and how the change will occur.

  • What are the storm drainage fees likely to be?

    Answer: Monthly stormwater rates pay for construction and maintenance of the stormwater system to better protect Fort Collins during storms and floods. All developed properties within the city limits pay stormwater rates. To lessen the financial impact of the stormwater monthly rates, City Council approved a 5-year phase-in of the fee for all properties in the Southwest Annexation. The first year's fee is 20% of the full amount, second year's is 40% and so on until the full 100% of the fee is reached. Based on current City Code, stormwater monthly rates are based on:

    1. Lot Size which includes the square footage of lot area, plus the customer's share of open space in the development, if applicable. (Note: Single-family residential or agricultural lots larger than 1/2 acre may be assessed a reduced fee for any portion of the lot or parcel in excess of 1/2 acre if the Utilities' General Manager determines that the fee reduction is warranted by the land use and runoff characteristics of the lot or parcel.)

    2. Base Rate is equal to $0.0041454 per square foot. The base rate is reduced to $0.00103635 for that portion of single family lots in excess of 12,000 square feet. (Note: the base rate is reduced during the first four years of billing for propoerties in the Southwest Annexation.)

    3. Rate Factor is based on percentage of impervious area, which means ground that does not absorb water, such as buildings, parking lots and concrete surfaces.

    Rate Factor Percent Of Impervious Area Category Based on Land Use
    .25 .00 - .30 Very Light (Typical Single Family – Large Lot Size)
    .4 .31 - .50 Light (Typical Single Family – Standard Lot Size)
    .6 .51 - .70 Moderate
    .8 .71 - .90 Heavy (Typical Commercial Lot)
    .95 .91 - 1.0 Very Heavy

    Stormwater charges will vary depending on the land use. Monthly rates will be higher or lower based on the percentage of impervious area (rate factor) and lot size. Monthly stormwater charges for single family residential lots are estimated to vary between $13.00 and $21.00 per month. As first noted, these fees are phased in over a 5-year period following annexation.

    Formula For Estimated Monthly Rates:

    Lot Type Formula Example Fee Calculations
    >Residential Lots (Under 12,000 Sq Ft), Mobile Home Parks, Multi-Family & Commercial >(Lot Square Footage + Share of Open Space) x $0.0041454 x Rate Factor = Monthly Rate Single-family 8,600sf lot with no applicable open space:
    8,600 x $.0041454 x .4 = $14.26

    Commercial 1-acre (43,560sf) lot with heavy runoff:
    43,560 x $.0041454 x .8 = $144.46
    >Single Family Lots Over 12,000 square feet >[12,000 x $0.0041454 x Rate Factor] plus [(Lot Size - 12,000) x ($0.00103635 ) x Rate Factor] = Monthly Rate Larger than 1-acre lots with very light runoff:
    Note: Prorate lot to 1 acre or 43,560 square feet:
    [12,000 sq ft x $0.0041454 x .25] + [(43,560 sq ft - 12,000 sq ft) x $0.00103635 x .25] = $20.62

    Future Rate Adjustments

    No stormwater rate increases are planned at this time.

    Additional Questions

    Property owners may contact Jean Pakech, Utilities Rate & Fee Specialist, at 970-221-6375 or , for more detailed information on the fees for their specific property.

  • Will storm sewers be installed?

    Answer: No, the City's stormwater master plan (what's this) does not identify the need for storm sewers in this area. Runoff would be as it exists today, in borrow ditches and under streets in culverts.

  • Is there a change to water service upon annexation?

    Answer: No. The Fort Collins/Loveland Water District currently serves this area and will continue to do so.

  • Will the City maintain our streets?

    Answer: The City will take over the County's current level of maintenance. Both County and City have the same street standards. This means if the County maintains your streets, then your street meets City standards and the City will maintain them. Essentially, these streets are accepted onto the City system. It your homeowners association (HOA) is already maintaining your roads, then your HOA will continue to maintain them even after annexation.

    In the case of "non-compliant" streets (those not meeting current County standards) the City will not accept them onto the City system but will perform a basic level of maintenance. This includes pothole repair, minor crack sealing and slurry sealing. Grading of gravel roads would be completed 2-3 times per year. The City may use recycled asphalt in certain areas and add magnesium chloride to reduce dust impacts. Any needed maintenance beyond this level would fall to local HOAs or adjacent property/business owners until the roads are brought up to current County and City standards.

  • Will our streets have to be upgraded once they're annexed?

    Answer: Generally speaking, the City will not force any upgrades, unless there is a specific health and safety issue. In the case of public streets which don't meet the standards and are structurally failing, neither the City nor the County will fund local street reconstruction. The most likely way to improve these local streets would be to form a Special Improvement District (SID). An SID is formed when the majority of affected property owners vote to create it.

    If your neighborhood's streets meet County standards and are currently maintained by the County, then you will not need to make any improvements upon annexation. If they are not maintained by the County and residents do not want them to be maintained by the City, then no changes will occur. However, if the street is not currently maintained by the County and residents do want the City to take over maintenance, then the street will first need to be upgraded to County and City standards.

  • If we do decide to upgrade our streets, will we be forced to have streetlights, sidewalks, curbs and gutters?

    Answer: Local neighborhood streets are not always required to meet all of the standard design elements such as sidewalks or curb and gutter. The City standards do require concrete edge protection - sometimes this means curb and gutter; sometimes a flat concrete gutter.

    City staff members have a long-standing practice of collaborating with property and business owners, working together to design street renovations. Each neighborhood is looked at separately in order to make improvements appropriate for the character of the particular neighborhood.

    Streetlights will not be forced. They are available if the neighborhood chooses to install them and agrees to pay for it.

    A detailed explanation of the City's policies on annexed streets is included in the Larimer County Urban Area Streets Standards

  • Will our streets be plowed when it snows?

    Answer: The City will plow arterials, collectors, and school bus routes immediately. Snowfall more than 12" deep will eventually be plowed on all streets.

  • What are the long term plans for South College Avenue and the businesses there?

    Answer: Two recent plans address the long-term vision for the South College corridor. First, the City prepared the South College Corridor Plan (SCCP) to address land use and other issues for the primarily commercial area centered on College Avenue. The SCCP recognizes the viability of existing businesses but also encourages upgrades to the character of the area and allows for new land uses. The overall vision is to better integrate South College into the broader Fort Collins community while still retaining its unique attributes, like the distinctive niche shops and extensive natural features. The SCCP was prepared with extensive involvement of area businesses, residents and others.

    Second, the South College Avenue/US287 Access Control Plan (ACP) addresses transportation safety issues along South College/US287 from Swallow to Carpenter Roads. The ACP was jointly developed and adopted by Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins in 2002. The ACP shows long range improvements consisting of widening to six lanes and limited access along the highway. When a property redevelops to a new land use (commensurate with changes in traffic volumes) or when a property owner wishes to modify access to the property, the property owner can be required to implement the improvements identified within the ACP.

    As a point of interest, the City has no plans to create a subarea plan for the residential areas west of College to the foothills because the pattern of development is largely established by existing development and publicly-owned open space. Any more detailed residential planning could be triggered by land development applications that cover a limited geographic area.

  • How does being in the City affect retail businesses that collect sales tax?

    Answer: If you currently collect state sales tax, you will need to obtain a City sales tax license. There is no charge for the license. Tax remittance schedules will be provided when the license is issued. City sales tax rate tables will be supplied for your convenience. See for more information.

    Sales Tax Amount
    State of Colorado 2.9 %
    + Larimer County 0.8 %
    + City of Fort Collins 3.0 %
    = Total Sales Tax 6.7 %

    A City "use tax" is collected on certain items purchased outside the City that have not already had a Colorado municipal tax levied on the purchase. The use tax applies to items used in the business, such as computers, display cases and construction materials. It is not applied to inventory or other items purchased for resale. Use tax is only applied when City sales tax or a Colorado municipal tax has not already been paid on the item at purchase. To submit use tax, a use tax form is available at or from the City sales tax office.

    The sales tax (and use tax) for the city of Fort Collins is 3%. The total sales tax for the combination of City, County and State is 6.7%, as noted in the table below.

    A list of common questions and answers regarding sales and use tax is available at Sales and Use Tax staff may be reached at 970-221-6780.

  • What are the differences between the City and County building permit process?

    Answer: The City and County follow a similar building permit process. The differences are mainly in the types of fees to be paid. The City collects fees for street oversizing, stormwater, capital expansion (e.g. parks and police) and a school district impact fee. The County collects fees for wildfire review, stormwater, special review for certain types of uses, and additional fees if the property is located within the Fort Collins Growth Management Area. Building Permit fees for the City of Fort Collins are generally lower than Larimer County for most types of construction.

  • I'm interested to learn more about City zoning districts. How can I find out what can or cannot be built on or near my property in the future?

    Answer: The new City zoning in this area generally reflect the County's zoning and land uses already in place. For example, low density neighborhoods will be zoned Low Density Residential (RL), Urban Estate (UE), or Rural Lands (RUL).

    To find out what can or cannot be built on or near a property based on its zoning, refer to our Land Use by Zoning Matrix. You can also contact the City Zoning at 970-416-2745 for more information.

  • Are there any requirements if I want to expand the building in which my business is located or if I want to change the use of my commercial building?

    Answer: The City, like the County, has varying requirements depending on the size of the addition and/or the type of change. Generally, any addition to a nonresidential building that increases the floor area by more than 25%, or any change of use of such a building (i.e. changing a warehouse to an office building, a retail store to a restaurant) will require that the entire property be brought into compliance with the standards contained in the Fort Collins Land Use Code to the extent reasonably feasible. This could trigger such things as landscaping, parking lot, curb cuts, sidewalk, and stormwater detention upgrades. Additional right-of-way or easement dedications and the need to plat the property may also be required.

  • What is allowed in the Urban Estate Zoning District?


    Uses are limited to the following:

    • Detached single family houses
    • Two-family dwellings
    • Attached single family houses
    • Group homes for up to 8 disabled or elderly persons
    • Public facilities
    • Parks and recreation facilities except for neighborhood parks
    • Cemeteries; and
    • Farm animals.


    The following uses are permitted subject to review by the Planning and Zoning Board:

    • Residential cluster developments
    • Schools
    • Churches
    • Golf Courses
    • Child Care Centers
    • Bed & Breakfast Establishments
    • Plant Nurseries and Greenhouses
    • Animal boarding (limited to farm/large animals)
    • Resource Extraction, processing and sales
    • Composting Facilities
    • Accessory Buildings more than 2,500 sq. ft.; and
    • Wireless telecommunication equipment
    • Maximum residential density = 2 units per acre
    • Minimum lot size = ½ acre
    • Minimum lot width = 100 feet
    • Maximum building height = 3 stories


    The City’s Urban Estate zone permits individual property owners to subdivide their properties in cases where the minimum lot size and residential density requirements (above) are satisfied.

    Horses can be kept on property if a minimum of ½ acre of pasture is provided per horse. If more horses presently occupy the property than can be maintained per City standards, and comply with Larimer County regulations, provision for these additional animals could be cited in the annexation agreement and would, therefore, be considered compliant.

  • What is allowed in the Rural Lands Zoning District?


    Uses are limited to the following:

    • Single-family detached dwellings on lots containing at least ten (10) acres
    • Minor public facilities
    • Parks, recreation and open lands, except neighborhood parks as defined by the Parks and Recreation Policy Plan
    • Composting facilities
    • Animal boarding
    • Single-family detached dwellings in residential cluster developments
    • Golf courses
    • Riding academies
    • Cemeteries
    • Wireless Telecommunications Equipment (Accessory Use)


    Property in the Rural Lands District may be developed in clusters, subject to approval by the Planning and Zoning Board. In a cluster development, lot sizes may be reduced in order to cluster the dwellings together on twenty (20) percent of the property, with the remainder of the property permanently preserved as private open space.

  • Who can I call if I have more questions?

    Answer: There are a number of City employees available to talk with you in detail about these and other subjects. The City's website ( also contains a wealth of information. Please contact Planning Services, at 970-221-6750 or for general information or a referral to a specific City staff person. 


City of Fort Collins, 970-221-6750