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Development Review

Residents' Role in Development Review#

Welcome to the Residents' Role page. Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions about development review and how you can play a role in the process. To learn more about the steps involved in the development review process, CLICK HERE. To find information on current development proposals at various stages of the development review process, CLICK HERE.

Having trouble finding what you're looking for? Please contact our Development Review Liaison, Alyssa Stephens, at 970-224-6076 or via email at

Flowchart and FAQs
8.5x14 | 2.5M

Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting Guide for Public Participation
2 pgs | 120K

Ways to Track Development Proposals
1 pg | 900K

Development Proposals Under Review Now

This flowchart shows a resident's role in development review “at-a-glance” with frequently asked questions on the reverse side. The complete guide is a multi-page more thorough "how-to" resource.  Please share these handy tools showing all your opportunities to offer feedback and participate in development review with your neighbors.

We hope this guide, along with staff planners, will aid you in making development review more predictable, timely, logical, accountable and customer-focused. To get the latest news on development review, get weekly emails by subscribing to “ This Week in Development Review.”

Why Development Review?#

Development review is a central local government responsibility. As cities and towns grow and change, local governments must ensure that proposed developments meet the needs of the community at-large. These needs include:

  • safety and welfare of residents
  • high-quality, consistent design
  • protection of environmental resources 
  • sufficient public infrastructure

Development review exists in part to ensure each new development is in aligned with our community’s vision for Fort Collins. Another purpose of development review is to ensure consistent and high quality projects and public improvements. For example, the City requires development to “pay its own way.” This means private-sector developers are designing and constructing many improvements, such as sewer lines and streets, which will become a part of the public infrastructure maintained by the City.

The City takes an integrated approach to the development review process. A development review team, comprised of City staff from numerous departments, reviews applications through a coordinated review process. This ensures development applications meet all of the City’s requirements.

How Do I Track A Proposal?#

We have several ways to keep tabs on proposals under review. This handy poster "Ways to Track Development Review" explains them all. There's also an online hub for easy access to all the different tools and information,

Who Can Comment On A Development Proposal?#

Anyone! Residents, students, employees and business owners - anyone who feels they might be impacted by a proposal.

How can my comments make a difference?#

In the past, community comments have prompted the applicant to return to the drawing board and propose modifications or a completely new plan that addresses neighborhood concerns.

What makes a difference are comments that:

  • directly relate to the specific proposal,
  • recognize how much of the problem is caused by the proposal,
  • propose reasonable solutions for consideration, and
  • highlight collaboration and cooperation in solutions between neighborhoods, applicants, and City departments.  

How can I provide effective comment?#

Although the quantity of letters may indicate the extent interest, it is the relevance of the comments to the Land Use Code that will most affect a proposal's outcome.

  • Be specific in providing input.  In addition to sharing what you like or don't like, it's helpful to say why.  For example, in addition to saying "I don't like that building", it is often helpful to say, "I don't like the color" or "I think it's too tall."  Those more specific pieces of feedback are much easier to consider and respond to.
  • Be constructive, and provide alternatives when possible.  It is often helpful to talk about what you would like to see in a specific project in addition to what you are concerned about.  For example, in addition to sharing concerns about the effect of projects on traffic in the neighborhood, you could add "Walking in my neighborhood is important to me.  I would like to see safe sidewalks around this property."   Or, in addition to sharing concerns about effects on your property values, you could add, "It is important to me that this matches with the look and feel of the surrounding neighborhood.  I would like to see different colors and materials on the buildings."  
  • Stay plugged in.  Neighborhood meetings are a great opportunity to provide early feedback, but projects often continue to evolve as they go through rounds of review with staff.  All those plans are shared online, and staff is always available to go through those comments in depth.  Comments made throughout the process are shared with the planners so they can consider them in their ongoing reviews.

What Are The Policies?#

All of the City’s regulatory codes were developed from the policies and principles in City Plan, a comprehensive plan for Fort Collins. While City Plan is intended to be used as a guiding vision for Fort Collins, several other documents contain primary regulatory codes that govern development review.

Key Standards#

The Land Use Code (LUC) contains regulations including the City’s procedural requirements, project types and requirements of each, general development standards, zone district purposes, permitted uses, specific development standards of each, and definitions of many of the terms used in the code. Other standards guiding development review can be found in the Municipal Code, the Larimer County Urban Area Street Standardsvarious subarea plans, and more.

In addition to this guide, please see  Section 2.1.2 of the Land Use Code, “Overview of Development Review Procedures,” for additional information about development review.