Exploring Park County

 

Eleven Mile State Park

Eleven Mile State Park

4229 CR 92, Lake George, CO. 719-748-3401

Anglers and writers consistently tout Eleven Mile’s large reservoir for its outstanding fishing. When not reeling in a rainbow, brown, cutthroat, kokanee or pike, there are nearly five miles of scenic hiking and biking trails that await exploration. Canoe the day away around the shores of the backcountry.  Fish from the shore or a boat while enjoying scenic vistas.  Camp comfortably in designated campsites located around the shoreline, nestled among trees in the backcountry, or tucked away in secluded canyon pockets and remote hillsides.

 

Ideal wind conditions make Eleven Mile a popular but not overly crowded destination for sailing, windsurfing and winter ice boating on this wide-open reservoir. Motor boaters and kayakers also find plenty of room to play during the summer months.  Many species of birds reside in or migrate through the park, making for wonderful bird watching prospects. Neighboring park, Spinney Mountain, offers additional opportunities for birding and fishing. Waterfowl hunting chances for a wide variety of ducks are excellent and are available each fall!

Boreas Pass Scenic Drive – Start at Como to Breckenridge

Boreas Pass

CR 33, Como, CO​ 719-836-2031

Boreas Pass, at an elevation of 11,499 feet, follows the old grade of the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad that crossed the Continental Divide on its way from Como to Breckenridge. At the summit, visitors can see the Section House and remnants of the snow sheds that once protected the railroad from the drifting snow that blows through the pass in winter. The Section House and neighboring Ken’s Cabin serve as ski huts during the winter.  A driving tour brochure is available for the Boreas Pass Road to guide you on your journey. Most passenger vehicles can reach the summit of Boreas Pass from either Park County or Summit County and the U.S. Forest Service maintains a winter closure gate just north of Robert’s Cabin.

 When Coming to Park County, Colorado               you can find some of the most Scenic Views. 

Wilkerson Pass-Spectacular Views with a touch of Rustic history as well

Wilkerson Pass 

Hwy 24, Lake George, CO. 719-836-2031 (U.S. Forest Service)

Wilkerson Pass Visitor Center is located on US-24 twelve miles west of Lake George.  It is a great spot to stop and stretch your legs; there's even a .9 mile loop interpretive trail for a nice walk.  Wilkerson Pass offers fantastic views of South Park and the Sawatch and Mosquito Ranges.  The Visitor Center is home to the Rocky Mountain Nature Association bookstore which sells a variety of merchandise.  Fantastic volunteers are available to assist guests with many of their travel needs. The Center features vault toilets, a pavilion, a nature trail, and interpretive exhibits.

Kenosha Pass- One of the most breathtaking views to                              enjoy Hiking at in Park County

Kenosha Pass Trailhead

Hwy 285, Jefferson, CO.  303-275-5610 (U.S. Forest Service)

The Kenosha Pass Trailhead provides access to the Colorado Trail as it heads southeast into the Lost Creek Wilderness Area and west towards the Continetal Divide. The Colorado Trail starts outside of Denver and ends in Durango. It runs through Kenosha Pass and Kenosha East Campgrounds. There is also a wetland interpretative area and the remnants of the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad wye (Y). "Helper" engines from either Webster on the east side or Como on the west side of Kenosha Pass, assisted the regular engine in getting the train to the top, and then used the wye (Y) to turn around and head back down hill.

 

Kenosha Pass also provides stunning scenic views of South Park from a small pullout area on the south side of the pass. 4WD/OHV users can enjoy Forest Service Road 126 which climbs to the top of North Twin Cone Peak. To reach the road, drive through Kenosha East Campground and take the road to the right.

 

Directions

From Denver, drive southwest on US 285 approximately 50 miles. Parking is available on both sides of Highway 285, at the top of Kenosha Pass, but some parking areas requrie a day use fee.

Guanella Pass

CR 62, Grant, CO  303-275-5610 

Guanella Pass is a scenic alpine pass that offers access to three hiking trails: South Park TrailRosalie Trail, and Bierstadt Trail. Vault toilets and ample parking are also provided, but be aware that the summit can be extremely crowded during the summer. Consider accessing Guanella Pass via a nearby trailhead such as South Park or Abyss Lake, though each will require a significant hike.

 

South Park/Square Top Lakes Trail takes you through beautiful sceneries, as well as ample wildflowers, entirely above treeline. The trail heads south to Hall Valley, intersecting with Geneva Creek Road along the way at the South Park Trailhead. The Rosalie Trail is a popular trail extending from Guanella Pass to the southeast edge of the Mt. Evans Wilderness. It offers a variety of scenery, including spectacular views of Mt. Bierstadt and the glacial cirque on the south side of Mt. Evans. The trail intersects the Abyss Lake, Threemile, and Tanglewood Trails, thus offering interesting extended hikes. Several stretches of the trail are above treeline. The Bierstadt Trail accesses the 14,060 foot summit of Mount Bierstadt. Because this trail is entirely above treeline, you should be alert to the likely development of summer afternoon storms with their accompanying lightening. This trail is rated difficult because of the altitude and elevation gain. Take time to acclimate if coming from low altitude. Be aware that the weather may go rapidly from hot and sunny to cold and snowy, so prepare accordingly. Please respect the sensitive alpine environment and do not step off the trail.

 

Directions

Drive west from Denver on US Hwy 285 for approximately 40 miles to Grant. Turn right (north) on to Park County 62. Drive 13.5 miles to Guanella Pass.

Mosquito Pass

CR 12, Alma, CO.  719-836-2031

Mosquito Pass, at an elevation of 13,185 feet, is one of the highest mountain passes in Colorado and its access roads are rich in mining heritage. Constructed in the late 1870s, the Mosquito Pass Road was popular despite its treacherous terrain because it was and still is the shortest route between Fairplay and Leadville. A driving tour brochure is available for the Mosquito Pass Road to guide you on your journey. The Mosquito Pass Road is extremely rough once it passes the North London Mill and should only be traversed by high clearance, 4WD vehicles or on foot.

Let's Have Some Fun.....

Park County History

Located in the center of Colorado, Park County figures in the center of the "Pikes Peak or Bust" gold rush of 1859. But the story of Park County begins much earlier.

At 1 time, the part of the United States that includes what is now Colorado was near the equator and was a series of islands in a large ocean. Around 250 to 300 million years ago, a ridge of mountains known as the Ancestral Rockies formed in roughly the same area as the current Rockies. Over time, glaciers eroded these 26,000 foot mountains into the deep valleys as the plates moved from tropical areas closer to the poles. Later, new activity pushed up the current Rockies from 40 to 70 million years ago, and volcanic activity oozed mineral-bearing water and lava up through the rock layers and formed the Colorado Mineral belt. The belt runs from Four Corners northeast through Breckenridge and on through Golden and Boulder, just west of Denver.

Gold Rush of 1859
Millions of years later in what was soon to become Park County, a trapper from Kentucky named Jim Pursley told Zebulon Pike, an explorer mapping the newly acquired western land for President Thomas Jefferson, that he'd found gold in the South Park, a big high-altitude basin in the middle of Park County. In that 1806 meeting, neither man was interested in gold. Pursley was trapping beaver and Pike had a report to complete.

When, in 1859, a prospector found nuggets and flakes of gold near what would soon become the city of Denver, the discovery triggered a stampede of gold-seekers and families looking for a new life in the Rockies.

Within a year and a half, the population of the area known as Colorado jumped from a few thousand Native Americans and a few hundred mountain men to more than 30,000 people. One-third of those settled in Park County where miners found millions of dollars of gold.

Formation of Towns & Ranches

The gold rush brought both the affluent and the poor, soldier and settler from the Midwest, the East and even Europe to the high, wild country. Soon mining camps became towns and rough homesteads became ranches.

The land that had only been a summer hunting ground for the native people, soon saw families braving the high winds and winter snows to make it their year-round home. They built their houses, churches, and stores of logs and stones. Many of those early buildings can still be seen all across the South Park and many are still in use today.

Tourism

As soon as the buffalo trails became wagon roads and then railroads, Park County became a mecca for tourists. Many of the first homesteads in Platte Canyon became hotels and restaurants for the hungry travelers heading for the gold country. Hundreds of visitors came on the trains from Denver and Colorado Springs to hunt, fish, sightsee, and pick flowers. When cars and highways replaced the trains, guest ranches and resorts continued to host visitors seeking to find the real Colorado.

Current South Park

Unlike many of the surrounding counties, most of Park County has changed very little. The wide open ranch land still hosts cattle, bison, elk, deer, and antelope, and the forests are home to bears, mountain lions, foxes, and lynx.

Residents of Park County enjoy living among the breathtaking scenery and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities that are a part of this area. Many of the historic buildings, mining camps, towns, ranches, and natural wonders are available for the visitor to enjoy.

Park County Information

With an average elevation of over 9,000 feet above sea level, Park County offers a somewhat unique visitor experience and resident lifestyle.

Open vistas, abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, lofty mountain views, a pervasive deep respect for mountain heritage, and friendly towns and communities make relocating  to Park County tempting for many visitors. It is the ideal place to live for those to whom a rugged, self-reliant, but community-minded way of life looks appealing.

 

Community Profiles

Communities

Alma - 10,350 Feet Above Sea Level

Founded in 1873 and located on Colorado Highway 9, 6 miles northwest of Fairplay, Alma is the highest incorporated town in North America. The population in Alma is about 270, with an estimated 1,000 residents in the area. With 2 restaurants, a health food store, outdoor equipment store, general store, real estate offices and a Post Office, Alma is suitable for cottage industries.

Historically Alma was a center for the local mining industry. With continued development of residential subdivisions around Alma, the area is predominately a bedroom community for several ski resorts in Summit County, 25-40 miles to the north.

Fairplay - 9,957 Feet Above Sea Level

Located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 285 and Colorado Highway 9, Fairplay brings in a lot of business during the peak summer tourist season and the winter ski season. As the incorporated seat of Park County, Fairplay is the center of county government. About 670 people now reside within the Fairplay town limits. It is estimated that about 2,000 more reside in outlying areas. Businesses in Fairplay include 1 motel, 3 hotels, a grocery store, 5 restaurants, 3 service stations, bank, dentist, gift shops and several other businesses. RE-2 District schools in Fairplay serve the entire South Park region. Two medical clinics and a pharmacy provide primary health services in town. The old Fairplay Town Hall now serves as a public library at the corner of 6th and Front Streets.

Como - 9,800 Feet Above Sea Level

Founded in 1879, Como is located 8 miles northeast of Fairplay and 1 mile north of U.S. 285 on County Road 33. It has an estimated population of about 100 in and around town. As the historic terminus of the D,SP&P Railroad, Como is rich in mining and railroad history. With the exception of electricity and indoor plumbing, many of the buildings in Como remain much as they were in the late 1800s. The Como Roundhouse has been restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Como Mercantile, which was originally Allen's Corner Saloon, is a general store. The Como Hotel/Depot has been refurbished and is now a restaurant and guest lodge. A miner's house on 6th and Broadway is now the Como Mountain Man Gallery.

Jefferson - 9,499 Feet Above Sea Level

Just over Kenosha Pass from Grant on U.S. Highway 285, Jefferson is surrounded by large cattle ranches and sparsely populated subdivisions. It has a gas station, real estate office, post office and small sporting goods store. The Jefferson Store carries general merchandise and also serves breakfast and lunch. The historic Jefferson (railroad) Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Next to the Depot is a caboose that serves fast food during the summer months. This area of Park County has been the recipient of substantial funding to conserve heritage ranches and water resources for the benefit of county residents and the local tourism economy.

Guffey - 8,700 Feet Above Sea Level

Driving into Guffey from any direction is like stepping back 100 years in time. Several 19th-century structures are still occupied while others, though vacant, appear as if they are occupied. If a place exists that may be considered "Genuine Colorado," Guffey reflects both the spirit and appearance. Located in the southern end of the county, Guffey has a general store/saloon, restaurant, elementary school, community center, public library, small museum, and real estate offices. In spite of its small size, Guffey is a center of activity for nearby ranches, subdivisions and small cottage industries. The nearest urban area is Canon City, 33 miles southeast of town on Colorado 9.

Hartsel - 8,860 Feet Above Sea Level

Founded in 1866, the Hartsel area has a Western frontier quality that is no longer found in much of Colorado. Hartsel is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 24 and Colorado Highway 9 and has 2 general stores, a gas station, restaurant, trading post and art gallery, and real estate offices.

Situated on the South Platte River between Spinney and Antero reservoirs, Hartsel receives heavy through traffic in the summer and is a destination for boaters and anglers. A new wheelchair accessible fishing area has been constructed on the South Platte River near town.

Lake George - 8,000 Feet Above Sea Level

Founded in 1892 and located 45 miles from Colorado Springs on U.S. Highway 24, Lake George has a convenience store, 1 motel with cabins, restaurant, and auto service station. Lake George also has a U.S. Post Office, elementary school and public library. With a population of about 1,500 in the Lake George area, seasonal visitors to nearby Elevenmile Canyon and 2 state parks provide a support base for this small mountain community.

Grant - 8,584 Feet Above Sea Level

West of Shawnee on U.S. Highway 285, the small town of Grant is the start of Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway. Grant has a motel and general store. The Kenosha Café is just east of town on U.S. 285.

Shawnee - 8,100 Feet Above Sea Level

Founded around 1860 and 5 miles west of Bailey on US 285, Shawnee has an art gallery, tea room, community center and U.S. Post Office. Due to the high concentration of historic buildings in town, Shawnee is now a historic district. Fitzsimmons Middle School and Platte Canyon High School are located 1 mile east of town.

Bailey - 7,700 Feet Above Sea Level

Founded in 1864 and 40 miles west of Denver on U.S. 285, Bailey is a small, unincorporated community in the area known as Platte Canyon. A good example of pioneer log construction, the 1864 Entriken Cabin is the only surviving building from the original town of "Baileys. Businesses in the area include a general store, gas station, gift shops, lumberyard, dental clinic, chiropractor, and local restaurants. The Bailey Library is located 5 miles east of Bailey on US 285.

 

Pine Junction - 8,448 Feet Above Sea Level

Pine Junction is situated in the foothills southwest of Denver along U.S. Highway 285. The community sits astride the Park-Jefferson county line between Crow Hill and Conifer. This bedroom community has a commercial strip along the highway, including a gas station and convenience store, liquor store, lumber yard, and 2 restaurants.

Thinking about moving to Colorado. But not sure where. A lot of people appreciate going to the Mountains,

Just to getaway from the City. So should you be looking for a Cabin to enjoy for the weekends. Or wanting 

a nice peaceful area with views to enjoy. Lots of fun activities all year round.  Park County is for you.

The Beauty Of Nature & Wildlife to be seen here

Due to the ever changing codes & regulations of Park County some of the following information may be incorrect and needs to be verified

with Park County Departments.

Park County

Resource Directory

All Emergencies- (Police,Fire, Ambulance) - Call 911

Park County Government

Fairplay- 719-836-2771

Lake George- 719-748-3961

Animal Control- 719-836-4380

Assessor's Office- 719-836-4331

Building Department- 719-836-4255

Clerk & Recorder's Office

Fairplay- 719-836-4333

Bailey- 303-816-5922

Communications/Dispatch- 719-836-4121 x 5

Coroner- 719-836-4340

District Court-719-836-2940

District Attorney's Office- 719-836-2080

Emergency Management- 719-836-4372

Environmental Health- 719-836-4267

Geographic Information Systems & Mapping 719-836-4287

Human Resources- 719-836-4217

Human Services 

Fairplay- 719-836-4139

Bailey- 303-816-5939

Jail- 719-836-4373

Planning & Zoning- 719-836-4292

Public Health

Fairplay- 719-836-4161

Bailey- 303-816-5970

Public Works

Fairplay- 719-836-4277

Bailey- 303-838-5080

*Road Conditions- 511

*Road & Weather- 719-836-4134

https://www.cotrip.org/home.htm

Senior Coalition- 719-836-4295

Sheriff's Office- 719-836-2494

Treasurer's Office- 719-836-4334

Electric Companies

Xcel Energy- 800-895-4999

*Emergency Power Outage- 800-895-1999

IREA- 800-332-9540

Conifer- 303-838-5583

Woodland Park-719-687-9277

State of Colorado Electric & Plumbing Inspections

303-894-2300   https://colorado.gov/dora/

Phone Service

Century Link- 800-244-1111

South Park Electric- 888-837-6400

Propane

Bailey Propane- 303-838-5411

Ferrellgas- 719-836-0378

Amerigas- 719-836-2474

True Value (can bring your bottles in ONLY) (719) 836-7095

Well Information: CO Division of Water Resource

303-866-3581  

1. P L A N N I N G The first step to obtaining your development permits is to obtain Planning and Zoning approval from the Planning Department. The purpose of the Planning & Zoning approval is to help the Planning Department determine the zoning of your property, setback requirements, and other important land use considerations. The Planning & Zoning approval materials may be found within the Development Permit Application, which is available on the Park County website on the Building Department page.

The Planning and Zoning approval requires a recorded warranty deed, a site plan, and any other applicable Planning and Zoning materials. The site plan requirements are listed under item #1 on page four of the Development Permit Application.

 

2. E N V I R O N M E N T A L H E A L T H To obtain a septic and driveway permit you will need your approved paperwork from the Planning Department, your completed OWTS and driveway permit applications, and applicable fees. The OWTS and driveway application instructions explain the inspection procedures and your responsibilities as the property owner in preparing the site for inspection. The OWTS and driveway permit applications and instructions may be found on the County website on the Environmental Health Department. Your OWTS and driveway permits will be issued after the preliminary inspection of your property by the Environmental Health Department

3. B U I L D I N G To obtain a building permit, you must submit your engineered building plans and the completed Development Permit Application. Your plans are then reviewed for compliance with the county building codes. The Park County Building Permit Guide may be found on the Park County website on the Building Department. It explains the process and what you need to submit for the plan review. Please note that a final inspection for a Certificate of Occupancy will not be scheduled until the State Plumbing and Electric are signed off and your OWTS and driveway have been approved and finalized by the Environmental Health Department. ALL PLANS MUST BE STAMPED BY

A COLORADO LICENSED PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER OR ARCHITECT.

Building Applications

Demolition Permit Application 

 

 

Mechanical Permit Application

 

 

Roofing Permit Application

 

 

Solar Permit Application

 

 

Permit Applications & Fees

Building Permit Fees

Most building permit fees are based on the square footage of the structure being built, but a few permits are flat-fee permits. For the square footage types of permits we can only provide estimates and not exact costs until the building plans are actually turned in. View the new fee schedule for flat-fee permits (PDF). For more information, contact the Building Department at 719-836-4255

A minimum of 50% of the building permit fee is due upon plan submittal.

Square Footage Permits
Fee per Square Foot

Dwelling  $1.13

Finished Basement  $0.95

Garage  $0.66

Addition (Dwelling)  $1.13

Remodel  $0.95

Deck  $0.76

Covered Deck  $1.07

Unfinished Basement  $0.95

Flat Fee Permits
Fee

Demolition Permit  $100

Excavation Permit  $100

Mechanical Permit (including wood stove installation)  $200

Solar Permit  $200

Re-roofing Permit  $200

Building a House

in Park County

7. Select your contractor.
Take the final plans to several good builders and ask for a complete written proposal.This will be easier for the builder to do with a good

set of plans. Make sure all your questions are answered.  Ask: How long will the construction take? How much will it cost? (Some builders quote low because their budgets for carpet, lighting, plumbing, cabinets, landscaping, etc are too small. Check with suppliers to make sure there is enough for the quality you desire.) A real estate attorney can help you understand all the terms of the contract. Remember to have your plans included as part of the builder's contract. Some builders will agree to a price before starting. Others prefer working

on "cost plus" basis. (charging whatever the project costs plus an additional percentage as profit). There are some disadvantages to

this method: A dishonest builder can hide extra costs (such as

materials for other jobs, tools, and unnecessary labor). The builder is not encouraged to be thrifty. But, there are also some advantages: If your builder honestly discloses all of the costs, you can seewhere the money goes. This can simplify your dealings with the builder, especially if there are changes during construction. The builder does not have to bid higher to cover unexpected problems. If your builder is honest and thrifty, you could come out ahead with cost plus. Whichever method of pricing you choose, it is most important to investigate each builder's reputation. Ask for references, customers,and subcontractors. Is the builder easy to work with and reliable? Are workers paid properly? Do they get along with him? Does the builder have complaints registered against him on line, with the Better Business Bureau, The Chamber of Commerce, or area Builders' Associations? Taking time to choose a good builder can save you time and money, and help you to have a better home.

8. Arrange your financing.
You need to choose a lender now. Take your plans, building contract,
and your financial and property papers to several lenders to discuss
your financing. You might need several years of income tax records,
investment and insurance papers, bank statements, and debt statements. Ask them before the meeting. There are two kinds of loans for your home: construction loan and mortgage. The construction loan provides the money for the construction of your home. The bank pays the contractor several installments (draws) when the home reaches certain stages of completion. You pay interest on what the bank pays the contractor. The interest rate on this loan is usually higher than
the mortgage. When the lender is satisfied that the home is complete,
they give you a mortgage, which pays off the construction loan. Each lender has different policies. Compare terms, interest rates, and loan fees. Is there a limit on how long the lender will allow for construction?
Will the builder be happy with the draw schedule? Would you prefer
the lender to check with you before paying a draw? What kind of insurancedoes the lender require during construction? The lender will want a title search, survey, and an appraisal to process the loan. These requirements protect you and the lender by reducing the chance of legal issues from happening. Now is the time to close on the purchase of your property. If you are financing this purchase, the lender will help you. A good real estate attorney will make sure the property is clear of liens (previous debts) and encumbrances (problems with the property lines). Title insurance will guarantee this.

9. Begin the construction.
Your builder will first pull the permits. This might take some time. Your builder coordinates many workers to build the home. Some may be employees, but most will be subcontractors (workers who are in business for themselves providing service to more than one builder). Your builder also coordinates with suppliers to make sure everything

delivered when needed. A good set of plans will make his job easier.
There are many stages in building a home. First a steel reinforced concrete foundation is built to keep your house well anchored. Next, the house is "framed," including floor joists, wall studs, and roof trusses. Then the house is "dried in" by installing sheathing, roofing, windows, siding, plumbing, electrical, and insulation. Wall and ceiling materials are installed. After this, the cabinets, fixtures, and appliances are installed. The house is painted and flooring is laid. Seeing these changes is exciting! But a word of caution: No matter how carefully

your home is planned and built, you will wish you had done
something differently. Don't expect perfection. Good communication
between builders and homeowners can avoid many problems. Your
builder knows you want to move in as soon as possible, but his other
customers are also just as anxious to get their projects done. Also, his
subcontractors probably work for other builders, and mountain weather is impossible to predict. Even the best builders occasionally miss deadlines, but your builder should keep you informed of any problems and changes in schedule as they occur. You can promote good relations by being understanding. You can help make this a smooth project and a better home. Be positive and enjoy it.

10. Close on the home.
When the building inspector is satisfied that the construction is complete, a certificate of occupancy is issued. Before the mortgage 

is processed, the lender may also require their own inspection to make sure the home is completed to their standards. When that is done they will pay off the construction loan, and you should be able to move in. You also need to make sure the builder has completed the home to your satisfaction. If you are having serious problems with your builder and you feel you must take legal action, you might want to talk to an attorney before moving in and having the mortgage set up. When

these steps are completed you can move in to your new home! Congratulations, you did it!

The Author, Richard C. MaeCrea designs homes for the mountains.

How long are building permits good for?

All permits are valid for one year from the date of issuance. If progress is being made, permit can be extended for another one year for $100 renewal fee.

How often do I need to get an inspection to keep my permit valid?

Code requires that work commences within 180 days of permit issuance, and that progress be made every 180 days. If work proceeds but cannot be completed within one year, you can request a permit renewal.

What can I build without a permit?

The following do not require a building permit but still must conform to land use regulations.
• One story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, that do not exceed 200 sq. ft.
• Fences not over 6 feet high.
• Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall. Sidewalks and driveways not more then 30 inches above adjacent grade, and not over basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
• Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, siding, and similar cosmetic work. (Non-structural)
• Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one and two- family dwellings.

Can I just build a primitive/weekend/hunting cabin without water, sewer, electrical or plumbing?

No. There is a minimum standard of living that states all buildings used for the purposes of sleeping must have electrical, plumbing, sanitation facilities, and running water.

Can I build my own home?

Yes, Park County does allow home-owner builders. However, the only stipulation is that the structure cannot be offered for sale until after the Certificate of Occupancy is issued. Home-owner builders can only build one dwelling as owner/builder every four years after the Certificate of Occupancy is issued

Can I put a modular or HUD home on my property?

Yes but you must have a general contractor who holds both his/her “Park County Contractor license/registration” and his/her “Colorado Division of Housing manufactured housing registration” responsible for the entire project. Park County does not allow homeowner builders to do their own manufactured projects. Please contact the Building Department for a list of licensed/registered installers. Park

County Contractor License Application

Can I put a shed or a garage on my property prior to a house?

If your property is zoned Residential, the first structure on your property must be a dwelling. Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department @ 719-836-4254 or planner@parkco.us for this question.

Can I put a mobile home on my property?

Mobile homes are not allowed in Park County.

I just want to build a garage, addition, deck, or finish my basement, do I really need all the submittal documents listed on the building permit application?

Yes. Any type of addition, alteration, remodel, garage, or deck permits requires:

• The warranty deed• The approved planning and zoning sheet and the approved plot plan. Please contact Planning and Zoning @719-836-4254 or planner@parkco.us• The ISDS (individual sewage disposal system) approval form. Please contact Environmental Health @ 719-836-4267 or pcehealth@parkco.us for details.• A copy of your driveway permit. The only exception is that if the property already has a structure on it you do not need to provide the building department with a driveway permit.• The necessary forms from the fire department or fire protection district you are in. Please contact the applicable fire district, Platte Canyon Fire Department @ 303-838-5853, Hartsel Fire Department @ 719-836-3500, Jefferson/Como at 719-836-2082 and Southern Fire Protection at 719-689-9479, to see what approvals you need from them and associated fees.• A GOOD map with directions to the project, please no map-quest or internet maps.• The completed homeowner statement of responsibility if you are doing the permit as an owner/builder.• The completed homeowner statement of responsibility if you are doing the permit as an owner/builder.• Two complete sets of construction drawings showing what you are planning to build and how you plan to build it.Please note you must have the approvals from the other departments before you submit your application to the building department and you must submit all required documents at the same time. Partial submittals will not be accepted

Do I need a permit to finish my basement?

Yes. In order to obtain a basement finish permit you are required to turn in a completed building permit application with all the necessary paperwork called for in the building permit application and ISDS approval. Two copies of your floor plan showing how you plan to finish your basement are also required.

What is the frost depth in Park County?

The frost depth in Park County can be as deep as ten feet. The prescriptive minimum footer depth is 24” below finished grade, on undisturbed soil.

What is the building code for Park County?

Park County has adopted the following 2012 International codes.
The 2012 International Residential Code.
The 2012 International Building Code.
The 2012 International Mechanical Code.
The 2012 International Fuel Gas Code.

These code books can be purchased at the Park County Building Department or on-line at www.iccsafe.org

Can I have someone other then myself or a licensed/ registered contractor drop off and/or pick up permits for me?

Yes as long as the homeowner sends a NOTARIZED letter giving that person permission/authority to sign as an agent for the applicant.

Can I live in a trailer on my property while I build my house?

Please contact the Park County Planning and Zoning Department @ (719)-836-4254 or planner@parkco.us regarding this question.

Do I need a permit for a deck?

Yes. The Deck permit application is the same as the standard building permit application and the same application submittal requirements apply. 

Does Park County require contractors to be licensed/registered?

Yes. Park County does license/register general contractors. Please see the Park County Contractor license information for complete details 

What is the smallest cabin/house I can build?

Refer to 2012 International Residential Code Section R304.

Do I need the fire mitigation listed in the building permit guide?

It depends on where your project is located. If your project is in the Bailey area, please contact: the Platte Canyon Fire Dept @ 303-838-5853. If your project is anywhere near the Hartsel area, please contact the Hartsel Fire Dept @ 719-836-3500. If your project is southern Park County please contact the Southern Park County Fire Protection District @ 719-689-9479. These are the only areas this applies to at this time.

How do I get a plumbing or electrical permit?

Park County contracts all plumbing and electrical with the State of Colorado, please contact them @ 303-894-2300 or on-line

at www.dora.state.co.us/electrical or www.dora.state.co.us/plumbing

Do my plans have to be engineered?

Yes, because Park County is in a special wind load and special snow load area, Park County will require that plans carry the stamp of a Colorado Registered Structural Engineer. Please remember the more complete your plans are the faster your plan review process will go.

What are the snow and wind loads for Park County?

The snow loads in Park County depends on the location of the project. You can obtain snow loads for specific locations on our website by searching with the schedule number of the property. Our website will have a “Snow Load Map” to determine to ground snow loads for the location of the project. The map is a digitalized form from the SEAC 2016 snow loads and should be used with the adjustment factors in ASCE 7 to be converted into roof snow loads. The wind load is 110 MPH per the 2012 International Residential and Building Code.” The wind load is 110 MPH per the 2012 International Residential and Building Code.

What inspections are needed and in what order are they required?

Please refer to the Park County Inspection Information document available on our website or call 719-836-4255 to have a copy faxed or e-mailed to you. License Renewal

Does my shed require a permanent foundation?

Yes, because Park County is in a 110 mph wind zone. Sheds up to 200 square feet can be attached to minimum 8” caissons 24” below undisturbed soil. Sheds over 200 square feet shall be on a permanent foundation, i.e. monolithic or spread footing and stem wall or engineered piers

Can I camp on my property?

A permit is required for camping more than two weeks per year and camping units may not be left on lots when not in use. For additional information, please contact the Planning Department at 719-836-4254.

Contractor Licenses expire on December 31 of each year and will need to be renewed within 30 days. The contractor will have to subscribe to Notify Me on the Park County's home page or below this text, to receive a notice for renewal, it is your responsibility to make sure your license and insurance are current. If your license is not renewed within 30 days of expiration you will need to re-test where applicable and pay the new license fee. We do not pro-rate licenses.

Licensed Contractors

Snow Load for Structure

Snow Load for a structure is based upon the location and elevation of your property. Please use the link below to determine the snow load at your elevation within the applicable zone.

Building Q & A

Ten Steps to Building

a Home in the Mountains

1. Decide what kind of home you want.
Before choosing a property, imagine living in the mountains. What kind of home do you want to live in? Make a file of pictures you like from magazines and books, your favorite kitchen, the special trim you want,
that beautiful bathroom you love, anything else that impresses you.
An idea file will help everyone understand what you want.


2. Set your budget.
It is a good idea to set your budget first, even before you buy property.
You don't want to spend so much on land that you cannot build. How much do you have saved? How much can you borrow? A mortgage officer can "prequalify" you by looking at your income and expenses. They can tell you how much you can afford for a house payment and how much you can borrow. Don't plan your budget too tight. Unexpected changes like an increase in mortgage interest rates could make your payments larger than you planned. How much of your budget can be spent on building and how much on property? A realtor can help you compare the prices of land and recently built homes.
Knowing how much was spent on property, site work, and construction can help you set your budget.

3. Find your land.
A realtor can help you find affordable land. The multiple listings service
is a great way to compare many properties in your budget. This is a
computer list of all of the properties for sale in your area that are listed
by a realtor. Your agent can help you search for properties in your budget. But price is not the only factor to consider. Do you like the privacy of lots of trees, or the openness of a clear view? How will the property be in the winter? (Snow melts more quickly off a south facing slope). Will the road be too treacherous? Will the site have too much wind? Is the location convenient? Is the property too far from town or work? What is the neighborhood like? Can you get all the utilities you want? How will your style of home look on this lot? Remember, you may not find the perfect property, but if you are more specific, your realtor can be more helpful in your search. When you have decided on a property, make an offer with contingencies that


1) you get acceptable financing, water, septic, and driving access,
2) the property passes a title search and survey, and
3) you can get permits to build your home on this lot.
The purchase price is usually negotiable. It is expected that you 

make a deposit of money with your offer. This guarantees the

seller that you will not back out as long as your terms and contingencies are met. This deposit also shows the seller that

your offer is serious. Wait until you reach step (8) to close on the property.

4. Choose your designer to plan your home.
A professional home designer can help protect you from many
of the challenges of building a mountain home: Foundation movement, Wet basements, Septic problems, Flood plane regulations, Driving access, High winds,Freezing weather, Damp climate, Higher costs. How can you be sure your home will be built properly? A good set of plans (as part of your builder's contract) can be a protection.These plans can help your builder understand what you want. They can make his job easier. Banks prefer good plans as well. Its a good idea to put everything in writing. A local designer (who is familiar with this area) can foresee many costly problems.You will not have this protection if you order your plans from a magazine or online. Those ordered plans might cost a few thousand less but could increase construction costs much more. Before starting the plans a professional designer would visit your property to answer: How will your home fit on your property? How can you save trees and still have a view? Will facing the glass towards the view let in too much summer sun, or winter cold? Planning for the direction of the sun is the best way to reduce energy costs and make your home more comfortable. How can the driveway be brought in? Where will the septic go? A good set of plans is an investment that can pay off in lower construction costs, energy costs, and a much better home. After listening to your ideas and visiting your property, your

designer will create a preliminary floor plan for you to see,  and make changes. Feel free to talk about what you like and dislike. A good designer will listen closely to understand what  you want. and work on the preliminary design until you are happy with it.

5. Make sure your house is within budget.When the preliminary plan has been changed enough that you like it,take it to a builder to see if your home is within budget. (There would not be enough information for an exact quote, but the builder might be able to give you a budget range for that plan). If the estimated budget range is too high, your designer can modify the plan to reduce costs. This is the best time to adjust the plan for your budget. Many wait until it is too late to discover they cannot afford their home. (Don't forget to include the costs of septic, water, driveway, and landscaping.

6. Begin the final plans.
Now that you have made sure your property and house are within

your budget, your final plans can be drafted! You need plans that are accurate and easy to read. The home should fit your needs. It should blend in with your property and be as easy to build as possible. The structure should be well designed to support your home and protect your family from the forces of nature. Your plans can serve as a legal document, making sure you, your builder, and all the trades people understand what is expected.

Building a House in Park Colorado Information