Community Development

The Community Development Division includes the Building Inspection, Housing, Planning, and Open Space & Trails departments, along with Colorado State University (CSU) Extension and the Summit County Art Forum. Each of these departments plays a specialized role in the development of land and preservation of the unique natural and cultural assets within Summit County.

Community Development staff also work closely with the County's Engineering, Environmental Health and Weed Control departments.

Community Development Organizational Chart (pdf)

COVID-19 Operations

Summit County is currently restricting public access to the Planning Department in order to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

We are accepting and processing new applications and holding pre-application meetings. All submittals and correspondence will be conducted electronically and via phone. All fees must be paid electronically via e-checks ($1 processing fee) or credit card ($0.75 plus 2.25% processing fee).

Planning staff is available via phone and email for all questions and inquiries. If you know which staff member you wish to speak with, visit our staff directory or call our main line at 970-668-4200.

Short Term Rental Regulations

Summit County has adopted regulations for short term rentals located within unincorporated areas of Summit County: Short Term Rental Regulations

Building Inspection

The Building Inspection Department administers and reviews building, electrical, and mechanical permits in accordance with the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC). Projects requiring permits include all new structures, alterations, and remodels. Decks, hot tubs, and window replacements also require permits.

CSU Extension

Colorado State University (CSU) Extension provides research-based information and education on a variety of local issues. Extension in Summit County has five main program areas:


The Summit County Housing Department is responsible for the planning, management, operations and administration of the County’s various affordable workforce housing programs and projects. The Housing Department works in collaboration with many community partners to implement the County’s housing-related goals and strategies, and to increase the stock of local affordable workforce housing. 

Open Space & Trails

The Summit County Open Space and Trails Department’s responsibility is to identify, protect, and manage open spaces, trails, and trailheads to preserve and maintain Summit County’s rural mountain character and unique natural areas and to ensure a high quality of life for its residents and guests. This is accomplished through the purchase and acquisition of land and easements in consultation with the Open Space Advisory Committee.  


The Planning Department administers land use reviews such as on site plans, subdivisions, rezonings, conditional use permits, and building permits to ensure conformance with standards set forth in the Summit County Land Use and Development Code. This includes, but is not limited to: zoning, permitted uses, setbacks, height, lighting, landscaping, signs, and other development standards. The Planning Department is also charged with updating the master plans on a periodic basis and works with the respective planning commission to adopt the updates to these plans.

Art Forum

The Summit County Art Forum coordinates the display of public art for Summit County government. The committee also showcases the work of local artists in the Art Forum display space in the Summit County Commons building.

Related Departments

Community Development staff work in close partnership with several other Summit County departments on development-related projects and issues.


The Summit County Engineering Department is responsible for the administration of the county’s floodplain regulations, road and bridge standards, grading and excavation regulations, and water quality standards as set forth in the Summit County Land Use and Development Code.

Environmental Health

Environmental Health Department works closely with all Community Development departments. Environmental Health is responsible for administering onsite wastewater system (OWS) permits, as well as performing all inspections required during the construction of an OWS. Environmental Health reviews building permit plans for properties with wells and septic systems and for food service establishments, in addition to demolition permits for asbestos issues. Environmental Health is also involved with planning referrals.