Planning Division
Contact Info

Ryan Foster
Principal Planner
Los Alamos County 2016 Comprehensive Plan Completed

The 2016 Comprehensive Plan was adopted by Council Resolution on December 06, 2016.

General Information for the Planning Division:

The Los Alamos County Code of Ordinances Chapter 16 is also known as the Development Code. The provisions of the Development Code apply to all development of buildings, structures, improvements, and uses of land throughout Los Alamos County.

Site Plans, Special Use Permits, Subdivisions, Rezonings, and Waivers need to be reviewed internally by the Interdepartmental Review Committee (IDRC) and their review, it will be scheduled for a public hearing for approval by the Planning & Zoning Commission or by the Board of Adjustment. 

Generally, an application requiring the Planning & Zoning Commission or the Board of Adjustment approval will require approximately two to three months for final approval. The Planning & Zoning Commission meets twice a month and the Board of Adjustment meets once a month if there are cases to be heard.

We strongly recommend that you call to arrange a pre-application meeting prior to submitting your planning application. Please call (505) 662-8120 to schedule a pre-application meeting.

Sign permits, fence permits, small storage shed permits, summary subdivision plats, temporary use permits, and administrative deviations are generally issued administratively by the Community Development Department without a public hearing.

The Planning Division also reviews permits for Additions, New Buildings, and Business Licenses (for businesses within the county).

Land Use / Development Applications

Rezoning - A rezoning is an amendment to the official zoning map of Los Alamos County. A request to amend the official zoning map requires at least two public hearings: one before the Planning & Zoning Commission, which makes a recommendation, and one before the County Council for final action. $500.00 plus $24/acre.

Owner's Affidavit - To be completed when an applicant has an agent acting on his or her behalf.

Site Plan - A site plan is a graphic depiction of a proposed development of property that provides information such as location of structures, setbacks, exterior facades, placement of parking and traffic circulation, exterior lighting and landscaping. A site plan application is required for all development of property or alterations/additions to existing structures, except for residential development of two units or less. $250 plus $50/million estimate construction cost to $500 plus $75/million estimated construction cost.

Minor Site Plan Amendment - Where a site plan has been previously approved, the Community Development Director may approve, deny, or approve conditionally a minor site plan amendment in accordance with the review criteria of section 16-152A. Minor amendments shall be those proposed changes that will not change the uses, will not increase the building size beyond 20 percent of the gross floor area of the structure(s), not to exceed a maximum of 5,000 square feet of gross floor area, and will not substantially change the function or appearance of the development, or result in any negative health, safety or welfare impacts on the community or adjacent properties.

Special Use Permit - A special use permit is a permit that allows a use that has been determined to be compatible with the purposes of a particular zoning district, but requires additional review at a public hearing. $300.00

Subdivision Plat - New subdivisions or replats of existing subdivisions involving three or more lots. Subdivision applications require approval of the Planning and Zoning Commission at a public hearing. Beginning at $250.00 

Summary Plat - is subdividing a single existing lot into no more than two lots, combining two existing lots into one lot, or correcting a technical surveying error. Summary Plats may be approved directly by the Community Development Director without a public hearing. Consult with CDD prior to filing an application. $100 plus $25/lot or $100 plus $10/acre for non-residential properties.

Development Code Amendment - Amendment of the Development Code (Chapter 16 of the County Code) requires two hearings, one before the Planning & Zoning Commission, which makes a recommendation to Council, and one before the County Council for final action. $150.00

Board of Adjustment Application for Waiver from the Development Code - A "waiver" constitutes written permission from the County (after the Board of Adjustment's approval at a public hearing) to a property owner to depart from one or more Chapter 16, Development Code, requirements for a particular project, sign, or fence. $250.00

An Administrative Deviation may be granted by the Community Development Director for minor dimensional deviations of 12 inches or less from the requirements of the Development Code or a reduction in the number of required off-street parking. $25.00

Temporary Use Permit - A temporary use in Los Alamos County is defined as a use of a temporary, seasonal, or a transitional nature and can include such uses as firewood sales, Christmas tree sales, and outdoor festivals or carnivals. $25.00 

Appeals of Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment, or Community Development Director Decisions - You may appeal a decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment or a decision by the Community Development Director by submitting a completed appeal form to the Community Development Department, 1000 Central Avenue, Suite 150, Los Alamos, NM 87544 in the Municipal Building. $200.00

Fences, Small Sheds, Temporary Signs, Manufactured Homes

Fence or Small shed: The permit that is required for replacing an existing or building a new residential fence or small shed.

Temporary Signs: A sign is any written, printed or symbolic device capable of visual communication or attraction, including any announcement, declaration, demonstration, display, illustration, insignia, structure or symbol, or architectural feature which serves no other purpose than communication, used to advertise or promote the interest of any person. 

Manufactured Home Application Packet - A permit for the placement of a Manufactured Home in Los Alamos County is meant to indicate compliance with the Los Alamos County Zoning Code. Please check with the State of New Mexico Construction Industries Division at (505) 476-4700 for any other required state permits. "Manufactured Home" does not include recreational vehicles or modular or pre-manufactured homes, built to Uniform Building Code standards, designed to be permanently affixed to real property. "Manufactured Home" includes any movable or portable housing structure over twelve feet in width and forty feet in length which is used for nonresidential purposes. $0.

Election Signs Permit. Campaign/Election signs may be posted on designated County-owned rights of way.

 Fee schedule - The fee schedule for Planning Permits.

Sign Code". Los Alamos County Code of Ordinances Chapter 16 - Article X is the

For more information on building codes, call the Building Safety Division at  (505) 662-8120. 

For Banners on the Diamond Drive overpasses or Lemon Lot Permits, please call the Customer Care Center at (505) 662-8333.

Contact Info

(505) 662-8120

(505) 662-8363

1000 Central Ave, Suite 150

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Mon - Fri