Planning Division
Contact Info



Ryan Foster
Principal Planner

PLANNING AND ZONING FOR LOS ALAMOS COUNTY


A PDF of Los Alamos Townsite's Zoning Map

A PDF of White Rock's Zoning Map


A searchable, by address, map of the County

 Los Alamos County 

Uses allowed by Zone/District can be found in the 
Use Index Table

USE INDEX TABLE

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.


Uses By District

Official Zoning Districts and Their Uses

Click on the link for each district and it will bring up a PDF of the uses for that district.

The area of the county is divided into zoning districts. The location of each of the zoning districts is shown on the official zoning map. The zoning districts and the purposes of each district are as follows: 

(1)  Residential agricultural district (R-A). The R-A residential agricultural district is intended to accommodate single-family dwellings and accessory structures and uses and is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development characterized by large lots having a rural atmosphere, where agricultural, horticultural and animal husbandry activities may be pursued by the residents of the R-A district. 
(2)  Residential estate district (R-E). The R-E residential estate district is intended to accommodate single-family dwellings and accessory structures and uses and is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development characterized by large lots, creating in appearance a semirural environment. 
(3)  Single-family residential districts (R-1-5, R-1-8, R-1-10, R-1-12). The R-1-5, R-1-8, R-1-10 and R-1-12 single-family residential districts are intended to accommodate single-family dwellings, accessory structures, and uses. It is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development. 
(4)  Residential mixed district (R-M). The R-M residential mixed district is intended to accommodate single-family and two-family dwellings and accessory structures and uses, and is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development. 
(5)  Multiple-family residential (low density) district (R-3-L). The R-3-L multiple-family residential (low density) district is intended to accommodate single-family, two-family, multiple-family dwellings, accessory structures and uses, It is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development. 
(6)  Multiple-family residential (high density) district (R-3-H). The R-3-H multiple-family residential (high density) district is intended to accommodate multiple-family dwellings and accessory structures and uses, and is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development. 
(7)  Multiple-family residential (very high density) district (R-3-H-40). The R-3-H-40 multiple-family residential (very high density) district is intended to accommodate multiple-family residential developments (primarily apartments or condominiums) at higher than normal densities, and further intended primarily to maintain and protect a residential character of development, but permitting auxiliary commercial or professional uses which are related to the primary use. 
(8)  Mobile home subdivision district (R-4). The R-4 mobile home subdivision district is intended to accommodate mobile homes or similar type dwelling units and accessory structures and uses in residential developments with individually owned lots, and is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development. 
(9)  Mobile home park district (R-5). The R-5 mobile home park district is intended to accommodate mobile home dwelling units and accessory structures and uses where mobile home sites are rented and is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character. 
(10)  Mobile home development district (R-6). The R-6 mobile home development district is intended to accommodate mobile home dwelling units and accessory structures and uses where mobile home sites can be rented, owned in fee simple, as part of a condominium, a cooperative or a land lease rental community, and is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character. 
(11)  Planned development residential districts (PD-2.0, PD-3.5, PD-5.0, PD-7.0, PD-12.0, PD-20.0). The PD-2.0, PD-3.5, PD-5.0, PD-7.0, PD-12.0 and PD-20.0 planned development residential districts are intended to accommodate varied developments of a residential character and are further intended to maintain and protect an interesting and flexible character of development with mixtures of single-family, two-family and multiple-family dwellings and accessory structures and uses. These PD-2.0, PD-3.5, PD-5.0, PD-7.0, PD-12.0 and PD-20.0 districts are also intended to encourage imaginative spatial design such as relatively high dwelling unit densities in portions of the development, compensated by open and recreation areas in other portions of the development (the PD designations are followed by numbers which are the maximum dwelling units per gross acre). Note: As of August 28, 2007, the county will no longer accept or approve new applications for the PD zone designation. 
           CONTACT CDD 662-8120 
(12)  Special plan district (SP). The SP special plan district is an overlay zone which may be used to increase design flexibility in conjunction with an R-M, R-3-L, R-3H, R-3-H-40, P-0, C-1, C-2, C-3, R&D, M-1, M-2, DT-CPO, DT-NGO, DT-NCO, or DT-TCO district. The special plan district may be applied to previously undeveloped areas of three acres or redevelopment of an area of three acres or more as long as it is under single or common ownership or development control. Requirements for establishing a special plan district are found in section 16-534. 
                 CONTACT CDD 662-8120 

(13)  Professional office district (P-O). The P-O professional office district is intended to accommodate professional uses which are compatible with each other. Retail uses are not permitted unless they are subsidiary to professional services. 
(14)  Light commercial and professional business district (C-1). The C-1 light commercial and professional business district is intended to accommodate retail, service and professional uses, compatible with each other, to serve nearby residential districts. The regulations of this C-1 district are intended to encourage the growth and development of this type of commercial and professional facility. 
(15)  Civic center business and professional district (C-2). The C-2 civic center business and professional district is intended to accommodate and promote the commercial and professional development in the center of the community, with a mixture of public, historical and commercial uses which are compatible to each other, and which provide an attractive and appropriate setting in which countywide retail and professional services and cultural, recreational and governmental uses may be undertaken, performed or pursued. The C-2 district regulations are intended to encourage the commercial and professional growth and development of this area to that end. 
(16)  Heavy commercial district (C-3). The C-3 heavy commercial district is intended to accommodate commercial uses allowed in the C-1 and C-2 districts and those which generate more traffic and noise. Included are automotive-connected uses such as service stations, repair garages, tire shops, motels and hotels, uses such as large stores, drive-in or takeout facilities and commercial recreation establishments. 
(17)  Research and development district (R&D). The R&D research and development district is intended to accommodate scientific research and development establishments, except for those scientific activities which could endanger or become detrimental to persons or property. 
(18)  Light industrial district (M-1). The M-1 light industrial district is intended to accommodate light industrial and certain accessory commercial uses, none of which create noise, smoke, odor, dust or similar emissions, and which generate a minimum of truck traffic. The regulations of this M-1 district are intended to encourage attractively developed sites to ensure further compatibility with adjoining areas of the community. 
(19)  Heavy industrial district (M-2). The M-2 heavy industrial district is intended to accommodate both light and heavy industrial uses in combination with limited accessory commercial uses. The regulations of this M-2 district are intended to ensure a compatible appearance and relationship with surrounding areas of the community. 
(20)  Public land district (P-L). The P-L public land district is intended to accommodate local government and school district uses and structures, designed to support community needs and the public health, safety and welfare. 
(21)  Scenic open lands district (W-1). The W-1 scenic open lands district is intended to maintain, protect and preserve the scenic and environmental quality, open character and the natural recreational value of undeveloped land. 
(22)  Recreation wilderness district (W-2). The W-2 recreation wilderness district is intended to maintain, protect and preserve the scenic and environmental quality, open character and natural recreational value of undeveloped land; and to accommodate public and private recreational uses of an open nature. 
(23)  Historic overlay district. The historic overlay district is intended to promote and protect the heritage of the county by preserving sites and structures that have historical significance, in an appropriate setting. Such a district shall be established and regulated in accordance with the requirements of article XV of this chapter. 
(24)  Federal lands district (F-L). The F-L federal lands district is comprised of land owned by the United States government and to which the public does not have unrestricted access at any time. None of the provisions of this article are applicable to any land within the F-L district. 
(25)  Residential mixed—North Community district (R-M-NC). The residential mixed—North Community district is intended to accommodate single-family and two-family dwellings, accessory structures and uses within an area of the subdivisions of North Community No. 1 and No. 2. The district is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development. 
(26)  Multiple-family residential (low density)—North Community district (R-3-L-NC). The multiple-family residential (low density)—North Community district is intended to accommodate single-family, two-family and multiple-family dwellings, accessory structures and uses within an area of the subdivisions of North Community No. 1 and No. 2. The district is further intended to maintain and protect a residential character of development. 
(27)  Mixed-Use (MU). The mixed-use district is intended to provide flexibility in the development or redevelopment of parcels, while promoting good design and encouraging economic development. This district allows office, residential and commercial uses, individually or in any combination, on the same lot or within the same structure. The mixed-use district corresponds closely, in uses and design and development standards to DT-NCO. 

The Downtown District
1. Downtown district: Neighborhood general overlay zone (DT-NGO),
The neighborhood general overlay zone (DT-NGO) in the downtown district is an overlay zone that is a mixed-use zone combining residential, office, commercial, civic and other uses but at the lowest density permitted in the overlay zones in the downtown district.
2. Downtown district: Neighborhood center overlay zone (DT-NCO).
The neighborhood center overlay zone (DT-NCO) in the downtown district is a mixed-use zone combining residential, office, commercial, civic and other uses at a higher density than allowed in the DT-NGO zone.
3. Downtown district: Town center overlay zone (DT-TCO).
The town center overlay zone (DT-TCO) in the downtown district is a mixed-use zone combining office, commercial, civic, certain types of residential and other uses at the highest density allowed in the downtown district.
4. Downtown district: Civic/public open space overlay zone (DT-CPO).
The civic/public open space overlay zone (DT-CPO) in the downtown district is for public uses such as parks, plazas, recreation, and civic buildings and other uses, although these types of uses may also be located in other areas of the county as permitted by the Use Index.
 

Contact Info

(505) 662-8120

(505) 662-8363

planning@lacnm.us

1000 Central Ave, Suite 150

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Mon - Fri