​COMMONLY ​ASKED QUESTIONS OF OUR PLANNING DEPARTMENT

Does the City require a business license?

Yes, the City requires an annual Business License for all businesses located in conducting business within the City limits of Fountain, including realtors, service providers, contractors, sub-contractors and wholesalers. Business License applications are available from the City Clerk at the front desk at City Hall or online. The fee is $55.  For more information Click Here  or contact the City Clerks office at (719) 322-2000.

What kinds of fees and permits are required for business construction or renovation?

It depends on the activity to be conducted. Please contact the Planning Department for information at 719-322-2000. A Sign permit is also required for any business signage. The sign code can be found in the Zoning Ordinance.



What businesses are located in Fountain?

The City's business license list is available through the City Clerk's office. Call (719) 322-2000 for information.  The City's Economic Development Department may also be of assistance.  They can be contacted at (719) 322-2056.

What is Use Tax and how is it calculated?

The Use Tax is 2% of the purchase price of all construction and building materials used for a construction project, or 1% of the total contract price.

The use tax applies to anyone who is performing construction work that requires a building permit. Contact the City Clerk's office at (719) 322-2000 for more information regarding Use Tax.

What do I need to know before I buy a property?

Buying a property is a large investment and should not be taken lightly. During the “Due Diligence” stage of property acquisition, there are several pieces of information you will want to compile to make sure the property will fit your long-term needs. This page outlines basic questions prospective property owners may have but does not cover everything.

WHAT IS THE PROPERTY ZONED? 

It is imperative to make sure the zone of the property allows for the use you plan to institute. Zoning also prescribes development standards, such as building setbacks, lot coverage maximum, building height limits, etc. that will impact whether or not additional structures can be built on the lot.

The Zoning Map and the Zoning Ordinancecan provide much of the information necessary regarding allowed uses within a specific zoning classification. 

WHAT ARE THE SURROUNDING PROPERTIES ZONED? WHAT WILL THEY BE USED FOR?

It is also a good idea to research the properties surrounding the property you may purchase; if the land is vacant, you will want to make sure you are aware of any future plans for the area and if the land is already built upon, you will want to make sure you are aware of other uses that may be allowed should the existing use change.

IS THE PROPERTY A PLATTED LOT?

Another item to check during the research period is the legal description. The legal description refers to the exact boundaries of a property. It is important to find out if the property has been platted or has been illegally sub-divided in the past; if the property is not a  platted lot, you may not be able to build on it unless a subdivision plat or other application is submitted first.

It is always best to check with the Planning Department with specific questions. The Planning Department can be reached at (719) 322-2000


How do I know if my business is allowed where I want to locate it?

The Zoning Map and the Zoning Ordinance  provide much of the information necessary regarding allowed uses within a specific zoning classification, however it is best to check with the Planning Department with specific questions. The Planning Department can be reached at (719) 322-2000.

      

How do I find the zoning of a property?

The official Zoning Map for the City of Fountain is located HERE

You may also contact the Planning Department for this information at (719) 322-2000.

Please be aware that the Zoning Map on the web page are  updated periodically, and may not contain the most current information.

      

 

 

Can I have a business in my house?

Yes, Home Occupations are allowed; however, they must be approved by the Planning Department and Neighborhood Services. A City of Fountain Business License is also required. For information please call the Planning Department at (719) 322-2000.

All home occupation signage must submit a sign permit for approval through the Planning Department.

When do I need a building permit?

A building permit is required for most lot improvements, including but not limited to carports, garages, storage buildings (200 square feet or greater), decks, or additions. Please contact the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department at (719) 327-2880 for construction and building permit information. Their offices are located at 2880 International Circle in Colorado Springs.

What is a plot plan and when is it required?

A plot plan is a birds-eye view of the entire property. It is an architecture, surveyor, engineering and/or landscape architecture plan, drawing or diagram which shows all of the major features, buildings and structures on a piece of property. It also shows abutting roads and the new proposed buildings or structures at a defined scale.

Plot plans are required for all exterior additions or new structures such as decks or sheds. The plot plan may be used during the zoning, variance or building permit review process to help the Planning Department check for any conflicts.  Once the plan is approved, it may be used by the builder when laying out the property. 

For a guide to drawing a plot plan, click 
HERE.


Re-roofs, basement finishes, commercial finishes, water heaters, fireplaces and similar improvements do not require a plot plan 

A site development plan is required for the construction of any new or expansion of multi-family residential, townhomes, office, commercial and industrial buildings.  

For more information please call the Planning Department at (719) 322-2000.

What are setbacks?

Setbacks are the distance between a structure and the property line. No structures can be built within the required setback area. Structural setbacks vary depending on the zoning of your property. Please contact the Planning Department at (719) 322-2000 for setback information.

What is required to build a deck?

Prior to submitting an application for a building permit to the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, you must submit a plot plan to the City of Fountain for approval.

The plot plan must show the existing and proposed structures, structure height, lot coverage (the portion of a lot, stated in terms of percentage, that is covered by all buildings and/or structures) and structural setbacks from the property line.  A plot plan review fee and a use tax for the construction and building materials must be paid to the City prior to issuance of the building permit.

What do I do if I want to change the use of a structure?

Please contact the Planning Department prior to any change of use, to verify that the proposed use is permitted in that zoning district and to obtain other required information.

In many cases Site Development Plan approval must be obtained and a Pre-Application meeting may be required.

Do I need a permit to build a fence?

A fence higher than six (6) feet must be approved by the Planning Department.  A building permit must be obtained from the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department for any fence over seven (7) feet in height. 

Electric fences are prohibited and certain restrictions apply to barbed wire fences.  Be sure to call for line locates at 1-800-922-1987 if you are doing any project that requires digging to avoid any existing underground utilities. There is no charge for this service.

I am planning to do some work inside the building I leased (or bought) for my business. Do I need a permit?

Yes. Building permits are required for any structural, plumbing or electrical work done on your new location. Building permits are issued by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.  They are located at 2880 International Circle Colorado Springs, CO 80910 or by phone at (719) 327-2880.

What is a nonconforming use or structure?

A nonconforming use is any use of a building, sign or land lawfully existing at the time of the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance that does not conform to the regulations of the zoning district in which it is located or with the applicable development standards of the Zoning Ordinance. 

If the use is discontinued for a period of one (1) year or more, the use is considered abandoned and loses its nonconforming status, and would no longer be allowed on that property. 

A nonconforming structure is a structure that lawfully existed at the time of the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance that does not conform to the regulations of the zoning district in which it is located.

A nonconforming structure can lose its nonconforming status if it is destroyed by more that 70% of the total structure as determined by the Building Official.

Can I keep chickens on my property?

The City of Fountain allows the keeping of chicken hens if the property meets the minimum requirements established in the Zoning Ordinance. A Chicken Hen Permit is required. 

The keeping of chicken hens is restricted to the rear or back yard of any residential lot and you must have a minimum property size 2,500 square feet, exceptions are made for properties zoned RA, LLR and POS and for common areas.  

A chicken coop is required  and must meet the following requirements: 
  • Located in the rear or back yard (exception for RA, LLR & POS zone districts)
  • Setback 5 feet (5') from any property line or structure 
  • Predator-proof with a solid top
  • Minimum four (4) sq. ft. per chicken 
  • Maximum 120 sq. ft. in size
  • Maximum six feet (6') in height 

 

Please call the Planning Department at (719) 322-2000 for questions and more information. 

How do I apply for a home based day care permit?

If you wish to do home based day care you must apply for a Business License and submit a Day Care/Foster Care permit to the Planning Department.

In-home daycares are permitted to have a maximum of six children for less than 24 hours per day. More than six (6) children will require Conditional Use approval through the City of Fountain.

For a home based Day Care Permit, click HERE.

Do I need a permit for a garage sale?

A permit is not required for the garage sale itself but is required for any signage that may be posted advertising the sale.

A revocable permit is required to post signs within the public street right-of-way. A revocable permit is available through the City Clerk's office.  For a Revocable Permit application, click HERE.

Signage cannot be attached to any public sign or utility pole, nor placed in or on any street, sidewalk or other public right-of-way, or on any city property, or impede motor vehicle or pedestrian traffic.

Do I need a permit to sell my home?

A permit is not required for the sale of a home but is required for any signage that may be posted advertising the sale.

A revocable permit is required to post a "Home for Sale" sign within the public street right-of-way. Only one sign is allowed per home in the street right-of-way adjoining the lot for sale. The size of the sign is limited by the size of the lot.

A revocable permit is available through the City Clerk's Office. A revocable permit is also required for open houses and must include the address of the residence.

What is required if I want to subdivide my property?

If you have a legally created lot and would like to split that lot into two or more lots, then you will need to comply with the City's Subdivision Regulations.

The first step would be to contact the Planning Department at (719) 322-2000 to schedule a Pre-Application meeting.

What is a plat?

A plat is a survey, prepared by a licensed registered surveyor, of property showing the dimensions and location of lot lines, streets, and easements. A plat also establishes the lot, block, and subdivision name used in real estate transactions. The platting process is also known as the subdivision process, which ensures that all lots comply with a city comprehensive plan(s) and other development regulations. Plats are reviewed for compliance with regulations regarding minimum lot size, street access and size, utility provisions, and drainage and flood protection, among other requirements set forth in the Subdivision Regulations.

What is the difference between an easement and right-of-way?

An easement is an interest in real property that dedicates the use of land for a specialized or limited purpose without the transfer of title.  Easements are restrictions that overlay real property.

No structures may be constructed in an easement.

Right-of-way is typically land owned by a City, County, Metropolitan District or other governmental entity,  intended to be occupied by a street, crosswalk, or other public or private improvements.

Does the City of Fountain enforce neighborhood covenants?

No, the City of Fountain does not enforce covenants.

Covenants are restrictions imposed on the use of land or property by the developer. Enforcement of covenants is a private matter. Contact your Home Owner's Association (HOA) if you have one in your subdivision.

Where do I go to vote?

This information can be obtained by contacting the El Paso County Elections Division.