Codes and Ordinances

Front Yard Setbacks

In those districts zoned as R-1, R-2, or R-3 the required front yard shall be 30 feet from the property line.

Side Yard Setbacks

Side Yard shall be 8 feet or 10% of the lot width, whichever is greater, but does not need to exceed 15 feet from the property line.

Rear Yard Setbacks

The rear yard shall be 30 feet from the property line. In the event of corner lots, the rear yard may be 20% of the depth of the yard. Rear yards which open onto an alley, may use one-half of the alley width to compute rear yard setback.


Decks 30 inches or more above grade or attached to a house require permits. Handrails and guardrails required per code. Decks may not extend closer than 3 feet to adjacent property lines. Deck Building Guide is available at the Building Official's office.


All new fences require a permit. When a repair or replacement of a fence is in excess of 50 percent of the total fence, a permit is required. Height of fences in front yard may not exceed 4 feet. Fences in Side and Rear Yards may not exceed 8 feet in height. No electric or barbed wire fences permitted in any Residential Zone.

Open Porches

May extend up to 10 feet in the required front yard, but may not be enclosed.

Accessory Buildings

Detached garages and storage/utility buildings all require a permit. All Accessory Buildings shall be placed in rear yards only. No more than 30% of the rear yard may be built upon - the remainder must remain open to the sky.

Accessory Buildings may not be larger than the primary dwelling. In the event of a corner lot, no Accessory Building may be closer to a side street than the dwelling.

An Accessory Building may not be built until construction of the primary residence has begun. Accessory Building Guides and Patio Cover/Carport and Deck Building Guides for construction details are available in the Building Official's office.

Visibility Triangle

To ensure pedestrian and vehicular safety, no signs, fences, shrubs, or other obstructions over 30 inches in height (measured from curb) may be installed or maintained in the clear sight zone of intersecting streets.

Restrictive Covenants

A Restrictive Covenant is a private restriction on the use of land imposed by the original developer or owner of a tract of land. Ordinarily, a landowner who purchases a lot in a development will have notice of any covenants or restrictions since the restrictions are filed with the subdivision plat and will be shown in the abstract or title insurance declaration. Covenants are not enforced by the City -- instead, they are enforceable as a civil matter in a court of law. Covenants are created to benefit and protect the original owner or developer and buyers of lots within the subdivision.


The ordinances relating to Municipal Codes follow. The purpose of these ordinances is to help promote a safe, healthy and attractive community.

Ordinance 1527 - Zoning Regulations

Copies of the above ordinances may be obtained from the City Clerk, 585 North Franklin, Colby, Kansas 67701.

Code Enforcement

The City of Colby has a commitment to provide safe and sanitary living conditions for all residents. One of the means of maintaining this commitment is through enforcement of the City Municipal Codes relating to property maintenance. A cooperative effort is required of property owners, occupants, and the City to maintain a safe, healthy and attractive community.


All buildings shall be assigned an address and fitted with numbers at least 2" high prominently displayed on the front of the building.


Property owners or occupants are responsible for maintaining the area from their property lines to center of alley. They are also responsible for the maintenance of the areas from their property lines to the edge of improved streets or curbs. (This means cutting weeds & grasses and trimming shrubs & trees, etc.) Animals

Ordinance No. 1283 specifies that only up to three pets such as dogs and cats may be housed at any one dwelling. A pet tag may be obtained through a local veterinarian or from the City Clerk. Vaccination of these pets against rabies must be maintained. Horses, pigs, and fowl are not permitted in Colby, except for those pens which were in such use prior to passing Ordinance No. 1283. Large snakes, large cats (tigers, lions, etc.) are also not permitted in Colby. For more information, a copy of Ordinance No. 1283 may be obtained from the City Clerk.


Owners shall maintain their buildings in a safe and secure condition.


All fences shall only be placed upon private property and maintained in good repair. A fence permit is required prior to installing, adding to or repairing or replacing over 50% of an existing fence. No barbed wire or electric fences are permitted.

Home Occupations

More people are working from their homes today and numerous home-based businesses are allowed with a Home Occupation permit. The Planning Commission must approve a Home Occupation application prior to commencement of the business. Any signs shall be no larger than six square feet and unlighted. Businesses shall be limited to those which will not generate greatly increased traffic flow in any residential neighborhood. A separate Home Occupation permit must be obtained for each business. There is a $25 charge for Home Occupation permits.


Every dwelling shall be maintained in good repair and shall be fit for human habitation, meaning all basic requirements of the Uniform Housing Code must be met. Owners are responsible for making repairs or necessary improvements to correct dangerous or possibly injurious conditions.

Decorative Landscaping

A Decorative Landscape Permit is required before any landscape planting or decorations are placed between a street curb and a private property line. No plants, shrubs or objects may be more than 30 inches above the curb flow line. The City of Colby wishes to encourage planting and maintenance of street shade trees. Branches must be trimmed to at least 8 feet above sidewalks and 13`6" above street surface.


No vehicles or campers may be parked on any street for more than 48 consecutive hours. No vehicles, boats, campers or trailers may be parked in any front yard, except on a driveway or adjacent parking area. Parking of semi tractor-trailers is prohibited in residential areas, except to load or unload goods.


A permit must be obtained prior to placing or replacing a sign. Temporary signs, such as political or real estate offerings are exempt from a permit. No sign shall be placed within any street or other public right-of-way; they may only be placed on private property.

Trash and Debris

Dumping or allowing accumulations of trash, building materials, debris, garbage, litter, etc., on private property is not permitted. Trash, rubbish, and garbage are to be drained, bagged, and protected from damage by animals or dispersal by winds.

Trees and Shrubs

Owners are responsible for trimming trees and shrubs from sidewalks or streets. Trees may not extend less than eight feet above a sidewalk. Street trees shall be trimmed to no less than 13`6" above street surface. Owners are responsible for removal of dead trees. A rebate program, sponsored by the Colby Tree Board is available to assist property owners with the costs of removing dead or dying trees that are in street right-of-ways. A rebate application is available from the Building Official. The tree location within a street right-of-way must be confirmed before the rebate is approved. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Visibility Triangle

To ensure pedestrian and vehicle safety, no signs, fences, shrubs, or other objects are permitted within the Visibility Triangle which is defined as any area at a street intersection as measured from the point of intersection of the curb and 35 feet in either direction along the adjacent curbs. If a tree is within this triangle, it shall be trimmed so that the lowest branches are more than 8 feet above grade.

Inoperable Vehicles

Inoperable vehicles placed in the open are not permitted, as defined by Ordinance No. 1255. Inoperable vehicles, in general, are those vehicles in a non-running condition and/or that lack current registration. Inoperable vehicles may be parked upon private property for a period of time not to exceed 30 days. After that time, inoperable vehicles must be either removed from the City or placed inside a building. Inoperable vehicles placed behind a screened fence capable of keeping children and others from accessing the vehicles or blocking public view are exempt. Inoperable vehicles at a legitimate business as permitted and defined by zoning regulations are also exempt. Inoperable vehicles are considered a nuisance as they cause a blighting effect on the neighborhood in which they are placed, may pose danger to children or other curiosity seekers and/or may harbor pests and vermin.

For more information contact Code Enforcement, 585 N. Franklin, Colby, phone: (785) 460-4413 or fax: (785) 460-4444.