North America's Premier International Resort Community

Extending Vail’s Growing Season: What to Know about Hoop Houses and Greenhouses

  • 3 April 2017
To accommodate community interest in the use of hoop houses and greenhouses, the Vail Town Code has been updated to encourage this type of residential gardening. Local do-it-yourselfers are asked to review the town’s new guidelines before getting started.

The most significant change allows for unheated hoop houses or cold frames to be assembled on private property without the need for design review or a building permit. These hoop houses must not contain any mechanical or electrical systems and may not be used for storage of any kind. The hoop house may be up to four feet in height and up to 120 square feet in floor area and only one hoop house per dwelling unit is allowed.

The definition of a greenhouse has also been updated in the town code to add additional clarification. A greenhouse in Vail is defined as “an outdoor structure, heated or unheated, constructed primarily of glass or other rigid translucent material, which is devoted to the protection or cultivation of food or ornamental crops.” Greenhouses require both design review through the Design Review Board and a building permit. Design criteria for greenhouses have also been revised that address building material, exterior compatibility and storage prohibitions.

For additional details, including visual representations of hoop houses and greenhouses, visit the Community Development Department webpage or for questions, contact Jonathan Spence, senior planner, at 970-479-2321 or email



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