Colorado Legislature – Bills Introduced as of 4/25/23

Centerra South is under assault, while the Governor licks his wounds

SB23-273           Agriculture Lands in Urban Renewal Areas

In current form, this bill would prohibit the inclusion of agricultural land within an urban renewal authority (URA) district that has not been approved prior to the effective date of the bill, unless the land is located within an existing URA that was approved prior to June 1, 2010.  Under existing law, agricultural land can be included within a URA if one of several exceptions can be documented.  HB273 eliminates all but the one exception noted above.

The legislation emanates from vocal opponents of the proposed Centerra South URA in Loveland.  Though this 148-acre mixed-use development has been approved by the Loveland City Council, the developer must secure approvals from each of the taxing entities that would be affected before the authority is officially formed.  The legislation, sponsored by a Fort Collins Representative and Loveland Senator, seeks to front run that process.  The bill was approved by the Senate and expected to be considered by the House by this date.  As the development is projected to include 1,255 housing units, a veto from the Governor may be necessary.

SB23-213           Land Use

With great fanfare, this statewide land use bill was introduced to the House under the promise of transforming the process and regulations of local government to allow increased delivery of housing.  The Governor has actively engaged in developing the legislation and has spent significant political capital to assure its passage.

Alas, the bill has come under withering protest from advocates of local control.  So much so, that to secure its passage several amendments have been introduced, culminating in a wholesale rewrite.  The most recent amendment effectively renders the bill as little more than a directive to local governments to prepare and submit to the state a comprehensive housing needs assessment. Local governments are encouraged to pursue regional collaboration, accommodation of higher density, and expansion of allowable housing types.  Two requirements from the original language remain within the amendment: local codes may not exclude manufactured housing as an acceptable housing type, nor enforce occupancy standards based upon familial relationship.  In other words, the local U+2 ordinance would be invalidated.


Source: Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce
May 2023

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