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HBA Advocate Newsletter | January 4, 2022


January 4, 2022

HBA Planning Support and Resources For Housing-Impacted Boulder County Residents

In the wake of last week’s Marshall Fire and the devastating loses to the residents and small businesses in Boulder County, Jeff McGovern, 2022 HBA Board President, and HBA CEO Ted Leighty updated members on the HBA’s response.

According to yesterday’s announcement, the HBA of Metro Denver is working quickly to ensure that our industry and members provide the most useful support now and over the years-long rebuilding process ahead. On Monday, the Executive Committee met with Jonathan Falk, the NAHB’s disaster specialist. Jonathan helped the EC members and HBA staff understand the road ahead to rebuilding and what the community needs now and into the future. The HBA is working on the following steps:

  1. Being a credible resource on rebuilding for local government officials, impacted homeowners, the media and others involved with addressing the aftermath of the fire.
  2. Creating a resource page on our web site to provide accurate information for the public on rebuilding, finding a builder and/or contractor, and preventing scams and further loss.
  3. Working with Governor Polis, county commissioners, mayors, city managers and other leaders to provide support for housing-impacted residents and future housing needs.
  4. Assembling a Task Force of HBA leaders to help guide our industry’s efforts.

We will be utilizing many of the resources that the NAHB and fellow HBAs—such as the Colorado Springs Housing & Building Association and Grand County Builders Association—developed as they led the rebuilding of their communities after previous wildfires.

This will be a long road to recovery for Boulder County’s residents. We want to ensure you that the HBA of Metro Denver is committed to that process and is ready for the challenge. Our mission is “to improve our members’ abilities to responsibly meet the housing needs of our community, for a better quality of life.” We plan to provide you with the resources to help Boulder County and to be the credible resource to help connect those in need with your services.

If you have any questions, please contact

HBA Provides Comment on City of Denver’s New Affordable Housing Policy
In November, the City of Denver published the “Expanding Housing Affordability Proposed Policy Approach.” The proposed policy is in response to the passage of HB 21-1117, which overturned a Colorado Supreme Court case commonly known as the Telluride decision. HB1117 now gives local governments greater flexibility for the construction and funding of affordable-housing units. The new proposals will make significant changes to Denver’s existing program, including linkage-fee increases for housing developments with 7-units or less; mandatory inclusionary-housing requirements with alternatives including a mandatory two-tiered fee-in-lieu structure; and incentives aimed at promoting the construction of affordable units. The city expects to conclude its Housing Affordability Project in spring 2022 and may approve a new ordinance with affordable-housing requirements soon thereafter.

With respect to projects subject to Site Development Plan review, all projects with applications for concept site development plan review submitted by June 30, 2022, and final SDPs approved by August 30, 2023, should remain subject only to existing affordable-housing requirements and will not need to comply with the proposed policy changes. The proposed planning review of this new policy will continue through the rest of this winter and into the spring, so there is ample opportunity for stakeholder input and involvement. While the HBA is under no illusions that a new affordable-housing ordinance will indeed pass, the final proposal is far from certain and we are encouraging all of our active builders in the City of Denver to make their voices heard. Our association has participated in a number of stakeholder meetings related to this issue and submitted formal letters to appropriate staff articulating our concerns and recommendations in December that can be reviewed here. We will keep members updated on this issue and future opportunities for stakeholder engagement.

City of Aurora Considers New Metro District Requirements
On December 13, Aurora City Council completed a study session addressing a number of different issues related to metro district reform. While HBA staff was closely monitoring the proposed changes, we did not see anything that would warrant our opposition. Specifically, the modifications proposed were in the areas of disclosure and transparency that we have consistently supported, including disclosures to purchasers of homes inside a metro district at the time of sale and posted information inside sales offices. Additional changes were also discussed, including board meeting flexibility and notification and location requirements. Again, these are issues that the HBA has generally supported in the past. They are consistent with a number of the requirements in SB 21-262 that was supported by CAHB this past legislative session. It is important to note that the conversation surrounding metro districts in Aurora is not over, and a several City Council members expressed interest in additional reforms beyond the draft ordinance under consideration in December. It will be important for all active builders in Aurora to remain attentive on this issue in 2022; the HBA will certainly continue to stay on top of it as well.

Commerce City to Increase Transportation/Stormwater Impact Fees in 2022  
On December 13, Commerce City Council held a study session to discuss increasing transportation and stormwater impact fees in 2022. The city is justifying the increases based on a $633 million shortfall for arterial roadways and the fact that they have not increased in over 20 years. The city has highlighted similar shortfalls for badly needed stormwater improvements. The proposed increases would apply to all new homes, retail establishments and shopping centers, and a number of different options were presented on where and how they could be implemented. The current transportation fee for single-family detached homes is $1,181 and would increase anywhere from $2,670 to $6,957, depending on where the development is located. On the stormwater side, the current fee for single-family detached homes is anywhere between $1,700 and $3,053 per developable acre, depending on where the development is located, and would increase anywhere from $36,067 to $54,648 per impervious acre. This would amount to anywhere between $3,481 to $5,269 per single family lot. Developers who make road improvements in the city would be eligible for credit to help offset these costs. Based on the dialogue that occurred among Council members during the study session, it appears Council is supportive of the increases and wants to see them adopted in full next year without a phase-in period. The HBA is currently seeking feedback from our members on the potential impact of these new fees and how best to respond to this proposal. We will continue to keep you updated.

HBA of Metro Denver Issue Tracker
Questions on what is happening in a specific city or county? The HBA is regularly monitoring the council and board activities in every political subdivision in the metro Denver area. Our Issue Tracker offers a great resource to learn about the issues being deliberated with links to agendas, packets and ordinances. The HBA of Metro Denver HBA Issue Tracker is available  to all members here.

All of the HBA of Metro Denver's Regulatory and Technical Committees are meeting regularly – Join today and make your voice heard!

As a volunteer-driven organization, the HBA's Jobsite Safety Committee, Permitting Committee, Regulated Utilities Committee and Stormwater Management Committee help guide the HBA's events and activities throughout the year. Consider joining one — or more — if you want to build strong, long-lasting relationships and make a difference to your fellow HBA members, while sharpening your leadership skills. Please visit the HBA website for more information or reach out to Morgan Cullen if you are ready to participate.


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