Skip to content

The HBA Advocate Newsletter | June 7, 2022


June 7, 2022

Register Now for Eggs & Advocacy Wednesday, March 2nd

New Local Economic Impact Reports on the homebuilding industry in the Denver Metropolitan Area now available

Homebuilding generates substantial local economic activity, including new income and jobs for residents, and additional revenue for local governments. The National Association of Home Builders, in partnership with the HBA of Metro Denver has developed two reports that provide estimates of these economic benefits to local governments and the regional economy here in the Denver metropolitan area.

The reports capture the effect of the construction industry itself, the ripple effect that occurs when income earned from construction activity is spent and is recycled within the local economy, and the ongoing impact that results from new homes becoming occupied by residents who pay taxes and buy locally produced goods and services.

Please click here to review the economic reports.

HBA Held Inaugural Homebuilding Bus Tour for Local Elected Officials on May 6th!

In an effort to provide Denver metro area elected officials with a greater understanding of the homebuilding industry, the HBA of Metro Denver hosted an inaugural Homebuilders Bus Tour to learn more about our industry and its impact on our local economy, governments and residents. Over the course of the day on May 6, city council members and county commissioners from across the metro area travelled by bus to three developments in different stages of construction to learn more about what it takes to bring new homes in Colorado to market.

First, we travelled to the Uplands Development in Westminster, then visited the Reunion Development in Commerce City and finally the Painted Prairie Development in Aurora. Between our visits to these developments, we held general sessions on residential land use and the entitlement process, impediments to attainable housing, the impact of the residential construction industry on our regional economy, and the importance of metropolitan districts in meeting Colorado’s long-term housing needs. Longtime HBA member Alpine Lumber sponsored a wonderful lunchtime BBQ for everyone in Reunion Park.

Special thanks go to Tim Craft, Scott Cox, Chris Fellows, Jeff Handlin, Jim Hayes and Kristi Pollard and our friends at the Metro District Education Coalition for dedicating their time and sharing their expertise on our trip!  And to Kevin Pask, and the Alpine Lumber team, for providing a delicious lunch for our guests!

By the end of the day, it was our goal that all attendees would leave with a good foundational understanding of the major aspects of this essential industry and why it is vital to our shared economic vitality, as well as maintaining and improving the quality of life for current and future generations of Coloradans.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of the event was the opportunity for county commissioners and city council members across the metro area to discuss these issues with our HBA builders and developers in a less formal and thoughtful manner that helped to expand everyone’s understanding of our industry in new ways.

We really enjoyed spending the day with the region’s elected officials and providing them with the foundational understanding of our industry, so that they can apply what they have learned to their decision-making responsibilities within their cities and counties.

Commerce City Council Reconsiders Update to Model Service Plans Governing Metropolitan Districts

On Monday, May 3, the Commerce City council revisited a proposal from 2021 to update its model service plan governing metro districts. While the HBA knew a draft ordinance was under consideration, we only received an updated copy less than a week before Monday’s hearing for our review. Irrespective of the short time frame, the HBA was able to submit a formal comments letter highlighting some of our biggest concerns—including the exclusion of a Gallagher adjustment that will allow an incremental increase in a district’s mill levy to offset any corresponding adjustments to property-assessment rates. Other concerns outlined in our letter included a 35-year limitation on debt service, mill levy caps, caps on operations and maintenance fees, and limits on cost reimbursements for public infrastructure.

City Council defeated the ordinance on May 23, highlighting many of our policy concerns as reasons for their opposition to the draft ordinance. However, Council member Jennifer Allen-Thomas was not present for the vote and a motion was made to reconsider the ordinance again last night. Over the past couple of weeks, the HBA has been reaching out to council members to help them understand our ongoing concerns and the negative impact the ordinance would have on future development if it were to pass without the HBA’s proposed amendments. Ultimately, City Council decided to delay a vote until later this month to provide more time for stakeholder engagement. Rest assured the HBA will be using this time to meet with staff and continue our outreach to council members.

Denver Adopts New Housing Affordability Guidelines

Last night, Denver City Council approved the adoption of new housing affordability guidelines after a long hearing, with more than 50 speakers offering public comment on the proposal. Government Affairs Committee chair Tim Craft testified on behalf of the HBA, taking the opportunity to reiterate our longstanding and well documented concerns on the ordinance. As expected, the ordinance passed with a near unanimous vote, with only Council Member Candi CdeBaca voting against the measure, presumably because the sweeping reforms did not go far enough.

While the outcome of yesterday’s vote was already a foregone conclusion, the process of developing the finalized draft ordinance was a long and painstaking process. In November, the City of Denver published the “Expanding Housing Affordability Proposed Policy Approach.” The proposed policy is in response to the passage of House Bill 21-1117, which overturned a Colorado Supreme Court case commonly known as the Telluride Decision and allows local governments greater flexibility for the construction and funding of affordable housing units.

The HBA has consistently voiced its concerns about the proposed ordinance and participated in a number of stakeholder meetings related to this issue, as well as submitted formal letters to appropriate staff in December. In February, the city responded to our requests and decided to reduce the percentage of affordable units from 10 percent to 8 percent within a development at 80 percent AMI or from 15 percent to 12 percent at 90 percent AMI. A similar reduction was made in the high-cost markets as well. The fee-in-lieu was also reduced to $250,000 for townhomes. Before it was a blanket amount of $408,000 per affordable unit for all for-sale product. While the HBA never supported the proposal in any form, we were encouraged to see the city make at least some positive modifications to its original proposal.

Looking forward, all Denver 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 requirements

City of Aurora and Town of Castle Rock to Consider New Water Conservation Measure for New Residential Development

Both the City of Aurora and the Town of Castle Rock are considering water conservation measures for new residential development that would prohibit the use of turf in front yards and significantly reduce the total square footage of turf in backyards that is permissible to just 450 square feet or 45 percent—whichever is less. Although Castle Rock has yet to prepare a formal ordinance, the town has reached out to the HBA to notify active builders of its intentions to impose new restrictions later this year. In Aurora, no such notification was provided, and a draft ordinance has already been introduced before the Water Policy Committee for consideration. In response, the HBA submitted a formal comments letter to the City Council, requesting an opportunity for genuine stakeholder input and engagement.

The Aurora City Council will likely take up this issue within the next month, and the HBA will continue to keep our members updated on this issue in both municipalities as they move forward.

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 CommitteePermitting CommitteeRegulated 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.

Scroll To Top