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The HBA Advocate Newsletter | August 2, 2022


August 2, 2022

City of Aurora to delay implementation of the 2021 ICC until next spring

The City of Aurora adopted the 2021 International Building Codes earlier this year and set an enforcement/implementation date of October 31, 2022. After making this decision, the City received request from the HBA of Metro Denver and other active builders in Aurora to delay the implementation date due to numerous supply-chain constraints and delays.

Last week, we heard the City regarding our requests, and we are pleased to announce they have decided to delay the implementation for the adopted 2021 International Codes until May 1, 2023. Permits issued prior to this date will be reviewed and inspected to the 2015 codes. However, all permit and plan submittals accepted after May 1, 2023, will be reviewed to the adopted 2021 codes. While this news will come as a sigh of relief to many of our members, builders who wish to build to the 2021 codes are free to begin doing so at any time. A copy of the HBA letter submitted to the City of Aurora is available here.

ALERT:  HB22-1362 - Building Greenhouse Gas Emissions signed into law

What You Need to Know:

During the 2022 session, the General Assembly adopted HB22-1362, which mandates the creation and adoption of model electric and solar-ready building codes, in addition to low-energy and low-carbon codes.

  • Codes will be developed by a 21-member Energy Code Board that consists of representatives of the Colorado Energy Office, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, home builders, environmental groups, solar groups, energy efficiency groups, mechanical trades, electrical trades, plumbing trades, building code experts, architects, building engineers, cities, and counties.
  • Model electric and solar-ready building codes must be adopted and enforced by the Office of the State Architect (for state buildings), the Division of Housing (for factory-built structures and hotels, motels, and multi-family structures in areas of the state where no construction standards exist), the Division of Fire Prevention and Control (for certain school buildings and health facilities), municipalities, and boards of county commissioners by July 1, 2023.
  • Low-energy and low-carbon building codes must be adopted and enforced by the aforementioned entities by July 1, 2026.
  • Grant dollars will be available for state entities, cities, counties, architects, builders, contractors and designers to assist in the compliance with the code updates.

How This Affects You:

Depending on the local jurisdiction, some of them are being forced to update their building codes to more recent codes, regardless of what code they are currently using.  This could mean that some local jurisdictions need to jump from very early codes (i.e. 2009) to one of the three most recent IECC.

  • In addition to the newly developed energy-ready and solar-ready codes, and the low-energy and low-carbon codes, local jurisdictions will be required to adopt one of the three most recent IECC when updating their codes prior to July 1, 2023.
  • Grant dollars will be available for architects, builders, contractors, and designers.  Allowable uses for these grant funds will be for the purchase and installation of:
    • High-efficiency electric space heating, water heating, and cooking equipment
    • Electrical installations and upgrades to support the electric equipment
    • Innovative heating technologies that the CEO determines will lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions

What You Should Do:

The Colorado Association of Home Builders recommends:

  1. Builders and design professionals start building and designing to one of the three most recent IECC codes as soon as possible, regardless of what code your local jurisdiction may require. This will help mitigate any cost increases and gaps in code knowledge before the more extensive codes are required to be adopted.
  2. Local jurisdictions adopt one of the three most recent IECCs before next July, so the jump to the new low-energy and carbon code that is adopted and enforced will not be so large.
  3. Architects, builders, contractor and designers apply for the grants that will soon be available to assist in the purchase and installation of energy efficient equipment.  We will keep you updated on when and how to apply for those grants.

CAHB will continue to update members and local HBAs on this legislation and the codes adoption process as the code board is seated and conducts its work.  CAHB will be recommending a builder to serve on the board.

Should you have any questions about this alert, or about HB22-1362 in general, please contact Rachel Lee at or 303-807-7465 or Ted Leighty at or (303) 910-7419.

Shooting Guns & Raising Funds

Bring your colleagues, clients and friends out for a fun day of shooting and fundraising for a worthy cause. The tournament directly benefits the Home Builders Association's Strategic Issues Fund. Experienced and novice shooters alike are encouraged to attend.

This tournament will be a 100 target clay shoot featuring 15 fully-automated stations along a cottonwood creek bottom.

Click here to register!

Washington Post Opinion: Florida started penalizing bureaucratic delay. Housing permits spiked.

Click here for a Washington Post column by Hayden Dublois of the Foundation for Government Accountability in Florida. Dublois reviews the positive benefits to homebuilders and home supplies after Florida enacted a law last year that requires local jurisdictions to post online their permitting processes and status of permit applications, while also setting strict timelines for permit processing and significant financial penalties on the local governments for missing those deadlines.

Read the full column here:

City of Aurora moves forward with new water conservation requirements

The City of Aurora is 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 500 square feel or 45 percent?whichever is less. The draft ordinance was already introduced before Water Subcommittee and discussed at a City Council study session two weeks ago.

The HBA was able to work with the Aurora Water to ensure the implementation of a $3,000 water-connection fee reduction to help offset some of the costs associated with the new increased landscaping requirements. We also were able to include some additional flexibility on where turf can be located for alley-loaded homes that have little to no room for backyards. Finally, we are currently working with Council to ensure that all current projects filed with an application date prior to this ordinance passing will be exempted from the new requirements and that post-implementation study be conducted in two years to examine the impacts of the new ordinance.

Aurora City Council will likely take this issue up again in August for final passage. The implementation date is scheduled for January 1, 2023. The HBA will continue to keep our members updated on this issue in both municipalities as they move forward.

Erie passes new metropolitan district requirements

Over the past month, we have seen the municipalities of Arvada, Commerce City and Erie propose significant changes to their model service plans governing metro districts ? some of which could significantly curtail future development at a time when Colorado residents need more housing opportunities than ever before.

In response, the HBA of Metro Denver has submitted letters outlining our concerns and the potential consequences to the supply of new homes and prices should these municipalities adopt some of their most arduous proposals.

In Erie, the Board of Trustees recommended imposing mill-levy caps and setting debt term limits so inflexible that it would significantly restrict the ability of developers and builders to bring homes to market without considerably increasing home prices - potentially pricing thousands of aspiring homeowners out of the market entirely.

While an ordinance was passed by the board on July 26, the HBA was able to secure important amendments before final passage. The proposed 45 mill cap for infrastructure and operations and maintenance financing was increased to 55 mills, and the debt term was increased from 30 to 40 years. While not perfect, these provisions are far better than what was originally proposed.

Thornton considering new growth-pacing ordinance to cope with limited water supply

With larger than anticipated opposition to Thornton's proposed water pipeline in Larimer and Weld counties, the municipality is now contemplating a temporary pacing ordinance to ensure all new development has sufficient water supply. Although the City has already begun construction on the 70-mile water pipeline that will provide long-term water supply to meet future growth projections, it has continued to run into short-term political resistance to the project that has transformed into a protracted legal conflict in Larimer District Court.

The good news is that the City of Thornton has developed an interim solution to bridge the gap between current and future water supply by building a 24-inch water pipeline to convey water from the City's Hammer Reservoir to its water-treatment plants. The bad news is this will only provide enough water for an additional 4,000 households in Thornton, and city staff is concerned about over-extending capacity beyond that - at least until they are certain about when the new long-term pipeline can be completed.

In order to ensure the rate of growth in Thornton is consistent with current water supply, municipal staff has developed a proposal that will allocate plats based on a tiered system that takes the City's long-term goals and priorities into consideration. The City is currently in the process of approving 1,000 plats that have already been spoken for and is planning to begin approval on the remaining 3,000 this fall. Allocations will be made two times a year and limited to a maximum of 60 single-family detached and 70 single-family attached, respectively, per development.

While the HBA fully understands the City's rationale for an interim pacing ordinance, we also want to make sure that the new order is temporary and takes issues surrounding seniority and annexation into account. Our builders in Thornton have also submitted questions and concerns regarding the proposal that they would like to see fully contemplated before any final decisions are made. To that end, the HBA submitted a letter that highlighted its questions and concerns that we expect to be addressed when the City Council considers the issue this week.

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.

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