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The HBA Advocate Newsletter | October 4, 2022


October 4, 2022

Metro Housing Coalition Endorses Pro-Housing Candidates in November Election

With the upcoming election in November right around the corner, the Metro Housing Coalition has been hard at work assessing the political landscape, interviewing candidates and finalizing endorsements and contributions in races to help support our industry.

While 2022 is generally considered an off year, with a smaller number of municipalities holding elections than in the odd years, there are still a number of important races in high priority cities and counties that will have a profound impact on the future of homebuilding throughout the metro area.

I am pleased to share the MHC 2022 Endorsed Candidates Guide. The MHC through its Executive Committee has interviewed county and municipal candidates to help provide support, insight and direction for our industry.

Our counterparts at Colorado Association of Home Builders will be releasing its statewide voter guide next Tuesday, Oct. 10. The 2022 CAHB Voting Guide will summarize the CAHB's official endorsements in U.S. Senate and House races, as well as General Assembly races in the state Senate and House.

Please utilize these guides as you begin to review your ballot, which be mailed out as early as October 17 - and don't forget to vote to make your pro-Housing voices heard!

Jobsite Safety Committee Holds Annual Safety Fair With Record Turnout

On Thursday September 15th the Job Site Safety Committee held its 5th annual safety fair at the Baseline Community with Thrive Builders hosting the fair.  The event showcased safety demonstrations from SFI Compliance on fall protection and Hi-ball Crane Services showcasing the proper equipment and signals used while operating and working with a crane. The HBA would like to offer special appreciation to Alpine Lumber, who brought out their BBQ trailer and cooked up some hot dogs and burgers for everyone in attendance.  We couldn't have fed everyone without the help from Shea Homes and Jeff Palumbo for donating all the food & drinks for the event.  While all of the demonstrations were occurring, HBA member companies held additional safety discussions throughout the event and and an ongoing raffle for all who attended - with over $3K in prize donations.  Thank you to everyone who donated to the raffle including - Holland Construction, Shea, Fortress Framing, Phoenix Framing, and SFI.  Also, a special shout out to Mark Baird with Holland Construction, on continuing their commitment to safety with the HBA's Homesafe program and their continued commitment to the Masterbuilder program.  We had over 100 people attend this year's fair and hope to see it continue to grow next year.   If you would like to participate in next year's Safety Fair or showcase your company, please contact Steve Seno ( with the HBA for more information.

City of Thornton Recalibrates Water Supply Strategy

While the City of Thornton and the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners continue their legal battles over a 1041 permit to construct a pipeline to funnel water from the Poudre River down to the city, the municipality is concurrently assessing conditions impacting their long-term water supply strategy. Inflation, construction costs, new PFAS health advisory limits and future water treatment capacity have all impacted how Thornton plans to address its near- and long-term water needs. Given these outstanding issues, one thing for certain is that water-connection fees will undoubtably be going up in the coming years.

At the HBA Thornton Joint Taskforce Meeting last month, we learned that the city is considering increasing connection fees next year from $30,235 to $46,188 to help cover these costs along with the ongoing expenses required to complete the pipeline. The pipeline project could be completed as early as 2026 if and when litigation in Larimer County has finally been resolved. At the request of the HBA, an additional stakeholder meeting was held on September 12 to discuss the builder and developer concerns related to the connection fee increases and to see if there is any possibility of getting them reduced or implemented in a manner that moderates their impact.

It seems that our collective voices did have an impact, and the city has decided to delay its proposed rate increase from January 2023 until sometime in 2024. This will provide all of our active builders in Thornton a better opportunity to prepare for the additional cost adjustments. It also offers us an opportunity for additional discussions on what those fee increases will ultimately look like and how they should be implemented in the first half of next year.

Castle Rock Town Council Set to Pass New Water Conservation Ordinance

On September 19, the Town of Castle Rock will begin final deliberations on a new water conservation measure with an expected implementation date of early 2023. The proposal is expected to be similar to what was recently passed in Aurora, with a prohibition of turf in front yards and a 500 square foot limitation in backyards. The HBA has had several meetings with staff at Castle Rock Water throughout the year to discuss the new ordinance and share our concerns. While we are happy to report that Castle Rock Water will be offering up to $15,000 in incentives to offset the costs associated with the new landscaping requirements, the town will now require both front and backyard landscaping be completed by the builder for them to qualify. We understand this adds another layer of complexity to the building process in Castle Rock. The HBA was present at first reading hearing and testified before the Town Council about our concerns related to this mandate, but unfortunately the Town Council unanimously voted to support the new requirements. The ordinance is expected to pass on second reading later this month.

Commerce City Council to Consider Impact Fee Increases

Yesterday evening, the Commerce City Council was scheduled to take a first reading vote to substantially increase transportation and stormwater fees on residential and commercial development in the city. Due to concerns primarily on how the fees could impacts future retail development, Mayor Huseman stated the issue warranted additional discussion and requested the two items be placed on a study session agenda in the near future.

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 that make road improvements in the city would be eligible for credit to help offset these costs.

The city is justifying these increases based on a $633 million shortfall for arterial roadways and the fact that they have not increased in more than 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.

Additionally, on August 22, the Commerce City Council heard a presentation regarding potential impact fee increases on new residential development to support police, public works, affordable housing and recreational services in the city. The recent study provided a range of fee increase scenarios the Council could potentially approve that could max out at an additional $8,627 per single-family unit.

While we still don't know the final amounts the Commerce City Council will ultimately approve, but all of these impact fees will have a direct impact on building costs and home prices in Commerce City. The HBA attended a stakeholder meeting with city staff last week along with several of the association's active builders within the municipality and expressed our concerns regarding all of the new fees being considered. We will continue to keep you updated on this process.

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.

Thank you to HBA's Organizational Partners:

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