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The HBA Advocate Newsletter | November 1, 2022


November 1, 2022

The November Election is Right Around the Corner.. Don't Forget to Turn in Your Ballot!

With the upcoming election in November only a week away, the Metro Housing Coalition has worked diligently 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 have interviewed county and municipal candidates to help provide support, insight and direction for our industry.

Furthermore, our counterparts at Colorado Association of Home Builders have assembled a similar compendium at the state level as well. The 2022 CAHB Voting Guide summarizes 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 before you turn in your ballot, and don't forget to vote to make your pro-housing voices heard!

HBA of Metro Denver Weighs in on Thornton Water Pipeline Challenges

Yesterday, the HBA of Metro Denver sent a letter to the Larimer Board of County Commissioners outlining the impact the ongoing dispute between the county and the City of Thornton is having on the residential construction industry. Since the initial denial of a 1041 permit by Larimer County four years ago, the two local governments have been engaged in a protracted legal struggle that has significantly delayed the completion of a proposed water pipeline to access water rights the City of Thornton purchased nearly four decades ago.

While the legal drama may be great for the attorneys involved, it has severely curtailed the ability of our builders to bring much-needed housing to Thornton residents. By refusing to allow Thornton to access the water it has owned for nearly forty years, Larimer County is impacting the livelihood and ability for families and individuals to live closer to where they work and inadvertently exacerbating Colorado's housing attainability crisis along the Front Range. Given that Thornton's population is projected to expand by more than 100,000 residents in the coming years, it is imperative that the city is granted access to the high-quality water it already owns through a water pipeline.

The ongoing delays associated with Larimer County's denial and refusal to work something out with Thornton are only increasing these costs and adding needless delays - carelessly pricing thousands of aspiring homeowners in Colorado out of the market in the process. The National Association of Home Builders' latest "Priced-out Estimates" from January 2022 indicate a $1,000 increase in the cost of a median-priced new home will further price 2,310 Colorado households out of the market.

In the spirit of regional collaboration and housing attainability, it is our hope that Larimer County works in earnest with the City of Thornton to come to an agreement on this issue, which has gone on far too long. The full HBA letter to Larimer County is available here.

Littleton Set to Adopt New Inclusionary Housing Ordinance

Today, the City of Littleton will consider a new inclusionary housing ordinance that will require all new development in the city to provide 5 percent onsite affordable housing units at 80 percent AMI or pay a linkage fee.

The HBA of Metro Denver has been engaged in this issue and has reached out to the City Council through a letter outlining not only our policy concerns with inclusionary zoning in general but also a list of proposed amendments to help ensure the continuity of future development within the municipality going forward. We have also been in direct contact with a number of council members articulating our concerns with the proposal.

While the HBA expects an ordinance to pass in the near future, we are hopeful that the city will be receptive to our suggestions and work earnestly with the residential community to avoid unintended consequences and provide adequate incentives and support.


Commerce City Council To Consider Impact Fee Increases

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

The city is justifying the 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. 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 between $1,700 and $3,053 per developable acre, depending on where the development is located, and would increase from $36,067 to $54,648 per impervious acre. This would amount to 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.

While we still don't know the final amounts the council will ultimately approve, all of these impact fees will have a direct impact on building costs and home prices in Commerce City. The HBA has been engaged in a stakeholder process with city staff to discuss these proposed fee increases, but it is important that our membership stay engaged and plan for the likelihood of increased fees for new residential construction in Commerce City.

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:

Premier Partner:

Official Partner:

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