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The HBA Advocate Newsletter | March 7, 2023


March 7, 2023

Metro Housing Coalition Weighs in on Denver Election

On April 4th, the City of Denver will be holding elections for the first time in four years, with an open seat for Mayor and 12 City Council seats up for grabs. This year, 68 residents have declared their candidacy making it the largest election field in Denver history. With affordable housing in Denver consistently ranked as the one of this year's most critical issues, the Metro Housing Coalition is making a push to elect more pro-housing candidates up and down the ballot. Issues like inclusionary zoning, net zero energy, rent control, permitting delays, and construction defects have been top of mind for Denver policy makers over the past couple years and all would have a huge impact on residential construction for many years to come. Denver's election clearly is extremely important for our industry.

With voters having approved the Denver Fair Elections Fund in 2018, this will be the first election in the City that will almost completely rely on public funds, individual, and small donor donations. Two weeks ago, the MHC Board completed a comprehensive review and interview process and has endorsed the following Mayoral and City Council candidates and urges Denver residents to consider voting for them as ballots get mailed out next week.

Outcome of Critical Littleton Anti-Growth Referendum Decided Tomorrow 

For the second time in less than one year, a small group of anti-growth Littleton residents has collected signatures to force a special referendum. Question 300, set for a March, 7 vote, seeks to change Littleton's City Charter to reduce by half the number of signatures needed to create all future referendums. With merely 1,800 signatures, their referendum will then compel Littleton to hold a snap special election, only 60 to 150 days after they submit signatures (rather than voting held during a general election in November, as the current Charter allows). This would help special interest groups intent on restricting development because they understand quick special elections mean turnout will be low, and their pet issue will get only the angry minority's attention (and votes).

If this March 2023 referendum passes, it will empower this small group of obstructionist residents. It will allow their small group to easily force a citywide special election on any project or ordinance they wish to block. We all know how bad this will be for Littleton, the impact it would have on attainable housing and the negative precedent it would set for the metro area.

The HBA of Metro Denver has been supporting local grassroot efforts to defeat this at the ballot box. We will likely know the outcome of this election later this evening, with results getting posted around 8:00pm. We are hopeful our support will help turn the outcome in our favor. Stay tuned!

Commerce City Give Green Light to Transportation and Stormwater Fee Increases

Last night, the Commerce City Council approved a series of transportation and stormwater impact fees on final passage. 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. 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 $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. Commerce City will also be considering new residential impact fees and a sprinkler mandate in the coming months that will stack even more fees and costs on aspiring homeowners in the city.

2022 HBA Advocacy Efforts Had $130 Impact on Housing Policy

Throughout last year, The HBA of Metro Denver Advocacy team has worked tirelessly to make sure developers, builders and associate members have the most favorable business environment possible to bring new homes to market. The HBA of Metro Denver staff and our members have collectively combatted ballot questions, detrimental changes to metro districts, construction-tax proposals, inclusionary-zoning ordinances, fee increases and many other issues that directly impact our industry’s ability to bring much-needed attainable housing opportunities to Colorado residents. While much of our collective efforts cannot be quantified, we have achieved the following tangible results that will help make the essential work of building homes easier and more affordable.

Quantifiable savings to our builders and industry over the past 12 months include:

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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.



HBA is looking for Members to Participate in Advocacy, Regulatory and Technical Committees in 2023

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 2023 Organizational Partners:

Corporate Partner:


Contact Connie Dahl for more info on becoming an HBA Sponsor!

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