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The HBA Advocate Newsletter | December 5, 2023


December 5, 2023

Longtime Advocates and Housing Policy Experts, Tim Craft and Rose Rodriguez Honored at the 2023 HBA Annual Meeting

The Home Builders Association of Metro Denver held its’ 2023 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 29th at the DU Cable Center. At the event, longtime Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee, Tim Craft received the HBA’s inaugural Advocate of the Year Award for his years of dedicated tireless support on behalf of our industry. Also, longtime HBA Member and public policy expert, Rose Rodriguez won the association’s Volunteer of the Year Award for her year’s service on the Permitting Committee, Government Affairs Committee and the Metro Housing Coalition. We would also like to congratulate Partick Werner and Jason Brown for receiving this year’s Associate of the year award and Builder of the Year awards respectively. A complete recap of the evening’s events and award biographies can be found here.

City of Thornton Submits New 1041 Application for Water Pipeline Permits in Larimer County

An official statement from the City is below:
On November 20, 2023, the City of Thornton formally submitted a new application asking Larimer County to approve a permit to build a buried water pipeline for transporting water to Thornton. The Thornton Water Project will deliver an average of 14,000-acre feet of high-quality water Thornton owns in the Water Supply and Storage Company System (WSSC) to its residents. This project is critical to ensure water supply reliability and drought resiliency, to provide drinking water that is protective of public health, safety and welfare, to support the availability of housing and to meet municipal water demands in the city through 2065.

After one-on-one meetings with many local landowners and community stakeholders, two public informational meetings, and gathering additional input through surveys, Thornton staff listened and learned about concerns regarding impacts that the construction of a pipeline might create in Larimer County. This extensive engagement resulted in several significant changes to the pipeline alignment previously proposed in 2018 which Larimer County denied.

  • The new pipeline alignment through Larimer County is 16.6 miles shorter than the previous alignment applied for in 2018.
  • The new pipeline alignment includes a pump station location on private property owned by the Water Supply and Storage Company (WSSC) which is just over 2 miles north of the location proposed in 2018. This new location is located further away from residential development and recognizes the sentiment expressed by Larimer County residents for the pump station to be located on private non-residential property.
  • Larimer County residents expressed in a survey that the pipeline construction impact as few private properties as possible. The new 10.4-mile-long alignment proposed for the pipeline crosses just 22 parcels of property (two of which are agricultural parcels owned by Thornton) in rural Larimer County. Thornton communicated with these property owners for their insight into the best possible location for constructing on their property and followed their recommendations in developing the pipeline alignment.
  • Traffic corridors, such as Douglas Road and others, identified as important to avoid by Larimer County residents have been excluded from the new alignment proposal.
  • Larimer County asked Thornton to consider co-locating its pipeline alignment with the already approved route for the pipeline for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). Thornton’s new permit submission proposes 4.5 miles of the pipeline to be constructed alongside the NISP alignment.
  • Thornton’s new proposed alignment provides Larimer County and residents with precise locations for the pipeline and all appurtenances (i.e. low profile valves, vents, etc) so that they can have a clear understanding of potential impacts from the project.

Specifically, Thornton staff participated in two open houses in Larimer County and hired a third-party consultant to conduct a survey which was sent to more than 400 individuals in the project area. Thornton heard concerns about perceived impacts the Thornton Water Project might have on the Poudre River. An educational component was added to the open houses and all public outreach to inform attendees that the project creates no new impacts to flows on the Poudre River. The water Thornton owns is stored in reservoirs and has come out of the Poudre River in the same location and same amount since the 1890s.

Arapahoe County Evaluation Increases to Transportation Impact Fees

The Arapahoe Board of County Commissioners is evaluating whether to increase impact fees on new residential development responsible for funding the Regional Transportation and Rural Transportation Impact Fees within the county. The fees, which were originally adopted in 1995 and have not been increased in nearly 16 years, help to support road improvements throughout the county. During this time, CDOT’s construction cost index has increased by nearly 80 percent, and the desire to adjust the fee to the rate of inflation is the motivation behind the proposed increases. Never-the-less, the fees could go into effect as soon as early next year and could almost double what aspiring homeowners already pay in transportation fees - further driving up home prices. Based on the proposed recommendations, a home with a 3-car garage within the Regional Transportation Impact Region would see its impact fees increase from $2,345.00 to $4,175.00. Similarly, a 2901-square-foot home within the Rural Transportation Impact Region would see its fees increased from $3,118 to $4,428. While meeting the transportation needs of Colorado residents is always a worthy endeavor, the HBA of Metro Denver has legitimate concerns over the size, scope and timing of these impact fees and also has questions as to whether solely relying on impact fees as funding mechanism for transportation is still advisable. The HBA will be weighing in on these impact fees over the coming weeks.

Commerce City Passes New Metro District Regulations

On November 27, Commerce City Council passed a series of new regulations governing the structure of future metropolitan districts throughout the city. While the HBA welcomed a dialogue with the city about meaningful reforms that could provide additional oversight and transparency, we had legitimate concerns with some of the proposals included within the ordinance that still need to be addressed. In our November 22 letter to Council, the HBA highlighted assessment rate adjustments, prohibitions related to sub-debt service, reimbursement limits, withholding of building permits and annual elections as issues we believe will significantly limit or collectively prohibit the use of metro districts in Commerce City going forward. While the city moved forward and passed Ordinance 2549 despite our objections, they also decided to leave the current moratorium that was passed last December in place - effectively barring any new metro districts from being approved until it is lifted. While last week’s outcome was disappointing, it was also predictable given the way the current City Council has conducted its business over the past two years. The HBA will continue to engage on this important issue as new opportunities present themselves.

NAHB Call to Action!

Prevent Costly New Building Codes

Protect Your Bottom Line

Tell Your Lawmaker to Support
H.R. 5473, the Promoting Resilient Buildings Act

H.R. 5473 would allow home builders and municipalities to abide by rules published in the two latest editions of building codes, rather than just the single latest edition, when utilizing FEMA's hazard mitigation funds.

Passage of this codes bill will provide regulatory relief for builders, ease upward pressure on construction costs and help local governments.

The House will vote on this bill on Dec. 11.

 Contact your lawmaker and ask them to vote for H.R. 5473

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 2024

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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