- City Departments
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- State Land Use Pre-Emption
State Land Use Pre-Emption
Arapahoe County Housing Crisis Telephone Town Hall
- March 30th @ 6:30pm
- Call 855-436-3656
- Colorado Home Rule
- Colorado Municipal League Newsletter Article - January 2023
- Colorado Public Radio Article - January 2023
- Colorado Public Radio Article - February 2023
State Likely to Attempt to Pre-Empt Local Land Use Control
Following Governor Polis’ state of the state address in January of this year, local governments have been anticipating that the state legislature will introduce a series of bills that will attempt to pre-empt the home rule authority of local governments that is written into the state constitution. While no legislation has been introduced at the time this article was written, the stated intent of the anticipated legislation is to increase affordable housing and reduce carbon emissions in the state. In his state of the state address, the Governor is quoted as saying, “…we need more flexible zoning to allow more housing, streamlined regulations that cut through red tape, expedited approval processes for projects like modular housing, sustainable development, and more building in transit-oriented communities.”
Cherry Hills Village anticipates the legislature will propose:
- A statewide housing needs assessment in each region and the development of housing strategies that would help local governments meet those needs. Local governments would be required to update these plans every 5 years and report housing data to the state annually.
- The elimination of parking minimums and encouraging more affordable housing near transit centers.
- Requiring local governments to provide residents with the right of first refusal to purchase or rent new affordable housing units if they are displaced by new development.
- The reduction of minimum lot sizes and the addition of requirements that duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, cottage clusters, and townhomes can be built in single-family zones, and up to six units per lot if two are affordable.
- Requiring local governments to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by right.
- Incentivizing smart growth through incorporation of land use planning in the transportation planning process.
- Prohibition of residential growth caps.
While Cherry Hills Village supports the goal of increasing affordable housing across the state, the Village is opposed to any infringement on local land use authority that has been guaranteed to home rule jurisdictions in Colorado for over 100 years. Local government is generally seen as the most responsive to the needs of local residents and is in the best position to make land use decisions for their community. As evidenced, City Council approved the 2022 Master Plan in December of 2022, with the Vision Statement that Chery Hills Village is; “A safe, serene, low-density residential community. It is the desire of the citizens of Cherry Hills Village to maintain and enhance the established character of the community through the implementation of the City’s planning goals and actions, regulations, and decisions.” A state mandate that the Village must allow ADUs by right, or that the Village must allow lots that don’t meet the City’s minimum standards, or that the Village must allow residences other than single-family homes is in direct opposition to the City’s established and desired character.
The Cherry Hills Village City Council is aware of this issue at the state capital and has been working to advocate for the interest of Village residents. Council members are coordinating with their elected counterparts across the state to advocate for local land use control. The Arapahoe County local elected officials, including Cherry Hills Village Council members, have a lunch scheduled with the Arapahoe County state representatives on March 24th to advocate for local land use control. At the direction of City Council, the Village has hired a lobbyist to advocate for the Village’s interest at the state capital. Additionally, staff has been coordinating with Arapahoe County, other Arapahoe County jurisdictions, and the Colorado Municipal League (CML) to strategize and coordinate how best to advocate for the Village’s interests.
If you are interested in sharing your opinion on this issue, the best people to contact are your state representatives.
- House District 3 – Meg Froelich, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-866-2921
- Senate District 26 – Jeff Bridges, email@example.com, 303-866-4846
For additional information you can contact Paul Workman, Community Development Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-783-2729.