February 22, 2024
Gov. Polis’ housing proposal would enable duplexes, townhomes, ADUs throughout many cities in Colorado

The invoice additionally requires extra planning by state and native governments to permit progress the place the market calls for it, Polis stated. Tier 1, smaller “Tier 2” cities and excessive nation resort areas must create housing plans to element how they plan to handle housing shortfalls and hold present residents from being priced out, with objectives recognized by the state. 

These areas must select from a “menu” of methods. Polis administration officers haven’t detailed these choices but.

If a neighborhood authorities fails to satisfy the “minimal requirements” of the invoice, the state would override native zoning guidelines and implement a standardized code as a substitute. That standardized code could be developed by the state’s Division of Native Affairs.

“Native governments have the inducement to be proactive on this and be sure that they’re out in entrance, passing codes that meet the minimal requirements but in addition make sense for his or her group,” Woodrow stated.

The Polis proposal additionally would attempt to lower “crimson tape” by eradicating state-level rules on housing, together with:

  • Streamlining guidelines round manufactured houses
  • Eradicating minimal housing unit dimension restrictions in city areas, aside from fireplace and constructing code requirements
  • Take away limits in state legislation on the variety of unrelated individuals who can stay collectively
  • Get rid of the ability of house owners’ associations to maintain out sure forms of housing.

Small cities and rural areas exempted

The invoice is primarily centered on bigger communities and resort areas. It can embrace varied exemptions from the principles to cut back the impression on smaller cities and rural areas.

For instance, mid-sized “Tier 2” municipalities wouldn’t face the requirement to permit triplexes and townhomes in all residential areas. They’d, nonetheless, have to permit accent dwelling items and be topic to the identical elimination of “crimson tape” rules. Rural areas and the smallest cities would get much more exemptions. 

This map lists communities by tier degree, in keeping with a doc offered by Rep. Steven Woodrow: 

Gov. Polis’ housing proposal would enable duplexes, townhomes, ADUs throughout many cities in ColoradoCourtesy of Rep. Steven Woodrow.
Most affected communities in Colorado by Gov. Jared Polis’ new housing proposal

This desk exhibits which insurance policies apply to every tier degree, as described by Colorado Builds Higher, a bunch concerned in drafting the invoice:

City Municipalities Tier 1 City Municipalities Tier 2 Rural Resort Job Middle Municipalities Non-City Municipalities Statewide (Counties, small munis)
Housing Wants Assessments & Plans X X X
Enable Accent Dwelling Items X X X X
Enable Center Housing (Duplexes, triplexes, multiplexes, townhomes) X With further flexibility
Encourage Transit Oriented Communities (rail) X
Encourage Growth Alongside Key Corridors (bus transit, business corridors, and many others.) X With further flexibility
Eradicating Sq. Footage Necessities, Occupancy Restrictions X X With further flexibility X Occupancy restrictions solely
Strategic Development Planning & Water X X X X Bigger counties solely

Is it “The Colorado Method?”

Requested whether or not the invoice quantities to the state taking land-use authority from native governments — a flashpoint within the debate over learn how to handle Colorado’s housing scarcity — Polis careworn the thought of “flexibility,” with cities getting a number of choices to succeed in the overarching aim of accelerating housing provide. 

“Native governments have to step up and be a part of the answer,” he stated. “They can not simply shift the burdens onto their neighboring jurisdictions and make themselves much less reasonably priced and put extra site visitors on the street, which all of us wind up paying for in each air high quality and misplaced productiveness and time and site visitors.”

Historically, native governments in Colorado have had the authority to make their very own choices about learn how to develop. For the final century or so, a lot of these choices have resulted in suburban sprawl the place business and residential zones are largely stored separate. 

And a few extremely fascinating communities, like Polis’ personal hometown of Boulder, have added much more jobs than housing. That’s all contributed to excessive housing prices, automotive dependency and lengthy commutes, and the inefficient use of water and different assets, Polis stated.

“We wish to keep away from turning into a spot the place the common residence value is $1 million in our main metro areas, the place folks should stay 45 minutes, an hour out from the place their jobs are,” Polis stated. “We have seen areas of the nation which have gone that approach. I do not assume that is the Colorado approach.”

A latest paper within the journal City Research examined a whole lot of zoning reforms enacted throughout the U.S. It discovered that when governments loosen growth restrictions, there’s “a statistically vital 0.8% enhance in housing provide inside three to 9 years of reform passage,” with a lot of the items falling on the “greater finish” of rents.