Lafayette Building Permit Moratorium

Lafayette is only town in Northern Colorado that limits the amount of residential building permits each year based on the city’s growth management plan. This plan, which was first passed by voters in 1995, was re-authorized by voters last November. It stipulates that 1,200 permits can be issued through 2018 but also, for the first time, allows the City the flexibility to decide how the permits should be distributed annually rather than allocating 200 per year.

However, staff had not created a recommendation for the number of permits to be approved in 2013 let alone the subsequent years, so the City Council approved a four-month moratorium to give staff time to figure things out.

This growth management process is so bizarre, frankly, that it deserves mention from time to time. And a comment made by a City spokesperson is especially humorous. According to the Boulder Daily Camera, “City spokeswoman Debbie Wilmot said the annual flexibility in permit allocation that voters granted the city now makes Lafayette’s growth management strategy far more responsive to the ever-changing real estate market.” Quite frankly, it is hard to see how rationing building permits in some kind of quote system is indicative of market responsiveness.

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