Update on Governor’s Wildfire Task Force

Gov. Hickenlooper has given the Task Force more time to finalize its recommendation. The final report is now due September 30. The Building and Activities subcommittee (BAS) presented its recommendations to the Task Force on July 29. The BAS includes representatives from the Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Counties, Inc., the Colorado Association of Home Builders and Property & Casualty Insurers Association of America.
The Subcommittee’s set of guiding principles is encouraging. Rather than a focus on regulation, the emphasis is on education and incentives.
“Many factors contribute to the challenge Colorado faces in making wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas safer for people and property in the event of a forest first. As a result, there is no single set of recommendations, statutes or regulations that will solve the broader problems.
We also believe that incentive and educational outreach programs will be more effective than programs or regulations, which may be viewed as overreaching mandates that are punitive. It should also be recognized that individual homeowner responsibility, too, plays a significant role in reducing loss of life and property during a forest fire. There are areas now with very strict WUI Code requirements and mitigation ordinances; enforcement and compliance continues to be a challenge for local officials. Individuals can be unwilling or unable to afford the mitigation requirements that are currently in force.”
The BAS said it supports the concept of a real estate disclosure for homes in WUIs but noted that the Division of Real Estate may prefer that the General Assembly pass a bill requiring this rather than the Division adopting the disclosure as a policy. CAR staff said the point of sale proposed requirements for defensible space and property assessments are “non-starters” and are not supported by the BAS.

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