Keep Organized with the New Tasks Feature

Originally Published on the FloPlan blog 11.02.2021

When a floor plan is needed for a property, that decision is made well before an agent reaches the property. With FlōPlan Tasks, agents will be able to start the floor plan creation process sooner to better fit scanning into their workflow.

A new task button will be added [feature published 11.18.2021] to the FlōPlan app’s main navigation, allowing users to see tasks that are assigned to them and review tasks they have assigned to others. Agents can add new tasks and reassign tasks to themselves or an invited collaborator. This is great for agents that like to delegate and keep an eye on the completion of the pre-listing process.

What Has Changed?

A new “tasks” icon will be included in the main menu of the FlōPlan app where this new feature can be used.

Why Did We Make These Changes?

A new tool needs to fit into the listing workflow to be effective. FlōPlan tasks fit into the pre-listing checklist by creating assignments in an easy to use list. FlōPlan can help agents get the task complete by managing and assigning the floor plan to be scanned right from the FlōPlan mobile app. Agents can keep a better view on tasks and monitor their progress.

What else?

FlōPlan Tasks are located in a new menu item on the main navigation.

  • The tasks tab allows users to see tasks that are assigned to them and also review tasks that they have assigned to others.
  • Agents can add new tasks
    • For each new task, the agent will put in an address
  • Next, choose the assignee from the options
    • Add new collaborator as assignee
    • Choose an existing collaborator
    • Choose themselves as assignee
  • Agents can reassign tasks
    • Select the task
    • Choose new assignee from the options:
      • Choose an existing collaborator
      • Choose themselves as assignee
      • Add a new collaborator as assignee
  • Agents can delete tasks
    • Select the task
    • Confirm deletion
    • Assignee is notified if current user does not equal assignee.

We’ve also updated onboarding for new users who choose listings to assign to collaborators during onboarding. Listings chosen and assigned will be automatically created as tasks.

Regional Government Affairs Update Novemberr 19, 2021 🍂

Welcome to the latest government affairs update. New City Council members are “drinking through a fire hose” and learning about their new jobs. As such, few councils are tackling complicated policy issues right now. Expect a lull for the holiday season before elected leaders get to work on big issues after the first of the year.

Best Regards,

Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director


LOCAL
Boulder County
Boulder

Referendum Approved for Ballot:
The Boulder City Council has approved the certification of a referendum that will require Boulder voters to decide whether they want to repeal the annexation agreement approved in a 6-1 vote in September. The Council hasn’t yet decided how it will proceed moving forward.

The referendum was deemed sufficient on November 1 by the City Clerk’s Office with more than 5,700 signatures. Signature gatherers with Save South Boulder and PLAN-Boulder County were required to obtain at least 3,336 signatures.
The Council could repeal the CU South annexation agreement, however, that is unlikely because the City Council majority supports the annexation agreement, meant to guide flood mitigation and development on the 308-acre property owned by the University of Colorado Boulder. Alternatively, the Council could submit the referendum to a vote of Boulder’s electorate, either in the next municipal election or in a special election before that time.

Sources say the City Council will decide how to proceed sometime in December. The Council cannot make the decision ahead of Dec. 1 because there is an opportunity for people to challenge the sufficiency of the referendum signatures up until then.

Brockett Elected Mayor: Aaron Brockett was appointed mayor in a 6-3 vote. Bob Yates also expressed interest in the role but received three votes. Rachel Friend was unanimously appointed mayor pro tem. This will be the last time the Council elects a mayor. In 2023, the mayor will be selected by the electorate through ranked-choice voting.

Larimer County
Fort Collins
Ohlson Criticizes Land Use Code Recommendations: The Fort Collins City Council discussed the guiding principles and work plan for revisions to the Land Use Code as part of the Housing Strategic Plan on November 9.

The guiding principles for the project include:

  1. Increase overall housing capacity (market-rate and subsidized) and calibrate market-feasible incentives for Affordable Housing.
  2. Enable more affordability especially near high frequency/capacity transit and priority growth areas.
  3. Allow for more diverse housing choices that fit in with the existing context and/or future priority place types.
  4. Make the code easier to use and understand.
  5. Improve the predictability of the development permit review process especially for housing.

Kelly Ohlson lambasted the staff and consultant’s recommendations. He said, “I am disappointed in what we’ve been presented tonight. The quality of the work product is the worst I’ve ever seen.” Cost does not equal the price, he argued. That is “a basic economic fact that staff and consultants should know. If cost goes down, developers will still charge as much as they can get.” He claimed high density infill won’t be affordable. He said the result will be to “cram in more and more development with less and less scrutiny. A nightmare scenario. I was open to zoning changes but now there could be less scrutiny. It’s surreal.”

Ohlson added that “so-called streamlining of development review isn’t good for existing homeowners. The City must move away from stakeholders that are corrupt. In this case that is the developers. They will want less oversight, lower fees and less regulations. Stakeholders can’t just be economic vested interests – that is corrupt.” In his opinion, the Planning Department should represent average citizens. That is their job.”

The other Councilors didn’t comment on Ohlson’s critique. Tricia Canonico said, “We are headed in the right direction.” But she added that she doesn’t want to see accessory dwelling units (ADUs) used as short-term rentals.

Shirley Peel wondered, “How does supply and demand play into this?” Once Council approves the guiding principles consultant Peter Park said they will look at existing principles and existing policies and gaps between aspirations and regulations – do they support them or not? What can people afford and what do the regulations require?

Susan Gutowsky asked what staff knows about “cash-rich investors who flip homes and make them unaffordable. What can the code do to slow that process down?” She said the investors are impacting affordability in Fort Collins.

Mayor Jeni Arndt said she wants to see flexibility in the code. Fees need to be built in, especially increases in them) to financial assumptions. She liked the guiding principles; they square with what she hears in the community. Making the code easier to use and understand is good, more transparent.

Ohlson added that it must be legal to say that ADUs can’t be short-term rentals. He said he assumes “all these changes will equally apply to HOAs? Otherwise, equity talk is hollow.” Staff said the Land Use Code applies to all development. Ohlson added that he wants “uncertainty” in the code.

The project team anticipates beginning the Land Use Code drafting process in early 2022. There will be another Council work session to review the draft code prior to its adoption.

Loveland
Affordable Housing Public Forum: The City of Loveland held a public forum to get input on affordable housing November 18. About 85 people participated, including staff. Mayor Jacki Marsh said the number of participants showed how important the issue is to citizens.
The forum started with short presentations by Alison Hade (Community Partnership Office), Jeff Feneis (Loveland Housing Authority) and Aspen Homes. Hade said the median home price in Loveland is $430,000 (according to the latest IRES data it is closer to $445,000) but added that a family with an income of 80 percent AMI can’t afford a home in that price range.

After the presentations participants were divided into groups and answered a series of three questions: 1) What is your experience with affordable housing in Loveland? 2) What are the challenges to affordable housing? And 3) What should the City’s role be relative to affordable housing.

The questions didn’t elicit any new insights into the issue of affordability or any new answers. One observer said the purpose of the forum was simply to blunt criticism that the City doesn’t engage its citizens, a complaint made often by Councilor Andrea Samson. A summary of the forum will be sent to the City Council.

Weld County
Greeley
Olson Appointed to Transportation Group:
Johnny Olson, Greeley’s newest City Council member, was appointed to represent the City of Greeley on the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO). This is great news for Greeley. As the former head of CDOT’s Region 4, Olson is a transportation expert, and he will fight for highway and road funding for Greeley and other cities in Northern Colorado.

STATE
Pilot Program for Struggling Homeowners: The Colorado Sun reported there is a new pilot program to help homeowners make past-due mortgage payments. The program offers homeowners up to three months of payments.

The Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, or EMAP, has been in development since $10 billion in the American Rescue Plan was set aside by Congress in March for housing aid. The U.S. and Colorado already have a program for struggling renters.
Colorado’s share of the new federal Homeowner Assistance Fund is $175.1 million and the state’s Department of Local Affairs is using 10% for EMAP, according to State Division of Housing officials. 

“We will be closely watching the demand for this program in partnership with our local nonprofit administrators,” said State Director of Housing Recovery Sarah Buss. “The demand will help shape how the remaining federal funds are programmed to best serve Colorado homeowners.”

Buss said that EMAP is just one of several programs that the state Division of Housing is working on to distribute the federal money. “The other HAF programs must ultimately be submitted to the U.S. Treasury for final review and approval, after which DOH will work to roll out the other programs, in early 2022,” Buss said.

Help for homeowners was paused after new the federal relief package that was approved in December provided funding only for renters. The state’s program for homeowners ran out of money, so Colorado had to end the mortgage relief program for homeowners

NATION
NAR Says Housing is Infrastructure: The U.S. House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better plan Friday by a vote of 220-213. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The roughly $1.75 trillion bill spares real estate investment from the most-feared taxes and includes key NAR priorities like investments in affordable housing and down payment assistance.
The roughly $1.75 trillion bill spares real estate investment from the most-feared taxes and includes key NAR priorities like investments in affordable housing and down payment assistance.

“Our advocacy operation is bipartisan and focused on the issues. Our goal was to ensure this legislation includes robust funding for affordable and fair housing and protects real estate investment from misguided and harmful new taxes,” says Shannon McGahn, chief advocacy officer for NAR. ”We are pleased that House lawmakers expanded affordable housing provisions from what was in the original framework, but this bill is far from final. Expectations are the Senate could remove some provisions to lower the price tag. We will continue to work with Congress to ensure the final bill is good for the real estate economy and consumers.”

Lawmakers are using a budget process known as reconciliation, which allows legislation to bypass the Senate filibuster and pass with 51 votes. But the process also limits provisions in the bill to items that change spending or revenues, preventing some policy priorities from being included.

Tax Provisions Spare Real Estate Investments

The House-passed bill is partially offset with new taxes on high-income individuals and businesses and new money for increased IRS enforcement, but the tax increases most likely to harm real estate investment were excluded.

“Some of the earlier tax proposals floated would have devastated the real estate sector, which makes up nearly one-fifth of the entire economy,” McGahn says. “This revised bill has no 1031 like-kind exchange limits, no capital gains tax increases, no change in step-up in basis, no tax on unrealized capital gains, no increased estate tax, no carried-interest provisions, and no 199A deduction limits.

“We worked for more than a year to educate lawmakers on these issues and launched a targeted Call For Action on taxes. The tax provision of this framework is testament to the effectiveness of our education campaign in Washington,” McGahn continues.

The plan also includes an increase in the state and local tax deduction limit. The current $10,000 SALT deduction cap would be raised to $80,000 through 2030.

Historic Investment in Affordable Housing

The House-passed bill also includes a $150 billion investment in affordable housing, a key NAR priority and focus of its advocacy efforts for the past year.

In addition, House leaders added back several programs not included in the original framework announcement, including $12 billion to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and $6 billion for a new initiative, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act. NAR is a supporter of both programs.

Under the revised bill, public housing and rental assistance get funding boosts. The bill would also create more than 1 million new affordable rental and single-family homes and invest in down payment assistance. The White House says the down payment assistance under the plan would allow “hundreds of thousands of first-generation homebuyers to purchase their first home and build wealth.”
The bill includes funding for the following programs in the housing section:

  • $65 billion for formula- and needs-based public housing programs.
  • $25 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to construct and rehabilitate affordable homes for low-income families, and $750 million for a new Housing Investment Fund to leverage private-sector investments to create and preserve affordable homes.
  • $24 billion for housing choice vouchers and support services, including for individuals at risk of homelessness and for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • $10 billion to offer down payment assistance to first-generation home buyers, and $5 billion for a home loan program to subsidize 20-year mortgages for first-generation home buyers.
  • $5 billion to address lead paint and other health hazards in housing for low-income families.
  • $3.05 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program.
  • $3 billion for a new Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund offering competitive grants to local partnerships led by nonprofits for accessible housing and neighborhood revitalization initiatives.
  • $2 billion for rural rental housing to support new construction, the removal of safety hazards, and energy efficiency improvements.
  • $2 billion for a new grant program to make energy efficiency upgrades to affordable housing.
  • $700 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program and $100 million for the Fair Housing Assistance Program.

NAR Plays Critical Role

As negotiations continued in recent weeks, media reports suggested that housing provisions might be cut from the bill altogether.

In response, NAR CEO Bob Goldberg joined other housing leaders and key members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol Oct. 20 for a press conference calling for the inclusion of affordable housing provisions in the final bill.

”As a nation, we have to find ways to close the supply shortfall,” Goldberg said at the press conference. “Doing so will be particularly meaningful for lower-income households, millennials, and households of color.”

“We continued to press both publicly and privately for these provisions,” McGahn says. “Affordable housing is the key to unlocking prosperity for millions of Americans currently excluded from the American dream. This investment is critical for closing the racial homeownership gap and addressing income disparity. It opens up homeownership for first-generation and first-time buyers.”

Congratulations to the 2022 IRES, LLC Board of Managers

Image: The word LEADERSHIP with blue and white chalk hand-drawn sketch notes on blackboard background

Please join us in congratulating the newly elected managers for IRES, LLC. We are excited to welcome these exceptional industry leaders to IRES. They bring to the table their varied and vast experiences.

We would also like to recognize those leaders whose terms end with 2021: Fran Hardman of RE/MAX Advanced, Inc., Gary Maggi of RE/MAX Town & Country, and David W. Powell of Kentwood Northern Properties. We applaud their service and leadership. Thank you for your contributions!


Meet Our 2022 Managers

John Asmussen
John Asmussen

John Asmussen (2020-2022)
MB/Asmussen & Associates
4845 Pearl East Cir, Ste 101
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 440-6464


Kevin Barrier

Kevin Barrier (2021-2023)
Cobblestone Realty
3131 South College Ave
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 430-5150


Wendy Conder
Wendy Conder

Wendy Conder (2022-2024)
Windemere Realty, Inc.
600 5th Ave
Longmont, CO 80501
(303) 651-2300


Cecilia DeVilliers
Cecilia DeVilliers

Cecilia DeVilliers (2020-2022)
Shasta Realty Inc
615 Clarendon Dr
Longmont, CO 80504
(303) 875-3045


Chris Hardy

Chris Hardy (2020-2022)
Elevations Real Estate, LLC
106 E Oak St
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 988-6319


Brad Inhulsen
Brad Inhulsen

Brad Inhulsen (2022-2024)
Sears Real Estate
2021 Clubhouse Dr, Ste 100
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 330-7700


Dan Kingdom

Dan Kingdom (2021-2023)
Wright Kingdom
4875 Pearl East Cir, Ste 100
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 443-2240


Stephanie Lyon

Stephanie Lyon (2021-2023)
Trilogy Real Estate, Inc.
357 S McCaslin Blvd, Ste 200
Louisville, CO 80027
(303) 666-7101


Barbara Medina

Barbara Medina (2022-2024)
Group Horsetooth
375 E Horsetooth Rd, #1
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 223-0700


Scott Nitzel
Scott Niztel

Scott Nitzel (2021-2023)
Rouse Realty
4673 W. 20th St, Unit A
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 353-5006


Roberto Ortiz

Roberto Ortiz (2022-2024)
Assist 2 Sell – Ortiz Realty
1601 E Eisenhower Blvd, #4
Loveland, CO 80537
(970) 206-4900


Lorraine Schaeffer

Lorraine Schaeffer (2022)
NorthWest Real Estate
201 E 4th St
Loveland, CO 80537
(970) 482-4004


Dave Werner
Dave Werner

Dave Werner (2021-2023)
Smartlist Real Estate
5131 S College Ave, Ste B
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 223-7770


Lauren Hansen
Lauren Hansen

Lauren Hansen
CEO of IRES, LLC
2725 Rocky Mtn Ave, Ste 450
Loveland, CO 80538
(970) 593-9002

Regional Government Affairs Special Election Update Nov. 4, 2021 🌄

Image of capitol dome with us flag.

Colorado voter turnout for Tuesday’s election was low, about 35 percent. Since several of our local elections are very close, we may not know the final results for a while because November 10 is the last day to cure discrepancies and tally military and overseas ballots, and November 29 is the last day to for county clerks to compile and total returns and order recounts.
 
In several mayoral races – Longmont and Loveland – the decisions on who will serve as your elected leaders were made by a few hundred people or less. I always say local elections are more important than national ones. If only more voters had turned out this year, the outcome could have been very different.
 
To learn my thoughts on the outcomes of some of our biggest or most interesting local elections and what they mean, keep reading.

Best Regards, 
Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director


LOCAL
Boulder County
The New City Council:
It appears that Mark Wallach, Tara Winer, Michael Cristy, Matt Benjamin, and Nicole Speer have won in the Boulder City Council race. Mark Wallach was the only incumbent. The other four replace Sam Weaver, Mirabai Nagle, Mary Young, and Adam Swetlik. These five will join Aaron Brockett, Junie Joseph, Rachel Friend, and Bob Yates after they are sworn in on November 16.

I am not an expert on politics in Boulder. However, judging by who won and their endorsements, the new Council may be slightly less no-growth than the previous Council. Voter turnout in Boulder was higher than in other Northern Colorado cities.

Question 300 (Bedrooms are for People): This citizen initiative asked voters to increase occupancy to the number of legal bedrooms plus one person. But a significant number of voters (57.85 percent) said no to this question. Were the voters concerned about how this would affect neighborhood character? Occupancy has been a controversial issue in many Northern Colorado communities and Boulder is no different. Would more people be able to afford to live in Boulder if 300 had passed? I don’t think so.

Question 302 (CU South Annexation): This question was placed on the ballot by a citizen group called Save South Boulder and was supported by PLAN-Boulder. It would’ve required voters to approve the details of the annexation agreement for the 308-acre parcel into the City of Boulder. It failed by a sizeable margin with 57.68 percent of the voters opposed.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the controversy since Save South Boulder is working to put the annexation approved by the City Council in September to a vote in 2022. The annexation agreement includes flood mitigation, including a dam and retention pond on South Boulder Creek plus approximately 1,100 housing units for the University of Colorado. If the annexation goes according to plan, it could free up housing units for non-university residents as well as provide flood mitigation that will be partially paid by CU as well as more open space for Boulder residents. My guess is that voters thought the benefits of the annexation are worth it, spite of the arguments put forth by Save South Boulder and PLAN-Boulder.

Note: The Boulder-Longmont Association of REALTORS® (BLAR) has traditionally not endorsed candidates or ballot issues in Boulder or other Boulder County municipalities.

Longmont
City Council Race:
The voter turnout in Longmont was low. The population of Longmont is roughly 94,445 but only 18,957 people elected a new mayor. Joan Peck appears to be the new mayor, having bested fellow City Councilor Tim Waters by 199 votes (as of Nov 3 at 11:13 pm).

The two at-large seats were won by Aren Rodriguez (21.874 percent) and newcomer Shiquita Yarbrough (22.19 percent) narrowly edging out former councilor Sean McCoy who received 19.59 percent of the votes. Marcia Martin had no opponent and receives another four-year term.

Peck, Rodriguez, Yarbrough, and Martin will join incumbent Tim Waters who remains on Council until 2023, as well as Susie Hidalgo-Fahring. A special election will decide who fills Peck or Water’s seat, depending on the final outcome of the race.

The majority of the City Council remains unfriendly to our industry. BLAR endorsed Waters and Martin as well as Tallis Salamatian and Jeremy Johnson for the 2 at-large seats. Shiquita Yarbrough was endorsed by two of the Boulder County Commissioners as well as the Sierra Club.

Lafayette
Public Safety Tax:
66 percent of voters approved a .27 percent sales tax for public safety equipment and services. The measure has no sunset date, so this is a permanent tax increase. Apparently, voters agreed with the creation of the tax to pay for police and fire department needs.

Louisville
Transportation Measure Fails:
58 percent of Louisville voters opposed Ballot Measure 2A, which would have paid for trails and underpasses and trails by allowing the City to bond and assess up to 5.450 mills of property tax. My guess is that voters were uncomfortable with a potential property tax increase. If 2A had only asked for permission to bond, it would’ve been a different story.

Larimer County
Loveland
Marsh Wins Third Term:
Jacki Marsh beat Don Overcash by 287 votes for a third term as Loveland’s mayor. Patrick McFall beat incumbent and Marsh ally Rob Molloy and Lenard Park for the Ward 1 seat. Newcomer Dana Foley (37.3 percent) beat incumbent Kathi Wright (34.5 percent) and Doug Luithly (28 percent) in Ward 2.

Did the smear campaign mounted by Troy Krenning and friends make a difference, even though his committee spent no money? It’s hard to say but Marsh ally Luithily took enough votes to deny Wright another term. Incumbent Steve Olson held on to his Ward 3 seat with 48.7 percent of the votes, over Vi Wickam (27.9 percent) and Penn Street (18.5 percent). The race in Ward 4 is still too close to call. Jon Mallo currently holds a 12-vote lead over Caitlin Wyrick.

LBAR [Loveland Berthoud Association of REATLORS®] supported Don Overcash for Mayor, Kathi Wright in Ward 2, Steve Olson in Ward 3, and Jon Mallo in Ward 4. Regardless of the final outcome, Loveland’s nine-person City Council is still business and real estate-friendly. Only 22,260 voters determined the winner in the mayoral race, even though Loveland has 57,674 registered voters.

Marsh complained about individuals and groups who spent large amounts of money, but campaign funding by candidates or independent expenditures made little difference in the outcome. “That makes me angry to my bones. I can’t express it any other way. It’s just wrong. It’s morally wrong,” she said. For example, Overcash outspent Marsh by a huge margin and Wright’s campaign spent more than both of her opponents.

Weld County
Greeley
City Council Race Results:
John Gates easily overcame challengers John Gauthiere and Jim Ethridge in the mayor’s race. Gauthiere, a former Water Department employee, is one of the leading proponents for Ballot Measures 2G and 2H.

Incumbent councilor Brett Payton beat Lavonna Longwell by 7.6 percentage points and Paul Wood by 11.8 percentage points for the at-large seat. Former City of Greeley staffer Deborah DeBoutez was victorious over Louisa Andersen and Sean Short in Ward 2. With no challenger, Johnny Olson won the seat representing Ward 3.

GARA’s [Greeley Area REALTOR® Association] endorsed candidates were successful except for Louisa Andersen (Ward 2). Greeley’s City Council will remain relatively conservative and real estate-friendly.

Ballot Measure Results: Voters overwhelmingly extended the Keep Greeley Moving transportation tax, with nearly 80 percent in favor of the measure (2F). Apparently, voters are satisfied with the way the City has utilized funding for KGM so far.

The two citizen-initiated water ballot measures (2G and 2H) were soundly defeated with about 80 percent of voters opposed to both questions. If they had passed, Greeley would have been the only city in Colorado in which voters would have been required to approve water purchases and leases. Citizens for Securing Greeley’s Charter did a good job educating voters about the problematic nature of the water measures.

GARA supported Ballot Measure 2F and opposed 2G and 2H.

STATE
Voters Say No:
Voters did not approve any of the three state ballot measures on November 2. 56 percent of the voters opposed Amendment 78, which would have required the legislature to approve the use of all custodial funds. I’ve yet to see any compelling analysis on Amendment 78. Were voters wary of another amendment to the constitution? Were they unconvinced that the legislature could do a better job of allocating custodial funds? Or, was this just not a “sexy” issue?

Proposition 119, which would have increased state sales taxes on recreational marijuana from 15 to 20 percent, lost by nearly 13 percentage points. Colorado voters traditionally oppose sales tax increases for transportation and schools. However, in the past voters have supported so-called sin taxes, including repeated increases on marijuana, as well as tobacco and gambling.

Boards of education and teachers’ unions opposed the measure even though it had bi-partisan support. Were some voters concerned about the creation of another appointed board to oversee the program? CAR [Colorado Association of REALTORS®] supported 119 and made a hefty donation to the proponents’ campaign.

Finally, Proposition 120 also failed by nearly 14 percentage points, which I found to be a relief. The measure, advocated by the same guy who came up with Amendment 78, would’ve reduced property taxes on multi-family and lodging properties. It was confusing because the language was approved before the legislature passed a bill to make Prop 120 less enticing to voters. My fear was that voters would not read their blue book and assume the measure would reduce single-family property taxes. Then they would feel duped, which would lead to more voter cynicism and apathy in the future.

None of the three measures were controversial enough to generate a media feeding frenzy. They were all complicated as well. In the end, voters usually vote no if something is too confusing. I think all three of these questions fit that description.

Regional Government Affairs Update November 1, 2021 🍁

As you know, tomorrow, November 2nd is election day (finally!). I am planning a separate update that I will send out later this week to cover all the real estate-related election news

This update covers some interesting policy decisions in Northern Colorado, as well as an update on a state-level short term rental proposal.

Best Regards, 
Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director


LOCAL
Boulder County
Potential Settlement on Gross Reservoir Expansion: On Friday, October 29 Boulder County announced the Board of County Commissioners will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, November 2 on whether to resolve a lawsuit related to Denver Water’s plan to expand Gross Reservoir. The proposed settlement would require Denver Water to pay more than $10 million to mitigate the impacts of the project in Boulder County. In exchange, Boulder County would not dispute Denver Water’s claim that the project is exempt from review.

The County’s news release states, “The settlement proposal includes $2.5 million to assist Boulder County residents directly impacted by the project, $5.1 million for open space funding to replace lands which will be inundated by the increased reservoir capacity, $1.5 million to address the greenhouse gas emissions from the project, and $1 million to restore a portion of the South Saint Vrain Creek which will provide important wildlife habitat. Denver Water will also agree to transfer 70 acres of land near Walker Ranch Open Space to Boulder County. These additional acres will be added to Walker Ranch Open Space.”

A draft of the settlement proposal is posted on the Gross Reservoir Dam Expansion webpage.

Longmont
Building Code Updates Pass First Reading:
The latest round of international building code updates was included on the Longmont City Council’s consent agenda on October 26. Tim Waters pulled the ordinances and asked Chief Building Official Blas Hernandez about the projected costs for the requirements to make new single-family homes electric vehicle (EV) and solar-ready.

Hernandez said the cost for the solar wiring on the roof is minimal ($50-$100). However, the cost to add a garage circuit for the EV requirement could be as much as $1,000. Waters said he would vote for the updates because it is the “right thing to do.” However, he suggested the City should try to offset those costs by expediting the time to process building permits. “Time is money to builders,” he said. Waters noted he would continue to press the City to find ways to improve its timeline for building approvals because the City has a responsibility to “do no harm,” a reference to Prosper Longmont (see below).

The Council then voted to approve both ordinances. Second reading is scheduled for November 30.

Peck Criticizes Prosper Longmont: CEO Jessica Erickson presented Longmont EDP’s third quarter report to the City Council on October 26. As part of her presentation, Erickson shared Prosper Longmont’s policy statements.

Councilor Joan Peck praised the report in general. Then, she criticized Prosper Longmont, a coalition created by residents, businesses and civic leaders, formed to tackle workforce housing. https://www.longmontleader.com/local-news/prosper-longmont-group-takes-aim-at-housing-reform-4512529
 
The policy that irritated Peck was, “Work with Longmont’s elected leaders to advocate for an approach to policy-making that does not have a negative impact on housing affordability, equitable access to home ownership opportunities, or the feasibility of creating attainable housing.” Peck said the LEDP and Prosper Longmont don’t make policy, which she argued is the sole purview of the City Council.
 
Outgoing Councilor Polly Christensen chimed in, saying groups like the Chamber and the Realtors® advocate against affordable housing by supporting metro districts. She said Prosper Longmont isn’t a good use of time or money. Erickson countered that LEDP has never opposed affordable housing.

Broomfield
Reversed Setbacks Approved for Plugged/Abandoned Wells: On October 28 the Broomfield City Council voted to approve an ordinance that requires a 250-foot reverse setback between plugged or abandoned wells and residential development. The measure for plugged and abandoned oil and gas wells includes exemptions for developers with projects already in process.

Tuesday’s vote came after a similar measure regulating reverse setbacks for pre-production oil and gas wells was passed in June. There are 111 total plugged and abandoned wells in Broomfield. Of those, 26 are not located exempt areas.

Many plugged/abandoned wells are surrounded by existing development (for example, Broadlands and Wildgrass), are located in areas with Vested Property Rights (for example, Anthem and Baseline), or are in areas where future residential lots would be exempted from the Ordinance (for example, Wilcox neighborhood). The staff said the proposed setbacks are not anticipated to have a notable financial effect as the areas with the greatest impact are limited.

To address future development in non-exempt areas, the Council amended the ordinance to allow construction to occur within 150 feet of a plugged well if certain additional safety precautions are taken. Councilwoman Kimberly Groom was the sole no-vote om the ordinance. She said the ordinance places undue burdens on developers.

Larimer County
Fort Collins
Council Approves 1041 Ordinance: On October 19 the City Council approved an ordinance 6-1 with Shirley Peel opposed, to designate “certain activities” as matters of state interest and imposing a moratorium on them until the City Council adopts guidelines for their administration. 1041 powers were authorized by State statute in 1974 by House Bill 1041. The development of the City’s guidelines could take as long as a year.

The public hearing lasted for several hours, with a lot of comment from Northern Colorado municipalities and water districts whose representatives argued the ordinance would negatively impact their projects. Mayor Pro Tem Emily (Gorgol) Francis suggested a new option to narrow the scope of 1041 powers. Her option would only apply to projects on City-owned natural areas, parks, and open spaces, thus eliminating concerns from many of the speakers. However, the Francis option will affect the Northern Integration Supply Project. (In fact, to date it is the only project for which the moratorium is applicable.)

While it appeared that Francis’s idea was new, observers say this option was likely a strategy created behind closed doors following the first reading of the ordinance a month ago. Nonetheless, the concept received Council’s support with the Exception of Peel, who said, “I still don’t think we understand the unintended consequences of this, I feel like we’re rushing this through … without hearing from stakeholders.”

Councilmember Susan Gutowsky discounted the comments of many speakers, commenting “(I) didn’t see citizens calling for no moratorium (sic) … just service providers”…. The river is the gem of our community, why would we want it to die?” She added, “We need “control and protection against anything we perceive that would harm our community.”

Now, staff will begin drafting the Development Code language referenced in the ordinance. The Council’s approval of a $50,000 appropriation will allow them to hire consultants to help with that effort.

This will be followed by public engagement and then a Council work session prior to the public hearing process to adopt the 1041 powers guidelines. It is like the hearing process won’t occur until November 2022. In the meantime, if the US Army Corps of Engineers gives NISP the green light to proceed, Northern Water will not be able to begin working on any components of NISP that would occur on City-owned lands.

Note: It is difficult to know how Fort Collins’ 1041 regulations will financially impact NISP in the long run. However, this decision will damage the City’s relationship with the 15 water providers and communities that will benefit from the project. However, the Council doesn’t appear to be worried about that if Susan Gutowsky’s comments are representative of the Council as a whole. https://www.northernwater.org/what-we-do/plan-for-the-future/northern-integrated-supply-project

Rental Licensing & U+2: As part of the Housing Strategic Plan, staff presented a proposal to require rental licensing and possible changes to Fort Collins’ occupancy ordinance (U+2). There was general support for both concepts with a few exceptions. Councilor Shirley Peel voiced concern for over-regulation regarding rental licensing. Councilor Kelly Ohlson said he will fight changes to U+2 with “every political bone in my body.”

Councilor Susan Gutowsky said she is “looking for really heavy accountability for absentee landlords who run down their properties and collect the rent.” She added, “property management companies in this town aren’t worth a hoot.”

Mayor Jeni Arndt cautioned she is “worried the cost will drive up rent,” and added the City needs to “streamline the exemption process for U+2 permits.” “I’m confident we can come up with a good plan,” she said.

Councilor Kelly Ohlson disagreed strongly with the proposal to change U+2. He said, “I don’t agree at all with exploring your vision for occupancy … and family definitions”…. I don’t share your enthusiasm.” He offered to meet with Mayor Pro Tem Emily Francis to help her understand U+2, arguing relaxing U+2 is “nonsensical” and stated, “(It is a) remarkable myth that this will lead to more affordable housing.”

Ohlson added that U+2 has created “profound and positive” changes in his neighborhood since the city began enforcing it comprehensively in 2005. Before that Ohlson said, “Investors strip-mined my neighborhood.” Francis countered that it is “impossible to buy a starter home because investors are buying all the 3-bedroom homes because of U+2.”

At the end of the discussion Meaghan Overton, the City’s Housing Manager, described the conversation as “rich.” She said staff will work on ideas to shorten the timeline for implementing rental licensing.

The initial proposal was to create a pilot rental licensing program and “explore options” for adjusting the occupancy code in the first year of the program, implement a mandatory rental licensing program in the second year and ensure all rental units are inspected by year 5. The staff will return at a future work session to share the results of the public engagement campaign (in early 2022), and details for the first year of the program.

Weld County
Greeley
City Wants Transportation Ideas:
The City of Greeley has launched a new planning effort known as “Greeley on the Go” to link various forms of transportation and create a 20-year measurable blueprint for improving the City’s transportation system. As part of the program, staff is asking for public input.

Visit https://www.greeleyonthego.com to provide input.

STATE
Interim Committee Nixes Short-Term Rental Proposal: Last week the Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning Tax Policy was set to consider Senator Chris Hansen’s draft legislation to create a hybrid property classification for short-term rentals, which for tax purposes would be classified in part as residential property and in part as a lodging property.

According to Colorado Politics, Hansen said, “We’re simply saying that if you have (a short-term rental) and you rent it out, that you need to incorporate the same level of taxes as the bed and breakfast or the hotel that you might be right next door to.” He described a hotel in Steamboat Springs that has been converted to short-term rentals to reduce the property’s tax burden. Aspects of the bill received fierce pushback from four of the community members who testified before the committee, including Realtors and owners of short-term rental properties.

Colorado Politics reported that some of the harshest criticism came from Keith Erffmeyer, Denver County’s assessor who spoke on behalf of the Colorado Assessors Association and said his organization was “unequivocally opposed” to the provision splitting property classifications. “The administrative efforts for assessors to do any of that is absolutely overwhelming,” he said. “This would be impossible for us to accomplish with current staffing levels in Denver, I’d probably have to hire five, maybe 10 more people just to be able to do that.”

None of the panel’s three other Democrats or two Republican members supported Hansen’s proposal. It was suggested that he introduce his draft as a bill during the next legislative session. Other proposals to regulate short-term rentals are also being drafted for presentation during the 2022 legislative session.

NATION
New Flood Insurance Pricing:
On October 1, 2021, FEMA began phasing in a new flood insurance pricing system called Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action. These changes apply to new flood insurance policies. Most existing policies are not going to be affected until after April 1, 2022. Existing policy holders can take advantage of any premium decreases at the time of their renewal beginning October 1, 2021.

NAR policy supports Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action, which prices flood insurance for each home individually rather than by flood zone. FEMA had not updated its rating system in 50 years. By adopting modern insurance industry technologies, standards and practices, FEMA is able to rate more precisely and accurately by using more flood risk factors and property-specific characteristics, including each building’s unique elevation, distance to water and cost to rebuild. The new rating system only affects NFIP risk-based rates and does not change flood mapping or insurance requirements. Buyers may assume seller policies, and any increases cannot exceed 18 percent per year by law.

More information is available here: https://tinyurl.com/riskrating

NAR GSE Equity Suggestions: NAR submitted its response to the FHFA’s request for input on the Enterprises Equitable Housing Finance plans. The FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop long-term plans that will help to flesh out their goals and action plans for improving equity in the conventional market for housing finance. These plans would be annually reviewed.

Improving equity helps to improve access and affordability of mortgage credit for all credit worthy borrowers. To this end, NAR supports the FHFA’s efforts and outlined a number of NAR’s policies that support more equitable financing in both the opportunity to purchase a home and the ability to stay in a home.

NAR’s suggestions include:

  • Introducing homeownership counseling
  • Expanding down payment assistance
  • Solutions to support homebuyers with student debt
  • Resuming pilot programs to develop new products and services
  • Sticking to sustainable mortgages
  • Right-sizing capital rules and appropriate pricing
  • Reducing LLPAs and g-fees that reflect the GSEs’ actual risk
  • Enforcing fairness in appraisal
  • Making reforms to account for flood risk
  • Improved credit scoring
  • Aiding the expansion of housing supply

Share Your Draft Listing

“I wish there was a way to share the draft listing with my seller before it goes live”.

– Listing Agent

And, just like that, there was.

Draft Listings

Inside your draft listings interface inside IRESis, you may easily share your draft listing via email.

Add/Edit
Simply select your draft listing, inside Add/Edit and click the pencil icon to edit the draft.

Edit a Listing
Once you have reviewed the information you are ready to send, save your draft and enter preview mode.

Preview Mode
Once in preview mode, you have the option to view, save or share your draft. Click on “share draft” to send the preview.

Share Draft
Sharing a draft allows you to share a listing preview link, which will expire after 24 hours’ time.

Have Your Seller Check Their Email
Immediately after clicking on “ok”, your listing will be sent to the email(s) you provided, on behalf of IRES MLS and branded with your name and office. The link will last 24 hours before it is unavailable.

Draft Listing Review
Your seller may open the link to review the information on their desktop, tablet or mobile device. You may work together to ensure the data is correct before going “live”.

Re-Generate Links
If you need to regenerate the link after making another change after the 24 hour period, the old link will expire and the new link will be active.

We hope you enjoy this broker-client tool from IRES MLS. Please contact us with any questions you may have or send us a note through the Feedback button inside IRESis.com.

IRES Matters | Episode 13

A Mosaic: Lauren Hansen Reflects on an MLS Career

In this very special episode, we sit down with Lauren Hansen to discuss her impactful career in the MLS industry. Topics range from who her greatest mentor was, to what the MLS industry faces going forward, to how being an artist influenced her professional trajectory. Lauren began her path as Executive Officer of the Estes Park Board of Realtors. An early adopter of technology, she went on to become Executive Director of Tri-City Services, Inc. before taking the lead at IRES MLS. Evolving from the days of physical books and ledgers to developing the custom system that is IRES’s current platform, Lauren brings her experience and insight in a discussion you won’t want to miss!

Image of Lauren Hansen overlaid an image of a 4 foot by 13 foot mosaic that took her two years to complete. Title text says "A Mosiaic: Lauren Hansen Reflects an MLS Career."

IRES Matters | Episode 12

Data Exchange Update: Public Sites

Follow along with JP Pleitner, Product Manager at IRES MLS, and Jennifer Addair, Director of Product Management at REcolorado as they unveil the latest and greatest in the data exchange between Northern Colorado’s MLSs.

What’s the buzz all about? Public sites will now display listings from both MLSs! This is a big deal when it comes to your public image, as well as maximizing exposure for listings. Listen in as Delana, E-Learning and Marketing Manager at IRES leads the discussion right here, on IRES Matters.

Wow! Listing Draft Review!

You read that right! We’ve added a draft listing REVIEW for our listing brokers!

This is the first step to several new enhancements coming in the near future. We’ll be adding share components in upcoming system updates.

What Is a Draft Listing?

A Draft Listing or an Incomplete Listing is a listing that has not been completely entered and is not published in the MLS. Incomplete listings will be automatically removed from the system 90 days from the most recent save date.

Where Is the New Listing Draft Preview?

After completing all the required fields in each step of add listing, you’ll now be taken to preview listing mode.

Which Listings Have the New Review?

All MLS listing types have listing draft review, as well as Mobile/Manufactured without Land postings.

Who Has Access?

At this time, listing draft review is only available for the listing broker. We’re working to expand this as a shareable feature to your seller.

How Does it Work?

On this page you will see all your steps appear as tabs in a header bar at the top of your draft listing. You will see 3 buttons at the top right corner of your screen. The green “View Draft” button will open this Draft Listing Preview.

Draft Listing Tabbed View Showing View Draft, Save Draft, and Create MLS Listing Buttons

This layout is a similar display to the new Listing Details View displayed in Carts Manager and My Listings. Draft Listing Review has all fields you’ll see when editing your draft.

Editing your draft is very easy from this display. Clicking on a field label will automatically take you to the field to edit in your draft. For example, clicking on Price takes you to the Price field where you will see it highlighted for quick identification and reference.

Screenshot of Sample Draft Listing Review highlighting “Draft Review” warning, Price link, and View Draft button.

Once you’ve made your change, clicking View Draft saves your changes and takes you back to Draft Listing Review.

If you are not quite ready to create your new listing, click on the green “Save Draft” button to save your draft. Once you’ve saved your draft, you may navigate to any other area of the system.

If your listing is ready to be created after reviewing your draft listing, you can submit it to the MLS by clicking the gray “Create MLS Listing” button. Your new listing’s MLS number will then appear and the listing will display in the Report Window.

Wow!

We hope you’re as excited as we are about this latest IRES enhancement. Remember, there’s more to come!

ColoProperty.com® Now Includes REcolorado Listings

Thanks to a strong partnership and data exchange and integration agreement, more listing data is available to consumers and brokers across Colorado. Exchanged listing data is now available on both public-facing websites: REcolorado.com and ColoProperty.com®. This marks a significant next step after listings were made available in both MLS systems, Homesnap (both the app and the website), the REcolorado App, IDX Data Feeds, InfoSparks and FastStats, and Realist over the past year. Now, exchanged listing data is available on both public-facing websites, making more data available to an even broader audience throughout the state.

REcolorado.com Available as Syndication Channel on Listings

When you enter a new listing in IRESis you’ll see REcolorado.com available as a syndication channel.

The public facing websites are available as syndication channels in both MLS systems.

Data Exchange

All Active, Coming Soon, Pending, and Sold listings were automatically opted-in for syndication to REcolorado.com. If you do not want your listing to display on REcolorado.com, you can remove it as a syndication channel from the “Misc” tab for your listing.

Learn more about the ways you can share your listings to a broad audience through your IRES MLS subscription: Syndication, ColoProperty.com®, and IDX.

If you have questions about syndication, data exchange and integration, or other IRES MLS services, we’re here to help! Please reach out!

IRES MLS is open to forming partnerships with REALTOR® associations and MLS organizations throughout the state to make more data available to brokers, real estate professionals, and consumers across Colorado. To learn more, please contact info@ires-net.com