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Our Learning Center is constantly updated as new features arise and changes occur. Check it out now under the Resources tab in IRESis!
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Now through April 24th, you get a FREE plan for every 2 you scan!
Have you been scanning your listings with the FlōPlan App? If not, you’re missing out on FREE floor plans.
The FlōPlan System integrates directly with IRES. This means that you can link floor plans to your listings with a push of a button from the FlōPlan App. To create a floor plan, all you need is your smartphone and a quick walkthrough of your listing.
Scan all of your listings now through April 24th to take advantage of this promotion!
We would like to take a moment to update you on our data sharing agreements as some changes are coming soon.
PPAR/RSC has informed us they are ending the data sharing agreement with IRES effective April 7, 2022 as PPAR/RSC’s board of directors reevaluates its subscription strategy. As a result, on April 6, 2022, IRES subscribers will no longer be able to see PPAR/RSC listings in the IRES platform and IRES listings will no longer be available to PPAR/RSC subscribers.
To help you with accessing inventory in this area, there are two tools that might be of use:
RPR View: This platform is an alternative option for REALTORS®. You can access this through the IRES database.
Realtor.comPRO: All IRES subscribers can access PPAR/RSC-area listings through this website.
Please reach out to IRES for more information on each service.
Data sharing agreements between IRES and REcolorado, ROCC and CREN remain in place and unaffected. We are excited to continue to offer these benefits as part of your IRES MLS subscription.
While we are disappointed data sharing with our colleagues in the Colorado Springs area has been discontinued, we remain committed to seeking out collaboration opportunities in the future. IRES will continue to work on bringing you enhanced listing access for the benefit of you and your customer.
Thank you for your patience and please let us know if you have any questions.
We are excited to present you with an exclusive offer: Starting today and going through April 24, 2022, we are giving you one FREE floor planfor every two floor plans you create using the FlōPlan App.
TODAY through April 24th, get out and scan all of your listings to maximize your reward! Your free scans will be applied to your account at the end of the offer period.
Get FREE Floor Plans to Wow Potential Buyers
The IRES / FloPlan partnership offers IRES subscribers a discount off the retail price reducing costs from $35 to $12 per scan.
We are excited to present a limited time scan-2-get-1-free offer over the next month! Between March 21st and April 24th, every 2 floor plans you create with the FlōPlan App equals oneFREE floor plan.
Scan Two Properties, Get A Free Floor Plan
All you need to do is scan the property and link the floor plan directly to your listings using the FlōPlan App. No other action is required!
There is no limit to this offer so be sure to scan all of your listings and maximize your reward! Free floor plans will be automatically credited to your account once the contest has ended after April 24th. You will receive an email when your free floor plans have been credited to your account after the promotional period.
We look forward to helping you get started. The first step is setting up your account. Set up is fast and easy – all you need are your existing MLS credentials! Just download the mobile app to get started!
This update includes good news on issues such as rental licensing and metro district disclosures. Those public policy victories didn’t just happen. Hard work was needed by members of the real estate industry and their allies.
As a reminder, ballots for the April municipal elections were mailed this week for statutory towns like Berthoud, Eaton, Erie, Timnath, Wellington, Milliken, Windsor, and Johnstown.
Barbara Koelzer Regional Government Director
LOCAL Boulder County Longmont No On Rental Licensing: On March 8 the City Council ended months of angst for landlords and property managers on March 8 when it decided not to pursue rental licensing. Reviewing the results of a survey done last summer in which 74 percent of resident respondents voiced opposition to the concept was enough to convince the Council that rental licensing was unnecessary.
It was clear from the beginning that landlords, both those with multiple properties and those who rent only one home, did not support the idea. However, the survey also showed many tenants viewed the idea of inspections as a violation of their privacy. Both landlords and tenants expressed concern licensing would increase rental costs for tenants.
Some councilors, like Marcia Martin, initially supported the idea to get more data on how many people rent homes in Longmont. But she changed her mind early in the process. Martin argued that the City’s existing programs for tenant protection work well. Mayor Joan Peck was visibly disappointed. She continued to articulate her belief that tenants were too fearful to speak up in support of licensing. Saying there needed to be equity for tenants Peck argued, “If we are really an inclusive community, we need support for tenants just like landlord alliance.”
After a long discussion, the Council voted unanimously to table rental licensing. A second motion for a Council presentation on “advocacy support” for tenants also passed.
Council Vacancy Will Be Filled in November: The Longmont City Council has decided to leave a vacant seat on Council until the November 8 general election. A special election to fill the seat left vacant by Joan Peck’s election as Mayor last November would cost $390,000. As Mayor Peck noted, none of the Council’s decisions since her election have resulted in tie votes, so leaving the seat vacant a few more months wouldn’t impair public policy decision-making.
Louisville Fire Victims Getting a Break on Building Codes: After a long public hearing, the Louisville City Council reluctantly decided to allow owners of destroyed and damaged homes to build to Louisville’s Energy Code that was in place prior to November 2021. This code is often referred to as the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code. Many affected homeowners had begged for that option. As one homeowner said, “It’s a matter of economics. We want to build to the highest level of energy efficiency, but we can’t afford to do it.”
There was considerable debate about what compliance with the newer 2021 International Energy Conservation Code would cost. The City, using estimates from Group 14 Engineering, estimated it would cost a minimum of $19,867 extra for a 2,200-square-foot home. The City would also negotiate discounts on some relevant products (like heat pumps) to reduce that cost further. However, according to the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, the 2021 codes would add $77,000 to rebuilding cost.
In the end, the pressure put on the City Council by impacted homeowners, who held rallies that were covered by the media, turned the tide. The issue became politicized by the former Mayor of Boulder and current Colorado Energy Office’ Executive Director, Will Toor, and others, who urged the Council to adhere to 2021 codes in the name of climate protection.
The Council will begin the public hearing process on March 15, with the final public hearing on April 5. Superior’s town council already decided to offer the same grace to affected homeowners in that town. Superior will also provide rebates on building permits and fees for Marshall Fire victims.
Larimer County Fort Collins East Mulberry Plan: City staff gave an update on the East Mulberry Plan, with an annexation decision on the 3-square mile parcel possible by end of the year. However, the future of the annexation appears uncertain. Some councilors want to see a benefit to annexation for the citizens of Fort Collins.
Councilor Julie Pignataro insinuated that perhaps Larimer County wanted to dump the parcel on Fort Collins and said the city shouldn’t annex it if that is the case. Councilor Kelly Ohlson, who has already expressed his opposition to the plan, said, “Why would we want to do this to ourselves?”
The East Mulberry enclave was formed in 2018. The City has an agreement with Larimer County that states an enclave will be pursued when it becomes eligible. East Mulberry became eligible in 2021. East Mulberry is mostly commercial and industrial, with very few homes.
Loveland Metro District Disclosure on Hold: After an executive session on March 8, the Loveland City Council decided not to proceed with an ordinance intended to provide more disclosure for home buyers in metropolitan districts. City Attorney Moses Garcia wrote, “After a review of legal considerations, City Council is postponing consideration of the ordinance in order to determine how effectively the recent state legislation regarding metropolitan districts, the proposed MLS disclosures by the local realtors’ (sic) association, and the potential changes to the Seller’s Property Disclosure form inform potential purchasers of homes within metropolitan districts.”
The draft ordinance would have created liability for home sellers and listing brokers if a signed disclosure form was not provided to buyers. The Loveland-Berthoud Association of REALTORS® had a list of objections to the ordinance, and sought the assistance of Scott Peterson, General Counsel for the Colorado Association of REALTORS®. Peterson gave City staff an overview of the Colorado Contract to Buy and Sell Residential Real Estate to illustrate buyer protections inherent in the contract timeline before the executive session.
The LBAR Metro District Task Force (Renae Hupp, Michelle Jacobs, Gary Maggi and David Powell) worked tirelessly on this issue for months.
Endorsements in Berthoud Election: The Loveland-Berthoud Association of REALTORS® interviewed the Berthoud trustee candidates and asked them real estate-related questions in early March. After consideration, LBAR supports three candidates for the three available seats: Ryan Berry, Alex Johnson, and Sean Murphy.
COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Legislative Update: The legislative session has reached its halfway point, but many key bills of interest to real estate have been introduced slowly with many still on hold. Why? No one knows for sure, but it appears there will be a rush to introduce bills moving forward. The last day of the 2022 session is May 11.
NATION NAR Priorities In $1.5 Trillion Spending Package: Congress passed a long-awaited bill March 10 to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year, sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature. The $1.5 trillion bipartisan package keeps the government running through Sept. 30 and includes money for priorities the National Association of REALTORS® supports, such as housing programs, rural broadband, and surface transportation projects. The bill also reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program.
Since last October, the government has relied on a series of short-term funding extensions while Congress worked toward a long-term deal. Some highlights of NAR priorities in the bill include:
Flood insurance: Extends the NFIP through Sept. 30 and provides significant funding for communities to respond to and mitigate the impacts of future disasters, with $276 million for flood mapping.
Broadband: Includes more than $550 million to expand rural broadband services on top of broadband funding included in the American Rescue Plan and bipartisan infrastructure bill last year.
Fair housing: Contains $85 million for fair housing activities, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program, Fair Housing Assistance Program, and National Fair Housing Training Academy.
Violence Against Women Act: Reauthorizes this legislation and establishes the Violence Prevention Office at HUD. NAR was part of the original group of housing industry supporters that helped craft the housing provisions of the bill.
Transportation: Provides the remaining funding to implement programs and spending in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, which was passed in November.
NAR’s policy team continues to analyze the 2,700-page bill and will offer further insight in the coming days.
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The North Weld County Water District’s water tap moratorium and the Town of Severance’s subsequent building permit moratorium have been hot topics in the Northern Colorado real estate community lately. Severance is an epicenter of new home construction in our area. The moratoria brought this vital growth to a stop. For the latest on this issue, and a whole lot more, keep reading.
Barbara Koelzer Regional Government Director
LOCAL Boulder County RTD’s Peak Rail Service Concept: The Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced a consulting firm has been selected to study the feasibility of extending peak-hour service rail service from Union Station in Denver to Boulder and Longmont. According to the Daily Camera, Longmont Mayor Joan Peck said hiring a consultant is “the right step for RTD to take.”
The study is expected to take about two years to complete. It will provide updated engineering and cost estimates to determine service recommendations for communities, including Broomfield, Louisville, Boulder, and Longmont.
Additional goals include positioning the project for federal funding, planning peak service to allow for future build-out of the Northwest Rail Line, and aligning the RTD with the agency’s goals of partnering with agencies such as the Front Range Passenger Rail Service and the Colorado Department of Transportation. The peak-hour service plan would offer three morning trips from Longmont to Denver and three evening trips from Denver to Longmont.
What Peck did not emphasize is that the full northwest rail service approved as part of the FasTracks initiative in 2004 is still decades away. RTD’s projected completion date for the full build-out is 2050. The Northwest Rail Line has the highest price tag of the unfinished FasTracks projects, and is estimated to cost about $1.5 billion.
Boulder Council Schedules CU South Referendum: With just a two-minute discussion, the Boulder City Council decided to add the CU South Annexation repeal referendum to the November 8 general election. The decision was made informally and will require the passage of a formal resolution later this year.
The Save South Boulder advocacy group collected enough signatures in November to require a public vote on the annexation approved by Council in September. The Council opted not to make a quick decision on scheduling the question following the defeat of Save South Boulder’s previous referendum Ballot Question 302. That question would’ve required voters to approve the details of the CU South annexation agreement. It failed by a sizeable margin with 57.68 percent of the voters opposed.
While the Council could have opted for a one-question special election, that would cost between $75 and $150,000, according to staff. In the meantime, the founders of Save South Boulder/Save CU South have filed a statement of organization to create a new campaign committee called “Repeal CU South Annexation.”
Longmont Water Cash-in-Lieu Price Increasing: The City Council directed the staff to move forward with an ordinance to increase in Longmont’s water cash-in-lieu (CIL) rate. Developments that do not provide water rights are required to pay cash-in-lieu.
Currently, the City uses a complicated methodology that has been in place since 2014. The new methodology, if formally approved in a future meeting, will be based on the cost of an acre-foot of Windy Gap water, $48,500.
In discussing the ever-increasing cost of water, City Manager Harold Dominguez mentioned the possibility of using the CIL to incentivize or de-incentivize housing, especially for affordable and attainable homes. For example, the City could offer a special lower CIL rate for these projects. Assistant City Manager Dale Rademacher added that the City could discourage larger homes with a larger CIL price. This would be implemented through additional regulations. The CIL is generally paid when the plat is approved.
Note: It is difficult to compare Longmont’s cash-in-lieu price with other local cities because they are not based on the same amount of water. For example, Longmont’s current CIL is $18,528 based on .76 of an acre-foot of a Colorado-Big Thompson unit yield. Loveland’s CIL is $40,150 based on a .9 acre-foot of a Colorado-Big Thompson unit yield and Greeley’s is $36,500 based on .75 acre-foot of a Colorado-Big Thompson unit yield.
Louisville Emergency Zoning Ordinance Approved: The Louisville City Council approved an emergency ordinance requiring only one hearing to address zoning regulations affecting structures damaged or destroyed by the Marshall Fire. The ordinance creates a process to quickly clarify discrepancies for rebuilding Marshall fire homes and issue permits. It includes a sunset provision and is relevant only for properties affected by the Marshall Fire.
The ordinance specifies an expedited rebuild process for 15 affected neighborhoods and/or subdivisions. Planning Director Rob Zuccaro emphasized the ordinance is not to rewrite zoning standards. It is simply intended to allow rebuilt homes to reflect the original character of the neighborhood. The types of issues it will affect include issues such as side yard setbacks, and yard and bulk requirements. Fire victims were supportive of the ordinance, which was unanimously approved.
Larimer County Berthoud No on Turion Metro Districts: Berthoud’s Board of Trustees voted 4 to 3 against approving the service plan for the Turion Metro Districts with Trustees Dower, Soricelli, Hardy, and Mayor Karspeck opposed. Two weeks before that decision, Mead’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the service plan for the Districts. Both governments needed to approve the plan because the property is located within the boundaries of both Mead and Berthoud.
For some of the trustees, the size of the project was just too big. As Trustee May Soricelli said, “The scale is alarming… Are we ready for the scale and how it will affect the Town of Berthoud?” Turion is envisioned as a 2,000-acre master-planned community with 5,700 homes and 5.3 million square feet of commercial space.
For others, like Mayor Karspeck, any metro district is suspect. Karspeck said he is “not a fan of this development. … I’ve been quoted in the Denver Post about my opposition to them (metro districts).” Surprisingly, Trustee Jeff Hindman voted in favor of the project, saying approval would give Berthoud a measure of control.
The fate of the project is unknown following the vote in Berthoud. Turion is bounded by Interstate 25 to the west, Weld County Road 11 to the east, Weld County Road 38 to the south, and Weld County Road 44 to the north. The maximum aggregate mill levy for Turion will be 70.664 in Mead and would be 73.664 in the Berthoud portion, according to the service plan. Infrastructure paid for by the metro districts includes streets, water, sewer, and recreational amenities such as a rec center. Homes were projected to cost between $250 to $850,000.
Fort Collins REALTORS® Oppose Rental Licensing: The Fort Collins Board of Realtors® (FCBR) released a position statement opposing Fort Collins Housing Strategic Plan’s rental licensing component. The City is gathering public input on the topic: https://www.research.net/r/FCRentalSurvey.
Staff proposes a five-year time to implement rental licensing. It would start with a pilot program in year one. If the City Council is pleased with the results of the pilot, the program will move forward. By year five roughly 25 percent of the City’s rental units would be inspected.
The FCBR statement reads as follows:
“The Fort Collins Board of REALTORS® (FCBR) would like to commend the City of Fort Collins for considering revising its current housing occupancy requirements with regards to occupancy limits and household functionality.
“Increasing occupancy limits and amending familial definitions will allow property owners to utilize their homes based upon size and the capacity of the neighborhood. The impact on larger homes would result in more efficient utilization, create more housing opportunities, as well as ease the current rising cost of housing in the city.
“FCBR strongly opposes the City’s current push towards Rental Licensing. Without a comprehensive list of tenant complaints, combined with an analysis of the impact of current regulations on the issues identified, it appears that Rental Licensing is a solution in search of a problem. Not to mention the licensing fees involved with this program would be passed on to renters thus raising the cost of living for those who can least afford it.
“It is FCBR’s recommendation that the City of Fort Collins considers the following alternatives to improving the housing shortage in our community:
Ease restrictions for new Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).
Allow developers to build according to zoning requirements, without adding unnecessary design standards that increase the cost of housing.
Offer incentives to developers for higher density in return for building permanently affordable and attainable housing units.
Create partnerships with developers, builders, and lenders to assist with the smart development or re-development of appropriate land in the City and GMA.”
Weld County Severance Moratorium Lifted Outside Town Delivery Area:BizWest reported that the Severance Town Council voted to lift a moratorium on building permits in areas outside the Town’s water service area last week. Severance owns water, but uses the North Weld County Water District (NWCWD) for water treatment and delivery.
Severance residents receive water either from the Town directly or through North Weld. North Weld imposed a tap moratorium September 29 but partially lifted it on February 14, allowing 50 tap permits initially and 10 per month thereafter, through the end of 2022.
The decision means that the Town will allow building permits within its boundaries in areas served directly by North Weld water, including the subdivisions of Belmont Farms, Bridal Hill/Saddler Ridge, Casa Loma, Golden Eagle Acres, Hidden Valley Farm, and Soaring Eagle Ranch. However, the building-permit moratorium continues within the Town’s water service area. The moratorium will continue through May or until NWCWD grants the “plant investments” needed to deliver the proper volume of water to Severance.
NWCWD imposed its tap moratorium in September, blaming the 1041 regulatory process in Fort Collins and Larimer County related to the District’s NEWT III pipeline, to be built from North Timberline Road in north Fort Collins east into unincorporated Larimer County. BizWest says the District has acknowledged capacity issues for water treatment and delivery, caused by rapid population growth and expansion of dairies within the region.
REGION What is Happening with I-25 Expansion? It’s been a while since we reported on the North I-25 project. As drivers can see, the work is ongoing from Fort Collins to Berthoud.
While it may seem that the transportation funding issue was fixed with the passage of SB21-260 last year, that is far from the case. For one thing, that bill spread funding between highways and transit. In addition, Governor Polis has called for a delay in the implementation of the gas tax increase that is part of SB-260’s funding formula following an increase in gas prices and the inflation that has plagued the U.S. and Colorado.
While Governor Polis and CDOT have been loud in their praise for the completion of I-25 south of Denver, they have been silent concerning the funding shortfall for I-25 North. We are still missing $600 million for section five from Mead (C0 66) to Berthoud (C0 56). It could be years to finish the project with the State’s current emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions and transit. The only solution that observers can foresee at this point is a public-private partnership (P3) to pay for the last section of the expansion.
Elections Never End! You’ll notice some basic candidate information in this update. Why? Statutory towns across Northern Colorado will hold municipal elections on April 5, with ballots being mailed on March 14.
What is a statutory municipality? It is a town that has elected officials known as a board of trustees. The mayor of these towns is elected by popular vote. Statutory towns do not collect their own sales tax.
2022 will also feature county commissioner elections. Candidates can petition on the ballot or undergo the assembly selection for party candidates. The date for the Colorado Primary is June 28; our general election is scheduled for November 8.
It’s time to start your homework so you’re prepared for the 2022 elections.
Barbara Koelzer Regional Government Director
LOCAL Boulder County Four County Commissioner Candidates So Far: When Matt Jones announced his intent to retire at the end of his current term as Commissioner for District 3, it didn’t take long for candidates to emerge who want to take his place. According to the Daily Camera, four candidates have declared so far, but there’s plenty of time for others to join the fray.
Ashley Stolzmann, currently Mayor of Louisville, said being a Commissioner would help her serve constituents impacted by the Marshall Fire. “The county is the key player in the whole recovery.”
Candidate number two is Elaina Shively of Lafayette. She is the Director of Diversion and Restorative Justice for the Boulder County DA’s office. “As a county commissioner, I could leverage the work I’ve done in being a leader for systems change,” she said.
Andrew O’Connor is the third candidate to announce. He’s run before, albeit unsuccessfully, in previous local elections and at the state level. He is retired but previously worked as a public defender. If elected, O’Connor hopes to work on infrastructure, especially roads and traffic control, within Boulder County.
Lisa Widdekind announced her candidacy on Feb. 7. She served as public health emergency management coordinator for 16 years. “As a former employee who worked with all our departments to be prepared for events like the pandemic, I understand how our local government works and can hit the ground running in the role of commissioner. It’s a lot different than coming in from other career paths,” Widdekind said. She ran for the same seat in 2018.
Erie Eight Candidates for April Election: Current Trustee Justin Brooks and Kelly Zuniga will vie for the mayor’s seat after incumbent Mayor Jennifer Carroll announced she will not run again. Six candidates will compete for three trustee seats: incumbent Christiaan van Woudenberg, Emily Baer, Jeff Haverkate, Dan Hoback, Ryan Kenward, and Andrew Sawusch.
Longmont Electric Home Demonstration Project: The City Council was briefed on a building demonstration project being done by Longmont Power and Communications in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley. The project includes 10 new all-electric homes.
The houses will have water heater controllers and home energy monitoring devices to gather data on water heater consumption, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment. The purpose of the project is to monitor and test for peak electric demand reduction, renewable energy generation alignment, and other benefits of the grid.
Given the push for all-electric homes to combat global warming, this type of project is important. Many local governments (including Longmont) and the State of Colorado, support the goal of eventually eliminating natural gas heating, but is all-electric heating efficient and cost-effective? Data from projects like this one can help answer this question.
Louisville Post-Fire Building Code Requirements Become Politicized: On February 1 the Louisville City Council held its first discussion on building code requirements for the Marshall Fire victims. The staff presented information on the provisions of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code, otherwise known as WUI.
Louisville doesn’t have any of the WUI provisions in its code now, but in the aftermath of the fire, it is possible the staff may recommend considering some sections. Planner Lisa Ritchie said the staff isn’t ready to recommend the adoption of the WUI codes yet, however. “We’re still learning,” she said.
The discussion concerning the energy efficiency code (IECC) generated more passion. In the fall of 2021, Louisville adopted the 2021 version of the IECC, which requires new residential construction to be built to certain energy-efficient standards, including a requirement to build new homes using only electricity (versus natural gas) or at least be wired as electric-ready. In addition, the code includes wiring for electric vehicle charging stations, and solar panels (or the ability to support solar panels), and a net-zero carbon emission standard.
Some victims of the Marshall Fire asked the Council not to require rebuilt homes to comply with that code because of the additional cost. “Everyone is profoundly under-insured. I’ve heard there are some people who aren’t under-insured but I’ve yet to meet one of these unicorns,” said one affected homeowner.
Requiring rebuilt homes to meet the 2021 IECC code would add from $8,360 to $33,795 to the cost. Victims said their home insurance allowance for code updates would not cover that cost. Audrey DuBarros, the director of Commuting Solutions, said being a fire victim changed her perspective dramatically. Suspend the 2021 IECC, she begged. “Streamline the process and come to our rescue.”
Will Toor, the Director of the Colorado Energy Office, urged the council to stick to the 2021 IECC requirements. He argued the City’s consultants were incorrect in their analysis of the costs. He said the State would help and donate money for “sustainable rebuilding.” Elise Jones, the Director of the South West Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) testified as well, pressing the City to stay the course as one of the State’s leaders in energy efficiency.
After more than 90 minutes of testimony, Mayor Stolzmann ended the hearing. She said the issue would be discussed again once the staff can research the financial resources needed to cover the costs of incorporating the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code into the rebuilt homes.
Council Waives Demo Permit Fees for Fire Victims: The City Council unanimously approved a resolution to waive demolition permit fees for fire victims. After a short discussion, the original proposal was revised and the time limit for the waiver was extended until September 30. Victims have to apply for the permit by that date. The actual work must begin within 180 days.
Larimer County Sheriff Running for Commissioner: Justin Smith, Larimer County’s Sheriff for 12 years, has announced he will challenge incumbent commission John Kefalas for the District One seat this November. Smith told the Coloradoan his 30 years of service to the County have helped him to understand its varied challenges.
Mask Requirement Ends Feb. 12: Larimer County’s Department of Health & Environment will eliminate the COVID-19 mask requirements effective Feb. 12. The County joins most other Front Range counties in ending mask requirements; Broomfield, Denver, Adams, and Araphoe counties have already creased requiring masks indoors. Boulder County is the only county in Northern Colorado that still requires masks in public indoor spaces.
Berthoud Trustee Candidates: Six people have announced their candidacy in the Berthoud trustee election, scheduled for April 5. The candidates are Tim Hardy, who is running for a second term, Karl Ayers, Ryan Berry, Alex Johnson, Sean Murphy, and Ellyn Rush.
Three four-year seats are available. Two current trustees will not run again. Jeff Hindman is term-limited, and Mayor Pro Tem Maureen Dower has chosen not to run for a second term.
Trustees Increase Water Cash-in-Lieu Fee: The Board of Trustees approved an ordinance to increase Berthoud’s cash in lieu water dedication fee, an alternative method to satisfy water requirements for new development. Funds collected as cash-in-lieu fees are used by the Town to further develop its water supplies and to develop the infrastructure necessary to treat and deliver those supplies.
The current cash-in-lieu fee is $16,500 per single family equivalent (“SFE”) was adopted by the Board in June 2019. The revised fee is $25,000 per SFE. The rationale for the increase was based on the unit cost of recent water acquisitions by the Town and the estimated costs of new water infrastructure projects.
Fort Collins Diagnosis – LUC Needs Work: A diagnostic report prepared by consultants indicates the City’s Land Use Code (LUC) needs changes. As it currently exists, the LUC limits housing capacity and creates uncertainty. It doesn’t prioritize capacity, diversity, or affordability along transit corridors and it doesn’t support compatible infill development. To top it off, the consultants said it is difficult to use.
The majority of the Council present (Susan Gutowsky was absent) supported the consultants’ recommendations and the direction the report recommends. The consultants suggest many updates, including changes to efficiently guide infill and a more equitable process to make it easier for local developers. The current LUC is too “focused on use regulation and process without enough priority and focus on predictable form.”
Kelly Ohlson, who was active in the creation of the existing LUC became irate and lectured his Council colleagues, the staff and City consultants for nearly 25 minutes. He said, “These are the biggest planning changes I’ve seen – ever. I don’t share the enthusiasm for where we are heading.” He added that “Affordable Housing is the great American excuse for bad policy.” He explained he wasn’t elected to represent people who will live in Fort Collins 15 years from now.
Staff said there will be continued public engagement and additional study sessions for the City Council. The hope is to bring back draft LUC revisions in April 2022.
Weld County Mead Trustees Approve Turion Plan: Mead’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement and service plan for the Turion Metropolitan Districts, beginning the development process for 2,000-acre master-planned community with 5,700 homes and 5.3 million square feet of commercial space.
Turion still awaits approval from the Town of Berthoud, because part of the property lies within the Town’s boundaries. Berthoud’s Board of Trustees was scheduled to continue its discussion of the issue at its Feb. 8 meeting but the results of that meeting aren’t yet available.
Turion is bounded by Interstate 25 to the west, Weld County Road 11 to the east, Weld County Road 38 to the south, and Weld County Road 44 to the north. The maximum aggregate mill levy for Turion will be 70.664 in Mead and 73.664 in the Berthoud portion, according to the service plan. Infrastructure paid for by the metro districts includes streets, water, sewer, and recreational amenities such as a rec center. Homes will cost between $250 to $850,000.
NATION FHFA re Condo Requirements: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) responded to NAR’s letter regarding the new condo documentation and reserve requirements. The new requirements are in response to the Surfside disaster last year in Florida, in which a condo collapsed and nearly 100 people were killed. The property was due for renovations and had been under-reserved.
NAR previously requested a delay in implementation and better marketing/information for homeowners association (HOAs) on the requirements. In its response to NAR’s request, the FHFA indicated that it will not delay the implementation, but offered to facilitate a discussion with the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) for better marketing of their requirements and info sessions for HOAs.
NAR has heard from members in various states that lenders are asking HOAs to fill out addendums and provide the safety and reserve documentation but the HOAs do not know how to fill out the forms or find the studies. Furthermore, professional management companies will not provide the information.
Architectural and engineering reviews for properties will be expensive and take time, while the actual reserves needed for any improvements will add a financial burden. The safety and financial security reforms are clearly needed, but this hasty implementation could negatively impact the ability to finance condos purchases with a disproportionate impact on under-served communities.
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