Regional Government Affairs Update July 7, 2021 🌻

When is it appropriate to mount a recall effort against an elected official? This is a legitimate question, and one voters must consider more frequently in this age of political divisiveness. 

In my opinion, a recall is only justified IF a politician has violated the jurisdiction’s charter OR engaged in conduct so egregious as to make themselves unworthy of representing their constituents. From my perspective, attempting a recall simply because one disagrees with a politician’s stance on the issues is an irresponsible use of a democratic safeguard.

What do you think?

Best Regards, 
Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director

Boulder County Longmont
ADU Revisions Approved: The City Council approved revisions to Longmont’s regulations pertaining to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on June 29. The new language clarifies that ADUs cannot exceed one-half of the finished, above-ground floor area. The old language limited ADUs to the total finished floor area of an existing home, which resulted in some ADUs that neighbors felt were too large.

In terms of requirements, stand-alone ADUs or ADUs converted from existing detached structures like a garage must now go through the full site plan review process. Only ADUs within an existing dwelling will go through the site plan waiver process.

The definition of ADU in the Development Code was revised to clarify the difference between an ADU and a basement finish or remodel. If the proposed project includes three or more the following elements, it is considered to be an ADU: a separate entrance, cooking facilities, sanitary facilities, or separate heat and ventilation.

Finally, noticing requirements were added to the code. Previously, written notice to neighbors was not legally required although Erin Fosdick told the Council the City has been sending ADU notifications anyway. Staff suggested adding notices for neighbors within 150 of the subject property, saying this would result in notification to properties within a block. Polly Christensen disagreed, saying notification to properties within 300 feet would be better. She made a motion to that effect, which was approved by a 4-2 vote, with Marcia Martin and Tim Waters opposed. Joan Peck was absent from the meeting.

Castriotta Elected Mayor: Mayor Pro Tem Guyleen Castriotta was elected by her peers to serve as Broomfield’s interim mayor until the November election following Pat Quinn’s surprise resignation in May. The vote was 7-1 in Castriotta’s favor. 
Councilwoman Kimberly Groom, who is running for mayor this November alongside Castriotta, chose not to run for the interim position. According to the Daily Camera, she said, “It is not appropriate for any mayoral candidate to seek appointment or to be appointed into this position during an election cycle. A neutral placeholder is the fair approach for our community until the Broomfield voters speak this November.”

Larimer County
Fort Collins

Council Finalizes 2021-2023 Priority List: At its first retreat, the newly-elected City Council completed its two-year list of priorities. The list hasn’t been formally adopted; that will happen at an upcoming meeting. The priorities are important because they will be the focus of the City’s budget for the next two years. 

Many of the priorities relate to the environment, such as accelerating City composting, enhancing recycling education, and tree planting subsidies. Very few of the priorities relate directly to real estate. Only one, “Rebuilding communities” comes close. This priority will focus on creating  “15-minute communities,” where residents are within a 15-minute walk from public transit, grocery stores, schools, and parks.

Affordable housing is not included on the list. This is because it is already the focus of the Housing Strategic Plan. “Priorities are not the only way to get things done,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Emily Gorgol. Does this mean the new 31 priorities will simply be added to the long list of action plans and strategies that have already been adopted?

Recall Effort Moving Forward: The Committee to Recall Don Overcash, led by attorney Troy Krenning (a former City Councilor), and Gil Barela, the Chair of the Larimer County Democrats, is almost ready to begin gathering signatures in its effort to recall Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Don Overcash. The committee is waiting for the Loveland City Clerk to approve its final petition form. 

Once the petition is approved, the committee will have 60 days to collect nearly 1,300 signatures from residents of Ward IV, which Overcash represents. His term runs through 2023. Overcash announced his candidacy for mayor in January 2021. 

The draft petition lists grievances the organizers have with Overcash, although honestly, the same criticisms could describe anyone on Council other than perhaps Mayor Jacki Marsh, and Councilmembers Andrea Samson and Rob Molloy. According to the Reporter-Herald, the complaints include “voting for projects that have increased public debt without voter approval”, refusing to condemn the actions of the Loveland Police Department related to the arrest of Karen Garner, approving “huge” incentive deals with developers, “approving every metro district,” and promoting a sales tax increase in 2019.

Overcash has done his best to stay above the fray, saying only “I’m running to be the next mayor of Loveland because we need to unite Loveland,” he said. “Everyone wants to be heard, understood and then see action.” He added that 95 percent of the votes he has made have been in consensus with the majority of councilors.

The Committee to Recall Don Overcash doesn’t have a website, but many comments relevant to the recall can be found on the Local Loveland Politics Facebook page A group has formed to defend Overcash, known as Lovelanders for Solutions. Access that website here:

Note: The Loveland-Berthoud Association of REALTORS® endorsed Overcash in 2015 and 2019.

Weld County

Update on Housing Strategic Plan: Economic Development and Housing Director Ben Snow gave the Greeley City Council an update on the City’s progress in implementing the Housing Strategic Plan adopted in 2019. He said the City has made strides meeting 20 of 33 action items. 

Community Development Director Brad Mueller spoke about the Land Use Code revisions that are included in the Plan. These include adding language to encourage more housing options such as “small format” homes and infill development. The changes will be considered for adoption by Council next month. He also mentioned the staff’s desire to hire another planner to focus on creating neighborhood plans. He said the development pipeline is primed with six major subdivisions that will create over 12,000 units over five to fifteen years.

Sean Chambers, Greeley’s Director of Water & Sewer spoke to the Plan’s recognition that water is a big driver in increasing home prices. He listed some of the changes the City has made to make water dedication requirements more precise in order to reduce raw water calculations. The list included items such as requiring impact fees (known as public improvement fees or PIFs) to be based on meter size rather than units for multi-family developments, and the Terry Ranch project, which will create an additional source of raw water. 

Snow completed the presentation by saying the Plan addresses the entire housing spectrum from supportive to market-rate units. He added the City is creating 700 affordable units using private activity bonds (PABs) leveraging $28 million in PABs for $115 million worth of projects.

Legislative Update: Recently CAR’s Legislative Policy Committee met for its last update on the 2021 session. Bills passed by the legislature become law provided they are not vetoed by Governor Polis.

It was announced the legislature created an interim committee known as the Affordable Housing Task Force. Its purpose is to issue recommendations to the legislature and Governor Polis “regarding policies to create transformative change in the area of housing using federal coronavirus recovery money.” The task force will include legislators and non-legislators. CAR’s Vice-President for Public Policy, Liz Peetz, said the task force will create engagement and advocacy opportunities for CAR and its members.

Here’s an update on several bills of note from the session.

  • Senate Bill 262 “Transparency and Accountability Improvements for Special Districts” Status – signed by Gov. Polis on June 28. CAR Position: Support

This bill increases transparency and accountability about property taxes for residents. Special Districts include improvement districts, fire or water districts, and metro districts. It requires special districts to publish information such as contact information for current directors, budget information, a map of the district’s boundaries, announcements about elections to serve on the board of directors, and more. 

CAR officials say The best part of the bill is the requirement for the builder or developer of new construction to increase disclosures to residents about their estimated tax responsibilities, access to the special district website information, and a formula to calculate how it could increase. This transparency is critical for consumers to understand how much their potential mortgage and other taxes will cost them every month. 

  • House Bill 1271 “Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies” Status – Signed by Governor Polis on June 27. CAR position – Support.

This bill is one of the four bills created by CAR in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity in celebration of CAR’s 100th anniversary. It provides $48 million for grants to support affordable housing development. Nearly $38 million will be available in 2022 for award to municipalities and counties as incentive grants to develop one or more affordable housing developments in their community that add community benefit. Incentive grants can help cover tap fees, infrastructure, playgrounds and parks, and other needs and amenities for the development and surrounding neighborhood. To qualify for these funds, municipalities, and counties must adopt at least three strategies from the menu of policy and regulatory options listed in the bill. 

  • Senate bill 238 “Create Front Range Passenger Rail District” Status – Signed by Governor Polis on June 30. CAR position – Monitor.

Senate Bill 238 creates a new taxation district to fund Front Range passenger rail, which will be overseen by a board of directors. The Colorado Sun calls the bill “the most significant step yet” towards creating a rail system that would run from New Mexico to Wyoming. Six of the 17 directors will be appointed by the governor. The Board will be responsible for making the project a reality. They will have the authority to ask voters within the district to approve a tax of up to 8 cents on a $10 purchase to pay for the project. 

Governor Polis said Front Range rail will “derail this economic crisis” and help Colorado “recover faster.” Bill sponsors say Amtrak’s financial commitment to the project and Congressional support for rail in a proposed infrastructure bill, make the multi-billion project feasible sooner rather than later.

Supreme Court Rules on Eviction Moratorium: In a 5-4 ruling on June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lacked authority to implement a blanket, nationwide eviction moratorium. Although the court declined to lift the ban immediately, the ruling means the current moratorium will expire at the end of July.

“This is a massive victory for property rights,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler.  “For more than a year, mom-and-pop property owners have been pushed toward financial ruin as they upkeep their properties and pay their taxes and mortgages with no income of their own.  With the pandemic waning and the economy improving, it is time to restore the housing sector to its healthy, former function.  Property owners also deserved this absolute clarity from our federal court system regarding property rights in America to avoid similar financial harm in the future.”

The eviction ban was first issued in September 2020 during President Trump’s term and was extended by President Biden several times through the end of July. With the support of NAR, the Georgia and Alabama Associations of REALTORS® challenged the orders in federal court.

Infrastructure Affects Real Estate: Recently the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) issued a list of the Top 10 Issues affecting real estate. It was gratifying to see infrastructure included on that list.

CRE says the American Society of Civil Engineers “estimates the U.S. infrastructure funding gap in 2021 to be $2.6 trillion, up 24 percent from 2017. Not only is public safety at risk from failed water systems, roads, dams, and other shortfalls, but the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that fully closing the physical infrastructure gap could translate into 1.2  percent, or 1.5 million, more jobs across the economy.  The U.S. spends only 2.3 percent of GDP on infrastructure, while European countries spend 5% on average and China spends about 8 percent.”

Read more about NAR’s position on the topic here:

Biden Appoints Acting FHFA Director: Late last month the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that President Biden has appointed Sandra Thompson as the agency’s acting director. Thompson has served as the deputy director of the Division of Housing Mission and Goals (DHMG) since 2013.

The appointment comes after the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the leadership structure at the Federal Housing Finance Agency is unconstitutional. The high court made the decision that removal limitations preventing the FHFA director from being fired by the president only “for cause” (i.e., neglect or misconduct), were in violation of the separation of powers.

As a result, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the director can be fired at will by the president. In response, Biden removed FHFA Director Mark Calabria on Wednesday and replaced him with Thompson, who the administration expects to be a better reflection of its priorities in the housing finance policy space. 

The National Association of REALTORS® President Charlie Oppler released a statement Wednesday in response to Thompson’s appointment: “We look forward to continuing our work with the Acting Director as we seek to ensure all U.S. homebuyers, especially those in underserved communities, have access to affordable mortgage credit.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which FHFA oversees—owns or guarantees about $6 trillion in residential mortgages.

IRES Matters | Episode 11

Barbara Koelzer: Government Affairs Director

Barbara provides a deep dive into her role as our “local government watch-dog” for Realtors in Northern Colorado. A member of IRES staff, Barbara is here to serve the real estate community by staying on top of legislative changes and participating in advocacy for the region. She created a study to examine the long term pros and cons of Metro Districts for homeowners, and we go in-depth on how these impact builders, buyers, and Realtors. Follow her blog for regular updates at Gov’t Affairs – IRES MLS: Come Home to Colorado ( or reach out to her directly at

PayPal and Venmo Options Now Available for IRES Billing

We’re pleased to announce that with 2021 Q3 billing IRES MLS subscribers have the option to pay invoices with PayPal and Venmo accounts.

What do I do?

Log In to Invoice Cloud by clicking the Sign In option in the upper right-hand corner of the login page at This can be done from either your desktop or your mobile device.

Click on the blue button for ‘Pay my Invoices’

On the next page, click on the blue button for ‘Pay Selected’

On the screen that pops up, click on the blue button for ‘Proceed to Payment’

On the next screen, select the option for PayPal from your wallet in Invoice Cloud:

Follow the steps as you’re prompted for your selected payment type.

Once completed with the PayPal prompts, you’ll be returned to the InvoiceCloud payment screen to complete your payment.

For Venmo, you’ll need to initiate paying your invoices from your mobile device only. It is not available on desktop devices.

Step 1: Select invoice to pay.

Step 2: Proceed to payment.

Step 3: Select Venmo from available payment methods.

Once directed to the Venmo app, you will need to authorize InvoiceCloud as a payment recipient.

You’ll be returned to InvoiceCloud where you can complete your payment.

Don’t forget to sign up for Pay by Text!

Below you’ll find more information on how all the payment methods, including pay by text, through InvoiceCloud:

Draft Listings on Tap

Where’s my draft listing?
How can I edit my listing?

Short Answer: My Listings.

IRES now features a “Drafts” tab inside of “My Listings” where you can find all of your MLS Listings and now, Draft Listings too!

Edit a Listing

You may also access your draft listings from the

  • “Edit Listing” screen and
  • “Add Listing” screens:

Edit a Listing From My Listings

Did you know that you can edit your listings from My Listings too?
Not only can you edit a listing from the card view, you can now edit a listing from the list view also:

Card View

Card View: Edit your MLS listings and draft listings from the card view of MyListings using the edit control drop down menu.

List View

List View: Edit your MLS listings and draft listings in the list view as well, using the edit menu drop down.

Editable listings will be shown with the pencil icon. Non-editable listings will have the “ban” sign over the pencil. These are listings that are closed and part of the MLS history, so they cannot be edited.

For more information about My Listings, Add and Edit controls, be sure to visit the “help” icon at the top right of the IRES MLS app from any screen. Or, contact IRES MLS.

Thank you for being an IRES MLS Subscriber!

Regional Government Affairs Update June 21, 2021 💐

If you are helping a client buy or sell a home in unincorporated Larimer County, you’d better be aware of the new transfer of title septic program going into effect on July 1. Read more about this as well as other important updates, below.

Best Regards, 
Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director

Boulder County Boulder
Voters to Decide on CU South? Advocates for an initiative known as “Let Boulder Voters Decide on Annexation of CU South” have gathered enough signatures to make the November 2 ballot, assuming enough of those signatures are valid. The measure would require voter approval for the annexation of the CU South parcel into Boulder city limits. 

The University of Colorado and the City of Boulder have been working on the project for years. The 308-acre parcel would be annexed, and a portion of the property would be used for the South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project. CU would use the property primarily for staff and student housing.

According to the Daily Camera, Marki LeCompte, co-chair of Save South Boulder, is confident that the measure will move forward. “Given the numbers that we have in excess of the 3,336 required (signatures), we’re sure we’ll have sufficient numbers to meet the minimum and then some,” she said.

The City Council will officially approve ballot measures in August.

Mountain Brook Metro District Agreement Approved: Without comment, the Longmont City Council approved a resolution approving an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the City and the Mountain Brook Metropolitan District on June 8. The IGA includes provisions related to the construction, ownership, and operation of public improvements to be completed by the District. These include roads, water lines, sewer and stormwater facilities. A portion of which will be oversized to serve future development in the area.

The IGA also specifies requirements for notifications regarding District meetings. It also includes a provision to improve transparency per the just-based State Senate Bill 262 that will require the creation of a public website that includes information regarding meetings and other information.

As required by State law, an election was held on May 5, 2020 to seat the District’s Board of Directors and allow the issuance of debt. Shortly thereafter the district court issued an order and degree authorizing the District. Meadow Brook is a 64-acre project located adjacent to Rogers Road one-quarter mile west of Hover Street. It will include approximately 256 for-sale single-family homes, several hundred condominium or apartment units, and the Veterans Community Project’s Longmont Village Longmont (26 housing units for homeless veterans). 

Council Approves Inclusionary Zoning: The Louisville City Council unanimously approved Ordinance 1809 on June 15 after a public hearing. The ordinance requires developers to dedicate 12 percent of the units in a housing project –for-rent and for-sale—as affordable units. 

Louisville’s current permanently affordable housing stock represents 3.1 percent (273 units) of the City’s total stock. To meet the 12 percent goal, Louisville will need 769 more units however, based on available undeveloped property in the City, staff estimates the ordinance could create approximately 46 units.

Like other inclusionary zoning ordinances, Ordinance 1809 defines affordability based on Average Median Income (AMI). A minimum of half the affordable housing must be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the AMI, with the remainder affordable to households with incomes between 60 and 80 percent. 

Developers can meet the ordinance requirements by building units on or offsite, or by paying a fee-in-lieu FIL. The fees are based on 2020 sales in Louisville. The for-sale price is $9.24 per square foot (SF). For example, a developer would pay $818,664 for a 40-unit development with a median size of 2,215 SF. The FIL for rental projects is $4.72 per SF. Louisville adopted the FILs based on Longmont’s inclusionary zoning fee-il-lieu formula. 

Surprisingly, only a handful of people called in to comment on the ordinance. Ann Marie Jensen of the East County Housing Opportunity Coalition had previously encouraged members to push for a higher percentage but didn’t mention that during her comments. Drew Hamrick from Colorado Apartment Association warned the County the ordinance would increase rent prices for non-deed restricted units. 

Mayor Ashley Stolzmann called the ordinance “a keystone piece of legislation.” She lamented the City’s lost opportunities given the amount of currently remaining developable land but said “This is what other communities around us are doing.” Councilman Jeff Lipton wondered how much it will cost the City to manage the program. He pushed his colleagues to add density bonuses as an incentive to developers. Councilman Caleb Dickinson said, “home appreciation is a huge part of homeownership. With deed restriction, you don’t get that and we need to be conscious of that.” He reiterated his support for affordable housing and the ordinance but added, “I don’t think this ordinance will get us there.”

Mayor Stolzmann advocated for a 20 percent restriction and Councilman Dickinson tried to amend the ordinance to increase it to 15 percent but lacked the votes to move it forward. It is possible the Council could increase the required percentage later.

The Council will discuss adding additional affordable housing strategies in August. At that time “carrots” like density bonuses and “sticks” such as a commercial linkage fee, will be considered.

Note: The City has been working on the issue since the Louisville Council endorsed the Boulder County Regional Housing Partnership’s Housing Strategy in 2018, which supports the 12 percent goal. Some Boulder County cities have adopted higher goals; for example, Boulder’s goal is 25 percent while Superior requires 15 percent. Longmont’s goal is 12 percent.

Larimer County
Septic Transfer of Title Requirement: Larimer County is implementing a septic transfer of title program as of July 1, 2021. It will affect properties that go under contract as of that date.

Properties with on-site wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) will require an inspection by a certified third-party inspector to identify any conditions requiring repair. The inspection will also verify the design of the system is consistent with its “current use,” meaning it is appropriately sized for the home’s number of bedrooms. Inspection reports will be submitted to the County’s Department of Health and the Environment prior to closing.

Chris Manley, Environmental Health Officer for the Department’s Environmental Health Services Division, said transfer of title inspections are not currently required by Colorado law but will likely be mandatory in the future. Manley and Environmental Health Director Shaun May said their intent is not to delay closings. 

Once the inspection has been done the responsible party (either the owner or buyer) will have 180 days to complete any necessary repairs. The “Acceptance Document” issued by the Department if the inspection meets the regulations in effect when the OWTS was permitted will be valid for 12 months.

The program does not apply to properties that meet the following criteria:

  • The OWTS system received final approval less than three years from the date of the request for an Acceptance Document.
  • The change in ownership is not an arm’s length transaction where a buyer and seller are acting in their own self-interest (transfers between family members, estate transactions, foreclosures, etc.).
  • The change in ownership is creating or ending a joint ownership as long as one person is an original owner and/or the spouse, parent, or child of an original owner.
  • The transfer is to a trust or limited liability company in which the original owner is a member. 
  • The transfer is a result of a foreclosure or forfeiture. However, the subsequent transfer from the foreclosing entity does require inspection and an Acceptance Document.

The County had sought feedback from Realtors® concerning the program in 2019. Its implementation was delayed by the COVID pandemic. More information is available here:

Fort Collins
Activists File Another Lawsuit: Save the Poudre and No Pipe Dream Corp. filed another lawsuit against the City of Fort Collins to challenge the process that the city will use to permit aspects of the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). The suit seeks a ruling to stop the city from using the Site Plan Advisory Review (SPAR) process, which the plaintiffs in the case contend is not legally applicable to the NISP project.

SPAR is typically used by public entities such as school districts or public colleges or other districts that seek to develop structures or land within a city. The process gives the city a say in the development but permits the public entity to have final control over the development.

The City of Fort Collins determined that the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the developer of NISP, qualifies to use SPAR. Northern Water submitted its SPAR application May 5, and the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission will conduct a hearing on  June 30.

Weld County

Council Supports Enhanced Sales Tax Incentive Program Proposal: The Greeley City Council gave staff approval to move forward with the creation of an ordinance to implement an enhanced sales tax incentive program. The City’s Director of Economic Development and Housing, Ben Snow, told the Council the similar programs have been effective in other Colorado jurisdictions. He said Greeley’s program will generate significant sales tax revenue and help the City remain competitive with other Northern Colorado towns.

The program is intended to support the development of an “industrial metro district entrepreneurial ecosystem,” stimulate the development of infrastructure and reduce retail sales tax leakage. This tool will be applied only to parts of Greeley that lack essential retail services, such as the downtown and west side of town. 

Councilor Tommy Butler voiced concern about incentivizing “big box” stores. Councilor Ed Clark wondered why the City needed to change the way it courts new businesses now. City Manager Roy Otto said the program provides another tool and that it wouldn’t be granted to “just anyone.” The funding will be tied to the businesses’ sales tax performance. After discussion, the Council unanimously agreed to direct staff to move forward with the program.

Broadband Incentive Program: Economic and House Director Ben Snow told the City Council that broadband speed and reliability are a concern in Greeley. He called broadband a “vital piece of infrastructure.” Snow added that the broadband incentive program will promote high-quality (high speed) broadband to all residents at a fair and equitable price. The City will use its existing $1 million broadband fund to incentivize broadband fiber deployment, with a special emphasis on areas east of 35th Avenue. The funding offered will depend on the percentage of a broadband company’s investment. 

Council Kristin Zsada asked why incentives are necessary, “Won’t they do it anyway?” she asked. City Manager Roy Otto explained that Greeley is trying to encourage multiple broadband providers to invest in Greeley. Ben Snow said the program “Incents a competitive marketplace.” After a short conversation, the Council approved the use of the existing broadband dollars to fund the incentive program.

Legislative Update:
 CAR and Habitat for Humanity worked to push forward four legislative solutions aimed at helping improve homeownership opportunities for all Coloradans as part of the celebration for CAR’s 100thanniversary. All four bills will soon become reality upon the Governor’s final approval.

House Bill 1028 (Annual Public Report Affordable Housing) will require the Division of Housing to annually report and make available to the public information on how our housing dollars are being spent around the state. The report will include information on where housing projects take place throughout our state, how many housing units are created and preserved and what type of projects is Colorado undertaking: homeownership, rental, supportive and rapid re-housing.

House Bill 1134 (Report Tenant Rent Payment Information to Credit Agencies) establishes a statewide pilot program enabling residents residing in housing provider properties selected by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to opt to have their rent payments reported to consumer credit bureaus as a dynamic new way build their credit.

House Bill 1200 (Revise Student Financial Literacy Standards) will strengthen financial literacy standards by ensuring Colorado’s students graduate with required curriculum costs associated with preparing for homeownership; obtaining a higher education degree or credential; how to choose, manage, and repay student loans; how to apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid; how to save for retirement, and how to manage personal credit card debt.

House Bill 1271 (Department Of Local Affairs Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies) federal stimulus dollars would cover the costs of providing three programs in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to promote new solutions for statewide affordable housing development:
1.) The Affordable Housing Guided Toolkit and Local Officials Guide helps local governments develop an overall affordable housing strategy and engage stakeholders in the community. 
2.) The Planning Grant Program awards funding to local governments to help adopt land use strategies, enabling local governments to be competitive in applying for a housing development incentives grant.
3.) The Housing Development Incentives Grant enables local governments to apply for state grants to adopt strategies from a menu of best practices to spur housing creation or reduce regulatory barriers.

Transportation Bill? The Governor and bill sponsors gathered a lot of press concerning the transportation bill recently signed into law. SB-260 “Sustainability of the Transportation System” is a 190-page, $5.4 billion plan that is supposedly the solution to Colorado’s woeful lack of transportation funding. But is it? That depends on one’s definition of transportation.

Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew told the House Finance Committee that funding from SB 260 will allow CDOT to take care of about two-thirds of the projects on its statewide $5 billion 10-year plan. But previous funding from efforts like a 2017 bill that authorized the sale of $1.88 billion worth of bond-like certificates of participation for transportation work, had already reduced that list by one-third.

In fact, SB-260 only provides $30.7 million for highway, road and bridge funding in 2022. State highways only receive roughly 26 percent of the $5.3 billion total. The amount dedicated to state highways will vary over an 11-period span but will never add more than $245 million in a year’s time (2032). The rest of the funding goes to local government, transit, paying off debt for previous road projects, incentives for purchasing electric vehicles, and, adding charging stations and air pollution mitigation projects. 

70 percent of the bill’s revenue comes from new fees that will impact consumers. The new fees include things such as a new fee on gas and diesel purchase, a charge for delivery services such as Amazon and Grubhub and, rental car fees.

Housing as Infrastructure: President Biden is actively working with congressional leaders to achieve consensus on his proposed infrastructure plan. The most recent infrastructure bill, the FAST Act, expired in 2020. The National Association of REALTORS® is advocating for the concept that housing should be considered infrastructure, a proposal that meshes with the President’s concept. Traditionally, infrastructure referred to transportation but the President wants to expand that definition, adding funding for schools, access to services, clean energy, social equity and more.

Read NAR’s report, “Housing is Critical Infrastructures: Social and Economic Benefits of Building More Housing,” here:

Regional Government Affairs Update June 7, 2021 🌺

Housing affordability remains a top concern for Colorado residents according to polling. In response, governments are proposing various policies to reduce prices for rental and for-sale units.

Can governments create affordability in the real estate market? What are the unintended consequences of such legislation? To learn more about how local governments and the State are addressing affordability, keep reading.

Best Regards, 
Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director

Boulder County Boulder
Council Considers New Taxes: The City Council discussed ideas to generate additional revenue for the City at its May 28 meeting. While the Council agreed now is not the time to add a new tax, they all concurred that any tax considered for the future should not be regressive. There was consensus about pursuing a transportation/utility tax, if not this year, then in the near future. 

Sam Weaver, Mark Wallach, Rachel Friend and Adam Swetlik were also interested in reviving the discussion on an employee aka “head tax.” Several councilors want to pursue a tax on services, although they didn’t specify what services they would include. However, it is important to note that such a tax could affect the real estate industry (as has been done in other cities around the country). No other city in Colorado currently taxes services Staff will return on June 22 with suggestions for further consideration.

City to Pursue Rental Licensing: The City Council voted 4-2 to direct staff to draft an ordinance requiring rental properties to be licensed and inspected. Mayor Brian Bagley was absent.

Polly Christensen was adamant about the need to inspect rental properties. She suggested any property that is at least eight years old should be inspected, including single-family homes and short-term rentals as well as multi-family units.

The cost of the program is unknown; however, it will cost the City at least $300,000 a year. Staff said a minimum of two additional full-time employees will be needed. City Manager Harold Dominguez asked, “Do you want it to be fully supported by fees and licenses or partially supported by the general fund?” While the Council’s preference is a self-supporting program, general fund money was not ruled out. 

Marcia Martin, Joan Peck and Polly Christensen argued the program is necessary because renters are afraid to ask landlords to repair their rentals.  They said they receive many complaints from residents about sub-standard housing. Joan Peck explained, “For me this isn’t about one side or the other (meaning landlords or renters), it’s about equity.”

Tim Waters said he hasn’t heard from any renters about problems and suggested the City’s current complaint-based system is adequate. “I didn’t realize our complaint-based system is broken…. We keep talking about keep costs down, but this will increase costs for renters…. 
This feels like a huge, huge hammer for a not so big nail.”

Christensen countered, “This is tax-deductible for the landlords. They don’t need to pass it along to residents.” …. We need to not ignore this anymore. They don’t complain because they’re afraid they’ll be kicked out.” She then made a motion to direct staff to proceed with an ordinance to license rentals.”

When asked to comment Susan Spaulding, a Community Relations Specialist for the City, said, “I don’t perceive a great fear among tenants, and I’ve spoken to thousands of them. We have the basic set-up to create a mediation-centered approach to the landlord-tenant relationship. I’m not sure I perceive the problem.”

Mayor Pro Tem Aren Rodriguez said the motion was premature. “There’s too much uncertainty right now. We need to do more research.” Waters agreed, saying he didn’t think the Council had explored any options. The motion to create an ordinance passed with Christensen, Martin, Peck and Hildalgo-Fahring voting in favor.

Note: The Realtors® will provide feedback before the ordinance is considered by the City Council. Staff expects it could be months before the proposal is ready for review.

Mayor Resigns: In a surprise move, Mayor Patrick Quinn, who has been a fixture in Broomfield politics for decades, resigned his office as of May 23. He said the decision was the right choice for his family but did not offer any specifics. 

Mayor Pro Tem Guyleen Castriotta, will fill in as mayor until a new one is appointed. City Council has 30 days to fill the vacancy by a majority vote, according to the Broomfield Charter. The selected individual will finish out the remainder of Quinn’s term, which ends Nov. 9. Should a current council member be selected as mayor, then their seat will be filled by a majority vote of City Council for the remainder of their term. Castriotta and Ward 4 City Councilmember Kimberly Groom already have announced their intention to run for mayor in November.

Larimer County
Commissioners Discuss Affordable Housing Recommendations: The Larimer County Commissioners reviewed measures to increase affordable housing on May 24. Staff identified the top housing needs as affordable rentals for residents earning less than $25,000 a year, starter homes priced near or below $300,00, diverse housing options such as missing middle housing, cooperative living, and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and housing for special interest populations including those with accessibility or mobility needs, older adults, manufactured housing and people experiencing homelessness.
Recommendations from residents and the stakeholder committee included a variety of options. These groups suggested the County should serve as a repository for best practices and educate local officials, as well as convene regional discussions on the issue. Other ideas included providing housing for emergency housing relief and encouraging creative and non-traditional housing options. The County should also incentivize affordable housing development and promote flexibility in land use. 
Staff offered a list of specific recommendations for the Commissioners’ consideration, including the following: 

  • The County should continue to collaborate with NoCo Housing Now and increase awareness of existing programs such as the Metro DPA Loan Program.
  • Land Use Code updates could encourage housing diversity and affordability. 
  • Manufactured housing policies should be aligned with Fort Collins and Loveland regulations. 
  • A pilot program could encourage modular and prefab housing manufacturing. 

Towards the bottom of the list, staff included the idea of a dedicated local funding source for affordable housing activities via a property or sales tax, bonding, a linkage/impact fee or the general fund. 

The Commissioners were generally supportive of the recommendations. They focused on the concept of a dedicated housing fee. Commissioner Kristin Stephens encouraged a conversation with local municipalities to discuss a county-wide tax.

Council Decides Against Sales Tax Increase Proposal: On May 25 the Loveland City Council decided not to ask voters for a sales tax increase this fall. The City’s most pressing need is for fire station funding. Stations 3 and 5 require renovation at an estimated cost of nearly $17 million. 

John Fogle said without consensus, the City shouldn’t move forward. He also said it would be disastrous for the City to try and fail for a third time. Andrea Samson suggested the City could find money in the budget for the fire stations. In response, City Manager Steve Adams said the City has already cut millions over the past few years. He added that there’s no hidden money in the budget to solve the City’s budget woes without making some sacrifices.

Voters have not supported initiatives to fund public safety or other capital improvements in recent years and that, coupled with concerns regarding the economic impact of the COVID epidemic on residents, convinced a majority of the Council to delay a sales tax measure in November, regardless of their concerns about the fire stations. The City Manager will come back to Council soon with ideas on how to fund Station 3.

Weld County
Thornton Sues Weld Over Water Pipeline: BizWest reported that the City of Thornton has filed a suit against Weld County over the County’s denial of a special review permit for a water line through unincorporated portions of the County.

In the 1980s Thornton bought several farms and their associated water rights, intending move the water by pipeline. Larimer County has already denied the 1041 permit to authorize the pipeline route through its jurisdiction. Thornton sued the County, but Larimer District Court sided with the County in its denial. Thornton appealed that ruling, and a decision from the Colorado Court of Appeals is pending. 

Meanwhile, Thornton has sought pipeline agreements with several Northern Colorado cities. Windsor, Johnstown and Timnath have agreed to Thornton’s routing plans, and work is underway in those areas to bury the large pipeline. Thornton also needs approval from Weld and Adams County.

Commissioner Scott James, who made the motion to deny, told BizWest that he made the motion “because the pipeline isn’t in the best interests of Weld County,” and he represents Weld County not Thornton. He said its impact on future development in the county “was a breach too far.” Thornton’s alleges that the Board exceeded its authority and acted arbitrarily and capriciously. It seeks court approval of the permit or an order requiring the Commissioners to approve the permit.

Keep Greeley Moving Reauthorization to go on November Ballot: The City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance to place the Keep Greeley Moving (KGM) sales tax reauthorization on the fall ballot. According to a resident survey 71 of respondents agree the City probably or definitely needs more funding. 

However, a large of majority of respondents opposed the idea of increasing the KGM tax from .65 percent to .95 percent. After reviewing the polling data, the Council unanimously agreed the tax reauthorization should move forward. Mayor John Gates noted the staff has done a good job showing residents how the money has been spent so far, saying, “This is a huge tribute to the City staff.” 

Council Denies Changes to Occupancy Standards: An ordinance to change Greeley’s occupancy standards was pulled off the Consent Agenda June 1 at the request of Councilmember Kristin Zasada. At the heart of the occupancy issue is the Code’s definition of family. 

In its current form a family is defined as “an individual living alone, or any number of persons living together as a single household who are interrelated by blood, marriage, adoption or other legal custodial relationship; or not more than two unrelated adults and any number of persons related to those unrelated adults by blood, adoption, guardianship or other legal custodial relationship. 

The Planning Commission suggested changing that definition to “Family shall mean an individual or group living together as a single household comprised of any number of persons who are interrelated by blood, marriage, civil union, adoption, or other legal custodial relationship, plus a number of unrelated adults …” The change would have allowed more occupants than the current code allows based on the number of bedrooms in the home in most zoning districts.

One of the issues with the current code is that a married couple can’t rent a room to an unrelated adult, said Caleb Jackson. After staff answered questions about current and proposed definitions, Kristin Zasada said,  “Kill this thing. Protect the integrity of our neighborhoods.”  John Gates agreed explaining, “I almost always agree with staff and the Planning Commission.  I’m ready to let this thing go hoping it comes back sometime in a different form. Most of the feedback I’ve received is from Realtors. I believe Realtors get this.” 

Other members of Council voiced similar opinions with the exception of Tommy Butler. He argued, “Increasing supply reduces home price pressure. I would like to see us revisit the family definition at the least.”

The Council voted 6-1 to deny the ordinance. Dale Hall was absent. The Council did support a proposal from Zasada to ask staff to review enforcement issues regarding current zoning complaints, including over-occupancy.

Legislature to Adjourn: Depending on how much work the legislature gets done, it looks like the legislative session could end Tuesday, June 8. Most of the Democratic Majority’s key bills have already been approved. Here’s an update on two of the most significant bills. 

Senate Bill 260 “Sustainability of the Transportation System” will add a “fee” to the price of gasoline and diesel as well as a number of other new fees. The bill increases traditional transportation funding marginally, but it also aims to put millions of dollars into transit and infrastructure for electric vehicles. 

House Bill 1117 “Local Government Authority Promote Affordable Housing Units” gives cities the ability to use inclusionary zoning more broadly, including applying it to new rental developments. Until now, the State’s Supreme Court’s Telluride decision kept local governments from requiring developers to comply with inclusionary zoning requirements for rental projects.

Governor Polis supported both bills. When he signed HB-1117 he said inclusionary housing could create higher overall housing costs, even if it leads to more affordable units. He argued higher prices would be offset by the law’s other components, which would encourage cities to allow more housing construction in general. 

The Colorado Association of REALTORS® supported neither bill. CAR worked hard to amend HB-1117, requiring municipalities to offer developers at least one option to provide a percentage of affordable units, as well as offering other policies to make it easier to build housing, such as increasing density and promoting mixed-use developments.

Court Maintains CDC Eviction Moratorium Pending Appeal: Ongoing litigation regarding the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) nationwide eviction moratorium has resulted in a recent stay issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which means the CDC order remains in place nationwide pending further appeals.

On June 2 the emergency stay was upheld. Plaintiffs, including the Alabama and Georgia Associations of REALTORS®, filed an application with the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate the stay before the CDC order expires at the end of June.

Regional Government Affairs Update May 17, 2021 🌸

I began speaking to staff at NAR about a metro district study on February 7, 2020 a few weeks before our world was turned upside down by the COVID epidemic. I am happy to announce the study is complete and its results are now available. It was worth the wait.

The study wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of our REALTOR associations (local, state, and national) and two multiple listing services — IRES and REColorado. 

To learn more about the study and review the infographics created to summarize the study and educate both real estate professionals and consumers, keep reading! 

Best Regards, 
Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director

Boulder County Longmont
Inclusionary Housing Update: On May 4 Kathy Fedler updated the City Council regarding the status of Longmont’s Inclusionary Housing (IH) program. The program was approved by Council in 2019 and is designed to help the City reach its goal of creating 5,400 affordable housing units by 2035 – 12 percent of Longmont’s housing stock.

The IH program requires builders to deed-restrict 12 percent of new for-sale units for those with an income of 80 percent AMI or below or pay a fee-in-lieu (FIL) to the City. Rental units can be voluntarily restricted for those with an income of 60 percent or less AMI.

In her remarks, Fedler said developers have created 73 units in 2021 to date and 90 units last year. Moving forward Longmont will need 200-300 units a year to meet its 2035 goal. She added that the City needs more rental units for residents with 40 percent AMI because the 60 percent AMI need has been met. At this point, it appears the FIL isn’t “enough” due to the rising cost of construction. 

Councilmember Tim Waters said Longmont needs to reduce the gap for first-time homebuyers. He argued that the City needs a target for attainable units. He warned the attainable target is important “to remain a community that looks like Longmont instead of neighboring communities.” 

Councilmember Joan Peck agreed with Waters but said, “we can probably build middle-tier through the (Longmont) Housing Authority.” Councilmember Marcia Martin wanted to know how other Boulder County communities are doing in meeting the 12 percent affordable housing goal. Fedler said the City is in the progress of gather than data and it should be available in a few weeks.

Larimer County
Fort Collins

Council Gives Approval for 1041 Proposal: The City Council decided staff should proceed with a proposal to develop a feasibility evaluation to implement 1041 regulations. 1041 powers are intended to give local governments local control over development projects with statewide impacts. State statute requires the government to specify areas or activities of state interest and adopt guidelines for the administration of those areas (for example, about water projects). Currently, 61 Colorado municipalities use 1041 regulations.

Former City Council member Ross Cunniff had suggested the adoption of 1041 powers at his last Council meeting to delay the NISP project. “New” City Councilmember Kelly Ohlson described 1041 powers as, “a very important tool to put in our toolbox.” He was displeased with the timeline staff proposed, saying, “it shouldn’t take that long.”

Councilor Susan Gutowsky asked pointed questions, asking if the City could apply 1041 to SPAR projects currently in progress (such as CSU’s proposed Hughes Stadium project?). Paul Sizemore said it is possible. The City’s Site Plan Advisory Review (SPAR) process requires the submittal and approval of a site development plan that describes the location, character, and extent of improvements to parcels owned or operated by public entities such as schools.

In response to Ohlson’s criticisms, staff said time would be needed to research the topic. The City Manager pointed out it is already May, and it takes to get an item on the agenda. Staff will do its best to bring something back quickly. The City Attorney suggested adopting initial 1041 regulations and add other projects/activities later.

Council Votes to Lower Water Heater Permit Fees: The City Council has been talking about water heater installation permit fees for over a year. The issue first came up during the Council’s discussion before the adoption of the 2018 building codes. State and local laws require all water heater installations to be inspected and permitted, with the installer generally being either a licensed contractor or the resident-owner of the property in question. Loveland hadn’t enforced the permit requirement until 2020.

Some Councilors had concerns about charging a fee of any sort for a heater permit, saying it shouldn’t be necessary because homeowners could replace water heaters themselves. Then there was a debate over how much the permit fee should be. Some “big box” stores unknowingly charge customers for a permit when they buy a heater, a situation that created consternation for some Councilmembers.

Chief Building Official Samantha Everett said a flat fee of $100, which was suggested by some Councilmembers, wouldn’t save homeowners because the average permit fee is about $48 and the cost to the City (to process permits and inspect them) is $200. Everett recommended keeping the current fee, which is based on the cost of the heater, a contractor fee, and the City’s time to inspect the installation. 

Overcash said, “We are missing an opportunity to offer added value for residents who shop in Loveland. Why not offer the permit and inspection for no fee to encourage 100 percent compliance?” Olson suggested offering the permit based only on the cost of the heater excluding the installation cost. Molloy supported Olson’s suggestion. Samson agreed, saying that was a good “baby step.” Mayor Marsh said she preferred that option as well. Olson’s motion was unanimously approved.

Note: The Council will also consider a motion directing retailers to charge the same permit fee as the City and not more, once the City Attorney researches it to make sure it is legal without unforeseen consequences.

Weld County
New Solar Regulations:  The Weld County Commissioners recently approved changes to the County Development Code for solar energy facilities. The new regulations redefine solar facilities by size as opposed to the amount of energy produced, impacting the permitting and approval process.

The first category is for small solar farms that are less than 5 acres. These may be in the near/urban area or the agriculture/rural area, per a land use map from the county. These must undergo the zoning permit process, and approval is subject to the discretion of Weld County Planning Services.

Only one solar facility may be present per 35 acres; no facilities may be placed adjacent to one another. The Planning Department may approve these small projects without a public hearing if the application criteria are met and the project has not received opposition from 30 percent of surrounding property owners within a 500-foot radius.

Mid-sized projects are broken into two subcategories: solar facilities between 5 acres and 160 acres in the near/urban area, or facilities in the ag/rural zone between 5 acres and 320 acres. These must undergo the use-by-special-review process. 

Mid-sized projects must receive additional consideration by the developer, the planning department, and the county commissioners before approval, to ensure they are compatible with existing and planned developments in the area. Developers must meet with the planning department before submitting a special review application, to discuss any potential changes or considerations. Once approved by the planning department, proposals will go before the planning commission, which will make a recommendation to the county commissioners for a final decision.

The third category is a 1041 solar energy facility. These apply to projects of more than 160 in the near/urban area or more than 320 acres in the ag/rural area. These are only allowed by permit and must receive approval from the planning department, planning commission, and county commissioners.

In Fall 2020 issues arose regarding concerns about solar developers circumventing subdivision regulations. The staff’s proposed regulations didn’t sit well with landowners. So, after convening a stakeholder group, the County drafted new regulations which seem to have the support of landowners and the solar industry.

REALTORS® Research Metro Districts: The rapid increase in the number of residential metro districts left Realtors® in Northern Colorado with a lot of questions. Do metro districts make new homes more affordable? How does the additional property tax paid by owners affect housing costs? A study proposed by the Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®, the Greeley Area REALTOR® Association, the Longmont Association of REALTORS® and the Loveland-Berthoud Association of REALTORS® and funded by a grant from the National Association of REALTORS® is the first in Colorado to delve into this complicated topic. 

Read more about the study’s findings here:

Legislative Update:
SB-262 “Special District Transparency” Sponsored by Rep. Hugh McKean (Loveland) CAR Position – Support

This bill would require a debt obligation disclosure and property tax estimate for any new home beginning in 2022. It would also direct buyers to copies of a Metro District’s formation plans as well as how much debt a development is authorized to undertake, debt homeowners would have to repay. Finally, The bill requires Metro Districts to have a website including the information listed above. 

SB21-260 “Sustainability Of The Transportation System” CAR Position – Amend

As reported in my last update, this bill includes an array of new fees, including a road use fee on gasoline that will grow from 2 cents a gallon to 8 cents a gallon, as well as other fees on all kinds of “road users,” including delivery vehicles and ride-share providers like Uber. The bill creates 3 new enterprises to manage the revenues. Some expert observers saying the bill is “taking from roads to fund electric vehicles and greenhouse gas reduction.”

HB-1117 Amended: “Local Government Authority Promote Affordable Housing Units”

Recently I heard a city council member proudly tell her colleagues that their city would now be able to use rent control to create affordable housing. Fortunately, she was wrong. 

HB- 1117 as introduced, would have opened up the Town of Telluride decision that prohibits rent control by expanding the ability for local governments to offer options to developers in their inclusionary zoning ordinances including rent control or other methods to require a certain numerical amount of affordable housing.

However, on Second Reading in the House of Representatives, CAR successfully passed an amendment that confirms this legislation does not give local governments the authority to adopt or enforce rent control policies for existing buildings in their communities. The CAR amendment clarified in the bill that rent control is not an allowable option. 

The Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee passed two amendments that improved the bill by addressing issues around zoning changes and jurisdictional authority. With these amendments, the bill provides incentive options to create more affordable housing units such as reducing parking requirements for projects near transit stations, reducing fees and permit costs, and repurposing surplus locally owned property for housing development.

The bottom line: CAR lobbyists worked hard to make sure this bill was amended, much to the relief of the Legislative Policy Committee. 

Court Rules on Eviction Moratorium: On May 5, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia struck down the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) nationwide eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of June, concluding the moratorium exceeds the limits Congress placed on the CDC’s authority. The Department of Justice (DOJ) quickly filed a notice of appeal and a motion for an emergency stay of the order pending its appeal. 

In response, the D.C. District Court issued a temporary administrative stay on its order vacating the moratorium pending resolution of the DOJ’s motion, meaning the CDC eviction moratorium remains in place across the country pending further action by the court. This decision stems from litigation filed by the Alabama and Georgia Associations of REALTORS®, two housing providers, and their property management companies challenging the CDC’s authority to issue the eviction moratorium on a number of statutory and constitutional grounds, namely under the Public Health Services Act (PHSA). 

The plaintiffs filed the case in defense of the millions of small housing providers across the country whose livelihoods have been in danger of financial ruin following months of lost income due to unpaid rent as a result of the moratorium. Housing providers rely on the rental payments to pay the mortgage on the properties, taxes, and general upkeep to maintain the properties’ safety and livability.

Housing providers should continue to monitor the case, as the CDC’s eviction moratorium remains in effect nationwide given the D.C. District Court’s temporary administrative stay. A decision by the D.C. District Court on the DOJ’s emergency motion for a stay pending its appeal is anticipated in the next two weeks. If the D.C. District Court denies the DOJ’s request, the DOJ will likely elevate its request for an emergency stay to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Housing providers should also keep in mind that some state and local governments may have their own eviction moratoria that are not affected by the D.C. District Court’s rulings.

In the meantime, NAR remains focused on ensuring the effective deployment of rental assistance to protect tenants and housing providers alike and ensure all can meet their financial obligations to stabilize the housing market.

DOL Withdraws Independent Contractor Rule: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced withdrawal of the independent contractor rule for determining how workers are classified under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). DOL published the final independent contractor rule in January 2021, but the rule never went into effect. The independent contractor rule would have adopted an economic realities test for classifying workers as employees or independent contractors, and would have provided greater clarity for how independent contractors are classified under the FLSA. 

It was expected that the Department of Labor would withdraw the independent contractor rule, but it is unclear how the Department will proceed with a new rule and potential regulations on this matter. NAR has remained engaged on this issue, and will continue to provide updates. For more information on NAR’s advocacy efforts on worker classification matters, please visit

FlōPlan News!

Two new things have happened with FlōPlan and we think you’re going to love them: Easier Client Collaboration and Downloadable PDFs!

Collaborator Sign Up Is Getting Simpler

simplified collaborator sign up

Simplified Collaborator Sign Up Process Coming March 6th

We are excited to announce a more simplified collaborator sign-up process. Collaboration is an important feature of FlōPlan that helps you easily fit creating a floor plan into your workflow by delegating the task of scanning. This update makes it quicker and easier for new collaborators to get started scanning with FlōPlan.

What Has Changed?

Previously, an invited collaborator had to work through multiple account set up screens and processes. New collaborators will now have a unique invitation code to use to sign-up with the FlōPlan App. This code will be included in their email invitation and is used when signing up through the “Accept an Invite” button at the app login screen.

Why Did We Make These Changes?

This new feature greatly simplifies the sign-up process for invitees and assists users to take advantage of this valuable collaboration feature. Agents often rely on assistants and photographers to help prepare everything needed for a listing. Having an easy collaboration process is key to facilitating this process.

What else?

  • New collaborators will have a unique invitation code to use to sign-up with FlōPlan. This code will be included in the email invitation and is used when signing up through the “Accept an Invite” button.
  • The invitation email is updated with an accept invite button, which will:
    • Take the user directly to the “Accept an Invite” screen.
    • Pre-fill the user’s email address and pre-fill their unique invitation code in the “Accept an Invite” screen.
    • Once the user has selected their password, they will be logged in to FlōPlan.
  • The user will no longer have a separate step to check their email for the verification link and then return to the app to sign in again.
  • New collaborators will be prompted to download the mobile app once logged in, if they have not already done so.
  • Existing collaborators will be sent a different email invitation when a new agent invites them to collaborate.
  • Invites can now be re-sent.

Floor Plans Can Now Be Downloaded As A PDF

FloPlan PDF-01.png

Available Now in the FlōPlan System! 

You can now download your floor plans in PDF format on the FlōPlan web app! PDF format is ideal if you want to use your floor plan in printed materials or add it to the Documents section of your listing. All of your previous floor plans will also have this option!

Floor Plans by  FlōPlan: Only $12 each

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!

Learn More About FlōPlan

FlōPlan Prepaid Packages

 $$ Save more when you buy more $$

Regional Government Affairs Update May 3, 2021 🌷

The legislative session will probably end at the end of the month, but legislators are not slowing down. They’re preparing to introduce a 190-page transportation bill that will impact every Coloradoan. To learn more about this bill and how it will affect you, keep reading!

Best Regards, 
Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director

Boulder County
Council Feedback on CU South Annexation: The City Council provided its thoughts on the general concepts related to the so-called CU South Annexation project recently. The staff said a vote on the annexation is anticipated later this year. The related flood mitigation project will happen quickly to protect properties in the area. CU has volunteered 80 acres for the project. 36 acres will be needed for the mitigation, leaving 44 acres for open space. 

Overall, the Council opined that great progress had been made on the annexation agreement. Some of the concerns brought up included what would happen if the property was sold to a third party. Would the City’s requirements and guidelines be enforced? Yes, said the City attorney. Boulder can legislate restrictions using zoning, he said. 

There were also many questions and comments concerning restrictions to the types of buildings and activities that will be allowed on the parcel. For example, the draft agreement prohibits “large research buildings, large-scale sports facilities, first-year student housing” or fraternity/sorority houses. This precipitated a long discussion about sports facilities and whether capping any such use at 3,000 spectators was adequate. Concerns were also raised about noise and parking related to athletic events. 

Staff explained that the priority for the parcel will be housing for university staff and students. Building heights will be limited to that of single-family homes currently in the area. It was noted that many neighbors have said they don’t want the property developed at all, but the restrictions and prohibitions described during the Council’s discussion are designed to minimize the impact on neighbors.

One of the last Councilmembers to speak was Aaron Brockett. After other councilors voiced their concerns about growth and impacts, Brockett simply said there is “a desperate need for housing… (the annexation plan should) tilt in that direction.”

Larimer County
Fort Collins

Cunniff Pushes Plan to Delay NISP: At the tail end of the April 20 City Council meeting, Councilman Ross Cunniff pushed a suggestion that could have far-ranging ramifications for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). Fort Collins has opposed the project, which if approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, will include a new reservoir (Glade) north of the city.

Cunniff’s idea is that the City should draft new 1041 regulations for city-owned land related to NISP. He explained other jurisdictions had used a similar tactic as justification to “pause” projects while the regulations are drafted, and he had already determined such a strategy is perfectly legal. 

Cunniff argued the evaluation of this possibility should happen “in short order” by the new City Council. A majority of the Council supported his proposal (except Mayor Troxell and Ken Summers) and the City Attorney agreed to add this project to her department’s work list. 

Note: The environmental community often uses lawsuits as a strategy to stall projects and Cunniff’s idea is similar. He and his allies can’t stop NISP but they can make it take longer to build and cost Northern and the communities that need NISP to provide water millions of dollars.

Council Approves Revised Metro District Policy: On April 20 the City Council voted to adopt the revised Metropolitan District Model Service Plan by resolution. The revisions were a year in the making; the City had put a moratorium on considering new metro districts while the plan was being reviewed.

All new metro districts must meet the requirements listed in the City’s model service plan. The moratorium allowed staff to hone in on the public benefits any proposed development would need to include in order to be considered.

New components added to the service plan include a required pre-application conceptual review with the City Council and a point-based evaluation system. The evaluation system clearly defines the Council’s priorities which are energy and water efficiency, affordable housing and neighborhood livability. Applications will receive 10 points for energy and water conservation/efficiency attributes with the maximum given for net-zero homes, but only 5 points for affordable housing (10 percent of residential units don’t exceed 120 percent of the AMI) and neighborhood livability (trails, open space, etc.).

During the question-and-answer period, it became clear early on consumer disclosure is a key concern even though Planner Ryan Mounce said the City’s regulations have included an extensive required disclosure since 2019. Multiple Council members asked the staff to ensure additional disclosures ensure buyers understand the “unique situation” of buying in a metro district. In addition, Councilmember Emily Gorgol suggested Realtors® need “more education” to make sure they present the disclosure clearly to clients. 

The City’s policy requires the following requirements:

  • Publication of metro district annual reports and fiscal statements on the City’s website. 
  • The District must host a minimum of three meetings annually. 
  • The disclosure form must be given to purchasers before they enter into a sale agreement. It must include the following information – the maximum number of mills that can be levied; the maximum property tax that can be collected based on the estimated average assessed value of a property; a chart comparing property taxes in the district to taxes outside the district, and the contact information for the District’s board of directors.

Some Councilors don’t seem to understand basic economics and the effect of additional requirements on the price of new homes. For example, Susan Gutowsky asked staff to explain why developers would only be required to deed-restrict 10 percent of their projects for affordable housing. Staff had to explain that the affordable housing requirements affect the cost of free-market units. Mandating a higher percent of units to affordable housing would further increase the cost of the other units. 

At the end of the discussion, outgoing Mayor Wade Troxell reminded his colleagues that developers don’t “just take,” saying they are one of the reasons Fort Collins is such a nice place to live. He warned that the “market can’t be over-prescribed by seven people on a Tuesday night. I hope there aren’t pitfalls in this (new model service plan).”

Gorgol Elected Mayor Pro Tem The new members of Fort Collins’ City Council were sworn in on April 27 and the retiring members (Wade Troxell, Ken Summers and Ross Cunniff) were thanked for their service. New Mayor Jeni Arndt thanked the outgoing Councilmembers and now former Mayor Troxell in particular. She stressed inclusion and civility moving forward.  
Jeni thanked the Council and Troxell in particular. Inclusion and civility important. 

Councilmember Emily Gorgol had lobbied her colleagues for the right to serve as Mayor Pro Tem and was elected unanimously without discussion.  New Councilors sworn in include Shirley Peel, Tricia Canonico and Kelly Ohlson.

City’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations Revised: The City Council unanimously adopted changes to its Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) provisions of the Unified Development Code on April 20 without discussion. The changes are designed to encourage the construction of more ADUs in Loveland. 

The key revisions include: 1. Reduction in the minimum lot size required for an ADU from 10,000 square feet to 7,000 square feet; 2. Clarification of design standards; 3. Establishment of limitations for the building footprint size based on the lot size and a maximum floor area of 900 square feet; and4. Allowance for conversion or expansion of an existing structure to an ADU.

Note: For property owners with adequate space, ADUs are a great way to house an aging family member or make additional income by ADU rental.

City Pursing Funding for River Financial Plan: The City of Loveland currently has no money to pay for river maintenance, mitigation, or river channel stability, but the City Council is interested in discussing proposals to fund a Big Thompson River Financial Plan. The goal of the plan is evaluation funding alternatives for strategies to protect life and property in the event of another flood. Many property owners in and around low-lying areas of the City near the Big Thompson don’t have “million-dollar resources” said Chris Carlson of the Public Works Department. 

Staff said Boulder, Longmont and Fort Collins have plans for their rivers following the 2013 flood. The plans are managed and funded through municipal stormwater utilities; the three governments increased their stormwater fees to pay for the plans. Loveland adopted the Thompson River Corridor Master Plan in 2019. The Plan laid out a vision for critical steps to improve resiliency and mitigate flood hazards but has no funding attached to it.

The work session discussion on April 27 was just the initial conversation on this topic, said Public Works Director Mark Jackson. Councilmember Dave Clark described the river corridor as “the jewel of Loveland. If we can start now mitigating it …it is huge.” He said he isn’t opposed to a fee, as long as residents understand it. Mayor Marsh noted that “money less expensive to borrow right now,” and she voiced support to move ahead. Staff will return with recommendations and options regarding how to pay for the plan. 

Northern Settles Lawsuit with Environmental Groups: The Northern Water Municipal Subdistrict has reached an agreement with a group of environmental organizations to settle federal litigation designed to stop the Windy Gap Firming Project and construction of the Chimney Hollow Reservoir west of Berthoud. The settlement ended nearly two decades of years of fighting and litigation over the project.

In a statement, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District said it will pay $15 million over multiple years to the Grand Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to Colorado River watershed protection in Grand County. In exchange, Save the Colorado, Save the Poudre, WildEarth Guardians, Living Rivers, Waterkeeper Alliance and the Colorado Sierra Club will drop their lawsuit.

The Windy Gap project moves water from the Western Slope as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and has been in operation since 1985. Chimney Hollow will be located west of Carter Lake and would store up to approximately 90,000 acre-feet of water to be divided between 12 water suppliers ranging as far south as Broomfield to as far northeast as Greeley.

The settlement clears the way for Northern Water to begin construction on the $600 million reservoir this summer.

Century of Opportunity Bills Move Forward: In honor of the 100th anniversary, CAR sponsored a package of bills designed to incentivize affordable housing known collectively as the Century of Opportunity Legislation Moving Forward:

Century of Opportunity Legislation Moving Forward
HB21-1271: Department Of Local Affairs Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies

  • Supports and incentivizes local governments to remove barriers and adopt best practices for affordable housing development. Bill Status: The bill passed the House Transportation and Local Government Committee Wednesday and is now headed to the Appropriations Committee.

HB21-1200: Revise Student Financial Literacy Standards

  • This bill will strengthen personal financial literacy curriculum standards to ensure Colorado’s students are prepared for a bright future. The new curriculum standards include information regarding costs associated with preparing for homeownership, obtaining a degree or credential, how to choose, manage, and repay student loans, how to apply for federal, state and institutional financial aid, how to save for retirement, and how to manage personal credit card debt. Bill Status: The bill passed the House and is introduced in the Senate where it will be scheduled for its first committee hearing soon.

HB21-1134: Report Tenant Rent Payment Information To Credit Agencies

  • Creates a statewide pilot program enabling residents residing in properties selected by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to opt to have rent payments reported to consumer credit bureaus. Reporting rental payments allows renters to build credit in much the same way as homeowners build credit through the reporting of mortgage payments. Bill Status: The bill passed the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee and awaits a hearing in the Appropriations Committee.

HB21-1028: Annual Public Report Affordable Housing      

  • Under this bill, the Division of Housing would report on the total amount of money the division or the state housing board received from any federal, state, other public or private source during the prior fiscal year and how they are spending these dollars and report on what type of housing they are supporting (rapid re-housing or supportive, rental, or homeownership) and how many units are being produced or preserved with these dollars. Bill Status: The bill passed third reading in the House and will next go to the Senate for further discussion.

More information is available here:

Transportation Bill Draft Finally Drops: Sponsors finally released a draft of the transportation bill that has been discussed in general terms for more than a month. The bill will be introduced on Tuesday, May 4. It will raise a total of approximately $3.8 billion for transportation, which as define includes measures to reduce greenhouse gases and promote the use of electric vehicles. 

The bill includes an array of new fees, including a road use fee on gasoline that will grow from cents a gallon to 8 cents a gallon, as well as other fees on all kinds of “road users,” including delivery vehicles and ride-share providers like Uber. The bill creates 3 new enterprises to manage the revenues. Unfortunately, the general fund contributions are simply stimulus funds from the federal government and not a long-term commitment to transportation funding. Some expert observers saying the bill is “taking from roads to funding electric vehicles and greenhouse gas reduction.”

The 190-page bill is expected to pass because of its powerful supporters, including Governor Polis and leadership in both the House and the Senate — Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (Boulder), House Speaker Alec Garnett (Denver). The bill was drafted by Senate Transportation Committee chair Faith Winter (Westminster) and House Transportation chair Rep. Matt Gray (Broomfield).

Survey – Government Intervention for Affordable Housing: According to an article in the Colorado Sun, David Flaherty of Magellan Strategies commissioned an affordable housing poll because he was curious as to how the topic ranked now among voters. According to the survey of 508 registered voters, most State voters think Colorado has an affordable housing problem and want the government to intervene to solve it.

The poll indicates voters approve of specific policy solutions like rent control and inclusionary housing to increase affordable housing. 69 percent of the respondents support inclusionary housing. 68 percent support rent control. Flaherty said that although many people polled were unfamiliar with regulatory tools beyond rent control, many backed alternatives that were offered in subsequent questions.
Many people polled described affordable housing as a basic necessity that should be accessible to everyone. 

Seventy-four percent said finding affordable housing in their community was a “big” or “somewhat of a” problem. Another 19 percent said it’s not too much of a problem or said it’s not a problem at all. “The cost of housing has gone through the roof, and I think the survey is picking up a lot of that sentiment,” Flaherty, a veteran Republican pollster said, “That’s a good 10 points higher than what we would normally see.” Flaherty added, “Government intervention in this area is definitely welcome, where before there was apprehension.” Note: How would “government intervention” affect the free market? Would rent control help renters but hurt landlords?

Treasury Issues Homeowner Assistance Fund Guidance: The recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act included $9.9 billion in relief for homeowners to be administered through a new Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). These funds, which will soon be made available to eligible homeowners through their states, may be used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments, and other specified purposes under the law and guidance.

The HAF was created to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020. The law and guidance prioritize funds for homeowners who have experienced the greatest hardships, limits eligibility based on need, and can only be used for certain qualified expenses.

The statute requires the Department of Treasury to provide a minimum of $50 million for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. These allocations will be based on homeowner need determined by reference to (1) the average number of unemployed individuals; and (2) the number of homeowners with late mortgage payments or foreclosures. 

See NAR’s Summary for more information on the HAF and Treasury guidance.