The state Senate Local Government and Housing Committee on Tuesday voted 4-3 against a bill that would have allowed local governments to enact rent control measures.

Sen. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat from Avon, was the deciding vote on the committee. “This could and probably would stifle development,” he said before the vote.

All four of Boulder County’s state representatives supported the bill when it passed the House earlier this year. Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, a Democrat from Boulder County and chair of the Local Government and Housing Committee, also supported the bill.

“We’re missing a huge opportunity here to allow local communities to do something about what is happening in our state with the rising cost of housing,” Jaquez Lewis said. “I’m sad about that.”

The bill would have repealed a statewide preemption barring local governments from enacting rent control measures. That law was adopted in 1981. It was a blunt response to a ballot measure petition circulated by a local tenant’s union aimed at enacting a rent stabilization policy in the City of Boulder.

Also, the land-use bill, one Gov. Jared Polis’ top priorities this session, is likely to be rolled back further with a proposed amendment that would eliminate its provision giving the state control over land-use planning — including outlawing single-family zoning in certain areas of certain cities. The proposal to gut the bill is part of an effort to earn necessary votes from Democratic Senators who would otherwise oppose it.

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