Colorado’s big land-use bill, a top priority for Gov. Jared Polis this session, died without a vote in the final hours of the 2023 legislative session on Monday, May 8.
The bill would have made it easier to build more dense housing in cities across the state by overriding local land-use codes in certain areas, among many other provisions.
Another bill that died without a vote was the eviction-prevention bill, HB-1171, which would have prohibited a landlord from evicting a tenant — or not renewing a lease — without “just cause,” such as unpaid rent. The bill’s demise comes after lawmakers last month voted down legislation that would have allowed local governments to enact rent-control policies. The origin story on rent control in Colorado began in Boulder.
Much of the debate in the final days of the session was focused on referring a measure to the November ballot to limit the property tax spike for homeowners. The measure is a response to the surge in property tax bills resulting from rising property values, which is one of the many symptoms of the housing shortage lawmakers unsuccessfully sought to address. To backfill this loss, lawmakers proposed using money that would otherwise go to residents through TABOR refunds.
Earlier this session, lawmakers passed a bill that would allow renters to attend county court eviction hearings remotely, making it easier for them to avoid having an eviction on their record. Another bill requires landlords seeking to evict a resident who received public assistance, such as social security, to participate in a mediation process before filing a complaint for a legal eviction.
Lawmakers also passed a bill to exempt local governments from enforcing “anti-growth laws.” In 1977, Boulder adopted a growth cap on residential housing. The latest version of Boulder’s law limits increases in residential building permits at 1% per year, with exceptions for mixed-use, affordable and student housing.