The Arvada Chamber Advocacy KAPS council recommends an Oppose position be taken on SB 23-213, Land Use, based on the substance of the bill as of May 5, 2023 and the process by which the bill has taken through the Colorado legislature.
The Council as a whole appreciates the intent of the bill to address the need for affordable housing throughout our state. Introduced in March 2023, the bill had ample time for feedback at public hearings as it made its way through the Senate.
As amended by the Senate, substantial changes were made based on feedback from municipalities, like-minded business organizations and elected officials at the state and local levels from an opposed position to neutral or support. That was encouraging for our council members.
As April came to a close, the bill moved from the Senate to the House, where it underwent drastic amendments. The changes in both the House Local Government committee and on the House floor reverted the substance of the bill halfway back towards its original form as introduced.
The bill in its amended form today, substantially changed by the House, has several core areas of concern for Advocacy KAPS Council members:
- State Control of Land Use – By law the bill will remove county and city municipalities from decisions involving land use in their jurisdictions
- Removes Public Input at Local Level – The bill will therefore move all public input on land use to a 14-member multi-agency advisory committee, not to local elected officials on the city and county level.
- Address Affordable Housing – The bill does not put in place policies or procedures that would increase the supply or accessibility of affordable housing. The focus is on increasing production without a focus on cost.
- Mandatory Accessory Dwelling Units – The bill requires accessory dwelling units to be allowed as a use by right, superseding policies put in place by covenant-controlled or homeowner associations.
What has been especially troubling for the Advocacy KAPS council is the legislative process by which this bill has taken throughout its journey thus far. The Governor has played a heavy hand in the crafting of the bill and its introduction to the state legislature. Sponsors in the Senate were greeted with immediate concerns, advocacy and opposition from municipal officials across the state and the business community. After many hours of testimony, advocacy and conversations, a heavily amended bill left the Senate, all work that was quickly erased in the House and at the tail end of a long legislative process.
This has left many of our Council members feeling frustrated and disappointed. While we all agree affordable housing is a top priority, the ever-changing nature of this bill makes it difficult for the members to believe it has a clear path forward to being enacted to make real, positive change in our Arvada community, Jefferson County and our state.
It is with regret that the KAPS Council put forward an opposed position in the hopes that future iterations of this bill, or other forms of legislation will address our core concern areas as outlined above.
The latest Arvada Chamber bill positions can be found at arvadachamber.org/billtracker.
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