DENVER, CO - The House today advanced legislation on a preliminary vote to eliminate arbitrary caps on building new housing that drive up costs for families in order to save people money on housing, improve our environment and increase our housing supply.
“Colorado’s housing shortage is pushing Coloradans out of their communities and increasing commutes that worsen our already poor air quality,” said Rep. William Lindstedt, D-Broomfield. “Allowing more housing not only helps Coloradans find homes in their communities, but it is often more energy efficient, creates more walkable communities, and prevents towns from sprawling into open space. Eliminating arbitrary growth caps will save people money on housing and build more homes for Coloradans of all incomes.”
“When one locality enacts blanket growth limits, it shifts housing pressure onto neighboring communities to keep up with the growing population,” said Rep. Ruby Dickson, D-Centennial. “By ensuring people will receive fair consideration for new housing permits, we can help meet Coloradans' housing needs. This bill will improve affordability and reduce commute times, reducing pollution and allowing Coloradans to live closer to their jobs, schools, and loved ones."
HB23-1255 would prevent local governments from enacting and enforcing housing growth restrictions that limit housing development to a certain number of building permits or approvals without a transparent process and fair consideration of a proposal’s merits. Under the bill, local governments would not be required to accept any specific developments or projects, but they would not be able to reject a proposal simply due to an arbitrary growth cap. There are exceptions to the prohibition in cases of a declared disaster emergency and for the purpose of updating land use plans and laws or acquiring public infrastructure or water resources.
This bill was introduced alongside SB23-213 in March 2023 with Governor Jared Polis, climate champions, local government officials, economic development organizations, labor groups, and housing affordability advocates to announce Colorado’s plan to address the statewide housing crisis. The bills aim to create more housing supply for every budget so Coloradans can afford to stay in their communities without being priced out. These policies also improve air quality, protect open space, conserve water, create jobs and help local communities plan for future growth.