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Capitol Connection

01-23-2015

HB 1016 Precipitation Harvesting Pilot Projects

The LPC discussed HB15-1016 Promote Precipitation Harvesting Pilot Projects by Coram (R-Montrose) and Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) in last week’s meeting. House Bill 09-1129 established a 10-year pilot program for the collection of precipitation from rooftops for nonpotable uses. The program can include up to 10 new residential or mixed-use developments. This bill, recommended by the Water Resources Review Committee, changes the requirements for the program to encourage more applicants. The changes include:

Making redevelopment projects eligible for the program;
Directing the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to update the criteria and guidelines for projects;
Reducing the amount of water needed for a project's temporary substitute water supply plan and permanent augmentation plan; and
Specifying that a project's temporary retention of storm water is not subject to the order of the state or division engineers if it’s in compliance with CWCB criteria, guidelines, and state water quality laws.
LPC decided to take a NEUTRAL position on the bill because they see this as a positive way to promote water conservation with new developments, but they want to ensure property rights are not injured. This bill is calendared for its first committee hearing on Monday, February 2nd in the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee.



HB 1008 Agriculture Land Classification After Natural Disasters

CAR LPC voted to SUPPORT HB15-1008 Agriculture Land Destroyed by Natural Causes by Hamner (D-Dillon) and Roberts (R-Durango). This bill, recommended by the Wildfire Matters Review Committee, provides that agricultural land destroyed by a natural cause on or after January 1, 2012, will retain its agricultural classification for a rehabilitation period consisting of the year of destruction and the next four property tax years. During the rehabilitation period, the bill specifies that the owner must make progress toward restoring agricultural use or, in the case of forest land, must comply with an approved forest management plan. The classification of an affected agricultural parcel must change to reflect current use if:

Rehabilitation for agricultural use has not occurred by the end of the rehabilitation period;
The original agricultural classification was erroneous; or
A change of use has occurred, other than destruction by a natural cause.
LPC views this as a great help to property owners who unfortunately suffer from devastation from a natural disaster. The original bill was directed at any natural disasters prior to January 2012, and this bill will extend that provision to anyone affected after 2012, allowing for the subsequent 4 years to also remain Agriculture Land for tax purposes. If the intention is to remain Agriculture Land, LPC believes that individuals should not be punished further, through higher taxes, for their land being destroyed by a natural disaster. This bill is calendared for its first committee hearing on Monday, January 26th in the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee.



REALTOR® Day at the Capitol: Tuesday, February 17th

Don't miss the 2015 REALTOR® Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 17 at the McNichols Civic Center Building and the State Capitol. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about and discuss important policy issues affecting the real estate industry this upcoming year, as well as hear from the Governor and legislative leaders and network with your legislators. Pre-registration is $55 and includes lunch and afternoon program. For more details, or to register today, please click here.



Transit Alliance Spring 2015 Citizen’s Academy

The Transit Alliance is hosting their annual spring 2015 Citizen’s Academy from April 1, 2015-May 16, 2015. This is a great opportunity to discuss transportation, community development, and sustainability in Colorado. The class is limited, so please get your applications in to take part! More information, as well as the application, can be found here, and the deadline for applying is Friday, March 13th at 5PM.



NEW LEGISLATORS

Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to the New Legislators in the 70th General Assembly.

Jeni Arndt, Democrat, represents House District 53. She, her husband, and their three children live in Fort Collins. She has extensive background in Public Education working as a special education teacher, Middle School principal, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, and on the Board of Examiners for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. She serves on the Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee, the Business Affairs and Labor Committee, and the Local Government Committee.

Jon Becker, Republican, serves House District 63. He, his wife, and their two children live in Fort Morgan. He previously served in the State House, however he was redistricted into now-Senator Sonnenberg’s district, so he stepped down until Senator Sonnenberg was term-limited in the State House. He is on the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, Appropriations Committee, and Transportation and Energy Committee.

KC Becker, Democrat, hails from House District 13. She and her husband, a REALTOR®, live in Boulder with their two young sons. Formerly a Boulder City Councilwoman, Representative Becker was appointed to her position in 2013 to replace former Representative Claire Levy when she left to become the Executive Director at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. She is the Vice Chair of the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, a member of the Capital Development Committee and a member of the Finance Committee.

J. Paul Brown, Republican, serves House District 59. He and his wife live in Ignacio, and they have four sons and seven grandchildren. He previously represented this district until 2012. He is a member of the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee along with the Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee.

Terri Carver, Republican, represents House District 20. She resides in Colorado Springs. She is a retired Air Force Reserves JAG Colonel, a former chair of the Colorado Springs Utilities Policy Advisory Committee, and a prior Civilian Attorney for the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base. She serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Transportation and Energy Committee.