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Planning Forms and Applications Going Digital May 1st

05-01-2017

Steamboat’s Planning Department is rolling out updated development application forms intended to streamline the overall process, provide digital capabilities and enhance departmental resources for applicants. The new program takes effect May 1st.

The new suite of development application forms include: one simplified application for all processes; digital submittal capabilities; dynamic submittal requirements customizable to each project; reduced hardcopy requirements; informational handouts explaining the process and requirements; and opportunities for presubmittal meetings in person, over the phone or via email.

Starting May 1st, applicants will see the following changes at the Planning Department and on the city’s website including new forms, a portal to digitally upload new projects and resubmittals and presubmittal meeting availability. Applicants should note that presubmittal meetings become mandatory as part of the development review process beginning July 3, 2017.

Steamboat Council Set to Adopt 2017-2018 Goals at Next Meeting

At the time of this writing, City Council was set to debate and likely adopt a series of goals designed to guide their activity in the next 18 months. Though non binding, these goals are consistent with what Council has been doing in the past few years. These goals include:

1) Continue to develop plans and funding for a new law enforcement facility.

2) Howelsen Hill –
  • a) Work with all public stakeholders to develop a community vision, strategic plan, master
    plan, long term sustainable financial plan and long term maintenance plan for Nordic,
    jumping, alpine and summer usage.
  • b) Work with SSWSC on developing a new Joint Use Agreement for Howelsen Hill in the
    context of the community vision and strategic plan for the ski area.

3) Downtown
  • a) Complete Downtown Improvement Plan
  • b) Define parking problem and investigate solutions for parking in the downtown area.
  • c) Community discussion of character of downtown area. (Including land uses, density,
    height, parking standards, etc.)

4) Develop a long-term fiscal sustainability plan for the City.

5) Improve community trust.

6) Define the City’s role and develop viable options for facilitating diverse housing opportunities.

7) Long Term Water Planning
  • a) Conservation plan
  • b) Redundancy and Watershed Protection
  • c) Water Rights Development
  • d) Land use planning in the context of water
  • e) Water reclamation (sewer)

Construction Defect Litigation Compromise Moving Through the Legislature

A major compromise was struck between all interested parties that should begin to alleviate the lack of condominiums being built across Colorado.

Though not a perfect solution, the bill does several things:
  • Tolling Period - It sets a 90 day tolling of the statute of limitations (down from the originally proposed 120 day tolling period). This delay in the time period by which a lawsuit must be filed is also clarified to establish that the tolling period can happen only once, regardless of whether there is an amendment to the notice of filing a lawsuit (notice of claim). Previously there was ambiguity about whether attorneys could continue restarting the tolling period based on an amended claim.
  • Voting/ballot integrity – A list of voters/unit owners must be shared with anyone served with the notice of claim (builders, contractors, architects, etc.). Further, there is only one vote per unit owner and they can only vote one time. This prevents the HOA Board from reviewing votes before the close of the voting period and then trying to change the minds of those that voted against pursuing litigation.
  • Applicability – The bill language was cleaned up to clarify that the bill applies to all HOA’s, both pre and post 1992, when the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) was enacted.
  • Definition of "Affiliate" – In the voting exclusions section the original bill ambiguously referred to affiliates of the development party as excluded from voting on commencing litigation. The current version of the bill tightens up the definition of who is considered an affiliate – someone that has a controlling interest in one of the development parties, or their spouse.
  • Common elements – The introduced version precluded a vote if the defects claimed are on a common element (non-residential unit), for example a clubhouse or pool. The current version of the bill says that any remedies to repair that do not exceed $50,000 where the HOA is paying for the repairs do not require a vote. Any common element claim greater than $50,000 on a common element would require a vote. This was one of CAR’s biggest issues since any litigation, whether on a common element or on the residential units, clouds the title and can prevent unit owners from selling or refinancing their property.
  • Bank-owned properties – These properties will count toward the vote if they vote. These properties were excluded in the original version of the bill.
  • Non-responsive voters – These votes will not count. But the bill does allow builders/defendants to challenge in court any unit owners deemed non-responsive by the HOA board.

House Bill 1358: Disclose Amounts Payable To Real Estate Brokers

House Bill 17-1358 died in the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee in late April by a 11-2 margin. As expected, HB-17-1358 was viewed as highly unnecessary and, as a result, was killed in committee yesterday afternoon. In fact, several committee members conveyed that they believe the free market should be allowed to work between flat-free and full service brokers/agents, and further, that government should not be asked to intervene on behalf of one company.

The bill would have required a broker in a real estate transaction (e.g., buyer's agent, seller's agent, transaction-broker) disclose in writing for any sale or lease of real estate, either as part of the contract or otherwise their commission. Brokers would also have been required to disclose their fees or the basis for calculating their fees on all marketing materials relating to any specific property, including on-line multiple listing services.

CAR opposed this legislation and testified against the bill because it was initiated by one company to codify its own business model and improve its bottom line by recommending legislation that would force its business plan on an entire industry. HB-1358 is entirely unnecessary and does not provide any additional information to consumers that are not already available to them. Broker compensation and fees are already transparent to the appropriate consumers – the parties to the real estate transaction.

Fees are disclosed to all brokers through the MLS and among all parties and their brokers through their respective brokerage agreements. Further, a real estate commission is completely voluntary, negotiable and often varies depending on the type of transaction.

NAR Reacts to Initial White House Tax Reform Details

NAR weighed in last week on the President’s plans for tax reform, reiterating that the financial incentives for home ownership must not be harmed in any revisions to the nation’s tax code.

NAR President Bill Brown said that while the President’s tax proposal released is well-intentioned, it’s a non-starter for homeowners and real estate professionals who see the benefits of housing and real estate investment at work every day. By doubling the standard deduction and repealing the state and local tax deduction, the plan would effectively nullify the current tax benefits of owning a home for the vast majority of tax filers.

In light of the plan’s release, Brown issued a statement that included the following excerpts:

". . . for roughly 75 million homeowners across the country, their home is more than just a number. It represents their ambitions, their nest egg, and the place where memories are made with family and friends. Targeted tax incentives are in place to help people get there. The mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction make homeownership more affordable, while 1031 like-kind exchanges help investors keep inventory on the market and money flowing to local communities."

"Those tax incentives are at risk in the tax plan released today. Current homeowners could very well see their home’s value plummet and their equity evaporate if tax reform nullifies or eliminates the tax incentives they depend upon, while prospective homebuyers will see that dream pushed further out of reach. As it stands, homeowners already pay between 80 and 90 percent of U.S. federal income tax. Without tax incentives for homeownership, those numbers could rise even further. And while we appreciate the Administration’s stated commitment to protecting homeownership, this plan does anything but."

"Realtors® support tax reform, and it’s encouraging to see leaders in Washington doing their part to get there. We believe tax rates should come down to the degree that sound fiscal policy allows, and simplifying the tax code will help ensure fairness and transparency for individual taxpayers. It’s a goal we share with the authors of this tax plan, but getting there by eliminating the incentives for homeownership is the wrong approach. We look forward to working with leaders in Congress and the administration to reform the tax code, while preserving America’s long-held commitment to homeownership."