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Steamboat Updating Its Community Development Code

09-13-2017

The Steamboat Springs Community Development Code (CDC) is undergoing a reorganization and update to consolidate all provisions and enforcement authority into one article, resolve conflicts, gaps and inconsistencies and improve the clarity and brevity of the overall code. The process will culminate with the adoption of the updated code in late October.

The purpose of the CDC is to set forth a unified regulatory program for development in the city that will implement the preferred direction and policies of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan and other applicable adopted plans.

The overall goal of this update is to minimize policy related changes while addressing conflicts, inconsistencies, gaps, and errors as identified through the update process. Staff will eliminate lengthy, repetitive text and condense standards into a shorter, more graphic format while ensuring the code is legally sound, easy to use, and practical to enforce.

Drafts of the updated code are available at www.steamboatsprings.net/CDCUpdate. Questions or comments on the CDC Update should be sent to CDCUpdate@steamboatsprings.net.

Colorado Responds to US Attorney General Regarding Weed Enforcement

While this next item isn’t specifically a real estate issue, there are clearly elements of Colorado’s legal marijuana industry that affect real estate and Colorado’s economy and quality of life in general. I wanted to include this topic in my report to you this month as it brings to light future policy discussions between our state government and federal authorities in Washington DC.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman sent a letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week asserting that Colorado’s marijuana industry is working and can work better with federal collaboration on law enforcement and on providing the industry access to the federal banking system.

The letter told Sessions, who has floated the idea of a crackdown on marijuana legalization, that Colorado’s first-in-the-nation recreational industry is robust. The state has taken steps to crack down on black market sales, diversion to other states, and youth use, they said.

Sessions had recently sent letters to the governors of Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington — the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana — detailing his concerns with how effective state regulatory efforts are.

Hickenlooper and Coffman addressed several of Sessions’ concerns:

—Diversion: They noted that Colorado has sophisticated seed-to-sale tracking, has capped individual plant cultivation, banned pot growing cooperatives and provided $6 million this year for local police actions targeting the black market.

—Minors: They insisted that several surveys suggest marijuana consumption by youth has not increased since legalization — and that one federal report, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, suggests it has declined. Colorado has spent more than $22 million on education, they said.

—Motor vehicle fatalities: Hickenlooper and Coffman reported the number of drivers considered by the state’s highway patrol to be pot-impaired dropped by 21 percent over the first six months of 2017, compared to the same period last year.

Call to Action - Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

As we cast a watchful eye on the events in Houston and other South Texas communities over the past few weeks, the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) needs your help to send messages to Members of Congress urging them to support a comprehensive reauthorization of the NFIP.

Reauthorization will make a number of critical improvements to the NFIP including increased funds for mitigation activities, caps on overall premium increases, improved claim and mapping processes, as well as removing hurdles for more private market participation in the flood insurance market.Reauthorization of the NFIP will help over 5 million homeowners in 22,000 communities around the country, so it is critical Congress acts now. If Congress fails to take action to reauthorize the NFIP, it will expire by September 30, 2017.

Reauthorizing the NFIP for 5 year

  • Limits maximum flood insurance premiums to no more than $10,000 per year for residential
    Properties
  • Preserves the practice of grandfathering for remapped property owners who build to code;
  • Removes hurdles to the private flood insurance market, which often offers better coverage at lowercost than the NFIP
  • Authorizes $1 billion in pre-flood mitigation assistance grants to elevate, flood proof, buyout or mitigate high risk properties
  • Doubles increased cost of compliance (ICC) coverage in the NFIP policy so policyholders can obtain up to $60,000 for property mitigation and access these funds before the property floods;
  • Better aligns NFIP rates to the risk, particularly for lower risk and lower value properties inland of the coast
  • Enables more communities to develop alternative flood maps like North Carolina’s, which are more accurate than FEMA’s, and generally streamlines the map appeals process
  • Improves the claims process in light of problems experienced after Superstorm Sandy
  • Addresses issues with repeatedly flooding properties that account for 2 percent of NFIP policies but 25 percent of the claim payments over the history of the program
  • Overall strengthens the solvency of the program over the long term


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