Real Estate Development

David Brewster, a summer law clerk with Otten Johnson, authored this post. David is a rising third-year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Rapid population growth and lagging infrastructure development in the Denver Metro Area are re-energizing a debate between advocates of long term growth strategies and “slow-growth” advocates. Recently, a Lakewood-based grassroots group known as Strategic Growth for Lakewood submitted more than 7,500 signatures supporting a growth management initiative for the upcoming general election. The initiative’s proposed ordinance would limit new residential unit developments to 1% of exiting units in a given year. Additionally, the ordinance would require City Council approval and public hearings for projects of 40 or more residential units. Continue Reading Revitalizing a Rocky Mountain Debate: “Slow-Growth” Strategies v. Long-Term Planning

As previously reported on this blog a Colorado Court of Appeals decision in 2015 allowed a developer/declarant to retain a right to consent to amendments to a common interest community’s declaration that require arbitration of construction defect claims.

The Colorado Supreme Court has now weighed in on the case involved, which is known as Vallagio at Inverness Residential Condo. Ass’n v. Metro. Homes, Inc., affirming the decision of the Court of Appeals.

Vallagio involved a residential development in which the declaration, created pursuant to the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) included certain dispute resolution provisions, including an arbitration requirement.  The dispute resolution provisions also stated that those provisions could “not ever be amended without the written consent of the Declarant,” who was the developer of the project. Continue Reading Colorado Condominium Construction Defect Issue: Colorado Supreme Court Affirms the Right of Declarants for Condominium and Other Common Interest Communities to Require Binding Arbitration of Disputes

A survey of the two lots in question. Source: Pacific Legal Foundation.

In a 5-4 decision announced today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Wisconsin could prohibit development of a subdivision lot—while allowing development on an adjacent lot owned by the same family—without paying just compensation.  The Court’s decision is a victory for states and local governments and a loss for property rights advocates. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Finds No Regulatory Taking in Wisconsin Case

Late last month, we told you about an important bill introduced in the Colorado General Assembly.  The bill had passed in the Colorado House of Representatives, and was headed for the Senate.  It was drafted to address the sharp decrease in condominium construction in this state, caused by developers’ fear of construction defect claims brought by condominium homeowners’ associations.  A description of the bill can be found in our original client alert here.

An update:  The bill has become law.  The Senate passed HB 1279 on May 4, and sent it to the Governor’s desk for signature.  Governor Hickenlooper signed it Tuesday, May 23, amid celebration from legislators and reform advocates.  As we noted last month, the bill “is not a complete ‘fix’ for the condominium construction issues, if such a fix even exists,” but it is widely considered a good first step.

In our April Client Alert, we reported on a possible breakthrough in construction defect reform legislation, which had passed the House and was moving to the Senate.  The Colorado Senate has now unanimously approved House Bill 1279, and sent it to Governor Hickenlooper, who is expected to sign the bill.  HB 1279 was one of six bills introduced this year in an effort to address the dearth of condominium construction in Denver.  It is the only bill to reach the Governor’s desk, and the first bill in four years of effort to make substantive changes to the existing construction defect law in Colorado.