Castle Rock Urges Change In Construction Law

Dated: 03/01/2015

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Castle Rock urges change in construction law

Castle Rock may introduce ordinance if state does not act

Mike DiFerdinando

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Castle Rock has publicly endorsed changes to a law that opponents say has increased lawsuits and liability for builders and developers.

At the Feb. 3 town council meeting, Castle Rock passed a resolution officially urging state lawmakers to pass legislation amending a construction-defects law during the 2015 session.

The 2005 law has been cited as a reason for the state's shrinking condominium market, and some say the legislation has forced the price of insurance for builders and developers so high that building condominiums is not worth the risk.

They also say the law has made it easy for homeowners and homeowner boards and associations to sue over even minor defects.

According to Town Manager Mark Stevens, Castle Rock met with the Partnership of Douglas County Governments on the issue recently.

“The partnership suggested that all of the municipalities in the county adopt a resolution encouraging the state Legislature to take action on this issue,” Stevens said.

Some municipalities, including Parker and Lone Tree, have introduced ordinances to combat the issue.

Castle Rock agreed to explore the possibility of its own rules similar to Lone Tree's if the state does not act, but did not set forth or pass a specific proposal.

“We're at risk of creating a patchwork regulatory environment across the state, and how could that be in anybody's best interest?” Stevens said.

Many builders and opponents of the law advocate for the builder's “right to repair” defects before having to face litigation.

Members of the Douglas County state legislative delegation have indicated their intent to pursue legislation this session to try to address issues and concerns with current state law.

State Sen. Mark Scheffel, R- Parker, has prepared a bill that is scheduled for introduction in the coming weeks.

Legislators from Douglas County have urged like-minded local officials to support changes to the construction-defects law to show it is a critical issue and spur action at the state level.

Last year, a coalition made up of the business community, the Colorado Municipal League and affordable housing advocates attempted to move forward legislation to ease the liability borne by developers.

Supporters of changes to the laws believe state legislation could level the playing field for developers while protecting homeowners.

Those who support the current laws argue that they protect homeowners and allow them to hold builders accountable for poor workmanship.

Castle Rock Councilmember George Teal supported the resolution and the idea to make plans for the town's own ordinance on the issue.

“We heard the delegation from the state level,” he said. “We've had conversations with members of the county. This is where everyone wants to go. I think this is where we want to go, too.”


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