What Caused the Failure of Zoning Reform in Colorado?

Land use reform bills that gained bipartisan support in the Montana legislature were strongly opposed by Colorado Republicans.

1 minute read

June 14, 2023, 10:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Writing in The Colorado Sun, Elliott Wenzler questions why Montana legislators were able to push through zoning and land use reforms that failed in the Colorado legislature. “The answer is as complex as the policies themselves, but it mostly boils down to how each state views the argument that local governments should have the final say in how land is used.”

Local control, property rights, and the free market are sacrosanct values in both states, Wenzler writes. “For Montana Republicans, however, the new laws are seen as a way to increase property rights while allowing the free market to address a mounting problem that’s displacing longtime residents of the state.”

In Colorado, the concern over the loss of local control came to the forefront and the issue became divided along partisan lines. “Ultimately, the Colorado measure, Senate Bill 213, died without reaching a vote in the final hours of the 2023 legislative session because of universal opposition from Republicans and a lack of support among Democrats — who hold big majorities in the House and Senate.” According to Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, “I don’t think there’s any appetite for preemption or mandates” among Senate Republicans. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023 in The Colorado Sun

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