On January 4th, the 2019 Colorado Legislative Session opened.  With both chambers of the General Assembly controlled by the Democrats, it will be interesting to see the types of bills which will be introduced that impact HOAs in Colorado.

While it will be particularly interesting to see whether a bill will be introduced to preserve the licensure of community association managers in Colorado, I have to say that the first HOA bill to be introduced is a real chin scratcher.  In fact, at least from the HOA perspective, my first impression was this xeriscaping bill is a solution in search of a problem to fix.

Representative Brianna Titone, a Democrat from Jefferson County, has introduced House Bill 19-1050 (“HB 1050 “) which would in part stop HOAs from prohibiting the use of xeriscape or drought-tolerant vegetative landscapes to provide ground covering to the common elements of common interest communities (commonly referred to as “HOAs”).  Since the boards of HOAs (and sometimes the architectural control committee, if the declaration for an  HOA provides the ARC with control over common element landscaping) typically have exclusive control over the landscaping on the  common elements, why would they need a statute to provide them with the right to xeriscape on their common elements???

While the HOA specific provision of HB 1050 is not necessary to promote the installation of xeriscapes on common elements, I am concerned that this provision could wrongly imply that owners have the right to install xeriscapes on the common elements of their HOAs.  Hopefully, CAI’s Colorado Legislative Action Committee (“CLAC”) will identify this potential problem and run an amendment to address it during the hearing before the House Energy & Environment Committee, which has not yet been scheduled.

Keep your eye on this blog for updates on HB 1050 as it proceeds through the legislative process.