Montrose, CO — Stressing the grave importance of keeping rural Colorado municipalities in control of local land use decisions, the Montrose City Council has unanimously approved Resolution 2023-06 opposing Senate Bill 23-213 (SB213) as currently written and urges the Colorado State Legislature to work with local governments to find housing solutions that work for all communities.
The proposed legislation is seen as an attempt to remedy the housing shortage in Colorado by placing mandates over land use decisions that normally are under the authority of local governments.
The City of Montrose, a home-rule municipality, prides itself on having modern policies and procedures to govern land uses that ensure current and future growth aligns with its community vision.
One of the city’s top, ongoing priorities is working with developers to bring a more attainable housing supply into the Montrose market.
SB213 imposes top-down zoning and land use standards on municipalities, and it puts those decisions into the hands of “developer interests and unelected third parties.”
“The best people to make decisions for our Colorado towns and cities are the residents and elected representatives in those communities,” Montrose City Manager Bill Bell said. “It is not the legislature who should be telling us how to plan our hometowns and, in Colorado, there is a long history of home rule, which is why Colorado is one of the most unique and attractive places in which to live and work. The legislature’s “cookie cutter” approach to standardize our communities will have major negative consequences over the long term.”
Montrose Mayor Barbara Bynum said, “State leadership should be working with rural cities and towns to create opportunities for more housing, and more affordable housing.”
“Creating new laws that take control away from local communities is not the way to get that done,” Bynum said.
(Montrose Mayor Barbara Bynum, right, along with the entire City Council voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2023-06 opposing Senate Bill 23-213 (SB213) as currently written and urges the Colorado State Legislature to work with local governments to find housing solutions that work for all communities.)
Resolution 2023-06 states that “it is the position of the City of Montrose that municipalities are best suited to determine appropriate zoning laws for their communities and that collaboration and cooperation – not top-down statewide mandates and giveaways to special interests – are the solution to Colorado’s affordable housing problem.”
The City of Montrose also prides itself on having one of the best planning departments on the Western Slope. And the city’s citizen-led Planning Commission works closely with city staff, developers, and other community members to make well-informed decisions regarding new and ongoing developments in the community.
The Montrose City Council feels that since the city has already created a community-involved roadmap for the future of Montrose, any unnecessary state-imposed mandates would hinder the City of Montrose in working towards a vibrant, prosperous, and welcoming community for generations to come.
By jointly signing Resolution 2023-06, the Montrose City Council urges state lawmakers to vote NO on this unprecedented and irresponsible legislation.