Today marks the first day of the 2016 Colorado Legislative session.  It did not take long for the first bill to be introduced, which will amend a provision of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act. If passed, HB 16-1005 (the fifth bill introduced into the House) will ban associations from prohibiting the maintenance and use of rain barrels to collect runoff water from rooftops.  Specifically, rain barrels may be used to collect rooftop precipitation if:

  • collected from rooftops of single family residences or multi-family residences with four or fewer units,
  • no more than two rain barrels per property are used,
  • the rain barrels have a “sealable lid”, and
  • the rain barrels are limited to a combined storage capacity of no more than 110 gallons.

Additionally, all collected rain must be: (i) used on the residential property in which the rain was collected, and (ii) applied to non-potable outdoor use such as irrigation of lawns and gardens. The bill expressly prohibits use of the collected rain for drinking water or indoor household purposes.

Introduced by Representatives Esgar and Danielson and Senator Merrifield, the bill is similar to HB 15-1259, which they introduced in 2015.

As expected in last year’s legislative recap, I think this is going to be the first of the zombie bills coming back for another attempt at passage.  Environmentally friendly legislation, as well as construction defect reform, should be the hot topics of the year for community associations.

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