Even though the anticipated construction defect reform bill has not yet been introduced into the state legislature, the debate over the construction of multifamily housing units continues to take center stage. Late last year, the City of Lakewood adopted a local ordinance similar to the construction defect reform bill introduced into the state legislature last year. In a similar effort, the City of Lone Tree is considering amending its ordinances to adopt construction defect reforms. The City of Lone Tree’s ordinance will have the effect of:
• removing the right of an association to amend its declaration to remove arbitration provisions, thus precluding an association’s ability to access the courts to resolve these disputes;
• requiring extensive notice to the owners regarding the defect and impact on property values;
• requiring a majority of all owners’ approval prior to investigating and pursuing any alleged construction defects; and
• providing the builder a right to implement a repair of the claimed defect.
As development in transit oriented corridors continues to be a priority for most municipal entities, they will continue to search for a way to balance the needs of builders and the rights of homeowners to seek redress for improperly constructed units. The Lone Tree Ordinance seems to tip the balance too much in favor of the Builders, at the expense of the owners.