In an effort to re-encourage future development along light rail corridors and bus routes, a variety of parties joined forces to draft Senate Bill 13-052, which will create the “Transit-Oriented Development Claims Act of 2013.” SB 13-052 has been put forth for consideration by the Colorado Senate.  The bill, as proposed, is an attempt to protect developers that build “transit-oriented developments” from certain environmental conditions that are inherent to developments in close proximity to bus and train routes.

The legislation, as initially proposed, creates a separate process that an association must follow in order to address alleged construction defects that arise out of the fact that the community is classified as a transit-oriented development.  A transit-oriented development has been defined in the bill as the “design, supervision, inspection, construction, or observation of construction of any multi-family residential or mixed-use project within one-half mile of any commuter rail stop, light rail stop, or commuter bus stop.”  Among the biggest changes proposed is the requirement that the parties are subject to mandatory binding arbitration instead of proceeding with any court action.  In addition, owners have a right to object the contractor selected by the developer to repair the claimed damages but do not have a right to object the work being completed.  If fees to complete the repairs are higher due to an objection of the contractor, those fees will be paid by owners.

This bill will undoubtedly be hotly debated by all sides as to its necessity and value or whether or not it will just add additional costs to an already expensive process or will truly encourage development along these transit corridors.  Tell us your thoughts.  Do you think this bill will help encourage the development it’s seeking to spur?

David A. Firmin
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