A Colorado Senate committee voted last late night to forward SB 15-177 to the full Senate with four approved minor amendments.

After hearing over eight hours of testimony from over forty witnesses representing both proponents and opponents of the bill, the Senate Business, Labor and Technology committee voted 6-2 to approve the bill.  SB 15-177 will now proceed to the full Senate, where it is expected to be approved sometime next week. The fate of the bill in the House is less certain. The Democratic party retains a slim majority in the House, and it is anticipated the House will not approve the bill.

During the committee hearing, proponents testified that the bill will make affordable condominium housing options more readily available because builders will be less fearful of construction defect litigation. Opponents testified the bill does not encourage affordable housing, and will not ease the economic and demographic forces which limited such projects over the past several years.  Opponents also testified that the bill imposes unfair burdens on condominium owners by denying them equal access to justice or adequate protections under the law.

Bill Short of Altitude Community Law testified in opposition to the bill.  We link you to a copy of his written testimony which was provided to the Committee as part of this presentation.  The written testimony details some of the serious flaws with the legislation.

The bill’s sponsors successfully made four amendments to the bill.  We link you to a summary of those amendments. The summary also describes problems with those amendments as identified by opponents to the bill.  Highlights of the four amendments are as follows:

  • One amendment allows an association’s attorney to prepare the notice to owners.
  • A second amendment allows condominium owners to vote by proxy concerning potential construction defect litigation.
  • A third amendment allows the association and the builders to agree upon a mediator or arbitrator, as distinguished from a mediator or arbitrator selected solely by the developer-builder. Nevertheless, that amendment still requires a preference for the developer-builder’s chosen mediator/arbitrator.
  • The final amendment slightly modifies the contents of the notice to be sent to owners.


Altitude Community Law P.C. will continue to update you on the path of SB 15-177 through the General Assembly.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at 303.432.9999.

William H. Short, Esq.
3 responses to “SB 15-177 Approved by Senate Committee
  1. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: I fail to see how this will cause a rise in construction of “affordable” housing, which condos are supposed to be. The Mayor actually had the gall to say that this would spur the construction of such housing in downtown Denver for people who work there. Has anyone seen the price of condos in downtown Denver? Certainly NOT what I would consider “affordable,” although I guess the term is subjective. What developers consider “affordable” and what buyers consider “affordable” are two different things. And I manage one-such high-rise condominium. It’s very nice for the folks who can afford to live there, but no one I know would ever be able to buy one of those units. I really think the building industry is holding us hostage with its false claims, and, of course and as expected, its deep pockets have won the day. With this legislation, it would continue only further to deepen those pockets. It’s the way the legislative system works in this country, I’m afraid. Meanwhile, Denver is right on the verge of becoming a totally-unaffordable place to live, unless salaries rise accordingly, which I don’t see happening anytime soon. Heck, Target just approved raising its minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. Whoopee!
  2. I do not like this bill for all the reasons listed above. If this law passes, by some mechanism, buyers need to be told to have a inspection performed by a CD engineer before buying any property to discover defects and then notify the builder who according to the real estate laws be required to make that information available to all prospective buyers. Invasive testing won’t be allowed and would be cost prohibitive, but businesses would probably pop up that could do a good inspection for a reasonable price. This would be done by the buyer as part of the purchase agreement and the sale would be subject to fixing all of the defects discovered.

    If the bill is passed, someone will need to bring a case to have this determined by the Courts. It might pass the Colorado Supreme Court, but I don’t think it would pass the US Supreme Court, and it does have a federal question and amount in controversy to make it ripe.

  3. I fully support this bill. It is not often that Mayor Hancock and the Republicans agree on a bill. Trial lawyers make way too much money off the legal system without contributing much of anything. This Bill is a reasonable compromise that both protects the buyer and will promote the construction of more affordable multi family housing. Reasonable and Bi Partisan, I say yes.
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