Yesterday, this firm posted a blog under my name regarding the recent decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals in Centennial Ranch and Aspen Mountain Ranch Association v. Fuller et al., 14CA1326.  Unfortunately, the blog we posted was not the one I wrote, but rather was written by Ms. Lindsey Smith.  I apologize to her for this oversight.  Below, is the blog we wrote on the Centennial Ranch Opinion.

Earlier today, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the plain language of CRS 38-33.3-217(7), in its decision in Centennial Ranch and Aspen Mountain Ranch Association v. Fuller et al., 14CA1326.  The matter involved Centennial Ranch and Aspen Mountain Ranch Association’s attempt to amend certain provisions in its Declaration.  Upon following the procedures set forth in CRS 38-33.3-217(7), the Association petitioned the District Court for approval of the amendment.  While the District Court determined that the Association complied with the requirements of the statute, the District Court denied the request for approval based upon a finding that the proposed amendment would have “imposed a substantial and unforeseeable burden on the Unit owners”.

On appeal, the Colorado Court of Appeals overturned the District Court’s denial of the amendment when it ruled that the statute’s plain language controlled, which provides that the District Court shall grant the petition if it determines after a hearing that the Association complied with the requirements of the statute which include:

  • The Association complied with the requirements of CRS 38-33.3-217(7);
  • That no more than 33% of the ownership interests have filed written objections;
  • That no more than 33% of the first mortgages have filed written objections;
  • Neither the Federal Housing Administration nor the Veterans Administration is entitled to approve the proposed amendment or if so entitled has not filed written objections to the proposed amendment with the court prior to the hearing;
  • The proposed amendment does not eliminate the rights or privileges designated in the Declaration as belonging to a declarant or no declarant has filed written objections to the proposed amendment;
  • The proposed amendment does not eliminate any rights or privileges designated in the declaration as belonging to any lenders that hold security interest in one or more units;
  • The proposed amendment does not terminate the community or alter the allocated interests.

Once the court adopts the above findings, it shall grant the petition.  While the requirements of CRS 38-33.3-217(7) are mandatory, it is imperative to follow the statute closely so as to assist the court in its findings.