Colorado Legislative Council Staff



(replaces fiscal impact dated February 10, 1999)

No State General Fund Impact

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0028

Rep. McPherson

Sen. Lamborn


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

April 1, 1999

Senate SVMA

Will Meyer (866-4976)



Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues

General Fund



State Expenditures

General Fund



FTE Position Change

0.0 FTE

0.0 FTE

Other State Impact: None

Effective Date: 90 days after the Legislature adjourns unless a referendum petition is filed and approved by the voters.

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000: None required

Local Government Impact: The bill will increase local government costs to defend against an increased number of potential impairments to vested property rights, and to adopt ordinances and resolutions that determine what constitutes a site specific development plan.

Summary of Legislation

            This reengrossed bill changes the statutes dealing with vested property rights. It provides that an application for approval of a "site specific development plan" be governed only by the duly adopted laws and regulations, including any general zoning or developments adopted by the local government as well as any previously adopted regulations for the particular parcel for which the application is submitted for approval. The bill allows local governments to adopt new or amended laws or regulations when necessary for the immediate preservation of public health and safety and allows them to enforce such amended laws and regulations in relation to applications pending at the time they are adopted. The bill requires local governments to specify by ordinance or resolution the type or types of site specific development plan approvals within the local government's jurisdiction that will cause property rights to vest. In the absence of such ordinances or resolutions, property rights will vest automatically upon the approval of any form of site specific development plans. The bill grants the right to proceed with the development in accordance with an approved site specific development plan provided that the property right be vested for a period of three years. The bill further provides that the vested right terminate after three years unless extended by the local government. In the event that a local government were to impair a vested right, the local government would be required to compensate the landowner for all costs expended to obtain the vested right. The bill grants the right to a landowner, whose vested rights are impaired by a local government, to seek an injunction or other equitable relief from the courts and entitles the substantially prevailing party to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs from an adverse party.

Local Government Impact

            Under current law, vested property rights are determined by municipalities and counties either pursuant to ordinance or regulation or upon an agreement entered into by the local government and the landowner. Local governments are authorized to determine what constitutes a site specific development plan that would trigger a vested property right. The bill revises local governments' authority to determine vested property rights and provides that approved site specific development plans automatically vest for a period of three years. The bill requires, in the case of an initiative or ordinance concerning the zoning, development, or subdivision of private land, that the summary contain a statement of the reasonably anticipated cost of reimbursing the landowner for expenses.

            The provisions of this bill will increase the number of vested property rights that a municipality or county must review and approve. As a result, the number of vested property rights that a local government might impair will also increase. The bill expands the number and types of impairments of vested property rights, and the types of claims, that will qualify for just compensation of all costs, expenses, and liabilities incurred by the landowner. The bill expands the types of just compensation to the affected landowner, and specifies that the substantially prevailing party of a lawsuit is entitled to recover reasonable costs and expenses, including attorney fees. The bill will increase the costs to local governments to defend against an increased number of potential impairments to vested property rights, as well as the costs of local governments to adopt ordinances and resolutions that determine what constitutes a site specific development plan. The costs to local governments cannot be accurately estimated.

State Appropriation

            This fiscal note would imply that no new state appropriations are required for FY 1999-00 to implement the provisions of this bill.

Departments Contacted


            Local Affairs              Law                Judicial Branch