Colorado Legislative Council Staff



Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0804

Sen. Sullivant



Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

March 16, 1999

Senate Local Government

Steve Tammeus (866-2756)



Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues

Cash Fund Exempt



State Expenditures

General Fund - Transfer

Cash Fund Exempt





FTE Position Change

0.0 FTE

0.0 FTE

Other State Impact: None

Effective Date: 90 days after adjournment unless a referendum petition is filed.

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000:

Department of Local Affairs - $944,160 - General Fund

Local Government Impact: Requires certain local governments to develop comprehensive plans and urban service area boundaries. Provides financial grants and technical assistance to those local governments.

Summary of Legislation

            This bill establishes the "Colorado Responsible Growth Act" to create a comprehensive planning program requiring certain local governments to develop a comprehensive plan and to develop urban service area boundaries. The bill:


               requires counties and municipalities that meet certain population, growth rate, and geographical criteria to participate in the program;

               specifies criteria by which a county or municipality may elect to participate in the program;

               requires the Department of Local Affairs to notify all counties and municipalities that are required to participate in the comprehensive planning program and publish a list of planning jurisdictions;

               specifies a time frame in which counties and municipalities must adopt a comprehensive plan, an urban service area, and development regulations and programs;

               specifies the planning elements that must be included in a comprehensive plan, and specifies requirements for establishing and providing urban service areas;

               authorizes counties to establish a transferable development credit program or a transferrable credit right program;

               requires the coordination of comprehensive plans and requires governmental entities to perform their activities in accordance with their adopted comprehensive plans;

               establishes procedures, time frames, and requirements for reviewing development approval applications, and requires each planning jurisdiction to file a copy of its comprehensive plan with the Department of Local Affairs and with each neighboring planning jurisdiction,

               authorizes the department to establish a program of technical assistance and grants to planning jurisdictions to develop comprehensive plans, development regulations, and programs;

               creates the Comprehensive Planning Program Fund to consist of moneys appropriated by the General Assembly or otherwise made available. All moneys credited to the fund, including investment earnings, are to be retained in the fund. Moneys in the fund are subject to appropriation;

               specifies the manner in which the department is to assist in dispute resolution and appeals;

               allows any party who has appeared before the dispute hearings panel to appeal the decision to district court;

               states the intention to establish a legislative interim committee by July 1, 2002, to study potential changes to the Act; and

               makes an unspecified appropriation to the Comprehensive Planning Program Fund for further appropriation to the Department of Local Affairs for FY 1999-2000.

State Expenditures

            This bill requires the Department of Local Affairs to perform certain on-going administrative tasks, and to develop and administer a technical assistance and grant program. Table 1 provides a summary of the department's expenditures for FY 1999-2000 and FY 2000-01, based upon the following assumptions:


               that 103 planning jurisdictions will initially qualify for grants;

               that the development costs per planning jurisdiction will be $50,000;

               that the grant program will be awarded on a 50/50 matching basis; and

               that approximately 34 planning jurisdictions will apply for grants during each of three successive years;

               that costs for dispute resolution will be reimbursed by the parties to the dispute; and

               that grants will not be awarded to cover the costs of recurring plan administration.

Table 1 - Department of Local Affairs

Comprehensive Planning Program Fund Expenditures


FY 1999-2000

FY 2000/2001

Contracted Personal Services



Operating Expenses



Legal Expenses



Dispute Resolution



Non-recurring Expenses



Grants - 34 @ $25,000



Total Expenses



Expenditures Not Included

            Pursuant to the Joint Budget Committee’s budget policies, the following expenditures have not been included in this fiscal note:


               health and life insurance costs;

               short-term disability costs;

               inflationary cost factors;

               leased space; and

               indirect costs.

Local Government Impact

            The Department of Local Affairs estimates that 39 counties and 64 municipalities, a total of 103 planning jurisdictions, will be required to comply with the provisions of this bill. A recent poll of some county administrators indicates that some counties may be in full compliance with the bill, some may need to update or revise existing master plans to be in compliance, and others may need to more fully develop a comprehensive plan to comply. The associated costs for each county vary. Based upon the plan elements required by the bill, cost estimates range from $50,000 for minimal plan revisions to in excess of $1.0 million for a fully developed comprehensive plan. On-going annual plan administration is estimated to cost up to $125,000 annually for consultant fees, personal services, legal services, and operating expenses.

            Counties and municipalities may also incur additional costs to establish urban service areas. The development costs for these elements are estimated to range from $5,000 to $50,000 per area. The costs to develop a transferable development credit program are estimated to range from $75,000 to $200,000 per program. Additionally, each of these areas and programs would require recurring annual administrative expenditures.

            The bill requires the Department of Local Affairs to establish a grant program to assist planning jurisdictions with the costs of adopting and implementing comprehensive plans and the costs of developing associated regulations and programs. This fiscal note assumes the amount of the state grants will not be sufficient to cover the entirety of the planning jurisdiction's development costs, and will cover no portion of the planning jurisdiction's on-going administrative costs.

State Appropriations

            This bill will require a General Fund appropriation of $944,160 to the Comprehensive Planning Program Fund for FY 1999-2000. Of this amount, the Department of Local Affairs would require an appropriation of $944,160, and the Department of Law would require a cash fund exempt spending authority of $1,000.

Departments Contacted

            Local Affairs