Compiled by Greta Anderson Johns, Jeanne Davant, Bryan Oller, Nick Raven, Rhonda Van Pelt, Pam Zubeck
Committee OKs bill to save renters money on applications
The Colorado Legislature’s House Business Affairs & Labor Committee has reviewed a bill, known as the Portable Screening Report for Residential Leases, which would save Coloradans money on rental applications. HB23-1099 passed in committee 7-3 on Feb. 8.
Co-sponsor Rep. Stephanie Vigil (D-Colorado Springs) noted that rental application fees average $40 per adult, have doubled in the past few decades and are expected to rise. Her co-sponsor, Mike Weissman (D-Aurora) said that tenants may apply for dozens of housing options, adding up to hundreds of dollars. By letting people reuse documents for a limited time, renters have more money for rent, deposits and other expenses.
HB23-1099 builds off the Rental Application Fairness Act (which Colorado Democrats passed in 2019) by allowing prospective renters to reuse a rental application screening report for up to 30 days without paying additional fees. Under this bill, a landlord must return an application for the potential tenant to reuse (if the application is denied) and provide a notice of the applicant’s right to dispute the report’s accuracy.
Proponents say it would also save time and effort for rental property owners.
The bill still has to pass the House, and the earliest it could reach the Colorado Senate is likely the week of Feb. 20.
To follow the bill’s progress, visit leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb23-1099.
2424 GOG PLAN ADVANCES
A year after being rejected by City Council, a proposal for a mixed-use development at 2424 Garden of the Gods Road is back in play. The city Planning Commission on Feb. 8 approved developer 2424 GOTG LLC’s request for rezoning and a concept plan for a project that would include commercial space, apartments and townhomes. The vote was 6-3.
2424 GOTG LCC scaled down its proposal for the parcel, reducing to 320 the number of residential units it wants to build. In the new concept plan, some of the units will be townhomes rather than apartments. The proposal now automatically goes to City Council.
The original proposal, approved by the Planning Commission in March 2021, included 420 residential units. City Council OK’d the plan on first reading, but after hearing input from neighbors, overturned the commission’s decision on Aug. 21, 2021.
More than 200 neighbors asked to speak at the Feb. 8 hearing, expressing concerns about traffic congestion, evacuation safety, threats to bighorn sheep and more. A challenge in District Court by the developer to overturn Council’s 2021 decision to reject the rezoning request is still pending.
PPLD to test locations for meth contamination
Pikes Peak Library District has decided to limit the scope of its methamphetamine testing in library bathrooms to the three branches with the heaviest traffic — East Library, Library 21c and Penrose Library, according to a release sent by Denise Abbott, PPLD’s director of public relations and marketing.
PPLD originally said in January that it would test all of its 53 public bathrooms for meth contamination, as a “proactive action to ensure the safety and well-being of patrons and staff” and because of recent contamination at three Colorado public libraries. But after consulting with El Paso County Public Health and other libraries that have done contamination assessments, PPLD decided to scale down its testing, the statement says.
PPLD is working with KEMWest Inc., and test results are expected by mid-February. All libraries are currently open and remain “safe to visit,” the release says.