In This Section
Author: Heather Stauffer
April 17, 2023
Vote NO on SB23-166
Establishment of a Wildfire Resilience Board
WHAT DOES THE BILL DO?
The bill establishes a Wildfire Resiliency Code Board in the Department of Public Safety. The board is tasked with mapping where the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) exists and creating minimum codes related to hardening of structures and parcels of land within the Wildland Urban Interface. Local governments would be required to adopt and enforce these codes.
CML IS IN AN OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED POSITION ON THE BILL
The layering of state mandated building codes will increase the costs of housing in areas that are already experiencing a housing crisis.
Local control over building and land use codes is necessary and appropriate for local governments to properly respond to the unique needs of their own communities.
State mandated codes and enforcement do not take into account the resources available to different communities.
The legislature is delegating broad and vague authority to an unelected board that local communities will have minimal input on.
Many municipalities have already put in place programs and codes to address the threat of wildfire in their communities. Under the provisions of the bill, municipalities would have to appeal these programs to the board if they do not fully align with minimum codes set with the board. This is a extremely burdensome and costly, and it is an unproductive use of municipal resources and staff time.
The state should focus on creating model codes that communities can adopt. It should provide resources to aid communities in performing mitigation and local programs aimed at reducing the impacts of wildfires.
Heather Stauffer, CML legislative and policy advocate