CML Principles on Housing and Land Use

February 15, 2023

Colorado municipalities are leaders on affordable housing

Affordable housing will be a top legislative priority during the 2023 legislative session. For CML and its 270 municipal members, meeting the housing needs of citizens has always been a priority.

Municipalities are at the forefront of land use reforms, and CML has been a staunch supporter of state reforms that advance affordable housing regardless of the size or location of a municipality. In 2021, CML led the charge to return the authority to municipalities to require inclusionary zoning through HB21-1117. More recently, CML supported the passage of Proposition 123, which directs the state to set aside $300 million a year for affordable housing projects, creating an option to access a sustainable funding source for municipalities to meet the affordable housing needs of their communities. CML also supported HB22-1282, which will provide $40 million a year in loans to help support the development of manufactured housing factories, and HB22-1287 that provides protections for mobile home park residents.

Municipalities are using tools that currently exist and are developing innovative programs on their own to create housing that serves the people who live and work in their cities and towns. Look to Norwood, Fort Collins, Breckenridge, Greeley, Golden, Denver, and Colorado Springs for just some of these examples. Colorado has a strong tradition of local control, especially around land use and zoning decisions. Cities and towns have been proactive in updating land use and zoning to create and incentivize housing, often with state partnership and without state preemption.

CML and its 270 member municipalities are committed to collaborating with partners at the state level and those representing many other interests, as well as other local government associations to increase the availability of affordable housing across the state in responsible and meaningful ways.


● Supporting local innovation driven by Coloradans who know what’s best for their communities, including implementing HB21-1117;

● Continuing public and private sector support for housing, including the robust implementation of Proposition 123 and increased grant funding for low- and moderate-income housing;

● Using existing state resources to help local governments increase planning capacity and update land use practices;

● Enhancing state resources for supporting persons experiencing homelessness.


● Preemption of local authority to craft comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances designed to work for their communities, their budgets to provide services and amenities, and the environment;

● One-size-fits-all approaches to zoning that disregard community needs and lead to displacement of residents;

● Unfunded mandates or restrictions on cost recovery that require municipalities to bear the direct and indirect costs of development;

● Restrictions on managing development that would prevent municipalities from ensuring that they can provide adequate services for residents and manage their staff resources.

Related Document

Colorado municipalities are leaders on affordable housing