From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel):
Two Southwest Colorado lawmakers want to make new suburban lawns a bit smaller as a way to prevent cities from siphoning away farm and ranch water. The idea highlights the list of bills local legislators will propose when the Legislature’s 2014 session begins Jan. 8.
State Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, got the lawn idea from local water engineer Steve Harris and worked on it with Bruce Whitehead, whom she defeated in the 2010 Senate race. It would require new subdivisions that intend to buy farm water rights to make sure no more than 15 percent of their lots are covered with grass lawns.
It’s a good first step, Roberts said, in “recognizing that Colorado is a high-altitude desert.”
She will sponsor the bill with Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and two Democrats, Rep. Ed Vigil of the San Luis Valley and Sen. Mary Hodge of Brighton.
They can expect powerful opposition from local governments and home builders.
More 2014 Colorado legislation coverage here.