SB14-017 morphs into study #COleg

Sprawl
Sprawl

From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel):

The brainchild of Durango water engineer Steve Harris, Senate Bill 17 originally would have limited the size of lawns in new suburban developments. That idea proved highly controversial among home builders and local governments, so the sponsor, Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, rewrote it to remove the lawn mandate and instead call for a study of water conservation by the Legislature’s summer water committee.

Even so, the plan narrowly survived the House Agriculture. Livestock and Natural Resources Committee on Monday, passing on a 6-5 vote. Four Republicans and a suburban Democrat, Rep. Steve Lebsock of Thornton, voted against it…

Lobby groups for cities and home builders fought against the original bill but now support it. Kevin Bommer of the Colorado Municipal League took the opportunity to defend cities.

“There is a big misperception that municipalities aren’t doing anything – or perhaps aren’t doing enough – on municipal water conservation,” he said. “I think that could not be further from the truth.”[…]

The original idea to target lawns on newly built homes would not have helped because new homes tend to have small lawns, said Jeani Frickey of the Colorado Association of Home Builders.

“It’s not necessarily new construction where you are going to see those huge water savings. It’s existing housing stock,” Frickey said.

The bill now goes to the full House.

More 2014 Colorado Legislation coverage here.

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