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Home Sale Wildfire Mitigation Requirements

Concerning wildfire mitigation requirements in connection with the sale of a residence.
2024 Regular Session
Local Government
Bill Summary

Currently, 12 Colorado counties, including Archuleta, Boulder, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Gilpin, Gunnison, Jefferson, Ouray, and Summit (affected counties), require some form of wildfire mitigation in connection with the construction of a new residence but not with the sale of an respect to an existing residence. Because the affected counties are among the most at-risk counties for wildfires, section 2 of the bill requires the affected counties to leverage their existing wildfire mitigation expertise to establish a program for point-of-sale wildfire mitigation certification in connection with the sale of an existing residence located in the county. Likewise, the codes and standards for wildfire mitigation developed by the wildfire resiliency code board apply only to permitting and inspections for new construction or significant structural expansions or alterations. Section 1 of the bill authorizes counties to establish a program to require wildfire mitigation of existing residences and other structures in accordance with wildfire mitigation standards developed by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), the Colorado state forest service (forest service), the wildfire resiliency code board, or other standards as determined by the county. Section 3 details the minimum requirements for a county point-of-sale wildfire mitigation certification program. The bill also specifies limitations on such programs and encourages counties to create and maintain a web-based clearing house of state and county-level technical assistance and funding resources. Section 3 also authorizes any county that is not an affected county and any municipality to establish by ordinance or regulation a program for a homeowner to obtain certification of compliance with the Colorado state forest service's phase one wildfire mitigation standards in connection with the sale of the homeowner's residence. Section 4 makes a conforming amendment to the existing Colorado state forest service web-based clearing house to require the inclusion of information to educate and assist homeowners in accessing resources to comply with the county point-of-sale programs established pursuant to section 3. Section 2 sets forth the requirements and limitations for a wildfire mitigation program for existing residences that an affected county, or any other county, may establish pursuant to its authority granted in section 1. A county may establish by ordinance or regulation a program to require wildfire mitigation of an existing residence or structure located in an area within the county that is subject to a building code that includes wildfire mitigation requirements in connection with the issuance of a residential building permit or certificate of occupancy in accordance with one or more of the following:

  • IBHS wildfire mitigation standards;
  • Zone one, zone 2, or zone 3 wildfire mitigation standards as set forth in the forest service's publication, "The Home Ignition Zone";
  • Wildfire resiliency code board wildfire mitigation standards; or
  • Other standards as determined by the county.

Such a program must include a written policy and procedure for a homeowner to seek a reasonable extension of a program deadline or an exemption from a program requirement on the basis of unforeseen or emergency circumstances or undue burden, as determined by the county.

Section 2 also requires that each of the affected counties post on a public website a list of individuals and entities that perform wildfire mitigation services in the county, including contact information. The counties are also encouraged to include on the same website a copy of or link to:

  • The IBHS's wildfire-prepared home program guide, or a successor publication;
  • The forest service's publication, the "The Home Ignition Zone", or a successor publication;
  • The wildfire resiliency code board's recommendations for wildfire mitigation, including recommendations set forth in codes, standards, or rules of the board; and
  • County-specific technical assistance and funding resources for wildfire mitigation by homeowners.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details