The act establishes a wildfire resiliency code board (board) in the division of fire prevention and control (division) within the department of public safety (department) for the purposes of ensuring community safety from and more resiliency to wildfires by reducing the risk of wildfires to people and property through the adoption of statewide codes and standards. The board consists of 21 appointed voting members with specific government or industry qualifications and 3 non-voting members. The board is required to promulgate rules concerning the adoption of codes and standards for the hardening of structures and reducing fire risk in the defensible space surrounding structures in the wildland-urban interface in Colorado, including rules that:
- Define the wildland-urban interface and identify areas of the state that are within it;
- Adopt minimum codes and standards based on best practices to reduce the risk to life and property from the effects of wildfires;
- Identify hazards and types of buildings, entities, and defensible space around structures to which the codes apply; and
- Establish a process for a governing body to petition the board for a modification to the codes and establish the criteria and process for the board to grant or deny an appeal from a decision of the board on a petition for modification.
The act also creates the wildfire resiliency code board cash fund (cash fund) and, subject to annual appropriation by the general assembly, the department shall use money in the fund to implement the provisions of the act. The state treasurer is required to transfer $250,000 from the general fund to the cash fund on July 1, 2023.
The act requires a governing body with jurisdiction in an area within the wildland-urban interface that has the authority to adopt building codes or fire codes to adopt and enforce a code that meets or exceeds the minimum standards of the codes adopted by the board within 3 months of the date the board adopts its codes. Enforcement of the governing body's adopted codes is done in accordance with the rules and regulations for code enforcement adopted by the governing body and the period to comply with a governing body's adopted codes must be in accordance with the governing body's rules and regulations or within 3 months of adoption, whichever is sooner. If the governing body does not have rules and regulations for code enforcement, the governing body may request support from the division to enforce the code.
For the 2023-24 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $9,302 from the general fund to the cash fund and reappropriates the money to the department of public safety for use by the division for the board and for vehicle lease payments. An additional $250,000 is appropriated to the department for use by the division from the cash fund for the board.
APPROVED by Governor May 12, 2023
EFFECTIVE May 12, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)