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The Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA Colorado) is an organization of approximately 1,500 professional and citizen planners dedicated to preserving and creating great communities throughout Colorado. Our mission is to provide leadership in the development of resilient, inclusive, sustainable and equitable (R.I.S.E.) communities by advocating for excellence in planning and public policy, promoting professional development, and providing education and citizen empowerment for those who are working to protect and enhance the natural and built environment.

Please find below APA Colorado’s state legislative priorities for 2020. Issues were determined based on the results of a member survey administered in November 2019. After the issues were identified, recommendations were developed by the APA Colorado Legislative Committee. For more information, contact APA Colorado Legislative Committee Co-Chair Susan Wood, AICP (legislative@APAColorado.org; 303.299.2467) and Shaida Libhart, AICP (legislative@APAColorado.org; 720.386.5801).

APA Colorado supports the development of equitable mixed-use, mixed-income, safe communities where people choose to live, work, and play. We support choice and opportunity by promoting equitable, efficient, and sustainable land development and redevelopment that optimizes prior infrastructure investments, and consumes less land. Less land for urban development provides balance by leaving land available for agriculture, open space, natural systems, and rural lifestyles.

This legislative priority consists of the following major policy items, but is not an exhaustive list of critical community planning policies which are important to APA Colorado.

  1. Affordable Housing:  APA Colorado promotes planning, technical assistance, funding, investment and regulations that encourage development of sufficient affordable housing to meet the housing needs of existing community members and a growing workforce across Colorado communities. Promote sustainable and equitable affordable housing at locations near centers of employment, transit, education, health care, and goods and services to provide mobility and access for all people. Similarly, to foster access to opportunity, APA Colorado encourages the inclusion of compatible affordable housing within existing residential communities.
  2. Transportation:  APA Colorado endorses a comprehensive, equitable approach to transportation planning and finance that integrates land use; includes all modes of transportation; and provides connectivity between various modes. Multi-modal transportation infrastructure requires coordination of local, state and national resources to successfully meet the transportation needs of people and to adequately serve current and future development. Roads, highways, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities are underfunded, which results is a deficit of all modes and concerns that not all infrastructure is in a state of good repair. APA Colorado also supports “Vision Zero, a program intended to significantly reduce traffic deaths, in particular pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. Additionally, provision of infrastructure and siting of facilities must take into account the need to provide mobility, as well as the potential for negative impacts, to all demographic groups including the traditionally underserved.
  3. Water Planning & Conservation:  APA Colorado promotes the integration of land use planning and water planning using an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach, including tools such as comprehensive master plans, to implement the objectives of the Colorado Water Plan in order to plan for the future of our communities and our State. To achieve these goals, APA Colorado supports adoption of water conservation policies and implementation measures; efforts to strengthen requirements to provide proof of an adequate water supply to serve existing and future development in terms of quantity, quality, and dependability; and the use of any protective means that are necessary to safeguard drinking water supplies. Water, which is limited in availability, is a scarce resource in Colorado and the West. However, water is necessary to support communities; preserve quality of life; conserve wildlife habitat and environmental resources; and sustain economic growth and development in Colorado.
  4. Climate Change:  APA Colorado supports means to curtail greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions including: compact development patterns that will result both in fewer vehicle miles traveled and a reduction in overall carbon footprint; the use of green-building materials and techniques; and funding for research. The earth’s climate is warming, most likely in response to GHG emissions that have been introduced to the atmosphere through the consumption of fossil fuels and other human activities. A warmer climate results in measurable effects that negatively impact people, the economy, the environment, and communities. APA Colorado also supports resiliency planning and all good planning practices and regulatory solutions that will address the conditions created by climate change including extreme weather and changing conditions (such as drought, wildfire, storms, and flooding).
  5. Infrastructure:  APA Colorado supports infrastructure development that is well-planned and integrated with community goals. Infrastructure investments are a catalyst for economic growth, long-term prosperity, and access to opportunity. Infrastructure policy and funding should be driven by key principles of good planning. This requires considering the importance of location, helping communities fully leverage investments, and connecting infrastructure to related issues like resiliency, housing, transportation, and economic development. Infrastructure programs should prioritize support for projects that offer multiple public benefits. As technology evolves, our infrastructure needs must reflect the integration of technology, including roadways, tele-communications, and more. APA Colorado supports funding and policies that prioritize infrastructure investments and policies that advance the needs of our communities.

*Additional Planning Topics for Colorado APA Members
We recognize that it is important to identify our members’ top priorities while also informing our legislators of the wide range of planning topics that our members are involved with on a regular basis to make our communities and state stronger. In addition to our top 5 items detailed in our legislative agenda, please recognize the following topic areas as important to planning efforts across the state.

  • Resiliency
  • Sustainability & Healthy Communities
  • Environmental Issues
  • Economic Development
  • Regional Cooperation
  • Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Trails
  • Comprehensive Plans
  • Urban Renewal & Tax Increment Financing
  • Historic Preservation

For a printable PDF of the 2020 Legislative Priorities, CLICK HERE. Share with you elected and appointed public officals.

If you would like a copy of the 2019 APA Colorado Legislative Agenda, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to learn more about our Legislative Committee meetings! 


If you are not on the legislative committee email list, and would like to be added, please emial: Legislative@apacolorado.org.

Typically meetings are BI-WEEKLY with both In-Person and Conference Call participation available during the legislative session.

For more information, please contact the Legislative Committee Chair: Susan Wood

Legislative Committee Articles

POSTPONED: 2020 Planners Day at the Capital

MARCH 19, 2020
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Denver, CO
Registration now open!

HB20-1095 Water Conservation Bill Passes Senate

On March 11, 2020 the Senate passed HB20-1095 "Local Governments Water Elements in Master Plans,” on 3rd reading. The next stop is House concurrence on the fiscal note and then on to the Governor’s desk for signature.

HB20-1095 Water Conservation Bill Update 03.06.20

HB20-1095 has passed from the House to the Senate.
Please contact your legislator and ask for the vote of support.



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