DENVER AND THE WEST
Lakewood’s challenge to Colorado’s defects law likely to be settled in court
POSTED: 10/15/2014 12:01:00 AM MDT1 COMMENT
UPDATED: 10/15/2014 08:27:01 AM MDT
The next venue for Lakewood’s first-of-a-kind measure challenging the state’s much-debated construction-defects law could be a courtroom.
Already, various interests — lawyers, builders, municipalities — in the contentious debate over how state law is affecting the construction of new condominiums in Colorado are assessing the legal underpinnings of an ordinance approved early Tuesday morning by the City Council.
The ordinance passed 7-4 shortly after midnight at a packed meeting that featured nearly two hours of public comment. It gives developers and builders a “right to repair” defects, as opposed to facing potential litigation the moment a defect is discovered. It also requires condominium association boards to get consent from a majority of homeowners — rather than just the majority of the board — before filing suit.
Opponents of Lakewood’s measure counter that it will strip homeowners of their constitutional right to a jury trial and scuttle consumer protections that allow homeowners to hold builders accountable for shoddy construction.