Subdivision Historical Project Information

County Commissioners respond to Court of Appeals' Decision on Subdivision Paving Lawsuit (6/30/2016)

Issue Summary

The problem: There are more than 150 miles of paved roads in more than 100 subdivisions in unincorporated Boulder County, serving approximately 10,600 properties. Many of these subdivision roads are in poor condition because they are more than 15 years old and have never been resurfaced or repaved. The subdivision pavement quality road map shows the condition of every paved county subdivision road.

As a result of the deteriorating condition of many of these roads, the county is receiving an increasing number of requests to pave/repair these roads. The Board of County Commissioners has asked the Transportation Department to pursue a conversation with subdivision residents and property owners to identify ways to fund the necessary improvements and to develop different approaches to paying for the reconstruction of the deteriorating subdivision paved roads in a timely, cost-effective, affordable, efficient and fair manner.

2016 Subdivision Paving Status Update

Boulder County Transportation is continuing to maintain local subdivision roads as they are able (i.e., depending on the condition and “fixability” of each road). This sort of maintenance work includes pothole patching and minor resurfacing.

It is the responsibility of area property owners to complete major resurfacing projects (or find a funding mechanism to contract the work), including repaving, for these local subdivision roads. This has been county policy for several years. Current county policy states that rehabilitation or reconstruction of unincorporated local subdivision roads, including paving, is the responsibility of the property owners who use the road to access their property.

Background

Since 2009, Boulder County has been working with subdivision residents to find a solution for fixing their deteriorating roads.

In late 2014, a group of unincorporated Boulder County property owners filed a lawsuit in Boulder District Court against the Board of County Commissioners (Wibby et al. v. Boulder County Board of County Commissioners). The group sought a court order requiring the county to use tax dollars previously used for other county services to reconstruct and/or repave local subdivision roads.

The Boulder District Court agreed with the county's position that the issues raised by the property owners were political issues that should not be decided by the court system and dismissed the lawsuit. The property owners appealed the District Court's decision to the Colorado Court of Appeals, and in June 2016, the Appeals Court's decision upheld the lower court's decision.

Although the county has expressed that it wishes to work with subdivision paving residents to rehabilitate all of these roads, the pending litigation has presented an obstacle to finding a long term solution for these issues.

Boulder County Commissioners’ Statement (6/30/2016):

The decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals on June 30, 2016, upholds the lower court's decision in favor of Boulder County. 

From the beginning of this case, we have said that this is a dispute that does not belong in the court system. Last year, the district court agreed with our position and dismissed the lawsuit. Today, three judges on the Colorado Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed that decision.

Now that a second court has affirmed its decision in favor of Boulder County, we look forward to working with the community to find a practical solution for repairing subdivision roads. Just as we have for the past several years, we continue to welcome and foster an open discussion on how to get all county subdivision roads back in good condition. 

While we continue to seek a solution with property owners to repave all unincorporated subdivision roads, the county continues to provide routine maintenance on these roads.

We are also funding the repaving of community-use roads that exist within these subdivisions (i.e., those roads that connect public places or major roads) on an ongoing, annual basis. The amount allocated for community-use road repaving is about $1 million each year. While each year must be evaluated for available funding, the county intends to ensure that all community-use roads are repaved within the next 10-15 years.   

 
Boulder County Board of Commissioners
Boulder, Colorado

Current Subdivision Paving Projects & Incentive Fund

The Boulder County Commissioners continue to fund the repaving of community use roads (i.e., those that connect public places or major roads) within unincorporated county subdivisions. Since these roads, which make up about 20% of all subdivisions roads, provide access to community uses, the county has agreed to repave them on an ongoing, annual basis. The amount allocated for this purpose equals about $1 million each year. For a calendar of community use repaving efforts, please see [designated webpage]. While each year must be evaluated for available funding, it is the commissioners’ intention to ensure that all community use roads are repaved within the next 10-15 years.

Also, Boulder County has established an incentive fund for providing financial assistance to those subdivisions that wish to repair their neighborhood roads. Please let us know if you and your neighbors would like to learn more about the incentive fund and we will put you in contact with the appropriate staff members.

If you have only a short amount of time, and would like more information, please review this short presentation that provides relevant background information.

  • Questions and Answers Regarding Paving of County Subdivision Paved Roads
  • Letter to Subdivision Residents
  • Map of Subdivision Pavement Quality - If you wish to see how your subdivision paved roads are rated please look for your subdivision on this map.  You will likely need to increase the size of the map to see the road you are interested in.  To do so, in the tool bar you will see a "+" button.  Press on this button to increase the size of the map and then scroll to the area of interest.
  • Subdivision Road Paving Work Group Invitation 

Project Information

The Issue

Boulder County has been working with unincorporated subdivision residents since 2009 to find a solution for fixing deteriorating subdivision roads.

A Public Improvement District ballot issue was defeated in 2013. The county then formed a Subdivision Paving Local Improvement District (LID) to address the reconstruction of nearly 150 miles of paved roads in 118 unincorporated subdivisions. In 2014, a Boulder District Court judge invalidated the LID and ordered that all property assessments be refunded.* 

Plaintiffs representing a set of unincorporated subdivision residents sued the county in 2014 seeking to divert funding from other county programs to repave unincorporated Boulder County subdivision roads. In April 2015, a senior District Court judge dismissed that lawsuit. (View County Commissioners' response)

An initial working group of representatives from Subdivision Homeowners' Associations and other interested subdivision residents was convened in 2009 to provide advice to the Transportation Department on how best to address the problem of deteriorating subdivision roads. Upon the recommendation of the work group, the commissioners sponsored an "advisory ballot" in 2009 of all potentially affected property owners to gauge support for the creation of a local improvement district to help fund a program to rehabilitate paved roads in unincorporated Boulder County subdivisions.

In addition to convening a work group of interested citizens to review available information and provide suggestions on how to address this problem, reading many emails, presenting and receiving comments from many homeowner and neighborhood associations, the Transportation Department has sent a postcard to every owner of property in an unincorporated Boulder County subdivision with paved roads as a means to provide feedback to the county on this issue, and to fill out a survey to gauge the opinion and perception of the problem and their thoughts on how best to proceed. Over 2,000 property owners responded to the survey, over 1,800 completed all questions and nearly 1,000 provided additional comments. To review the results of the survey, please go to Subdivision Survey Results.

In 2012, based on continued feedback from subdivision residents, the Board of County Commissioners committed to finding a solution in 2013 to begin work on subdivision roads in 2014. A working group of subdivision residents was convened from April to July of 2013 and their input was used to craft language for either a Public Improvement District or a Local Improvement District.

2013 Subdivision Paving Working Group

  • View 2013 SPWG Notes & Presentations

September 20, 2012 - Public Hearing

August 16, 2012 Board of County Commissioners' Study Session

February 11th, 2010 - Presentation and Summary of Concerns:

January 26th, 2010 - Presentation:

  • Presentation for Subdivision Paving Work Group Informational Meeting

December 9th, 2009 - Final Meeting:

November 10th, 2009 - Third Meeting:

October 8th, 2009 - Second Meeting:

September 10th, 2009 - First Meeting:

2009 Advisory Ballot

Presentation of ballot results - Aug. 26, 2010

Read the proposal for a local improvement district.

County Commissioners' Correspondence

 

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