Population: 4,000,000
Counties: 63
Governor Bill Owens (R)

Key Laws/Administrative Actions/

Click here for the amount of protected land in Colorado, and click here to review Colorado's federal transportation spending.
Source:  Pew Center on the States & Changing Direction:  Federal Transportation Spending in the 1990s. Surface Transportation Policy Project

Since the defeat of Amendment 24 in Colorado, the Colorado Legislature has seen a flurry of activity related to growth management.  Two bills have emerged as the leading growth-management bills.  For a description of both, read this recent article in the Denver Post

Click here for Governor Bill Owens's 2001 State of the State address.

Overview: For an overview of Colorado's planning and zoning statutes, see a summary provided by the American Planning Association

The Denver metropolitan area adopted  Metro Vision 2020  in March 1997 to address growth, traffic congestion and loss of open space.  Metro Vision 2020 has six key elements that include an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and increased support for the region's multi-modal transportation system. Currently, the UGB goal is 700 sq. miles, with local governments submitting plans that would lead to urbanization of 731 sq. miles.  The UGB is voluntary and collaborative, local not regional.  For more information, check out Metro Vision 2020 at the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) website: 
Contacts: Scott Woodard, Director of Policy, (303) 480-6718 and Larry Mugler, Planning Director, (303) 480-6759, Denver Regional Council of Governments, 2480 W. 26th Avenue, Ste 200B, Denver, CO 80211-5580. (Tel.) 303/455-1000; Fax: 303/480-6790; www.DRCOG.ORG

Key Laws:
Colo. Rev. Stat., 36-1-107.5 This incentive based growth management law directs the state Land Board to establish a long-term stewardship trust of up to 300,000 acres of land.  It authorizes the board to sell or lease conservation easements on state trust lands. For more information on incentive-based growth management laws go to the National Conference of State Legislators website at

Administrative Actions:
In 1995, Governor Roy Romer began a Smart Growth Initiative to address traffic congestion, to sprawl, and air and water quality concerns in Colorado. Out of the Smart Growth Initiative has come new partnerships among public officials, private sector leaders and the environmental community aimed at curbing sprawl.  See Colorado's Smart Growth and Development Initiative for more information, including the following reports: "Managing Colorado's Future: A Guide Book for Integrating Land Use, Transportation and Air Quality Planning," and "Colorado Looks at Growth Survey." Contact:  Smart Growth Action Center at (303) 866-2353, or write: 1313 Sherman Street, Room 323, Denver, CO 80203. Website:

"Subdivide and Conquer," by Jeff Gersh, Amicus Journal, Fall 1996.  Check out the newly released (1999) video version of "Subdivide and Conquer" by Jeff Gersh and Chelsea Congdon. 

"Gutted sprawl bill is rebuilt," Denver Post. April 4, 2001.

"A bicycle bill for two sides," The Denver Post. March 14, 2001.
"Taxpayers' Money, Developers' Vision Help Denver Downtown Prosper" Salt Lake Tribune. March 7, 2001.

"Lawmaker to propose tying housing growth to jobs" AP.  December 11, 2000.

"Growth Plan Tagets Cities Feuds" The Denver Post.  December 5, 2001.

Colorado Public Interest Research Group
1530 Blake Street, Suite 220, Denver, CO  80202, (p) 303-573-7474, (f) 303-573-3780, (e); website:

Center for Regional and Neighborhood Action
2300 15th Street, Lower Level, Denver, CO 80202, Phone: (303) 477-9985;   Fax: (303) 477-9986; Website:

Colorado Chapter American Planning Association
The Colorado Chapter of the APA has helped draft the Responsible Growth Act. To contact the COAPA

Colorado Preservation Information Network
CoPIN helps Colorado's preservation community find resources such as planning information, funding, and skilled technical assistance.

Educare Colorado
A statewide initiative to ensure all children (birth to five years) have access to quality daycare. Contact:  The Colorado Trust, 1600 Sherman Street, Denver, Colorado 80203, 303-837-1200, toll-free 888-847-9140, (FAX) 303-839-9034

Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust
The nation's first land trust by and for ranchers.  Ranchers donate development rights to land trusts managed by fellow ranchers.  The Trust is set up to administer the easements. 

Metro Vision 2020. (See above).
Boulder  The Boulder region considers sprawl control central to its citizen's quality of life. For more on Boulder's growth management initiatives, see the Boulder County Land Use webpage and link to Boulder's Comprehensive Growth Plan and Growth Watch feature.