Colorado Senate Bill 35 Regulates Subdivisions of Land Resulting in One or More Parcels Less Than 35 Acres In Size

by Michael Selinfreund, President/General Counsel of Cherry Creek Title Services, Inc.

This article is intended for educational purposes only and not as legal advice

November 9, 2015

 

 

On May 5, 1972, C.R.S. 30-28-101, the session law that most Colorado attorneys refer to as Senate Bill 35, became effective.   SB 35 was enacted to provide some regulation over the subdivision of land in Colorado, and it required counties to pass regulations to regulate parcels of land smaller than 35 acres.   C.R.S.  30-38-101  defines a subdivision or subdivided land as a parcel of land  divided into two or more parcels.  The 35 acre exemption is inapplicable when the property owner seeks to construct multiple residences on a parcel which is more than 35 acres. Wilkinson v. Bd. of County Comm’rs, 872 P.2d 1269 (Colo. App. 1993).   There are additional exemptions provided for in C.R.S. 30-28-101.  There is no similar exemption from the applicable zoning regulations as SB 35 applies only to subdivision regulations.

Unless an exemption applies, any subdivision created that is less than 35 acres must be approved by the Planning Commission or Board of County Commissioners to be considered “valid”.  Failing to comply with SB 35 has disastrous consequences including the inability to procure a building permit or utilities for the property affected.  Moreover, the sole remedy may be the forced re-combining of the land that gave rise to the illegal subdivision, and this can be a logistic nightmare when years have passed and sometimes ownership as well.

Lastly, don’t forget to refer to Chapter 4 of the Colorado Real Estate Manual regarding subdivisions that require registration with the Division of Real Estate.

Written by:

Michael Selinfreund
President/General Counsel
Cherry Creek Title Services, Inc.,
Agent for First American Title Insurance Company & NATIC