Page Contents

Chapter 8-4: General Improvement Districts1

8-4-1.  Legislative Intent. Go to the top

The purpose of this chapter is to provide the procedures by which the city council may establish districts within the City to acquire, construct, install, operate or maintain public improvements and facilities, or for the purpose of providing any service not otherwise prohibited by law, subject to the requirements of charter section 106, and by which such districts may operate.

Ordinance No. 7053 (2000)

8-4-2.  Definitions. Go to the top

(a)  The following words used in this chapter have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Charges" means any rates, fees, tolls or charges imposed by a district.

"District elector" means a person who is registered to vote in city general elections, as shown on the records of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder, and who:

(1)  Resides within the district, proposed district or area to be included, as shown on such election records; or

(2)  Owns taxable real or personal property within the district, proposed district or area to be included, as shown on the records of the Boulder County Assessor.

"Improvement district" or "district" means a taxing unit created within the City for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, installing, operating or otherwise providing and maintaining for the special benefit of the district the public improvements or services specified in the initiating petition, which may include, without limitation, parking and off-street parking facilities, land, landscaping, sidewalks, benches and other streetside amenities, but shall not include improvements or services inconsistent with 31-25-603(1), C.R.S.

"Net effective interest rate" of a proposed issue of bonds means the net interest cost of such issue, divided by the sum of the products derived by multiplying the principal amount of such issue maturing on each maturity date by the number of years from the date of such proposed bonds to their respective maturities.

"Net interest cost" of a proposed issue of bonds means the total amount of interest to accrue on such bonds from their date of issue to their respective maturities, less the amount of any premium above par or plus the amount of any discount below par at which said bonds are being sold or have been sold.

"Owns" means to have any undivided fee interest in the property which is shown on the records of the Boulder County Assessor. If there are multiple owners, including, without limitation, joint tenants, tenants in common, tenants by the entireties and contract purchasers of real property obligated to pay ad valorem taxes thereon, of any property shown as a single property on the records of the Boulder County Assessor, there shall be deemed to be only one owner of that property for the purpose of calculating the total number of district electors. The signature, on a petition or consent, by any otherwise qualified person with such an ownership interest shall bind the property so long as any other owner does not object in writing to the city council within fourteen days after the filing of the petition. If there are multiple owners, only one otherwise qualified person may vote as a district elector-owner or a property owner of such property in district elections, and then only after signing an affidavit stating that all other owners have consented to the person casting the ballot for the property.

"Property owner" means a person who owns, or an entity which owns, taxable real or personal property within the district, or an agent authorized in writing by such person or entity to sign consents for petitions.

"Records of the Boulder County Assessor" means the records as of the date of the submission of the petition for the purposes of determining petition majorities, as of the date of signing for the purpose of validating signatures to petitions, and as of the thirtieth day before an election for the purpose of determining eligibility to vote therein.

"Records of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder" means the records as of the date of the submission of the petition for the purposes of determining petition majorities, as of the date of signing for the purpose of validating signatures to petitions, and as of the thirtieth day before an election for the purpose of determining eligibility to vote therein.

"Taxable real or personal property" means property subject to ad valorem taxation, as shown in the records of the Boulder County Assessor.

(b)  Whenever the terms "publication" or "publish" are used in this chapter, they mean publication once during each of three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the district. It is not necessary that publication occur on the same day of the week in each of the three weeks, but no fewer than fourteen days must pass between the first and the last publication.

Ordinance Nos. 5051 (1987); 5922 (1997); 7053 (2000)

8-4-3.  Petition to Initiate District. Go to the top

(a)  A district may be initiated under this chapter in either of the two following ways:

(1)  A majority of the district electors may file with the city manager a petition to initiate a general improvement district. At any time up through the day of the city council hearing thereon, the fee owners of any taxable real or personal property located within the proposed district who are not district electors may file their written consent to be included within the district. If the value of the taxable real or personal property within the proposed district owned by the district electors who signed the petition and by the persons filing written consent is at least one-half of the total value of the taxable real and personal property in the district as determined by the city manager, the city council shall hold a hearing on the petition, as prescribed by section 8-4-5, "Hearing," B.R.C. 1981.

(2)  A petition containing the signatures of not less than thirty percent of district electors or two hundred district electors, whichever is less, may file with the city manager a petition to initiate a general improvement district, in which case the city council shall hold a hearing on the petition, as prescribed by section 8-4-5, "Hearing," B.R.C. 1981. Such a petition shall, in addition to any other required allegations, contain a statement that either:

(A)  The boundaries of the proposed district include at least one hundred electors of the district;

(B)  The boundaries of the proposed district include at least one elector of the district for each five acres of land included within the proposed district; or

(C)  The petition is signed by one hundred percent of the owners of taxable real property to be included in the proposed district.

(3)  No person who signs a petition to initiate a district or files a consent to be included in a proposed district may thereafter withdraw his or her name from such petition or consent.

(b)  The petition shall contain at least the following information:

(1)  The name of the proposed district, which shall be composed of the words "City of Boulder," a name descriptive of the proposed district and the words "General Improvement District;"

(2)  A general description of the improvements or services to be acquired, constructed, installed, provided, operated or maintained within or for the district;

(3)  The estimated cost of the proposed improvements, land, maintenance, services and incidental costs and expenses;

(4)  An estimate of the indebtedness, if any, proposed to be incurred;

(5)  A description of the boundaries of the district or the territory to be included therein sufficiently specific to enable a resident or property owner to determine whether his or her residence or real or personal property is included within the district;

(6)  An explanation as to how the proposed improvements or services will:

(A)  Confer a general benefit on the district; and

(B)  Result in benefits to the area of the district distinct in kind or extent from any benefits accruing to the city as a whole;

(7)  The names of three district electors who represent the petitioners and who have the power to enter into agreements relating to the organization of the district that will be binding upon the district, if created;

(8)  A request that the district be formed;

(9)  The signatures of district electors or assenting property owners;

(10)  The voting address of district electors;

(11)  The address of any property of district electors within the district;

(12)  The address of the property within the district for which consent is being given;

(13)  The date of signing of each signature; and

(14)  The affidavit of each circulator of such petition, whether consisting of one or more sheets, that each signature therein is the signature of the person whose name it purports to be. Signatures verified by a notary public shall also be deemed to meet this requirement.

(c)  The petition may also contain limitations on the authority of the board of directors.

(d)  No petition need be rejected merely because of alleged defects if it contains the number of signatures required by subsection (a) of this section. At any time the city council may permit the petitioners' representatives to amend the petition to conform to the facts by correcting any errors in the description of the territory or in any other particular. Similar petitions or duplicate copies of the same petition for the formation of one district may be filed and together will be regarded as one petition. All such petitions filed prior to the hearing on the first petition filed are considered the same as though filed with the first petition, but no signature on a petition shall be valid if it is dated more than one hundred eighty days prior to the date the petition is filed with the city manager.

(e)  If the board of directors of a district proposes to expand its power or responsibility beyond that set forth in the petition to initiate the district, it may do so only after the filing of a petition requesting such expansion that meets the applicable requirements of this section, and following the applicable procedures of sections 8-4-4, "Schedule of Hearing and Notice Requirements," 8-4-5, "Hearing," 8-4-6, "Improvement District Ordinance," and 8-4-7, "Filing Ordinance," B.R.C. 1981, in reasonable conformance with the procedure under which the district was formed. In determining the sufficiency of such a petition, the total value of the taxable real and personal property in the district shall be the total valuation for assessment of all taxable property located within the territorial limits of the district as last certified to the secretary of the district by the Boulder County Assessor as required by state law.2

Ordinance No. 7053 (2000)

8-4-4.  Schedule of Hearing and Notice Requirements. Go to the top

(a)  Upon receiving a petition in the form prescribed by section 8-4-3, "Petition to Initiate District," B.R.C. 1981, the city manager shall refer it to the city council at the next regularly scheduled council meeting which is more than one week after the manager received the petition. The council shall by resolution schedule a hearing on the matter for its next regularly scheduled meeting, or for a different meeting if there is good cause to do so. The manager shall publish notice of the hearing and the contents of the petition in the same manner as notice preceding final passage of an ordinance is published. The notice shall include a statement that all property in the district will be subject to a lien for all indebtedness to be incurred by the district, if formed, and the estimated amount of the proposed indebtedness.

(b)  The city manager shall mail a copy of the notice prescribed by subsection (a) of this section by regular mail to each district elector and to each fee owner of taxable real or personal property in the district. The notice is sufficient if mailed to the last known address of the property owner on the records of the Boulder County Assessor or the last known address of the elector on the election records of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder.

(c)  The notices prescribed by this section constitute constructive notice to the qualified electors and property owners in the district and to all other interested persons of the contents of the petition, the date, time and place of the hearing, and all other details relating to the proposed formation of the district.

(d)  The city manager shall forthwith file copies of the notice prescribed by subsection (a) of this section with the Boulder County Assessor, the Boulder County Board of Commissioners and the Colorado Division of Local Government, as required by state law.3

8-4-5.  Hearing. Go to the top

(a)  On the date fixed for the hearing or any subsequent date to which it is continued, the city council shall determine, as applicable, whether:

(1)  The petition is in substantial compliance with the requirements of this chapter;

(2)  The petition is signed by at least a majority of the district electors;

(3)  The district electors signing the petition plus the owners of property within the district who have signed consents to be included therein own taxable real or personal property in the district having an assessed valuation of not less than one-half of the assessed valuation of all the taxable real and personal property in the district;

(4)  No protest has been filed meeting the requirements of charter section 106;

(5)  The proposed improvements or services will:

(A)  Confer a general benefit on the district; and

(B)  Result in benefits to the area of the district distinct in kind or extent from any benefits accruing to the city as a whole;

(6)  The cost of the proposed improvements, land, services, incidental costs and other expenses are reasonable when compared to the character and value of the property in the district, the estimated revenue to be produced and the tax levies, rates, fees, tolls and charges that are proposed to be levied upon the properties within the district;

(7)  The method of payment of the bonds and other costs and expenses of the district is reasonable and appropriate to the type of improvements or services proposed and the present and future character and value of the property in the district;

(8)  The creation of the proposed district is in the public interest and will not unreasonably duplicate or interfere with any municipal improvement already constructed or planned to be constructed within the limits of the district or service provided to the district; and

(9)  The limitations, if any, on the authority of the board of directors set forth in the petition under the provisions of section 8-4-3, "Petition to Initiate District," B.R.C. 1981, are in the public interest and will not prevent the district from achieving its purposes and objectives.

(b)  If the city council cannot make all of the findings prescribed by subsection (a) of this section which are applicable to the petition, it shall dismiss the petition. There is no right of appeal from an order dismissing a petition.4 The council's findings of fact on any issue, including, without limitation, genuineness of signatures, are final and conclusive as to all parties in interest, whether appearing or not.5 Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prevent the filing of a subsequent petition for similar improvements or for a similar district.

(c)  Any district elector and any owner or lessee of taxable property in the district may testify at the city council hearing regarding the proposed district and improvements and services or submit written views at any time before the hearing.

(d)  Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 2-7, "Code of Conduct," B.R.C. 1981, no member of the city council or city employee is disqualified from performing any duty imposed by this chapter by reason of residence or ownership of property within any district or proposed district.

Ordinance No. 7053 (2000)

8-4-6.  Improvement District Ordinance. Go to the top

(a)  If the city council makes the findings prescribed by subsection 8-4-5(a), B.R.C. 1981, concerning a district whose petition was filed under paragraph 8-4-3(a)(1), B.R.C. 1981, the council shall establish the district by an ordinance that: 1) resolves all issues of jurisdiction; 2) declares the district organized; 3) names the district according to the petition; 4) approves the petition; 5) sets forth details regarding the district as provided in the petition and the notice of hearing, including, without limitation, estimates of cost of the proposed improvements, land, services and incidental costs and expenses, as adjusted, if any adjustments have been made, and minor changes, deletions and adjustments that are made at the hearing; 6) imposes any limitations on the authority of the board of directors provided in the petition; and 7) includes other items that the council deems appropriate.

(b)  Upon the effective date of the ordinance, the district shall be a public or quasi-municipal subdivision of the state, a taxing entity within the city and a body corporate with the limited proprietary powers set forth in this chapter.

(c)  The ordinance establishing the district finally and conclusively establishes the regular organization of the district against all persons, subject only to such judicial review as is provided by law.6

(d)  If the city council makes the findings prescribed by subsection (a) of this section, concerning a district whose petition was filed under paragraph 8-4-3(a)(2), B.R.C. 1981, the council shall by ordinance adjudicate all questions of jurisdiction and, if the council intends that a district be formed, order that the question of the organization of the district and such other matters as the council deems appropriate including, but not limited to, the issuance of bonds or other matters for which voter approval is required under section 20 of article X of the Colorado Constitution, be submitted to the electors of the district at an election to be held for that purpose in accordance with the election provisions of this chapter. Unless otherwise required by section 20 of article X of the Colorado Constitution, such election may be held either at a special election held not less than sixty days after the adoption of the ordinance at a time specified by the council, or in conjunction with a regular municipal election, general election, ballot issue or ballot question election. At an election held under this subsection, the electors of the district shall vote for or against the organization of the district and any other matters on the ballot. If a majority of the votes cast at the election are in favor of the organization, the governing body shall adopt an ordinance declaring the district organized, unless a majority does not also approve such financial questions as may be on the ballot, in which case the council may choose not to proceed with the district. If the ordinance declares the district organized, the applicable provisions of subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section shall also apply.

Ordinance No. 7053 (2000)

8-4-7.  Filing Ordinance. Go to the top

(a)  Within thirty days after the city council adopts an ordinance forming a district, the city manager shall file with the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder a copy of the ordinance in the manner that articles of incorporation for corporations are filed.7

(b)  No later than the first day of May following organization of the district, the city manager shall file with the Boulder County Commissioners and the Boulder County Assessor a notice that the district has been organized and that a tax will be levied for such year.8

8-4-8.  City Council is Governing Body of District. Go to the top

(a)  The city council is ex officio the board of directors of each district established under this chapter.

(b)  The mayor is ex officio chair and president of the board of directors.

(c)  The city manager is ex officio general manager of the district.

(d)  The city manager is ex officio secretary of the board of directors and shall keep records of all board proceedings, minutes of all meetings and certificates, contracts and documents of all corporate acts, all of which are open to public inspection.

(e)  The city manager is ex officio treasurer of the board of directors and the district, shall keep permanent records containing accurate accounts of all money received by and disbursed on behalf of the district, and may certify delinquent taxes, charges and assessments of the district to the Boulder County Treasurer for collection pursuant to the provisions of section 2-2-12, "City Manager May Certify Taxes, Charges and Assessments to County Treasurer for Collection," B.R.C. 1981.

(f)  The board of directors shall adopt a seal.

8-4-9.  District Board Meeting. Go to the top

(a)  The board of directors shall hold meetings that are open to the public at the municipal building, Boulder, Colorado, or at such other place as the board designates and as often as the needs of the district require, after notice to each member of the board.

(b)  Five members of the board constitute a quorum. The board may not meet without a quorum present.

(c)  A majority vote of the directors present at a meeting is necessary to authorize any action of the board.

8-4-10.  Advisory Committee. Go to the top

(a)  Those district electors named in the petition to represent the petitioners during organization constitute an advisory committee to the board of directors after the district is formed. The first district elector named in the petition shall serve for up to one year, until the board shall appoint successor members. Thereafter, the advisory committee shall consist of three persons who are district electors, owners of taxed real or personal property in the district, or designated representatives of such owners who are regularly employed in the district and two citizens at large who may or may not have such qualifications, serving terms of five years each. The initial terms shall be staggered to assure that one term expires in each year. The board shall fill any vacancy with a similarly qualified person.

(b)  The advisory committee's duties shall be to:

(1)  Act as liaison between the board and the district electors, property owners, residents and other interested persons;

(2)  Propose needed improvements and programs to the board for consideration;

(3)  Make recommendations to the board concerning the budget of and any problems, questions and other matters concerning the district; and

(4)  Perform such other tasks as the board requests.

(c)  The advisory committee shall:

(1)  Hold regular monthly meetings, unless the board shall by resolution otherwise provide;

(2)  Keep minutes of its meetings, which are publicly available;

(3)  Appoint a moderator, vice-moderator and secretary (who may be a city employee);

(4)  Conduct its meetings under Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (2000), unless the board or the committee adopts other rules of meeting procedure; and

(5)  Hold all meetings open to the public, after notice of date, time, place and subject matter of the meeting, and provide an opportunity for public comment at the meeting;

(d)  A majority of the committee constitutes a quorum, and the committee shall act only on an affirmative vote of at least a quorum.

(e)  The committee is authorized to:

(1)  Hold special meetings at any time upon the call of a quorum or of the general manager and after at least twenty-four hours' notice to members and as much public notice as is practicable under the circumstances; and

(2)  Establish procedures in aid of its functions.

(f)  Committee members shall serve without pay, shall serve until their successors take office, and shall not hold any other office in the City, but the secretary may be a city employee.

(g)  If a member of the committee is present at a meeting and refuses to vote, the member's vote shall be recorded in the affirmative. No member is excused from voting except on approving minutes of a meeting that the member did not attend or on a matter creating a conflict of interest under chapter 2-7, "Code of Conduct," B.R.C. 1981, or on consideration of such member's conduct in the business of the committee.

(h)  The board may remove committee members pursuant to the standards contained in paragraph 2-3-1(a)(2), B.R.C. 1981.

(i)  The provisions of chapter 2-7, "Code of Conduct," B.R.C. 1981, apply to committee members, but no member is disqualified from performing any duty imposed or provided by this chapter solely by reason of residence, employment or ownership of property within the district.

(j)  None of the provisions of this section, except subsections (g) and (i), apply to the City of Boulder Central Area General Improvement District. The Downtown Management Commission established by section 2-3-5, "Downtown Management Commission," B.R.C. 1981, shall serve in lieu of an advisory committee for CAGID, and shall have the duties set forth in subsection (c) of this section in addition to and not by way of limitation on those duties, powers and functions delegated to the Downtown Management Commission elsewhere in this code.

(k)  None of the provisions of this section, except subsections (g) and (i), apply to the City of Boulder University Hill General Improvement District ("UHGID"). The University Hill Commercial Area Management Commission established by section 2-3-20, "University Hill Commercial Management Commission," B.R.C. 1981, shall serve in lieu of an advisory committee for UHGID, and shall have the duties set forth in this section in addition to and not by way of limitation on those duties, powers and functions delegated to the University Hill Commercial Area Management Commission elsewhere in this code.

(l)  None of the provisions of this section, except subsections (g) and (i), apply to the Boulder Junction Access General Improvement District - Travel Demand Management ("BJAGID - TDM"). The Boulder Junction TDM Commission established by section 2-3-21, "Boulder Junction TDM Commission," B.R.C. 1981, shall serve in lieu of an advisory committee for BJAGID - TDM, and shall have the duties set forth in subsection (c) of this section in addition to and not by way of limitation on those duties, powers and functions delegated to the Boulder Junction TDM Commission elsewhere in this code.

(m)  None of the provisions of this section, except subsections (g) and (i), apply to the Boulder Junction Access General Improvement District - Parking ("BJAGID - Parking"). The Boulder Junction Parking Commission established by section 2-3-22, "Boulder Junction Parking Commission," B.R.C. 1981, shall serve in lieu of an advisory committee for BJAGID - Parking, and shall have the duties set forth in subsection (c) of this section in addition to and not by way of limitation on those duties, powers and functions delegated to the Boulder Junction Parking Commission elsewhere in this code.

Ordinance Nos. 5085 (1987); 5187 (1989); 5518 (1992); 7579 (2008); 7731 (2010); 7732 (2010); 7795 (2011)

8-4-11.  Powers of the District. Go to the top

Each district established under this chapter has the following limited powers:

(a)  To have perpetual existence, have and use a corporate seal, sue and be sued and be a party to suits and proceedings;

(b)  Except as may otherwise be provided in this chapter, to enter into contracts and agreements affecting the affairs of the district, including, without limitation, contracts with the United States and any of its agencies. Except in cases in which a district receives aid from an agency of the federal government, the district shall follow the procedures set forth in chapter 2-8, "Purchasing Procedures," B.R.C. 1981, and every reference therein to the city shall also be deemed to apply to each district;

(c)  To borrow money and incur indebtedness, evidenced by certificates, warrants, notes and debentures, and to issue negotiable bonds in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

(d)  To refund any bonded or other indebtedness of the district without an election and to issue refunding bonds, certificates, warrants, notes or debentures in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

(e)  To acquire, construct, install, maintain, operate, improve and repair the improvements contemplated by the initiating petition and provide the services so contemplated and all property, rights or interests incidental or appurtenant thereto and to acquire and dispose of real and personal property and any interest therein, including, without limitation, leases and easements, in connection therewith;

(f)  To manage, control and supervise all of the business affairs of the district and the installation, construction, operation, replacement, maintenance, repair and improvement of the property and improvements of the district and the provision of district services;

(g)  To purchase or otherwise acquire all types of interests in real and personal property, both within and without the boundaries of the district, necessary or desirable for the exercise of the powers granted in this chapter; to have and exercise the power of eminent domain and dominant eminent domain, both within and without the boundaries of the district, and, in the manner provided by law for condemnation of private real or personal property for public use, to take any property necessary or desirable for the exercise of the powers granted in this chapter;

(h)  To construct, install, repair, replace, operate and maintain improvements across or along any public street, alley, stream or watercourse, after obtaining approval from appropriate persons and agencies;

(i)  To fix and from time to time to increase or decrease charges for any revenue-producing services or facilities, including, without limitation, user charges, minimum charges for the availability of services or facilities, and all other charges that the board deems appropriate, to prescribe interest, collection costs and other charges for delinquencies, and to pledge the revenue derived therefrom for the payment of any indebtedness of the district;

(j)  To prescribe and enforce rules for connecting with and disconnecting from and use of services and facilities for nonpayment of charges therefor;

(k)  To establish reasonable additional procedures and practices for collection of delinquent charges of the district;

(l)  To adopt and amend bylaws consistent with United States and Colorado Constitutions, state and federal law, the charter, this code and any other ordinance of the city to carry on the business of the district;

(m)  To accept responsibility to maintain and repair public property located in but not owned by the district that the board finds benefits the district;

(n)  To contract with the city to administer the district's program and operations;

(o)  To copyright designs used for or by the district; and

(p)  To have and exercise all rights and powers necessary, desirable or incidental to or implied from the specific powers granted in this chapter; but the enumeration of such specific powers does not limit the powers necessary, desirable or appropriate to carry out the purposes, objectives or intent of this chapter.

Ordinance Nos. 5099 (1988); 7053 (2000)

8-4-12.  Powers to Levy Taxes. Go to the top

In addition to other means of providing revenue for a district established under this chapter, the board of directors may levy and collect ad valorem taxes on all taxable property within the district without limitation as to rate or amount. But such taxing authority does not limit the power of the district to issue obligations payable solely or in part from the income of revenue-producing facilities or services.

8-4-13.  Rate of Tax Levy; Budget; Fiscal Year. Go to the top

(a)  After considering all sources of revenue, the board of directors annually shall determine the amount of money necessary to be raised by an ad valorem tax levy on taxable property in the district and shall fix a rate of levy that, when levied upon every dollar of assessed valuation of taxable property within the district plus other revenues, will raise the amount required by the district during the ensuing fiscal year: 1) to fund the operating and maintenance expenses of the district and the costs of acquiring land and improvements and providing services for the district, and 2) promptly to pay in full when due all interest on and principal of bonds and other obligations of the district. If defaults or deficiencies occur, the district may make additional levies as provided in section 8-4-15, "Procedures for Imposing Charges," B.R.C. 1981. No later than the day set for certification of city tax rates by state law9 each year, the board shall certify to the Boulder County Commissioners and the Boulder County Assessor the established tax rate for the following year so that the county may levy the district's tax when it levies county property taxes.10

(b)  Before establishing the tax rate and levy, the manager shall prepare and the board of directors shall adopt a budget under the state law procedures for local government adoption of budgets.11

(c)  The fiscal year of each district established under this chapter commences on the first day of January and ends on the last day of December each year. The fiscal year constitutes the district's budget year.

Ordinance Nos. 5090 (1987); 7053 (2000)

8-4-14.  Levies to Cover Deficiencies. Go to the top

In certifying annual levies, the board of directors shall take into account the maturing indebtedness for the current and subsequent year as provided in its contracts, maturing bonds, and interest on bonds and deficiencies and defaults of prior years, if any, and shall make ample provision for the payment thereof. The board may increase its tax levy in any year in order to produce sufficient revenues punctually to pay the annual installment on its contracts or bonds and interest thereon and to pay defaults and deficiencies from prior years, if any. The board may continue to levy such taxes until the district's indebtedness is fully paid or until the board has provided for payment as the indebtedness matures.

8-4-15.  Procedures for Imposing Charges. Go to the top

(a)  At any time, the board of directors may determine and impose or redetermine and revise a schedule of charges for any services or facilities provided or furnished by the district, including, without limitation, user charges, minimum fees or charges, and charges against properties in the district for the availability of services and facilities. The board may also establish as part of such schedule reasonable penalties, interest, collection costs and other charges for delinquencies in payment of such charges.

(b)  In imposing charges against all properties in the district for the availability of services and facilities, the board may consider without limitation the following: 1) the distance from the services or facilities, 2) the square footage of the property, 3) the usable square footage of the structures occupying the property, 4) the character and nature of the property and structures and 5) the nature of the actual use of the property and structures.

(c)  Before the effective date of such schedule of charges, the board of directors shall hold a hearing to hear objections to such schedule. The general manager shall publish notice of the date, time and place of the hearing describing briefly the type and amount of the proposed charges, the property or persons upon which they will be imposed, and the location where a copy of the entire proposed schedule is available for public inspection. This publication need only be made once.

(d)  If charges against properties in the district for the availability of services or facilities are a part of the proposed schedule, the city manager also shall mail a copy of the notice prescribed by subsection (c) of this section to each district elector and to each fee owner of taxable real or personal property in the district. Such notice and mailing is sufficient if mailed to the last known address of the property owner on the records of the Boulder County Assessor or the last known address of the elector on the election records of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder.

(e)  At any time before its adoption, any person may register objections to such schedule of charges, specifically stating the ground of such objections and the exact part of the schedule to which the person objects.

(f)  At the date, time, and place designated for the hearing or at the time to which it is continued, the board shall hear any evidence and argument that is offered concerning the schedule of charges, may amend such schedule as it deems appropriate, and shall adopt or reject such schedule, with or without amendment.

8-4-16.  Charges Are Lien; Foreclosure. Go to the top

(a)  Charges are due and payable when a bill therefor is sent and delinquent if not paid within forty-five days thereafter. All unpaid charges imposed by a district under this chapter are a lien on the property served, which attaches on the date that notice thereof is filed with the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder by the district and which may be foreclosed in the same manner that mechanics' liens are foreclosed under state law.12 The general manager shall file any action on a delinquent charge within one year of the date of the original bill.

(b)  The general manager shall discontinue district services to and prohibit from using facilities of the district any person who is delinquent in paying any charges imposed under this chapter for such service or facility, and shall give notice complying with Chapter 1-3, "Quasi-Judicial Hearings," B.R.C. 1981, to such person specifying the action taken. Any person aggrieved by such discontinuance may appeal to the board of directors, who shall conduct a hearing pursuant to Chapter 1-3, "Quasi-Judicial Hearings," B.R.C. 1981.

8-4-17.  Reserve Fund. Go to the top

Whenever the district has incurred any indebtedness, the board may levy taxes and collect revenues for the purpose of creating a reserve fund in an amount which the board determines to be appropriate, which may be used to meet the obligations of the district, for operating charges and depreciation, and to extend and improve the improvements of the district.

8-4-18.  Authority for Board to Issue Bonds or Negotiable Securities. Go to the top

(a)  To implement the purposes of this chapter, the board is authorized to issue negotiable bonds or other similar negotiable securities of the district in an amount that the board determines appropriate.

(b)  Bonds issued under this chapter shall bear interest at a rate and shall be sold at a price so that the net effective interest rate of the issue of the bonds does not exceed the maximum net effective interest rate authorized, payable quarterly, semiannually, or annually. The board shall determine the form and terms of the bonds, including provisions for their sale, payment and redemption, but the bonds shall be due and payable serially, either annually or semiannually, commencing not later than three years and extending not more than twenty years from date of issuance.13 If the board so determines, the bonds may be redeemable before their maturity, with or without paying a premium not to exceed three percent of principal. The bonds shall be executed in the name and on behalf of the district, signed by the presiding officer of the district, affixed with the district seal, and attested by the secretary of the board. But facsimile signatures and seals may be used as provided by 11-55-101, C.R.S. The bonds shall be in such denominations as the board determines.

(c)  The board may issue bonds for any purpose authorized in this chapter including, without limitation, refunding bonds.

(d)  The board need not offer the bonds or obligations at public sale if the board determines that the costs of public sale outweigh its benefits. If the board authorizes public notice of sale inviting bids for bonds or obligations, it shall publish notice of the sale at least once during each week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the city and may also publish such notice in such other publications as the board directs. The board may reject any and all bids received and thereafter sell the bonds at private sale.

(e)  No bonds issued by a district under this chapter constitute an indebtedness, obligation, or liability of the city. All bonds issued under this chapter shall contain a statement to that effect.

8-4-19.  Bond Election. Go to the top

(a)  Whenever the board by resolution determines that in order to implement the purposes of the district it is necessary to create any general obligation debt, the board shall by resolution order that a proposal to issue such bonds or to create such indebtedness be submitted to the district electors and property owners at an election. Such an election may be held on any day permitted under law. The resolution submitting the proposal shall:

(1)  State the purposes for which the indebtedness is proposed to be incurred, the estimated costs of the issuance of the bonds or incurring of the indebtedness, the maximum amount of the principal of the indebtedness to be incurred, the maximum term of the indebtedness, and the maximum net effective interest rate to be paid on such indebtedness, together with the ballot title and the applicable notice requirements under article X, section 20 of the Colorado Constitution;

(2)  Fix the date upon which the election shall be held, the manner of holding it, the hours during which the polls shall remain open and the method of voting for or against the proposal; and

(3)  Designate the polling place or places and determine any other matters necessary to the conduct of the election.

(b)  No election is required under this section for the issuance of revenue bonds or the incurring of other indebtedness that does not constitute a general obligation of the district.

(c)  The board shall prescribe the form of the notice of election and the city manager shall cause it to be published in the manner provided in this chapter, the first publication to be no fewer than twenty days before the election. No later than ten days before a district election the city manager shall send a copy of the notice of election by first class mail to each district elector residing but not owning property within the district, as shown on the records of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder, and to each property owner at the address shown on the most recent quarterly assessment roll, but no failure to mail or defect in the mailed notice shall affect the results or validity of the election if the required published notice has been given.

(d)  The board shall cause the election to be conducted in substantially the same manner prescribed by Chapter 13-1, "Elections," B.R.C. 1981, for holding bond or other general obligation indebtedness elections. The city manager shall prescribe the form of affidavits to be used should any person claim district elector status based upon ownership of taxable real or personal property within the district coupled with voter registration within the city, in cases where the records of the Boulder County Assessor are ambiguous as to the status of the titular owner. At the next regular or special meeting of the board following the election, the board shall canvass the returns thereof and declare the results.

(e)  Defeat of a proposition at an election does not limit the authority of the board to submit the same or other propositions at subsequent elections called for that purpose.

(f)  Any party wishing to contest the validity of any election held under this section shall do so not more than ten days after the votes cast at the election are canvassed. After such period, no person may directly or collaterally contest the validity of the election in any suit or other proceeding.1514

(g)  Property owners, if natural persons, shall vote in person. A property owner which is not a natural person but which desires to vote shall authorize in writing some natural person of voting age to vote the assessed value of its property on its behalf. Such person shall sign an affidavit in the form provided by the city manager attesting to the existence of such written authority before being allowed to vote.

(h)  The ballots cast by district electors and by property owners shall be kept separate and tallied separately. A district elector who is also a property owner may vote in each capacity.

(i)  Persons voting as or on behalf of property owners shall declare on their affidavit the assessor tract, tax identification number, or other information sufficient to identify the real or personal property for which the ballot is cast, so that the election officials may calculate the assessed valuation of all properties being voted by that ballot. An election judge shall write such valuation on the ballot before the voter casts the ballot. The city manager shall provide copies of assessment records at the polls to assist voters.

(j)  The ballots of district electors shall be secret, but the ballots of property owners shall not be.

(k)  The secretary of the board shall serve as the clerk and chief judge of the election and shall appoint, from the electors of the city, up to ten judges per precinct, plus three additional judges to serve as judges of the absentee precinct. Such judges shall be compensated as are judges at regular city elections. The secretary may also appoint regular employees of the city to receive applications for and issue absent voter ballots. The secretary is authorized to establish a system whereby voter signature cards involving property ownership and any necessary affidavits may be filled out in advance of election day, but such information shall be verified on the county clerk's and assessor's records by the judges of the election before ballots are issued in the same way as other voters are issued ballots, and no voter shall be required to fill out any such documents before election day.

(l)  If the returns disclose that a majority of the district electors voting on the ballot issue submitted at the bond election have voted in favor of the issue, and that property owners owning a majority of the assessed valuation of all property whose owners voted on such issue have also voted in favor of the issue, the district is authorized to act in accordance with the ballot issue.

(m)  The board may combine a tax or revenue increase, or both, under section 8-4-20, "Election Under Article X, Section 20 of Colorado Constitution," B.R.C. 1981, with a bond measure under this section which is to be supported by such increase. In such event the dual majority provisions of subsection (l) of this section shall apply to the ballot issue.

Ordinance Nos. 5033 (1987); 5051 (1987); 5922 (1997)

8-4-20.  Election Under Article X, Section 20 of Colorado Constitution. Go to the top

(a)  Whenever the board by resolution determines that in order to implement the purposes of the district an election is required under article X, section 20 of the Colorado Constitution, other than an election to create any general obligation debt, the board shall by resolution order that the ballot issue be submitted to the district electors at an election. Such an election may be held on any day permitted under law. The resolution submitting the ballot issue shall:

(1)  State the text of the ballot issue and of the notice required under article X, subsection 20(3)(b) of the Colorado Constitution;

(2)  Fix the date upon which the election shall be held; and

(3)  Designate the polling place or places and determine any other matters necessary to the conduct of the election.

(b)  The board shall prescribe the form of the notice of election and cause it to be published in the manner provided in chapter 13-1, "Elections," B.R.C. 1981, for ballot issues.

(c)  The board shall cause the election to be conducted in substantially the same manner prescribed by chapter 13-1, "Elections," B.R.C. 1981, for holding ballot issue elections. The city manager shall prescribe the form of affidavits to be used should any person claim district elector status based upon ownership of taxable real or personal property within the district coupled with voter registration within the city, in cases where the records of the Boulder County Assessor are ambiguous as to the status of the titular owner. At the next regular or special meeting of the board following the election, the board shall canvass the returns thereof and declare the results.

(d)  Defeat of a ballot issue at an election does not limit the authority of the board to submit the same or other ballot issues at subsequent elections called for that purpose.

(e)  Any party wishing to contest the validity of any election held under this section shall do so not more than ten days after the votes cast at the election are canvassed. After such period, no person may directly or collaterally contest the validity of the election in any suit or other proceeding.1514

(f)  The secretary of the board shall serve as the clerk and chief judge of the election and shall appoint, from the electors of the city, up to ten judges per precinct, plus three additional judges to serve as judges of the absentee precinct. Such judges shall be compensated as are judges at regular city elections. The secretary may also appoint regular employees of the city to receive applications for and issue absent voter ballots. The secretary is authorized to establish a system whereby voter signature cards involving property ownership and any necessary affidavits may be filled out in advance of election day, but such information shall be verified on the county clerk's and assessor's records by the judges of the election before ballots are issued in the same way as other voters are issued ballots, and no voter shall be required to fill out any such documents before election day.

(g)  If the returns disclose that a majority of the district electors voting on any ballot issue submitted pursuant to this section alone at the election have voted in favor of the issue, the district is authorized to act in accordance with the ballot issue.

Ordinance No. 5922 (1997)

8-4-21.  Refunding Bonds. Go to the top

The district may refund any bonds that it has issued, without an election, by issuing bonds to refund, pay and discharge all or any part of the outstanding bonds, including any interest on the bonds due or about to become due, for the purpose of: a) avoiding or terminating any default in the payment of interest on and principal of the bonds, b) reducing interest costs or effecting other economies, c) modifying or eliminating restrictive contractual limitations, or d) for any combination of these purposes. But such refund of outstanding bonds is subject to provisions concerning their payment and any other contractual limitations in the proceedings authorizing their issuance or otherwise pertaining to them. Refunding bonds may be delivered in exchange for the outstanding bonds refunded or may be sold as provided in this chapter for an original issue of bonds.

8-4-22.  Use of Proceeds of Refunding Bonds. Go to the top

The board shall either apply the proceeds of refunding bonds immediately to retire the bonds being refunded or place the proceeds in escrow in any banks within the state that are members of the federal deposit insurance corporation to be applied to the payment of the bonds being refunded upon their presentation. The refunding bond proceeds may be used to defray incidental expenses to the extent that such have been capitalized. Any accrued interest and any premium pertaining to a sale of refunding bonds may be applied to the payment of the interest thereon and the principal thereof or both interest and principal or may be deposited in a reserve for that purpose, as the board determines is appropriate. Any escrow established under this section need not be limited to proceeds of refunding bonds but may include other monies. Before being applied to the uses specified in this chapter, any proceeds in escrow may be invested or reinvested in bills, certificates of indebtedness, notes or bonds that are direct obligations of, or the principal and interest of which obligations are unconditionally guaranteed by, the United States of America. Such proceeds plus any interest derived therefrom shall be retained in an amount sufficient to pay the principal, interest, premium and charges of the escrow agent as such obligations become due. No purchaser of any refunding bond issued under this chapter is responsible for the application of the proceeds thereof by the district or any of its officers, agents or employees.

8-4-23.  Limitation Upon Issuance of Refunding Bonds. Go to the top

No bonds may be refunded under this chapter unless the holders thereof voluntarily surrender them for exchange or payment or unless they either mature or are callable for prior redemption under their terms within ten years from the date of issuance of the refunding bonds. No maturity of any bond may be extended past fifteen years. The principal amount of the refunding bonds may exceed the principal amount of the refunded bonds if the aggregate principal and interest costs of the refunding bonds do not exceed the unaccrued costs of the bonds refunded, except to the extent that any interest on the bonds refunded in arrears or about to become due is capitalized with the proceeds of refunding bonds. The principal amount of the refunding bonds may also be less than or equal to the principal amount of the bonds being refunded if provision is duly and sufficiently made to pay the refunded bonds.

8-4-24.  Inclusion and Exclusion of Additional Property in District. Go to the top

(a)  The boundaries of any district organized or being formed under this chapter may be changed in the manner prescribed by this section, but a change in the boundaries of an established district does not impair or affect its organization or its rights in or to property or any of its rights or privileges, nor does it affect, impair or discharge any contract, obligation, lien or charge for or upon which the district might be liable or chargeable had any such change of boundaries not been made. All property included within or excluded from an established district is thereafter subject to levy of taxes for the payment of its proportionate share of any indebtedness of the district outstanding at the time the property was included or excluded.

(b)  The owners of any property who wish it to be included in or excluded from the district may file with the board of directors a written petition requesting that such property be included in or excluded from the district. The petition shall:

(1)  Describe the property to be included or excluded;

(2)  State that the petitioners own the property;

(3)   State the reasons for the proposed exclusion or inclusion;

(4)  State any special terms and conditions of including or excluding the property; and

(5)  Be verified.

(c)  A group of not less than a majority of the district electors of an area who propose it to be included in a district may file a petition with the general manager to include an additional geographic area and additional real and personal property into the district. The petition shall contain:

(1)  The name of the district within which the petitioners propose the area to be included;

(2)  A description of the boundaries of the area proposed to be included in the district of sufficient specificity to enable a resident or property owner of the area to determine whether or not his or her residence or real or personal property is proposed to be included within the district;

(3)  An explanation as to how the proposed inclusion will:

(A)  Confer a general benefit on the area to be included; and

(B)  Result in benefits to the area to be included distinct in kind or extent from any benefits accruing therefrom to the city as a whole. At any time after such a petition is filed and until the day of the board hearing thereon, the fee owners of taxable real or personal property located within the limits of the area proposed to be included who did not sign the petition may file their written consent to their properties being included within the district. The district electors signing the petition plus the owners of property within the area proposed to be included shall own taxable real or personal property having an assessed value of not less than one-half of the total assessed value of all the taxable real and personal property in the area proposed to be included.

(d)  Upon receiving a petition under this section, the general manager shall establish a date, time and place for a hearing on the petition and shall cause to be published a notice stating:

(1)  That the petition has been filed;

(2)  The names of the petitioners;

(3)  A description of the property sought to be included or excluded;

(4)  The request of the petitioners;

(5)  The date, place and time of the hearing on the petition; and

(6)  That all interested persons and those objecting to inclusion or exclusion may appear at the hearing to show cause why the petition should not be granted, and that all such objections shall be made in writing and filed with the board at or before the date and time set for the hearing.

(e)  The general manager shall mail a copy of the notice prescribed by subsection (d) of this section by regular mail to each elector of the district and of any area proposed to be included and to each fee owner of taxable real or personal property in the district and in any area proposed to be included. The notice is sufficient if mailed to the last known address of the property owner on the records of the Boulder County Assessor or the last known address of the elector on the election records of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder. The manager shall also file copies of the notice prescribed by subsection (d) as provided in subsection 8-4-4(d), B.R.C. 1981.

(f)  At the time and place provided in the notice prescribed by subsection (d) of this section or at such time certain to which the hearing is continued, the board of directors shall hear the petition and all written objections thereto by any person objecting to granting the petition. Any interested person who fails to appear and object waives the right to object and is deemed as consenting to the inclusion or exclusion specified in the petition.

(g)  After the hearing on a petition to include property in the district, the board of directors shall grant, grant as modified, or deny it after determining whether:

(1)  Granting the petition is in the best interest of the district; and

(2)  The proposed inclusion will:

(A)  Confer a general benefit on the area to be included;

(B)  Result in benefits to the area to be included distinct in kind or extent from any benefits accruing therefrom to the city as a whole;

(3)  Any special terms and conditions in the petition are reasonable; and

(4)  If the petition was filed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section:

(A)  The petition is signed by at least a majority of the district electors of the area proposed to be included;

(B)  The district electors signing the petition plus the owners of property within the area proposed to be included who have signed consents to inclusion own taxable real or personal property therein having an assessed value of at least one-half of the total assessed value of all the taxable real and personal property in the area proposed to be included; and

(C)  The board of directors may exclude some of the property sought to be included if it determines that including such property is not in the best interest of the district or if the property is not within the area to be generally benefited by inclusion in the district, but only if such exclusion does not result in loss of the required majorities.

(h)  After the hearing on a petition to exclude property from the district, the board of directors shall determine whether granting the petition is in the best interest of the district and shall grant or deny it after determining whether the proposed exclusion will:

(1)  Jeopardize the achievement of the district's purposes;

(2)  Confer an undue benefit on the excluded property;

(3)  Be unduly detrimental to the remainder of the district; or

(4)  Be detrimental to the rest of the city.

(i)  If the board grants a petition filed under this section, it shall do so by resolution and the general manager shall file certified copies thereof as provided in Section 8-4-7, "Filing Ordinance," B.R.C., 1981. Thereafter the property or area and all taxable real and personal property located within the limits of the area are included in or excluded from the district. If the board rejects a petition filed under this section, it shall do so by resolution, declaring that the inclusion or exclusion would not be in the best interest of the district.

8-4-25.  Correction of Faulty Notice. Go to the top

If the board finds that due notice was not given in any case where a notice is required by this chapter, the board shall order that due notice be given and shall continue the proceeding until such time as notice is properly given and then shall proceed as though notice had been properly given in the first instance.

8-4-26.  Dissolution. Go to the top

(a)  Any district organized pursuant to this chapter may be dissolved after notice is given and a hearing held in the manner prescribed by Subsections 8-4-4(a) and (b), B.R.C. 1981. After hearing any protests against or objections to dissolution, if the board determines that it is for the best interests of all concerned to dissolve the district, it shall so provide by ordinance, a certified copy of which shall be filed in the office of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder. Upon such filing, the dissolution shall be complete.

(b)  No district shall be dissolved until it has satisfied or paid in full all of its outstanding indebtedness, obligations, and liabilities, or until funds are on deposit and available therefor.

(c)  Upon dissolution, title to all property owned by the district shall vest in the corporate city of Boulder.

8-4-27.  Elections. Go to the top

Whenever the board determines to hold a district election it shall do so by resolution. If the resolution so provides, such election may be held using mail ballots, in which case the election shall also comply with the provisions of Chapter 13-1, "Elections," B.R.C. 1981.

Ordinance Nos. 5642 (1994); 5667 (1994)


1 Adopted by Ordinance No. 5025. Derived from Ordinance Nos. 3515, 3585, 3626, 3886, 4324, 4398, 4590.

2 Subsection 39-1-110(1), C.R.S.

3 Subsection 39-1-110(1), C.R.S.

4 Subsection 31-25-607(2), C.R.S.

5 Subsection 31-25-607(3), C.R.S.

6 Subsection 31-25-607(5), C.R.S.

7 Subsection 31-25-608, C.R.S.

8 Subsection 39-1-110(1), C.R.S.

9 Section 39-5-128, C.R.S.

10 Section 31-25-613, C.R.S.

11 Part 29-1-103, C.R.S.

12 Paragraph 31-25-611(1)(k), C.R.S.

13 Section 31-25-620, C.R.S.

14 See 1-11-213(4), C.R.S.

15 See 1-11-213(4), C.R.S.