Colorado Court Decision Creates Uncertainty for Development Using Metro District Public Financing

Colorado Court Decision Creates Uncertainty for Development Using Metro District Public Financing

Apr 26, 2016

Client Alert

Brownstein Client Alert, April 26, 2016

On April 21, 2016, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a decision related to the Landmark project in Greenwood Village (Landmark Towers Association v. UMB Bank, hereinafter “Marin”). The decision calls into question the validity of previously held elections for the vast majority of the 1,475 metropolitan districts in Colorado because the court concluded that the qualification of electors using option contracts was not valid in that case.

The vast majority of the more than 1,400 metro districts in Colorado have used the same method to organize and to authorize more than $9 billion in debt for construction of public improvements throughout the state over the last several years. Although it is likely that the case will be appealed, that process could take years and its outcome is uncertain. This situation obviously creates uncertainty exists for districts, developers and property owners regarding the potential for challenge to existing districts and their financing. This uncertainty has chilled the public finance and lending markets.  We are aware of several pending transactions that have been canceled or postponed.

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