DENVER (KDVR) — The fates of many of the controversial bills from this year’s Colorado legislative session were decided before this final week, with the session to end on May 8.

A major piece of legislation that changed yet again during the final week is the land use bill. It is a proposal the governor rolled out in March that had cities speaking out against it in the name of local control. Senators removed zoning requirements originally proposed in hopes of easing concerns about local control, but House members made a move to put some of those provisions back into the bill.

“Friends, Colorado has a problem when it comes to housing. We do not have enough of it, and this isn’t just a problem in my district but it’s a problem in all of my colleagues’ districts across the General Assembly,” bill sponsor Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora, said at a news conference announcing the changes on Tuesday.

Everyone seems to agree on the issue: Colorado has a housing crisis. Lawmakers have struggled, however, to agree on a solution.

Single-family zoning at issue in Colorado

Gov. Jared Polis introduced the bill aimed at giving people more affordable housing options, allowing the development of housing like townhomes and duplexes in Colorado by getting rid of state zoning law that only allows single-family housing development in most parts of the state. Many cities in Colorado, including Denver, opposed that idea, raising concerns about violations of local control. State senators added a number of amendments and removed those provisions.

Jodeh and fellow House sponsor Steve Woodrow, D-Denver, added amendments this week in hopes of reaching a compromise to create more housing in the state.

“The policies we will put forward in committee today will help the folks who don’t have the luxury of taking off work to come testify at the Capitol on a Tuesday,” Woodrow said at the Tuesday press conference.

“We’ve drafted some key amendments to restore some of the key parts of the bill that were stripped out on the Senate side as it made its way through the process. This includes things like putting ADUs (accessory dwelling units) back in the bill for certain larger cities and municipalities, encouraging transit-oriented development, and development near what we call key corridors — those are rapid bus routes. So those are really important pieces,” Woodrow said.

Opponents representing cities like Breckenridge and Centennial said the newer version of the bill was worse than previous iterations. Some said accessory dwelling units are already permissible in certain areas where they make sense. But House sponsors said they moved forward with the bill because the state has to do something about housing.

“When we can’t plan for the future, then we are really doing Colorado a disservice. And we want to make sure that the bill makes a plan for the future of Colorado, whether it’s 10 to 100 years, so that future generations can find a future in Colorado that is sustainable for them,” Jodeh said.

The measure cleared the House Transportation, Housing and Local Government Committee by a vote of 9 to 4 and was assigned to the House Appropriations Committee.

House debate limited on land-use bill

After narrowly clearing the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 6-5 Thursday morning, the bill finally made it onto the House floor Thursday afternoon where it was again met with opposition.

Democratic House Leadership limited debate on the bill to four hours. House Democratic and Republican members offered amendments to the measure on the second reading of bills. House Republicans asked for the more than 100-page measure to be read at length.

“At the end of the day, we are stuck,” Jodeh said on the House floor Thursday. “I think it’s not for effort of local governments, that they are stuck too. It’s no slight on their work. There is no school board member or teacher who wouldn’t say that affordable housing is a need in their community. It’s not for a lack of effort. It’s not a lack of trying and it’s not for lack of wanting to crack this nut.”

“This is something I think we could have come together around, we could have had good conversations around, could have said, ‘Hey, what’s good for your community, what’s good for my community, where do we find that middle ground?'” House Assistant Minority Leader Rose Pugliese, R-Colorado Springs, said. “And that did not happen. And I’m disappointed that didn’t happen and disheartened for the people of Colorado that it didn’t happen. And I do not put that responsibility on the bill sponsors. I put that responsibility flat where it deserves, which is on the governor.”

If the bill passes the House on the third reading of bills, it would still need members of the state Senate to approve the changes before the session ends on Monday.