Adverse Possession Rules For Boulder Real Estate To Change

Due to all the controversy and attention over the recent rift between local landowners in Boulder we’re going to see some changes in the rules regarding adverse possession. The Boulder real estate market may be better off as a  result.

You might remember the recent case of our neighbors in south Boulder over a land squabble, where some folks decided to get a friendly district court judge involved and implement the rules of adverse possession to grab up some land from their next-door neighbors. It was headline stuff for a while locally.

A large enough issue that the Colorado legislature is voting on a bill that proposes to change the way this little known (until lately) law of adverse possession works.

House Bill 1148 was scheduled for a second reading this Monday and if approved, it will be scheduled for a third, and final vote by the State Senate before it moves up to Governor Bill Ritter’s desk for final approval. The law would go into affect sometime this summer.

Last fall, Dick McClean and Edith Stevens used the formerly obscure ‘land-grab’ law of adverse possession to obtain legal possession of a portion of their next-door neighbor’s lot on Hardscrabble Drive. Those neighbors, Don and Susie Kirlin were not amused and neither were some other neighbors. There were many public protests and the topic flared up in local papers for several weeks.

Local lawmakers caught wind of the adverse possession controversy and consequently we have House Bill 1148. The intent is to add a ‘good faith’ provision, among other things, to the legal doctrine. The initial approval in a House vote last month won with a 63 to 1 vote.


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