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Home building numbers down in Pueblo, city councilman takes action

Posted at 9:30 PM, Jul 26, 2019

PUEBLO — News 5 is continuing to track growth in southern Colorado and we've reported that Pueblo has become a very popular spot for home buyers.

However, we've also learned that new home construction is actually stagnant in the city which means lost tax revenue. That's according to Pueblo City Councilman Mark Aliff who shared that just a couple of weeks ago a committee of city leaders and developers was formed to tackle this issue. They're trying to figure out why home building is booming in other areas across the state instead of Pueblo.

There's no doubt that a lot of people want to call Pueblo home as Aliff said it's "a great place to live...it's affordable."

Recent reports have given it a high ranking when it comes to where homes are selling the fastest.

"We just need more opportunity for more families to have homes in the City of Pueblo."

But Aliff said there's a problem - home building has been steadily declining.

"We're running about 80 to 90 building permits a year...to put it into perspective in 2006 we were doing about 450...it's to the tune of about $50, $60, $70 million a year that's not coming back into the community through building so it's a huge concern."

It's why he's now working with a committee to try and figure out why this is happening.

"The most eye-opening thing for me is that in the City of Pueblo the cost to develop a lot to build a house on is about $30,000 higher than any other community."

He believes it's because of overzealous planning and zoning requirements for things like sidewalk and road measurements, and it's forcing developers to spend more money to do their projects.

"We need to look at that type of zoning and requirements that we're forcing onto the developers and see if somehow we can change that around."

In Pueblo West things are a little bit better as Aliff said it has different requirements. In the last few years anywhere from 200 to almost 400 home building permits have been approved each year.

Aliff said the plan is to bring the committee's ideas to city council soon.