Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals Case No. 68817
Carlock & Applewhite, F. Brittin Clayton III, Denver,
Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellant
Jeffrey L. Huntley, County Attorney, Franklin Celico,
Assistant County Attorney, Breckenridge, Colorado, for
Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Emmy A. Langley,
Assistant Solicitor General, Denver, Colorado, for Appellee
1 This property tax appeal concerns two land parcels - one
classified as residential and one as vacant - owned by the
Bringle Family Trust (the Trust). The Trust appeals the order
of the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals (the Board)
upholding one parcel's classification as vacant, rather
than residential, land. Because the Board correctly
determined that the Trust failed to show that the vacant
parcel satisfied the contiguity requirement of section
39-1-102(14.4)(a), C.R.S. 2017, which is necessary to obtain
property tax reclassification as residential land, we affirm.
2 The Trust owns a parcel of land in Summit County, Colorado
(the residential parcel). The Trust also owns a parcel of
land (the subject parcel) located across a public road from
the residential parcel. The road between the Trust's
parcels is a public right-of-way maintained by the Bills
Ranch Subdivision Association. The parcels, depicted below,
are platted lots in the Bills Ranch Subdivision.
3 Charles Bringle is the owner representative of the Trust.
Bringle's parents purchased separate, adjacent parcels of
land - that now constitute the subject parcel - during the
1950s. Bringle's parents built a home and an outhouse on
the subject parcel around 1951. About ten years later,
Bringle's parents purchased separate, adjacent parcels
that now comprise the residential parcel. Around 1962,
Bringle's parents moved the house - but not the outhouse
- from the subject parcel to the residential parcel in order
to make additions to the house. In 1995, the subject and
residential parcels - which were six distinct parcels when
purchased - were replatted into two parcels separated by a
4 In early 2016, the Trust petitioned the Board of County
Commissioners of Summit County (the County) for an abatement
or refund of taxes pursuant to section 39-10-114, C.R.S.
2017, arguing that the subject parcel's property tax
assessment classification should be changed from vacant to
residential for tax years 2013 to 2015. During those years,
the subject parcel was taxed at a rate about three times
higher than the residential parcel's rate because of its
vacant land classification. The County denied the Trust's
petitions in March 2016.
5 In April 2016, the Trust appealed the County's
decision, petitioning the Board to reclassify the subject
parcel from vacant to residential for 2013 to 2015. The Trust
and the County disputed whether the subject parcel was
"contiguous" to the residential parcel and was
"used as a unit in conjunction with the residential
improvements located thereon" as contemplated by section
39-1-102(14.4)(a). After a hearing, the Board denied the
Trust's petition in a January 2017 order, finding against
the Trust on both issues.
6 The Trust contends that the Board erroneously denied its
petition by misconstruing section 39-1-102(14.4)(a) to
conclude that the subject parcel was not contiguous to the
residential parcel or "used as a unit in conjunction
with the residential improvements located thereon."
According to the Trust, two non-touching parcels may satisfy
section 39-1-102(14.4)(a)'s contiguity element if
"they are in close proximity and are ...