of Assessment Appeals Case No. 68822.
Carlock & Applewhite, F. Brittin Clayton III, Denver,
Colorado, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.
Jeffrey Huntley, County Attorney, Franklin Celico, Assistant
County Attorney, Breckenridge, Colorado, for
Respondent-Appellee Board of County Commissioners.
Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Evan P. Brennan,
Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for
Respondent-Appellee Board of Assessment Appeals.
JUDGE and WELLING JUDGE concur.
CASEBOLT, JUDGE. [*]
Petitioners, Marc Hogan and Marilyn Hogan (the Hogans),
appeal the order of the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA)
denying their request to reclassify a parcel of their land as
residential for property tax purposes. We reverse the
BAA's order and remand the case for further proceedings.
[¶2] The Hogans own three connected and
contiguous parcels of land in Summit County, Colorado. They
purchased the first parcel (Lot 1) in 1983 and built a home
on it. They purchased an adjoining parcel (Lot 2) in 1988 and
subsequently built a deck extending from their home across
the boundary line onto Lot 2. In 1995, the Hogans acquired a
third adjoining parcel (Lot 3). Lot 3 is located in a
subdivision and has an underground sewer line and an unpaved
driveway installed by the original developer of the
subdivision, but otherwise remains undeveloped. The three
parcels form an " L" shape, with the Hogans'
home on Lot 1 at the top and Lot 3 at the bottom.
[¶3] The Summit County Assessor classified
both Lot 2 and Lot 3 as vacant land. The Hogans requested the
two parcels be reclassified as residential land. The County
Assessor agreed that Lot 2 qualified as residential land but
denied the request to reclassify Lot 3 as residential,
determining it to be vacant land for purposes of taxation.
[¶4] The Hogans appealed the County
Assessor's decision to the Board of County Commissioners
of Summit County (County), which upheld the County
Assessor's classification. The Hogans appealed that
determination to the BAA. After a de novo hearing, the BAA
upheld the County's classification of Lot 3 as vacant
land, relying primarily on the testimony of the County
[¶5] This appeal followed.
[¶6] The Hogans challenge the BAA's
order regarding Lot 3. They contend that all three parcels
qualify for residential classification under section
39-1-102(14.4)(a), C.R.S. 2017, which states:
" Residential land" means a parcel or contiguous
parcels of land under common ownership upon which residential
improvements are located and that is used as a unit in
conjunction with the residential improvements located
[¶7] The Hogans assert that the BAA erred in
determining that Lot 3 was not " used as a unit in
conjunction with the residential improvements." We
conclude that the BAA based its ruling on an erroneous
interpretation of " residential land."
Consequently, we reverse the BAA's order and remand the
case for redetermination under the proper interpretation of
" residential land."
Standard of Review
[¶8] Because the BAA's property
classification involves mixed questions of law and fact, we
will uphold it on appeal if it (1) has a reasonable basis in
law and (2) is supported by substantial evidence in the
record. O'Neil v. Conejos Cty. Bd. of
Comm'rs, 395 P.3d 1185, 2017 COA 30, ¶ 11.
We consult and defer to the implementing agency's
determinations, including those of the Property Tax
Administrator (PTA) and the BAA, if they accord with
statutory provisions. Boulder Cty. Bd. of Comm'rs v.
HealthSouth Corp., 246 P.3d 948, 951 (Colo. 2011).
[¶10] Although we take into account the
agency's determination, interpretation of statutes is a
question of law that we review de novo. Id. Thus,
" [w]hile we give deference to an administrative
agency's interpretation of a statute, we are not bound by
a decision that misapplies or misconstrues the law."
Fifield v. Pitkin Cty. Bd. of Comm'rs, 292 P.3d
1207, 2012 COA 197, ¶ 6 (quoting Jet Black, LLC v. Routt
Cty. Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs,165 P.3d 744, 748
(Colo.App. 2006)). Moreover, a reviewing court may set aside
a BAA decision if it " reflects a failure to abide by
the statutory scheme for ...