2021 Metropolitan District Application Changes
The city is in the process of amending the City's model service plan, model intergovernmental agreement, and Chapter 66 of the City Code for metropolitan districts ('metro districts'). Click here for information on these changes.
Metropolitan Districts ("Metro Districts")
Metropolitan districts are separate entities from the city, however the City of Thornton is required per Colorado state law to approve a service plan for a proposed metropolitan district prior to the district being formed at an organizational election. Metropolitan districts are a type of Title 32 special district that, per State law, can be organized to provide any two or more of the following services:
1. Street improvements
2. Water facilities and services
3. Sanitation facilities and services
4. Park and recreation facilities
5. Traffic-related safety protection improvements
6. Transportation facilities and services
7. Television relay and transmission facilities and services
8. Mosquito control facilities and services
Metropolitan districts are established, typically by developers, to finance the infrastructure necessary to support a new subdivision. The functions of a metropolitan district can include both the construction and the ongoing operation and maintenance of public improvements. A metropolitan district has various financial powers including the power to tax and/or assess fees for the services it provides and to issue tax-exempt bonds to help pay for public improvements.
Thornton City Council must approve a metropolitan district's service plan before the organization of a district can be voted on at an organizational election. The district is also required to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the City which specifies the authorizations and limitations of the district. All service plan and intergovernmental agreement submittals for metropolitan districts in Thornton are reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 66 of the Thornton City Code. The City requires applicants to use model service plan and model intergovernmental agreement forms. The City is in the process of amending these model forms. Click here for the latest information on the changes to Thornton's model service plan and model intergovernmental agreement. The City Development Department coordinates the review of these submittals in preparation for City Council consideration.