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Based on this error, I'm guessing you're trying to build ROS 2 Dashing from source (despite the question being tagged melodic). Note that if you build the last distro: ROS Eloquent, you won't face the issue.

Can you confirm the version of colcon-ros you are using (you can run colcon version-check) ? How did you install colcon ?

It seems that some versions of colcon-ros had a bug in that regard that has been recently fixed. To get the fix you need to be using colcon-ros 0.3.17, that is currently only available from pip, the deb version hasn't hit the main repository yet.