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Arvada ballot initiative halted

Wheat Ridge court case undercuts plans

Posted

The collection of signatures to place the Protect Arvada Taxpayers charter amendment initiative on the city’s ballot has been suspended.

Last month a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court struck down a Wheat Ridge voter-approved initiative similar to the one proposed in Arvada.

“In light of the recent court decision that clearly affects the successful prospects for the implementation of the Protect Arvada Taxpayer charter amendment, we have decided to put a hold on our signature collection for the ballot petition” the group said in a statement, which decried the court ruling.

The Arvada group had proposed changing the city charter to require voter approval for any tax subsidy deal of more than $2.5 million to a private business and for sale of any city land valued at more than $1 million. The initiative was set to be voted on some time after the November election if enough area residents signed the petition.

The Wheat Ridge initiative passed in 2015, known as Issue 300, also required voter approval for any project requesting a tax increment subsidy of $2.5 million or more. The Wheat Ridge City Council is scheduled to discuss whether or not to appeal the court ruling at its council meeting on Nov. 9.

In her ruling, Judge Margie L. Enquist said that part of the reason to strike down the Wheat Ridge initiative would be to avoid a “ripple effect” of surrounding communities seeking to place similar restrictions on city’s urban renewal authority.

The Arvada initiative was sparked by a $30 sale of public land to developer Trammel Crow as part of the 8.25-acre mixed-use development and next-door RTD parking garage at Wadsworth Boulevard and 56th Avenue.

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