Hearing set on petition protests | AspenTimes.com

Hearing set on petition protests

Janet Urquhart

A hearing that could determine the fate of two initiative petitions put forward by opponents of Burlingame Ranch has been scheduled Saturday, April 2 at Aspen City Hall.

City Clerk Kathryn Koch said she will ask the City Council to appoint an outside hearing officer to preside over the 9 a.m. protest hearing.

The Saturday date was the only one that proved workable, given the April 5 deadline by which the city must conduct a hearing on the protests filed against both initiative petitions, Koch said.

J.E. DeVilbiss, a former district court judge who is seeking election to the City Council this spring, filed protests challenging both initiative petitions last week. He has challenged both the validity of the two initiatives and suggested the petitions be invalidated based on a technical flaw.

According to his protests, both initiatives contain elements that aren’t legal subjects for an initiative. In addition, petition circulators failed to include all the required information on signed affidavits that must be attached to pages of the petitions.

The initiatives propose a pair of ordinances that had been slated for the May 3 ballot until DeVilbiss filed the protests, leaving the fate of the measures in limbo.

One initiative, if voters approve it, would require voter approval of city housing developments of more than a certain size or amount of public subsidy; the other would prohibit the city from entering into preannexation or annexation agreements that assure development outcomes or waive land-use requirements.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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