Latest housing petition protests find fault with circulators | AspenTimes.com

Latest housing petition protests find fault with circulators

Janet Urquhart

A pair of citizen initiatives put forward by opponents of Burlingame Ranch are invalid because the individuals who circulated the petitions failed to properly sign them, according to protests filed Wednesday with the Aspen city clerk’s office.J.E. DeVilbiss, former district court judge, is identified as the protester. He was also behind protests filed Monday that challenged the validity of the initiatives. Yesterday’s “supplemental” protests focused on a technical shortcoming with the petitions.According to state law, the protests note, following the signature pages of each petition, an attached, notarized affidavit must follow, signed by the individual who circulated them. The affidavit must include the name of the circulator and his or her address, including the municipality and county in which he or she resides.According to the protests, the circulators’ county of residence is absent on most of the petitions, as is the municipality of residence on some sections of the petition.Multiple pages of both petitions are invalid as a result, leaving just 38 valid signatures on one of the initiatives and 40 on the other, according to the protests. Each petition requires 736 signatures – 15 percent of registered city voters – for placement on a ballot.The City Council had been prepared to place the initiatives on the May 3 ballot until Monday’s initial protests were filed. The council approved a resolution postponing an election on the measures until the protests are resolved; a hearing must be held by April 5.The initiatives, put forward by opponents of the city’s controversial Burlingame Ranch worker housing project, aren’t specifically related to Burlingame but propose new policies that would govern the city’s development of housing.One proposed ordinance 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.The protests filed Monday claim both measures contain elements that are not legal subjects for the initiative process.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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