May ballot issues on council’s plate
A pair of citizen initiatives intertwined with the debate over Burlingame Ranch will go before the Aspen City Council on Monday for placement on the May 3 ballot.Conspicuously absent from the council’s agenda, however, is a referendum on the annexation of the Bar/X Ranch – a de facto referendum on the controversial housing project itself.Citizens are currently circulating a referendum petition to force a vote on the annexation, but the timing of the process means the issue isn’t likely to appear on the ballot for the city’s regular spring election unless the council puts it there. Council members have indicated they may want to put the referendum on the May 3 ballot rather than hold a special election on the matter later in the summer. Mayor Helen Klanderud was surprised to find the referendum was not among the council’s action items on Monday’s agenda.”I think that’s still on the table,” she said Thursday. City attorney John Worcester confirmed Friday he has prepared a resolution to place the annexation referendum on the ballot. The council often adds action items to its agenda on the night of a meeting and could do so with the referendum.The two initiatives, put forward through citizen-circulated petitions, don’t address Burlingame specifically, but they could affect the project, as well as other future city housing developments.One 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.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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