Sound policy, consistency and predictability help businesses thrive. That’s why the Fort Collins Area Chamber examines policy issues in depth and takes a stand to protect the interests of businesses and their employees. This year, we are taking a stance on one critical ballot issue. Below is what you need to know about this ballot issue and why it matters to the business community.
Proposed Citizen-Initiated Ordinance
(relating to the former Hughes Stadium property)
The Chamber is recommending a NO vote on this ballot issue.
The Hughes Stadium property in Fort Collins has been the center of much conversation the last four years. Citizens have varying opinions about what should be done with this 161-acre property. This ballot issue directs the City of Fort Collins to rezone and acquire the former Hughes Stadium property for parks, recreation, and open lands, natural areas, and wildlife rescue and restoration. The ballot language also directs very specific action by the City and provides legal standing to any registered elector in Fort Collins should the City be non-compliant with the ballot language directives.
Why We Oppose it:
As a Chamber of Commerce, we have long stated that private property rights should be honored and protected. Our Where We Stand document, which outlines the Chamber’s positions on issues important to our members and the economic vitality of the Fort Collins region, clearly states that “the Chamber supports the rights of the individual property owner and no government body should be allowed to use its regulatory powers to take private property or regulatory actions like down-zoning.”
We believe that this ballot issue directly violates this most basic right in a free society by forcing an unwilling seller to have their property acquired by an unwilling buyer. The precedence that this kind of action sets is extremely concerning and certainly inspires the question – is your property next?
Additionally, we are concerned that the ballot language encourages the placement of two important community partners (the City and CSU) in a position of the unintended consequence of never-ending, expensive legal challenges by any registered elector in the City.
The Chamber believes that this ballot issue is bad public policy and that voters should vote “NO.”
FULL BALLOT TEXT:
Shall the City enact an ordinance requiring the City Council of the City of Fort Collins to immediately rezone upon passage of the ordinance a 164.56-acre parcel of real property formerly home to the Hughes Stadium from the Transition District to the Public Open Lands District, and requiring the City to acquire the property at fair market value to use said property for parks, recreation, and open lands, natural areas, and wildlife rescue and restoration, and further prohibiting the City from de-annexing, ceasing acquisition efforts or subsequently rezoning the property without voter approval of a separate initiative referred to the voters by City Council, and granting legal standing to any registered elector in the City to seek injunctive and/or declaratory relief in the courts related to City noncompliance with said ordinance?
City of Fort Collins
City of Fort Collins Election Information
The Fort Collins Coloradoan
Please note: The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide education, information and analysis of local issues and candidates specifically for its members. The opinions expressed in this website are meant to give Chamber members a perspective that advocates for the business community and the city’s overall quality of life, and to give members insight into the potential impacts of local issues and candidates.