No Growth Initiative Proposed for Front Range

Feb 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

This morning I received a ‘Client Alert’ from the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck with an update about the number of citizen-initiated ballot measures being proposed in Colorado.

According to the firm, so far 257 ballot measures have been submitted for consideration for the 2019-20 election cycle, up from 185 in the previous cycle.

Highlighted in the alert is Proposed Initiative 2019-2020 #122, a measure to cap housing permits at 1% growth per year in 11 counties on the Front Range. Other key elements per Brownstein Hyatt:

  • Starting in 2023 voters in local jurisdictions could amend or repeal the cap. Inaction means the cap would remain indefinitely.
  • Slightly more housing permits would be allowed for senior housing and affordable housing.
  • Under Prop 122 local governments could adopt growth limits that are even stricter. Another wrinkle is that countywide growth limits could be adopted that would override municipal home rule authority.

To get on the November 3, 2020 state ballot proponents need to collect 124,632 valid signatures before June 5 per Brownstein Hyatt.

That’s a big lift so we’ll revisit this issue later in the spring with analysis if the measure moves forward. My quick reaction is that this is a big jobs killer and will drive housing costs up dramatically. It’s simple economics 101: limit supply and unit costs increase.

To track this issue and other citizen-initiated ballot measures visit Brownstein Hyatt’s Colorado Ballot Initiative Tracker.