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I figure nothing better to get people out of the woodwork than to bring up politics! I'm wondering how everyone feels about Ammendment 24 (Growth Initiative). So please enlighten me. Thanks

Jeremy
(a wannabe skibum)
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I'm not really familiar with it... if it's pro growth, though, chances are that I support it.

-Hipkiddo
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Ammendment 24 is an anti-growth ammendment, billed as a solution to contain urban sprawl. I suppose we need look no farther than Boulder to see how this ammendment works. Many people that work in Boulder live in Layfette and Longmont because they can't afford to live in Boulder. Will someone remind me to buy several properties in Denver before November 7th so that I can sell them to the highest bidder after the election. It will be short term capiital gains, but it could be worth it.

~~paul
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I know next to nothing about Amendment 24, but Paul's comment about Boulder's legislation against urban sprawl raises some questions in my mind.

Let's assume that anti-sprawl legislation preserves farmland around a city but raises property values inside the city. Newcomers find it expensive to move in. The city grows vertically, not horizontally.

Suppose further that the lack of anti-sprawl legislation results in Los Angeles-style sprawl, eliminates farms and open space, and degrades everybody's environment. Property values remain relatively low and affordable for newcomers, who pour in until all open space is gone. Then the city begins to grow vertically. Property values increase, but they never catch up.

Doesn't this imply that in the end we have a choice between two kinds of vertical cities: one with green space, the other without? Property values and quality of life will be higher if the first choice is taken.

There are real life examples of these two kinds of cities: compare Den Haag (The Hague) in the Netherlands to Houston, Texas, for example. Both are populous cities near a seacoast, but there the resemblance stops.

This suggests to me that property values are kept artificially low by the absence of anti-sprawl statutes, and that property owners in these cities are being taken to the cleaners while the environment degrades around them.

Just a thought.
Loren
(living in Carbondale, not Boulder)
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RE: Amendment 24

The product warning comes first: The following will not apply to all of you, but those of you who have moved to Colorado need to put on your steel-toed boots.

It never ceases to amaze me that those most vocal about controlling growth in this state are those who voluntarily relocated here. They are essentially saying, "I'm here, now lock the door!" There is only one way to to control growth; prevent more people from moving here, and that is legally impossible.

The goal of the backers of Amendment 24 is to prevent urban sprawl by preventing the conversion of land from agricultural use to residential and commercial use. It can't be done economically, so By Gawd it'll be done by fiat.

Does this mean I want to see houses from the foothills to Kansas? No, I'd really like to see the Front Range communities look like they did in 1965. But I don't have the money to buy out everyone whose moved here since then.

People will continue to move here because it is still a wonderful place to live, in spite of the sprawl and traffic congestion. When they come, they'll be just like everyone else and try to buy a single family residence. Why is it that the price of SFRs have risen so much in the last ten years? More demand than supply. The farmers can't be faulted for selling their land when it allows them to realize more profit than they ever dreamed of receiving by farming. I'd say that's a pretty darned good investment (that's why we're Fools, remember?).

Amendment 24 says that citizens, those who've lived here long enough to vote, will vote whether to allow newcomers to have SFRs. That's a chance I wish I'd had in 1973 when I became elligible to vote, although at that time I wouldn't have had the presience to vote against letting so many more people move here.

People will move to Colorado as long as they can make a resonable living. Why should the year they make the move determine whether they can buy a house? Boulder and Golden are prime example of what housing growth controls will do. Both cities allow only a small number of building permits each year; far fewer than the number of families wanting to live in either place. What has happened? The prices of SFRs is far higher in those two cites than anywhere else in the metro area. Those cities have locked their tax coffers closed. The new arrivals are building in Arvada, Louisville, and Superior. Shopping centers and the attendent sales tax revenues are following the people. Boulder has considered a vehicle tax on non-Boulder residents; "come to work here, but walk in." Boulder is asking its citizens to approve a tax increase so the city can provide "Affordable Housing" for the workers who can't afford to buy into the inflated housing market and don't want to walk into Boulder to work.

Preserving Open Space (God, I hate that term, but that's another topic) is a worthy endeavor, but I believe the best way to accomplish it is to allow the profession planners to do their jobs. This is one issue that I don't trust everyone with a voter registration card to vote intelligently (see above comment about voting in 1973). If you don't like the results of the plans, change the people who hire the planners; the County Commissioners and City Councils. Also volunteer to be on your local Planning Commision to have a voice in the process.

As to how you plan to vote on Amendment 24, just think about where you would be voting today if this amendment had been adopted in 1960. Would you be voting in Colorado, or another state?

Steven
Just my opinion.
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Steven,

Great viewpoint from a native (or if no a native, at least a long time resident!). As a "newbie" here myself, I get the impression that the problem of "how to mange growth" will continue to grow at least as fast as those SFRs are going up all around my apartment complex.

But what's the answer?? A24 seems a bit extreme to me (while remebering that the $$$$ behind all those "No on 24" commercials is coming from the big developers). But there's gotta be a solution somewhere between "no growth controls" (El Paso County the past 15 years, it appears) and the "max growth control" contained in A24.

Personally, I think growth control is a county issue, not a state issue -- although you may need multi-county cooperation in the Denver Metro area. Your suggestion to control the Planning Commisions thru the ballot box speaks right to my heart..........but I'm not sure voters realize how powerful they can be if they just show up @ the polls!

YodaCo
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YodaCo,

An excellent observation in the last sentence of your post (#949). I empathize with your frustrations evidenced in your post # 948. Not to defend the decisions about the intersections on Powers Blvd., but again it goes to citizen participation. Not to brag, but I was involved in the Northwest Quadrant Feasibility Study (with about 100 others) which developed goals for improving transportation west of I-25, south of US 36, east of CO 93, and north of US 6. The opportunities for participation are there, but they aren't publicized on the 10:00 news or the comic strip in the newspapers.

I believe that Amendment 24 is a product of those who have (so far) lost in the political arena, trying to get their way by appealing to and counting on an emotional response with little investigation and education on the part of the general population. You've got to give them credit for persistance in a cause in which they firmly believe, and for their participation. I also believe they are wrong.

Steven
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my #949: Your suggestion to control the Planning Commisions thru the ballot box speaks right to my heart..........but I'm not sure voters realize how
powerful they can be if they just show up @ the polls!


ColoradoAggie: An excellent observation in the last sentence of your post (#949).

My frustration comes from, at least in part, from "living local," but "voting absentee" (in another state).

Sometimes I wish military people could vote on local issues while still maintaining "voting rights" in their home state for the federal level offices. However Coloradans vote on #24, I'll be watching......and wishing I could throw my vote in too!

BTW: Your own observation that " The opportunities for participation are there, but they aren't publicized on the 10:00 news or the comic strip in the newspapers. is very true, sadly!
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