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Fort Collins council to mull ballot issues’ language

FORT COLLINS — Fort Collins voters are likely to have several decisions to make at the polls on Nov. 7 besides just who will be mayor and serve on the City Council, and that council Tuesday night will discuss some of the ballot language those voters will see.

This will be the first time those offices will be filled in a November election, since Fort Collins voters chose last year to move the city’s elections from April to the first Tuesday in November in odd-numbered years.

Two ballot issues could receive final approval on Tuesday night.

One, which the council approved unanimously on first reading July 18, would amend the city charter to resolve contradictions in the city’s referendum and petition requirements.

The other, which also was unanimously approved on first reading, would amend the charter’s requirement that certain city employees must live in or near Fort Collins. The council wants to remove that requirement, allowing it to establish its own residency requirements either by ordinance or by employment agreement for those employees who report directly to the council. 

Deep in Tuesday night’s council agenda will be a discussion of whether to place on the ballot any of several city-initiated questions regarding proposed tax increases that voters would have to approve under Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

One would authorize the city to levy a 3-mill property tax to be used exclusively to fund affordable housing. Alternatively, the language could ask that the 3-mill property tax could be used “to advance the city’s goals under its 2021 Housing Strategic Plan.”

Council members also will consider a ballot issue that would raise the city’s sales and use tax rate by 0.5% “to be used exclusively for certain specified purposes. They’ll also discuss whether or not percentages of that revenue that would be used for those specific purposes would be listed in the ballot item.

Finally, they’ll discuss a ballot issue that would amend Fort Collins’ land use code to increase the occupancy allowed in residential dwellings —  the city’s “U+2” requirements.

Earlier this year, a citizen-led petition drive attempted to place an item on the ballot that would have repealed and replaced U+2 with looser occupancy rules, basing the number of adults allowed in a residence on bedroom size and number of bedrooms. That petition drive failed to get the number of signatures it needed to place the item on the ballot by the June 27 deadline.

The meeting is to begin at 6 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall West, 300 Laporte Ave., and will be streamed live on FCTV

Source: BizWest