Council Votes to Oppose Amendment 74 on November Ballot

At a Special Meeting of Council on September 18, Council voted 5-2 in support of Item 2b Resolution No. 2018-189 to Oppose Amendment 74, Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation.  Voting for the resolution were Council Members Beacom, Castriotta, Kreeger, Shaff and Shelton.  Voting against the resolution but stating that they were personally opposed to Amendment 74 were Council Members Groom and Law- Evans.  The resolution had been introduced by Council Member Castriotta.

Council proceedings for the evening were irregular as the 6 p.m. Special Session was halted at about 6:20 pm to go forward with the Study Session.  Several residents were there to speak around 6 p.m. and a few returned at 11 p.m. to speak in favor of this resolution opposing Amendment 74, including Laurie Anderson, Jennifer Dulles and Jean Lim (author).  Laurie Anderson provided Council Members with a document titled “Save Our Neighborhoods” which can be found here.  Jennifer Dulles and Jean Lim referred to the deceptive nature of Amendment 74, as it would not help homeowners who are mineral owners and would have broad implications where Broomfield would be subject to frivolous lawsuits after enacting common-sense zoning, licensing and regulations in support of community planning.

In a lengthy discussion which is likely to be continued, Council Members Beacom, Groom, Law-Evans and Shelton objected to any resolution in which Council takes a position on a ballot issue as trying to tell citizens how to vote.  Those were the reasons cited by Council Members Groom and Law-Evans for voting against the resolution.  Council Members Beacom and Shelton both referred to the large financial adverse impact that Amendment 74 would have on Broomfield in deciding to vote for the resolution.  This resolution, along with two other resolutions related to November statewide ballot issues, had already been continued from the September 11 Council meeting after discussion about procedural matters.

Related to resident concerns about oil and gas development, the introduction to this Council resolution stated that “Under 74, a law or regulation that results in any decrease in the fair market value of a property, as opposed to the current standard of an almost total loss in value or use, becomes a regulatory taking. For example, if a government limits natural gas development, the owner of the mineral rights could file a claim for the reduced value of his or her property.”

Amendment 74 is a constitutional amendment. Under Colorado’s Constitution, this measure would need 55% of the vote to pass, and 55% of the vote to later be repealed.

Amendment 74 was first proposed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and the Colorado Farm Bureau.  COGA interest is connected to its desire to further limit the actions of local government to regulate oil and gas development by holding compensation lawsuits over the head of local government.  The Colorado Municipal League and the Denver Metro Chamber oppose Amendment 74.