Write Council to Support Resolution Against Initiative 108/Amendment 74

In addition to the news that the CDP received final approval after the City accepted Extraction’s Submittal Letter, there are other oil and gas items on the September 11 City Council agenda.  Please consider writing to Council in support of Item 17b Draft Resolution No. 2018-189 Adopting a Resolution to Oppose Initiative #108, Which Amends the Colorado Constitution to Limit State and Local Government Regulatory Authority.  You can email City Council at: council@broomfieldcitycouncil.org

The proposed resolution states that Initiative 108 [also referred to as Amendment 74 for the ballot] would “require the government, i.e., the taxpayers, to compensate private property owners for virtually any decrease in the fair market value of their property (even if temporary or incidental) traceable to any government law or regulation.” It also refers to other states where similar initiatives failed after they were extremely costly for these states.  The resolution includes details that, “The fiscal impact for similar language in the State of Washington was estimated at $2 billion for state agencies and $1.5 billion for county governments over the first six years, and in Oregon, there were $4 billion in claims before takings initiative was repealed two years after its passage.”

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 Under Colorado’s Constitution, this measure would need 55% of the vote to pass, and 55% of the vote to later be repealed.

This amendment 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 this amendment, consistent with the proposed Broomfield Council resolution.

According to Sara Loflin of League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans (LOGIC), “Amendment 74 [previously 108] will have broad sweeping, unintended consequences that only cost Colorado taxpayers and raise our property taxes.  It would have our neighborhoods held for ransom to the highest bidder and serves to keep citizen voices out of all government decision making.”  Ms. Loflin further states, “This amendment means that any local or state government land use, transportation, development, or regulatory decision would be subject to lawsuits – even in common sense decisions such as denying zoning or licensing to liquor stores proposed beside schools.”

LOGIC provided a one-page document titled “Save Our Neighborhoods” which can be found here.  You can also find more information on their website at www.saveourcolorado.com or they can be contacted at info@coloradologic.org.

Also on the Council agenda is Item 11 b Public Hearing – Ordinance No. 2069 Amending Certain Sections of Chapter 1-12-020 of the Broomfield Municipal Code Relating to General Penalty – Second and Final Reading.  Ordinance 2069 raises the top fine for a violation of the Broomfield Municipal Code from $1000 to $2650, the maximum allowed by the State.  This will apply to all parties but was especially brought forward to try to enhance penalties for future violations at oil and gas developments in Broomfield.  It was adopted on first reading on June 12, 2018.

Three amendment oil and gas regulations which had been considered previously are not on the agenda. These include a procedure for residents to report nuisance complaints about oil and gas developments, a request from the City to the COGCC for a public hearing on relevant Form 2A and Form 2 drilling permits, and an increase to 1,320 foot setbacks for new surface developments from existing oil and gas wells.