Castle Pines North said “no” to blight in a landslide vote on Election Night. The effort to declare portions of the city blighted failed at the …
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Castle Pines North said “no” to blight in a landslide vote on
Election Night. The effort to declare portions of the city blighted
failed at the polls, with Election Night results showing 2,915
people against the city’s effort to blight a piece of undeveloped
property. The final tally reflects more than 66 percent of the
residents disagreed with council’s decision to create an urban
renewal authority in Castle Pines North.
Opponents to the urban renewal authority issued a statement of
gratitude to residents who voted against the city’s formation of
“We want to thank the people of Castle Pines North for
demonstrating extraordinary courage in standing up to City Council
and abolishing City Council’s fiscally reckless Urban Renewal
Authority,” according to the written statement signed by .Resa
Labossiere, Deanna Merrill, Stacie Sneider.
The three were part of a resident initiative called “Blight’s
Not Right,” which embarked on a grass roots effort to reverse city
council’s May decision to declare portions of the city blighted.
The city’s action was to create an urban renewal authority as a
finance tool for future public improvements.
Covered within the blighted area was a parcel of vacant property
of more than 3,300 acres slated for development by The Canyons.
Reaction to the effort to town council’s decision was swift.
Blight’s Not Right immediately began its campaign to reverse
council’s decision, successfully petitioning for a ballot question
to let voters decide whether to declare portions of Castle Pines
North blighted. The sole opponent to the urban renewal authority on
city council was Mayor Jeff Huff.
Huff praised the public process that led to the ballot question
to abolish the urban renewal authority.
“It is obviously something people cared very deeply about,” Huff
said. “It was a controversial but very important topic. I’m glad it
got vetted through the electoral process. People who are passionate
about their future can implement change in their government. We’ve
seen that here tonight. People in Castle Pines North have taken an
active interest in their local government and I hope that
Proponents to the blight effort included a majority of city
council members who voted to approve the measure. The day after the
election, city council member John Ewing, Ward 3, confirmed the
city has discussed the future possibility of revisiting the urban
renewal effort. City council could renew the effort in two years
from now, Ewing said.
Opponents to the measure were critical of city council’s speedy
passage of the urban renewal authority. While city council met all
of the legal requirements in the process, it did not reach out to
its constituents or surrounding communities in advance of the
formal process. If council decides to make another effort at an
urban renewal authority, it will be with a different approach,
“We’ll be more proactive in communications,” Ewing said. “It’s
not possible not to be transparent. All of the books and the
meetings are open. That’s a perception issue, that’s not a real
The outcome of the election will not make a difference in the
future of the slated Canyons development, Ewing said. Council came
under fire amid claims the urban renewal authority appeared to
benefit The Canyons.
“The Canyons has said it doesn’t matter if the urban renewal
authority is there or not,” Ewing said. “(They are) going to
develop when the development market is positive.”
In addition to the backlash from its residents, the city faced a
number of potential lawsuits as a result of its decision to create
an urban renewal authority. The authority was poised to divert
future tax dollars from supporting agencies, including fire
departments and county services. Douglas County was among those
agencies that paved the way to legally protect its interest in the
increase in property values from future development.
The outcome of the election came as a relief to Douglas County
Commissioner Jack Hilbert, District 1, who discovered the morning
after the election that the residents shut down the urban renewal
“That’s amazing,” Hilbert said. “That’s a community at
More election day changes for Castle Pines (not) North
Residents of Castle Pines North opted for a name change on
Election Day, voting to change its name to the City of Castle
Pines. About 75 percent of the residents supported a measure to
drop the “North” in Castle Pines North.
“It’s great to lose the North in Castle Pines North,” Huff
Castle Pines voters also stated their preference for the Castle
Pines North Metropolitan District as the city’s water service
provider and said no to medical marijuana, voting to ban commercial
medical marijuana centers, optional premises cultivation centers
and medical marijuana infused products manufacturers with nearly 80
percent of voters supporting the ban.
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