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Parking Zone Petition
|SPECIAL NOTE: Ballot language for the Jan. 24, 2023 special election is posted on the Municipal Election page. Information related to the history of the downtown parking initiative is posted below. |
During the summer of 2022, a citizen-led petition was circulated, asking to modify Windsor's zoning map that would add a subsection to Chapter 16, Article I of the current Municipal Code, with respect to the creation of a new "permanent parking" zone within the Central Business District zone.
To understand this complicated matter, there is information provided below. Additional supplemental pages and documents are published on the following pages:
Petition Submittal Timeline
The petition form was submitted to the Town Clerk on May 26, 2022, starting the 5-day clock for approval. The petition was approved by the Town Clerk on June 1, 2022, and the circulation time started with a deadline of August 29, 2022.
Petition sections with signatures were submitted on July 28, starting the 30-day clock for the Town Clerk to determine sufficiency. On August 29, a letter was sent to proponents deeming the petition sufficient with 2,255 signatures verified.
A list of dates, statutes, and actions is available for public review.
Resolution for Ballot
On Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, the Windsor Town Board was presented the Ordinance as contained in the petition. The Town Board did not adopt the ordinance, and instead, it approved Resolution No. 2022-49, which referred the proposed ballot measure to Windsor's voters. The Resolution directed that there would be a special election held Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.
The ballot will read:
SHALL THE TOWN OF WINDSOR MUNICIPAL CODE BE AMENDED AS FOLLOWS?
Section 1. The Official Zoning District Map of the Town of Windsor be amended to add a "Permanent Parking" zone district as indicated and labeled "PP" on the map below.
Section 2. Chapter 16, Article I, Section 16-1-10 is amended by adding to the table of zoning districts the following row:
|PP||Subarea of CB||CB||Central Business|
Section 3. The table of zoning districts should add the following footnote below the last row:
*The PP zoning district was added by a citizen initiative duly adopted in November of 2022.
Section 4. Chapter 16, Article I, is amended by adding a new Section 16-1-115 as follows:
Sec. 16-1-115. - Permanent Parking (PP district).
(a) Purpose. The purpose of the PP zone district is to preserve:
(1) Permanent parking within the CB district; and
(2) Vehicular and pedestrian access to the parking areas and businesses for commercial and recreational activities.
(b) Lot Development Standards.
(1) The PP zone district development will be permanently restricted to paved, striped parking following Town standards for spacing and ADA compliance.
(2) Areas within the PP zone district with shapes of square footage not capable of being developed into parking may be developed with open space, walking paths, art, or seating.
(3) Portions of the PP zone district may be developed as necessary to provide for vehicular and pedestrian access to the parking areas and for commercial activities such as pickup and delivery to businesses, or trash services.
(c) Use regulations. The PP zone district will only be used for parking and access as set forth in subsection (b) of this Section.
Section 2. Setting Ballot Title and Content. For purposes of § 31-11-111, C.R.S., this resolution shall serve to set the title and content of the ballot issue set forth herein and the ballot title for such question shall be the text of the question itself. Any petition to contest the form or content of t he ballot title may be filed with the District Court and a copy served on the Town Clerk within five days after the title of the ballot issue is set by the Town Board upon adoption of this Resolution.
Section 3. Conduct of Election. The officers and employees of the Town are hereby authorized and directed to take all action necessary or appropriate to effectuate the provisions of this Resolution and the folding of a mail ballot special election on January 24, 2023.
Citizen-Initiated Protest and Summary of Findings
On Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, Hearing Officer Karen Goldman rendered her written determination of a protest filed by a Windsor resident seeking to prevent a citizen-initiated ordinance from proceeding to the ballot. The Hearing Officer’s determination follows a half-day hearing held Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. This process is allowed by statute to assure the electoral process supporting citizen rights of self-government is implemented with full rights of participation for those in favor and opposed.
The protest sought to invalidate the petition and the Ordinance, thus preventing the Ordinance from reaching the voters. The resident’s protest challenged certain procedural steps, challenged the legal basis of the Ordinance, and challenged the legal effect of the Ordinance. Specifically, the protest alleged:
- The Ordinance will result in a taking of property value without compensation, and without the procedural steps required for a public taking of property;
- The Petition and Ordinance violate constitutional “single-subject” and “clear statement” requirements, thus raising the potential the voters will not fully understand the probable effects of the Ordinance in practice;
- The Ordinance is not valid municipal legislation, in that it isolates the parcels by “spot zoning”, and subjects the parcels to special treatment in violation of the Colorado Constitution;
- The Ordinance re-zones the parcels from their current Central Business designation (and the multiple uses by right applicable to Central Business zoning) to a single-use zoning designation without basic due process for the owner (notice, a hearing before an impartial decision-maker and a right to judicial review);
- The Petition was submitted without the statutorily-required certification of compensation paid to Petition circulators.
On September 18, 2022, the Hearing Officer denied the protest. The Hearing Officer’s full determination is available on the Town’s website, but can be summarized as follows:
- The protest raised legal issues outside of the scope of the Hearing Officer’s statutory authority;
- The protest raised issues that are not ripe for decision unless and until the voters approve the Ordinance;
- Technical defects in required paperwork are not sufficient grounds to reject the entire petition.
State law provides that any party who disagrees with an administrative decision by a local government may file suit in the District Court for judicial review of the decision. The deadline for a District Court filing is 28 days following the Hearing Officer’s determination.