A quick explanation of Neighborhoods ballot issue - Kimman Harmon

Kimman Harmon: A quick explanation of ballot issue

POSTED:   05/07/2015 07:10:44 PM MDT

Daily Camera LTE

In response to Editorial Advisory Board writer Stu Stuller’s apparent misunderstanding of the Neighborhoods’ Right to Vote initiative (“From the Editorial Advisory Board: Boulder ballot issues,” Daily Camera, May 2), here’s a quick explanation:

•Let’s say the city’s planning department pushes through a land-use change to upzone a particular neighborhood zoning within the city, say, RL-2 zoning.

•It would go forward in all RL-2 zoned neighborhoods in Boulder.

•But if one of those neighborhoods objected strongly enough, to where 10 percent of that neighborhood’s voters signed a petition calling for a referendum within that neighborhood, that neighborhood, and that neighborhood only, would get a referendum on the issue.

•Then, all the voters in that neighborhood would have an opportunity to vote on the upzoning proposal, only in relation to their neighborhood.

•If a majority of that neighborhood’s voters rejected the upzoning proposal, it would not go into effect, in that neighborhood.

•That neighborhood’s vote would only apply to that neighborhood. It would not, as Stuller incorrectly stated, affect all (or even any) other parts of the city.

•That’s what is so appealing about the initiative: it gives all neighborhoods a choice. If other neighborhoods share Stuller’s personal conclusion that policies from the city’s density-driven planning department will “benefit” them, they’d simply go along with the proposals. No action would be required. The upzoning policies would go in effect everywhere but the neighborhood that overturns it by a majority vote within that neighborhood.

•I really wish that we didn’t have to go to these measures to keep what should be kept; that we could trust the powers that be to do the right thing. And so that is why I support the Neighborhood’s Right to Vote initiative. And let’s keep the discussion to what the initiative actually states.

Kimman Harmon