This November Longmont residents will decide the fate of ballot question 300, which would prohibit fracking within the City of Longmont. The Board of Directors of the Longmont Association of REALTORS® has voted to oppose this ballot question because of the implication regarding property rights.
The Longmont Association of REALTORS® believes in the sanctity of private property rights. Colorado law is based on the concept of a “split estate” in which surface rights and subsurface rights are owned by different parties. In these situations, mineral rights are considered the dominant estate, meaning they take precedence over other rights associated with the property.1 Therefore, it is counter to the beliefs of LAR to support any proposition that would impact a right under the law, be it a property right, mineral right or water right. Ballot Question 300 would deny the owner of mineral rights to lawfully exercise their right.
In addition, Governor John Hickenlooper has said that if Ballot Question 300 should pass, the State would likely sue the City of Longmont for implementing a charter amendment that is contradicted by Colorado law. This could cost the City thousands of dollars, impacting the City’s ability to deliver services to the citizens of Longmont.
Finally, LAR’s Board of Directors supports good public policy. Asking the electorate to make decisions that should belong to the City Council is misguided. The Longmont Association of REALTORS® trusts the City Council to make such decisions after careful and thoughtful review.