Littleton Voters Will Have to Approve Urban Renewal

Littleton voters approved ballot measures reforming urban renewal in the City following a special election, making it the only Colorado municipality to require voter permission for urban renewal. Voters will have to approve the use of tools such as tax increment financing or eminent domain.

The initiative’s supporters, Your Littleton Your Vote, argued that Littleton doesn’t need taxpayer money to assist with economic development, and shouldn’t do so without voter consent. They also objected to the city’s decision last year to map out four zones — deemed blighted — where urban renewal dollars could be used. Opponents of the measure, which include the REALTORS, warned that Littleton would stunt its economic growth potential without ready access to these tools.

However the measure passed by a 20 percent margin. Opponents put another measure on the ballot to limit eminent domain powers hoping to convince voters to approve a less onerous measure, which was also approved. NAR contributed $30,000 to the losing effort, known as Littleton Strong. Note: Hopefully the successes of Your Littleton Your Vote won’t motivate other activists to try the same tactics in their communities. Public votes are not the best way to decide policy.

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