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ARCHIVED  October 8, 1999

CML, CCI back land-use issue

With growth as the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters statewide, a legislative proposal expected to garner widespread support would encourage – and in some cases require – city-county coordination for annexation and other land-use matters.

The proposed legislation, for example, would promote the goal of having cities be kept compact, or densely developed, to preserve open space and lessen sprawl by encouraging new urban development to be in or adjacent to cities.

It also would strengthen the municipal authority to challenge formation or expansion of special districts and similar entities in unincorporated areas within a reasonable distance from the municipality where the formation of such districts may lead to the inefficient duplication of services or the promotion of leap-frog development.

“The legislature will respond positively to it if it is a pretty well-thought-out proposal. That’s my spin on it,´ said Sam Mamet, associate director of the Colorado Municipal League, a statewide organization of 263 cities and towns and a legislative advocate. CML and Colorado Counties Inc. are two agencies behind the proposal, which, Mamet said, a number of prominent Republican legislators are lined up to sponsor.

Both CCI and CML representatives are among those who have spoken to an interim legislative committee formed to look at growth and land-use issues; Mamet testified on municipal views regarding land use, specifically that local governments should be given the tools to regulate growth. The legislative committee has been meeting regularly since July and is expected to meet through mid-October.

CML and CCI themselves have been meeting regularly for several months to look at land-use issues from the perspective of local officials and establish an agreed-upon agenda to present to the Legislature.

“Both groups want to do something about it, which has been the interesting part of this discussion,” Mamet said. “Five years ago, I could not have organized meetings like this.”

In the past, city and county officials would just “sit down and yell at each other,” he noted. But with the land-use debate in the statehouse, it makes more sense to have local officials set the tone of the debate instead of reacting to the debate, Mamet said.

Jeanie Straub is a staff writer for The Boulder County Business Report, a sister publication.

With growth as the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters statewide, a legislative proposal expected to garner widespread support would encourage – and in some cases require – city-county coordination for annexation and other land-use matters.

The proposed legislation, for example, would promote the goal of having cities be kept compact, or densely developed, to preserve open space and lessen sprawl by encouraging new urban development to be in or adjacent to cities.

It also would strengthen the municipal authority to challenge formation or expansion of special districts and similar entities in unincorporated areas within a reasonable distance…

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