West Steamboat annexation petition lacks signatures to trigger citywide vote
This story was updated at 9:15 p.m. Monday, March 18, to include comments from Brynn Grey.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Franklin confirmed a petition that would send the annexation of 191 acres west of current city limits to a citywide vote did not receive enough verified signatures to get on the ballot.
The Let’s Vote Committee now has two days from when members receive a copy of the certificate of insufficiency by registered mail to declare whether it intends to amend the petition.
“At the very least, we will be amending the petition,” Let’s Vote Committee member Rich Levy wrote in an email to Steamboat Pilot & Today. “We are exploring all options so that all voices are heard.”
After the committee formally seeks an amendment, it will have 10 days to cure the petition to account for unverified signatures. The committee also can request Steamboat Springs City Council review the clerk’s determination.
Of the 1,239 signatures on the petition, 835 signatures were determined to be valid. The petition needed 1,078 verified signatures — 10 percent of the total number of registered voters in Steamboat’s 2017 municipal election — to force the referendum process.
The annexation ordinance, which was passed by City Council in February, would annex land to be developed into three neighborhoods containing single-family homes and townhomes built by Brynn Grey Partners.
“There is a housing crisis in Steamboat, and locals with critical jobs — teachers, law enforcement, nurses and EMTs — can’t afford to stay here,” Brynn Grey Managing Partner Melissa Sherburne wrote in an email to Steamboat Pilot & Today. “For over 3 years, we have worked with the city, the Steamboat Springs School District, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, community leaders, business owners and locals to plan a development that will provide the opportunity for members of the workforce to stay in Steamboat, raise families and give back to the community. There is strong support for this solution, and the difficulty getting signatures underscores that.”
According to the clerk’s letter accompanying the certificate of insufficiency, signatures were nixed for the following reasons:
- 165 signatures were from people who were not registered voters in Routt County.
- 115 signatures had an address that did not match the voter record.
- 112 signatures were determined to have been altered to include city and county information in the address section, based on a comparison of handwriting, location and spacing. Because the person who circulated the petition did not declare the alterations in an affidavit, Colorado law mandates the entire sections of the petition, including these signatures, are invalid, according to the letter.
- Seven signatures were illegible.
- Three signatures were duplicate signatures.
- Two signatures contained identical names and addresses.
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