Avon: Voters keep power to sell land
Vail, CO Colorado
AVON, Colorado ” The town wanted more power. Voters said “no.”
Avon residents Tuesday voted 157 to 65 against giving the town power to sell or trade property without holding an election. The town charter requires voter approval before town-owned property or buildings are sold.
Councilman Dave Dantas opposed changing the charter and said he was pleased to see that residents didn’t give up their power.
“I wanted the citizens of the town to have the last say in how town land is sold,” Dantas said.
Dantas said he would have been in favor of giving the town council power to sell small pieces of property, say under an acre, without voter approval. Those pieces of land could be used to straighten and align streets, he said.
As for larger pieces of land, where a new hotel might go, citizens need to have the final vote, he said. The proposed change didn’t make a distinction between larger and smaller pieces of land.
Other town leaders had hoped the measure would pass. Mayor Ron Wolfe has said the charter, as it is now, could slow down realignments of roads and rightaways and would hinder the redevelopment of downtown and the new Main Street.
Changing the charter would have also saved taxpayers the expense of holding more elections, which can cost around $10,000 each Wolfe said.
“I think it was a well thought out and beneficial idea. It would have been a very good thing if it has passed,” Wolfe said. “But the voters got a chance to voice their opinion. Now we’ll deal with individual projects as they come up.”
Wolfe said there was a lot of misinformation spread about changing the charter, such as a group of people who said the town could sell and develop the parks and open space in Wildridge.
Protective covenants in Wildridge would require 75 percent of the homeowners to approve selling open space, he said.
“If I had to do it a different way, we’d spend a lot more time explaining to people what is possible or not possible,” Wolfe said.
Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or email@example.com.
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