Uplands foes missed the deadline to submit signatures for a referendum to take the development to the voters.
According to Andy Le, a spokesperson for the city of Westminster, the City Clerk’s office did not receive any signatures from Citizens for Open Space, the group collecting names for the move. Their deadline was Feb. 9 and they needed 8,049 valid signatures from Westminster residents, said Karen Ray.
“It is with a heavy heart that we are reporting the referendum to reverse the Westminster City Council decision on Uplands was unable to reach the 8050-signature goal in 30 days,” said Karen Ray in an email to Save the Farm supporters.
Ray contrasted Westminster with the state of Colorado regarding referendums.
“The ‘home ruled’ City of Westminster has a much higher bar for referendum than the State of Colorado does for success in referendum. The city requirement is 10% of all registered voters must be collected in 30-days. This in contrast to the state, which requires 5% of those voting in the last election in 90 days,” she said.
She also said that there is a lower signature requirement and longer time period to gather signatures to recall a city council member than it is to achieve a referendum.
“Westminster is a home-rule municipality, and our home rule Charter provides for the manner of exercising referendum powers as to our municipal legislation,” Le said.
The charter says that ten percent of the number of persons who were registered electors of the City as of the last election. The deadline is 30 days after a referenda petition is filed.
Le said there may be confusion regarding state and local laws.
“We have seen references to Article V, Section 1, paragraph 3 of the State Constitution, but it is important to note that it addresses referenda for acts of the state general assembly,” he said.
City Council voted 5-2 to approve the Uplands proposal on Dec. 20 and this effort comes to counter that decision.
Developer Oread Capital hopes to work on the 235-acre project, designed to convert the large open space surrounding the church into Uplands, a massive mixed-use development, with housing options ranging from single-family homes to apartments and townhomes as well as parks and commercial areas. The project would take several years to complete, ultimately having room for 2,350 dwelling units in a mix of housing types.
Save the Farm isn’t finished.
“We are still fighting and will send an update soon on what activities are planned very soon,” the email said.