CFRR Exec Committee Told 1% Growth Limitation a Non-Starter
Hill Poll shows ballot Initiative 66 starting off at only 36%
JUNE 6, 2018 (Denver) – The leadership committee for the campaign organized to defeat a filed ballot measure received a briefing from its pollster indicating that concern over a proposed 1% growth limitation along the Front Range may in fact be short-lived. The measure starts off with only 36% support, according to the recent findings.
Dr. David Hill, of Hill Research Consultants in Auburn, AL, presented his findings Thursday to the executive committee of Coloradans For Responsible Reform, the issue committee organized to defeat proposed Initiative 66.
“There are growing pains associated with Colorado’s red-hot economy, but voters don’t see in Initiative 66 any legitimate answers to their concerns over traffic, schools and housing availability,” said Ted Leighty, chair of the CFRR committee and CEO of the Colorado Association of Home Builders.
The measure, proposed by Daniel Hayes of Golden, is his third attempt at introducing a growth-limitation proposal, following his previous success with Golden and a stalled attempt with a proposed 1% growth limitation in Lakewood last November. With an approved ballot question from the state Title Board and a petition template approved by the Secretary of State, Hayes has an August 6 deadline to turn in almost 99,000 valid signatures of registered voters in Colorado in order to secure a spot on this November’s ballot.
“He (Hayes) best give up now,” said Rick Reiter, Colorado’s preeminent ballot issues expert hired to defeat the measure. “It’s already the first week of June and the state record for collecting the minimum number of signatures to qualify is eight weeks. Plus, starting off with numbers like these looks to be a complete waste of his time.” Initiative 66, a statutory measure, would mandate a growth moratorium the day following the election in the top 10 populated counties along the Front Range. Then starting January 1, and for the next two years, those 10 counties would be restricted from issuing residential building permits beyond 1% of the total number all housing units in that county. Thereafter, county and municipal voters decide the status of building permits beyond that 1% limit.
“I am not surprised Initiative 66 is struggling,” Reiter said. “We already devote two and a half pages of ballot just for the retention of judges. Imagine looking at your ballot in 2019 and seeing two and a half pages more of building permit applications.”
The results of Dr. Hill’s survey, testing the ballot language as it would appear on the November ballot, showed only 36% of likely voters supporting the measure this November, with 50% opposed. The findings are similar to a poll conducted earlier in the year by Joe Goode, of American Strategies in Washington, D.C., a national pollster for the Colorado Association of Realtors, which holds a seat on the CFRR executive committee. Goode’s testing of the ballot language in March reflected 42% support against 53% opposed.
times the measure has been shown to be a terrible idea for Colorado,” stated Stefka Fanchi, who represents Housing Colorado on the CFRR committee. “Colorado’s labor force is experiencing a severe housing shortage throughout the metro area. This measure not only escalates housing prices beyond what is already unaffordable to a quarter of our workforce, but likely eliminates apartments and condos as future housing choices in Colorado.“
For the past 20 years, business, labor, nonprofit and civic organizations have united under the Coloradans For Responsible Reform (CFRR) banner to support or oppose ballot measures having a major impact on Colorado’s economic vitality and quality of life. The building of broad, diverse coalitions and the use of strong, no-nonsense messaging have characterized those efforts. In 2005, CFRR formed the largest coalition Colorado has ever seen to gain voter approval of Referendum C. By 2010, The New York Times described the nonpartisan CFRR coalition opposing Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101 as “the most powerful group in Colorado.”