Voters approve zoning measure, but reject tax limit override

Kelly Sloan, The Business Times

Grand Junction voters overwhelmingly elected to allow a trucking company to proceed with development on its riverfront property, but narrowly defeated a proposed tax limit override that would have allowed the city to keep additional revenues to fund infrastructure projects.

Referred Measure A on the ballot asked voters whether or not to uphold light industrial and industrial office zoning for two parcels Brady Trucking owns along the north side of the Colorado River near 27 1/2 and C 1/2 roads east of downtown. Had the measure failed, a long-standing dispute over zoning for the property would have gone back to the Grand Junction City Council and could have result in a different zoning.

By approving the measure by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, voters  brought an end to a five-year battle over the property. Opponents questioned whether or not industrial zoning is compatible for the riverfront area, which includes the proposed Las Colonias Park nearby.

Administrators and employees of Brady Trucking applauded the results. Passage of the measure paves the way for the oilfield trucking company, which specializes in hauling sand for hydraulic fracturing operations, to expand its Grand Junction facility. Those plans also include a 50-foot easement along the river and the construction of a biking and hiking trail. The company has already spent more than $500,000 in cleaning up the property, which at one time was the site of a rendering plant.

Several Grand Junction business groups and organizations had come out in favor of Referred Measure A and Brady’s plans for concurrent commercial and trail development of the property.

Brady officials said they were grateful for the support the company has received throughout the process.

Referred Measure B asked voters whether or not the city should be permitted to retain revenues in excess of the limits imposed by the Taxpayer Bill Of Rights (TABOR), an amendment to the state constitution. The additional revenue would have been earmarked to pay for transportation improvement projects throughout the city, including projects on 29 Road, Horizon Drive, North Avenue and a potential interchange between 29 Road and Interstate Highway 70.

The city previously received approval for a TABOR override to use funding to pay off bonds issued to finance the Riverside Parkway.

Voters defeated the measure, but by a margin of less than 2 percent.