Colorado Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal From Housing Activists Who Claimed Inaccurate Election Guidance Doomed Their Ballot Initiative
Activists in Boulder, Colorado, wanted to eliminate their city’s restrictions on unrelated people living together. Unfortunately, city officials and the state Supreme Court have prevented their initiative from being on the ballot come November.
In late August, the Supreme Court had initially agreed to hear an appeal from Boulder activists arguing that inaccurate election guidance from city officials prevented their measure from receiving a public vote. On Friday, the court dismissed the appeal, saying in a three-sentence order that “unresolved factual disputes” precluded it from properly ruling on the case.
“It’s pretty stunning. Clearly the court took up the case because there was an injustice here,” Eric Budd, one of the activists suing Boulder officials on behalf of the Bedrooms Are For People campaign, tells Reason. “The facts were laid out; the facts were agreed to by both parties…our appeal to the Supreme Court was the argument that it should correct this injustice here.”
Friday’s decision means that Boulder’s existing occupancy regulation—which caps the number of unrelated people who can live together at three or four in most areas of the city—will be safe from a popular test at the ballot box.
These occupancy limits are commonly used in college towns like Boulder to prevent single-family homes from being used as student housing. They also limit the supply of housing available to renters and leave tenants and landlords who do violate these occupancy limits vulnerable to evictions or fines.
In March, the Bedrooms Are For People campaign received permission to start collecting signatures for an initiative that would amend the city’s charter. Their measure would establish a new occupancy limit of one person per
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