by Pam Zubeck
This case is of particular importance to home rule municipalities statewide. The authority to dispose of city-owned property, including park property, is critical to the ability to manage real estate portfolios for their residents based upon local needs. A decision to reverse the district court will erode home rule cities’ powers to “purchase, receive, hold and enjoy or sell and dispose of, real and personal property,” and upend charter and ordinance provisions across the state that authorize the transfer of all forms of municipal property. COLO. CONST. art. XX, § 1.And this:
Adoption of a home rule charter in Colorado has consequences, not the least of which is that the voters have chosen to implement local self-rule. In doing so, they and their elected officials are entitled to exercise the power the Constitution gives them: the right to legislate for themselves. That local legislation, whether by charter or ordinance, takes the place of state law. It has done so in this case. This Court must uphold the right of all home rule municipalities in Colorado to govern this important local matter. The decision of the district court should be upheld.The brief also includes an exhibit that lists home rule municipalities with express charter and/or ordinance procedures governing property disposal. Of those 31, only five require an election. They are Arvada, Aurora, Grand Junction, Lakewood and Minturn.