Important Information about the Beltway

Important Information about the Beltway

April 13, 2012 – In the past couple of days it was brought to the attention of the City that Jeffco and their allies are trying to sneak a bill late in this year’s congressional session that would have very serious impacts on Golden’s ability to protect our community from the adverse effects of a beltway or toll road. Mayor Marjorie Sloan made an announcement during Thursday night’s Council meeting. Below is the video and also the text of her comments. The City of Golden is currently reaching out to local governments throughout Colorado to inform them of this bill, known as the Beltway Economic Enhancement Project Act of 2012 or the “BEEP Act.”

View a draft of the proposed bill here: BEEP Act bill draft (pdf)

View Golden’s summary of the proposed bill here: BEEP Act summary (pdf)

Written version of comments from Mayor Marjorie Sloan:

Just within the last day or two, we found out about a proposed state bill that beltway backers and their allies are threatening to submit for last minute legislation in the General Assembly.  As the draft bill is written right now, it would establish a “Beltway Completion Authority” — a whole new level of government with unprecedented powers.

The authority would be composed of 18 members from the entire metro area — with Golden having one vote — and any majority decision would be conclusive. In other words, the authority would have the power to override Golden’s principled positions concerning transportation through our town.

If the bill passes, the authority would have the power to build a beltway through Golden wherever the majority of the members wanted it.

If the bill passes, it would also take away what’s called a locality’s “1041” powers. That means that the authority could design and construct a road way without including any of the elements Golden residents need to make it  compatible with our community’s shared vision.

There’s more.  If the bill passes, it would give the authority super eminent domain powers that would trump our own — meaning that any property along the route could be condemned to make way for the beltway. Our parks, open space areas, schools, residential and commercial property — all would be at risk.

City Councilors, city staff, and I have spent the past 48 hours reaching out to neighboring communities, CDOT, the Governor’s office and legislators. We’ve had some success in getting support, particularly since the bill would eviscerate the local powers of other communities as well as our own. Though the bill is specifically targeted at Golden, it would affect all communities in the metro area and set precedent for power grabs statewide. This is not just Golden’s concern.

Tonight we want to make sure our residents understand what’s going on and that we are working hard and working together to push back. Know that we’re relying on you to play a part, too.  Tell your neighbors — and friends in other communities — that they should make their outrage known. Contact county commissioners, state representatives, state senators, mayors, city councilors, editors, writers, bloggers,  and any person of influence you can think of. Our message is simple — the proposed authority is the ultimate bad idea.
We just got a draft copy of the bill today. Keep in mind this is not the final bill and could change before it is presented and it could even be retracted. But the draft gives a good idea of what they’re trying to do.

We have copies of the draft here if you’d like to look it through. Let any of us know if you have questions.

But the bottom line is that this is the one issue we all agree on. And if the bill passes we won’t have the luxury of working out our own differences. Together we have the awesome power of community – let’s put it to use.

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