Here we go, this subject continues to evolve with a petition filed by a local Telluride resident objecting to the STR initiative and its grounds. Represented by a Denver attorney, this objection will result in an emergency town council meeting as they try to vet whether the initiative is constitutional or not. Here’s an article from today’s paper:
Here’s the article from the Daily Planet:
STR citizen’s petition stalled
Local files an objection within protest timeframe
Telluride Town Attorney Kevin Geiger, along with town clerk Tiffany Kavanaugh, lined out the procedure for handling the receipt of a protest filed by local Stacy Ticsay that challenges the citizen’s initiated petition calling for a cap on short-term rental licenses. (Screenshot by Suzanne Cheavens/Telluride Daily Planet)
Telluride Town Council’s housing-heavy agenda Tuesday included an action item that would have either committed to the books a citizen’s petition calling for a cap on short-term rental licenses, or sent the matter to voters. However, an official protest filed within the protest timeframe of 40 days from the date of the certification of the petition, stalled action until the protest can be considered. Town clerk Tiffany Kavanaugh explained that the move would force a protest hearing.
“We recommend that Town Council not take action on this, pending the protest,” Kavanaugh said. “The next step is for me to schedule a protest hearing in no sooner than five days, and no greater than 10 days. I am hoping to schedule that protest hearing for early next week and send notice out (Wednesday) to the protester and the petitioners of when that protest hearing will occur. So, this item is not right for action today due to the pending protests.”
The protest, filed by local Stacy Ticsay through Denver attorney Trey Rogers, alleges that the language used in the title of the citizen’s petition is “misleading” and does not “fairly reflect the true intent and meaning of the measure.” The protest argues that using an “impermissible catch phrase” — long-term rental opportunities for local residents — should invalidate the petition. The petition’s title, placed above the full text of the proposed measure reads (in all caps): A citizen initiated ordinance authorizing the Town of Telluride to cap the quantity of short-term rental units within the Town of Telluride for purposes of promoting long-term rental housing opportunities for local residents.
The protesters argue for the petition’s invalidation on the basis of the insertion of that title, which they allege is contrary to the Town Charter’s stipulations concerning the circulation of a citizen’s petition.
Additionally, Ticsay and Rogers argue that not only is the title impermissible, but misleading, in that it implies that a short-term rental cap will result in long-term housing opportunities.
“Instead of simply stating that their measure would cap the quantity of short-term rental units within the Town, their title goes on to argue that their measure will promote ‘long-term rental opportunities,’” the protest reads.
Council had little desire to commit the measure to an ordinance and instead was likely ready to take a vote Tuesday on sending it to the voters of the Town of Telluride. With the deadline to file ballot language with the San Miguel County Clerk’s office looming — 9 a.m., Sept. 3 — officials find themselves in a time crunch to conduct the protest hearing and then deliver ballot language before the deadline, depending on the outcome of the hearing.
Town attorney Kevin Geiger laid out the new timeframe.
“Assuming resolution of this issue at the town clerk level through the protest hearing, it’s very conceivable that something could come back to Town Vouncil then for certification to the ballot,” he said. “And we still have the applicable deadlines under Colorado law, and I believe some scheduling difficulties toward the end of that applicable period. So we would probably want to look at some dates that could work for town council to schedule a meeting.”
In a protest hearing, the town clerk acts as a hearing officer unless a legislative body appoints a separate hearing officer, Kavanaugh explained to council.
“I plan to act as that hearing officer and the determination would fall on me,” Kavanaugh said.
The protest hearing will be open to public. Kavanaugh will determine one of two outcomes.
“The possible outcomes could be that I find that either there are grounds for the protests, or there’s not grounds for the protest and then it could still be sent to the ballot,” she continued.
Geiger further explained how protest hearings are called out in the Town Charter. Following written or verbal arguments from the protesters, Kavanaugh will make a determination.
“The clerk has to come up with a written determination based on the protest that was filed and reach an outcome or an analysis of why there might be an issue or why there is not an issue,” Geiger said. “If there’s not an issue, then the matter would then be referred back to the Town Council.”
Council would then, as was originally agendized Tuesday, either conduct a first reading making the petition an ordinance, or place the matter on the ballot for voters to decide. That discussion will take place Sept. 2.
“I know it’s a tight turnaround, but it’s our only option,” said Mayor DeLanie Young.
Kavanaugh sent notice to the protestors and to the petitioners midday Wednesday that the protest hearing will take place Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. via Zoom.
Meeting information will be available at telluride-co.gov.
The protest can be viewed at tellurneighbor.org. Ticsay’s name has been redacted in that version, though Kavanaugh said it was public information.