‘Yes’ on Measure A
Allowing industrial zoning in the very Colorado River corridor that this community has spent a quarter century cleaning up from previous industrial operations was a mistake by the Grand Junction City Council in 2008. But it cannot be equitably corrected by what amounts to a zoning recall that punishes a private business which abided by all the city rules for rezoning its property.
Voters should approve Referred Measure A on the Grand Junction municipal election ballot and allow Brady Trucking to maintain the industrial zoning the council approved in 2008.
The issue is not about Brady Trucking’s fitness as a business. By all indications, Brady is a good neighbor and a community-minded business. It keeps its current operations along the Colorado River east of 12th Street clean and safe. It worked with the city to ensure there is an easement for the Riverfront Trail on its property. People cannot equate it with the dirty industries that operated for so many decades along the river.
People must also realize Brady has the right to sell its property. If voters approve Measure A, the company could sell the day afterward to a firm that could operate a different industrial business that may be less appealing.
That doesn’t mean anything nefarious is going on. We’re not aware of plans by Brady to sell its land. However, it is private property and Brady would have every right to do so.
More importantly, Brady and every other private property owner in the city — business or individual — have a right to depend on zoning decisions. If those decisions can be changed five years after the fact because voters have determined they don’t like the original decision, there would be no certainty in city zoning decisions and little reason for businesses to locate new operations here or for existing ones to expand.
We recognize that the City Charter gives citizens the right to challenge a zoning decision and demand the City Council either repeal a zoning ordinance or submit it to voters. That’s what occurred in this case, with much legal wrangling as well.
But that right is akin to citizens’ right to recall elected public officials. And The Daily Sentinel has long argued that recall should only be used when there are clear cases of incompetence or misconduct on the part of elected officials.
The same is true in this case. We don’t like the zoning the council approved in 2008, but there is no evidence of fraud, misconduct or other malfeasance that would provide a legitimate reason for overturning that decision.
We urge a “Yes” vote on Referred Measure A, not because Brady is a good corporate neighbor — it is — but because overturning the zoning decision of 2008 would mean the city’s zoning process is uncertain and undependable.