Brady petition truckin’ into court

The latest installment in the Brady Trucking rezoning saga will take place inside a Mesa County courtroom. We can only hope that it is close to the final episode.

As we have said repeatedly throughout this story, we don’t believe the Utah-based Brady Trucking firm is the villain in this drama. The company has followed the rules as they currently exist in the city to obtain industrial zoning for its property along the Colorado River just east of downtown. It has also spent tens of thousands of dollars cleaning up the property it acquired, land that once included the old rendering plant. Brady has behaved as a good neighbor throughout this process.

But the folks who also used the city rules to push a citizens initiative to contest the rezoning aren’t wearing black hats either.

We happen to agree with them that the Colorado River corridor, as it runs through the heart of Grand Junction, isn’t the appropriate place for industrial zoning. That’s especially true when you consider the millions of dollars and countless hours of work that the Colorado Riverfront Commission, the city of Grand Junction and numerous volunteers spent to clean up the remnants of long-defunct industrial operations in that area.

For that reason, we believe that every one of the candidates for City Council this year should be telling voters what they think the city should be doing to protect the riverfront in the downtown region.

But the issue heading to court is not whether industrial zoning along the river is appropriate.

It’s whether signatures obtained on a petition by the citizens group seeking to overturn the zoning were valid. In particular, were those signatures on a petition circulated by Candi Clark, who also notarized the petitions, valid under the law?

City Clerk Stephanie Tuin took a great deal of time to listen to both sides on that question before reaching her decision to invalidate 18 signatures early this year. She reached that conclusion after careful consideration of what occurred and what the law said, not haphazardly or arbitrarily.

Now it will be up to Judge David Bottger to decide whether Tuin’s ruling was correct. But he must do so quickly. Mail-in ballots for this April’s election are to go out later this month. And Brady Trucking shouldn’t have to wait through another election cycle to learn if the zoning on its property will hold and it can continue its operations as planned.


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