Citizens sign up to fight for riverfront

Few things tap the emotions of area residents like protecting the Colorado Riverfront corridor, which this community has spent more than 20 years cleaning up.

So it is hardly astonishing that, with a few weeks of effort, a number of Grand Junction residents gathered more than 2,500 signatures on petitions that could force a citizen vote on whether to let stand City Council-approved industrial zoning along the Colorado River near downtown Grand Junction.

The zoning in question applies to Brady Trucking’s operations at 27 1/2 and C 1/2 roads. The rezoning has been controversial since the application for it was initially made public last year.

When the council gave final approval to light industrial and industrial office park zoning for the property last month, citizens began the petition drive to force the City Council to either reverse its zoning decision or put the issue to a vote of city residents.

The petitioners had until last Friday to gather 1,860 valid signatures and turn them in to the city clerk.

Now, the clerk must verify that a sufficient number of those signatures are from valid Grand Junction residents. But the fact that the proponents turned in 700 more signatures than necessary is a good sign for their success.

If an adequate number of signatures is validated, the City Council will have a tough decision to make about either reversing the zoning vote or placing the question on the ballot — perhaps at the regular municipal election next April or possibly at a special election called just to determine this zoning issue.

As we have said from the beginning, this dispute is not Brady’s fault. Rather, it is the result of a failure of past and current City Council members to articulate a clear vision of how they want the riverfront to be developed.

A sizeable number of citizens have their own unclouded vision for the riverfront’s future in the downtown area, and it doesn’t include industrial activities.

And they are using the petition process authorized in the Grand Junction City Charter in an attempt to see their vision realized.


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