“Municipalities have been overtly abusing the broad authority given them under Colorado’s urban renewal law for decades. What was originally intended to address the problems stemming from people living in sub-standard housing amidst squalor is now almost exclusively used by politicians and planners to give public subsidies to private interests for preferred economic development projects. So it is significant that on July 5, the Littleton City Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance to repeal that city’s urban renewal authority (URA). While voters have been pushing back on URA abuse at the ballot box, for a city council to legislatively repeal an ongoing URA would be hugely beneficial to both local and state taxpayers, and set an important precedent for other cities to follow.
The legislative declaration in Colorado’s urban renewal law (CRS 31-25-102) makes clear the reasons for granting sweeping power to URAs is because there exist “slum and blighted areas” in municipalities that constitute a “serious and growing menace” to the public health, safety, morals and welfare. That unaddressed these areas would contribute substantially to “the spread of disease and crime.” That municipalities must not continue to be endangered by areas which are “the focal centers of disease” and “promote juvenile delinquency,” and which consume an “excessive proportion” of government revenues.”
Krause, Mike. Complete Colorado 29 June 2016.