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Court challenge could again crush Aurora’s dream of NASCAR-style racetrack

Author: Adam McCoy - July 14, 2017 - Updated: July 15, 2017

Qualifying rounds at Pikes Peak International Raceway near Colorado Springs, in a 2005 photo. (Photo by Price Chambers)

A court battle that could again dash Aurora’s hopes of bringing NASCAR-style racing to the outskirts of the city got underway this week, with an Arapahoe County District Court judge hearing three hours of arguments, the Aurora Sentinel reports.

A 1999 city charter amendment, which bars offering tax breaks for such projects, has blocked Aurora’s plans for the racetrack for years. Late last month, the city decided to ask for voter approval through a ballot question to repeal the amendment, paving the way for the project. The city was unsuccessful in its bid for voter approval to rollback the amendment in 2015.

But as the Aurora Sentinel’s Quincy Snowdon reports, two residents challenged the ballot question on it ambiguous language:

The two residents who brought the case forward last month, Kristin Mallory and Jason Legg, claim that the city’s ballot language is misleading and references interrelated subjects — a practice illegal under state law that seeks ballot question clarity.

Snowdon also detailed the court arguments between the city, which retained outside counsel, and the two residents:

Lawyers on both sides laid out copious case law related to the single-subject issue. A major portion of the arguments centered on a pair of cases: One based in Denver and another in Colorado Springs. (Plaintffs’ attorney Scott) Cadiz, in part, bolted his argument to decisions rendered in the Colorado Springs case — which centered on infamous El Paso County politico Douglas Bruce — saying that Aurora is indeed prohibited from covering multiple issues in a single charter amendment.

The judge said he plans to issue a ruling by Monday morning. Read Snowdon’s full report here.


Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.