Morrison to vote twice on Red Rocks Ranch

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By Deborah Swearingen

In addition to the Nov. 6 general election, Morrison will also hold a special election on Sept. 25 to ask its electorate two separate questions about Red Rocks Ranch, a piece of property at the northeast corner of Morrison Road and C-470.

The property was rezoned as planned development on May 31 by the Morrison Town Board and subsequently disconnected from within the town’s jurisdiction. If the zoning sticks, Red Rocks Ranch could bring as many as 1,350 mixed-use residential units to the Rooney Valley. Additionally, there will be availability for commercial uses on approximately 40 acres with plans to provide services such as a supermarket, restaurants and retail.

Because the town received two separate petitions, there will be two elections.

“The town received an initiative petition on May 7 to rezone the property to C-1, which is 100 percent commercial,” said Town Manager Kara Winters. “The town then received another petition, but this one’s a referendum petition on the action the board took for rezoning and disconnection.”

During September’s special election, voters will decide whether to repeal the rezoning and disconnection. Just over a month later, they’ll face a question about zoning the property to commercial.

A citizens’ initiative needs enough signatures to account for 10 percent of the jurisdiction’s registered electors. For Morrison, that’s 29 signatures. The first petition had 56 signatures, well exceeding what is required. The second round, which included two petitions — one to protest rezoning and another to protest disconnection, had just under 40 signatures apiece.

The Morrison Town Board decided to put the matter to a vote because its only other option would’ve been to approve the petitions’ various requests.

Lifelong Morrison resident Loren Oswalt was one of those who initiated the petition. In a prior interview with the Courier, he said he went door-to-door, explaining the idea behind the petition and requesting signatures. While Oswalt would prefer the land be zoned for commercial development, he mainly just wants the people of Morrison to have a voice.