Protect El Paso Property Rights from the Zoners

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom

Protect El Paso Property Rights from the Zoners

by Carol Geltemeyer

January 26, 1999

State Senator Mark Hillman, R-Burlington, has introduced legislation titled "County Land Use Regulation Resolution" in response to the El Paso County Commissioners' attempt to zone unincorporated part of the county (east of Colorado Springs) against the affected property owners wishes. The bill, SB 99-091, will be discussed and voted on in the Local Government Committee on Tuesday, February 2, starting at 1:30 p.m. The bill states that if the county decides to zone land, the affected property owners must be given the opportunity to vote on it, if they don't approve of the zoning.

The unincorporated land in eastern El Paso County is currently unzoned, but three of the five commissioners want to zone it. If the land is zoned, property owners will have to apply (and pay) for variances on all future land use, all new buildings, all additions, renovations, and upgrades to any structures or the land itself. Currently the property owners can mix business and residential use on their property, and there is no limit to the number and type of livestock, residence structures, etc. If the zoning goes into effect, county government will essentially own all the now-private land -- that's exactly how the residents see it.

A large group of residents, led by the Citizens for Property Rights, will head to the State Capitol in support of SB 99-091 on February 2. Four residents will serve as witnesses for Senator Hillman in support of the bill to the committee.

In addition, Greg Tyner, a member of Savvy People Against Zoning (SPAZ) and a longtime resident of eastern El Paso County, will demonstrate in favor of the bill by walking from the County Hall in Colorado Springs to the State Capitol. He plans to start his walk Sunday, January 31, and arrive on the morning of Tuesday, February 2. He intends to present a folded American flag to the Senators, showing that freedom isn't free and that to keep it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice -- which Tyner is willing to give, walking 75 miles in who knows what kind of weather.

The Libertarian Party of El Paso County is actively supporting CPR and will attend the demonstration and committee hearing on February 2. Please join these freedom loving people in support of SB 99-091. To help, you can: 1) Call, write, or e-mail the Senators on the Local Government Committee and let them know you support SB 99-091 because the representative government is NOT working in El Paso County. 2) Attend the committee session on February 2, at 1:30 p.m. so when Senator Hillman asks all those in favor of the bill in the audience to rise, the entire room will be on its feet.

The names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of the seven senators on the committee are:
Jim Congrove (chairman), (303) 866-4840
Mark Hillman, (vice chair and bill sponsor),
Ron Teck, (303) 866-3077,
Norma Anderson, (303) 866-4859
Peggy Reeves, (303) 866-4841, fax (303) 866-4543
Dorothy Rupert, (303) 866-4872,
Frank Weddig, (303) 866-4879,

The senate's toll-free number is (888) 473-8136.

If you have any questions, call Carol Geltemeyer at (719) 596-6799.

Geltemeyer is a member of Libertarians of El Paso County and the secretary of Citizens for Property Rights.

The Colorado Freedom