Oct 18, 2022 - News

1-minute voter guide: Denver's Initiated Ordinance 307 on sidewalk repair

Three men walk along a sidewalk in downtown Denver. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Denver homeowners could soon pay up to $9 more a month to shift responsibility for sidewalk maintenance to the city if voters approve Initiated Ordinance 307, dubbed Denver Deserves Sidewalks.

Why it matters: The city's current policy puts property owners in charge of building and repairing their own sidewalks as they see fit.

  • The lack of unified strategy has led to inconsistent sidewalk quality citywide.

Details: Denver Deserves Sidewalks — backed by Denver Streets Partnership, an advocacy group for people-friendly roadways — would charge property owners a fee for the construction and maintenance of sidewalks across the city.

  • An average single-family home could expect to pay between $2.15 and $107.50 a year, according to proponents' calculations, depending how much of their property faces a street.
  • A 20% fee-reduction would apply in historically underserved areas, including East Colfax, Elyria-Swansea and Montbello.

The other side: Some critics argue the ballot language creates inequities. For example, Denver Councilperson Kevin Flynn argues that some houses on corner lots or whose houses have large stretches of sidewalks near their house could face annual fees exceeding $1,000.

  • City officials also say the ballot measure is significantly short-funded, with projections indicating a budget gap between $2.8 billion and $7.3 billion after nine years.

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