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Group seeking to block CU South development threatens to take City of Boulder to court over ballot language

In an 11th-hour effort — presumably to increase its chances of ultimately passing — the group is asking the Boulder City Council to change and clarify the title of the referendum. The current title is, “Should Ordinance 8483 regarding the annexation of CU South, be repealed.” It wants to change it to, “Should Ordinance 8483, which annexes the land known as CU South and sets the terms thereof, be repealed?”

The Boulder City Council has so far declined to make the relatively minor tweak. According to city staff, the ballot title was based on language that Repeal CU South Annexation advocates used in their petition to collect signatures for the referendum. The city worries changing the language now would make the city vulnerable to litigation.

“You’re making it far less risky [by using] that same language” from the petition, Kathy Haddock, a city attorney, told city councilmembers on Aug. 18, 2022.

Not changing the language, however, could prompt the very outcome the city has sought to avoid.