Denver ballot measure 303: Voters rejecting ordinance that would build on city’s camping ban

A key section of Initiated Ordinance 303 was struck down by a Denver judge on Sunday.

On Tuesday, a majority of Denver voters cast their ballots against that measure, which seeks to make the city’s authorized camping ban more strict, according to preliminary election results.

Ordinance 303 was failing by a margin of 54.9% to 45.1%, according to vote tallies released by the city at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Yes votes were trailing no votes by a margin of 7,315 ballots.

Brought forth by Garrett Flicker, chairman of the Denver Republican Party, 303 would require people to obtain written permission before camping on private property and cap the number of city-sanctioned safe outdoor camping sites for people experiencing homelessness in the city at four, requiring amenities like bathrooms at each.

The most impactful component of 303 was a section that would have mandated that the city had 72 hours — three days — to respond if a resident filed a complaint about an unsanctioned encampment. The measure would have given residents the power to sue the city if action wasn’t taken in that window.

The city attorney’s office sued Flicker over that portion of the measure, arguing it would infringe on the city’s authority to carry out administrative functions and enforce laws.

Denver District Court Judge Darryl Shockley agreed with that argument, ruling on Sunday night that the portion of that measure was invalid.

Flicker, on Monday, vowed to appeal the ruling, but if Ordinance 303 doesn’t come back from its Election Night deficit it may be a moot point.

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