CO Voters Approve $253M for Open Space

DENVER, CO – In last Tuesday’s elections, voters in six communities across the state passed ballot measures to create approximately $253 million in new public funding to protect land for parks and open space, according to the Trust for Public Land (TPL).

Overall, six of seven measures statewide were successful – a rate of passage of approximately 86%. Nationwide more than 83% of the parks and open space measures were successful on Tuesday.

The Colorado passing measures and the amount of funds they will raise included:

  • Arapahoe County Issue 1A – .25% cent sales tax – $170 million
  • Summit County Measure 1A – Extension of existing property tax – $19 million
  • City of Boulder Issue 201 – .15% sales tax – $51.2 million
  • Town of Frisco Measure 2A – 2.35% lodging tax – $5 million
  • City of Lafayette Issue 2A -.25% sales tax – $7 million
  • City of Glendale -$5 per month head tax – $910,000

“2003 is another year of very strong voter support for open space protection and park creation across the state,” said Doug Robotham, Director of TPL’s Colorado Program . “Even as state and local governments suffer from budget deficits, Colorado voters continue to demonstrate that they are willing to pay to protect the places that are special to them.”

The win yesterday in Arapahoe County concludes a four year effort by TPL and the County to create a open space and parks program in the conservative suburban county. Arapahoe was the only front range county without a dedicated revenue stream for land conservation and parks.

Robotham notes, “Although this is an off-year, county commissions and city councils are continuing to give high priority to land conservation, even in tough economic times.”

The only measure that failed Tuesday was in Loveland where voters defeated a .15% sales tax that would have raised $6 million for open space protection.

Previously in 2003, voters in Colorado Springs passed an extension of their Trails, Open Space and Parks sales tax that will raise an additional $80 million. As a result, the total local space funding created at the ballot box in 2003 in Colorado is now approximately $333 million.

Since 1998, voters in Colorado have approved more than $1.1 billion in local and state ballot measures for open space conservation.

A complete list of results from local and state balloting on conservation and parks is available on-line today from LandVote 2003 – – a partnership of TPL and the Land Trust Alliance. The results of Tuesday’s votes will also be published as a report in early 2004.

TPL, established in 1972, is the only national nonprofit working exclusively to protect land for human enjoyment and well-being. TPL helps conserve land for recreation and to improve the health and quality of life of American communities. Visit TPL on the web at