Granby board removes ‘unconstitutional’ vagrancy code, fines Reclamation Ridge
October 4, 2018
GRANBY — Late last month, Granby trustees approved a change in the town codes regarding vagrancy, addressing an issued raised just weeks earlier by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, sent letters in late August to the town of Granby, along with 30 other municipalities across the state of Colorado, demanding the repeal of laws restricting panhandling, which the ACLU claimed were unconstitutional. The ACLU sited multiple court proceedings wherein similar ordinances were struck down.
Town officials made plans to update the existing town municipal code shortly after receiving notification from the ACLU. Granby Town Manager Aaron Blair said at the time that the town's board would be addressing the issue in late September.
On Sept. 25, the Granby board approved an ordinance deleting regulations relating to vagrancy within the town. The ordinance notes "similar regulations have been found unconstitutional by Colorado and federal court." The ordinance further states that "the Granby Police Department has not enforced this subsection of the Granby Municipal Code for a substantial amount of time."
The ordinance approved last week deleted a subsection within the town code, specifically removing Section 9.05.030(b) from the town codes. The section that was deleted was one part of a larger section of the town code that relates to vagrancy. The section declares vagrancy unlawful and includes several subsections that define what constitutes vagrancy.
Board fines Reclamation Ridge after permit violation
Granby trustees levied a fine of $2,500 on the Reclamation Ridge Gravel Pit, located just off West Meadow Road on Granby's far western edge. The fine was imposed for violations of the pit's conditional-use permit with the town of Granby, which outlines the conditions under which the pit is permitted to operate.
The Granby board previously found Reclamation Ridge in violation of the pit's conditional-use permit in late August in relation to gravel and other pit materials being visible from neighboring properties. At the time, the board postponed making a decision regarding what penalties would be assessed.
In addition to fining the gravel pit, the board also approved an amended conditional-use permit for Reclamation Ridge. The amended permit imposes specific requirements for dust mitigation related to the pit's operations and will require that pit materials not be visible from area property owners, while excluding adjacent property owner viewsheds from the requirement.
Reclamation Ridge has operated under a conditional-use permit from the town of Granby since 2010. That permit was last renewed, for two years, on March 14, 2017.