Politics

Aurora voters set to decide pit bull ban’s fate after judge rejected City Council’s repeal


Shira Hereld's dog Merry looks at ...

A decade after Aurora voters last determined the fate of pit bulls in Colorado’s third-largest city — by opting to keep the city’s ban in place — they’ll revisit the question.

In November, voters will decide whether three types of pit bulls — the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier — can legally be kept in the city. The Aurora City Council on Monday referred a measure asking that question to this fall’s ballot.

A pit bull named Merry looks at the camera in an Arvada home in 2020. Aurora voters will get another chance to vote in November on whether to allow or ban the controversial breed in Colorado’s third-largest city. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

The latest twist in the saga of pit bulls in Aurora was prompted by a ruling in late March in which Arapahoe County District Judge Elizabeth Beebe Volz struck down the council’s 2021 decision to repeal the city’s long-standing pit bull ban.

Voters seven years earlier had chosen to keep the city’s breed-specific ban — first enacted in 2005 — in place. The judge’s conclusion: Because it was the voters who decided against jettisoning Aurora’s pit bull ban in 2014, only they could make the decision to reverse that position.

“Since the City did not submit the proposed repeal of the pit bull ban to another vote, its enactment of an ordinance contrary to the vote of the (prior) resolution proposing repeal was without authority and therefore is void,” she wrote in her March 26 ruling.

Volz was responding to a lawsuit filed by an Aurora resident who challenged the city’s 2021 repeal.

But city spokesman Michael Brannen said the repeal remains in effect while the city appeals the judge’s ruling. In November, voters could make that repeal permanent or reinstate the original ban with their decision.

The upcoming vote comes at a time when pit bull bans have been steadily vanishing in Colorado. Denver voters ended the city’s 30-year ban on the animals in late 2020. A pit bull ban was lifted in Fort Lupton the previous year. In 2021, elected leaders in Commerce City and Lone Tree did the same.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Politics

      

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