Garden City repeals greenbelt initiative passed by voters
The Garden City Council voted unanimously Monday night to repeal City Codes 10-1-3 (C) and 10-1-3 (D) at its regularly scheduled meeting.
"The codes were enacted by the initiative process on November 6th under 'Initiative B'.
Initiative B, which passed by a narrow 52%-48% margin, precludes the city from imposing any restrictions on non-motorized travel on the greenbelt without voter approval at a special or general election," according to the City of Garden City. "A companion initiative, 'A', which would have lifted the ban on bikes on the Garden City Nature Trail was defeated by a 57% to 43% vote."
City Attorney told the city council that the codes were "in conflict with the city's ability to provide for the health and safety of residents."
Garden City used a rule by the Idaho State Land Board from Oct. 2008 that says the city is "entrusted with managing this important resource (the greenbelt) for the public." According to the city, the rule goes on to say that the city must have the authority to decide what are the best uses for the greenbelt.
“While this may not have been the intent of the initiative language, it is the consequence and we cannot abdicate our responsibility and regulatory authority for public health and safety," said Garden City city council president Mike Moser. "The city needs to act quickly in times of emergency and it makes no sense to wait for a special or general election to secure voter approval on these situations.”
The repeal is effective immediately.