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Agenda Item 10 A

Agenda Memorandum
City Council Meeting April 28, 2014

SUBJECT:

Councillors Bill No. 12 Adding Section 19 to Title XI, Chapter 12 of the Westminster Municipal Code Concerning Voter Registration Information John Carpenter, Director of Community Development

Prepared By:

Recommended City Council Action Pass on first reading Councillors Bill No. 12 adding Section 19 to Title XI, Section 12 of the Westminster Municipal Code Concerning Voter Registration Information. Summary Statement This ordinance requires that owners of licensed rental properties provide to each new tenant a Colorado Voter Registration form, as approved by the Colorado Secretary of State, concurrent with the landlords delivery of possession of the premises to the tenant. Any holder of a rental property license who violates this provision would be subject to fines provided by Section 1-8-1 of the City Code. Expenditure Required: Source of Funds: $0 N/A

SUBJECT: Addition of Voter Registration Information to Title XI, W.M.C.

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Policy Issue Should the City enact a requirement that owners of licensed rental properties be compelled to provide voter registration information to new renters? Alternatives 1) Require owners of both licensed and registered units to provide voter registration information to new renters. 2) Do not require owners of rental property to provide voter registration information to new renters but pursue enhanced efforts on voter registration citywide. Background Information The proposed ordinance is intended to notify new tenants of licensed rental units of Colorados voter registration process. The requirement is intended to increase the number of renters who register to vote by increasing knowledge of the voter registration process and making it easy to register. Historically, renters as a group are less likely to register to vote than homeowners. Westminster has had a rental housing inspection program since August 1997. The current program was revised in November 2010 and requires that all rental properties to be either licensed or registered. All rental units within a building or buildings with 4 or more units must be licensed and are subject to regular inspections based upon the age of the units. These units are more likely to be professionally managed and owned by companies. Currently, 11,286 units are licensed. Rental units that are in single family attached, duplex or triplex buildings are registered. There are 1,247 registered units in the City. These units tend to not be professionally managed and owned by individuals. Registered units are not regularly or proactively inspected. However, they are subject to inspection on a complaint basis. In order to increase participation in elections by residents in licensed rental communities, every holder of a rental property license would be required to provide each new tenant a Colorado Voter Registration form as approved by the Colorado Secretary of State, concurrent with the delivery of the possession of the premises to the tenant. Staff would also prepare a form letter that landlords may choose to distribute at their option that would welcome the new tenants to Westminster and provide general information about the City and the voter registration process. In addition to requiring licensed apartment operators to provide voter registration materials to new tenants, City Council has directed staff to provide all new utility customers with voter registration materials in order to encourage all new residents to become registered to vote. The proposed effective date of this ordinance is July 1, 2014. This would give staff time to inform the affected landlords of the ordinance provisions. The proposal supports Councils Strategic Plan Goals of Vibrant Neighborhoods In One Livable Community by encouraging civic engagement in Westminsters election process. Respectfully submitted,

J. Brent McFall City Manager Attachment: Ordinance

BY AUTHORITY ORDINANCE NO. SERIES OF 2014 COUNCILLOR'S BILL NO. 12 INTRODUCED BY COUNCILLORS _______________________________ A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE ADDING SECTION 19 TO TITLE XI, CHAPTER 12, OF THE WESTMINSTER MUNICIPAL CODE CONCERNING VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION THE CITY OF WESTMINSTER ORDAINS: Section 1: Title XI, Chapter 12, W.M.C., is hereby AMENDED by the addition of the following new subsection: 11-12-19: VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION (A) In order to increase participation in elections by residents in rental property communities, every holder of a rental property license shall provide each new tenant a Colorado Voter Registration Form, as approved by the Colorado Secretary of State, concurrent with landlords delivery of possession of the premises to the tenant. (B) It shall be unlawful for any holder of a rental property license to violate this section on or after July 1, 2014. Any holder of a rental property license who violates this section shall be subject to the fines provided by Section 1-8-1 of this Code. Section 2. This ordinance shall take effect upon its passage after second reading. Section 3. The title and purpose of this ordinance shall be published prior to its consideration on second reading. The full text of this ordinance shall be published within ten (10) days after its enactment after second reading. INTRODUCED, PASSED ON FIRST READING, AND TITLE AND PURPOSE ORDERED PUBLISHED this 28th day of April, 2014. PASSED, ENACTED ON SECOND READING, AND FULL TEXT ORDERED PUBLISHED this 12 day of May, 2014.
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ATTEST: _______________________________ Mayor __________________________ City Clerk APPROVED AS TO LEGAL FORM: _______________________________ City Attorneys Office