Hearing on petition
(1)Within sixty days after it receives a petition, the state board shall cause notice by publication to be made of the pendency of the petition. Such notice shall state:
(a)That a petition has been filed for the organization of a conservation district and the name of the proposed district;
(b)The date (not less than twenty days from the date of such notice), hour, and place that a hearing will be had to determine the sufficiency of the petition and the necessity and advisability of the formation of the proposed district;
(c)That said petition, map, or plat of the proposed district and related material are on file and may be seen and examined by any interested person at the office of the county clerk and recorder of each county in which the proposed district is located and the office of the state board or other designated place within the period between the date of the notice and the date of the hearing;
(d)That anytime after the filing of the petition for the organization of a conservation district, but no later than five days before the day fixed for the hearing thereon, the owner of any real property within the proposed district may file a petition with the state board stating reasons why said property should not be included therein and requesting that said real property be excluded therefrom. Such petition shall be duly verified and shall describe the property sought to be excluded. The state board shall hear said petition and all objections thereto at the time of the hearing on the petition for organization and shall determine whether, in the best public interest, said property should be excluded or included in the proposed district.
(2)If on hearing, in the opinion of the state board, the petition or map or plat is insufficient, the papers shall be returned to the petitioners for amendment. If, in the opinion of the state board, the organization of the district is not required for the preservation of the health, prosperity, and welfare of the state of Colorado and its people, it shall so advise the petitioners, and the district shall not be organized, but subsequent petitions covering the same or substantially the same territory may be filed after six months have expired from the date of denial of any such petition, and new hearings shall be held and determinations made thereon.
(3)If it appears upon hearing that it may be desirable to include within the proposed district territory outside of the area within which due notice has been given or to exclude territory within the district as proposed by the petition, the state board shall determine and define by metes and bounds or by legal subdivisions the boundaries of the proposed district, making such inclusions and exclusions as may be determined desirable. The proposal to include territory within which due notice has not been given shall be considered only at an adjourned hearing to be held after due notice thereof has been given throughout the entire area considered for inclusion in the district and such adjourned hearing held.
(4)If, following the hearing, it is the opinion of the state board that the petition and accompanying map or plat are sufficient and it appears that the organization of the proposed district is feasible and practicable and is required for the preservation of the health, prosperity, and welfare of the state of Colorado and its people, the state board shall make and record such determination.
(5)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)If it is determined that the petition and the map or plat are sufficient and the proposed district is necessary, the state board shall call an election. The state board shall select the date, time, and place for the holding of the election, such date to be not less than twenty days nor more than forty days from the time the state board’s determination becomes final.
(b)The state board shall give notice by publication of the date, time, and place of such election, together with a statement of the matters which will be considered at the election. This notice shall also describe the outer boundaries of the proposed district and any exclusions of land within such boundaries, state that the qualifications of voters shall be as described in section 35-70-104 (3), state that the petition is on file at the office of the county clerk and recorder, and state the procedures for nominating supervisors and the place where absent voters’ ballots can be obtained. Such publication shall be made not less than ten days nor more than thirty days before the date of such election.
(c)At such election the qualified voter shall vote for or against the organization of the conservation district.
(d)The state board shall conduct the proceedings of the election provided for in this subsection (5) and shall be the judge of all matters in connection therewith. It has the authority to appoint one or more of its own members or other proper persons to act for it and in its stead in such matters. After the organizational election, all subsequent elections and administrative actions concerning the operation of the district, except as otherwise provided in this article, shall be conducted as provided in the local district’s bylaws.
(e)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(I)If the canvass of votes at any organization election discloses that one-half or more of the votes cast are against organization of the district, the result of the election shall be recorded in the minutes of the state board, and the proposal shall be dismissed. If the canvass discloses that more than one-half of the votes cast are for the organization of the district, the result shall be recorded in the minutes of the state board, and the board shall proceed as provided in section 35-70-106.
(II)The candidates, according to the number of supervisors to be elected, receiving the most votes cast shall be elected. The supervisors elected shall take an oath or affirmation in accordance with section 24-12-101 and, if required by the state or local board, file a bond in the same manner as specified in section 32-1-901. Failure to take an oath or affirmation in accordance with section 24-12-101 or to furnish a bond, if required, except for good cause shown, shall create a vacancy in the office, and the vacancy shall be filled by the next candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the case of a new district or by the remaining supervisors as specified in section 35-70-107 (4).
(6)For the purposes of this section, “publication” means printing, once a week for two consecutive weeks, by two publications in one newspaper of general circulation in the proposed conservation district if there is such a newspaper, and, if not, then in a newspaper in the county in which the proposed conservation district is located. It is not necessary that publication be made on the same day of each week.
(7)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)Except as may be otherwise provided in this article, the state board and each local district board of supervisors in the conduct of all elections shall follow, as much as practicable, the election procedures set forth in part 8 of article 1 of title 32, C.R.S.
(b)Whenever reference is made to the secretary or board of a special district, it shall be deemed to mean the secretary or board of supervisors of the local district or state board, as applicable.
Section 35-70-105 — Hearing on petition - election,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-35.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).