If bankers dodged some bullets when state initiatives aimed at curbing urban sprawl were defeated on Tuesday, many came away far more aware of the risks of letting the debate over such issues spiral into grass-roots crusades.

The most onerous of the initiatives, in Arizona and Colorado, failed to pass. But similar measures — which some consider a threat to economic growth — could surface with backing from activists and frustrated voters. That has some business interests reaching out to legislatures rather than take any chances on what remedies voter referendums may bring.

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