On Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Denver District Judge Herbert L. Stern III will decide whether to grant a preliminary injunction preventing Mayor Hancock and city council from trading 10.7 acres of Hampden Heights North Park in southeast Denver for an office building downtown. Friends of Denver Parks, a non-profit corporation whose mission is to protect and preserve Denver parks, natural areas, and open space, joined two individual homeowners and filed suit on May 30 to block the trade.
Denver attorney John Case, who is representing the plaintiffs pro-bono, said that he is excited to have an early hearing date. “Denver city charter section 2.4.5 says that city officials cannot transfer any part of a park without a vote of the people,” Case said. “We are asking the Court to let the people decide. We believe that citizens want Denver to be a beautiful outdoor environment where parents can teach their children to enjoy wildlife in the city, and people throughout the city can walk and bicycle through natural areas.”
The hearing will start at 9 am Wednesday June 12 in Courtroom 376 in the City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St.
In the meantime, Friends of Denver Parks continues to enroll petition circulators who are gathering signatures on the petition to allow voters to repeal the land swap. Renee Lewis, president of the non-profit, is optimistic. “Parks and natural areas with wildlife are extremely important to Denver residents,” said Lewis. “We started two weeks ago with four committed people, and now we have 94 petition circulators.”
Anyone interested in circulating or signing a petition to save Hampden Heights North Park should call Renee Lewis at 303-337-2947.