FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JULY 5, 2013
On July 5, 2013 Denver District Judge Herbert L. Stern III signed a written order
denying the Motion for Preliminary Injunction of Friends of Denver Parks, Inc., Steve Waldstein and Zelda Hawkins.
Lawyers at Benson Case LLP, who represent the plaintiffs without charge, immediately filed a Notice of Appeal in the Colorado Court of Appeals, accompanied by a Motion for Injunction During Pendency of the Appeal.
If Judge Stern grants the Injunction During Pendency of the Appeal, then the sale of Hampden Heights North Park will be postponed until the Court of Appeals can rule on the issues. If Judge Stern declines to issue the Injunction, then plaintiffs will ask the Court of Appeals to grant it, according to plaintiffs’ attorney John Case.
Case said, “We appreciate that Judge Stern gave us a full evidentiary hearing. During oral argument, Judge Stern expressed serious concerns about the city’s position.”
Friends of Denver Parks presented evidence to Judge Stern that the Parks Department maintained Hampden Heights North Park for 45 years; that the city used public money to construct bridges and concrete paths that are enjoyed by over 2000 pedestrians and cyclists per week. From 1967 through and including today the city zoned the land as ‘Public – Open Space – Park.’ In 1976 the city planning director told Hampden Heights resident Dave Longbrake that the park would remain a park in perpetuity. Former mayor Bill McNichols wrote a letter in 1979 acknowledging that HHNP is a park. The city posted park signs. The city listed HHNP as a park in its zoning and planning maps.
Case said, “City officials now claim it’s not a park, so that they can trade public park land, which belongs to the people of Denver, for an office building. We look forward to presenting this important legal issue to the Colorado Court of Appeals.”
Copies of Judge Stern’s Order and the relevant pleadings are available on line at
FriendsofDenverParks.Org. People who want to contribute to Friends of Denver Parks court filing fees and transcript expenses can do so through the website.
END OF PRESS RELEASE