Category Archives: City CouncilImage
Attorney and parks advocates press case at Court of Appeals to overturn land swap involving Hampden Heights Open Space
By Jon Murray
The Denver Post
Two years after the Denver City Council cleared the way for a controversial land swap, children filed last month into a new elementary school built on former city-owned open space near Cherry Creek Reservoir.
But the Joe Shoemaker School’s opening hasn’t ended a legal fight by still-simmering Denver parks advocates over what they saw as an illegal giveaway of valuable park land, a charge disputed by city officials.
Dozens of the lawsuit’s supporters packed a Colorado Court of Appeals courtroom this month as their lawyer, who is appealing an earlier loss in Denver District Court, again pressed to return the land to city ownership.
That prospect has been complicated, of course, by Denver Public Schools’ construction of the building on the 11½-acre city parcel on Havana Street, which was swapped by the city for a central Denver former DPS administration building that soon will become a domestic violence resource center.
The opponents admit that if they prevail, their best-case scenario would be to win a court order for the land to be returned as city park land — but only decades from now, once the new school has outlived its usefulness.
Attorney John Case, who lives nearby, and other park advocates say they’re still fighting to protect more than just one park.
Our battle to preserve Hampden Heights North Park takes place in the Colorado Court of Appeals next Tuesday September 1, 2015
Dear Friends of Denver Parks,
Oral argument in our battle to preserve Hampden Heights North Park takes place in the Colorado Court of Appeals next Tuesday September 1, 2015 between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The hearing is at 2 West 14th Ave. in Denver (Lincoln and E. 14th Ave.)
Many of you have asked why we keep fighting. DPS has constructed an elementary school on the 11 acres that will open within days.
We are fighting because if we win, ultimately we can return the land to the ownership of the citizens of Denver. After the school has outlived its useful life in 20-40 years, DPS and the City can restore the 11 acres to natural area park land as part of Paul A. Hentzell Park for the use of future generations.
Each side is allowed fifteen minutes to present its argument. Our proceeding will last ½ hour.
There is another case on the 1:30 docket with us, we won’t know until 1:30 p.m. which case will be heard first.
For those of you who wish to attend in person, oral argument will take place in the beautiful new courtroom on the First Floor of the Court of Appeals.
It is helpful to be in the Courtroom by 1:25 p.m., so that your entrance does not distract the three appellate judges who will hear the arguments and decide our case.
The three judge panel will consist of Senior Judge Sandra I. Rothenberg, Judge Steve Bernard, and Judge Stephanie Dunn.
The First Floor Courtroom has excellent acoustics. There are comfortable benches with close-up visibility for 60 observers.
There is meter parking on Lincoln northbound between 13th Ave and 14th Ave. There is meter parking on Broadway southbound between 14th and 13th Ave. There is a paid parking lot at 13th and Broadway. Please allow 15 minutes to get into the First Floor Courtroom after parking your car.
Usually, the Court of Appeals issues a written decision within 4 weeks of oral argument.
If you cannot attend in person, you can watch oral argument on-line by following the instructions below.
- Go to this page at the appointed date and time (9/1 at 1:30 p.m.)
- Click on the link that says “Court of Appeals First Floor.” The link won’t be active until the court is actually in session. These things start late sometimes, so people should keep trying if the link isn’t active right at 1:30.
- Watch the argument.
There is another case scheduled at the same time as ours, so the Friends case may not be argued until 2:00 p.m. or so.
Thanks to all of you who have supported Friends of Denver Parks.