Nonprofit asks state Supreme Court to stop school construction on park land
By Caryl Buckstein , Examiner.com, March 8, 2014
The nonprofit Friends of Denver Parks has filed for an emergency injunction for relief through the Colorado Supreme Court, as the Denver Public Schools begins construction of a school on contested park land in Hampden Heights North Park, the organization’s attorney, John Case, said Friday, March 7, 2014.
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Attached please find copy of motion for emergency injunction with Exhibits 1-18 that we filed in the Colorado Supreme Court on Thursday Mar 6.
The Affidavit of Susan Barnes-Gelt (Exhibit 6), shows that HHNP was designated a park when the 1996 Charter Amendment was adopted. Also, all Denver parks, including HHNP, were designated by Ordinance 333 Series of 2010, and the 2010 Official Map and zoning code, which show HHNP and all other designated parks.
The discouraging news is that DPS started pouring concrete and steel structures in the park on March 3.
We will ask Judge Stern to grant summary judgment in our favor next week and stop the destruction of the park. Please don’t expect a ruling anytime soon.
Trial remains scheduled for May 19. Our evidence and witnesses are solid. See Exhibits 1 and 6-17 attached to the motion.
The city will file motions to deny a jury trial and dismiss the case. I remain confident of a favorable outcome because truth is on our side, and Rule 38 Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure provides a jury trial in all cases involving title to real property (which this is).
Thanks to all of you for your awesome support and continued interest. Really special thanks to witnesses Susan Barnes-Gelt, Sandy Dennehy, Joan Biggs, Carolyn “Charlie” Gallagher, Dave Norden, Amy Laugesen, Jim Kellner, Charles Bonniwell, and Dave Longbrake. Their cooperation was amazing. Their testimonies are included in the exhibits.
BENSON & CASE, LLP
Attached are copies of the Petition for Writ of Certiorari with Appendices 1-6 that we filed today in the Colorado Supreme Court. We are asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals (which affirmed Judge Stern’s denial of our motion for preliminary injunction). It is uncertain when we can expect a decision from the Supreme Court.
Our trial date in Denver District Court is May 19, 2014.
Today we took the deposition of Sandy Dennehy, the oldest daughter of Gerry Phipps, first owner of the Denver Broncos. Sandy testified that as a child and as a young woman, she and numerous friends rode horses along Cherry Creek and picnicked in Hampden Heights North Park north of the Sullivan Dam. This occurred during the eighteen year period from 1947 until the JFK golf course was built in 1965. The parkland was always open, used by the public for horseback riding, bicycling, walking, picnicking, and recreation.
Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and continued support of Friends of Denver Parks.
BENSON & CASE, LLP