On March 30, 2015, Friends of Denver Parks filed its Reply Brief in the Colorado Court of Appeals. Friends is asking the appellate Court to declare that Hampden Heights North Park is city park land, which cannot be sold to DPS without a vote of the people that is required by Charter Section 2.4.5. The issue before the court is bigger than one park. At stake is the right of Denver citizens to participate in their city government, as the Charter requires, and whether the court will permit a public trial in which Denver citizens can present their case to a jury. Here is a quote from the conclusion of the Reply Brief:
“Will the Court of Appeals enforce the peoples’ right of constitutional self-governance embodied in Charter § 2.4.5? Mayor Hancock took 10.77 acres from a park that, by Charter, belonged to the people of Denver. City officials denied citizens their right to vote on the taking. The Denver District Court entered a summary judgment that prevented citizens from presenting evidence to a neutral factfinder in a public trial. DPS used the land to build an elementary school in a flood plain below a dam that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declared unsafe in 2014. Appellants respectfully submit that placing 800 school children in the path of a future flood – without the voter approval the Charter requires – so the Mayor can claim the political benefits associated with opening a domestic violence center is the opposite of constitutional self-government.”
To read the entire brief, click here: Other filed documents can be found here. The full report from the U.S Army Corp of Engineers can be found here
Posted in Hentzell Park Update
Tagged Army Corp of Engineers, Charter Section, Cherry Creek Dam, Colorado Court of Appeals, court of appeals, Denver citizens, Denver District Court, Denver Public Schools, Flood Plain, Friends of Denver Parks, Friends of Denver Parks appeal, Mayor Hancock
On December 26, 2013 the Court of Appeals issued its opinion affirming Judge Stern’s denial of a preliminary injunction to halt construction of a school in Hampden Heights North Park.
A copy of the opinion is attached here
After reviewing the decision, I believe that the Court of Appeals was wrong in concluding that charter section 2.4.5 eliminated common law dedication of parks in Denver. After considering the work involved in this pro bono effort, my four law partners at Benson & Case law firm voted unanimously to authorize me to file a petition for writ of certiorari in the Colorado Supreme Court. They also authorized me to proceed to trial as scheduled in Denver District Court May 19, 2014. I am honored and blessed to have such supportive law partners, and to have the unwavering support of so many concerned citizens in Denver.
Regardless of the legal outcome of the case involving Hampden Heights North Park, Friends of Denver Parks has authorized me to make the following announcement: Later this year, Friends will launch a ballot initiative to confer official park status on the numerous parks in Denver that the city has neglected to designate by ordinance. The ballot initiative, if successful, will protect Denver’s remaining “undesignated” parks from commercial development, and preserve them as open space.
My sincere thanks to all of the supporters of Friends of Denver Parks.
BENSON & CASE, LLP
Posted in Hentzell Park Update
Tagged Colorado Court of Appeals, court of appeals, Denver Charter, Denver District Court, Denver Public Schools, DPS, Friends, Friends of Denver Parks, Hampden Heights North Park, Heights North Park, John Case, Open Space
More News December 5, 2013
We personally delivered copies of the Hampden Heist film to all City Council and DPS Board members. Just got an email today from a City Council person who is requesting another copy.
The film is generating a lot of buzz in the city. We have received a request from KOSI, KALC, & KQMT Radio for an interview, and will update everyone on the time and date.
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The Denver Post has posted a new Film Trailer version of the movie “Hampden Heist The abduction of a Denver Park” by KC Keefer.
Group uses video to protest land swap between city, DPS
By Jeremy Meyer The Denver Post
A group fighting a land swap in southeastern Denver between the city and Denver Public Schools produced a slick video to argue the case that now awaits a decision by the Court of Appeals.
The Friends of Denver Parks want to stop the swap that was approved by City Council to give DPS city owned property near Hampden Heights to build a school in exchange for a downtown DPS building that will be used as a domestic violence resource center.
Read the rest of the article here
Friends of Denver Parks maintains a library of all article written about us, to view them go to Newslinks and Articles