By Alan Prendergast, Westword May 12, 2014
When does a park become a park? Is it when people start using it for recreation and picnics? When the area starts showing up on maps labeled as a park? When the Mayor of Denver describes it as “dedicated park land,” while assuring nearby homeowners it won’t be developed? Or is it when the city starts to maintain it, build trails on it and post signs about observing park rules?
None of the above, apparently. Not according to Denver District Court Judge Herbert Stern III — who, practically on the eve of trial, dismissed the case a grass-roots parks group had brought challenging the city’s decision to transfer eleven acres of open space in the Cherry Creek corridor in exchange for an office building downtown.
Mayor Michael Hancock’s plan to hand over the property adjacent to Paul A. Hentzell Park to the Denver Public Schools for a new school, in exchange for a DPS administration building that’s now being converted to a one-stop services center for domestic violence victims, has triggered a slew of questions about how the city officially designates — and protects — its parks. Although the property was officially declared a “natural area” just a few years ago, Hancock insisted that it was “blighted;” Denver Parks and Recreation manager Lauri Dannemiller withdrew the natural area designation, and the Denver City Council approved the deal last spring.
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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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Dear Friends of Denver Parks,
Attached are copies of the notices of deposition for city officials and officials of DPS.
The deposition of city witnesses will take place March 13, 2014 at 9:00 am at the offices of Benson & Case. The topics to be covered are listed in the notice of deposition.
The deposition of DPS witnesses will take place March 18, 2014 at 9:00 the offices of Benson & Case. The topics to be covered are listed in the notice of deposition.
If anyone has any solid factual information about any of the topics in the deposition notices, please email such information to Judy Case at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the name and contact information including phone number and email of the witness who can verify the information.
Thanks for all your help.
BENSON & CASE, LLP
Please see documents here
Posted in Hentzell Park Update
Tagged City Charter, Colorado Court of Appeals, Denver Mayor, Despositions, friends of denver parks gala, Hampden Heights North Park, John Case, Lauri Dannemiller, Michael Hancock, right to vote, Trial