Tag Archives: Susan Barns-Gelt

Judge Stern enters judgment for Defendants

Dear Friends,

On Friday May 2 Judge Stern granted judgment for the Defendants City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools.  A copy of Judge Stern’s Order is attached. 

There will be no jury trial on May 19.  All witnesses are released from their subpoenas. DPS will continue to build the new school in what used to be Hampden Heights North Park.

First, I want to thank everyone who supported the effort to save this beautiful open space park.  Hundreds of people contributed their time, talent, and treasure, and there is not space to personally thank everyone.  I want to specially acknowledge the plaintiffs Steve Waldstein, Zelda Hawkins, and the board members of Friends of Denver Parks, Inc., Renee Lewis, David Hill, Shawn Smith, and Judy Case, who never gave up; Maggie Price, who created and manages the Friends Website; KC Keefer, who donated the film “Hampden Heist;” witnesses Wellington Webb, Susan Barnes-Gelt, John Bennett, Neil Sperandeo, Susan Baird, Jim Kellner, Amy Laugesen, Dave Longbrake, Dawn Mayo, Dave Norden, Joan Biggs, Sandy Dennehy, Charlie Gallagher, Willis Carpenter, and Tom Noel,; my law partners and faithful staff at Benson & Case; Bob and Nancy Stocker, Kathleen Wells, Dave Felice, Brad Cameron, Joe Halpern, Mary Ewing, and all the volunteers who gathered signatures for the referendum petitions that the city refused to count; Larry Ambrose and the dedicated members of INC who supported and honored our efforts; Wendy Warner and Ed Hall, chairpersons of the Denver Republican and Democratic parties, who passed resolutions condemning the city’s actions; Chuck Bonniwell, who provided expert testimony about Denver’s acquisition of land for recreation along Cherry Creek in the 1930’s, and gave our effort media coverage in the Cherry Creek Chronicle; Jennifer Doran and Pam Quigley, who researched and copied newspaper articles about the flood of 1933 and the city’s acquisition of parcels of land along Cherry Creek at the Denver Public Library and Colorado History Museum; Joe Marisco, who spent six days at the clerk and recorder and assessor’s offices in Arapahoe county, copying deeds to parcels of land along Cherry Creek that the city acquired in the 1930’s; Richard Hentzell, Bill Stanfill, Dick Laugesen, Laura and Linda Gravina, and all of the financial donors who so generously provided funds for petitions and court costs.

Second, I am pleased to announce that Friends of Denver Parks will appeal Judge Stern’s decision, because we believe it is an injustice that the people of Denver were not allowed to vote before their park land was taken.  We will post news of the appeal on the website.

Third, in the near future Friends of Denver Parks will launch a ballot initiative to protect all remaining Denver parks from sale. We want to make sure that what happened here does not happen again.

Thanks again to all of you for your generous help and support.

John Case


Court Document can be found here


Motion for Emergency Injunction, Colorado Supreme Court

Dear Friends,
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.

John Case




Opinions from Denver Post July 19, 2013

Barnes-Gelt: Mayor Hancock missing mark on Denver parks

Susan Barnes-Gelt

By Susan Barnes-Gelt Denver Post

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock delivered his second State of the City address last Monday, the halfway mark in his four-year term. He offered 40 minutes of obligatory rhetoric sprinkled with a list of accomplishments and an agenda primarily focused on children. He pledged his commitment to government transparency and efficiency, the plight of the homeless, and Denver’s promise as a global player.
Despite the lack of detail in the speech, Hancock is making very real progress on two thorny issues inherited from his predecessors: the future of the National Western Stock Show and the expansion of Interstate 70 through Globeville, Elyria and Swansea.
An enlightened collaboration with Colorado State University promises to transform the stock show grounds into an innovative, year-round center for agriculture and husbandry. In addition, the city has engaged architects Ron Straka and Humphries/Poli to enhance and connect three long-overlooked neighborhoods as part of the I-70 expansion. The next logical step is to link I-70 and the stock show grounds into a fully integrated, implementable plan.
However, regarding a panoply of problems plaguing another part of the city — Denver’s Department of Parks and Recreation — Hancock didn’t say much, other than making a vague promise that Denver will add more than 300 acres of new park land over the next five years.

Please see entire article here.

Noel: Preserving open space is a battle in the Front Range
By Tom Noel  Denver Post
Why is a small, determined group of Denverites fighting

Denver’s greatest attraction has been easy escape from the urban hubbub, Tom Noel writes. (Lewis Geyer, Longmont Times-Call)

overwhelming odds to stop the city from allowing development of Hentzell Park on Cherry Creek in Southeast Denver? They know this land deal sets a scary precedent, laying groundwork for future abandonment of hard-won green space in an ever more congested megalopolis.

Such open space has always been one of Colorado’s charms. With renewed growth, the threat of one giant Front Range metropolis returns. How far do you have to drive to find a hiking trail or see a cow?

Please see the entire article here