Monday, January 20, 2014

Exciting News!!

via email from Friends of Denver Parks:

Attached is judgment of the Jefferson County District Court holding that there was common law dedication of open space park and that a vote of the people is required before a school can be built.

I have excerpted a few tidbits from the case to give you an idea of what it contains. Here is the link for the complete document.

A party lacks standing to challenge the title of another. School District No. Six v. Russell, 396 P.2d 929, 932 (Colo. 1964). However, a resident taxpayer of a municipality has the right to maintain a suit to prevent the unlawful disposition by the municipal authorities of the property of the town, and to restrain the diversion of property in his town from any public use, which he shares, to which it has been dedicated. McIntyre v. Bd. of Commr’s of El Paso County, 61 ….
Because this issue impacts the disposition of this land, pursuant to C.R.C.P. 105, this Court must also determine whether the land is held for “municipal purposes” or for “open space or park purposes.” It is well settled by authority that a “municipality holds . . . dedicated ground for the use and benefit of its citizens, for the purposes only of its dedication” McIntyre, 61 P. at 239. The trustee cannot impose upon dedicated land any servitude or burden inconsistent with those purposes, or tending to impair them. Id. Neither can it alienate the ground, nor relieve itself from the authority and duty to regulate its use. Id. It does not have the authority to later subvert the purposes of that dedication. See also Turnbaugh v. Chapman, 68 P.3d 570 (Colo. App. 2003). It is undisputed that the dedication here was for “municipal purposes” and that the property has remained undeveloped and in its natural state…….
Here, the property has been used for open space purposes by the public for over 30 years, but it is not clear that it was used for open space purposes by the City. The City did install signs in the 1980s indicating that the land was City open space and the City has never indicated otherwise. Although this Court does so with significant hesitation, based on the totality of the circumstances presented, and applying a plain reading of the City Charter as required, this Court has no option but to find that this property has been used for open space and thus falls within the purview of City Charter Provision 14.3(b). As such, the property may not be leased or sold without a favorable vote on the question of such lease or sale by a majority of the registered electors of the City voting thereon…..
There is an Open Records Act Violation in this case because the decision to develop this land was made behind closed doors.
Sound familiar!!!

JANUARY 22nd 6:30—7:30 p.m.
8600 E Dartmouth Ave, Denver, CO 80231



IMPORTANT!! We are looking for witnesses who recreationally used the Cherry Creek pathway/trail to the Hentzell Park Natural Area/Hampden Height North Park near Kenwood Dam before 1955. We understand that picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, and birdwatching are a few of the recreational uses of the trail. If you have older relatives or friends please ask them about their memories of this time. Contact Judy Case at the following email address:

If you believe the work that we are doing is important please consider joining Friends of Denver Parks as an honorary member or sponsoring a fundraiser.

Thanks so much for your support and hope to see you at the meeting,
Renee - President
Friends of Denver Parks


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