Contact: Aaron Goldhamer Tel.: 303.534.0401
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Denver, CO October 18, 2017
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Denver passed a resolution strongly condemning the present plan to expand Interstate 70 through Denver. The resolution condemned the social and environmental injustice posed by the project, as well as the irreparable harm it presents, and urged fulsome consideration of alternative options to expand I-76 and I-270 instead. The resolution passed overwhelmingly.
Meanwhile, on Monday, October 16, 2017, various citizen-plaintiffs offered a flurry of filings in two cases related to the project. In a federal case asserting the Colorado Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) and the Federal Highway Administration’s (“FHWA”) failure to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, a plaintiff group led by developer Kyle Zeppelin responded to CDOT and FHWA’s motion to dismiss their case, offering sworn statements of two sitting Denver City Council members to rebut a statement offered by City Engineer Lesley Thomas that Denver will proceed with its controversial “Platte to Park Hill” drainage project—which the plaintiffs assert is directly tied to the I-70 expansion—even if CDOT is enjoined from paying the $60 million it has committed to contributing to that project.
Also on Monday, in a separate case that went to trial in August and is awaiting decision by a state court judge, a plaintiff group led by former Colorado Attorney General J.D. MacFarlane provided the court with an update on the urgency of a decision and pressed for an immediate injunction concerning Denver’s proposal to reconstruct City Park Golf Course to serve as a flood-control area. Denver has announced its plan to proceed with cutting down 261 trees in the Golf Course by November 1st, 2017, regardless of whether Judge David Goldberg has issued a ruling by that time on the legality of using the Golf Course—which is designated parkland entitled to protection under the Denver Charter. The plaintiffs in the state case will appear in court on October 26, at 2:30 PM, in Denver District Court to plead their case.
Attorney Aaron Goldhamer, who is representing both groups of plaintiffs, stated “It is troubling that the City would have such disregard for the judicial process that they would march ahead with a challenged project without awaiting a determination of its legality.”
Recent reporting concerning Denver’s plan in the Golf Course is available at the following links:
Resolution adopted by vote of the Democratic Party of Denver Executive Committee October 17, 2017
WHEREAS the Democratic Party of Denver’s core values include social and environmental justice; and
WHEREAS the choice to cut I-70 through north Denver in the 1960’s has imposed a significant social and environmental injustice on predominantly low-income and Latino neighborhoods for decades, created adverse health outcomes, and represents outdated urban planning; and
WHEREAS the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (“CDOT”) current plan to expand I-70 through north Denver will create irreparable harm by worsening these social and environmental injustices, exposing Denver residents to Superfund soils, and greatly depleting resources for useful projects elsewhere; and
WHEREAS re-routing I-70 around north Denver via I-270 and I-76 avoids many of the harms inherent in the present plan (approximately twenty-five times fewer people live within 1000 feet of the re-route), presents positive social and financial opportunities for the entire north Metro Denver area, permits the reunification of Globeville, Elyria and Swansea with the city, but has never been seriously considered; and
WHEREAS the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation, which represents neighborhoods all over Denver, recently condemned the present I-70 expansion plan through north Denver; and
WHEREAS by Resolution on April18, 2017, the Democratic Party of Denver’s Executive Committee opposed the expensive and destructive P2PH drainage projects that are principally driven by the present I-70 expansion proposal; and
WHEREAS the Democratic Party of Denver will not remain silent in the face of a clear and present danger to our residents and our state coffers;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT:
The Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Denver is opposed to CDOT’s present plan to expand I-70 through north Denver; andThe
Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Denver urges serious consideration of the I-270 and I-76 re-route; and
That the Chair of the Democratic Party of Denver shall send a copy of this resolution to the Governor, all Democratic candidates for Governor, CDOT’s Executive Director, Denver’s Mayor, Denver’s City Council, and Denver-area State legislators.
Democratic Party of Denver Exec. Cmte. I-70 resolution 10.17.17
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