Tag Archives: City Park Golf Course

UPDATE:TRIAL TO SAVE CPGC FROM DESTRUCTION DAY#2

Another big thanks to the crowd (somewhat smaller, could use some new faces Wednesday or Thursday!) who sat for parts of the J.D. MacFarlane vs. City & County of Denver trial today!  We will start Wednesday at 9 am, 1437 Bannock, Courtroom 269.

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Aaron Goldhamer and Tony Vaida continued to present the Plaintiffs’ case Tuesday in Judge David Goldberg’s Courtroom.   Tuesday’s first witness  — put on the stand as part of the Plaintiffs’ case — was Director of Parks & Recreation Happy Haynes, and she was asked numerous tough questions about her knowledge of parks’ policies such as the 2001 City Park Master Plan which recommends Preservation for all of City Park, including the City Park Golf Course.  Aaron Goldhamer spent considerable time asking Ms. Haynes about the purpose of the proposed Stormwater Project, about Park Purpose in general, about negative impacts of the project, and whether she knew of any Denver park that had been closed in its entirety for a considerable length of time to install a regional storm water detention facility. He also pressed her as to why she did not allow the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board hold a vote on the Platte to Park Hill project.  This editor is not 100% sure, but believes Ms. Haynes did agree that helping CDOT with its highway construction support is not a park purpose.  Additionally, Ms. Haynes opined about replacing the “lost” trees with the City’s tree canopy program which can replace “lost” trees (did you know all the trees chopped down in one fell swoop will be considered a “loss”?)  with new trees at parks around the ‘hood.  She believes replacing only 42% of the canopy at the course itself is a “robust” replanting of trees.

Councilwoman Ortega testified briefly about the evolution of this drainage project to $298Million, that the rate increase was an unusual size, her concerns with passing an IGA without dealing with protection of Globeville at the same time, and the fact that the IGA directly ties I70 together with the Platte to Park Hill Project.  Bruce Uhernik, an engineer with public works testified about the 2014 Storm Drainage Master Plan, admitting that Platte to Park Hill was not included in that last-approved storm drainage plan, but stating that parts of the statements in that plan are really not correct because they work in some conditions but not for the Montclair and Park Hill Basins.  Chris Proud, who was Happy’s right-hand man to provide her with information about the project, also testified at length about his emails to the “team” his expressing concerns, saying that “at the time” the City really didn’t have an understanding about what the impacts of taking City Park Golf Course might be, and he wanted the team to take these into consideration.

Lastly, we heard from two of Plaintiffs’ experts, including Adrian Brown, the engineer many of you have seen in videos explaining the risk of Globeville Landing Outfall project.  Attorney Tony Vaida led Adrian through his testimony, the Plaintiffs “rested” their case. That means Plaintiffs were finished presenting.

At that point the City Attorney asked the Court to issue a Directed Verdict in favor of the City.  In other words, the City argued that based on what had been presented, there was not enough for the trial to move forward, and the trial should be ended  The Judge laid out the law about issuing Directed Verdicts, and then issued a finding that Plaintiffs had presented enough evidence to establish a “prima facie” case and that the trial would continue.

The next two days belong to the defendants to put on their witnesses.  They will put Bruce Uhernik and Happy Haynes on again tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for the great support. Hope to see a few of you for part of the day tomorrow.  Even if you can only drop in for an hour, it is appreciated.

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Neighbors fight to save trees ahead of trial involving Denver’s City Park Golf Course

Trial is set for August 21

By liz.gelardi@kmgh.com

There’s new sense of urgency surrounding the fight to save trees at Denver’s City Park Golf Course.

Denver City Council is set to vote on contracts related to a controversial drainage project at the golf course. The work involves a stormwater drainage project and course redesign.

The proposed contracts are on the agenda for Monday, August 14, after the vote was delayed by a week. Councilman Rafael Espinoza requested the delay and sent a letter to Mayor Michael Hancock Friday morning asking him to deny the contracts.

“It doesn’t make any sense to contract with someone for tree removal when the question of is this an appropriate use of park land remains,” said Espinoza.

His concerns are echoed by a group of concerned residents. They want council to leave the trees alone and hold off on approving the contracts until a pending legal battle is sorted out.

“I think it’s wrong that they need to stop, they need to wait and they need to continue to listen. Whether that’s going to happen or not I don’t know, but that’s what I think is the right thing to do,” said Nancy Francis, a Denver resident.

An email addressed to council members and obtained by Denver7 said the project is on a “very tight schedule.” It goes on to list the number of trees being removed as well as the size of the trees being removed. The email states 263 trees will be removed from the course as part of the project.

“We are concerned that the city will go ahead and begin to remove trees and we don’t want to see that happen,” said Francis.

The case is set to go to trial on August 21.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS AND VIDEOS ARE HERE

Gilmore Ethics Complaint filed by Former District 10 Council Woman Cathy Donohue

Gilmore Ethics Complaint

Denver Post Editorial regarding Stacie Gilmore and conflict of interest.

http://www.denverpost.com/2015/07/29/for-denver-city-councils-stacie-gilmore-a-serious-conflict-on-park-issues/

 

 

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PRESS RELEASE: CITY PARK FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS (RNO) LAWSUIT INFO

PRESS RELEASE: CITY PARK FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS (RNO)
CPFAN Contacts: Maria Flora 303.345.7811 / Bridget Walsh 720.440.3562

Government Secrecy Largely Prevails in MacFarlane et al v. Denver Fight Continues to Save Historic City Park Golf Course (CPGC)

While Richard Nixon could not assert an “executive privilege” to prevent the public from knowing the truth behind Watergate, the City of Denver, is using “deliberative process privilege” to withhold information in City Park Golf Course law suit.

 

On June 5, 2017, the Denver District Court heard arguments regarding the City’s assertion that 220 documents (7,400 pages) should be protected by the “deliberative process” privilege—which stems from the “executive privilege”.
The Court ruled that the 7400 pages should not be handed over to the Plaintiffs
(people suing the city to protect CPGC) in the CPGC lawsuit. The City has repeatedly claimed in public and under oath, that they are committed to transparency and have nothing to hide. However, in court, the City
sang a different tune, claiming that disclosure of the 7400 pages of emails and documents would somehow chill future candid discussion among city leaders and staff.

The Court relied on the City Attorney’s representation that Plaintiffs have been provided with all final drafts of the withheld documents and didn’t need to see anything else. The Court also sided with the City regarding subpoenas that were issued to proposed contractors for the project. Despite having two proposals in hand from contractors for the planned work at CPGC, neither Plaintiffs, nor the public, will be able to view the proposed plans until the City says so.

However, the Court ruled in Plaintiff’s favor on another discovery issue. The Court ordered that the City—by this Thursday, June 9—revise and expand upon its responses to various Requests for Admission (questions). The more complete answers may provide Plaintiffs with ammunition to demonstrate the unprecedented nature of the City’s proposed use for City Park Golf Course as a component of the Platte to Park Hill storm drain system.
Plaintiffs are grateful for the many contributions, to date, towards legal costs. However, our reserves are dwindling. We need additional funds to cover our costs for this last stretch leading to the August 21 trial date—including the production of exhibits, additional filing fees, process server fees for trial subpoenas and expert witness fees (several experts are donating their time, but Plaintiffs have engaged two “paid” experts).
Attorneys Aaron Goldhamer and Tony Vaida, are counsel of record and are donating their time.
Additional contributions are necessary and will be well-utilized.
There are two ways to contribute:
1. Send a check made out to Keating Wagner Polidori Free, P.C., with “MacFarlane Costs” in the memo line, and mail
to 1290 Broadway, Suite 600, Denver, CO 80203.

2. Go to www.gofundme.com/cityparklegalfund

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Donation Request To Save City Park Golf Course

Dear City Park Friends and Neighbors:

We need your generous help to win the legal battle to save City Park Golf Course.

Why does City Park Golf Course need to be saved?

As you know, the city is proceeding with its plans to “repeal and replace” City Park Golf Course as part of its agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation to provide drainage for the I-70 lowered highway project.

The golf course will be closed, fenced off, and dirt removed to substantially lower below grade the western end of the park. Trees will be lost and it is likely that the existing clubhouse will be torn down. Then a completely new course will be designed around the drainage facility.

How can we save it?

Since the City Park Golf Course project is only one piece in a very large interconnected series of projects that include local, state, and federal involvement, the best, and possibly only, way to stop its destruction is through the lawsuit initiated by Aaron Goldhamer, representing JD MacFarlane (former Colorado Attorney General).  Recently a number of other neighbors and Council Member Rafael Espinoza have requested to join as plaintiffs.

Why is the lawsuit a good bet?

The City Park Golf Course lawsuit contends that closing the park (City Park Golf Course is a designated Denver park) for 18-24 months and giving it to the Public Works Department to construct a stormwater detention facility violate Colorado common law and the Denver City Charter. Both common law and the Charter protect parks for the public to use for park and recreation purposes. And no park may be leased or sold without a vote of the people (Charter section 2.4.5) and no franchises other than to concessionaires may be granted in parks (Charter section 2.4.6).

We believe that this suit is the right thing to do and that it stands on the right side of the letter and spirit of the common law and the Charter.

How will my donation be used?

Aaron is conducting the litigation pro bono, but he needs our help with funds to pay for expenses related to the suit, including deposition costs, court fees, document production costs, and expert witnesses.   He has asked us to raise $20,000 by the end of this month.  We are calling on every member of CPFAN to help with a donation.

Where do I send my donation and how will the money be held?

Aaron’s firm, Keating Wagner Polidori Free, has established a client trust account for the City Park Golf Course litigation.  Donations can be made:

  • online at GoFundMe webpage Save City Park Golf Course Legal Fund
  • by check made out to “Keating Wagner Polidori Free, P.C. Client Trust Account” indicating in the lower left corner “CPGC Lawsuit” and mailed to 
 Keating Wagner Polidori Free, P.C., Attn: Aaron Goldhamer
          1290 Broadway, Suite 600
          Denver, CO 80203

Please donate today!

Many of you have already contributed.   If you have not yet donated, please do so today.

Thank you!

CPFAN Board:  Hank Bootz, John Van Sciver, Louis Plachowski, Jacqui Lansing, JD MacFarlane, LaMone Noles, Vicki Eppler

P.S.  Don’t miss a bonus opportunity to boost your donation’s value:  Susan Barnes-Gelt will match new contributions to the GoFundMe page up to $2000.  Thank you, Susan!

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