By Leah Burkett
This is just a quick note to let you know that appeal proceedings are underway in the legal case against the City of Littleton and the Grove Project. We still believe that Judge Horton (Arapahoe County 18th Judicial) got it wrong when he decided the case in Littleton’s favor in September 2016.
To recap, in October 2015, a legal complaint was filed seeking judicial determination of whether Littleton’s code allows neighboring property owners the right to challenge a staff zoning decision (through a hearing at the city’s Board of Adjustment). After nearly a year of litigation, Judge Horton ruled in September a neighbor did not have that right. We immediately asked the judge to reconsider his ruling with a formal motion for reconsideration, but in November 2016 Judge Horton again ruled against us again (this time without any further explanation).
A notice of appeal was filed on December 29, and is just the beginning stage of the appeal process. Once the court creates an appeal record, briefs will be filed and ultimately the case will come before a panel of 3 judges who will either uphold Judge Horton’s original ruling or overrule it.
The entire appeal process is likely to drag on for at least another year, so unfortunately Zocalo’s project will be nearing completion by the time a decision is reached, one way or another. Even if we win the appeal, most likely the Grove will be here to stay. Still… we must follow through and win this battle to make sure a story like this cannot happen again, here in Littleton or elsewhere. It is the principle of the matter and it is an important cause to keep fighting for.
We will continue to keep you posted as this next stage of litigation unfolds. Thank you again for your interest and ongoing support – we could never have made it this far if it weren’t for all of you. Thank you so very much!
PS – We plan to organize a large garage sale this Spring to raise funds toward legal costs of appealing this matter. Please consider hanging onto any items that could be donated to Advocates for Littleton for sale at our event. Details to follow once the event is fully planned!
In the meantime, we are still happily accepting donations toward legal costs through our online fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/fightthegrove or by mail to PO Box 620253, Littleton CO 80162