In the past month, two court cases with Mid-Valley connections and implications have been appealed.
The first was a case, Guy vs. Whitsitt, in which longtime Basalt resident Ted Guy and an anonymous ad hoc group of citizens filed suit against the Basalt town government in October 2016 for what Guy contended were numerous violations of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law (COML).
On Dec. 2, 2018, Eagle County District Judge Russell Granger issued a summary judgment in which two of Guy’s assertions were upheld, while the other two were dismissed.
Guy’s group, through Denver attorney Steven D. Zansberg, sent a letter to the Basalt Town Council on Dec. 10, 2018, offering to not appeal Granger’s decision if the town agreed to a set of circumstances that included institutionalizing a promise to adhere to both the letter and spirit of Colorado’s Open Meetings and Public Records laws.
The town contends that it has already taken measures to ensure that those laws are followed.
According to Guy, the town never responded to his group’s letter, even though the Basalt Town Council met in executive session on Dec. 11 to discuss that case.
Though initially reluctant to release a copy of that letter to the public, Guy recently decided to do just that.
Access the letter here: Concerned Citizens of Basalt Letter
Additionally, on Feb. 7, a group of Mid-Valley citizens filed an appeal to a judge’s decision that upheld a June 2017 vote by the Eagle Board of County Commissioners that approved the massive Tree Farm development near El Jebel.
On Jan. 10, Eagle County District Court Judge Kenneth Plotz denied a suit brought in October 2017 by Save Mid Valley, a small group formed, according to founder Ken Ransford, “to try to get citizen input on projects like the Tree Farm and the Pan and Fork parcel.”
The Eagle BOCC voted 2-1 in favor of the 42.9-acre Tree Farm project, which calls for 514,000 square feet of overall development consisting of 340 residences covering 380,000 square feet and nearly 135,000 square feet of commercial space to be located on Highway 82 opposite Willits Town Center in unincorporated Eagle County. Included would be a 60,000-square-foot hotel. The proposal includes more than 20 acres of open space.
The Eagle BOCC’s vote came after the county’s own Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission voted against the Tree Farm.
The Notice to Appeal that decision was released to the RFWJ this week by Tim Whitsitt, an attorney representing Save Mid Valley.
Access the document here: Whitsitt Notice of Appeal