Dillon receives favorable Colorado Supreme Court ruling in right-of-way dispute
June 19, 2014
The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case between the town of Dillon and the Yacht Club Condominiums Home Owners Association, ruling in favor of the town and remanding the case back down to the Colorado Court of Appeals for further review.
The case stems from a right-of-way dispute between the town and the Yacht Club HOA when the Dillon Town Council passed in 2009 two ordinances to reconstruct and provide infrastructure upgrades to Tenderfoot Street and Lower Gold Run Circle, as well as a recreation path, all of which are located adjacent to Yacht Club Condominium property.
The Dillon Town Council passed the two ordinances to address tandem parking on Dillon's right-of-way by residents and guests of Yacht Club Condominiums, according to Supreme Court records. Dillon officials argued the parking configuration presented a public safety hazard.
Yacht Club Condominiums fired back, arguing, among other things, the ordinances passed by the Dillon Town Council were an unreasonable exercise of the town's police power and deprived Yacht Club Condominium owners of substantive due process, according to court records. Summit County District Court ruled in August 2010 in favor of the homeowners association. The Colorado Court of Appeals later upheld that decision in December 2011.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in October 2013.
"We hold that, in enacting the two ordinances at issue here, the town did not abuse its police power or deprive the Yacht Club Condominiums owners of due process," Justice Monica Marquez wrote in the opinion of the court. "An ordinance comports with due process where it bears a reasonable relationship to a legitimate government interest.
"The ordinances here were within the town's police power to regulate matters of public health, safety and welfare. The measures were a reasonable exercise of that power because they were reasonably related to the town's objectives of improving traffic safety, improving water drainage and remedying a missing portion of a recreational bike path."
Ellis Mayer, of Nathan, Bremer, Dumm & Myers P.C., is one of Dillon's attorneys on the case. On Monday, June 16, he said the case was remanded back to the Colorado Court of Appeals because the Colorado Supreme Court only ruled on the question of whether or not the Dillon Town Council abused its police power.
The town originally sought relief from the Colorado Court of Appeals on three separate issues argued in the trial court, including the doctrine of equitable estoppel and retrospective legislation. The Court of Appeals did not rule on those two issues and has been directed by the Supreme Court to again review the case, Mayer said
"We are gratified that the Supreme Court agreed with us and we're looking forward to seeing what happens next," Mayer said.
Dillon Mayor Kevin Burns said Monday the town has been prohibited from making the improvements to Tenderfoot Street and Lower Gold Run Circle since the Yacht Club HOA first filed suit in 2009. He called the Supreme Court's ruling a "big win" in getting those projects off the ground.
"The process is still ongoing, but we're hoping for a resolution soon and this is a big step in that direction," Burns said. "The Supreme Court agreed the town was exercising reasonable use of its police power and we're looking forward to improving safety and drainage in that area of town."
Calls to members of the Yacht Club HOA were not returned by press time.
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