Save Cheyenne loses bid to block Strawberry Fields swap

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Richard Skorman lays out his case against trading Strawberry Fields at a May 19 Council meeting. The deal was approved  on May 26. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Richard Skorman lays out his case against trading Strawberry Fields at a May 19 Council meeting. The deal was approved on May 26.
Save Cheyenne suffered another blow this week when District Judge Michael McHenry sided with the city and The Broadmoor on all points raised in a lawsuit alleging the Strawberry Fields land swap was illegal.

But Save Cheyenne will appeal the ruling, the group's president Richard Skorman says.

McHenry earlier this month sided with the city in his ruling that a ballot measure proposal shouldn't go forward because it addresses administrative tasks rather than legislative concerns. Save Cheyenne wanted to gather signatures to place a measure on the April city election ballot that would require voter approval of all park land sales and trades, including all those occurring after May 1, 2016. The Broadmoor land swap was approved by City Council on May 26.

"So he ruled that all of our challenges didn't merit going further," Skorman says, noting that McHenry cited in his decision all the arguments made by The Broadmoor in its court brief. "There wasn't one point he was willing to concede."

Hence, Save Cheyenne will appeal the ruling to the Colorado Court of Appeals, Skorman says.

"This judge took the position from the beginning to support the city," he says. "We need to get the decision out of this community. We don't want to give up, and we feel like we have a good chance [on appeal]."

The actual transfer of ownership of the 189-acre Strawberry Fields open space reportedly hasn't taken place.

The Broadmoor wants to build a stable and picnic pavilion on the open space's meadow for use by its guests. The remaining 181 acres would be placed into a conservation easement that would allow public access.

The city agreed to trade the land and another half-acre parcel at the base of the Cog Railway to The Broadmoor in exchange for some 400 acres of wilderness area, trails and easements, including a portion of the Manitou Incline.


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