News briefs: Judge says Aspen resident can continue lawsuit over proposed city building
Aspen resident can pursue legal arguments in city offices suit
A judge ruled that an Aspen resident has legal standing to pursue her arguments that the city abused its discretion when it approved an ordinance for new offices at Galena Plaza.
In his order issued Wednesday, District Court Judge John Neiley ruled that Aspen resident Marcia Goshorn can continue her lawsuit against the city — on the assumption her assertions are true.
Legal arguments will have to be made for the court to consider the facts in the case, City Attorney Jim True said.
“(The judge) made no determination that the facts asserted in their complaint were true,” he said. “We dispute those assertions.”
The city had filed a motion asking the court — among other things — that Goshorn not be found in good standing based on technical legal arguments.
So the city lost on that claim, but won two others in Neiley’s order. One is that Toni Kronberg, another plaintiff in the case, does not have standing because she is not a city resident.
Goshorn asserts in her lawsuit that the city unlawfully passed an ordinance in 2017 that approves a 37,000-square-foot office building between Rio Grande Park and Galena Plaza.
She alleges that the home rule charter mandates a public vote on the project because it changes the use of public open space that was purchased with specific tax revenue.
Neiley’s order will likely contribute to the delay in the city’s plans to build the municipal office building along with another related lawsuit that Kronberg, Goshorn and Goldenberg have filed against the city.
City officials had planned to begin redevelopment of the old chamber resort association building attached to the parking garage this past March.
Small fire snuffed out under Castle Creek Bridge
Crews working on the Castle Creek Bridge caused a small fire underneath Wednesday.
During welding operations, loose sparks caught the wind and fell over the north side of the bridge onto dry grass. The sparks initiated a small fire, approximately 3 feet by 3 feet, on the hillside, according to a statement. The contractor followed safety procedure and the fire was quickly extinguished.
The Aspen Fire Department responded and deemed the incident all clear.
For more information on the project, go to http://www.castlecreekbridge.com