The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Radcliff Properties Limited Partnership, LLLP v. City of Sheridan on May 10, 2012.
Real Property—Municipality—Petition for Disconnection—Procedural Elements—Findings of Fact—Evidence.
Plaintiffs appealed the district court’s order denying their petition for disconnection from the City of Sheridan. Sheridan and its City Council (defendants) cross-appealed certain aspects of the order. The Court of Appeals affirmed the order.
Plaintiffs own eight parcels of property located within Sheridan, a Colorado home rule municipality. The properties were annexed into Sheridan in 1977, and Radcliff Street (Radcliff) provides the only access to the properties. On July 6, 2010, plaintiffs filed a petition seeking to disconnect certain of their properties from Sheridan pursuant to CRS § 31-12-119, which permits qualifying landowners to disconnect their property from a municipality when the municipality has failed to provide certain essential services. Plaintiffs’ petition ultimately was denied.
Plaintiffs argued that the trial court erred by requiring a petition to disconnect filed under § 31-12-119 to contain all of the statutory elements required in a similar petition filed under § 31-12-601. The trial court did not err by requiring that plaintiffs’ petition contain all of the statutory elements required in a petition filed under § 31-12-601, because those procedural elements are incorporated by reference in § 31-12-119.
Defendants argued that plaintiffs’ petition was precluded by § 31-12-603(1). A petition filed under § 31-12-119 only has to follow the procedures “set forth in parts 6 and 7,” not the substantive provisions of parts 6 and 7. Therefore, plaintiffs’ petition to disconnect was not precluded by § 31-12-603(1).
Plaintiffs also argued that the trial court erred by denying their petition to disconnect for failure to meet the statutory requirements of § 31-12-119. The record supports the court’s denial of plaintiffs’ petition because plaintiffs failed to show that Sheridan “does not, upon demand, provide the same municipal services on the same general terms and conditions as the rest of the municipality receives.”
Plaintiffs’ contention that the district court erred by making certain findings of fact that were not supported by any competent evidence was not successful. Plaintiffs’ contention that the trial court erred by failing to admit more than 100 photographs into evidence also was not successful, because they were not relevant.
Summary and full case available here.