Park Hill Methodist Church Campground Lawsuit Dismissed
Some Park Hill residents have taken legal action to prevent homeless camping from being established in a church parking lot.
DENVER – A Denver judge on Wednesday launched a lawsuit against a Safe Outdoor Space camping project at Park Hill United Methodist Church.
District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones ruled that the court did not have jurisdiction and therefore could not prevent the establishment of the campground for homeless people.
“After careful consideration, the Court agrees with the defendants. Basically, a court cannot make an order to stay a case when it does not have jurisdiction over that case at first instance, ”he wrote.
Jones also found that the group had not exhausted all other potential administrative remedies before choosing to take their complaint to court.
Earlier this month, neighbors filed a lawsuit seeking a restraining order to stop the campsite, which is expected to be set up at the church parking lot near Montview Boulevard and Glencoe Street.
The small group of Park Hill residents named in the lawsuit claimed the campsite would create a nuisance for the neighborhood due to the lack of parking. They also claimed that the campsite presented a danger to the community.
Their lawsuit named the church, pastor, city and county of Denver, and the Colorado Village Collaborative, a nonprofit group that will run the campground.
“Since the lawsuit was filed, more than 150 [people] have donated to advance the expansion of Safe Outdoor Spaces in Denver, ”Group executive director Cole Chandler wrote in a statement. “The generous spirit of these most welcoming neighbors is the spirit that lightens our patch and we move forward.
Colorado Village Collaborative will also soon be running a campsite at Regis University. Both sites are part of a program implemented by Denver during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are designed to include security, toilets, food and places to store personal effects.
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