By Tori Mason
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Court of Appeals is considering a fight over a land swap in Colorado Springs.
It involves an area next to the Broadmoor known locally as Strawberry Hill or Strawberry Fields near Mt. Cutler and North Cheyenne Canon Park.
In the trade, Colorado Springs will gain 360 acres from the Broadmoor. In exchange, the hotel would get Strawberry Fields — the 189 acre portion of North Cheyenne Cañon.
The deal would reportedly give the city better access to the Manitou Incline and Barr Trail.
A group called Save Cheyenne is seeking an injunction to stop the trade. The group says the decision made by Colorado Springs City Council would have a negative impact on parks across the country.
The Broadmoor plans to use that land to build a picnic area and riding stable.
Supporters of the trade say that Strawberry Fields isn’t being maintained well by the city and the land would be better cared for under The Broadmoor.
Save Cheyenne argues the city doesn’t have the authority to give away park land paid for by voters without their consideration first.
“The people of Colorado Springs in 1885 voted to impose a tax on themselves and appropriate $5,000 to purchase this land as a park. There’s no reason of law or equity that should be defeated by this conveyance to a private party,” said Charles Norton, the attorney for Save Cheyenne.
The City Attorney’s Office says the trade doesn’t require a public vote.
“We have all sorts of language that talks about how we’re supposed to use a park and how things should be done. Then there’s very broad language. Regardless of what we said before, the council is going to retain the authority to take any act and do anything for the improvement of the parks,” said city attorney Wynetta Massey.
The court’s written opinion on the matter will be issued by the end of February.