Here’s a report from Brent Gardner-Smith writing for the Aspen Daily News. Click through and read the whole article for all the detail. Here’s an excerpt:
The city of Aspen, through its Denver-based water attorney, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit this past fall based on the notion that the plaintiffs don’t have standing to challenge the city’s water rights.
The plaintiffs recently submitted information to the court either detailing their water rights or giving other reasons why they should be allowed to sue the city over its water rights.
In the mix of property owners are two billionaires and two Aspen locals with a history of successfully taking on local governments.
The property owners sued the city in September 2011 in state water court in an effort to strip the city of its right to use water from the creeks for a new hydropower plant.
The city responded three weeks later by telling Judge James Boyd that the property owners don’t have the right to make their claims.
“The complaint does not identify which plaintiffs own water rights, what water rights they may own, or how those are or may be affected with respect to the alleged abandonment of the hydropower component of the subject water rights,” Cindy Covell, the city’s water attorney, told the court in a motion to dismiss the case.
The plaintiffs responded Oct. 24 with a 14-page brief and 155 pages of exhibits documenting their water rights and other interests.
The plaintiffs claim that since the city has not used its hydropower water rights on the two creeks since 1961, it no longer has the right to divert 25 cubic-feet-per-second of water from Castle Creek and 27 cfs from Maroon Creek for hydropower use.