June 25, 2010
The Town of Firestone and the City of Longmont recently settled what the newspapers referred to as a "border war". BHGR represented Firestone in this litigation and was instrumental in obtaining favorable rulings from the court. As a result of these rulings, the case was settled, Firestone was permitted to proceed with its annexation and development process, and Longmont paid Firestone $100,000.
In 2008, Firestone sought to annex two parcels of unincorporated Weld County into its borders at the request of land owners LifeBridge Church and Fairview Estates who intended to build mixed use developments on their land. Longmont objected to the annexations because they were near Longmont's border. Longmont attempted to block Firestone's actions by filing annexations which were "conflicting".
Longmont then filed four lawsuits against Firestone under several provisions of the Colorado Municipal Annexation Act of 1965, claiming that the conflicting annexations required Firestone to stop its annexations pending a vote, and asking the trial court to declare the Firestone annexations void.
In response, Firestone filed several counterclaims as well as two lawsuits of its own against Longmont. The Weld County District court entered several rulings in Firestone's favor, including two rulings in which Longmont was ordered to pay Firestone's attorney fees and costs.
Those cases resulted in four appeals to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Oral argument was heard in three of the appeals in June of 2010.
A few days after the argument, the parties agreed to settle all of the lawsuits. "This is a good result for Firestone and the annexing landowners," said partner Tom Merrigan, "because it puts an end to the uncertainty and costs of litigation and finally allows Firestone to move forward as it originally intended."
The case was handled by partners Tom Merrigan and Heidi Potter, both of whom have significant experience in municipal annexation cases. If you wish to read more about this case, you can review the story published on Thursday, June 17, 2010 in The Denver Post, written by Monte Whaley, titled Colorado Towns Longmont and Firestone Settle Border Dispute.