In the latest installment of an ongoing eminent domain controversy between the City of Glendale and the owner of Authentic Persian and Oriental Rugs, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the landowner, holding that Glendale should have provided notice of its “blight” determination affecting the landowner’s property, even though such notice is not required under applicable state law. The feud made headlines a few years ago when the landowner, who owns six acres that have been carved out of the area contemplated for “Glendale 180” Riverwalk, accused the City of repeatedly denying redevelopment applications for its property, then creating its Downtown Development Authority to condemn the property after negotiations to purchase the property fell through. Continue Reading Court Requires Notice of Decision to Declare Property “Blighted” under State Law
Law is what we do and a part of who we are, but our lives are fully immersed in the people, places and perspectives that create Denver’s identity. Deeply entwined with our legal practice is our love of place. This is our opportunity to share our personal insights.
Office environments are not exactly known for cultivating creativity. However, well‑placed artwork has the power to create unexpected moments of reflection and imagination. Before Otten Johnson’s renovation a couple years ago, these moments were few and far between. There were several gems in our art collection, but they were relegated to the oft-ignored corners and corridors of the office. With the help of Nine Dot Arts, we breathed new life into our existing collection and selected new pieces that captured the firm’s local and approachable culture. Here are a few highlights from our art collection:
Echoes in the Distance by Craig Robb
It is hard to ignore this masterpiece when you first walk into Otten Johnson’s offices. With intertwined wood and steel elements, it captures both the movement and stability of various landscapes, in both practical and creative contexts. A closer look reveals smaller found elements that make subtle references to the firm’s real estate and land use practices. This imaginative 3-D installation from a local Colorado artist sets the creative vibe for the rest of the Otten Johnson office space.
Architectural Drawings series by Frank Lloyd Wright
Artwork does not need to be expensive in order to be impactful. This collection of Frank Lloyd Wright sketches was cut out from an old calendar (really!). While the drawings felt drab when hung in a horizontal stripe down the office hallways, grouping them together in a gallery wall created a worthy tribute to the famous architect. By drawing your eye to multiple sketches at once, it allows you to appreciate the innovative elements of Wright’s architectural designs.
The Drift by Georgia Amar
Otten Johnson has an impressive collection of artwork by Denver artist Georgia Amar, thanks to her husband and former Otten Johnson attorney Jack Pappalardo. While our collection mainly features her signature landscapes with surrealist elements and soothing color palettes, The Drift presents an intriguing departure. This abstract painting draws you in with an unexpected combination of blue, green and orange hues against an inky black backdrop. The biomorphic forms echo butterfly wings, river patterns or whatever your Rorschach test says about you. For me, it reflects the essence of abstract art—it can be whatever you want (or need) it to be at any given moment.
Otherscape Series by Tyler Beard
This inconspicuous collage series by Tyler Beard is my personal favorite. Starting with double-page spreads from a 1950s book about national parks, Beard cut out geometric shapes from one page and transposed them onto the other page. The landscapes are subtly transformed by layering unexpected dimensions. The artwork encourages you to admire the picturesque scenery while reflecting on how your own perceptions can alter your surroundings.
The Colorado Court of Appeals recently upheld a land exchange between the City of Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor Hotel. The court’s decision in Save Cheyenne v. City of Colorado Springs affirms the broad power of home‑rule municipalities to “purchase, receive, hold and enjoy or sell and dispose of” property according to the dictates of their charters and ordinances. Continue Reading Save Cheyenne v. City of Colorado Springs: What, if anything, has changed about the power of home rule municipalities in Colorado to alienate public park land?
Last month I wrote about how Boulder was weighing an ordinance that would raise the city’s affordable housing linkage fee on new commercial development from $12 per square foot–a fee just 16 months old and the second highest in the country–to $25, $30, or $35 per square foot. Last week, by a 6-3 vote, city council voted to raise that fee to $30. The $30 fee falls short of the country’s highest, Palo Alto’s $35. But because of the difference in the price of land in Boulder versus Palo Alto, on a percentage basis, Boulder’s new $30 fee will be much greater than Palo Alto’s fee.
Importantly, the city council also approved a “tiered system” for the fee. For example, developers of office space will pay the full $30 per square foot, while hospital space and warehouse space will pay $20 and $10 per square foot, respectively.
Only time will tell whether the new $30 fee will accomplish the city’s goal to spur residential development over commercial development without detriment to the city’s affordable housing fund.
The vote will be made official on May 1.
Late last week, the City and County of Denver sent letters to over 300 homeowners notifying them that they fail to comply with the City’s affordable housing standards. Many of those who received the letters had no idea their homes were subject to such standards in the first place. Continue Reading Hundreds of Denver Homeowners Impacted by Previously Overlooked Affordable Housing Covenants