Colorado Springs Utilities drops challenge to Pueblo County’s 1041 permit authority

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From The Colorado Springs Gazette (R. Scott Rappold):

Colorado Springs Utilities sued in November 2005, challenging the right of Pueblo County to require a 1041 land-use permit, named for the legislation that gives counties authority over multi-jurisdictional projects. At the time, there was opposition to the pipeline in Pueblo, and a permit seemed unlikely. The $1.4 billion pipeline is expected to deliver 10 million gallons a day from Pueblo Reservoir starting in 2016 and will eventually bring 78 million gallons a day to a new reservoir southeast of Colorado Springs.

More coverage from The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The action ends nearly four years of litigation, after Colorado Springs filed the lawsuit in 2005, centering on Southern Delivery System, a $1 billion-plus pipeline project that will affect Pueblo Dam, land in Pueblo West, Walker Ranches and numerous county roads. Pueblo County spent nearly $440,000 on the lawsuit and an appeal, which will not be recoverable, said Pueblo County Attorney Dan Kogovsek. Kogovsek explained the only way to have recovered the payments for lawyers and cost of depositions would be if the lawsuit were determined to be frivolous. “We discussed it, but just because we won the lawsuit does not mean it was frivolous,” Kogovsek explained…

Colorado Springs agreed not to contest Pueblo County’s authority to regulate SDS in the future, said Ray Petros, special counsel on land-use issues for the county…

In 2007, Chief District Judge Dennis Maes ruled in favor of Pueblo County’s position that its land-use regulations written under 1974’s HB1041 were applicable to SDS. Colorado Springs argued that they were not, because the project was not substantially different than other, existing utility corridors in the county. Colorado Springs appealed the decision, but the appellate court has not issued its opinion. The city and county have asked the case be remanded to district court. Colorado Springs applied for a 1041 permit in 2008 anyway, and received the permit in April. Last week, Colorado Springs City Council gave its blessing to the Pueblo County route over an alternative through Fremont County.

More Coyote Gulch Southern Delivery System coverage here.

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