From The Fort Collins Coloradoan (Jacy Marmaduke):
Larimer County leaders are asking a court to uphold their rejection of the Thornton pipeline.
The city of Thornton sued Larimer county commissioners in April, asking the Larimer County District Court to overturn the board’s decision and either approve one of the two proposed pipeline routes or force the county to do so. Larimer County commissioners filed their response to Thornton’s lawsuit Monday afternoon.
The legal battle is the latest twist in a yearslong fight over a proposed pipeline that would carry Poudre River water from reservoirs north of Fort Collins to Thornton…
Pipeline opponent No Pipe Dream and river advocacy group Save the Poudre both plan to intervene in the lawsuit, those groups’ leaders told the Coloradoan. If the court allows the groups to intervene, they’ll become parties in the lawsuit…
Commissioners argue the court must affirm their decision if there’s any “competent evidence” in the record supporting it. Competent evidence is a legal term describing evidence that tends to prove a matter in a dispute.
The county also argues the court doesn’t have the authority to substitute its own judgment on the pipeline path. If the court decides commissioners made the wrong call, it must send the case back to the board for reconsideration and correction, the answer argues.
Next steps in the lawsuit could include a motion for judgment or a scheduling conference for the parties to discuss the potential of a settlement or plan a discovery period and timeline for a trial.