DENVER, Colo. – The controversial land exchange between the city of Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor is back in the spotlight again after the Colorado Court of Appeals heard oral arguments concerning the case Tuesday.
The issue in question is over 182 acres of open space land in North Cheyenne Park known as "Strawberry Fields."
In May of 2016, the city of Colorado Springs traded that space to the Broadmoor in exchange for 200 acres in another spot in the Cheyenne Park area.
City Attorney Wynetta Massey argued before the court of appeals that the city council had the right to make that move in order to improve the area.
"The city acted in faithful compliance with the charter, its ordinances, and its real estate manual. And with regard to this particular piece of property, it acted after a five-month-long exhaustive public-input process," Massey said during her presentation to the court.
However, many community members say the city did not have the right to make the trade since it was public land that was made a park after a city vote in 1885.
The organization that is spearheading the appeal effort, Save Cheyenne, says the city should have held a vote to let the people decide the land’s future.
"This was not theirs to give away. The people — not the administration, not the council — are the owners of this piece of land, and we think the land exchange should not have happened," said Kent Obee, president of Save Cheyenne.
Now, it is up to the court to decide the fate of the land. It could take several weeks or months before a decision is made.