Legal & Courts  December 5, 2023

Brighton seeks to exclude some records from Amprius zoning lawsuit

BRIGHTON — The city of Brighton has asked the district court to revise its order that otherwise would require the city to disclose extensive information in the case involving the potential future location of the Amprius Technologies Inc. battery plant in Brighton.

The decision to rezone the Kmart Distribution Center property to enable location of the battery plant was challenged by resident Angela Pirrone. At the request of Pirrone, the judge ordered that the certified record of the city decision be compiled for use in the case, a common step in such litigation.

The city, however, in a motion filed Nov. 21, asked the court to reconsider that order and not require the inclusion of multiple documents and materials. Pirrone, as noted in the city’s motion, does not support the city’s request to limit the certified record.

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Specifically, the city said that Pirrone “hoodwinked the court into requiring inclusion of materials that relate to a recommendation for which the opportunity for judicial review has passed.” The city said that the Planning Commission’s recommendation to deny the rezoning is past the point of judicial challenge and that the City Council did not consider that nor was it mentioned during public hearings before the council, which are subject to disclosure.

The city also asked to exclude:

  • The Feb. 28 Amprius economic incentive agreement.
  • The agenda and attachments for the Feb. 28 council meeting.
  • Documents presented or used at the Feb. 28 council meeting.
  • Written comments, including public comments, made to the council at the Feb. 28 council meeting.
  • Recordings and transcripts of the Feb. 28 council meeting.
  • The agenda, attachments, recordings, transcripts, public comments and so forth related to the  Aug. 10 planning commission meeting. 

The city said in its motion that information related to the council’s two public hearings in September could be included in the certified record. Those hearings were part of the council’s quasi-judicial role and permissible for disclosure, the motion said, because judicial review “is limited to deciding whether the tribunal exceeded its jurisdiction or abused its discretion, based on the evidence in the record before the hearing officer.”

The city said it doesn’t object to inclusion of the incentive agreement if it was included in the September public hearings; however, “such material was not affirmatively presented to the City Council specifically in connection with the public hearings…” And neither was the planning commission’s recommendation, the motion said.

The court had not yet acted on the city’s motion as of Tuesday afternoon. 

In a related filing Dec. 1, Pirrone agreed to stipulate that one of the defendants, Norris Design Inc., could be removed from the case because it was incorrectly listed as an applicant for the rezoning that forms the basis for lawsuit.

The case filed Oct. 17, 2023, in Adams County District Court is Angela Pirrone v. the city of Brighton, the City Council of the city of Brighton, Starboard Platform Brighton JV LLC, and Amprius Technologies Inc., case number 2023cv31466.

BRIGHTON — The city of Brighton has asked the district court to revise its order that otherwise would require the city to disclose extensive information in the case involving the potential future location of the Amprius Technologies Inc. battery plant in Brighton.

The decision to rezone the Kmart Distribution Center property to enable location of the battery plant was challenged by resident Angela Pirrone. At the request of Pirrone, the judge ordered that the certified record of the city decision be compiled for use in the case, a common step in such litigation.

The city, however, in a…

Ken Amundson
Ken Amundson is managing editor of BizWest. He has lived in Loveland and reported on issues in the region since 1987. Prior to Colorado, he reported and edited for news organizations in Minnesota and Iowa. He's a parent of two and grandparent of four, all of whom make their homes on the Front Range. A news junkie at heart, he also enjoys competitive sports, especially the Rapids.
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