The Delta District Court last week granted a request from county government to reinstate the commissioners' 2013 specific development approval for Grand Mesa Layers and Western Slope Layers.
The court's action follows the state Supreme Court's recent decision not to hear an appeal of the Colorado Appellate Court's decision that had upheld the county commissioners' original decision.
The chain of legal filings, rulings and appeals began in 2013 when the Delta District Court overruled the county commissioners' specific development approval for the two egg-laying operations.
After the Delta District Court overturned the commissioners' approval over two years ago, the Colorado Court of Appeals found in favor of the county and other defendants (Hostetlers). The Court of Appeals then declined to rehear the case. That triggered another appeal by the original plaintiffs (Jardon, Holder, Raymond, Cool and Robinsong) to the state Supreme Court which declined to hear the case.
All the legal maneuvering finally left standing the original Court of Appeals decision in favor of the county and Hostelers.
Therefore, the district court's action last week deals specifically with the following four points:
• The district court's ruling vacates all of the following previous actions in the case: its own Sept. 5, 2013, order on rule 106 claim; the Sept. 6, 2013, order to Hostetler to cease and desist operations; the Sept. 16, 2013, order on motion to amend; the Sept. 30, 2013, entry of final judgment on all claims; the Nov. 18, 2013, order following hearing; and the Nov. 27, 2013, order on costs.
• The district court's ruling reinstates the county commissioners' May 28, 2013, decision approving with conditions the Hostetlers' two egg-laying poultry facilities.
• The district court's ruling enters judgment in favor of defendants (Delta County and Hostetlers) and against plaintiffs on all claims.
• The ruling instructs that each party is to bear his, her, or its own attorney's fees, but defendants may file a bill of costs within 21 days of the entry of this judgment or within any greater time as this court may allow.
The Hostetlers' attorney, Karen Budd-Falen of Cheyenne, Wyo., told the DCI, "Yes, we are planning to request costs."
County attorney Jin Ho D. Pack told the DCI, "We're still working on costs." She added that the costs awarded in the final judgment do not include attorney's fees, but are limited to filing fees and other incidentals.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.