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Palizzi Farm continues fight against developer and eminent domain

BRIGHTON, Colo. — There was no decision Monday in a hearing between Parkland Metropolitan District #1 and Palizzi Farm over planned development project Brighton residents fear will hurt the historic farm that’s considered a staple in the community.

An Adams County Court judge said they never intended to issue a decision from the bench Monday over whether or not a developer would be able to take over a portion of Palizzi Farm through eminent domain.

“Eminent domain is for the better use of the public and my opinion is, food is a much better support of the public,” said Debora Palizzi, the owner and operator of Palizzi Farm.

The hearing comes after a plan to build an underground water drainage system was presented to Brighton City Council by Parkland Metropolitan District #1 back in September 2023.

Brighton’s city council approved the plan at the time.

During Monday’s hearing, attorneys for Parkland Metropolitan District #1 argued it required eminent domain in order to be able to move forward with the project as soon as possible. Attorneys for Palizzi Farm argued there are plenty of alternatives to the current proposed work.

Attorneys for the developer said the drainage outfall would include pipelines that would go on the Palizzi Farm.

The farm consists of 63 acres, 55 of which are farmed on. The project would put nearly two of those acres in jeopardy, according to Debora Palizzi.


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The pipeline project would move water to support a future housing development nearby and the overall community, according to attorneys representing Parkland Metropolitan District #1 in the hearing Monday.

“Parkland also proved through both of this witnesses, that this storm water drainage project is for public use,” said representation for the metropolitan district.

During the hearing they said eminent domain is required to begin the project. They added Palizzi would be able to continue farming above the system and construction could happen “in the non-growing season.”

“Parkland needs to hire a contractor to actually build the project during the non-growing season, November to March or April. Parkland cannot wait any longer,” an attorney representing the metropolitan district.

Palizzi and her hundreds of supporters who filled the courtroom, as well as two overflow rooms Monday, argue this is more like a hostile takeover and the metropolitan district isn’t looking at alternatives seriously enough.

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“There’s options, right? There’s solutions, it doesn’t have to be one single thing,” said Lynne Wennerstrom, of the hundreds of people who went to the Adams County Courthouse Monday.

Civil engineers were called by both sides Monday and testified there was potential for smaller pipes that wouldn’t interfere with the ripping or plowing up of Palizzi’s Farm.

“There’s always a possibility, I would very much prefer that they go away and leave the farm alone,” Palizzi said.

During closing arguments, attorneys for the metropolitan district said they could not wait any longer to get started on the work, though the judge dismissed that urgency saying a final decision will not come sooner than May 31.

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