Telluride's Tale of Eminent Domain, Home Rule, and Retroactivity

29 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2009

Date Written: June 5, 2009


Telluride, Colorado, won an eminent domain battle with San Diego billionaire Neal Blue, but only after paying his price and his attorney's fees. The town passed a condemnation ordinance by popular initiative to take 572 acres adjacent to the town. The landowner obtained a state statute intended to forbid the town's action. The trial judge held the statute invalid under Colorado's constitutional home rule amendment. Town officials negotiated a compromise with the landowner, but its voters rejected it. The valuation trial was moved to a neighboring county much more favorable to the landowner, and the jury gave him his full price. The owner then appealed to the state supreme court based on the state statute. But that court affirmed, holding that Telluride's right to home rule overrode the statute. The case presented interesting issues of home rule, eminent domain, retroactivity, and venue that are analyzed in the article.

Keywords: home rule, eminent domain, retroactivity

JEL Classification: H70, K11

Suggested Citation

Collins, Richard B., Telluride's Tale of Eminent Domain, Home Rule, and Retroactivity (June 5, 2009). Denver University Law Review, Forthcoming, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-10, Available at SSRN:

Richard B. Collins (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
(303) 492-5493 (Phone)


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