After the ZBA: What happens next?

Last night’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing was fast and furious. It was full of back and forth between attorneys and the ZBA. It seemed like it was over before it began! I’m sure a lot of people are wondering what implications last night’s events will have on the future of our efforts here in Aurora. First of all, I hope it’s clear to everyone that this was not the end of anything, nor was it a defeat. This case is still just getting started and we were in no way harmed or set back by last night’s outcome. But more on that later. Let me start by explaining what exactly happened last night. As I said at the beginning of the live blog, the first and only motion the ZBA heard last night was the motion from the city to dismiss the case. It’s important to understand that the reason the city alleged that the case should be dismissed had nothing to do with the merits of our case. The reason was that they believed the ZBA does not have the authority to hear our case. This is a jurisdictional matter and nothing more. Why is that important? Because nothing about the substance of our case has been hurt or disproved in any way. Tom Brejcha said he wasn’t surprised by this result at all. The whole process of going before the ZBA was what the lawyers refer to as “exhausting all administrative remedies”, which means that before we run off to court, we make a good faith effort to settle this matter through local due process. What happened last night was that the ZBA brushed this case off their plate over reasons of jurisdiction, not over the merits of our case. No statement was made about the strength of any of our arguments or evidence. In fact, our attorneys have stated that, in their opinion, no one has actually heard the substance of this case yet. Not the ZBA, not the Mayor, not Ms. Weingartz, no one. Getting this case out of the Aurora political scene could well be the best thing for us. So, back to the title of the post, what happens next? Well, the first step is to be patient. As I said earlier, this case is taking its very first steps. Barring some unexpected grace, we will be following this case for quite a while, and it remains to be seen where it will lead. Last night the ZBA read a statement, but there remains the issuance of a written order that will officially put the ZBA’s position into words that our attorneys can interact with. It might be a good deal more complex than what was read last night and until Peter and Tom see that, they cannot predict what exactly our next move will be. For strategic reasons, they’d rather not discuss our options out in the open right now, but rest assured that plans are in the works. This case has only just begun and our Brejcha and Breen are as optimistic and confident in our case as they were the day we began. Perhaps more so. So be strong and courageous. The case is as strong as it ever was, our attorneys are excited and preparing for the next round. Most importantly, our God is in charge of this process and the truth is on our side. Some trust in horses, some trust chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God! He will prevail!

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