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GLENDALE, Colo. -- A 10th District Court of Appeals judge ruled in favor of a Glendale rug store, marking the end of a three-year battle between Authentic Persian and Oriental Rugs and the city.
The victory means "we were not given the due process and that they were not fair to us," according to owner Nasrin Khologhy. "It means that a cloud of eminent domain is lifted from our land."
The city of Glendale had deemed their land 'blighted' or rundown and in 2015, tried to buy the families more than five acres of land on the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Cherry Creek Drive South for a multi-million dollar dining and entertainment district known as Glendale 180.
The city also got the authority to take the land using eminent domain, but after months of fighting back, Glendale agreed not to take their property and move forward with the project without it.
Khologhy said the family decided to take the case to court to ensure the city never came back and to get the 'blight' designation removed from their land.
"We didn't sue for money. We sued for a dollar," she said. "We want to make sure other people don't have to go through what we went through."
Three years later, Khologhy said their battle is finally worth it.
"When I found out I was like, 'Wow. Let's go get some champagne!" she said laughing. "Fight for what's right. That's my message."
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judge found Colorado's Urban Renewal statute violates due process because it doesn't require cities to notify land owners if their properties have been deemed 'blighted.'
"It is something that's going to set a precedent," said Khologhy. "We hope municipalities will look at this and go, 'all it takes is a stamp and a letter to the land owners.' To notify them and they can't just find a loophole in the law and go with it."
She also said it shows the little guy can win.
"We were told over and over that nobody ever wins. The right does win," she said.
In a statement, the City of Glendale said while it disagrees with the court's ruling, it will have no impact on the future of the Glendale 180 project, which is moving forward without the family's land.
“We are strongly weighing our legal options, as this opinion has many more negative impacts to other cities in Colorado than it does to Glendale. We are focused on, and excited about, the planned Glendale 180 project, which is progressing rapidly with our partner Lincoln Property Company," Mayor Mike Dunafon said in the statement.
The city also said, "although the court found that the city complied with all the procedures required by Colorado statutes, it creates a new, previously unknown procedural obligation on all Colorado cities using Urban Renewal," and stressed the ruling will have significant impacts on Urban Renewal projects across the state.