From the Attorney

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

October 19, 2017

We had a fantastic turnout yesterday for the critical round one hearing in front of the Planning & Zoning Commission.  It was a win last night - by the narrowest of margins possible (a tie) – but a win.  The application was denied in front of the Commission.  It still has to be reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners and they can ignore the P&Z Commission decision.  We can win this fight outright and defeat the WOLF II proposal.  But we cannot stop fighting; nor rest long.  It has been over a yearlong battle which has been stressful and taxing on all.  Attending an evening meeting in the middle of the week some 40 miles from home is a personal sacrifice and is greatly appreciated.  This process has not been conducted in a balanced, honest or fair manner and we will be addressing that again moving forward.

 

I want to thank everyone who has been part of this fight – success simply could not happen without an entire community effort as we have had here.  Thank you all!

 

I am hesitant to mention individual names for the fear of neglecting someone very important to this fight.  However, there simply have been a few folks that warrant mention.  A special thanks to Ed Hansen and Cheri Dent for speaking and rallying the Larimer County Stock Growers association and their members.   Thank you very much to all the neighbors in the Red Feather Highlands, Glacier View Meadows and the Weeks family that have pitched in, contributed, spoke, put their names and faces out there and attended the various meetings.  We simply would not be where we are today without Rob Niedenzu and John Rehberg.

 

As an attorney who has tackled matters before where, frankly, the rules and processes are stacked against us I truly appreciate having clients who are so willing to work hard together and contribute their time and efforts for the overall cause.  Thank you everyone.  A couple days off and then round two!

 

Sincerely,

Rob Phillips

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

August 30, 2017

The WOLF Application public hearing before the Planning Commission has been set for October 18th at 6:30pm in Fort Collins  It is absolutely imperative that we have as many people there as humanly possible.  The number of people at a hearing can have a significant impact on the voting process.  We CAN stop this.  My firm has a team of three people working very hard on this and several neighbors have also been very heavily involved.  We have facts on our side to oppose this; but we are also dealing with what appears to be a manipulation of the process from within the county; which is being investigated by us.

Details regarding the hearing can be found in the PDF below.

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

August 01, 2017

The RMBA Group, along with an organized team, has been continuing to monitor all aspects of this issue as they develop. We feel confident that we can succeed in our goal to prevent W.O.L.F. from relocating to your community. However, this will require everyone’s participation, in some form, in order to be successful! If you have not already done so, please take the time to write Rob Helmick with the Planning Department and express your disapproval of W.O.L.F.’s relocation.

 

At this time, we are waiting for the Planning Department’s hearing date to be announced. Most importantly, we will need EVERYONE to attend the hearing! It won’t be necessary for every person to speak, but we need to have a tremendous turn-out in opposition of this application.

 

Our legal team is reviewing the application and accompanying materials, in order to identify discrepancies and further develop our legal strategies. We remain available to anyone who has questions and would like to speak with a team member.

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

May 01, 2017

As previously mentioned the letters to the County officials brought some intriguing responses, to say the least.   One of the most disturbing is one of the WOLF upper management members reaching out to a Facebook group of wolf-dog owners and breeders (the same breeders that are the cause of the wolf dog problem) disparaging our scientific results and the health, safety and welfare concerns of their proposed neighbors.  One of the group members supplied the posted photo of a wolf-dog snarling over the carcass of a dead raccoon.  Such input is viscerally repugnant and another indicator of the “temperament” of the individuals this community is fighting and the need to continue to push back against this intrusion.

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

April 26, 2017

It has been a very busy month as letters have started being sent to the County from the concerned neighbors whose property abuts the proposed WOLF property.   Pursuant to the sound engineering findings as well as Larimer County written policy and law it is those properties who will directly suffer the violations of law inflicted by the WOLF group.  On a positive note the letters have been received by the county officials.

 

Regrettably, Commissioner Gaiter and the planner in charge not only effectively ignored the stated law and the scientific facts presented, they also misconstrued the information supplied in one of the letters.  In fact Commissioner Gaiter used one letter to attempt to launch an investigation of charges of violations of county code against one of your neighbors instead of following the Governing Policies of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners as adopted by the Board and respectfully consider that homeowners scientifically valid concerns.  Fortunately, Commissioner Gaiter did include an actual code compliance officer in his inquiry who correctly read the letter to determine that there was in fact likely not a potential code violation.  There is mostly certainly not.  We are fighting a difficult force as it appears as though Commissioner Gaiter may be injecting a personal interest.  This matter will continue to require efforts by all of the neighbors as there are other interesting developments as a result of these letters which will be outlined here in the near future.

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

March 20, 2017

I, with the superb assistance of Cheryl Pansire, have been researching scientific studies from around the globe regarding the visceral, genetic and inherent negative reaction that biological beings have to howling wolves.  That combined with the county noise ordinance research supported by the sound engineer that John Rehberg retained are the focus of the next round of communications with the county.

An interesting study we dug up is titled "Factors Governing Human Fears of Wolves".  This Swedish research paper, first published in the December 2016 issue of the European Journal of Wildlife Research, examines the psychological antecedents of feelings of fear of wolves.

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

February 13, 2017

I had a fantastic conversation with the sound engineer that John Rehberg retained.  He had great guidance about key criteria to focus on with regard to a noise disturbance in violation of the county code.  I will be up there Saturday to walk a couple of the lots and will have draft letters to be sent by those property owners most affected by the barking dogs.  I do understand everyone up there will be negatively affected, but using the sound engineering principles we need the county to focus on a key number of families closest to the dog kennels.

 

We have been very fortunate to have the volunteer services of Cheryl Pansire who has been searching county records for any encumbrances on the WOLF land.  I will be reviewing those this week and hope to have some potentially good news to share.  Lastly, continuing to reach out to arrange meetings, or at least discussions, with anyone who may have beneficial input.

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

January 27, 2017

I am currently working on obtaining meetings with both U.S.D.A. and D.O.W. as well as I have been given a referral to someone with deep ties to the D.O.W. who I have also reached out to to obtain a meeting.

 

And we have a volunteer who has reached out and will be digging deeply into Larimer County recorded documents with my guidance to determine if we can find any limitations on W.O.L.F.’s title; including any potential easements or rights of way across their property.

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

January 04, 2017

I had introduced myself at the October 15th public meeting in Red Feather Lakes to Frank Wendland who co-founded the current W.O.L.F. facility in Rist canyon and requested the opportunity to tour up there, and he agreed to allow that.  Great current location, and saw this impressive looking dog which appears to be a Malamute mix.  By all appearances this girl belongs with a family in a home, not part of an entertainment facility.

 

I have also reached out to a reporter with the Coloradoan as I have been collecting and reviewing some very interesting information about what has been taking place the last couple of years.  Will keep everyone posted.

Legal Update from Rob Phillips

November 11, 2016

Today, I sent a letter to Commissioner Gaiter and a few other county, state and federal agency personnel outlining some of our concerns regarding the Larimer County Staff review of the Special Review application submitted by W.O.L.F.  I will follow up this letter with inquiries as to whether the letters were received and whether I can answer any additional questions.  Future letters will address additional concerns.

The Letter

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

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