Rock Creek HOA files legal challenge against aviation easement decision

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The Rock Creek Homeowners Association recently filed a lawsuit regarding its ongoing litigation against Jefferson County.

Rock Creek, which is in Superior, as a condition of the development granted avigation easements to Jefferson County Airport, now known as Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, which allows aircraft using the airport the right to enter owner-owned airspace and create noise, vibration and other effects caused by flight operations, according to a notice to residents of Rock Creek HOA.

Aviation easement is an easement or right of overflight in the airspace above or near a particular property, depending on uslegal.com. It also includes the right to create noise or other effects that may result from the lawful operation of aircraft in that airspace and the right to remove any obstruction to such overflight.

The HOA expressed concern about how changes to the airport could “negatively impact Rock Creek landowners,” so the limitation events were included in the runway change easements. , aircraft types, airport uses and increased noise. This provided that any occurrence of a limitation would terminate the easements.

A sharp increase in noise-related complaints in 2019 led to an investigation by the HOA board, which found evidence that “one or more of the throttling events had occurred.”

“The investigation revealed that the airport noise limits were ten times the maximum noise levels represented by the airport,” the notice reads.

The HOA made a request to Jefferson County, owner of RMMA, to voluntarily end the easements, but it was denied, so a lawsuit was filed in October 2020 on behalf of the Rock Creek landowners.

After the October 2021 trial, a final judgment was issued in March in which the Court ruled that a limitation event that would terminate the easements had occurred.

However, the termination was limited to easements in specific areas of Rock Creek, which experienced noise above a certain level and included approximately 1,400 to 1,500 of the 2,804 homes.

An appeal was filed in April to have the court’s decision apply to all Rock Creek depots and have all navigation easements revoked.

Jefferson County filed a cross-appeal. In the court paper, he said the issue to be raised was “whether the trial court erred in finding that the noise contours created by a former non-testifying third-party contractor and included in a master plan of 21-year-old county airport constituted an admission of part by the county and was therefore admissible for the purposes of demonstrating that the noise contours had changed over time.

Rock Creek HOA wrote in a notice to residents that it will continue to communicate updates on the ongoing legal matter, as permitted.

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