Longmont Files Motion to Dismiss Mile-Hi Skydiving Lawsuit Against City

March 28, 2019

Longmont on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Mile-Hi Skydiving against the city, claiming Boulder District Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.

The skydiving company — which has operated out of Vance Brand Municipal Airport for more than 20 years, according to its attorneys — in its civil complaint argues city land use policies for the airstrip are discriminatory .

The city has changed fee structure for renting land designated for non-exclusive use twice since the start of 2018, and Mile-Hi believes the city is unfairly requiring the company to pay more than it should have to for parachute landings. The company also alleges the city is monitoring its activity at the airport without doing the same for other airport users.

The suit asks the court to stay the city from enforcing any of its new land use fees until the Federal Aviation Administration rules on a complaint against the city that Mile-Hi filed in October.

The FAA has not yet made a decision on that complaint, for which Longmont claims there is a meritorious legal basis, according to the city’s court filing.

“In short, there is no controversy because the parties cannot disagree about the meaning of a decision that does not yet exist and there is no basis for the court to clutter its docket on the speculative possibility that Mile-Hi might prevail on some theory in front of FAA at some time in the future,” the city’s 18-page motion to dismiss states.

Attorneys for Mile-Hi could not immediately be reached for comment.

Longmont’s filing indicates the city has retained Denver-based law firm Kaplan Kirsch and Rockwell in the case. A city spokesman on Thursday evening could not immediately provide an amount Longmont has paid the firm so far.

Sam Lounsberry: 303-473-1322, slounsberry@prairiemountainmedia.com and twitter.com/samlounz .