Jefferson County and the owner of property along Bear Creek at Kittredge Park have agreed to a temporary arrangement to allow the public access to Bear Creek.
Beach access is limited to the north side of the creek in the park only during park hours, which are one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset, according to information supplied by the county. A path to access the creek has been marked for park-goers to use.
Unreasonable noise, overnight camping, motorized vehicles, consumption of marijuana and digging are prohibited, the county said. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and dogs must be leashed and waste picked up.
The agreement announced on July 22 comes after Jefferson County on July 13 filed with Jefferson County courts for a preliminary injunction to stop the property owner, Taralyn Romero, from blocking the public from using the creek access. It is unclear what will happen to the preliminary-injunction request.
The court document had asked that the court stop Romero and her boyfriend Michael Eymer from “maintaining or constructing any obstructions, impediments or structures within the park … or otherwise interfering with the county’s or the public’s right to use and access the park, including the north parcel to the north of the center of Bear Creek.”
Romero and Eymer opposed the request, according to the court document, and so far, their attorney has not filed a response.
The judge assigned to the case had recused herself, so the court must assign a new judge.
According to the court document, the county notified Romero and Eymer that blocking access to the creek “unreasonably interfered” with the public’s access to the creek. Romero insisted, the document states, “notwithstanding the clear language in the deeds to the contrary — she owns the land both to the south and to the north of Bear Creek.”
The county contends that both before and after the property that became Kittredge Park was purchased and developed by the county in 1986, “members of the public and neighborhood adults and families have continuously and openly … used the entirety of the park for recreational and community uses.”
The county reminded the court that the property along the north side of Bear Creek is not accessible from the Romero home without traversing a steeply sloping hill and through the creek or walking around to the park entrance.
Community members testified that they have “always understood that the northern sandy beach area was part of the park and have used it accordingly,” the document states.
The court document argues that the intention was to set Bear Creek as the boundary between the residential property on the south side of the creek and the north parcel that is now the park.
“Those legal descriptions, when read as a whole, clearly establish Bear Creek as the property boundary,” the document said. … “The county’s affirmative acts of developing and incorporating the north parcel into a community park took place in 1986, and the public has made frequent and open use of that property in keeping with its unique characteristics since that time. No one other than the county had possession of the north parcel from its purchase until Ms. Romero began her efforts to claim possession in 2022 — a period of over 35 years.”