A lawsuit in Pitkin County District Court alleges that the town of Snowmass Village prevented a gas station from doing business in order to assist a road race in August.
The plaintiff is J&M Corp., owners of the Snowmass Conoco at 4901 Brush Creek Rd. Represented by Lance R. Cote of Aspen firm Klein Cote Edwards Citron LLC, J&M Corp. claims the town “prevented access to the Snowmass Conoco and further trespassed onto the property for the purposes of staging race functions and support vehicles.”
The official name of the race was not listed in the suit, which says the event activity took place over two days in late August. The town “sanctioned, promoted, authorized and facilitated” the race, the suit states.
“By wrongfully prohibiting all automobile traffic from accessing the property, and by using the property for its own use without due process or compensation, the defendant violated the plaintiff’s right to exclusive and other lawful uses of its real property,” the lawsuit says. “Defendants have acted under color of state law with respect to the denial of the plaintiff’s property rights … and have deprived the plaintiff of its procedural and substantive rights secured by the [U.S. Constitution].”
J&M suffered damages that include loss of use of property, lost income and attorneys’ fees, according to the suit.
“The defendant’s conduct constitutes a wrongful taking of the plaintiff’s property,” the lawsuit states. “The town at all times … knew or should have known that plaintiff was engaged in such business on the property on the day that it closed all access without warning to the property.”
Neither Cote nor Town Attorney John Dresser could immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.