Adam’s Mountain Cafe is now suing the City of Manitou Springs and a property management company after they claim their parking lot’s lease was wrongfully terminated.
The city says it acted appropriately through "eminent domain" by purchasing a sliver of this land from the property owner. The only problem is that buy nullified the 20 year contract Adam’s Mountain Cafe had with Westside Property Management to use this entire lot.
Now, they’re left with just a fraction of the spots for their customers.
Selena Lungstrom is a loyal customer of Adam’s Mountain Cafe.
"I love Adam’s Mountain Cafe," she said. "Been eating with them since they were downtown Manitou Springs and followed them out here."
Lungstrom was surprised to find out this parking lot she uses isn’t for restaurant use anymore.
"I didn’t know who owned the lot, I just assumed it was Adam’s Mountain Cafe because they need it for parking for sure," she remarked.
As it turns out, the City of Manitou Springs bought a piece of this land from the property owner as part of its expansion project. But we’re told that means the entire lease behind this lot is gone – and 45 parking spots are no longer there for customer use.
Now, the cafe is suing the city and the company behind the deal.
Court documents show Attorney Greg Walta is filing the lawsuit on the restaurant’s behalf. He believes this change would cause economic losses and says the city fraudulently used the power of eminent domain.
"It was an unnecessary acquisition which the city knew would terminate the parking lot lease and which has damaged the viability of Adams Mountain Cafe," he said.
But the city says it acted appropriately and it’s done this across several properties to ensure improvement of public land.
Next, the two parties must come before a judge. If they can’t settle, they’ll have to go to trial.
Walta believes, the city should help fix this.
"The city having caused this problem should help to remedy the problem in the near future before these damages really harden," he added.
Currently, parking restrictions aren’t being enforced but Walta says they might as well be and this lot could be off-limits in the near-future.
The uncertainty, leaving regular visitors like Lungstrom hoping for a resolution.
"I’ll always eat here," she said. "Hope I can find a place to park!"
News 5 called the tow company’s number listed on a sign in the lot. An employee said they haven’t towed a car from this lot in the last month.
At this point, both parties seem to favor a settlement over a trial.
We will continue to follow the court proceedings and bring you the latest updates on air and online.