What About A Park?
The Latest in the Mission to Build a World-Class Regional Park
Three times since November 2021 (the November 2, 2021 “Yes” vote on the citizens’ Initiated Ordinance 301, the November 2, 2021“No” vote on the real estate developer’s Initiated Ordinance 302, and the April 4, 2023 “No” vote on Referred Question 2 O), Denver voters sent decisive overwhelming messages that they want to guarantee the open space and recreational future of the Park Hill Golf Course (PHGC) land.
After the defeat of Referred Question 2 O, Save Open Space Denver sent the mayoral candidates in the June 6, 2023 runoff election its position statement regarding ongoing issues related to the open space and recreational future of the PHGC land. You can see the text of the Save Open Space position statement and the response of winning candidate Mayor Mike Johnston that was supportive of the position statement.
Based on the voters’ rejection of Referred Question 2 O, City Council voted on June 20, 2023 (with the concurrence of Mayor Michael Hancock) both to repeal the mixed-use rezoning of the PHGC land that was approved on January 23, 2023 and to return the land to its prior Open Space Recreation (OS-B) zoning. The next crucial needed steps include:
- Repeal of the mixed-use Small Area Plan approved on December 5, 2022 that allows construction of commercial and residential buildings from 4 to 12 stories on the PHGC land in violation of the open space and recreational purposes of the land’s City-owned conservation easement
- Appraisals of the PHGC land’s fair market value both with and without its City-owned conservation easement in place
- A meaningful planning process to define a broad range of features and amenities that would activate the PHGC land in a manner consistent with the open space and recreational conservation purposes of its City-owned conservation easement
- If the real estate developer property owner Westside Investment Partners (Westside) chooses not to re-open golf operations promptly on the PHGC land, City leaders must facilitate the City’s purchase of the land for a designated city park at its fair market value (as encumbered by the City-owned conservation easement) using funds including the Referred Measure 2A 0.25% sales tax revenues