Shared from the 3/2/2019 The Denver Post eEditionBy Happy Haynes
You may have read recently that Denver is losing park land. That’s simply not accurate.
A series of articles from January, “The Densification of Denver,” implied that Denver is losing park land and open space with no plans to reverse the trend.
And then a recent guest commentary raised concerns about the City of Denver’s commitment to preserving green space at Park Hill Golf Course and elsewhere in the city. The piece also referenced the densification series.
Both the commentary and the flawed reporting are wrong on several counts.
With respect to Park Hill Golf Course, current use restrictions do not allow the city to require the property to be used for a regional park or any open space purpose other than golf. It is not accurate to say that the city is seeking to develop housing on the site, nor is it accurate to say that there is any deal in place for developing the land. The mayor and city attorney have been working diligently to explore ways to acquire this land and if we are successful, the community will have a major say in what happens to it, including preserving it for open space.
On the larger issue of preserving open space and park land, the Hancock administration believes strongly in preserving and acquiring open space as part of an inclusive growth strategy.
We’re growing park land in Denver – The Denver Post, 3_2_2019
One thought on “We’re growing park land in Denver”
Evidently Ms. Haynes did not attend the same three meetings I attended which the City of Denver sponsored. If she did, she either fell asleep before the meetings started and awoke after they ended, or she wore ear plugs during the entire time of the meetings. Since I am sure neither of those possibilities occurred, I wonder how Ms. Haynes could claim that “current use restrictions do not allow the city to require the property to be used for a regional park or any open space purpose other than golf.”
I attended three of these community meetings last Spring and Summer. I wanted to hear about the possibility of the property remaining a golf course. There was absolutely not a single word said about that being an option. Instead, the representatives from the city and the Clayton Foundation boy spoke about a park, affordable housing, and a grocery store. The last meeting I attended was on the Clayton campus. At that meeting, drawings and sketches were presented of types of changes that would change the PHGC landscape. I left the meeting feeling that the city an Clayton officials had already made up their minds about thee future of the golf course.
If the city cannot use the land for anything other than a golf course, why did they conduct community meetings to discuss other ways to use the land, and pay a sizable sum of money to pay for sketches and drawings of housing, a grocery store, and a park to take the place of the golf course?
I guess all of this changed when Arcis renewed their lease to keep the golf course open for five years, with an additional five year lease possible after that. Now, the city decides to close the golf course for its flood control project. How does that work with the five year lease Arcis just signed? It looks like the City of Denver has failed yet again to keep its part of the bargain.