Former Mayor Wellington Webb Urges Residents To Oppose Developing Park Hill Golf Course Land
By Cara DeGette
Declaring that “no park in Denver is safe” if developers are allowed free rein, former Mayor Wellington Webb is urging Denver residents to contact their council representatives and register opposition to efforts to develop the 155 acres that is currently the site of the Park Hill Golf Course.
Webb’s late June press conference came shortly after a surprise deal surfaced that a development company, Westside Investment Partners, plans to close on a contract for the land on July 11.
“I’m asking residents to send City Council a message to figure out a way to maintain this land as open space,” Webb said.
The land is currently owned by the Clayton Trust, the foundation for the Clayton Early Learning campus west of Park Hill. Clayton leases it to Texas-based Arcis, a corporation that has operated the golf course for many years.
Denver holds a perpetual open space conservation easement on the property – which the city paid $2 million to secure in 1997, when Webb was mayor. Any changes, including developing the property, would require the Denver City Council to approve zoning changes and remove the conservation easement, legal experts say.
Webb’s June 24 press conference also came shortly after this year’s municipal election that was overwhelmingly driven by anti-developer sentiment, resulting in the ouster of three incumbents who were perceived as being too friendly to developers. A group of longtime Park Hill residents highlighted the future of the golf course land as a major issue of the campaign. They have promoted the plan that the land should eventually become a regional park.