Park Hill Golf Course a lesson: What happens when cities and counties hesitate

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As golf courses go, the Park Hill Golf Course at 35th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Denver is nothing special. First of all, it is flat — with little imagination used in its design, layout, hazards and character.

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July 18th viewed from the north side of the property and then looking east along Colorado Blvd

All the same, it is 155 acres of strategic open space in the City and County of Denver. That’s what makes it special.

You might have recently followed the saga involving the sale of this land to a developer and you might recall that the City and County attempted to purchase the property but failed.

But it is important to note that Denver had previously purchased a conservation easement on the property at a cost of $2 million, which basically says the property must remain as a golf course or related uses. Only the Denver City Council can remove the easement and allow private development on the subject land.

Now a developer is betting he can cut a deal with the city council and open up a portion of the land for apartments and other development. Having paid $24 million for the site, you have to believe he has some kind of assurance that the easement will be removed. Did I mention he contributed to Mayor Hancock’s re-election campaign?

It could be a huge missed opportunity

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