Resolution Supporting The Continued Protection of The Park Hill Golf Course Land Conservation Easement
The Democratic Party of Denver Central Committee Meeting, January 25, 2020
WHEREAS The Platform of The Democratic Party of Denver states in its opening paragraph that “We stand for individual freedom and the needs of the community. We believe government should serve all the people. We believe the economy should be democratically owned and controlled in order to serve the needs of the many, not
to make profits for the few”; and
WHEREAS The Platform of The Democratic Party of Denver goes on to say that “We must protect land, water and air as we manage growth and modernize our transportation and energy infrastructure. We must conserve limited water resources and expand and preserve Denver’s parks, wetlands and green and open spaces;” and
WHEREAS the Platform of The Colorado Democratic Party states in its values-centered preamble that “Colorado is beautiful. And we want to keep it that way. Our economy and health depend on it. The health of our land, air, and
water–and the health of future generations–cannot be bought and sold;” and
WHEREAS The Platform of The Colorado Democratic Party goes on, in its section on Environment, to say that
• “Our local, state, and national leaders must manage growth, pollution, and the extraction of natural resources while providing for the long term protection of our people, our communities, and our environment over and above the interests of short term needs and profits.”
• that “we oppose selling public lands outright or leasing them at minimal rates, except for the purpose of conservation or protection of ecology, habitat, and contained species;”
• that “We support public and private efforts to conserve and preserve land through open space programs; we support coordinated regional and state control of growth and open space acquisition;”
• and that “We call for expanding and strengthening local and state conservation easement programs;” and
WHEREAS the 155-acre Park Hill Golf Course (PHGC) land is zoned Open Space-Recreation (OS-B) and since 1997 it has been protected by the perpetual open space conservation easement that Denver taxpayers paid $2 million for under the Webb administration; and
WHEREAS the land was purchased in July, 2019 by Westside Investments (WI) at well over the market value for land designated as open space but well under the market value for land to be developed; and
WHEREAS WI is reportedly working to find a way to remove the conservation easement from the land; and
WHEREAS Denver voters overwhelming supported Referred Measure 2A on the ballot in 2018 to provide $45.94 million to acquire additional land for parks, trails, and open space and to improve and maintain new and existing parks, trails, and open space in Denver; and
WHEREAS the 155-acre PHGC land is the largest remaining undeveloped tract that potentially could be available to fill the park shortages in Denver; and
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we, The Central Committee of The Democratic Party of Denver, call for Denver City Council’s continued protection of the perpetual open space conservation easement for the Park Hill Golf Course land and oppose any effort to remove the conservation easement from the land.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution shall be sent to the members of Denver’s City Council and to a comprehensive list of Denver media outlets.
2 thoughts on “Resolution Passed By The Democratic Party of Denver Central Committee”
As a Denver Democrat, I’m excited for a new park, but the easement, unless I’m sorely mistaken, says it’s supposed to remain a golf course. What is the process for turning it into a much-needed park, and why must 100% of it be a park? I’m sure if 84% of it becomes a park and the part above 40th St became 25 acres of medium density housing, all within a 10-minute walk of the 40th and Colorado Station, we’d get potentially 500 additional homes AND a 130-acre regional park fixing two huge problems at once: a housing shortage AND a park shortage.
The 25 acres above 40th cannot be built upon, ever, due to the Platte-to-Park Hill Detention project. That land is under a permanent easement by the city because it will hold flood waters to keep the soon to be completed I-70 subterranean tunnel from flooding. It will only have natural grasses in the basin, and trees to block the view of the detention area (check out the detention area at 38th and Holly to see what it will look like). That easement is over and above the conservation easement that is the one we’re trying to preserve. Why shouldn’t the commercial/industrial properties right next to the land be developed first? At last count, there were about a dozen available properties. Redeveloping those parcels would not cost nearly as much as laying new infrastructure on virgin ground . Incidentally, the Urban Land Conservancy is already set to develop the 6 acres across the street with more than 200 income-restricted and market rate family-sized homes. That is a 2 minute walk from both the 40th and Colorado station and a future park at the former PHGC. That’s my hope for a win-win-win.