Denver voters may face dueling ballot measures

By Bruce Finley

The Denver Post

Denver voters may face dueling ballot measures in November that each would require citywide majority approval before city leaders could try to allow development on protected green space.

One measure would prohibit commercial and housing construction without voter approval on any parks and city-owned land protected by a conservation easement, including the 155-acre former Park Hill Golf Course, where development has been blocked since 1997.

A countermeasure that also has cleared initial review, put forward by the Westside Investment Partners developers who own the Park Hill land, would change the definition of “conservation easement” to make an exception for this property — and could apply to other protected open space.

State law governs conservation easements and lifting restrictions requires a state court order. A state judge first must determine conservation is impossible. Nevertheless, Denver officials have launched a planning process exploring mixed-use commercial and housing development on the Park Hill land.

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