Judge tosses out a lawsuit that would have stopped the Park Hill Golf Course redevelopment planning process

Our lawsuit calling for the city to follow the state statute protecting conservation easements was tossed out on technical grounds (something about taxpayers don’t have the right to sue if the city is wasting our tax dollars…). The city took the opportunity brag that their self-selected echo chamber of a development planning committee “… has found near-universal support for discontinuing the operation of a functionally obsolete golf course on this land.” It may come as a surprise to the city, but that train left the station a long time ago. They also think that we are a “Narrowly-focused organizations that purport to represent the community…”. I think the community is doing a terrific job representing their own best interests when nearly two-thirds of voters supported Parks and Open Space Initiative 301 and by a similar number shot down the developer’s attempted end run measure 302!

The fight over 155 acres of Northeast Park Hill land is hardly over.

The Park Hill Golf Course. June 4, 2021.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

By Kyle Harris

A lawsuit filed in June to stop the planning process for the redevelopment of the Park Hill Golf Course was tossed out on Wednesday by Judge Ross B.H. Buchanan in district court.

The rationale: The group that filed the lawsuit, Save Open Space Denver, didn’t have legal grounds to do so. The merits of the SOS case went largely unexamined.

The now-shuttered Park Hill Golf Course, 155 acres of land protected by a voter-approved conservation easement, was purchased from the nonprofit George W. Clayton Trust for $24 million by the developer Westside Investment Partners in 2019. The company set out to build a mixed-use development on the site, with housing and retail. But the conservation easement, which states that the land should be protected as a golf course, is a major obstacle in pulling off the plan.

For the City, the conservation easement wasn’t a barrier to launching a public planning process about the commercial redevelopment of the site.


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