By Harry Doby Oct 19 2022
Westside isn’t really proposing a 100-acre park
The much-hyped “Over 100 acres of park and open space” is complete bull coming from the city and their “client,” Westside, which hopes to develop the Park Hill golf course.
The actual usable, designated park space is at most 55 acres. The zoning application revealed that first, Westside is only requesting park zoning on the eastern half of the property (80 acres, including the unusable 25-acre flood control detention pond).
So the contiguous public park space is just 55 acres. Their application goes on to say they’ll come up with another 20 acres on their private property that won’t be maintained by Parks and Rec. So basically, the grass along the sidewalks and around the apartment buildings along Colorado Blvd, or the median where they will pave the 38th Avenue “Main Street” will count as park space in their eyes.
The claim of over 100 acres is a pure snake oil sales pitch from Westside and their sales and marketing associates at the city’s Community Planning and Development. Over-promise and under-deliver!
— Harry Doby, Denver
Denver Post September 25, 2022
The Open Forum
Letters to the Editor
Land under conservation easement is not for building
Re: “A counter proposal for Park Hill Golf Course development,” Sept. 18 commentary
First, Megan Schrader omits explaining the critical fact that the Park Hill Golf Course land conservation easement is governed by the Colorado conservation easement statute. In accordance with this statute, the conservation easement cannot be terminated, released, extinguished or abandoned without a court order that—based on changed conditions on or surrounding the land—it has become “impossible” to continue fulfilling the easement’s open space and recreational conservation purposes. There are no such “impossibilities.”
Now there can’t be any meaningful “negotiation” about the Park Hill Golf Course land issues because the City and the developer Westside Investment Partners have failed to seek and secure such a statutory court order. Just like the City’s expensive “planning” process for the land, any such “negotiation” would be putting the proverbial cart before the horse because the land cannot now be legally developed under state law.
Second, Schrader discusses Westside’s proposed “gift” to the City of 100 acres for park and open space as a “good start.” This proposed “gift” is worth no more than the fair market value of this 100 acres of land as encumbered by the conservation easement. Generously, this fair market value would be no more than about $3 million. Even accounting for this proposed “gift,” any possible breaking of the conservation easement would constitute a massive gift from Denver taxpayers to Westside of at least $60 million.
Woody Garnsey, Denver