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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Denver residents take a stand on Park Hill Golf Course as green space dwindles citywide

Former Mayor Wellington Webb suspects a “gentlemen’s agreement” to develop land

Now defunct Park Hill Golf Club in Denver, pictured July 31, 2019, slated for development. Andy Cross, The Denver Post

By BRUCE FINLEY | bfinley@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
August 4, 2019 at 6:00 am

While Denver was hosting urban planners from 18 nations recently for a conference on green space, residents were launching a campaign to preserve 155 acres of open space at the Park Hill Golf Course, which was sold to a developer last month.

These Save Open Space Denver advocates say they’re fighting to ensure breathing room amid a citywide thickening of traffic, jam-packed apartments and rising heat. They’re focusing on the Park Hill land as a last relatively inexpensive chance to move toward a balance between nature and development that city leaders traditionally aspired to in the goal of making Denver “a city within a park.”

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A Life Or Death Situation – A Letter From Kim Morse

From K Morse
To CdeBaca, Candi – CC XA1404 Member Denver City Council Candi.CdeBaca@denvergov.org, amanda.sawyer@denvergov.org amanda.sawyer@denvergov.org, amanda.sandoval@denvergov.org amanda.sandoval@denvergov.org, chris.hinds@denvergov.org chris.hinds@denvergov.org, Kashmann, Paul J. – City Council Paul.Kashmann@denvergov.org, Herndon, Christopher J. – City Council District 8 Christopher.Herndon@denvergov.org, ortegaatlarge@denvergov.org ortegaatlarge@denvergov.org, Deborah Ortega deborahortega@icloud.com, Kniech, Robin L. – City Council Robin.Kniech@denvergov.org, stacie.gilmore@denvergov.org stacie.gilmore@denvergov.org, kevin.flynn@denvergov.org kevin.flynn@denvergov.org, jolon.clark@denvergov.org jolon.clark@denvergov.org, kendra.black@denvergov.org kendra.black@denvergov.org, jamie.torres@denvergov.org jamie.torres@denvergov.org

 

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Council Representatives,
You’re more than likely familiar with the statement pictured above.
Selling off open space may not seem like a life or death situation to you but it is just one more step in that direction for all life forms that exist today.  News outlets reported last week that July 2019 was the hottest on record.  Our air and water quality is increasingly compromised by human activities.  We loses countless species (mammals, birds, insects, etc.) each year through extinction due to human activities, including encroachment on their habitat, pollution and the resulting warming of our planet.
Our increasing landmass of asphalt and concrete contributes to local warming, which contributes to the need to use more fossil fuel to cool our homes, cars, offices, etc., not to mention lost productivity, health issues and more.  I encourage you to step outside of the City and County and head across the street to the greenery of Civic Center Park on a 90+ degree day. Take in the very noticeable difference in temperature between the streetscape you’ll cross on your way to the park and the park itself. It’s dramatic.  We need more trees, plants and other natural landscape, not less.
It is incumbent on each and every one of you to do what you can to Stop Park Hill Golf Course from being covered in asphalt and concrete.  Let’s not be shortsighted here and think about our own personal interests in open space or financial gain today.  Let’s think about the future that we want to leave for our children and their children. Continue reading

Thoughts On Leadership

By newspaper537 / July 31, 2019 / News  Greater Park Hill Community Newsletter

It’s Time For Our Elected Officials To Up Their Game

By Brenda Morrison

For the GPHN

Given Denver’s rapid growth and strong economy, it’s both a blessing and curse to be in public leadership.

Unlike other communities, Denver is not facing budget cuts, structural deficits or unfunded pensions. Denver’s residents have been generous, approving bonds and tax increases in order to ensure that the city grows and maintains services, continues to provide parks and open space, and invests in behavioral health.

Yet the city is also facing rising home prices, traffic and congestion, and a rapidly growing homeless population.

These issues are going to demand that all of us raise our game. And that must begin with our elected officials.

Let me make it clear: I am asking our city leaders to embrace their responsibilities. That means both in tough and in good times.

I get it. It’s hard to balance diverse and often demanding constituencies, weighing current needs with those of the future, with your own personal values.

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Teed Off: How Park Hill Golf Course Ended Up in the Hands of Developers

The Park Hill Golf Course remains one of the largest expanses of open space in metro Denver … for now. Anthony Camera Westword

By  | JULY 30, 2019 | 5:23AM  Westword Magazine

On a recent, blazing-hot Friday, the Educare campus at Clayton Early Learning is abuzz with children playing in t he halls and swarming their teachers. These children, from months-old infants to five-year-olds, enroll in Clayton’s programs through the summer months, receiving research-backed care and evaluation funded by a historic philanthropic trust.

Nearly all of them come from families that live below the poverty line, but you wouldn’t know it looking down the clean, spacious hallway of classrooms in a facility that most public high schools would envy. Clayton’s Educare campus was built in 2006 as an addition to the century-old red-brick Historic Clayton Campus, a registered national landmark on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Colorado boulevards. “Often the families, when they come in here for the first time, go, ‘Wow. I never thought anybody valued me and my child to build us a place like this,’” says Charlotte Brantley, Clayton’s outgoing CEO and president.

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