Did I Read Correctly That The Developer Of Loretto Heights?

Instead of preserving 238 mature trees at Loretto Heights, Westside just chopped them down, and the city was helpless to stop them. In response to a citizen’s letter noting that it will take 30 to 40 years for any replacement trees to provide the equivalent amount of cooling and clean air: ” In the case of Loretto Heights, this is a private development on private property where our office did not have jurisdiction. The Forestry review team provided direction to the developer in regards to trees that should have at least been considered for retention based on a number of criteria, but unfortunately the developer chose a different route. The development proposal called out to preserve some of the trees surrounding the Administration building/quad area and also proposed new street trees within and an adjacent to the development, but you are correct, it will take decades to replace what has been lost. Unfortunately this is a great loss of trees and canopy cover, wildlife corridors, and natural ecological systems, but it has awoken the City to holes in our sustainability and resiliency efforts showing that we need to do better to protect these assets. Hopefully we can address these needs in upcoming policy, rule and ordinance changes, such as the Denver Green Code. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns and if I cannot address them I will forward them on to someone who can.”

https://denverite.com/2021/06/14/tree-cutting-at-loretto-heights-campus-in-harvey-park-prompts-yells-and-yawns/

From: Myer, Jim P. – DPR CJ1917 Field Superintendent <James.Myer@denvergov.org>
To: dgallag954
Cc: Wilson, Richard A. – DPR Ops Supv <Richard.Wilson@denvergov.org>
Sent: Mon, Jun 14, 2021 8:12 am
Subject: RE: Did I read correctly that the developer of Loretto Heights

Dennis,   Thank you for your inquiry.  Please let me clarify, I supervise the Office of the City Forester’s Plan Review Team that is responsible for the review of development plans that impact the public right-of-way and in certain residential zoned neighborhoods the front setback trees, not a separate inspections/public development office.  In the case of Loretto Heights, this is a private development on private property where our office did not have jurisdiction.  The Forestry review team provided direction to the developer in regards to trees that should have at least been considered for retention based on a number of criteria, but unfortunately the developer chose a different route.  The development proposal called out to preserve some of the trees surrounding the Administration building/quad area and also proposed new street trees within and an adjacent to the development, but you are correct, it will take decades to replace what has been lost.   Unfortunately this is a great loss of trees and canopy cover, wildlife corridors, and natural ecological systems, but it has awoken the City to holes in our sustainability and resiliency efforts showing that we need to do better to protect these assets.  Hopefully we can address these needs in upcoming policy, rule and ordinance changes, such as the Denver Green Code.  Please feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns and if I cannot address them I will forward them on to someone who can.   Thank you.     

DPR_Color_RGBJim Myer | Forestry Operations Superintendent
james.myer@denvergov.org  p: 720-913-0681 Office of the City Forester|City and County of Denver 

From: Wilson, Richard A. – DPR Ops Supv <Richard.Wilson@denvergov.org>
Sent: Monday, June 14, 2021 6:53 AM
To:dgallag954
Cc: Myer, Jim P. – DPR CJ1917 Field Superintendent <James.Myer@denvergov.org>
Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Did I read correctly that the developer of Loretto Heights  

Hello,   I work with the forestry Dept in Parks and Recreation and have no clue what the inspections/ public development office is or isn’t approving. You will need to contact Jim Myer, He is the supervisor of that dept. He is CC’d in on this email for you.  

Thanks,   Rich Wilson |

Forestry Operations Supervisor Board Certified Master Arborist | Tree Risk Qualified | Municipal Specialist RM-0600 Office of the City Forester | Denver Parks and Recreation | City and County of Denver p: (720) 865-0404 Richard.Wilson@Denvergov.org

People want to turn Park Hill Golf Course into a grocery store, athletic fields and other things

You don’t have to read 236 pages about an old golf course to better understand what’s happening next, because we did it for you.

Published in the Denverite

What’s 155 acres, grassy and not a golf course?

Park Hill Golf Course. It closed in 2018 and was sold a year later to Westside Investment Partners, who planned to then work with the city to sort out the land’s excruciatingly complicated conservation easement. Another group called Save Open Space Denver wants Westside to forget developing the land altogether and keep it as-is.

Everyone else has been caught in the middle, including the Park Hill Golf Course Steering Committee, a 27-member board that consists of residents, community leaders, activists and one Westside representative.

The latest insight into community wants and needs comes in the form of a study conducted by RRC Associates, a marketing firm paid by the city. According to their results, people living nearby basically want the big rectangle of space at 35th and Colorado to do multiple jobs. That’s not surprising, according to Sean Maher of RRC.

“Among all household types, races and ethnicities, a combination of green space and development was the preferred option,” he said at a steering committee meeting on June 8.

The study was conducted through two surveys – one was sent via mail to all residents living within 0.8 miles of the site, as well as a few randomly-selected households up to 1 mile away. The other survey was distributed online and was open to the general public. Around 1,300 people and 1,400 people responded to the mail and online surveys, respectively.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

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.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Park Hill Golf Course Visioning Process

Community Steering Committee Meeting
May 18, 2021
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Via zoom

Welcome, Introduction, Agenda Review
00:00:19 Dr. Ryan Ross – facilitator
00:10:30 Community Input from Community Open House # 1 – Steering Committee Discussion
00:22:54 Community Navigators Engagement Report a. Summary/Presentation b. Discussion on community input from Engagement Report
01:04:22 Preliminary Draft Survey Results
01:20:25 Public Comment Session
01:50:10 Chartering Discussion, Wrap Up and Conclude