Save Open Space Denver is asking City Council to place the “Let Denver Vote” charter amendment on the November 3 ballot. The charter amendment would preserve open space by requiring a city-wide vote before any present or future city-owned conservation easement is cancelled or before there can be residential or commercial construction on land protected by such an easement. The charter amendment would protect the perpetual open space conservation easement on the Park Hill Golf Course land in the same way that the charter now protects designated park land.
What can you do? Urge Council to place the charter amendment on the November 3 ballot. The Council will consider the measure at its meetings on August 17th and 23rd. Please send an email (and ask at least five of your Denver friends, family members and neighbors to send emails) before August 17 to each Council member, either in your own words or by cutting and pasting the following suggested subject line and email text. The Council email addresses below can be copied and pasted as a group into the emails. If you have a personal connection with any City Council members, please consider both sending a personal email to them and sending the group email to the others.
Multimedia journalist, historian and community organizer Brother Jeff [Jeff Fard; brotherjeff.com]] has produced two recent videos in his online “Say It Loud” show featuring powerful interviews about the future of the Park Hill Golf Course land and its perpetual open space conservation easement.
In this most recent episode, Aug 4, Dr Calderon linked the homeless crisis to the inaction by Hancock and Herndon, using PHGC land issue and the charter amendment as a lens focusing on why this is a city-wide issue.
These Brother Jeff interview videos follow his November 2019 interview with Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca regarding the Park Hill Golf Course land.
You can find the videos of his interviews with Tony Pigford and Leslie Twarogowski using the following links:
Brother Jeff has also produced two in-depth and thought-provoking videos that chronicle his insights into gentrification while walking in and around two recent northeast Denver real estate development projects: (1) the Park Hill Commons and Fairfax Row development project on the east side of the 2800 block of Fairfax Street and (2) the Skyland Village development project on the old East Denver YMCA property at 3540 East 31st Avenue. Join Brother Jeff as he shares his experiences and observations about gentrification while touring these properties. We thank Brother Jeff Fard for allowing us to share these videos.
The legal battles are over, but the future for the 155-acre Denver property is as murky as ever.
The Denver skyline stands tall behind the Park Hill Golf Club. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
From the Denverite
The City of Denver reached a settlement with the owners of a golf course in Park Hill this week, forking over $6 million to put an end to a complex series of legal battles.
The settlement ends all of pending litigation over the property but does not add any sort of clarity to the future of the 155 acres of land, which has embroiled the city, open space advocates and the various owners and operators of the golf course for years.
The agreement between the city and the property’s owner, Westside Investment Partners, will maintain a long-standing conservation easement on the land, which prohibits development on the property. The agreement gives Westside at least three years to finalize their plans for the property and start a public engagement process to vet other possible uses for the land. To develop the property, Westside would need to get City Council approval to remove the conservation easement and rezone the property.
According to city officials, the settlement was designed to allow the city to disentangle itself from the legal mess surrounding the golf course, while still giving Denverites some say in what happens on the private property.
“My priorities for the property and for the neighborhood have always been preserving open space and extensive community input. This agreement ensures we will have both,” Mayor Michael Hancock said via a press release Tuesday. “The easement will be preserved while the neighbors who are most impacted by this property will be able to guide its future use.”
STORY CONTINUES HERE
In February the Parks and Recs Committee developed a series of questions that flowed from the PARC platform.
The questions are below.
1. What is your name please and what office and district are you running for?
2. If you were appointing the Executive Director of Parks and Recreation Department, what education and previous experience would you expect the person to have?
3. Will you support an ordinance moving OS-A zoning from the Ex. Director of Parks back to City Council? If not, why?
4. What would you consider is adequate green space for high density development, for example Elitchs? What steps would you take to ensure the zoning requirement for green space is adequate?
5. The use of recycled water in Denver parks appears to be causing the premature loss of many mature evergreens. Is that an acceptable trade-off for accommodating more population growth or should the city spend money to untie remediation measures to save those legacy trees? Explain your answer.
6. What would you do to protect and enhance waterways going through Denver?
7. What aspect(s) of INC Parks and Rec Urban Platform do you support?