“In a city nearing 700,000 people, it’s never been more important to protect, preserve, and grow our parks and recreational opportunities.” Mayor Michael Hancock, 2017 State of the City Address
If not a golf course, THE PARK HILL GOLF COURSE LAND SHOULD BE A PUBLIC PARK
A LAST OPPORTUNITY: The 155 acres of Park Hill Golf Course (PHGC) land, located on Colorado Blvd. between 35th and 40th Avenues, present one of the last opportunities in Denver to preserve a significant open space and create a large park without massive economic investment. In this increasingly densified city, smart public policy would not sacrifice this unique open space to housing and other development desires that must be strategically met elsewhere.
ZONING & A PERPETUAL CONSERVATION EASEMENT PROTECT THE LAND:
The PHGC land is currently zoned OS-B (Open Space-Recreation). Additionally, in 1997 the City of Denver paid the George W. Clayton Trust $2 million for a perpetual open space conservation easement on the land. Therefore, since 1997 the easement has prevented development on the land in perpetuity.
DENVER NEEDS MORE PARKLAND:
The 2019 Trust for Public Lands’ park score ranks Denver 29th of the 100 largest U. S. cities in parkland adequacy, down from a ranking of 13th in 2012. Denver ranks well below cities of comparable size, like Washington, D,C., Seattle, Portland and Boston.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD NEEDS A PARK:
Denver Department of Parks and Recreation describes the PHGC neighborhood as “park poor.” The Park Hill Golf Course land has much of the infrastructure, trees, and grass needed for a park, and the site is close to public transportation (RTD’s No. 40 bus and the new A-Line)
Listen to the Forum here. Video is not available but we thank The Denver Post for sharing the audible portion. The first question deals with Park Hill Golf Course
Shared from the 3/2/2019 The Denver Post eEdition
By Happy Haynes
Happy Haynes is the executive director of Parks and Recreation for the City and County of Denver.
You may have read recently that Denver is losing park land. That’s simply not accurate.
A series of articles from January, “The Densification of Denver,” implied that Denver is losing park land and open space with no plans to reverse the trend.
And then a recent guest commentary raised concerns about the City of Denver’s commitment to preserving green space at Park Hill Golf Course and elsewhere in the city. The piece also referenced the densification series.
Both the commentary and the flawed reporting are wrong on several counts.
With respect to Park Hill Golf Course, current use restrictions do not allow the city to require the property to be used for a regional park or any open space purpose other than golf. It is not accurate to say that the city is seeking to develop housing on the site, nor is it accurate to say that there is any deal in place for developing the land. The mayor and city attorney have been working diligently to explore ways to acquire this land and if we are successful, the community will have a major say in what happens to it, including preserving it for open space.
On the larger issue of preserving open space and park land, the Hancock administration believes strongly in preserving and acquiring open space as part of an inclusive growth strategy.
COMPLETE ARTICLE IS FOUND HERE
We’re growing park land in Denver – The Denver Post, 3_2_2019