Park Hill Golf Club: Get ready for another Denver development debate Legal fights are over, but the development debate has just begun

Andy Cross, The Denver Post A small amount of remaining green grass gets mowed at the now defunct Park Hill Golf Club slated for development July 31, 2019.

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

The city of Denver is ready to end the legal conflicts that have ensnared a valuable piece of property in the city’s northeast. But a proposed settlement may be just the beginning of a long and contentious political fight over the future of the Park Hill Golf Club.

The property — a rare 155-acre chunk of open space in an urbanizing city — has been through a head-spinning series of legal maneuvers over the last few years. It has been the prize for intense wrangling between its former nonprofit owner, the city government and a for-profit golf company, and the subject of a couple lawsuits.

The developer Westside Investment Partners bought the land this summer for $24 million, but it still was shadowed by legal disputes. On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Hancock’s office announced that a proposed agreement “would end litigation involving the property.”

The settlement will not allow any development on the land. Only a vote of City Council can do that. “We wanted a guarantee that Denver would have a right to provide input about the property’s future,” Hancock said in a news release.

The biggest legal questions include a lawsuit over an ongoing city flood-control project on the land. Early this year, the city took possession of about 35 acres of the course to complete the project. The parent of the former golf course operator, Arcis Golf, sued the city for damaging its business.

The new owner, Westside, took over that lawsuit. City officials wouldn’t say whether the settlement included a payment from the city to Westside, saying that the agreement wasn’t final yet.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Park Hill Golf Club_ Get ready for another Denver development debate

Litigation Over Park Hill Golf Course Will Be Settled, but What Comes Next Is Unclear

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

Westword  | OCTOBER 1, 2019 | 3:50PM

Westside Investment Partners, the developer that purchased Park Hill Golf Course in July, has reached a tentative “agreement in principle” with the city that would end a lawsuit regarding Denver’s stormwater detention project on the golf course land. Neither party can disclose the full details of the agreement before it becomes official; however, Mayor Michael Hancock’s office released a statement today, October 1, emphasizing that it does not change the current land restrictions.

Despite the tentative agreement, Westside must navigate a long road before it can develop Park Hill Golf Course, which it purchased for $24 million. All 155 acres are currently subject to a conservation easement that prohibits any change to the land use. The prospect of development faces serious opposition from local advocates, who have argued that the city should uphold the conservation easement, which can only be torn apart by Denver City Council, as a way of preserving the land as open space. However, the easement, established by Wellington Webb’s administration in 1997, requires the land to remain a golf course — a use that, given the flood mitigation work going on now, looks fairly untenable.

That’s what Arcis Golf, the company that leased Park Hill Golf Course from Clayton Early Learning, originally argued when it filed the lawsuit in March, after the city seized 35 acres of the land without Arcis’s consent. Four holes were torn up for the sake of the complex and controversial Platte to Park Hill stormwater detention project, thus damaging the irrigation system and “making the operation of a full, 18-hole golf course impossible,” Arcis alleges in the complaint. The Park Hill Golf Course has since been shuttered.

FULL ARTICLE CAN BE READ HERE

 

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.”

Continue reading

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

 

only

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.

Continue reading