Tash Mitchell Appeals To Council Concerning Proposed Council Bill 20-08051

Tash Mitchell speaks at a Denver City Council Listening Session 08-22-20.

This bill if approved will provide an amendment to the Charter of the City and County of Denver to prohibit the following without the approval of voters in a regularly scheduled municipal or special election: any commercial or residential development on land protected by a City-owned conservation easement except where consistent with the conservation easement purposes and any partial or complete cancellation of a City-owned conservation easement unless for the purpose of creating a new park.

Council Bill No 20-0851-1

Give Denver voters a say on prized parcel’s fate

Mayor Wellington Webb

By Wellington Webb  Colorado Politics June 1 2020

A well-organized campaign by the developer that wants to plow under 155 acres of open space at the Park Hill Golf Course has several misleading narratives.

First, that this is a racial issue that aims to pit neighbor against neighbor.

Second, that no one outside of the Park Hill neighborhood cares about the last large tract of open space, despite the fact that voters citywide paid $2 million in 1998 to protect it from development forever. When voters vote and approve a bond contract, that is a contract between the city and the voters.

Last month, some Denver City Council members made misleading statements. One council member mentioned that that Park Hill Golf Course used to be less inviting to black golfers, which was true more than 50 years ago during the time that African Americans could not buy homes east of York Street.

But in the last 30 years, the course was very popular with black golfers, including the late Councilman Bill Roberts, former District Attorney Norm Early, Denver School Board member Ed Garner and many black resident golfers. It is misleading and unfortunate that anyone would create a narrative that this is a racial issue.

Continue reading

Denver Parks and Recreation Board White Paper

The PRAB approved the below recommendations to the DPR Executive Director Happy Haynes which include a recommendation that the city acquire the PHGC land for a park.

Approved by Parks and Recreation Advisory Board May13, 2020

We, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, recommend to the Executive Director the following for 2020 and 2021:

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, we recommend immediately and indefinitely:

An immediate increase in funding for rangers, maintenance, and sanitary facilities (e.g., hand-washing stations and restrooms) on DPR land including parks, trails and parkways. Evaluate and establish protocols and potential safety measures that consider any additional health and safety procedures (e.g., equipment cleaning, etc.).

Consideration of access to our municipal golf courses for pedestrian use of the paved golf cart trails.

 

  • Pursuit of the purchase of the Park Hill Golf Course open space at current market value using the unspent funds from 2019 158-2A tax collections ($26.565 million). We understand that this would be a departure from our earlier recommendations; we feel that the current economic conditions and our current cash-rich position enable us to acquire this land and we see it as a very important addition to our park system. Our intention is to recommend the purchase of this land and to recommend its preservation as zoned open space (OS). The land’s use, whether as a golf course and/or other recreational uses, should be determined through the regular DPR public outreach process after the land is acquired.
  • Achieve and implement a pilot cooperative relationship with DPS for the purpose of developing a significant amenity and/or property access consistent with Game Plan’s goal of ten-minute accessibility.

Continue reading

Park Hill golf course preservationists say they hold a trump card to stop development

Some want all the trees and grass to stay. Others want some trees and grass, but homes and businesses too. Courts might end up deciding.

David Sachs The Denverite 10-23-2019

Woody Garnsey leads a rally on the edge of Park Hill Golf Course demanding the space not be redeveloped. Oct. 22, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denverites resisting development on golf course land in Park Hill say a recent change to state law gives their cause a leg up over developers and the Hancock administration, who see the green swathe as a place for homes, businesses and parks.

The 155-acre chunk has been entangled in a legal and political jungle for about three years with four big players arguing over its future: the city government, former golf course operator Argus, the land’s original nonprofit owner Clayton Early Learning, and developer Westside Investment Partners.

Westside bought the land from Clayton in July for $24 million. While various lawsuits endure, the big question right now is whether Westside will be able to build stuff.

Save Open Space Denver, a group backed by former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, claims the company cannot. Members held a press conference Tuesday to amplify a state law signed in June that they say makes it harder to kill an agreement that protects the land from development. The agreement, known as a conservation easement, has been a part of the golf course’s deed for decades.

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb speaks at a rally on the edge of Park Hill Golf Course demanding the space not be redeveloped. Oct. 22, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The law states that it cannot be terminated unless a court says the conditions on or around the golf course have changed to make its continued conservation impossible. Advocates say the language makes building illegal.

“I believe that Westside wasn’t aware of that (law), because if you take a look at when the deal was closed, it was closed right after the law went into effect,” Webb said.

Denver City Council members Debbie Ortega and Candi CdeBaca have asked the mayor’s office for its legal opinion in an official letter

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE