Denver launches planning process for 155-acre Park Hill land protected from development

Open space battle intensifies with opponents urging city to buy back land

 

Denver leaders this week are launching a planning process for the 155-acre former Park Hill Golf Club site that has been protected as golf-related open space under a legal restriction that blocks development.

City officials on Monday told The Denver Post their “visioning” process is necessary to explore how this conservation easement could be changed.

But a coalition of residents ramped up their opposition, saying city officials are wasting time and money planning for development that cannot be done.

At a forum Monday, opponents urged city leaders to use $5 million in open space tax funds to buy back the land developer Westside Investment Partners purchased for $24 million in 2019. They said this is a last relatively inexpensive chance to preserve open space near the city center, casting it as a battle for justice and the soul of the city.

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SOS Denver Press Conference Feb 8 2021

DENVER, CO (February 8, 2021) Save Open Space Denver (“SOS Denver”), the grassroots community organization that has been working for over four years on issues related to the future of the Park Hill Golf Course land, will hold a virtual press conference on Monday morning February 8th, from 10:30​ to 11:00 a.m. The Zoom meeting will expose some of the very important concerns facing the future of the Park Hill Golf Course land and its conservation easement. The meeting will also address issues with the way in which the City is proceeding regarding the land by launching this “visioning” and planning effort. SOS Denver has presented these concerns in writing to Mayor Hancock and his administration today, with copies to Denver City Council members. A copy of this letter will be released to press via email Monday morning. The main concerns include: • Why is the City proceeding with a “visioning” and planning process for development on land that is legally protected from development by a conservation easement? • If the City has plans to lift the easement to allow development, how do they plan to do this in compliance with the Colorado conservation easement statute? • If this planning process goes forward, what, if anything, can be done to neutralize the inherent bias of a developer-driven process, orchestrated to produce a pro-development outcome for the real estate developer landowner? Tony Pigford and Woody Garnsey from SOS Denver will be on hand to present the latest on this fight to protect this critical open space and will be available to take questions.