Open Letter to Denver City Council to Protect Park Hill Golf Course Land as Open Space

Today, the Denver Post published an update on the controversial sale and planned development of the Park Hill Golf Course land.  In addition, this letter has been sent to all the current city council members:

With the private sale of 155 acres of open space in the park desert of Northeast Park Hill, it is heartening to have former Mayor Wellington Webb call for the city council to protect the $2 million perpetual open space conservation easement currently in place. His visionary 1997 agreement with Clayton Trust to forfeit its development rights in exchange for cash and a property tax abatement for the last 20 years was a wise use of taxpayer funds and should remain as his everlasting legacy for generations to come. Only you and your fellow council members have the power to fulfill his request.

As a recent Denver Post editorial put it: “… our elected officials must not lose track of the ultimate goal — to vastly increase open space by acquiring one of the last remaining parcels of land available for such an endeavor.”

The speculative purchase by a local developer may fulfill the Clayton Trust’s long term desire for financial stability. However that does not obligate the city to make the false choice of sacrificing virgin open space to the detriment of development. Nor is “splitting the baby” desirable, which would require cancellation of the conservation easement, leaving any remaining undeveloped land vulnerable. There are multiple dilapidated industrial properties near this land, unloved and ignored, that are ripe for redevelopment instead.

Please remember these words from the Denver Post: “Webb said he supports the goal of affordable housing, but thinks it is a ‘trick to garner support’ for developing this open space. Housing can be built on other large sites, but open space can never be recovered, he argued.”

We, the members of Save Open Space Denver, hope you will consider the lasting impact of losing irreplaceable open space and vote to preserve the conservation easement.

2 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    Good job, Harry Doby. Part of what makes Denver great is the skyline backdrop of mountains behind skyscrapers. That view, plus the oxygen offset, carbon sink of green space and trees, makes north Park Hill livable. We can do affordable housing, as Mayor Webb noted, without sacrificing green and open space. My parents, Park Hill activists for many years, would want to preserve the golf course space.

    • harrydoby says:

      Thanks MJ.  We have a long struggle ahead of us, but we are growing support every day.  The Denver Post has editorialized in support of our cause as well as providing continuing coverage.  Westword has just published another comprehensive story that traces the complete history of this uniquely valuable property.

      And Channel 9 has provided great coverage via Kyle Clark and Marshall Zelinger.

      Greater Park Hill Community Registered Neighborhood Organization is very supportive of our efforts, and we have supporters on the council. As long as we  keep this in the public's eye, we have a good chance to save this last-of-its-kind inner city green space.No photo description available.

       

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