May 10, 2022 - News

What's next for Denver's Park Hill Golf Course

Two development concepts proposed for Denver's now defunct Park Hill Golf Course. Photo courtesy of Denver's Community Planning and Development Department

The future of the Park Hill Golf Course is taking shape.

Why it matters: The 155-acre space, owned by Westside Investment Partners, is Denver's last undeveloped parcel, situated in the heart of a historically underserved, largely Black and rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

  • The debate over the land's fate reflects the rising tension between preservation and development as the city grows and its affordable housing crisis deepens.

Driving the news: A 27-member steering committee will meet Tuesday evening to cut two frameworks for the space to one, building upon the vision released by the city last December based on Park Hill residents' feedback.

  • The two plans are similar, both allocating space for a sprawling new park, affordable housing, a grocery store, storefronts for local businesses, expanded tree coverage and biking paths.
  • One of the main differences, however, is how development is laid out along Colorado Boulevard and the park's main access points.

What they're saying: The final plan will "likely be some sort of hybrid" that takes "the best elements of each and combines them into one that meets the sweet spot of everything we're trying to achieve," David Gaspers, a principal planner for the city, tells Axios Denver.

Catch up quick: Denver voters this past November passed a ballot measure that made it harder to build on the golf course.

  • At the same time, voters rejected a competing ballot measure backed by Westside that would have left the development door open and given the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood the power to decide the golf course's future rather than the entire city.
  • Now Denver voters have the final say over lifting the land's conservation easements — not the city.

What's next: Denver planners aim to distill the neighborhood's vision into a single development blueprint later this year that will be open to citywide feedback, Gaspers says.

  • Whatever happens to the golf course will require approval by city council members before Denver voters make the final call.

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