New renderings reveal what's next for Denver's Park Hill Golf Course
The fight over the future of Denver's Park Hill Golf Course could be quieting after at least three years of back and forth.
Driving the news: Westside Investment Partners — the owner of the 155-acre site that's been at the center of a yearslong debate — revealed new renderings for the area at a public meeting Wednesday evening.
- The plans received no major opposition from a packed audience — many of whom were neighborhood residents.
Why it matters: The feud over the land's fate has reflected the rising tension between preservation and development as the city grows and its affordable housing crisis deepens.
Details: The developers' plan carves out about 100 acres of public parks and open space, plus retail that's expected to include a grocery store.
- It also includes several hundred units of affordable rental and for-sale homes — which Westside touts would double the affordable housing mandate local leaders recently passed — and nearly a quarter would be income-restricted.
What they're saying: "We heard loud and clear that this community wants housing for all, and we think this plan delivers," Westside principal Kenneth Ho said Wednesday night.
State of play: This is Westside's response to backlash from residents in the historically underserved, largely Black and rapidly gentrifying neighborhood who have been slow to trust developers' promises amid major displacement.
- Residents have also consistently complained the 18-month community input process informing the plan was flawed from the start.
What's next: The development team will continue to refine the proposal based on feedback from the city and community.
- To be adopted, the draft plan must go through the public legislative process, which involves a public hearing and vote by both the Denver Planning Board and City Council.
- After the draft area plan and final development plans are submitted, it will go to voters — possibly in 2023.
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 voters have the final say over lifting the land's conservation easements — not the city.
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