Dec 6, 2022 - News

City selects blueprint for Park Hill Golf Course

Park Hill Golf Course in Denver, Colorado on April 22, 2021. Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The city of Denver has finally set its vision for the Park Hill Golf Course.

Driving the news: The Denver City Council on Monday approved the Park Hill Golf Course Small Area Plan, determining a strategy for a piece of land that's long been the focus of fierce debate over its potential development.

  • The plan was approved by a 10-3 vote, with council members Candi CdeBaca, Amanda Sawyer and Paul Kashmann voting no.

Yes, but: The approval doesn't affect the conservation easement, which prevents development in the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood because it requires the land be used as a golf course.

  • Those who oppose the approved plan said they want the easement to be honored, and criticized the city's public engagement process for inadequately reflecting how residents in the historically Black neighborhood feel about its future.

Why it matters: The plan gives voters a sense of what could happen if residents decide to lift the easement — which only a citywide vote can do — on the 155-acre site owned by Westside Investment Partners.

  • City planning spokesperson Alex Foster tells Axios that approving a plan is a first step toward potential development.

Details: The plan was drafted with feedback from people who live nearby.

  • During that process, people told the city they wanted a mixture including open spaces and housing.
  • Residents also noted they wanted income-restricted housing options, accounting for potential gentrification in the area.

Zoom in: The newly approved plan makes recommendations, including keeping more than 100 acres of parks and open spaces, building income-restricted rentals and for-sale units, and bringing a grocery store to the area.

What's next: A vote to lift the easement will likely appear before voters next year.


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