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Development vs. Open Space at a Denver Golf Course
"While Denver was hosting urban planners from 18 nations recently for a conference on green space, residents were launching a campaign to preserve 155 acres of open space at the Park Hill Golf Course, which was sold to a developer last month," reports Bruce Finley.
The Park Hill property is subject to a 1997 conservation easement that requires the land to work either as a golf course or other recreational uses, like ball fields or tennis courts.
"That easement remains even after Westside Investment Partners bought the land for $24 million last month," according to Finley. "But Westside managing principal and founder Andy Klein aims to persuade City Council members to change the easement and rezone the property, which they have the power to do, to allow residential and commercial construction."
That's where Save Open Space Denver (SOS Denver)and the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation come in—the organizations are advocating to preserve all 155 acres of the land in keeping with the easement.
According to Finley, the entire drama is playing out in context of a larger controversy about the role of open space in the future of Denver—a city that envisions itself as a "city within a park."
Meanwhile, the golf course is closed as the city implements a new stormwater management system on the site as part of a $1.4 billion citywide effort.