Is the the city of Denver listening to the people? Check out these insightful letters in the Denver Post. Here's a great letter written to the Denver Post which points out the flaw in the false narrative that Westside and the City of Denver is spreading, indicating that the current conservation easement states that the only option for the Park Hill Golf Course land is to stay a golf course, which is not true: On Oct. 19, the Denver Planning Board heard Westside Development’s rezoning application and proposed small area plan for the Park Hill Golf Course. The city staff’s repeated assertion that the conservation easement that encumbers the former golf course requires that the land be used only for a golf course and for no other purposes was disturbing, both because it is false and because it made the whole discussion that followed disingenuous.
The granting clause in the conservation easement provides that The George W. Clayton Trust conveys to Denver a “perpetual, non-exclusive conservation easement in gross over and upon the Golf Course Land to maintain the Golf Course Land’s scenic and open condition and to preserve the Golf Course Land for recreational use.” Although other provisions in the easement reference the golf course, the granting clause does not mention a golf course.
If the language in a deed or easement may be considered ambiguous (golf course vs. open space), common law rules of construction are clear that the granting clause prevails over any language in the document which may conflict, and if there is an ambiguity, the document must be construed against the grantor (here, Westside Development as successor to the Clayton Trust) and in favor of the grantee (here, Denver). There simply is no justification for the city staff’s position that only a golf course is permitted on the Park Hill Golf Course land."
— Wendy H., Denver
Change course at Park Hill site:
What are the options for the Park Hill Golf Course at this point? As a Park Hill resident, who also lived here as a child and young adult, I think city leaders are blowing a fantastic opportunity to improve and maintain this site as a park. Can that still be considered?
As we, along with much of the world, swelter in record heat, the importance of trees, open space, and parkland to urban community health is vital. Affordable housing is also a huge need in Denver; the project envisioned by Westside Development for PHGC would be a drop in the bucket of this need while forever foreclosing the entire site remaining a park.
Westside didn’t purchase it to keep it as open space, despite the conservation easement that’s in effect for this land. They and city planners have steamrolled a planning process promoting Westside’s vision, which will require the conservation easement to be revoked in order to build. Public input into this plan has been carefully staged; public meetings I attended were a frustrating farce.
Neighbors have drafted a comprehensive park proposal. What is needed for city leaders to give this serious consideration? Residents have made their preferences clear: a 2019 Greater Park Hill Community-commissioned survey found a large majority of the neighborhood — 77% — prefers the property “remain entirely some kind of green space/ park or golf course.” And last year’s citywide election results on proposals 301 and 302 show a very strong preference for what Denverites want to see happen at this site: preserving it as open space!
What can be done at this point to honor the wishes of the majority of Denver residents regarding the future of the Park Hill Golf Course?
— Mary G., Denver
We certainly need to preserve every inch of green space we have left in Denver. This is an amazing opportunity to build a great park that is filled with green space, pollution and heat-reducing trees, native pollinator gardens, community gardens and playgrounds for the tax-paying citizens to enjoy.