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Groups present differing visions for old Park Hill Golf Course

Developers want to add housing and stores to the site, while a neighborhood group is presenting a proposal to keep the whole property as an open space park.

DENVER — Two groups are presenting differing visions for what to do with the old Park Hill Golf Course, with developers wanting to add housing and stores to the site and a neighborhood group presenting a proposal to keep the whole property as an open space park.

The all-park proposal is from YES for Parks and Open Space, which won a citywide vote last year to prevent development from happening without a future citywide vote. Their proposal includes athletic courts, a dog off-leash area, sports courts, a fishing pond and community garden plots.

The other proposal is from Westside Investment Partners, which has been working with Mayor Michael Hancock's administration to create a development plan for the former golf course: 3,000 housing units, a grocery store and about 100 acres of open space.

At 155 acres, the former Park Hill Golf Course is one of the last large undeveloped properties in Denver. The course, located at Colorado Boulevard and East 35th Avenue, closed in 2018. Westside bought the land for $24 million in 2019.

In November, Denver voters approved an ordinance intended to keep the parcel as greenspace by requiring a citywide vote on any development on land protected by a conservation easement unless the development is for the purpose of creating a park or cultural facility.

Voters rejected a second ordinance that would amend the city's definition of a conservation easement to exclude the golf course land and keep the door open to development.

The easement limiting the use of the land to an 18-hole golf course is still in place. It cannot be lifted or amended without a vote of the people. The city said that step is not expected until after there is a plan in place, so voters will know what to expect if they choose to lift the easement.

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