DENVER — Residents want to see a large park, housing, more trees and a grocery store on the land that used to be Park Hill Golf Course, according to a document that the city released on Monday.
The document, called the Park Hill Golf Course Prevailing Vision, was the result of almost a year of public meetings, a survey of 1,300 people and feedback from a community steering committee on what to do with the land, according to Denver Community Planning and Development and Parks and Recreation.
According to the city, residents showed the most support for:
- Creating a new, large park and community gathering spaces.
- Standing up an oversight committee to guide future planning and development.
- Preserving and expanding the tree canopy to combat urban heat island effects in the area.
- Adding youth and recreational sports opportunities.
- Including a variety of affordable (income-restricted) housing options, including for-sale units.
- Address food insecurity by including space for grocery and fresh food choices.
- Create space for local businesses and businesses owned by people of color.
- Employ strategies to mitigate involuntary displacement.
The former Park Hill Golf Course is one of the last large undeveloped properties in Denver and is protected by a conservation easement, signed by then-Mayor Wellington Webb in 1997.
The golf course, located at Colorado Boulevard and East 35th Avenue, closed in 2018. Real-estate developer Westside Investment Partners 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.
As for next steps, the city said planners will work with residents next year to create a plan for a park, detailing the size and location, and for possible future parks and open spaces.
The City Council would have to vote on a plan for the parcel and any other related actions, such as an update to the conservation easement and zoning requirements.
Westside Investment Partners would have to apply for and follow the city's process for development on any property over 5 acres in size. The city created that process, called a large development review (LDR), in 2019 to ensure that project planning meets the priorities that are important to the neighborhood, according to the city.
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