Barring a ruling from a Colorado judge, the City Park Golf Course will close for drainage ditch construction on Nov. 1.
The $270 million project is part of a proposal to improve drainage and prevent catastrophic flooding to neighborhoods north of the park.
“Water goes where it wants to go and it wants to go here,” said Denver Department of Public Works communications manager Nancy Kuhn.
Kuhn was one of several city employees at the City Park Golf Course clubhouse Saturday for an informational session on the project.
It was the final one before the course closes on Oct. 31 until 2019.
“[This project] will greatly minimize the flooding potential to the homes to the north of here,” said Denver Director of Golf Scott Rethlake.
The project has been in the works for two years. The city says the course is the largest basin in Denver without a natural waterway. It means most of the area’s rain water trickles into it, where it pools and floods.
The plan would cut 261 trees on the course to make room for the ditches, but it would also replant nearly 750 more to make up for the lost canopy in 10 years.
The city would also relocate the club house and driving range, increasing the yardage from 240 to 320, which would allow for drivers, a club that can’t be used on the current driving range.
Even with those concessions, critics of the plan aren’t happy.
“This keeps me up at night and not just once in a while but a couple days a week,” said John Brink, who has lived near the course for 40 years. “It's an outrage that so many trees are being destroyed for the sake of a water project.”
Another worry is contamination.
“It's really a shame,” Joan Seeman said. “It's very controversial where this water is going to drain to. The city says it’s going to plant brush to make up for the lost trees, but they’re just going to soak up that dirty water.”
Eight people are suing the city over this project. A ruling hasn’t been made by the judge but the attorney on the case, Aaron Goldhamer says they are meeting with the judge for an update on Oct. 26.