WHO ARE WE?
We are YES for Parks and Open Space and we are in a David v. Goliath fight to save the former Park Hill Golf Course land from development. We are working to raise funds in order to aid in the passing of the “Park and Open Space Preservation” Ballot Measure in the November 2021 Denver election. We are building a strong volunteer campaign effort and we’ll need to raise as much money as possible to try to compete meaningfully against a developer – Westside Investment Partners – and their expected multi-million-dollar effort to pass their competing ballot initiative and develop the 155 acres of open space that is the former Park Hill Golf Course. We’ll be fighting a two-front war – YES on our initiative and NO on theirs.
WHAT IS OUR BALLOT MEASURE?
The measure prohibits commercial or residential development on Denver’s (designated) parkland and open spaces (protected by a City-owned conservation easement) without approval by Denver voters. (Conservation easements require land be used for conservation and or recreational purposes in perpetuity).
WHY THE FIGHT?
The Park Hill Golf Course land (155 acres of beautiful, green open space with hundreds of mature trees), which is just south of Interstate 70 and east of Colorado Blvd, is being threatened with development. It is also protected by a perpetual, open space conservation easement. This is an existential threat to the last large piece of open space in Denver – one that could be acquired by the City to be designated as a significant regional park, roughly the size of Washington Park.
The land was purchased in 2019 by real estate developer Westside Investment Partners, Inc. with the intent of building homes and commercial buildings on the land, while knowing all along that there was a conservation easement in place that preserves the land from development, in perpetuity.
This developer is now promoting a competing Ballot Measure that will also be on the November 2021 ballot identified in a deliberately misleading and confusing manner as, “City Park Land and City Property Protected by a Conservation Easement.” If passed by the voters, the developer’s Ballot Measure would eliminate the voter protection for the conservation easement on the Park Hill Golf Course land and pave the way toward its development.
WHY OPEN SPACE IS CRITICAL!
If voters approve only the YES Ballot Measure, multiple benefits will accrue not only to the North Park Hill neighborhood but also to the city of Denver as a whole. These include:
- Paving the way toward a City purchase of the land for use as a significant new designated park, thereby expanding Denver’s lagging park system. In comparison to other large cities, Denver has only 5% of its land devoted to parkland. New York City is at 16%, San Diego at 21%, and Boston at 19%. (The Trust for Public Land)
- Promoting better public health by providing opportunities for exercise, recreation, stress reduction and related improvements in physical, psychological and social health;
- Maintaining Northeast Park Hill’s tree canopy and open space – already one of the lowest in the City – would help to limit devastating heat island effects associated with urban development. According to a recent article in The Guardian UK about this issue, “In a city famous for open spaces, natural beauty and outdoor recreation, environmental justice activists are now asking whether local officials are committed to preserving Black residents’ access to these environmental amenities.”
WE NEED YOUR HELP!