Former Mayor Wellington Webb looked to galvanize Denverites and light a fire under new City Council members Monday by asking residents and elected officials to rise up against the sale of a golf course in Park Hill that’s currently destined for development.
The 155 acres of grass and tress is owned by the George W. Clayton Trust, which leases the space to the Park Hill Golf Club. The trust wants to sell to local developer Westside Investment Partners in order to raise more money for the Clayton Early Learning Center.
Westside is known for planning and developing large swaths of land locally and elsewhere in the West. The company is managing the Loretto Heights transformation in southwest Denver.
“It is my hope that the electorate, which recently ousted three incumbent council members for being too pro-development, tell our elected officials we must preserve our open space,” Webb said. “This council has an opportunity to speak for the constituents and listen to their concerns about our city’s changing landscape. It’s not too late to save this green space.”
The parties plan to close July 11 — four days before new council members are sworn in — according to a letter sent from the trust to city officials.
The Hancock administration tried and failed to buy the land in 2017 for development, including affordable housing and parks. Webb endorsed Hancock with a full throat during his election campaign, but the former mayor called the affordable housing piece a “trick.”
During Webb’s tenure in the ’90s, the city paid Clayton $2 million to restrict development on the course and preserve green space. Those restrictions will stay with the deed if and when it’s in the hands of Westside.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Clayton was moving to end the development restrictions. The restrictions stick with the property in its sale to Westside.