Park Hill Golf Course has been re-rezoned, getting it a step closer to golf again. Advocates plan to keep fighting for a park

Save Open Space Denver hopes the city will buy the land, which is preserved for golf.
3 min. read
Blaze Huega focuses on the green at Park Hill Golf Course. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) park hill; golf course; denver; denverite; kevinjbeaty; colorado; sports;

City Council re-rezoned the Park Hill Golf Course on Monday night to preserve it as open space and get it one step closer to what the land's owners have said they plan to do: revert it to a fee-based, 18-hole golf course.

This is the last chapter for the current Council in Westside Investment Partners' multi-year attempt to redevelop the site as a massive mixed-use project that would have included more than 600 units of income-restricted housing, another couple thousand units of market-rate housing, retail, space for a grocery store and more.

This unanimous City Council vote unwound months of work by this same City Council, Denver Community Planning and Development and Westside Investment Partners to pave the way for the development. The failed project received enormous support from Mayor Michael Hancock's administration.

In April, voters shot down Westside's proposal in favor of a conservation easement from the '90s that mandates the land must be used as an 18-hole, publicly accessible, fee-based golf course, along with other recreational possibilities, as long as they don't interfere with golf.

Open-space advocates, who opposed the development, don't want golf and say their fight isn't over yet.

Mayor-elect Mike Johnston has indicated he would try to buy the land from Westside, the land's owner and aspiring developer, and turn it into public open space.

"We will be urging the new council to work with the Johnston administration to have the city purchase the Park Hill Golf Course land for a fabulous new 155-acre regional park," said Woody Garnsey, speaking on behalf of Save Open Space Denver.

Garnsey asked Council to rezone the land and blasted both Community Planning and Development and City Council for trying to push the development plans through and wasting what he estimated were at least $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars.

Garnsey said his group would encourage the new City Council, which takes office July 17, to repeal the Park Hill Golf Course small area plan and advocate for the city to purchase the land from Westside Investment Partners for no more than $6 million, what Save Open Space Denver estimates is the value of the land encumbered by the easement.

That would be a massive loss for Westside. The developer bought the land for $24 million. The company has pledged to turn the land back into a private golf course and has never indicated it would consider selling to the city.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Garnsey's estimate was based on the value of the land unencumbered by the easement. It was actually based on the value of the land encumbered by the easement. We regret the error. 

Recent Stories