DENVER — Denver voters rejected the proposed development at the former Park Hill Golf Course, with about 60 percent voting no on Question 2O to lift the conservation easement on the land. With this vote, the easement stays in place and blocks the proposed housing and commercial construction.
In a statement, Westside Investment Partners — which owns the land, and had planned its potential development — said it was disappointed in the election outcome and will “announce more details on the future of the golf course in the coming weeks.”
“The Park Hill Golf Course will forever be a case study in missed opportunities. With historically low turnout, Denver has rejected its single best opportunity to build new affordable housing and create new public parks. Thousands of Denverites who urgently need more affordable housing are now at even greater risk of displacement.
Because the Park Hill easement is unambiguous, the land will return to a privately-owned, regulation-length 18-hole golf course. The site will immediately be closed to public use or access, with no housing, community grocery store, or public parks allowed on this site, in accordance with the will of the voters.
Westside Investment Partners and The Holleran Group are grateful to every partner, community organization, volunteer, and voter who campaigned for a brighter and more affordable Denver.”
Denver7 asked what this would mean for the space, and a spokesperson confirmed that the golf course will once again be fenced off to the general public “as is common with every privately owned site and golf course in Denver.” The spokesperson also confirmed that a TopGolf driving range remains “on the table.”
On the other side, Harry Doby, one of the leading voices opposing the development, said the vote should end discussions of any development at Park Hill, once and for all.
“I feel vindicated and relieved that the intelligence of the Denver voter was expressed yesterday,” Doby said. “They understood that this was never a good deal for them, or the city, or the environment.”
In response to the statement from Westside Investment Partners confirming it will end public access to the space (which began during the pandemic), Doby said it “revealed their true character.”
“Now they’re going to punish us — in their view — by restricting access, which before, people were walking their dogs, exercising, taking bike rides, utilizing as it could be tomorrow as a public park,” he said. “And yet, now they’re going to say, "No, our business strategy is to cut off our nose to spite our face."”
Because of the conservation easement in place, Westside Investment Partners is not allowed to use the space for anything other than an 18-hole golf course. Doby said he would like to see the city buy the land back from the group, so that it can become a public park.
“Denver is a strong city. The people of Denver are strong people. I want to see us all come back together,” Doby said. “Preserving the space, while developing around it, is something that we need. And all of us can agree on that, I believe.”