Citywide Ballot Measure Would Seek Protections For Parks, Require Public Vote To Remove Conservation Easements
In late March, Park Hill Golf Course land preservationists confirmed they are pushing forward with an initiative seeking a citywide vote that would prohibit Denver from selling public parkland or trying to terminate conservation easements without a vote of the people.
The initiative would apply to all parks and conservation easements owned by the City and County of Denver, including the Park Hill Golf Course land. The 155-acre property in North Park Hill is protected by a conservation easement. Because of a change in state law last year, removing the easement would require a judge’s order. However, also last year, a development company bought the property, and the city has recently announced plans to pursue a development plan.
This is the ballot title that organizers are pursuing:
“Shall the voters of the City and County of Denver enact a measure prohibiting (a) any commercial or residential development on land designated as a city park or protected by a City-owned conservation easement and (b) any termination, release, extinguishment, or abandonment of a City-owned conservation easement without the approval of voters in a regularly scheduled municipal or special election?”
If the wording is approved, the group would have until July 7 to collect at least 8,265 valid signatures to make the November ballot. Harry Doby, a member of the group Save Open Space Denver, said that collecting signatures would be delayed because of the current coronavirus crisis.
— Cara DeGette