INC PARC Meeting Notes April 18 2017

Notes from PARC mtg. 4/18/17

INC PARC met April 18 at Brookdale University Park. Present were co-chairs Maggie Price and Cindy Johnstone, Diana Helper, Marlene Johnson, Brad Cameron, Ronnie Crawford, Myles Tangalin, Tom Morris, John Joseph Nieman, Derek Cocovinis, Greg Sorensen, Katie and Steve Fisher. Guests from DPR: Cincere Eades, Natural Areas Planner; Sloane Nystrom, Planning, Design & Construction.

Cincere and Sloane talked about their work with Platte Farm Open Space, a 5.5 acre brown field site subject to illegal dumping and drug dealing on the outskirts of Globeville. It is a community effort in combination with DPR Design and Build to create a native short grass prairie for nature habitat, stormwater control, walking, future trail connection, in partnership with outside non-profits. Planning is ongoing regarding remediation of soil, a detention pond, community input. For more info visit http://groundworkcolorado.org/projects/platte-farm-open-space/

Please GO HERE for the presentation for Platte Farm Open Space provided by Sloane

Download the PDF file .

Tom reported on his effort to have Denver Parks subject to zoning regulations, returning construction/development plans to oversight by City Council rather than sole decision of the DPR Executive Director. He has spoken with a number of Councilpersons who agree this should be done, and he urges everyone to contact members of City Council personally  that this much-needed change be effected. It will give citizens a strong voice with their elected officials in the use of public park land, as well as required notification, posting, public outreach which are not now required because decisions may be made solely by the DPR Manager Executive Director.

At the last Delegate Meeting, the delegation overwhelmingly approved (35 in favor,3 against,7 abstentions) our March resolution urging the City to acquire Park Hill golf course with funds from 2017 Denver general obligation bond proposal. At this meeting Brad again reported on the need for us to urge the City to purchase Park Hill Golf Course . The city has had a connection with this property since 1899 and the relationship between Denver and Clayton Early Learning (previously known as The George W. Clayton Trust) is a long and complicated one going back many, many decades.

Most recently, in 2000 the two parties entered into an “Agency Agreement” that was intended to contain the entire agreement between them concerning Park Hill Golf Course (Para. 17). The agency agreement and its summary can be found at http://www.denverinc.org/clayton-agency-agreement/. It is a unique opportunity to acquire 155 acres of open space in a part of Denver lacking park space, and it is easily accessible by transit. Brad attended the last PRAB meeting to encourage them to support. Cindy told of the four talking points about this project that should be conveyed in our press release.

  • Opportunity-It is a first in a generation and possibly last opportunity to acquire a large contiguous parcel of open space close to central Denver.
  • Access and Transit Connections-For the many new residents in central Denver Park Hill Golf Course is a five minutes ride on the A line and a 10 minute walk from the stop, including an underground corridor to cross Colorado Blvd., to the PH golf course There is also access from I-70 if driving and bus access along Colorado Blvd.
  • Improved equity- the communities surrounding Park Hill Golf Course are currently is listed in the lowest category of the equity index evaluated by the City.
  • Historic connections -to the property with the City of Denver since 1899. Denver has been involved in various ways including large investments to support the property including tax benefits

Please convey this sensible move to the Mayor and those working on the Go-Bond especially.

Katie attends all PRAB meetings as a citizen on our behalf. She reported that the PRAB was told that half the Go-Bond funds will go to Transportation and Housing, leaving less for all other needs. She also reported that PRAB discussed the park naming issues and that it will likely be broadened to include naming for living persons.

Also: Cindy reported there is a new DPR Game Plan survey on line at http://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denveright/parks-recreation.html Access it, take it, pass the word. Maggie mentioned the Denver Post article about sharing space at the Elitch’s site, which is a prime location for the long-sought Festival Park, because it is located on transit lines, centrally located, away from residential neighborhoods, and a way Arts & Venues can ease the strain on DPR’s existing public parks and golf courses for the accommodation of large, fee-based events. http://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/12/elitch-gardens-exploring-redevelopment-surface-parking/. Please encourage the City to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Diana mentioned DPR’s permit complexity for a simple 1-hour gathering to celebrate UP’s McWilliams Park’s 50th anniversary May 6.

Maggie reported that the Go Fund Me Site to raise $20,000 for legal expenses regarding City Park Golf course is within $1100 dollars of its goal. Attorney Aaron Goldhamer is representing JD MacFarlane pro bono in this suit regarding designated park land; however the lawsuit will require payment of court filing fees, costs related to expert witnesses and other expenses of litigation. In January 2017 Aaron Goldhamer and Christine O’Connor presented to INC PARC on this topic. The presentation can be heard at http://www.denverinc.org/aaron-goldhamer-and-christine-oconnor-presentation/ or http://www.denverinc.org/PARCMeetingRev.MP3. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/cityparklegalfund

John Joseph talked about Loretto Heights/Colorado Height University whose campus is for sale. It is owned by Teikyo Group and is close to the Harvey Park area. There is a proposal for use of the open park space to build  housing however there is also a need for open space for residents near by. A meeting will be held for stakeholders May 18. After discussion, PARC voted to prepare a resolution supporting preservation of the open park land.

Next PARC meeting: May 15, 6-8 p.m., Brookdale—2020 S. Monroe St. –Diana Helper

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