INC PARC Notes September 19 2017

INC PARC Meeting September 19 2017

INC PARC (Parks and Recreation Committee) met September 19. Present were co-chair Maggie Price, Katie Fisher, Ronnie Crawford, Nancy Francis, Helene Orr, Brad Cameron, Diana Helper, Kevin Wiegand, Laura Cary, Amber Clark, Blair Taylor, Rita Tsalyuk, Sonia John, and guests City Councilperson Debbie Ortega; and from Denver Parks and Rec, Fred Weiss and Laura Morales.

Maggie Price Offered a letter from the Co-Chairs of PARC that had been sent to all City Council asking for transparency surrounding any negotiations concerning Clayton Foundation, Park Hill Golf Course and the Agency agreement.

The letter was a result of input from concerned citizens and current news media. A link to the letter is here.

CW Debbie Ortega confirmed that the plans for Park Hill Golf Course are being discussed by the City, Clayton College trust, and others in private (without neighborhood presence), and will be made public after further discussion. After a recent briefing, she believes the planning is in the right direction. Brad has information about this matter for those wishing it. CW Ortega expressed interest in some of the historical documents concerning the Clayton/Denver City Government an it was agreed to send them to her.

Kevin Wiegand and Blake Taylor Board members from Greater Park Hill presented the concern of neighbors regarding a proposed “land swap” at E. 28th and Fairfax Street a detailed presentation found here

A developer wants the city to trade a parcel of land on the west side of Fairfax that had been touted as a future pocket park by DPR (this land appears on several lists of property owned by DPR; for a similar size parcel in the middle of the developer’s project across the street on the west side of Fairfax. It is unclear whether the developer would allow designation of the proposed land or whether DPR would maintain the “plaza” between two proposed restaurants as a true park. It has been  acknowledged that should the developer acquire the parcel on the east, it would serve for future development. The neighbors object to this swap and want to retain the original parcel of land for a small community park as described by Executive Director Scott Gilmore in previous meetings with the RNO. Councilman Chris Herndon endorses this trade. Because this sets a precedent, all RNOs should be aware of this matter and contact councilpersons before it goes to City Council. This points up the need for official Designation of all Denver park lands. PARC will write a letter reiterating its stand on the preservation of open space public parks.

Fred Weiss presented DPR’s Athletic Field Permit Policy. It is hoped to be in place by January 1, 2018. Turf and grass fields, summer and off-season use, rain delay options, priority permitting–for youth, then adult, non-profit (incl. DPS), resident, non-resident– pricing depending on condition of field, tradition matters, type of sports, dividing fields, hours, enforcement, and more, are included in the proposed policy. Laura added that all of this is quite complicated, and takes a great deal of work to complete. Tennis permitting is particularly difficult.

Debbie asked if it is time for a City Charter change to return decision-making regarding parks to City Councilpersons. PARC agrees. This is an ongoing discussion and has been on several PARC agendas. She also discussed “North Side Park” near the National Western project at 1400 53rd Ave . It is a 13 acre park which was an abandoned water treatment facility. There are plans to change the name to Sal Carpio who was a former City Councilman during the 1970s and also  a Manager of Parks and Recs for a number of years. The use of present buildings in NW complex need to be included in the planning for this area and perhaps there may be a way to hold smaller festivals there that may be of local interest and to help the community. There was a question regarding the possibility of a new presence of Amazon to the Denver Area and if there is room or infrastructure to accommodate them. There are plans to construct a large building on six parcels NE of the Capitol (Sherman/Logan 16th street) which need to include neighborhood input. Another large complex of housing planned in NW Denver must consider access concerns, since Fox Street is now the only access to the project. It was agreed that open space needs also must be paramount for new residents in all projects.

Meeting adjourned at 8 p.m. Next meeting Oct. 17, Brookdale UPark, 2020 S. Monroe, 6 p.m.

Thanks for notes taken by Diana Chapin Helper and photos by Ronnie Crawford.

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