Category Archives: featured

Save City Park, Sign Our Petition

Sign our petition to stop Denver Mayor Michael Hancock from destroying an historic public park to put in an industrial storm drainage sump. Click the button at left to see more and sign the petition.

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Denver City Park Golf Course Delay Discussion and Vote

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Denver assembles City Park Golf Course redesign team

By Joseph Rios

The Denverite June 26, 2016

The city of Denver is pushing hard for controversial renovations to Denver’s City Park Golf Course. This week the team who will be responsible for the redesign and construction of the course presented to City Council members their vision of what the golf course could become.

Contracts with Parsons transportation group, Flatiron Construction Inc. and Saunders Construction for design and construction of the City Park Golf Course improvement project were all advanced Tuesday by Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee members, despite two outstanding lawsuits related to the project.

Meet the team responsible for the City Park Golf Course:

The City Park Golf Course redesign team’s lineup includes the city and county of Denver, Saunders Construction with Aspen Corporation, clubhouse architect Johnson Nathan Strohe and golf course architect and designer iConGolf Studio. While iConGolf Studio designs the course it will receive advice from champion golfer Hale Irwin.

Irwin is known for leaving a legacy on the PGA Tour. He won three U.S. Open titles and the 1979 World Cup Championship. Todd Schoeder, chief design officer of iConGolf Studio, expressed his excitement to collaborate with Irwin.

“He is going to be very engaged throughout the process. He will be engaged in the layout, the strategy of the golf course, the feature construction, what it is going to look like, how it is going to play,” Schoeder said.

“I bring a vision of what (the average) player, I think, enjoys,” Irwin said. “Whether that be a public player, private player, it doesn’t matter. You still have to grab a golf club and hit the golf ball.”

iCon Golf Studio has worked with Irwin’s Hale Irwin Golf Design before. The two companies have completed and renovated golf courses in Washington, Maryland and other places.

What will City Park Golf Course look like?

Denver has four things it wants to accomplish with a redesign of City Park Golf Course: to build a stormwater detention system that blends and integrates into the design of the course, to remain sensitive to historical character of the property, to serve the entire community and surrounding neighborhood and to build a high quality Parkland style golf course for all skill levels.

The most important new feature — and the most controversial — is the stormwater detention.

“We know that while on the surface this is a drainage project, it is much more than that. It is about preserving the legacy of City Park and making sure that that legacy continues on after the project is done. When we’re done, no one will know it’s a drainage project,” said Leslie Fangman from Saunders Construction.

Denver officials said City Park Golf Course will include facilities for the First Tee youth golf program, extra course yardage, an 18-hole Parkland style course with par 71 and a new, relocated club house.

The clubhouse will feature rooms for community meetings, and the city wants to make it a community asset. It will also come with a distinct view of the skyline.

“There is no backdrop like that anywhere, and our challenge will be to make that golf course equally beautiful,” Irwin said.

This, of course, has seen backlash from people in Denver.

CDOT is moving forward with plans to expand and sink I-70, a project that has been some 14 years in the making. However, the highway will be in the way of water that is trying to reach the South Platte River. Therefore, the city and CDOT have to do something about the water.

Denver says the flood control project meets longstanding city needs, and it just made sense to do a project that would also meet CDOT’s needs. One lawsuit, set to go to trial in August, alleges detention is an improper use of parkland under the city charter, while a more recent federal lawsuit claims that the flood control project did not get proper consideration in the environmental impact statement for the highway project.

Councilman Rafael Espinoza has been vocal about his concerns about the project.

“This is a colossal misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money that could be addressing a whole bunch of stormwater needs citywide,” Espinoza said in an interview. “While I think there is a nice and beautiful and more playable way of doing what we’re doing today, yes, I don’t object to the concept.”

That is, using the golf course for detention might be OK — just not like this.

“I do object to the way we’re using city funds and creating projects that aren’t necessary and building projects that aren’t necessary for this city, but are necessary for the interstate and confusing the two,” Espinoza said.

There are also questions as to whether the City Park Golf Course renovations will even see the light of day with multiple lawsuits against the project. Espinoza questioned how much the design process is costing the city for a project that could be halted by the court.

Attorneys for the city said that they are confident the project will be approved by the court.

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Mayor Hancock Honors the Denver Press Club

City Park Friends and Neighbors (CPFAN) applauds Mayor Hancock for honoring the Denver Press Cl ub upon its placement on the U.S. National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places with a plaque and celebration on August 2, 2017.  The National Register exists to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.  Listing the Denver Press Club on the National Register implies a commitment by the city to honor the national significance for which it has been recognized and to insure that it continues to be preserved intact for future generations by following National Park Service preservation standards and guidelines.
City Park Golf Course has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1986, at which time the City and County of Denver made a commitment to preserve and protect its natural and historic resource values, just as it does today for the Denver Press Club. City Park Golf Course, a 104 year old treasure of our city, was recognized on the National Register for its 1913 design by the best landscape architects of their time, the Olmsted Brothers and Tom Bendelow.  It deserves the same attention, care and respect as the Denver Press Club.
What does it say about our city and the value of its commitments when in one breath our mayor can pledge long term stewardship of the Denver Press Club building and in the next  sacrifice City Park Golf Course to redevelopment for drainage?  City Park Friends and Neighbors believe Denver can do better and we urge the Hancock Administration to meet the commitment it made to preserve and protect City Park Golf Course.

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UPDATE: LAW SUIT TO SAVE HISTORIC CITY PARK GOLF COURSE FROM DESTRUCTION

By Bridget Walsh, CPFAN Member

The city of Denver wants to install one large part of a huge, industrial, storm water drain, Platte to Park Hill (P2PH), in historic .City Park Golf Course (CPGC) The drain is designed to keep the controversial expansion and lowering  of Highway I 70 , from flooding. It could also save the developers around the Western Stock Show much of the cost of doing their own water mitigation. P2PH could also facilitate  the construction of Olympic Village 2026, a plan that seems to have been hatched by Denver elites, the Mayor and the Governor. Has anyone asked you?

Both the highway expansion and the drain are destructive, old fashioned infrastructure  “solutions” that many say, will not serve Denver residents well as we face new age challenges. Both of these projects, I 70 and the drain,  seem to be  robbing Colorado taxpayers of billions of dollars that are sorely needed all over Colorado, for progressive, green solutions to real challenges such as climate change, water conservation, hotter temperatures, water wars, severe weather, dirty air, soil and water, etc.

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Protestors try building support to stop I-70 expansion

June 18, 2017, by

Fox/Channel 2 News Jun 18, 2017

Original Article Found Here

DENVER — We’ve been talking about expanding I-70 through the metro for nearly 15 years. And still, opposition to it stands strong–literally.

Dozens of folks came out to continue fighting the I-70 Expansion project they say is too expensive and won’t do much to reduce traffic congestion on Sunday.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) built the section of I-70 in the 1960’s. And now, CDOT will rebuild what’s considered the worst-rated bridge starting early next year.

That is, unless, a group with their “Ditch the Ditch” signs, can halt the highway.

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Process for obtaining permits for events at Denver parks questioned

DENVER — After the denial of permits for Denver’s 420 Rally, questions are being raised about how permits are granted to organizations holding events in public parks.

Some people believe there should be a more vigorous public discussion before the city gives event organizers a green light.

The smattering of homes near the Overland Golf Course Park is usually a quiet neighborhood.

But it won’t be that way for several weeks in the fall of 2018 if the city approves a permit for a concert and art show that could temporarily shut down the course.

Helene Orr, who lives across the street said, “When you’re talking 50,000 to 70,000 people per day for three days your talking three weeks of major construction … and we’re talking stages that are two and three stories high. This is a major major thing happening.”

Orr said there was never a public notice that a company had applied to hold the event here.

“The city feels like they have the right to use or misuse for whatever they want to do. And combine with a neighborhood that doesn’t have a lot of lawyers and architects that live there to fight it,” she said.

“It’s not fair,” Tom Morris said.

Morris has been fighting to change the way the city of Denver approves permits for events at public parks.

“We need to have an organized expectable process where we’re guaranteed to be notified if there is going to be a change in the use of the park and time to think about it and opportunities to participate with public discussion,” Morris said.

The city’s Parks and Rec Department told us organizations currently only need to apply for a permit.

No public hearings are necessary.

That’s not good enough according to Morris.

“I have been asking to zone the parks because we apply zoning to every other scrap of land in the city and not our most valuable land which is these parks.”

The city has not yet approved the concert and show at Overland.

A parks spokesman said it wants to make sure the venue is ready to handle the noise, trash and parking.

Still, some who live here are worried there will be problems.

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Reinforcements Are Coming in the Grassroots Fight Against I-70 Expansion

 

Published in Denver Streets Blog

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

The Center for Health, Environment, and Justice has joined the Elyria Swansea Neighborhood Association in the fight against a wider I-70, granting $5,000 to the cause.

CHEJ is based in Falls Church, Virginia, but has national reach. Environmental health activist Lois Marie Gibbs founded the organization after a successful campaign to get New York state to clean up the Love Canal site in the 1970s. The state had insisted for years that an industrial dumping ground in Niagara Falls had nothing to do with elevated rates of childhood illness and birth defects. Gibbs’ led the fight to protect people from pollutants at Love Canal and became known as the “Mother of Superfund,” the federal program for remediating toxic sites.

The new grant won’t fund litigation against the I-70 project — though legal action is still likely — but will rather amplify the message of Denverites already fighting the project.

“Local residents are the most qualified environmental police CHEJ knows,” Gibbs said in a statement.

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s plan to push more cars through the mostly Latino, low-income neighborhoods of Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea, requires digging a 40-foot ditch. To protect that ditch from flooding, the Hancock administration and Denver City Council made a deal with CDOT: They put Denver taxpayers on the hook for widening I-70 in exchange for flood protection work.

Nearby residents are concerned about the environmental implications of both projects. In addition to the traffic and pollution that come from widening a highway, there’s toxic soil — rife with lead and arsenic — at the site of the outfall project, which is part of a federal Superfund site [PDF]. All this in the most polluted populated area in the United States.

“We just don’t have faith that CDOT, the city, or the [Environmental Protection Agency] has followed required procedures, or that they’ll follow the rules in the future,” ESNA President Drew Dutcher told Streetsblog.

Feeding that distrust, Dutcher said, is the fact that CDOT decided against a prior version of the I-70 ditch because of “unacceptable effects on aquatic and ecological resources and increased potential for encountering contaminated groundwater or soils,” according to a 2008 environmental impact statement (page 3-17). He wants to know what’s changed.

The city is trying to “control the public image” of the projects, Dutcher said, and the grant will counteract that by boosting the research and outreach efforts of north Denver residents.

“We really feel that we’re being spoon-fed information by the city and EPA, and we need resources to just look at all the work that’s being done, how it’s being monitored, what are the possible hazards,” Dutcher said. “So it’s really just kind of a citizen-led effort to understand everything that’s going on.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

 

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A Denver native who’s not ready to say goodbye to City Park Golf Course as he knows it

DENVER – Driving around town you might have seen some “Ditch the Ditch” signs in people’s yards. Long story short, it all has to do with the expansion of I-70 – and a citywide construction project in Denver to reshape the storm drainage system.

RELATED: I-70 expansion given the green light despite neighborhood objections

The city will tell you the two aren’t connected. The critics say they are. That’s not what this story is about.

Part of that drainage project would build a huge retention pond at City Park Golf course. That means the course will close at the end of this year, and the whole thing will be redesigned. A brand new golf course will open in 2019, but one Andy Lyford is a Denver native with a strong opinion on that.

“I grew up playing City Park Golf Course. It’s one of my happiest places on Earth … It’s in the middle of the city. It has the best views of the city … It’s suffocating. I guess that’s the word I would use because we’re Western people. We’re Colorado people. None of us were originally from here, so we want people to come here. We welcome it, but a lot of times, we feel that the traditions and things that we love are being trampled on. I’m almost 50, but it seems like I’ve seen the amount of growth that most people would see over the course of 100 years…”

Andy was emotional describing what growing up on the course has meant to him. You can hear from Andy in the video above.

The city says this drainage project is necessary to relieve flooding problems in neighborhoods. A group is suing the city over the City Park plan, claiming the city is trying to illegally convert the course into non-park use land

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The Value of Open Space To A City

 

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