District Court Decision on City Park Golf Course (CPGC)

A lake with trees in the background and a grassy area.

For more information, please contact:
LaMone Noles
President, City Park Friends and Neighbors
720 988-4433
Twitter: @cpfan_dnver

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District Court Decision on City Park Golf Course (CPGC)

Thursday, October 26– Today’s Ruling in MacFarlane vs. City & County of Denver, issued on very
narrow legal grounds, was a loss for thousands of parks advocates and their efforts over recent years to preserve existing Denver parks, increase the amount of park acreage per resident, and limit the discretion of the Director to alter a park’s purpose.

This ruling, however, will not slow the efforts of City Park Friends and Neighbors (CPFAN) and of park advocates throughout Denver in the quest to preserve and strengthen Denver’s park system as a whole, and hold appointed and elected leaders accountable for their actions.

More actions to save CPGC will be announced soon.

Today’s ruling followed a four-day trial to the Court, in August 2017, in which Plaintiffs claimed that Denver’s
proposed taking of CPGC for a flood diversion facility violated Denver’s Zoning Code, Denver’s Charter, and Colorado common law.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Aaron Goldhamer expressed his disappointment in the result.  “While Judge Goldberg found that—in fact—the proposed project will result in a ‘materially detrimental’ effect on the natural habitat and neighborhood due to the loss of mature trees, and that the large scale regrading of the course may result ‘in detrimental changes to the health of the soil and remaining trees,’ he found that the existing law compelled his deference to the decision of Denver’s Department of Parks and Recreation to proceed with the project,†Goldhamer said.  “The Judge also acknowledged the ‘significant detriment’ to Denver residents should the course lose its historic designations, which he acknowledged is a real possibility.  Judge Goldberg noted he was ‘loath’ to see the course close, but that his hands were tied under existing law to defer to our elected officials and their appointees.  To ensure that Denver’s parks are protected in the future, we may need new laws or new elected officials.â€

The case involved Denver’s taking of the 138-acre CPGC for a regional 100 year flood storm water detention facility designed to support the expansion and lowering of I-70 through north Denver. The detention project calls for closing CPGC entirely for up to two years, the loss of approximately 300 trees and the wildlife habitat they provide, the loss of protected views, existing topography and sense of vastness, excavating and completely reconstructing the entire course, razing Bogey’s Club House built in 2001, and changing the foundational layout and design of the course.

This treatment of CPGC runs counter to Denver’s 2001 City Park Master Plan, “Revitalizing the Legacy of City Park†by Mundus Bishop which calls for the preservation of the golf course in its present state.

The project will cause the green benefits provided by the current landscape to be lost. The project’s disregard for the Olmsted and Bendelow design makes it likely that CPGC will lose its designation on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, dangerous, toxic storm water is being designed to run through the course in open channels.

CPFAN wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to plaintiffs’ attorneys Aaron Goldhamer and Tony Vaida for their countless hours working on this case. CPFAN also wishes to thank the community for their heartfelt support.

Order Re- Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law