Resolution in Support of Designating and Developing a Community Park at 2857 Fairfax Street

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Whereas Denver is growing by 1100 people every month, and Park Hill, like most neighborhoods, is facing pressures of increased density, including access to parks;

and Whereas Park Hill is a neighborhood that cherishes its livability and its diversity, providing open arms to new neighbors of all races, income levels, and faiths, and these values are threatened by increasing housing prices and gentrification;

and Whereas Denver’s Designated parks are protected by the City Charter;

and Whereas the City & County of Denver acquired a parcel at 2857 Fairfax Street from Xcel Energy in 2015 for $50,000, with the stated intention of developing a neighborhood park, including identifying the parcel on the list of candidates for Designation;

and Whereas the City, on November 2, 2017, signed a Letter of Intent to trade the Fairfax parcel for an equal-size parcel with HM Capital in the middle of its mixed use commercial development along the east side of the entire 2800 block of Fairfax Street;

and Whereas the City and HM Capital negotiated this arrangement and signed the Letter of Intent without informing Park Hill residents, and subsequently misled the Park Hill community about their agreement;

and Whereas during November and December, 2017, Greater Park Hill Community demonstrated its commitment to supporting the development of the park by conducting a community-inclusive, volunteer process, focusing on the near neighbors, and producing a concept design for the park, including drawing and documentation;

and Whereas, the city continued its deception by spending $30,000 to duplicate the community’s process and denying the existence of an agreement with HM Capital;

and Whereas any land exchange or sale must be approved by City Council, and Park Hill’s Council Representative is Chris Herndon;

It is Resolved by City Park Friends and Neighbors that we request City Council and the Department of Parks and Recreation to work cooperatively with our Greater Park Hill neighbors to:

  • Keep the former Xcel property that is already owned by the City and County of Denver.  That is, don’t swap parcels with HM Capital, the developer of Park Hill Commons on the east side.  
  • Demonstrate the city’s commitment to a pocket park in this neighborhood by designating the former Xcel property proactively, i.e. right away, before the park is developed, thereby ensuring this valuable property is safe from commercial exploitation.
  • Demonstrate the city’s commitment to creative cooperation with neighborhoods by engaging in a collaborative process with the Park Hill community to design, fund, and build a pocket park on the former Xcel property.  Show good faith with Park Hill’s citizens and exploit the volunteer talent, expertise, and labor available within the community.