Residents upset over proposal to use City Park Golf Course for stormwater project

Anywhere from 150 to 280 trees could be cut

DENVER - City Park Golf Course is a Denver landmark but it could soon be used for a proposed flood control project.

Residents voiced their outrage and concern at a meeting organized by the City Park Friends and Neighbors Wednesday night.

"It’s always [been] heralded as a regional crown jewel of Denver," said Bridget Walsh, with City Park Friends and Neighbors.

More than 70 people packed into the basement of the Park Hill Library to hear a presentation from the city and discuss the options. 

The Department of Public Works stressed the stormwater project is necessary to protect northeast neighborhoods from potentially catastrophic flooding.

"There’s been lots of studies and our engineers have really looked at this significantly, said Angela Casias with DPW. "They know that there’s a flooding issue or a potential for catastrophic flooding in this area and this is what we’re trying to prevent."

The city is considering two low points identified by its engineers, including the golf course and a three-block area in the historic Cole neighborhood. An original proposal would've taken up to 55 homes in the Cole Neighborhood but the city has since moved away from that idea.

If City Park Golf Course is used for the project, there are three proposals currently being weighed. Two of them including demolishing and relocating the clubhouse. According to the city, 25-35 acres would be used for detention.

  • Option 1 would take out 153 of the 872 trees located on golf course property. It would cause the least disruption to the golf course.
  • Option 2 is more extensive and would take out 280 trees.
  • Option 3 would remove 246 trees.

DPW officials hope to make a decision in April so they can begin the design phase. Construction is projected to begin in late 2016 or early 2017. A section of the golf course would be lowered with a goal of completing the project in 2019.

"I’ll have to accept it if they make the change -- if they select City Park as the area that they’re going to use," said Lonnie Dixon, a City Park West resident.

Dixon added that he wished he would have been able to have more input early on in the city's process.

Denver hired a public relations company called GBSM to engage the community and get input on the project. The total contract budget is worth $328,000 and the company was hired in July 2015.

The Platte to Park Hill Stormwater System will be paid for by wastewater fees. The city has other partners including CDOT and RTD. This spring City Council is expected to hear a proposal that would increase stormwater rates.

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