DENVER – The legal fight over what to do with a 155-acre piece of land in the Park Hill neighborhood is over thanks to a proposed settlement between the city and the current owners of the property.
“We know the community values open space, and so do I,” said Mayor Michael Hancock in a statement Tuesday, as city officials announced they were negotiating an agreement that would end a series of head-spinning legal battles while at the same time ensure the city and the community retain the right to approve any changes to how the land is used.
The property was sold for $24 million over the summer, and the new owners, Westside Investment Partners, said they would launch an extensive community listening tour to decide the future for that parcel of land.
Tuesday’s announcement will put that tour on hold for the time being, however.
The settlement reached between the city and Westside Investment Partners will keep a city-held easement restriction that prevents development on the area, thanks to a $2 million deal reached between former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and Clayton Early Learning back in the 1990s.
“We wanted to guarantee that Denver would have a right to provide input about the property’s future,” Hancock said in the statement.
It will now be up to Denver City Council whether to lift those restrictions, which could take months to get approved as a “thorough and inclusive community process” would be take place before any decisions are made, city officials said in the statement.
Those talks, however, will only come after the city completes a flood-control and storm-water project, which currently affects about 60 acres of land. That project is expected to be completed later this year.
Per the settlement, the property must be restored to a golf course after that project is complete.
Additional details, including the settlement agreement itself, were not provided by city officials Tuesday.