Comment of the Day

Reader: Will Westside Be Open About Development at the Park Hill Golf Course?

The source of still more Park Hill Golf Course controversity.
The source of still more Park Hill Golf Course controversity. City of Denver
A month after Denver voters weigh in on Referred Referendum 2O, which would lift the conservation easement on the Park Hill Golf Course property and allow development there, Westside Investment Partners, which bought the 155-acre parcel for $24 million in 2019, has a date in court with Sisters of Color United in Education, a nonprofit that once occupied space in the Park Hill Golf Course clubhouse, but then sued Westside.

On March 3, the developer filed a motion regarding that case in Denver District Court, asking to "limit pre-trial disclosure of the deposition testimony in this case outside this proceeding." Among other revelations in that testimony: Black billionaire Robert Smith, a Denver native, has invested $8 million in the project through the Holleran Group, which joined Westside's Park Hill project in 2020.

The judge held a hearing on that motion March 16. Before the verdict came down, commenters offered their own judgments on Westword Facebook posts regarding the Park Hill Golf Course controversy. Says John: 
What happened to transparency?!
Suggests Gary:
Should have kept it a golf course (with upgrades).
Counters Adam:
Constant droughts, but let's build a golf course.
Notes John:
The people have previously spoken. No to development.
Responds Anthony:
Create some jobs and housing. Who’s asking for more golf courses?
Wonders Sarah:
How many times do we have to say no? The developers will get their way and Denver’s government will get richer. Disgusting.
Replies William:
I vote for development of land into housing and park space. Because you can have both! You can't complain about Denver being too expensive and then prevent housing from being constructed so close to a train station in the center of the metropolitan area.
Concludes Sarah: 
The developer wants to keep information from another lawsuit quiet? If 2O passes, will Westside be more open about what's going on at the Park Hill Golf Course?
That's a question that will have to wait until after the April 4 vote. But in the meantime, on March 17 a Denver District Court judge denied Westside's request for a protective order, but did determine that the developers could request that certain information be made private, giving Westside and Holleran time to review materials before they are released.

While the Sisters of Colorado sent out an announcement noting that the judge "declined to place the gag order requested by Westside/Holleran," the developers have a different take.

“The Holleran Group and Westside Investment Partners sought the court’s intervention to ensure that neither confidential nor demonstrably false accusations contained within depositions could be leaked to the media and presented as factual without first being reviewed. The court’s decision gives Westside and Holleran the ability to request redactions of proprietary or immaterial information, which is exactly what we had hoped for," says Bill Rigler, Westside spokesman. "The April 4 vote on the Park Hill Golf Course triggers more than $150 million in community benefits and the donation of more than 100 acres of land — these agreements are codified in legally binding commitments that are enforceable in a court of law. These agreements exist between both the City of Denver and ten community organizations throughout Park Hill, and the Community Benefits Agreement is publicly available to all."

Read the Sisters of Color lawsuit here.

This compilation of comments has been updated to include a statement from Westside.
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