Park Hill Golf Course: Sell Land to the City for Use as Park Hill Open Space
Thanks for your coverage of the INC Community Forum in March concerning the future of the Park Hill Golf Course (PHCG) land. It is the subject of possible commercial development if the golf course operator does not renew its lease which expires later this year. I served on the organizing committee and as MC for the event.
There are two issues of concern to me. First, your report didn’t mention the $2 million that the City of Denver (taxpayers) paid to purchase a perpetual open space conservation easement for the PHCG land from The George W. Clayton Trust in 1997 during Mayor Webb’s administration. Therefore, in exchange for the $2 million, Clayton relinquished its right to develop the PHCG land. Clayton has stated that—if the golf course operator doesn’t extend its PHGC lease—Clayton will ask the City to void the conservation easement and rezone the land to allow Clayton to generate at least $24 million from land development. At the forum, Clayton’s President/CEO Charlotte Brantley was asked to explain why Clayton believes it wants to tear up the conservation easement and develop PHGC land for sale. She replied that Clayton would need land development money if it lost golf course lease income (about 7% of total income). But, didn’t Clayton sell its land development rights 21 years ago for $2 million? An option for Clayton would be to sell the encumbered land to the City for use as open space in Park Hill. Commercial development could occur on underutilized land near the PHGC.
Secondly, I don’t appreciate the public relations campaign by Clayton’s “handlers” who are using racial undertones to shame park advocates and create dissension between Clayton Trust and the community. From my perspective as an African American, that tactic is from an outdated era and serves no purpose in this situation. If the Clayton handler’s goal is to override the conservation easement in favor of development of PHGC land, then they should prove their case.
—LaMone Noles, Park Hill Resident, a Denver native and President of City Park Friends and Neighbors
Editor’s note: The $2 million dollar payment referred to in this letter was explained in the March Front Porch. See https://frontporchne.com/article/uncertain-future-prime-acreage-sets-stage-land-use-drama/
Response to March Letter about Ben Stapleton and Stapleton Name Change
I’d like to correct some misinformation in a letter to the editor in the March issue, in which the writer stated:
- “A [Spring 2017] survey by the Stapleton United Neighbors revealed that two-thirds of respondents did not want a name change.”
In fact, respondents were not asked if they wanted a name change. They were asked how comfortable they were with the name Stapleton. 51.7% were completely or somewhat comfortable , and 9.6 % were completely uncomfortable. It is also true that 433 people have signed a petition to rename Stapleton and that a 4-hour “listening session” was held in Dec. 2017, with188 participants. An independent analysis concluded that “more participants agreed that the name, Stapleton, needed to be changed.” (Front Porch, Sept. 2017)
- “Stapleton joined the KKK when he was a young man.”
In fact, Stapleton was born in 1869, so he was 52 years old when the Klan first announced itself in Denver in 1921. He first ran for mayor two years later. Not a young man. (Wikipedia)
- “After winning the election, Stapleton renounced the KKK . . .”
In fact, during his first campaign of 1923 there were rumors that Stapleton was a Klansman, but he hid membership from the public. Under pressure, but without denouncing the Klan, he made a public statement that condemned secret organizations. But after his election, Stapleton appointed Klan members to key roles in city government, particularly in the police department. When his membership was discovered, there was a recall election in 1924, during which Stapleton sought Klan financial backing and political support. He appeared at a Klan rally on Tabletop Mountain in Golden and told the assembled crowd, ‘I will work with the Klan and for the Klan in the coming election, heart and soul. And if I am re-elected, I shall give the Klan the kind of administration it wants.’” Stapleton survived recall. Stapleton may have opposed individual Klansmen, buy he never renounced the Klan. Rather, he balked under the strict control of the Grand Dragon, John Galen Locke, and when Locke was investigated for tax evasion and later jailed, there was a split in the Klan. Then Stapleton turned on the police department and fired Candlish, the KKK police chief. As a result, the Klan ousted the mayor —not the other way around. (Sources: Phil Goodstein, In the Shadow of the Klan, The Denverite, Dec. 11, 2017).
—Jackie St. Joan
Puffing Not Only a Car Theft Risk, It’s Bad for the Environment
The warning in the April article “A Cold Car or No Car?” is surely helpful in preventing theft. But, even if you’re sitting right behind the wheel, idling your engine to warm up your car is a complete waste of time (unless you’re driving a 30+ year old vehicle with a carburetor and it’s really, really cold). Cars warm up much faster when they’re moving than they do sitting idle. And it’s a ludicrous myth that it takes more gas to restart a car than it does to keep it running for more than a few seconds. Let’s keep our air cleaner and our planet cooler by eliminating this needless emission of carbon monoxide.
~Leo Morales-Egizi, North Park Hill resident