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City of Denver Proposes Purchase of Property for Additional Park Space

The City and County of Denver is proposing the first acquisition of property utilizing funds provided by the 2A parks sales tax voters approved in November 2018.  Subject to Denver City Council approval, this investment highlights the importance of parks and public green spaces in Denver and supports the goal for every resident to live within a 10-minute walk of a park.

“Our residents deserve parks that are easily accessible, safe and fun, where families and children of all ages can play and gather, and that’s what University Hills North is going to get,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock, “The people of Denver said ‘yes’ to supporting more parks in more neighborhoods, and we’re proud to keep meeting our goal of making sure every resident lives within a 10-minute walk of a park.”  

Last November, voters approved Ballot Measure 2A, a 0.25 percent sales tax dedicated to the improvement and expansion of Denver parks.  The additional tax fund for parks creates new opportunities to realize Denver Parks and Recreation’s 20-year visioning document, Game Plan for a Healthy City

Implementation of the parks and open space ballot measure, estimated to generate more than $37 million a year, will address deferred maintenance for both parks and facilities and will include investment in land acquisition, planning, outdoor recreation, signature projects and resiliency initiatives. Find more information on the Denver Parks and Recreation 2A investment framework.

“As our city grows, it’s never been more important to protect, preserve and grow our parks and recreational opportunities,  said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Parks and Recreation. “Eighty-six percent of Denver residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park or open space, and we will continue to work hard to increase that number by looking for opportunities to acquire additonal parkland and open space.”

The 82,985 square foot parcel, located at 4301 and 4307 E. Iliff Avenue in the University Hills North neighborhood, is in a strategic location to help meet the 10-minute walk to a park criteria, as this is an existing residential area lacking walkable park access.  Due to scarcity of land and numerous redevelopment projects, the property is currently one of the last properties of significant size in this area of Denver that could be turned into a meaningful park space for the community.

“Thanks to voters approving 2A for our parks, this community will finally have a park that is safe to walk to right in their neighborhood,” said Jolon Clark, Denver City Council President who championed the ballot measure. “This is just the start of how 2A will completely transform our city one neighborhood and one park at a time.”

The University Hills North neighborhood in City Council District 4 is rapidly growing and densifying with several new developments bringing added residents to the area. The acquisition of this property, and future park development, will increase park access for an area of Denver that currently lacks walkable parks access.

“Parks play a critical role in the health and well-being of our communities which is why we are committed to connecting all of our residents to local parks,” said Kendra Black, City Councilwoman, District 4. “Additonal park access in the University Hills North neighborhood is critical to supporting an active, healthy lifestyle for the residents who live there today and the many new residents who will move there as new housing comes online.”

The proposed purchase agreement will be presented to the Denver City Council Finance & Governance Committee on Tuesday, April 23.