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City Park Golf Course Redesign

Your Questions: Answered

The City Park Golf Course Redesign will make improvements to the course that will make it more enjoyable and beneficial to the community. The redesign effort will seamlessly integrate stormwater detention into the course layout to temporarily hold and slow floodwaters during major storms, improving flood protection for neighborhoods north and northwest of it.

The City Park Golf Course Redesign is one of four integral projects that comprise the Platte to Park Hill: Stormwater Systems program which is taking a comprehensive approach to flood control in the neighborhoods north and east of downtown while improving water quality and enhancing public spaces. 

Below you will find answers to the most common questions we have heard regarding City Park Golf Course during our conversations with you, the community.

Why are we redesigning City Park Golf Course?

Neighborhoods north and east of downtown are among the City’s most at-risk communities to experience catastrophic damage during major flooding. By integrating stormwater detention into the design of the golf course, damaging floodwaters will be temporarily held and slowly released, lessening their impact on homes, businesses and the community. The effort also presents an opportunity to consider how all elements of the golf course fit and work together to ensure it will always be one of Denver’s best and most popular 18-hole golf courses. 

Will City Park Golf Course always be a golf course?

Yes. City Park Golf Course will always be an 18-hole golf course. The course will be open through golf season 2017 and will reopen in 2019. 

How will my community benefit from the redesign of City Park Golf Course?

There are three primary benefits of this project. Homes and businesses north and northwest of the course will see improved flood control during major storms. The course will retain its longstanding parkland style while getting updates and improvements to its design, playability, operations, community connections, and more. The South Platte River will benefit because stormwater – which currently flows directly into it – will be of a higher quality after filtering through natural vegetation and getting greater exposure to sunlight and oxygen.

What does design-build mean?

Design-build is a common approach to completing large projects, where a single, integrated team is accountable for finalizing a construction-ready design according to the requirements and specifications set by the City and also constructing the project. Design-build teams are selected based on the innovation and value provided, rather than a low-bid. The City has implemented a number of successful design-build projects and saved time and money through the streamlined process.

What does the selection process for the design-build team look like?

A selection panel composed of City staff, golf/technical experts and community representatives determines both the shortlisted teams and the final team. In early 2017, the City announced the three teams pre-qualified to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP includes the technical/operational requirements and design guidelines driving the redesign of the course, and was issued to the three teams in mid-January 2017. A final team will be selected in Spring 2017 and announced after contract finalization in Summer 2017.

Will the golf course be updated?

Yes. Throughout an eight-month collaborative process, residents, civic groups, local businesses and golf patrons overwhelmingly emphasized the importance of a high quality redesign. The City worked closely with the community to develop the specific requirements and guidelines that are driving the redesign.

Will the clubhouse be relocated or updated?

Options that integrate detention without moving the clubhouse are being explored, as are options that would require a new clubhouse location. The clubhouse location will be determined based on community input and technical requirements at the conclusion of the design-build team selection process in Summer 2017.

Will an expanded driving range that allows me to hit driver and woods be part of the plan?

The City Park Golf Course team has worked with the community to develop guidelines that will be used throughout the design-build process. An expanded driving range is included in the RFP as a potential update to the course and will be explored by the pre-qualified teams as they refine their proposals. It is important to remember that, with the limited space available on the historic course, increasing the size of existing course elements – or adding new elements – likely requires a reduction in the size or existence of others.

What will the golf course look like after the detention is put in?

Simply put, it will continue to be a golf course. In fact, City Park Golf Course already has a smaller level of natural stormwater detention integrated into it. Integrating stormwater detention in golf courses is a very common practice. Two other good local examples include Lakewood Country Club and Common Grounds Golf Course (in Aurora). 

Will this project take out any trees in the golf course?

Protection of large, healthy trees – especially those on the edge of the course – is critical to the project’s success. The redesign process will include working with arborists and other forestry experts on strategies to minimize tree impacts based on a comprehensive inventory of course trees and their current condition. For those trees that do need to be removed as part of the project, the City’s policy is to replace the level of tree canopy coverage, not number of trees. This means that, rather than replacing one large tree with one smaller one, one large tree is typically replaced by multiple smaller trees that create the same level of canopy coverage. 

How will historic elements be maintained through the redesign?

The golf course was originally built in 1913 and was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1986. However, like any active golf course, it has been regularly updated and enhanced over the years. As part of the City Park Golf Course redesign, the City is working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office to ensure we are addressing the elements of the course required for continued eligibility on the historic registry. 

Will the golf course need to be closed for construction? If so, when will it close and re-open?

Yes. City Park Golf Course will remain open through the 2017 season, close for construction in 2018, and reopen in 2019. The timeline below reflects the process:

City Park Golf Course Redesign timeline 2016-2020

What impacts will construction have on the surrounding neighborhoods?

At this point in the project it is too soon to know exactly what the construction process will look like. However, the majority of construction activities will be contained within the footprint of the golf course. During any construction project, avoiding or minimizing impacts to the community is a top priority. As with all major projects in Denver, the City will develop a management plan to clearly define and communicate how the project will be constructed. 

What will happen to City Park Golf Course staff and The First Tee during construction?

Denver Golf has no plans to dismiss any staff as a result of this project and is working closely with The First Tee program. It is likely that City Park Golf Course staff will have opportunities to be reassigned to other positions during construction. We will also work closely with The First Tee to develop a plan to help their program continue through construction and beyond.

Why was City Park Golf Course selected for stormwater detention?

Stormwater detention is commonly integrated into golf course design and must be located in areas that are large enough to temporarily hold the volume of water that comes with major storms and low enough to naturally collect the water. After analyzing all feasible options in the area, considering technical merits and community input, City Park Golf Course was selected because it will better protect significantly more homes and businesses. By utilizing an existing City asset, it also reduces the need for private property acquisition and creates better opportunities for future needed stormwater improvements.

What is the total cost? How do you plan to pay for the projects?

The current budget range for the four coordinated Platte to Park Hill: Stormwater Systems projects is $267 – $298 million. Specific budgets for each of the four projects, including the City Park Golf Course Redesign, have not yet been set. The program is one of many paid for by stormwater management fees. In June 2016, Denver Public Works received approval from Denver City Council to increase annual storm and sanitary sewer rates to help address a backlog of critical drainage projects citywide, improve water quality and reduce flood risk to life and property.

How do annual stormwater rates in Denver compare to other Colorado cities?

Denver’s storm and sanitary rates are currently about $100 lower than the average for other larger Colorado cities. Over the last 20 years, Denver has increased wastewater rates only twice. As a result of the June 2016 rate increase, the average Denver residential rate payer will pay roughly $23 more per year for the next five years for both storm and sanitary bills combined. Even with the recent rate changes, Denver will be about $60 below the average in 2017, when the first full year of the rate change takes effect.

How will you ensure the stormwater doesn’t cause public health or environmental problems?

Water quality and public health are of paramount importance. The golf course’s stormwater detention area and the greenway and open channel along 39th Avenue will provide opportunities for filtration and water quality benefits. The City will also implement additional efforts including increased frequency of maintenance, ongoing monitoring and development of water quality facilities.

Is this project part of past planning efforts?

The problems that integrating temporary stormwater detention into City Park Golf Course will address are not new. Denver’s 2014 Stormwater Master Plan provided the foundation for Platte to Park Hill: Stormwater Systems. This included identifying and addressing catastrophic flooding potential during a 100-year flood event (a storm that has a 1% of happening every year). Since the 2014 Master Plan was released, additional analysis revealed that Denver has a larger flood risk and greater challenges that need to be solved to adequately protect people and property throughout the city, especially within areas like the Montclair Basin that do not have a natural creek or existing drainage infrastructure. 

How is Central 70 and CDOT involved with this project?

The City would be pursuing the City Park Golf Course Redesign regardless of Central 70. There is a cost-sharing agreement with CDOT, which is a very common practice for governmental agencies working on large projects adjacent to one another. It is critical that any large-scale project be part of a coordinated process to realize cost savings and project efficiencies, as well as ensure compatibility with other nearby improvements. 

How can I be part of the process?

As the project moves forward, the City is committed to working closely with the golf community and local residents. As part of this community-focused and benefits-driven redesign approach, there are many opportunities to stay informed and provide feedback. Call 303-223-6585 or visit to:

  • Sign up for email updates
  • Find upcoming meetings
  • Submit comments