Tag Archives: Michael Hancock

School sits on former open space that activists want back — eventually

Attorney and parks advocates press case at Court of Appeals to overturn land swap involving Hampden Heights Open Space

By Jon Murray
The Denver Post

Two years after the Denver City Council cleared the way for a controversial land swap, children filed last month into a new elementary school built on former city-owned open space near Cherry Creek Reservoir.

But the Joe Shoemaker School’s opening hasn’t ended a legal fight by still-simmering Denver parks advocates over what they saw as an illegal giveaway of valuable park land, a charge disputed by city officials.

Dozens of the lawsuit’s supporters packed a Colorado Court of Appeals courtroom this month as their lawyer, who is appealing an earlier loss in Denver District Court, again pressed to return the land to city ownership.

That prospect has been complicated, of course, by Denver Public Schools’ construction of the building on the 11½-acre city parcel on Havana Street, which was swapped by the city for a central Denver former DPS administration building that soon will become a domestic violence resource center.

The opponents admit that if they prevail, their best-case scenario would be to win a court order for the land to be returned as city park land — but only decades from now, once the new school has outlived its usefulness.

Attorney John Case, who lives nearby, and other park advocates say they’re still fighting to protect more than just one park.

READ MORE HERE

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Friends of Denver Parks, Vision For Denver

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Carolina Klein, an authentic dog lover, squared off in the District 4 Denver City Council race at Calvary Baptist Church against Kendra Black, the favorite of incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock, and Halisi Vinson, the protégé of former Mayor Wellington Webb.

The winners? The citizens of District 4. All three candidates committed in writing that, if elected, none of them would engage in courtesy voting, and all of them would remain independent of Mayor Hancock.

Click here to see the signatures of every city council candidate who has committed to the “Vision for Denver.”

District 4

Candidates are listed as they will appear on the ballot

Carolina KLEIN

Carolina KLEIN

 

Kendra BLACK

Kendra BLACK

 

Halisi VINSON

Halisi VINSON

 

 

 

 

 

 

District 1

Rafael ESPINOZA

Rafael ESPINOZA

 

 

 

 

 

 

District 6

Paul KASHMANN

Paul KASHMAN

 

Hentzell Park: Judge upholds “less than transparent” land swap

By Alan Prendergast, Westword May 12, 2014

When does a park become a park? Is it when people start using it for recreation and picnics? When the area starts showing up on maps labeled as a park? When the Mayor of Denver describes it as “dedicated park land,” while assuring nearby homeowners it won’t be developed? Or is it when the city starts to maintain it, build trails on it and post signs about observing park rules?

None of the above, apparently. Not according to Denver District Court Judge Herbert Stern III — who, practically on the eve of trial, dismissed the case a grass-roots parks group had brought challenging the city’s decision to transfer eleven acres of open space in the Cherry Creek corridor in exchange for an office building downtown.

Mayor Michael Hancock’s plan to hand over the property adjacent to Paul A. Hentzell Park to the Denver Public Schools for a new school, in exchange for a DPS administration building that’s now being converted to a one-stop services center for domestic violence victims, has triggered a slew of questions about how the city officially designates — and protects — its parks. Although the property was officially declared a “natural area” just a few years ago, Hancock insisted that it was “blighted;” Denver Parks and Recreation manager Lauri Dannemiller withdrew the natural area designation, and the Denver City Council approved the deal last spring.

Read the complete article here