District Court Ruling Allows Golf Course Renovation

Judgment sidesteps concerns about Interstate 70 expansion

A lawsuit filed against the City of Denver has failed to thwart efforts to expand Interstate 70, a project that has been contested by environmental groups and neighborhood organizations.

MacFarlane et al. v. City of Denver et al. alleged that a group of stormwater management projects, known collectively as the Platte to Park Hill Project, was designed to mitigate flood risk associated with the widening of I-70, a project that is subject to separate on-going litigation and public criticism. The original complaint charges that the city “obfuscated its purposes” for the project, denying that Platte to Park Hill served any purpose related to I-70. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver Public Works manager Jose Cornejo and Denver Parks and Recreation executive director Allegra Haynes were also named as defendants in the suit.

“We are pleased that the Court has agreed with the City’s interpretation of the Denver Charter and Zoning Code and that the City Park Golf Course Redesign project will be able to proceed,” a statement from Denver Public Works reads.

Though Judge David Goldberg’s ruling acknowledged that the project “may be a thinly veiled subterfuge to pave the way for new construction plans on I-70,” he noted that the scope of the case was narrow, and determinations about the project’s connections to I-70 were beyond the reach of the district court’s standard of review. Goldberg denied the plaintiffs’ requests for a permanent injunction and declaratory relief.

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