In a letter to Douglas County on Wednesday, Denver’s mayor said he has “no interest” in talking about transferring ownership of one of Denver's parks to the county.
Daniels Park, a Denver Mountain Park located inside Douglas County, is a 1,000-acre piece of land between Highlands Ranch and Castle Pines.
Douglas County Commissioners George Teal and Abe Laydon recently directed the county’s legal staff to pursue ways to “bring Daniels Park into Douglas County ownership.” Commissioner Lora Thomas voted against the direction to legal staff.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock addressed his letter to Teal, saying the park is a treasured part of the city's system and that the matter is not up for discussion.
“Nor do I have any interest in perpetuating a flawed notion that there is any merit to the idea that Douglas County can exercise eminent domain authority to acquire a park owned by the people of Denver and protected by our charter because you disagree with an ordinance passed by the Denver City Council and signed into law to promote public safety,” the letter said.
In May, the Denver City Council approved an ordinance banning concealed firearms on city property, including parks.
Teal has not responded to calls and texts from Colorado Community Media about the issue.
Hancock also said he would not “undermine the will of our city council with respect to the ordinance.”
Scott Gilmore, deputy director of the Denver Parks and Recreations Department, estimated the land would cost Douglas County at least half a billion dollars.
Daniels Park, a sprawling piece of land given to the city nearly 100 years ago, has significance with Native American tribes in the area, many of whom have ceremonies on the land.
The Tall Bull Memorial Ground is located in Daniels Park. The City of Denver has a longtime agreement with the Tall Bull Memorial Council to allow use of the park.
The park is also known for its bison herd.
“It is a point of pride for our community that we’re able to maintain and operate these open spaces for everyone in Denver, the region and across the state to access and enjoy — and to access and enjoy safely,” according to Hancock’s letter.
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