DENVER (CBS4) – A developer wants to take over a 5,950-square-foot plot of public land in downtown Denver. It’s adjacent to property they own not far from Coors Field, and they plan to build an 8-story hotel.
“Why should an individual owner, a private owner, profit off of public land?” asked Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca.
She does not want see a corner of public property at West 29th Avenue and Chestnut Place go to a developer.
“Giving up land right now, especially when we have a context where land is so valuable, doesn’t feel like the right thing to do unless it’s for a cause that serves the city.”
The plot of land used to be a road and carries the designation of Public Right of Way, but hasn’t been used as a road for quite some time. The developer who purchased the adjacent dirt lot, argues it no longer serves that use and is asking for the land to be vacated.
“Those are perfect places where we can have scooter docking stations, bike docking stations and that is Right of Way usage.”
Colorado State law does not allow for the land to be sold, so it is simply transferred to private hands for an administrative fee totaling only $1,600.
“Over time the public and councils have really questioned this fee structure for land giveaways.”
CdeBaca says she thinks she has the votes in committee to block the vacation request.
“The question for the public and for our council is, is a hotel what we need right now? Is a hotel a best we could do with that space right now?”
Denver Public Works says that the process is a fairly common practice and as land is vacated other land is designated for Public Right of Way. At Monday’s city council meeting, eight separate pieces of land were dedicated to Public Right of Way.