The Centennial City Council voted to purchase — for free — the 50 percent interest of the Parker Jordan Centennial open space the city didn't previously own, giving Centennial full control over …
The Centennial City Council voted to purchase — for free — the 50 percent interest of the Parker Jordan Centennial open space the city didn't previously own, giving Centennial full control over the 107-acre swath of land.
Before, it shared the cost of maintaining the land with the Parker Jordan Metropolitan District, which owned the other 50 percent interest before. That governmental body manages the area bounded by East Arapahoe Road, south Jordan and Parker roads, and the Arapahoe-Douglas county line.
One of only a handful of parks and open spaces that Centennial owns, the space sits in the southeast part of Centennial, where East Broncos Parkway crosses south Parker and Jordan roads. The South Suburban Parks and Recreation and Arapahoe Park and Recreation districts manage most parks in the city.
The Dec. 4 decision by city council won't change much, as the ordinance to take the remaining interest in the open space declared an emergency to speed up the process, but only so the city would have the ability to maintain the land by Jan. 1. The land will remain open space.
Standard procedure for such a move would take longer, and the Parker Jordan Metropolitan District ended its contract with Arapahoe County to maintain the land effective Dec. 31. No health or safety problem necessitated the purchase.
Bennett Rutledge, who ran for, but didn't win, a District 2 city council seat in the Nov. 7 election, opposed the move at the Dec. 4 council meeting.
“Just because we may do it ... does not mean we should be doing it,” said Rutledge, who said other governmental bodies could have stepped in to manage the land.
The city will pay additional maintenance costs now, but Centennial's 2018 budget includes funds for that purpose, according to city staff.
Centennial acquired 50 percent ownership of the 107 acres, which sit along the Cherry Creek, in 2010.
The city worked with the metropolitan district to improve the open space, including completing of one of the last significant links in the Cherry Creek Trail, said Allison Wittern, spokeswoman for the city. The two bodies worked with other partners on the reclamation of the Cherry Creek stream to stabilize the creek and surrounding habitat.
The trail, completed in 2010, runs from downtown Denver to Cherry Creek State Park all the way down to the Castle Rock area, parallel to Parker Road.