Hundreds of thousands of homes in Colorado are unable to meet the needs it provides for residents. A 2,500-unit golf course proposal in Denver encapsulates the Midwestern state’s problems.

At Denver’s Park Hills golf course, an internal battle over when and where to build housing has unfolded in recent months, The Atlantic Report. Despite being the same constituency that supported pro-housing mayoral candidates and governor in recent elections, voters could easily resist canceling easements that would have developed 2,500 units on the field.

Westside Investment Properties purchased the abandoned golf course for $24 million a few years ago. The company will be forced to revive the golf course rather than fill a gap in Denver’s 70,000 homes.

Voters in the state have repeatedly demonstrated that they want to see affordable housing in their state. They just don’t necessarily want to be next door, which is the hallmark of the NIMBY movement.

Colorado has weighed taking land tenure rights from local municipalities and elevating them to the state level as a way to keep the big-picture focus on housing needs where the locals fight opposition. While the local government has jurisdiction over Park Hill’s plight, those moving into the proposed development may not actually be locals, limiting their voice.

Governor Jared Polis has been a strong advocate for building more housing in the state. His idea is to follow in the footsteps of California, Utah and other states by having state officials force local governments to change land-use policies to meet housing goals. The hopes are to increase and preserve affordable housing, inspire development near public transit and remove parking requirements.

The bill didn’t even get a final vote until the end of the state’s legislative session last month. Polis vowed to keep fighting, noting multiple defeats before victories in the field in other states.

The great irony of the whole thing? In his previous role as a representative, Polis advocated for local government control of land use policy.

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