Who is responsible for Park & Greenway development?
The Division of Natural Resources includes a service area called Park Development Services. This service area is responsible for all NEW park and greenway development; park renewal; and other miscellaneous projects. Currently this service area is staffed by Paula Fitzgerald, Project Manager, and Kathy Kron Project Manager.
What park types are there?
There are Community, Neighborhood & District parks in the City of Longmont.
Community parks are our large, sports complex type facilities. Typically, this park type includes lighted athletic complexes, indoor recreational facilities, sport court complexes, concession facilities, picnic areas/shelters, playgrounds, open play areas, parking lots and restrooms. They also may include dog off-leash areas and skate facilities.
Neighborhood parks are smaller parks located within specific neighborhoods. They typically include playgrounds, picnic areas/shelters, multi-use fields, sports courts, parking lots and restrooms. They may also include off-leash dog exercise areas and small skate facilities.
District parks are unique areas that focus on the attributes or special features of the area that the parks encompass. They often feature facilities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, fishing, boating, swimming and wildlife viewing. Trails, swimming areas, boat ramps, picnic areas/shelters, playgrounds, parking lots and restrooms may also be found in this park type.
Are there standards for these park types?
The current Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan (LACP) has the following standards for park development. Recently, however, the City has developed a Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan which takes a system-wide view of development of parks, recreation and trails in Longmont. The LACP will soon be updated according to the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan
Community park standards call for development of 4-1/2 acres of this park type per 1000 people in Longmont. The parks are to be sized at 50-100 typically. They should have a service area radius of 1 to 1-1/2 miles. They should also be located on or near arterial streets and either in non-residential areas, or on the edge of residential areas to minimize impact on the neighbors.
Neighborhood park standards call for development of 2-1/2 acres of this park type per 1000 residents in Longmont. These parks are to be sized at 10 to 20 acres (the 2014 Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan sizes them at 5-20 acres). They should have a service area radius of 1/2 mile and generally within the boundaries of arterial streets and railroad lines. They are typically located adjacent to elementary schools and are on collector streets.
District park standards are to be sized and located as appropriate to encompass the natural feature that is its focus. Their goal is also to include sufficient area for recreational facilities so they are compatible with and protect the natural and cultural environment. They are to be accessed from arterial or collector streets where feasible.
How close are we to meeting our standards?
In 2014 there are 2.88 acres of developed community parks per our current population of 87,850. There are 2.19 acres of developed neighborhood parks per the current population. The City also has 1,654.3 acres of district parks and many acres of parkland that is currently undeveloped. The opening of Dry Creek Community Park, anticipated in 2014, will also increase available community park acreage.
How are these parks funded?
Community and Neighborhood parks are funded by the Park Improvement Fund which is comprised of park improvement fees paid by home builders. The fee is paid at the time of application for building permits. Only new residential housing units pay this fee which was recently updated in 2014 to reflect the vision of the system as outlined in the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan. It is considered an Impact Fee, so can only be used for expansion to the existing park system. Funding for district parks, also receive funding from various sources including private donations, grants, General Fund, Open Space Fund and Conservation Trust Fund (Colorado Lottery).
What is the park fee amount?
The 2014 park improvement fee is $4,758 for single family detached residential, and $2,333 for other residential. This fee will be updated annually per City Ordinance O-2013-74.
How are future parks prioritized for development?
Guidance for development of the parks, recreation and trails system in the City of Longmont is found in the 2014 Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan which was developed with significant public involvement.
Is there a process for park development?
New techniques are used all the time, but the City is committed to a vigorous public process to hear citizen input on park development. Special invitations and notices on the City web page and news media are utilized to get the word out on upcoming development projects. Your name can be added to a mail list if you're interested in a particular park development project by emailing Paula Fitzgerald at email@example.com. Typically neighborhood park invitations are extended to the residential neighborhood surrounding the park, while community park design input includes the entire community. Special stakeholders are also identified, where appropriate, to include in the process. Your voice is important!
How do I find out which parks are currently being developed or planned in the future?
Check the park development web page periodically for updates. You will find links there to more specific information on the individual park projects.
What kinds of greenways are there?
The City has Primary and Secondary Greenways.
Primary Greenways are found along rivers, creeks, ditches and the perimeter of lakes. These greenways also function as wildlife corridors and storm drainage maintenance areas, often including flood plains. These greenways are designated on the Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan.
Secondary Greenways are bikeway connection links between Primary Greenways, parks, schools or residential areas. These areas are identified at the time of development.
How are greenways developed?
Primary and Secondary Greenways are designed and constructed by the adjacent development as a requirement of that development. After a one-year warranty period, the City Parks Operations Services will take Primary greenways over for on-going maintenance. Secondary greenways are maintained by either the City or the development, depending on the circumstances and as negotiated during the development process.
Greenway trails are to be 8' wide (minimum) with concrete surface. Landscaping is to include native and habitat friendly species along the ditch or waterway side of the trail and on the side of the greenway without a trail. Irrigated but drought tolerant landscaping is to be installed on the opposite side of the trail near homes and businesses.
What about the St. Vrain Greenway?
The St. Vrain Greenway is a Primary Greenway, but is developed to a higher standard. The St. Vrain Greenway has a 10' wide concrete trail with a 3' crusher fines (soft surface) path on one side through the urban and suburban portions of the community. The trail width is narrowed to 8' of concrete and 5' of crusher fines in the rural section (east of County Line Road). Additional benches, trash cans and interpretive signs are also located along this trail. Where next to a private development, the developer is responsible to design and construct the trail (or reimburse the City for existing areas) to meet Primary Greenway standards. The City pays for enhancements to the standard out of the City's Conservation Trust Fund.
Some greenways are not connected. Is anything being done to make these connections?
The City has a capital improvement project called PR-83 - Primary and Secondary Greenway Connection program. Its intent is to make connections where segments will not be completed by the adjacent private development.
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