Citation
Development plan for downtown Rifle

Material Information

Title:
Development plan for downtown Rifle
Creator:
Clarke, Thomas
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
34 leaves : illustrations, charts, maps, plans ; 22 x 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
City planning -- Colorado -- Rifle ( lcsh )
City planning -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Central business districts -- Colorado -- Rifle ( lcsh )
Central business districts ( fast )
City planning ( fast )
Colorado ( fast )
Colorado -- Rifle ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Architecture in Urban Design, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
Thomas Clarke.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
10058028 ( OCLC )
ocm10058028
Classification:
LD1190.A73 1978 .C563 ( lcc )

Full Text
WNTOWN
THOMAS CLARKE
ARCHITECT URBAN DESIGNER
CLARKb .. .; T.; 7j|g
DEVELOPMENT PLAN



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S H i .. %
C0NTENTS PAGE NO.
INTRODUCTION -acknoledgements- 1
PART ONE : SELECTED DATA 2
PART TWO : PROBLEMS ISSUES ALTERNATIVES 3 11
TRANSPORTATION 3
LAND USE 5
PUBLIC WORKS 9
PART THREE : ANALYSIS 3-1 to 3-9
TRANSPORTATION 31
LAND USE 3-2 S 3^3
PUBLIC WORKS 3"9
PART FOUR : DEVELOPMENT PLAN for DOWNTOWN RIFLE 12 25
TRANSPORTATION 12 - 16
LAND USE 16 - 20
PUBLIC WORKS S DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT 20 - 25
PART FIVE : IMPLEMENTATION 26 - 29
PLAN IMPLEMENTATION 1979 -CHART" 5"1
PLAN IMPLEMENTATION 1980 - 1989 -CHART- 5-2
NOTES 30
APPENDIXES
APPENDIX A DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR MAJOR STREETS 31
APPENDIX B PARKING ANALYSIS AND PROPOSAL 32
Appendix C land use analysis 35
LIST OF DRAWINGS DEVELOPMENT PLANS PART FOUR
TRANSPORTATION 9/1
TRANSPORTATION ISSUES 9/1-1
MAJOR STREETS PLAN 9/1-2
MAJOR STREETS C.B.D. 9/1-3
EXISTING PARKING 9/1-9
PROPOSED PARKING 9/1-
PARKING ALTERNATIVE STUDIES - PLANS 9/1-
PARKING ALTERNATIVE STUDIES - SECTIONS 9/1-
LAND USE 9/2
LAND USE ISSUES 9/2-
ZONING MAP 9/2-
EXISTING COMMERCIAL DISTRICT 9/2"
EXISTING LAND USE 9/2-
LAND USE COMPARISONS (TYPE ONE TYPE TWO) 9/2"
COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES PLAN 9/2"6
PUBLIC WORKS 8 DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT
SHORT RANGE CONCEPTUAL PLAN LONG RANGE CONCEPTUAL PLAN MUNICIPAL FACILITIES PLAN SECTIONS LOOKING NORTH SECTIONS LOOKING WEST SECTIONS LOOKING EAST
9/3 9/3-1 9/3-2 (p.23) 9/3-3 9/3-9 9/3-5 9/3-6
VJ1 -C V*Ai J\J I N CD U1


INTRODUCTION
The purpose of making a development plan for downtown Rifle is to help citizens, city officials and the business community guide public and private investment in the C.B.D. to achieve maximum long range benefits. It is hoped that this project will help to identify the interrelationships of many of the problems and issues facing downtown Rifle and the city as a whole. In most cases, it has been necessary to look beyond the confines of the commercial district to find satisfactory solutions to current problems. Finally it is hoped that the development plans and drawings will demonstrate to people in Rifle that there are many options available and opportunities to make physical improvements at this time then the city is entering a period of rapid growth. A determination to realize opportunities and the cooperation of various interest groups in Rifle are probably the elements needed to guide the process of change to achieve community goals.
This report is subdivided into five parts. Part One, Selected Data, distills from the massive collection of data on Rifle and western slope communities those facts which are relevant to planning for downtown Rifle. Part Two, Problems -Issues Alternatives, identifies major problems and issues facing the commercial district and how they are related. Some alternative solutions are presented. Part Three, Analysis and Recommendations, summarizes problems, issues and their impacts Goals and alternatives are identified and recommendations are made. Part Four, Development Plan for Downtown Rifle, provides drawings and some explanation of the proposals and recom mendations suggested in Part Three. Part Five, Implementation suggests ways in which the plan could be implemented.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This project has been done as part of the Masters of Architecture, Urban Design, program at the University of Colorado at Denver. Associate Professor Ronald Straka, Professor John Prosser and others at UCD have provided guidance for the project.
Many of the ideas expressed in this report come from the citizens of Rifle who have spent many hours discussing and evaluated various proposals, problems and issues. Without this participation the project would be little more than an exercise. Finally, the project has been made possible by the financial support of the Colorado West Area Council of Governments. The assistance of Vince Shively, Steve Schmitz and Bob Demos is appreciated.
DECEMBER 1978
THOMAS C. CLAP, KE
723 COLORADO BLDG., 1615 CALIFORNIA ST. DENVER, CO. 802 0 2 13031 893-9855
1


PART ONE : SELECTED DATA
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND S, PHYSICAL SETTING
Rifle was settled in the 1880's as an agricultural community. It is located north of the Colorado River and 1-70 about 200 mi. west of Denver. State Highway 13 begins in Rifle and is a major access route to the northwestern quadrant of Colorado. The DRG&W railroad has served the community since 1889. The city is surrounded by valleys and mesas which make up the dry and rugged terrain of west slope Colorado. The land contains coal, shale oil and other mineral deposits which have attracted mining interests in Garfield County. Because of its location at the junction of highways and railways, Rifle is likely to become a processing and shipping center for minerals mined in the Piceance Creek basin to the northwest.
The city is bisected by Rifle Creek which flows north-south between Graham and Prefontain mesas. Most of the town and its business district are on the east side of the creek which can be swollen by thundershowers posing flood hazard. The western third of the Central Business District (C.B.D.) and about 20 residences are within the standard flood plain of Rifle Creek.^ ^
SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND
Rifle grew rapidly after the arrival of the railroad and became a local agricultrual and mining service center. Between the early 1900's and the 1960's the city had a relatively stable, middle income, anglo population of approximately 500 families. Rifle's population increased from 2,150 in 1970 to an estimated 2,750 in 1975 (3.5 % annually).The city's small minority population (about 5%) is mostly Spanish Surnamed Americans. Over the years the number of elderly persons living in Rifle has increased and was 22% in 1977.The 1970's increases in Rifle's population appears to be the result of tourism and the early
phases of oil shale development. The city is now faced with the
1-4
prospect of accelerating growth rates.
The growth of economic activity parallels Rifle's population growth, however, sales tax revenues and shoppers surveys indicate that retail sales in Rifle are not keeping pace.'*'-^ This is largely due to the improved transportation links between Rifle and larger commercial centers such as Glenwood Springs. There is a considerable amount of vacant land and some vacant buildings in the C.B.D. at present. Although remodeling of downtown stores has occurred and some new commercial space has been built in the past couple of years, the majority of new commercial activity has located outside of the C.B.D. during the 1970's. Shoppers surveys made in 1977 indicate that the Rifle commercial district could capture more of the local trade if shopping there were more convenient, attractive and competitive.
GOVERNMENT S PUBLIC REVENUES
Incorporated in 1905, Rifle is a homerule city governed by a Mayor and City Council. A city manager adminsters day to day operations. The city's general fund budget increased from $159,262 in 1970 to an estimated $744,460 in 1979, an increase of 367%T-^ The city's total budget in 1979 will exceed one million dollars. Over 90% of the funding for this budget will be raised locally and over 50% of the revenue for the general fund is provided by the sales and cigarette taxes. State assistance has permitted Rifle to upgrade its water treatment and storage facilities.
Rifle prepared its first formal capital improvements budget in 1976. Five year projections of the capital improvements budget are updated annually. This budgeting process has not been accompanied by detailed or comprehensive physical planning. It
is based on a general set of priorities. While Rifle may be 4
conservative in its annual budgeting (and proud of it), the city
is taking a more progressive and sensible approach towards cap-
1-8
ital expenditure planning and budgeting.
2


PART TWO : PROBLEMS ISSUES ALTERNATIVES
In the fall of 1977 when work on this project began, members of the Rifle business community were concerned that new commercial activity coming to the city would locate outside of the C.B.D. and help create a permanent state of decline in downtown Rifle. Downtown businessmen were especially apprehensive of the possibility of a major shopping center being located near Rifle. The 1977 shoppers survey indicated that action by the business community was needed to make the C.B.D. more attractive and convenient for shoppers if it was going to maintain its viability in future years.
Three major physical problems were identified by the business community at that time. First, increasing traffic on Railroad Ave. (St. Hwy 13) which bisects the C.B.D. was causing traffic jams, hazard to pedestrians and a less attractive shopping environment. Second, the shortage of public parking made shopping less convenient than for businesses outside of the C.B.D.. Third, the general appearance of stores, shops and other businesses in downtown Rifle made shopping elsewhere more attractive. Other problems facing the business district such as the flood plain and inflated land values were of much lower priority.
In this report, problems, issues, and alternatives have been subdivided into three categories : Transportation, Land Use and .Public Works. The problems and issues in these categories are related more often than not. Finding the interrelationships between these problems is one of the principal objectives of this study.
2-1 TRANSPORTATION : Problems Alternatives BY-PASS ISSUE
Rifle's citizens have been working with the Colorado Hwy. Department for almost 15 years to resolve the traffic problems on Railroad Ave. (Hwy 13). Widening this street which has a 60 ft. right of way (r.o.w.) through the C.B.D. is not desirable or
feasible. Two other major alternatives were presented in the
2-1
environmental impact study prepared by the Hwy Dept, in 1976.
The first of these is an in-town by-pass to be located on the west side of the C.B.D. and Rifle Ck. (Alt. # 3). The second alternative (#6) would begin approximately one mile west of the C.B.D. and would bypass existing parts of the town completely. The two alternatives have been extensively, emotionally and at times bitterly debated by various interest groups in Rifle. The city council and business community favor an in-town bypass and citizen groups seem to favor an out-of-town bypass. It has been apparent from the outset of this project that the location of the by-pass must be determined before other problems affecting downtown Rifle can be solved. The by-pass issue in Rifle presumably will be resolved on January 9, 1979 by a special election to determine which alternative citizens of Rifle prefer.
Studies and traffic projections prepared by the Hwy. Dept.
indicate that about 70% of the present traffic on R.R. Ave is 2-2
local traffic. For this reason, the construction of the out-of-town by-pass (alt.#6) will not significantly reduce the traffic problems in the C.B.D. Within a few years of its construction, traffic will be back up to the present levels of 7,500 ADT (average daily travel). Construction of the in-town bypass (alt. #3) would reduce traffic about 45%. The important difference between the two alternatives is that the in-town.bypass would permit street changes in the C.B.D. that could eliminate both through and local traffic on R.R. Ave in downtown Rifle. Essentially what is needed at present in Rifle is a new north-south arterial street and better traffic circulation around the commercial district. Eventually as through traffic resulting from oil-shale and other development north of Rifle increases, the out-of-town by-pass will be needed. Reserving the r.o.w. for this future highway is important.
3


C.B.D. ACCESSIBILITY
The business community was initially much concerned with the loss of highway exposure for the C.B.D. if an out-of-town by-pass was to be constructed. This concern has largely subsided, however, the problem of downtown accessibility remains. The commercial district is flanked on its east and west sides by Graham and Prefontain Mesas which have slopes exceeding 20% in places. Better east-west circulation is clearly needed.
The process of preparing and adopting a major streets plan began in 1977 but was stymied by the Hwy 13 issue. The plan is needed not only to solve C.B.D. traffic problems but also to insure that a workable street system is provided in new subdivisions developing around Rifle. An examination of the overall traffic problems facing Rifle suggests that some new major streets and several key linkages, including new bridges over Rifle Creek, are needed. Coordination of the planning and design of the in-town by-pass and the major streets plan is crucial if new traffic circulation patterns and better accessibility for the C.B.D. are going to be possible.
Pedestrian and bicycle circulation in Rifle is another aspect of transportation planning which should not be ignored. The by-pass as proposed by the Hwy. Dept, would divide the city in half. Chain-link fences are proposed to prevent school children from crossing the highway. A pedestrian bridge is planned to carry school children from the west side over this highway to schools on the east side. Underpasses, which would be less expensive and more practical in Rifle are considered dangerous by both the Hwy. Dept, and Rifle's residents. A system of pedestrian paths and bike trails is possible which uses the gullies and slopes in and around Rifle to provide grade separated crossings at major streets and highways will be feasible only if it is planned with the street system and in advance of land subdivisions. Accessibility to downtown Rifle for both vehicles and pedestrians is closely related to traffic and street planning for the city as a whole.
PARKING
The amount of public parking in downtown Rifle will determine to a large extent how much new commercial activity will locate there in the future. By averaging the square footage of commercial space presently in downtown Rifle, it is estimated that there is about 175,000 sq.ft, of effective retail space in Rifle's C.B.D.^ ^ Assuming that five parking spaces
per 1000 sq. ft. of retail space are needed, Rifle's total present need is for 800 public parking spaces. Rifle now has about 532 public parking spaces and 109 restricted parking spaces. Between 200 and 250 additional public parking spaces are needed to accomodate current needs.
If commercial activity in the C.B.D. expands from 50 to 100% by the year 2000 as expected. Rifle will need an additional 400 to 800 parking spaces. New municipal facilities in the C.B.D. (75,000 to 100,000 sq. ft.) will require 225 to 300 more parking spaces. All in all, the Rifle C.B.D. will need between 1,750 and 2,000 public parking spaces by the year 2000.
Providing an adequate number of parking spaces is part of the problem. The appearance and distribution of parking areas must also be considered. Poor distribution of parking will lead to underuse of some areas. Large parking lots adjacent to shopping areas are likely to destroy the scale and continuity of existing spaces in the C.B.D. Cramming the maximum possible number of parking spaces onto available sites could eliminate much of the potential to make Rifle an attractive shopping area.
There are several alternative ways of creating more parking in the commercial district. Ordinances can require a specified amount of parking based on a building's size and type. This might drive some businesses out of the C.B.D. and prevent others from locating there. The city and business community could initiate a joint effort to create more parking on vacant land. New parking could be built in the flood plain. The magnitude of the parking shortage in downtown Rifle suggests that careful planning will be needed to solve this problem.
4


2-2 LAND USE : Problems Alternatives
Land use in downtown Rifle is the heart of this study, although major changes of land use in Rifle's retail area are not necessary. The objective is to preserve and reinforce existing patterns in light of the changes which are taking place in Rifle as a community. Most of the suggestions and proposals aired in this report deal with the areas immediately adjacent to the existing retail area. Land use problems and issues related to downtown Rifle have been divided into three categories as follows: One, commercial sprawl: Two, downtown land use and expansion; Three, the Rifle flood plain.
COMMERCIAL SPRAWL
Commercial sprawl is a side effect of using the automobile as the principal means of transportation. It is happening practically everywhere autos dominate transportation systems.
It is happening in Rifle. The problem with scattered commercial development is heavily visual but also functional.
Downtown areas which are unable to compete effectively with scattered commercial development often begin to decline. As the decline sets in, dealing with the fundamental problems which are causing it becomes increasingly difficult. The community as a whole is impacted because scattered patterns of commercial development usually cannot provide the variety of shopping and competition that an active central business district will support. In addition, the consumer must drive miles to get a variety of items. Under these circumstances shopping is particularly difficult for the elderly. Commercial sprawl is inefficient to operate and often vulnerable to crime. Commercial sprawl, however, should not be confused with local convenience shopping. Controlling commercial sprawl is neither easy nor popular but will have significant impact on downtown Rifle and the city as a whole.
There are a number of factors in Rifle which promote scattered commercial development as opposed to downtown growth.
First, increases in land values in the downtown area encourage new development to locate elsewhere. Second, parking problems make downtown shopping less convenient than alternatives.
Third, Rifle's zoning would permit commercial activity on about 2/3 of the land in Rifle as a whole. Zoning is thus an ineffective tool for preventing scattered commercial development. Fourth, sprawling low density residential growth encourages commercial development along major streets and highways.
To a large extent, the willingness of Rifle as a whole to deal with sprawl problems is necessary to buttress the efforts of the downtown business district to improve its convenience and attractiveness to shoppers. Several courses of action are possible. Improving the central business district environment will increase downtown Rifle's ability to compete with scattered commercial development. The city can attempt to limit the places where commercial activity is permitted by downzoning or rezoning. Zoning changes could be encouraged by placing heavier tax emphasis on land zoned for commercial uses. Although there are significant legal problems with this approach it is worth considering because it could also help to reduce speculation on commercial land. Sites for neighborhood convenience centers could be established to help prevent excessive scattering of commercial development. This has also been suggested with regard to Type Two commercial development which is relocated out of downtown Rifle. Finally, standards for commercial development, especially site development, can help lessen the visual impact of scattered commercial development. All of these actions involve more government controls. Those who would have sprawl are encouraged to visit Craig, Colorado or Denver before making the final choice. If controls are opted, they must be designed and administered carefully or Rifle will get both controls and sprawl.
C.B.D. LAND USE FUNCTIONAL ASPECTS
The downtown area which has been studied in terms of land


use extends from First Street to Fifth Street and from East Avenue to Rifle Creek. This amounts to 31.5 acres of land. Streets and alleys take 10.8 acres or 34.4% of this area.
The remaining 20.7 acres is the net useable land (NUL).
6.2 acres or about 30% of the NUL is vacant at present. The principal retail area is small and amounts to 4.3 acres. Or 21% of the NUL. One-third of the NUL in downtown Rifle is presently in the standard flood plain for Rifle Creek. Only 7.6% of the NUL is being used for public offstreet parking; thus over four times as much land is vacant as is used for
2- 5
parking. Buildings cover 241,800 s.f. or 26.9% of the land.
These statistics and the land use maps reveal two basic problems regarding land use in downtown Rifle. First, the commercial district is not making good use of its vacant land considering the shortage of public parking. Second, much of the net useable land in downtown Rifle is vulnerable to flooding.
While both the vacant land and the Rifle Creek flood plain detract from the appearance of downtown Rifle and in some ways inhibit further commercial development, both of them could become assets for the future growth and development of Rifle's CBD. The problems and issues related to the flood plain are explored in other sections of this report. The basic issue concerning better uses of vacant land is the need to balance commercial development with increasing need for parking.
Land use patterns in downtown Rifle can be described in terms of two general types and eight categories. The details of the breakdown are shown on the Existing Land Use maps.
Type One land uses are characterized as more intense uses which are best served by a central location in Rifle. Type Two land uses are less intense and more deptendent on having good vehicular access.^ A central location is not essential for these activities. Because the amount of useable land in downtown Rifle is limited, it is assumed that Type One activities should be encouraged to locate in the C.B.D. Existing and new
Type Two activities should be encouraged to locate outside of the C.B.D. This would permit the maximum amount of growth to take place in downtown Rifle.
The concentration of Type One activities along Third Street is obvious to the observer and from a glance at the Existing Land Use maps. Five half blocks contain 83% of the Type One commercial (Cl) and 74% of the Type One office space (01) in Rifle. These five blocks are only 7.6% of the useable land in the C.B.D. (see map 4/2-5). Commercial expansion along Third Street is essentially blocked to the west by the flood plain and to the east by Rifle's oldest residential neighborhood. Expansion is taking palce on the north-south axis at Railroad Avenue north of Third Street, but is hampered by heavy traffic on Highway 13. This should change once the in-town bypass has been built. While the concentration of Type One land use is good because it creates an activity center in Rifle, it also concentrates parking problems. New commercial growth is likely to locate as close as possible to the Third Street focus of activity. As vacant land is developed adjacent to Third Street, the amount of off street parking for this area will be eroded. The issue is the location of new commercial activities. Assuming that parking should continue to be provided and hopefully expanded close to Third Street, a more dispersed pattern of development is inevitable in downtown Rifle. An alternative is to develop mid-block parking areas at the rear of C.B.D. businesses.
Another issue with regard to commercial development of downtown Rifle is the location or relocation of Type Two activities. Assuming that most of the existing vacant land in the loop area is or will be needed for parking space, new commercial development is expected to occupy buildings which are either vacant or presently occupied by Type Two activities. Gradually these activities will either cease to exist or will move out of downtown Rifle. This process can be facilitated by creating new sites elsewhere in Rifle for their relocation. The strip of land north of Hwy 6/24 and west of Rifle Creek is suggested as a potential site? ^ This area is well contained and


has good highway access. Because this strip of land is partially developed at present some conflicts will arise. However, the extremes of scattered commercial development can be largely avoided by encouraging commercial relocation in this direction.
While the present concentration of commercial activity is a positive aspect of downtown Rifle, greater diversity in new commercial development is also desirable. This would help sustain activity levels for longer periods of the day. In Rifle as in many other cities, residential land use has been largely excluded from the commercial district. This has usually proved to be a mistake. Land which is deserted during the day and more so at night is vulnerable to crime and vandalism. This is true of parks, parking lots, and commercial districts. Surveillance is a potent deterrent to criminal activity and vandalism. It would therefore seem desirable to encourage some Type One multi-family residential activity in downtown Rifle to help round out activity patterns. Residential structures have the additional advantage of often being readily convertable into office or commercial uses. Residential activities can serve as an interim use for sites which are vacant or underused and where the best use of the property is not yet feasible. Providing the facilities for municipal activities in downtown Rifle is another significant way of providing or maintaining the diversity and general activity level in the C.B.D.
Finally, the cost of land in the C.B.D. will significantly affect the growth and development of downtown Rifle. If property values in the commercial district outweigh the advantages of location, new businesses will go elsewhere. There are several options available in Rifle for controlling land speculation. Reducing the flood hazard area and encouraging the relocation of some Type Two businesses would make more land available for development. Land banking may be a possibility. Land use taxation is possible with some reservations. Avoiding excessive
speculation is likely to be a difficult issue in Rifle as it is elsewhere. Nonetheless, it is a problem which should not be ignored.
C.B.D. LAND USE VISUAL ASPECTS
Many businessmen in downtown Rifle are concerned with the first look one gets of the city when approaching-from either south or north. In this study, attention is focussed primarily on Rifle's southern exposure from the 1-70 access and Highway 6/24. People in Rifle would probably agree that the panorama of gas stations, railraod buildings, oil tanks and vacant land which confronts one at Rifle's south entry could use some "dressing up". Within the downtown area a reduction in signs, some cleaning and a little paint could improve the general appearance and impression the town gives. These things are obvious. Many Rifle businesses are remodelling store fronts and interiors and the results so far are very good.
New building & spatial patterns which will change the appearance of downtown Rifle are also evident. Older buildings in Rifle are usually one or two stories in height, cover one or two 25 foot lots and front directly unto the 3treet. More recent developments such as Remington Square or the Shaler Motel are very different from that pattern visually. They are larger in scale and are faced unto a parking area instead of the street. If this trend persists, Rifle will look quite different in a few years regardless of the materials and detailing employed. While it is desirable to have parking as close as possible to where it is needed, the question is asked: Is it necessary to be so out front with it? One of the visual amenities most lacking in downtown Rifle is any strong physical sense of place. Too many parking lots which front onto major streets (especially intersections) will prevent Rifle from developing a sense of place. An alternative is to use the center portions of a block to provide off-street parking.
In addition to scale, the use of materials and detailing can help maintain the visual character of Rifle. Wood and
7


masonry seem to predominate now and their continued use is suggested. If building signs are constructed of similar materials (mainly wood with natural finish) this would also help.
Finally, some landscaping, especially for parking areas, is needed in downtown Rifle. Landscaping is not something which can be applied after everything else is done. To function as a visual amenity, it must be an integral part of the design. With regard to parking areas, it is better to lose a few spaces and improve efficiency along with the appearance of a parking area than to fit the maximum number of spaces on a piece of land, ignoring the lot's visual impact. Downtown Rifle is a town center, not a shopping center. If it starts to look like a shopping center, something valuable to downtown Rifle as a whole will have been lost. That something is called "sense of place.
RIFLE CREEK FLOOD PLAIN
One of the principal concerns of this project is the determination of what is the best use of the Rifle Creek flood plain. Federal and state authorities prompted by environmental interest groups have altered basic governmental policy with regard to flood hazard problems over the past decade. Rather than building dams and channels or embankments intended to reduce flood hazard, the newer approach is to move activities which are vulnerable to flooding out of flood plains. There is much evidence and logic to support this approach. Talk of channeling Rifle Creek in downtown Rifle may seem inconsistent with the new concept for dealing with flood hazard.
As noted in the discussion of C.B.D. land use, the Rifle Creek standard flood plain encompasses about one-third of downtown Rifle. Because the flood plain has been expanded by manmade structures (the Pioneer Ditch diversion structure and the Third Street Bridge), it is reasonable to return Rifle Creek to its original channel and retrieve this land for other uses. A new channel would have to carry 5,500 cu. ft./sec.
2 8
of flood water to accomodate an intermediate (100 yr.) flood.
A channel 120 ft. in width and approximately eight ft. in depth would be adequate. New buildings should be located above the standard flood (500 yr.) level, which requires about twice as much channel.
Channeling Rifle Creek seems desirable because downtown Rifle needs room for expansion. Alternative directions for expansion would push commercial activities into basically residential areas. Additionally, the new channel does not have to be an oversized ditch. It is potentially useful open space which is much needed in downtown Rifle.
The most formidable problem associated with channeling Rifle Creek is where to get the funds necessary to acquire land and complete the work. Some of the creek bed appears to be owned by Rifle, if city base maps are accurate. This needs to be checked at the county land office. Some channeling will be required to construct the bypass, so the Colorado Highway Department could help in this respect. Another issue is where and how much land the city should acquire. Land which is taken out of the flood plain will increase in value and will be more expensive to buy at a later date should it be needed by the city. Should individual landowners benefit largely at the expense of the public? Rifle's liberal commercial zoning will make controlling development on either side of the flood channel extremely difficult.
Preliminary planning to date for both the Highway 13 bypass and a new sewer line shows little concern for the potential of developing Rifle Creek. Because planning decisions regarding these two projects will be made in the near future, Rifle must adopt some concept for future use of the flood plain if the city intends to retain its options for future use of this land. In this respect, it is extremely important that both the highway and the sewer be kept out of the flood plain. A park concept and alternatives for flood plain channeling and future use are examined in the Public Works section of this report.
8


PUBLIC WORKS Problems Alternatives
Many of the proposals suggested in this plan involve public works projects. Establishing the priority and the order in which public works projects are to be implemented is one of the most difficult problems facing Rifle today. If this is to be done objectively, the overall cost of a project and an assessment of its impact on other projects must be known in advance. Alternatives must be examined. The uncertainty and difficulties of obtaining funding assistance for the right project at the right time compound these problems. Planning for public works is expensive and time consuming. A lot of both public funds and individual efforts can be wasted as a result of these problems. Rifle is in a somewhat unique situation in that sizeable amounts of funding are potentially available from outside sources such as the Energy Impact and Oil Shale Trust Funds. Some local expense will be needed to secure these outside funds but considerable leveraging is possible. Careful planning can help the city secure outside funding and determine the best use of local fiscal resources.
Three types of public works projects are considered in this report. First, the need for new municipal facilities is examined in terms of the potential impact on downtown Rifle. Second, decisions regarding infrastructure construction are studied because of the long term impact involved. Third, benefits which could result from developing the flood plain as public open space are analyzed.
MUNICIPAL FACILITIES
Rifle's rapid growth in the past five years has resulted in an increase in size of the municipal government and a need for more municipal space. How, when and where to make the needed expansion must be decided. 70,000 75,000 sq. ft.
will eventually be needed according to estimates made by the 2- 9
City Planning Office For the site 200,000 250,000 sq. ft. are needed, or four to five acres.
The first issue involving the expansion of municipal facilities is the question of whether to remodel or expand the existing municipal facilities or to build new facilties on a different site. The present site is less than 1/2 acre, which makes it too small to accomodate all of the space and parking requirements. The City of Rifle has essentially outgrown this site. In addition, expansion there would preclude the use of a potential parking site and further complicate the parking problems in the C.B.D. Assuming that extensive remodelling and expansion of the existing facilities is a poor choice, a new site must be found and interim arrangements made until the new facility can be occupied.
Two questions must be resolved in the site selection process. Are new municipal facilities to be consolidated or dispersed? Should the new facilities remain in downtown Rifle? The question of consolidation versus dispersal depends to a large extent on available sites. Having the municipal facilities in downtown Rifle could assist commercial development by adding activity and diversity and by helping to direct downtown growth. This is probably also the best location in terms of the community as a whole because it is centrally located. Land acquisition and construction costs will be higher in the downtown area. Municipal sites outside of the downtown area will be less costly but are likely to contribute to mounting commercial sprawl tendencies.
Another aspect of the site selection question is how will the municipal facilities be able to expand and change in the future? Should the city acquire a site large enough to accomodate long range growth? If this is done in downtown Rifle, space which is not needed immediately could be used to alleviate the present parking shortage. The initial size of the municipal facilities site will have to be determined largely on the basis of available funding.
Several sites for a new municipal center were considered in the early phases of this study. The best site seems to be
9


the two blocks between Second Street and Fourth Street on the west side of West Avenue. This land is presently in the flood plain and would require channeling Rifle Creek. Use of this site would have considerable influence on the future development of downtown by encouraging development along West Avenue. Use of this site would also make the eventual development of a flood plain park a likelihood. Some of the details of this possibility are explained in Part Four.
INFRASTRUCTURE
Infrastructure is the web of utility systems such as water, sewer, gas, power and communications lines that serve urban areas. These systems are costly to install and maintain and often impossible to relocate once they are in place. For this reason, the placement of infrastructure, especially below ground level, usually influences land use patterns for many years to come. Too often, worthwhile public and private projects must be scrapped because they would require costly changes of infrastructure.
Infrastructure is an issue in downtown Rifle because
major public works expenditures are needed and have been funded
to replace and enlarge the existing sewer system. Preliminary 2-10
studies show a new sewage interceptor line in the Rifle Creek flood plain. If this sewer is built as shown, future channeling and uses of the flood plain will be far more expensive and difficult to implement. Problems of ground water infiltrating the sewer system may also result. Flood waters could damage the sewer system. All in all, locating the new sewer in the proposed bypass right of way as has been suggested seems to be a far better alternative. At the very least, a preliminary decision regarding future use of the flood plain should be made prior' to the design of this new infrastructure project. Similar consideration of potential land uses should accompany all infrastructure planning in Rifle.
Planning for infrastructure should be related to transportation planning. The same rights of way are typically used for streets and utilities. If drainage for sewer lines is
considered when street layouts are determined, the efficiency of the sewer system can be maximized. Deep sewer cuts or pumping may be avoidable.
Infrastructure costs are increased significantly for low density or scattered residential development. While initial expenses may be paid by the developer or covered by tap fees, user fees seldom allocate operation expenses in proportion to actual costs. The added expenses will eventually be paid by the community as a whole.
FLOOD PLAIN PARK
It is assumed that channeling Rifle"Creek through downtown Rifle is a sound concept both environmentally and in terms of downtown development and land use. The flood channel would require about three acres of land which is clear for the passage of flood waters. The first issue to be resolved is the question of how this land can be used to serve the best interests of Rifle. Two alternatives are predominant: the land can be used for public open space (a park) or it can be used for parking. The focus of this section is on the use of the flood plain primarily as a park. The park alternative is preferred because it relates to the siting of new municipal facilities and because parking in the flood plain would be both remote and difficult to construct. If it is decided to build new civic facilities at some other location, the flood plain park concept would lose much of its credibility and the parking alternative should be examined in more detail.
Planning standards indicate a need for additional park space in Rifle. The shortage of public park space is particularly evident in downtown Rifle. Parks should be safe and attractive places for people to use and enjoy. Because parks often do not function as planned, it is important to consider who will use the park, at what times and for what purpose.
When this is not done, the design of park space is unlikely to meet the needs of potential users. The result is often underused park space which is vulnerable to crime. It is preferable to have no parks than to have parks which are unsafe and largely unused.
10


Many urban parks are unsafe much of the time, particularly after dark. While it is not possible to design a park which is safe all of the time, much can be done to reduce criminal activity in parks. Adequate park surveillance is probably the most imoortant factor. Parks which are active or surrounded by active areas are usually safe parks. It is therefore important to consider what activities will take place both in and adjacent to a park. It would be desirable to have some residential activity on at least one side and possibly both sides of a park in Rifle's flood plain. Having the municipal center adjacent to the park would also help, especially if some recreation facilities which are used during nonworking hours are located in the center. Parking in or adjacent to the park which is not used primarily by park visitors would be of little use in this regard. The park's safety and to a lesser extent its attractiveness are the principal reasons for keeping the proposed bypass for Railroad Avenue away from the flood plain. Vehicles passing the park at speeds to 30 to 40 mph. or more have no surveillance value and would detract from the park.
The construction and maintenance costs for a flood plain park are also important issues. Building a park which is able to withstand periodic flooding without excessive damage will cost more than building a typical park. The added construction cost must be measured in terms of the park's potential useage. For example, if the park is likely to cost twice what a typical park would cost based on its area, and if it will be used significantly more than twice the typical park, then the added expense is probably justifiable. Potential benefits such as positive impact on downtown Rifle and adjacent neighborhoods should also be taken into account. Maintenance costs can be minimized by hardening surfaces most likely to be flooded. Natural areas which do not require excessive maintenance or replacement cost should be considered. Insuring park safety will help reduce vandalism.
Use of the flood plain for open space, parking or new commercial development will make the relocation of some
residences and businesses necessary. In flood plains, this is usually done after flooding has occurred. Even after disaster has struck it is often difficult to get some people and businesses to move. Fortunately, there are relatively few occupants in the Rifle Creek flood plain at present. This is likely to change as development pressure increases. A well planned relocation effort now could reduce both the cost and hardship of relocation. The negative impacts of relocation can be expected to mount as time passes, especially if substantial development takes place in the flood plain.
Questions have been raised in regard to silting, water quality, stream flow and water rights in respect to flood plain development. Silt and debris traps will probably be required upstream from the park. Systems for flushing and cleaning park pools will also be needed. Some water rights may have to be purchased in order to provide a minimum flow of water during the summer. Flow rates can be increased by pumping when necessary.
The priority assigned to development of a flood plain park will be a difficult issue. Much of the funding will probably have to be raised locally. It will probably be possible to create a flood channel and build the park over a long period of time. Coordination of this project with other public works such as street and bridge construction is essential. It is important that the eventual use of the flood plain be decided and that boundaries be established at an early date. This will allow the planning and design for other projects of higher priority to proceed without limiting flood plain options.
11
V


T R A N S P O
PROBLEMS
RAILROAD AVENUE HWY 13 BY-PASS
1. Railroad Ave. is the only major
N S STREET THROUGH RlFLE.
2. Heavy traffic on R.R. Ave. passes IN FRONT OF RlFLE'S SCHOOLS.
3. Thru-traffic on R.R. Ave. is increasing.
*1. R.R. Ave passes through the CENTER OF THE C.B.D..
5. Future residential and commercial DEVELOPMENT WILL LIMIT ALTERNATIVE ROUTES FOR R.R. AvE..
DOWNTOWN RIFLE ACCESS IBILIIY
1. R.R. Ave & Third St. are the
MAJOR ACCESS STREETS FOR THE C.B.D.
2. Major commercial streets in the C.B.D. carry heavy commercial traffic.
3. Access to the east and west of
THE C.B.D. IS HINDERED BY STEEP SLOPE AREAS AND RlFLE CREEK.
*<. Pedestrian access to the C.B.D. IS NEEDED
5. The east side of the C.B.D. is
BOUNDED BY RlFLE'S OLDEST AND PRINCIPAL RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD.
R T A T I O N
IMPACTS
1. Traffic on R.R. Ave in the C.B.D.
HAS REACHED THE SATURATION LEVEL.
2. Heavy traffic is hazardous to school children.
3. Heavy truck & vehicular traffic increases air and noise pollution.
4. The C.B.D. is divided making
PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS DIFFICULT.
5. Future solutions are likely to be
MORE COSTLY AND LESS FUNCTIONAL.
ALTERNATIVES
POSITIVE IMPACTS
A. IN-TOWN BY-PASS (Alt, f 3)
1. Traffic would be reduced 45Z on 1. R.R. AVE.
2. Improved traffic circulation in 2.
THE C.B.D. IS POSSIBLE.
3. The existing street pattern can 3.
BE USED.
4.
B. OUT-OF-TOWN BY-PASS (Alt. # 6)
1. Construction costs are lower. 1.
2.
2. Relocation of residents and businesses is minimized. 3>
3. Disruption of commercial act- g
IVITIES IS MINIMAL.
NEGATIVE IMPACTS
AS PROPOSED, THIS ALT. WOULD LIMIT FUTURE USE OF THE FLOOD PLAIN.
A GREATER RARRIER BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST SIDES OF RlFLE IS CREATED C.B.D. TRAFFIC PROBLEMS ARE ONLY TEMPORARILY SOLVED.
Another by-pass would be needed in 1995.
Thru-traffic is reduced only 30 Z. Another by-pass will be needed in 1985.
New traffic circulation patterns IN THE C.B.D. ARE NOT POSSIBLE.
Sprawling commercial development
IS MORE LIKELY.
GOALS
1. Improve N-S flow of traffic through Rifle.
2. Reduce or eliminate traffic hazard to school children on R.R. Ave.
3. Reduce thru-traffic in downtown Rifle.
4. Improve pedestrian movement in
THE COMMERCIAL DISTRICT.
5. Establish future alternative
ROUTES FOR THE BY-PASS AND PRESERVE THIS R.O.W..
RECOMMENDATION
1. Build the modified in-town bypass (alternative C).
2. Determine the alignment of an out-
of-town BYPASS AND PRESERVE ITS RIGHT OF WAY.
3. Undertake preliminary planning &
ESTABLISH GUIDELINES FOR THE DESIGN OF THE BYPASS.
4. Direct special aitention toward
THE LOCATION AND DESIGN OF BYPASS PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS.
5. The City of Rifle itself should
BUILD THE IN-TOWN BYPASS AND RELATED STREET IMPROVEMENTS.
. MODIFIED IN-TOWN BY-PASS (See Major Streets Plan)
C
1. 100 Z reduction of R.R. Ave traffic IS POSSIBLE.
2. E-W TRAFFIC CONFLICTS CAN BE MINIMIZED.
3. Pedestrian safety is improved.
4. Rifle Ck. can be used for park
SPACE IN THE FUTURE.
1. Initial construction costs would BE HIGHER
2. Some relocation of residents and
BUSINESSES IS NECESSARY.
3. Two new bridges at 2nd and 5th Sts. are needed.
4. An out-of-town bypass will be NEEDED IN 1995.
1. Traffic jams occur where these streets intersect,
2. Vehicular movement conflicts with
PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT AND DETRACTS FROM SHOPPING ENVIRONMENT.
3. Steep slope areas increase driving
HAZARDS & CONSTRUCTION & MAINTENANCE
costs. Additional crossings tor Rifle Creek are needed.
4. More C.B.D. shoppers and employees
DRIVE AND PARK DOWNTOWN.
5. Residential growth east of Rifle Creek will increase traffic through
THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.
STREET & CURB IMPROVEMENTS IN C.B.D.
1. Pedestrian safety t convenience WOULD BE IMPROVED.
2. C.B.D. BUSINESSES WOULD BE MINIMALLY IMPACTED.
3. The cost of improvements would
NOT BE EXCESSIVE.
1. Through traffic on Railroad Ave.
CAN EVENTUALLY BE ELIMINATED.
2. East-west access to the C.B.D.
CAN BE IMPROVED.
3. A PEDESTRIAN ZONE CAN BE CREATED.
4. Some steep slope problems can be
AVOIDED.
5. C.B.D. GROWTH CAN BE DIRECTED AWAY FROM EXISTING RESIDENTIAL AREAS.
1. Traffic congestion problems would 6ET WORSE.
2. C.B.D. ACCESSIBILITY WOULD NOT BE IMPROVED.
3. Funding for basic changes would
BE MORE DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN.
1. Initial costs will be higher
2. Some C.B.D. businesses which need
HIGHWAY ACCESS WILL HAVE TO RELOCATE.
3. The traffic loop is not feasible
UNTIL AN IN-TOWN BYPASS IS BUILT.
1. Vehicular access to the C.B.D. should be improved.
2. Minimize conflicts between vehicular & PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT.
3. Major streets should avoid
STEEP SLOPE AREAS WHERE POSSIBLE.
4. Better pedestrian access to the
C.B.D. SHOULD BE PROVIDED.
5. Major streets should avoid existing RESIDENTIAL AREAS WHERE POSSIBLE.
1. Devise and adopt a phased plan for street improvement in Rifle.
2. A traffic loop on 2nd & 5th Streets and Fast and West Avenues should be part of this plan.
3. Coordinate street improvements in downtown Rifle with bypass planning AND WITH THE MAJOR STREETS PLAN
for Rifle.
4. Establish priorities and budgeting for street improvements on a
LONG TERM BASIS.
5. Separate pedestrian 8 bicycle
MOVEMENT FROM VEHICULAR MOVEMENT WHEN POSSIBLE.
C.B.D. TRAFFIC LOOP (2nd 8 5th streets / East 8 West Avenues)
6. Avoid existing or proposed residential AREAS WITH MAJOR STREETS WHEN POSSIBLE.
CO
ANALYSIS & RECOMMENDATIONS


- C O N T -
ALTERNATIVES
POSITIVE IMPACTS NEGATIVE IMPACTS
A. ESTABLISH PARKING REQUIREMENTS BY CITY ORDINANCE
TRAN S P O PROBLEMS
PARKING DOWNTOWN RIFLE
1. Downtown Rifle has a current SHORTAGE OF-150-200 PUBLIC PARKING SPACES.
2. About 1/3 of the present parking in downtown Rifle is restricted for private use.
3. Vacant land is not being used for parking.
4. Distribution of public parking is unbalanced.
5. No coordinated approach to solve
PARKING PROBLEMS EXISTS AT PRESENT.
6. Funds for providing additional PARKING ARE LIMITED.
7. Downtown Rifle will need 500-
BOO MORE PARKING SPACES IF COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY KEEPS PACE WITH POPULATION GROWTH OF THE CITY.
8. Parking areas have significant
IMPACT ON THE USUAL CHARACTER OF
downtown Rifle.
R T A T I O N IMPACTS
1. Shortages of parking limit the
AMOUNT OF SHOPPING & COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT.
2. Restricted parking is not an
EFFICIENT USE OF PARKING SPACE.
3. Vacant land is wasteful, unsightly
& INHIBITS PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT.
4. Poor distribution of parking increases PARKING NEEDS.
5. Lack of coordination makes an OVERALL SOLUTION TO RiFLE's PARKING PROBLEMS MORE DIFFICULT & COSTLY
TO SOLVE.
6. New parking must be provided step
BY STEP AS FUNDS ARE RAISED.
7. Failure to provide substantial
NEW PARKING WILL INHIBIT C.B.D. GROWTH.
8. Providing more parking will change
THE APPEARANCE AND PARTICULARLY TH SCALE OF DOWNTOWN RlFLE.
1. The cost and difficulty of MAKING A PLAN IS AVOIDED.
2. The amount of public parking
WILL INCREASE AS THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY GROWS.
3. A FELXIBLE CITY ORDINANCE WOULD ENCOURAGE COOPERATIVE EFFORTS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PARKING.
B. COOPERATIVE PARKING PLAN *
1. Adequate space for parking can be reserved.
2. The unit cost for construction & MAINTENANCE OF PARKING AREAS WILL BE LOWER,
3. Costs for parking can be equitably DISTRIBUTED.
*1. The visual impact of new parkins
CAN BE MINIMIZED.
5. Restricted parking will be discouraged.
6. A cooperative parking effort can
ALSO HELP TO IMPLEMENT LAND USE AND OTHER DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
1. Parking shortages will persist.
2. Businesses that provide adequate PARKING ARE PENALIZED.
3. More businesses will locate outside of downtown Rifle.
M. The unit cost of parking will be HIGHER.
5. The negative visual impacts will be greater.
1. Some cost to plan for parking WILL BE INCLUDED.
2. Some dislocation of existing businesses is likely.
3. Implementation of parking plan may be delayed by other public works projects.
LAND USE
COMMERCIAL SPRAWL
1. Commercial sprawl is becoming
MORE & MORE PREVALENT IN RlFLE.
2. Rifle has an excess of commercially ZONED land (over 50Z).
3. Changes are needed to make downtown Rifle more attractive for commercial DEVELOPMENT IF SPRAWL TENDENCIES ARE TO BE REDUCED.
4. Excessive residential sprawl
ENCOURAGES COMMERCIAL SPRAWL.
5. Commercial areas for convenience
SHOPPING ARE NEEDED OUTSIDE OF THE
C.B.D.
6. Efforts to control commercial
SPRAWL WILL BE COUNTER TO TRADITIONAL PATTERNS OF DEVELOPMENT IN
Rifle.
1. Excessive commercial sprawl will
MAKE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A PLAN FOR THE C.B.D. MORE DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE.
2. Excessive commercial zoning makes
ZONING AN INEFFECTIVE TOOL FOR REDUCING COMMERCIAL SPRAWL.
3. Failure to make needed changes
WILL INHIBIT EFFORTS TO ATTRACT NEW COMMERCE TO DOWNTOWN RlFLE.
4. Sprawling residential development
INCREASES AUTO DEPENDENCY, TRAFFIC S PARKING PROBLEMS.
5. Convenience shopping outside the
C.B.D. MAY FOLLOW SPRAWL PATTERNS.
6. Controlling sprawl will require
MORE CONTROLS & RESTRICTIONS OVER PRIVATE DECISION MAKING. CONTROLS WILL NOT BE EASY TO IMPLEMENT IN RlFLE.
A. COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT RESTRICTIONS
Commercial activities can be prevented from locating in most areas of THE CITY.
1. Restrictions provide a direct 1. Restrictions may inhibit some
METHOD OF ADDRESSING SPRAWL PROBLEMS.
B. PLANNED COMICRCIAL AREAS
The use of specific sites could be
STRATEGIC PUBLIC WORKS INVESTMENT.
1. Encouraging certain types of
GROWTH IS A MORE POSITIVE APPROACH.
2. Commercial areas can be planned
TO FIT WITH ADJACENT NEIGHBORHOODS.
3. The objective of limiting commercial SPRAWL CAN BE ACHIEVED.
*l. Uncertainty is reduced.
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT.
2. Restrictions increase costs.
3. Developing adequate restrictions WILL BE A LENGTHY PROCESS.
ENCOURAGED THROUGH PLANNING S
1. Some local tunds will be needed.
2. Selecting specific sites will be
DIFFICULT & COULD RESULT IN WINDFALL PROFITS TO LANDOWNERS.
3. Businesses will have a more limited SELECTION OF POTENTIAL SITES
7. Commercial sprawl is less economical 8 WILL STUNT COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN RlFLE.
7. Stunted commercial will reduce the
LOCAL TAX BASE, INCREASE PRICES AND RESULT IN FEWER SERVICES FOR SHOPPERS,
GOALS
1. Adequate parking to meet current
AND FUTURE NEEDS MUST BE PROVIDED.
2. The amount of restricted parking SHOULD BE REDUCED.
3. The use of vacant land to ease
PARKING SHORTAGES SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED.
4. New parking should be well
DISTRIBUTED.
5. Efforis to provide parking
SHOULD BE COORDINATED.
6. A STEP BY STEP APPROACH TO PROVIDING MORE PARKING SHOULD BE ADOPTED.
7. Long range parking requirements
SHOULD BE ADDRESSED WHEN PARKING PLANS ARE DEVISED.
8. Parking areas should be carefully SIZED, LOCATED S DESIGNED TO FIT WITH EXISTING AND FUTURE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT.
RECOMMENDATIONS
1. The two alternatives are not mutually exclusive. Adopt a parking ORDINANCE WHICH PROMOTES OVERALL PLANNING FOR PARKING.
2. A MASTER PLAN FOR PROVIDING ADEQUATE PARKING SHOULD BE MADE. THE FOLLOWING STEPS ARE RECOMMENDED:
a. Accurately determing the amount
OF PUBLIC PARKING IN USE.
b. Establish guidelines for providing future parking.
c. Determine potential sites for
FUTURE PARKING.
d. Devise a method for distributing
COSTS FOR PARKING.
E. Create a mechanism for acquiring
LA.D & CONSTRUCTING NEW PARKING.
3. Discourage restricted parking in downtown Rifle.
A. Provide remote parking for downtown BUSINESSMEN AND THEIR EMPLOYEES SO THAT THE CLOSEST PARKING IS AVAILABLE TO SHOPPERS.
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1. The Rifle C.B.D. should be a
VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO SPRAWLING COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT.
1. Make an effort to prepare 8 adopt
A CITYWIDE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN.
2. Local commercial zoning controls
SHOULD BE MADE MORE EFFECTIVE.
3. Changes which will make the
C.B.D. MORE CONVENIENT 8 ATTRACTIVE SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED.
A. Residential development 8 commercial GROWTH SHOULD BE COORDINATED TO MINIMIZE SPRAWL.
2. Examine 8 evaluate existing city
ORDINANCES TO DETERMINE THEIR SUITABILITY FOR DEALING WITH COMMERCIAL SPRAWL PPOBLEMS.
3. Adopt new ordinances where necessary.
4. Encourage down-zoning of commercially ZONED LAND.
5. Convenience shopping should be PLANNED 8 DEVELOPED.
6. Controls which would be appropriate to Rifle should be considered.
7. Rifle should encourage the maxi
MUM AMOUNT OF SOUND COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD BENEFIT THE CITY AS A WHOLE.
5. Encourao': appropriate commercial
DEVELOPMENT TO LOCATE IN THE C.B.D. WHENEVER POSSIBLE AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO COMMERCIAL SPRAWL.
6. Neighborhood convenience centers WHICH HOUSE BOTH COMMERCIAL & PUBLIC ACTIVITIES SHOULD BE PLANNED & ENCOURAGED TO DEVELOP.
06

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CO


LAND USE PROBLEMS
DOWNTOWN RIFLE DEVELOPMENT
1. Commercial activity is expanding in Rifle.
2. Space for expansion of the C.B.D. is limited.
3. Some commercial activities presently located in the C.B.D. are
NOT WELL SUITED FOR THIS LOCATION.
*l. Suitable locations outside the C.B.D. are needed for some commercial activities.
5. Downtown Rifle needs greater
DIVERSITY OF ACTIVITIES.
6. Downtown land costs are being
INFLATED BY SPECULATION.
7. The initial visual impression g
GENERAL APPEARANCE OF THE C.B.D. NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
8. Some new buildings g parking AREAS ARE CHANGING THE SCALE OF downtown Rifle.
RIFLE CREEK FLOOD PLAIN
1. One-THIRD OF THE DEVELOPABLE LAND IN THE C.B.D. IS WITHIN THE RlFLE
Creek standard flood plain and subject TO FLOOD HAZARD.
2. Some commercial g residential buildings are in the standard and
INTERMEDIATE FLOOD PLAINS.
3. The natural flood plain has been
ENLARGED BY MAN MADE OBSTRUCTIONS SUCH AS THE PIONEER DlTCH AND THE
Third Street Bridge.
. Environmental changes will result FROM ALTERING THE PRESENT FLOOD PLAIN.
5. Funding is limited for making
CHANGES TO THE EXISTING FLOOD PLAIN.
6. Construction of a Railroad Ave.
BYPASS AND NEW SEWAGE INTERCEPTOR WILL INFLUENCE POTENTIAL FUTURE USES OF THE FLOOD PLAIN.
7. Coordination of highway g other PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS WITH FUTURE
use of the Rifle Creek flood plain
IS NOT BEING DONE AT PRESENT.
ALT E R N AT I V E S
POSITIVE IMPACTS
A. MARKET FORCES APPROACH
Market forces can determine future 1. Reliance on market forces would
AVOID THE DIFFICULTIES g EXPENSE OF PLANNING g COORDINATING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN THE C.B.D.
B. downtown rifle plan
A PLAN FOR COORDINATING BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAND USE g DEVELOPMENT IN THE C.B.D. COULD BE ADOPTED g IMPLEMENTED.
1. All of most of the land use goals
CAN BE ACHIEVED BY PLANNING FOR GROWTH IN THE C.B.D.
2. Coordination of public g private
DEVELOPMENT WILL ASSIST RlFLE IN ACHIEVING ALL OF ITS LAND USE GOALS.
A. MINIMUM FLOOD CHANNEL
Provide channeling needed for Railroad Avenue bypass.
1. Some flood plain improvement
WOULD RESULT WITHOUT SPENDING LOCAL funding.
2. Property values along U.S. Highway 6/2*1 WOULD INCREASE.
3. Some expansion of the C.B.D. along West Avenue would be possible.
1. Future options for use of the
FLOOD PLAIN WOULD BE LIMITED.
2. Appropriate land uses in areas adjacent WOULD BE MORE DIFFICULT TO ATTRACT.
3. A SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY FOR GUIDING C.B.D. GROWTH WILL BE LOST.
B. FLOOD CHANNEL DESIGNATION
The future size and location of the flood plain can be determined. Land in or adjacent to the designated flood plain can be acquired as
FUNDS OR OPPORTUNITIES BECOME AVAILABLE.
1. The immediate costs of flood
CHANNELING WOULD BE DELAYED.
2. Public and private projects can
BE COORDINATED WITH PROPOSED USE OF THE FLOOD PLAIN.
3. More time to secure funding for
FLOOD PLAIN IMPROVEMENTS WILL BE AVAILABLE.
*1. Host of the goals g objectives
FOR FUTURE FLOOD PLAIN USE CAN BE ACHIEVED.
1. Some of the present flood hazard
PROBLEMS WOULD REMAIN.
2. The major impact of flood channeling WOULD NOT INFLUENCE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
3. Overall land acquisition g flood
PLAIN DEVELOPMENT COSTS WOULD BE HIGHER.
4. Some uncertainty regarding future flood plain development would PERSIST.
C. EARLY FLOOD PLAIN CHANNELING g 1MPR0VLMFNT
The flood channel can be designated and construction could begin as
SOON AS POSSIBLE.
-cont.-
IMPACTS
1. Changes in land use g activity
PATTERNS ARE LIKELY TO RESULT FROM COMMERCIAL EXPANSION.
2. Limited space drives up land
VALUES g FORCES POTENTIAL BUSINESSES OUT OF THE C.B.D.
3. Relocation of some businesses OUTSIDE THE C.B.D. WOULD BE DESIRABLE.
*1. Finding good locations for commer
CIAL EXPANSION OUTSIDE THE C.B.D.
WILL MAKE RELOCATION EASIER (LESS COSTLY, MORE CONVENIENT).
5. Lack of diversity creates "dead areas" and precipitated C.B. D. decline.
6. Inflated land costs prolong vacancies and drive commercial activity OUT OF THE C.B.D.
7. Rifle's entry g visual character affects shopper's attitudes toward THE C.B.D.
8. Abrupt changes of the scale of
BUILDINGS OR SPACES ARE USUALLY NOT ATTRACTIVE. DOWNTOWN RlFLE WILL LOOK LIKE A SHOPPING CENTER IF THE TREND CONTINUES._________________
1. This land is needed for future
EXPANSION TO AVOID C.B.C. EXPANSION INTO ESTABLISHED RESIDENTIAL AREAS.
2. Future loss of both life and property IS PROBABLE UNLESS EFFECTIVE ACTIONS TO REDUCE FLOOD HAZARD ARE
taken. Some relocation will be
NECESSARY.
3. The city of Rifle may be held liable FOR FLOOD DAMAGE WHICH COULD BE THE RESULT OF THESE OBSTRUCTIONS.
M. The negative environmental impacts
OF CHANNELING MUST BE MINIMIZED.
5. Funding assistance will re needed
TO SUPPLEMENT LOCAL FUNDING FOR FLOOD PLAIN IMPROVEMENTS.
6. Potential uses of the flood plain
MUST BE CONSIDERED WHEN THESE PROJECTS ARE PLANNED IF RlFLE IS TO PRESERVE ITS OPTIONS.
7. Coordination of land uses in and
ADJACENT TO THE FLOOD PLAIN WILL INCREASE THE POTENTIAL FOR FUTURE CONSTRUCTIVE use of Rifle Creek.
1. Flood hazard would be eliminated SOONER.
2. Flood plain development would
HAVE MAXIMUM INFLUENCE ON OTHER C.B.D. DEVELOPMENT.
3. Some reduction of land acquisition g CONSTRUCTION COSTS IS PROBABLE.
*1. Some future public works projects COULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FLOOD PLAIN AREA.
NEGATIVE IMPACTS
LAND USE PATTERNS IN THE C.B.D.
1. The problems g issues and their
IMPACTS ARE UNLIKELY TO BE RESOLVED SATISFACTORILY.
1. Planning requires involvement g
EFFORT OF C.B.D. BUSINESSES. SOME FUNDING WILL BE NECESSARY.
2. By planning some restrictions
WOULD BE PLACED ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND EXPANSION PLANS OF LOCAL BUSINESSES.
1. The amount of time for making PLANS g SECURING PUBLIC INPUT WOULD BE SHORTER.
2. Some businesses g residences
WOULD HAVE TO BE RELOCATED SOONER.
3. Some public works projects would HAVE TO BE POSTPONED.
GOALS
RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Commercial growth should be coor
DINATED TO RESOLVE PRESENT PROBLEMS g HELP PROVIDE NEEDED C.B.D. IMPROVEMENTS.
2. Space for commercial development
SHOULD BE EXPANDED IN THE C.B.D.
3. Businesses which do not require
C.B.D. LOCATION SHOULD BE RELOCATED ELSEWHERE IN RlFLE.
4. Sites for commercial expansion
OUTSIDE THE C.B.D SHOULD BE DESIGNATED. Non-C.B.D. businesses should BE ENCOURAGED TO RELOCATE.
5. Maintaining g increasing the
DIVERSITY OF C.B.D. ACTIVITIES SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED.
6. Inflated land costs should be
DISCOURAGED.
7. Improvements should be made in
THE ENTRIES AND VISUAL CHARACTER OF
THE C.B.D.
8. Abrupt changes of scale and character OF BUILDINGS g spaces should BE AVOIDED.
1. Prepare, adopt g implement a plan for the C.B.D. (alternative B).
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2. Carefully observe market forces WHICH INFLUENCE LAND USES AND PRICING
Use these forces to help implement C.B.D. PLANS.
3. Broad participation in the planning process by local business,
CITIZENS g GOVERNMENT IS ESSENTIAL AND MUST BE ENCOURAGED.
4. Create a mechanism for guiding
DETAILED PLANNING g IMPLEMENTATION.
5. Investigate potential sources of
FUNDING FOR DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENTS.
6. Closely coordinate planning for the C.B.D. with citizens' groups, PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS AND THE EXPANSION PLANS OF LOCAL BUSINESSES.
7. Incorporate a variety of activities WHICH ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE CHARACTER AND FUNCTION OF THE C.B.D. INTO THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR DOWNTOWN Rifle.
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1. Flood hazard should be reduced
g BETTER LAND USE PATTERNS ENCOURAGED IN THE FLOOD PLAIN.
2. Activities which are vulnerable to flood hazard should not be located IN AREAS SUBJECT TO FLOODING,
3. Obstructions to the passage of
FLOOD WATER SHOULD BE MINIMIZED.
4. Environmentally sound uses of FLOOD PLAIN AREAS SHOULD BE DEVELOPED.
5. Sources of funding for flood plain Improvements should be obtained.
6. The impact of public works projects IN g ADJACENT TO THE FLOOD PLAIN SHOULD BE ASSESSED IN TERMS OF FUTURE USE OF THE LAND.
1. Determine the future use of land
IN THE FLOOD PLAIN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
2. The most feasible option at this
TIME IS FLOOD PLAIN DESIGNATION.
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3. Undertake detailed preliminary
STUDIES TO ESTABLISH FEASIBLE USE OF THE FLOOD PLAIN.
*l. Explore potential sources of funding FOR FLOOD PLAIN IMPROVEMENTS.
5. Coordinate preliminary planning FOR THE FLOOD PLAIN WITH OTHER PUBLIC WORKS PLANNING.
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7. The future use of the flood
PLAIN SHOULD BE DETERMINED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO THAT FLOOD PLAIN DEVELOPMENT CAN BE COORDINATED WITH OTHER PROJECTS IN RlFLE.
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PUBLIC WORKS
PROBLEMS IMPACTS
MUNICIPAL PACUITIES
NEGATIVE IMPACTS
ALTE R NATIVES
POSITIVE IMPACTS
A. REMODEL 8 EXPAND PRESENT FACILITIES
Existing facilities can be adapted to accomodate current need at their
PRESENT LOCATION.
1. Initial costs would be lower.
2. No land acquisition or relocation IS NEEDED.
3. Current space problems can be
RESOLVED SOONER,
1. Long run costs are likely to be greater.
2. Parking for municipal facilities would continue to be inadequate.
3. Future expansion of municipal facilities would be more difficult.
B. NEW MUNICIPAL hACILITIES
Build new facilities on a new C.B.D. site
MEET CURRENT NEEDS.
1. C.B.D. LOCATION WOULD BE CONVENIENT.
2. A NEW SITE COULD ACCOMODATE FUTURE NEEDS & FURTHER OTHER C.B.D.
GOALS.
3. Coordination with other public
WORKS IS POSSIBLE.
A. Existing facilities can be reused
FOR A SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER.
Space could be leased to
1. More time will be needed for plan
NING 8 CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES,
2. Greater initial expense would be
REQUIRED.
3. A NEW SITE WOULD NECESSITATE SOME RELOCATION OF RESIDENTS 8 BUSINESSES.
A. UNCOORD1NAILD INIRASTRUCIURE DLVLLOPMLNT
1. Municipal offices are overcrowded.
2. Short term needs can be met by
REMODELLING 8 EXPANDING RlFLE's PRESENT CITY HALL.
3. The present location for municipal FACILITIES IS NOT ADEQUATE TO ACCOMODATE LONG TERM NEEDS.
A. Whether or not future municipal
FACILITIES WILL BE CONSOLIDATED OR DISPERSED MUST BE DETERMINED.
5. New municipal facilities may or
MAY NOT BE LOCATED IN THE C.B. D.
6. Parking for municipal activities IS INADEQUATE.
INFRASTRUCTURE
1. Rifle will be making major investments in its infrastructure in
THE COMING YEARS TO ACCOMODATE NEW GROWTH.
2. Changing infrastructure after it
IS IN PLACE IS USUALLY PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE.
3. LOW DENSITY DEVELOPMENT INCREASES THE AMOUNT OF INFRASTRUCTURE.
*1. The proposed sewage interceptor in downtown Rifle conflicts with FLOOD PLAIN DEVELOPMENT.
FLOOD PLAIN PARK
1. Downtown Rifle lacks public open SPACE.
2. Areas now in the flood plain
OFFER THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO RELOCATE FUTURE MUNICIPAL FACILITIES.
3. Use of the flood plain must be
COORDINATED WITH OTHER PUBLIC 8 PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS.
tl. Funding for the construction 8 MAINTENANCE OF A FLOOD PLAIN PARK IS LIMITED.
5. Problems of silting, stream flow,
WATER QUALITY 8 WATER RIGHTS MUST BE RESOLVED.
6. When, how 8 by whom the park WILL BE USED MUST BE DETERMINED.
1. Existing municipal facilities
MUST BE EXPANDED.
2. Funds used to expand 8 remodel Rifle's municipal facilities may be
WASTED IF ADDITIONAL EXPANSION IS MANDATED BY RAPID GROWTH.
3. Municipal facilities will have to
BE RELOCATED EVENTUALLY.
M. Consolidated facilities are more
COSTLY TO BUILD BUT WOULD BE MORE EFFICIENT TO OPERATE.
5. The location of municipal facilities IN THE C.B.D. WOULD ADD ACTIVITY 8 VARIETY TO DOWNTOWN RlFLE.
6. The shortage of municipal center
PARKING EXACERBATES C.B.D. PARKING PROBLEMS.
1. The location of utility lines will
HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON FUTURE PUBLIC WORKS ALTERNATIVES.
2. Careful planning of infrastructure
WITH OTHER PUBLIC WORKS IS ESSENTIAL TO MINIMIZING INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS.
3. Long range costs for maintaining
8 OPERATING UTILITY SYSTEMS ARE HIGHER FOR SCATTERED DEVELOPMENT.
4. Future channeling of Rifle Creek
WILL NOT BE FEASIBLE IF THE INTERCEPTOR IS BUILT IN THE FLOOD PLAIN.
1. More public open space in the
C.B.D. WOULD SERVE MOST OF RlFLE's CITIZENS.
2. Development of a park in connection WITH NEW MUNICIPAL FACILITIES CAN HELP SHAPE THE C.B.D.
3. The location 8 design of other
PUBLIC WORKS AFFECT THE FEASIBILITY OF FUTURE USE OF THE FLOOD PLAIN FOR OPEN SPACE.
4. Local funds will not be adequate
TO DEVELOP A FLOOD PLAIN PARK.
5. Technical problems will influence
THE DESIGN 8 COST OF THE PARK.
6. Park usership will affect the
SUCCESS 8 SAFETY OF THE PARK 8 ADJACENT AREAS.
1. The expense of overall planning
IS AVOIDED.
2. Fewer restrictions would be
PLACED ON DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS.
B. MASTLR PLAN FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
1. Most conflicts with other projects can be avoided.
2. Infrastructure phasing is possible.
3. Short range costs can be minimized.
4. Long range costs can be reduced.
1. Future conflicts between infrastructure 8 public works are
LIKELY.
2. Higher costs for maintaining 8
OPERATING UTILITY SYSTEMS ARE LIKELY.
1. Planning for infrastructure may delay other projects.
2. Added constraints will be placed on private development.
A. FLOOD PLAIN PARK
Note: Using the flood plain for a park is one of several alternatives. The others are not analyzed in this section. A flood plain park is
CONSIDERED THE BEST ALTERNATIVE ONLY IF IT IS BUILT IN CONJUNCTION
WITH NEW MUNICIPAL FACILITIES.
1. The park would provide needed OPEN SPACE IN THE C.B.D.
2. It would improve Rifle's image
8 MAKE A SENSE OF PLACE.
3. Value of adjacent land would be INCREASED.
4. The park would improve C.B.D.
PEDESTRIAN ACCESS.
5. The park would help guide future C.B.D. growth 8 development.
1. A FLOOD PLAIN PARK WOULD REQUIRE PUBLIC FUNDS TO BUILD 8 MAINTAIN.
2. Some businesses 8 residences
WOULD HAVE TO BE RELOCATED.
3. Careful planning 8 coordination
WITH OTHER PUBLIC PROJECTS IS A PREREQUISITE TO BUILDING THE PARK
GOALS RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Determine the size 8 type of municipal FACILITIES NEEDED TO MEET PRESENT 8 FUTURE NEEDS.
2. New municipal facilities should
BE EXPANDABLE TO MEET LONG TERM NEEDS.
3. The future location of municipal
FACILITIES SHOULD BE COORDINATED WITH OTHER PUBLIC WORKS PROPOSALS.
4. A SITE WHICH WILL ALLOW FUTURE CONSOLIDATION OF FACILITIES SHOULD BE SELECTED.
5. New facilities should be located
WHERE THEY WILL FURTHER OTHER PLANNING objectives in Rifle.
1. Rifle should achieve maximum efficiency FOR THE CONSTRUCTION 8 MAINTENANCE OF NEW INFRASTRUCTURE.
2. Infrastructure should be planned
8 COORDINATED WITH OTHER PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS.
3. Long range efficiency of utility
SYSTEMS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN NEW SUBDIVISIONS ARE APPROVED.
1. Priorities for the types 8 location OF PARKS NEEDED IN RlFLE SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED.
2. The flood plain should be considered A POTENTIAL SITE FOR NEW MUNICIPAL FACILITIES.
3. Use of the flood plain should
BE COORDINATED WITH OTHER PUBLIC WORKS.
4. The park should be designed
FOR PHASED CONSTRUCTION.
5. Park construction 8 maintenance COSTS should be minimized.
6. The park should be planned 8 designed TO APPEAL TO A WIDE VARIETY OF USERS.
1. The existing City Hall should not
BE REMODELED AT PRESENT.
2. Lease additional municipal space
AS NEEDED.
3. Select and acquire a new site for
NEW MUNICIPAL FACILITIES AS SOON AS FUNDS BECOME AVAILABLE.
4. Provide parking for new municipal
FACILITIES JOINTLY WITH C.B.D. PARKING.
5. Direct special consideration to
USING THE FLOOD PLAIN SITE FOR NEW MUNICIPAL FACILITIES.
6. Prepare a phasing plan for new MUNICIPAL FACILITIES.
1. Prepare a schematic master plan
FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TO INCLUDE I HE
following:
a. Location of future public works
PROJECTS.
b. Location of private developments.
c. Estimates of development time for
VARIOUS PROJECTS.
d. Coordination with major strcets.
e. Staging of street 8 infrastructure.
f. Guidelines for layout 8 design.
G. A PLAN REVIEW 8 MODIFICATION PROCESS,
2. Evaluate C.B.D. infrastructure
DEVELOPMENT IN TERMS OF C.B.C. GROWTH 8 DEVELOPMENT.
3. Locate the proposed sewage inifr-
CEPTOR IN THE RAILROAD AVENUE BYPASS RIGHT OF WAY, OUT OF THE FLOOD PLAIN.
1. The costs 8 benefits of using the
FLOOD PLAIN FOR A PUBLIC PARK SHOULD BE CAREFULLY WEIGHED.
2. If the park is desired, prepare a
SCHEMATIC PLAN.
3. Establish boundaries 8 coordinate
OTHER PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS WITH PARK PLANS.
4. Explore potential sources of funding FOR PARK DEVELOPMENT.
5. If DEVELOPMENT OF A FLOOD PLAIN PARK IS NOT FEASIBLE, MAKE ALTERNATIVE PLANS FOR THE FLOOD PLAIN.
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PART FOUR : DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR DOWNTOWN RIFLE
Three planning concerns s transportation, land use and public works are the basis for the development plan for downtown Rifle. To resolve the current transportation problems, a new north-south major street is proposed (R.R. Ave Bypass) and some changes in the east-west major streets. A traffic loop in the C.B 0. will help reduce auto-pedestrian conflicts. Mid-block and peripheral parking is suggested as the best means of increasing the total amount of parking. Better pedestrian access will encourage more people to walk to downtown Rifle. The land use proposal presented in the plan are intended to increase the amount of activity generated in Rifle's commercial district. This can be done by increasing the amount of useable space in the C.B.D. so that new commercial activity can locate there as Rifle grows. The plan suggests that the size of the flood plain can be reduced and better use can be made of existing C.B.D. land. Most of the new commercial development is shown to the west and south of the present commercial district. The relocation of residences in the present flood plain and of some businesses which do not need a C.B.D. location is needed if these land use proposals are going to be implemented. Two major public works projects which support the transportation and land use proposals are part of the development plan. First, new municipal facilities are shown on a site between West Avenue and Rifle Creek. Second, development of the Rifle Ck. flood channel as public open space is proposed. If these proposals are to be feasible other public works such as infrastructure and street must be coordinated. This summarizes the basic elements of the Development Plan for Downtown Rifle.
The plans, drawings and sketches presented in this section are intended to show how some of the proposals would work in Rifle. They do not show how Rifle will look in 15 to 25 years whether or not Rifle does extensive city planning. These are some of the opportunities which are open to Rifle at this time
Hopefully the drawings will show that through careful planning, many opportunities to improve the appearance and functioning of the commercial district are feasible.
TRANSPORTATION
TRANSPORTATION ISSUES
The first step in planning for downtown Rifle is to find solutions to the present traffic congestion problems and to help the city avoid future transportation problems. These problems are summarized by the Transportation Issues Plan (Map 4/1-1). The major issue shown on this plan concerns the location of a bypass for Railroad Ave. traffic. Rifle must decide where to locate the bypass and what priority the various alternatives will be assigned. The need to improve vehicular and pedestrian access to the C.B.D. is closely related to the by-pass issue and the need for a better system of major streets in Rifle. The present and future needs of pedestrians should be considered whenever changes to the transportation system are contemplated.
MAJOR STREETS RIFLE
A resolution of these problems and issues is proposed in the Major Streets Plan (Map 4/1-2). Alternatives #3 and #6 are shown on this plan and both will be needed eventually.
The rights-of-way for both of these streets should be reserved if costly land acquisition in the future is to be avoided. Intersections between arterial streets and major streets are indicated by circles on the plan. No priority is suggested by this plan, however, it is noted that most of the proposals for downtown Rifle would be difficult or impossible to implement if alternative #3 is not built.
The Major Streets Plan establishes a street network in areas now undeveloped so that Rifle will have good traffic circulation in the future and avoid the hassels of future relocation of major streets. Three categories of major streets are indicated on the plan (see key). The existing major
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streets (darkened) are now in use and in most cases need only routine maintenance. Proposed major streets (hatched on plan) are those that are needed now or will be needed in the near future. These major streets provide key links between existing major streets and are considered high priority in the major streets plan. Most east-west traffic would be carried by 16th Street, 5th Street and the west portion of 2nd Street. Future major streets (dashed lines) will be needed as Rifle grows. The effects of new development on these proposed streets should be studied when subdivision plans are adopted by the City of Rifle.
A third aspect of the Major Streets Plan is the proposal of a pedestrian and bicycle network in and around the city.
The dotted network on the plan shows approximately 25 miles of bike and foot trails. Although there is little demand in Rifle for this system at present, these trails could add a new dimension to Rifle in the future. Bike and foot trails shown by the Major Streets Plan are on separate rights of way which avoid arterial, major and local streets where possible.
Grade separated crossings are proposed where trails intersect with arterial streets whenever possible. The design of the bypass and major streets should include consideration of how future pedestrian routes will be affected. The designation of routes for bicycle and foot trails will not only influence the planning and design of streets, the layout of utilities and subdivisions, but can also help determine future locations for parks, schools, public facilities and convenience shopping in Rifle.
MAJOR STREETS C.B.D.
The proposed street designations for downtown Rifle are shown in more detail on the C.B.D. Major Streets Plan (Map 4/1-3). In this plan, 2nd Street, 5th Street, West Avenue and East Avenue form a traffic loop around the principal retail section in the C.B.D. The loop would eliminate through traffic on 3rd Street, 4th Street and the southern portion of Railroad Avenue, and help to establish a pedestrian zone in the commer-
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cial district. Closing the intersection at Railroad Avenue and U.S. Highway 6/24 is an important part of this plan. If Railroad Avenue is not closed, heavy traffic will continue to be a problem in the C.B.D. and in front of the public schools. Eliminating through traffic on the southern portion of Railroad Avenue will not be feasible until an in-town bypass for this street is in use. The intersection between White River Road and Highway 6/24 has also been closed to prevent heavy traffic from using this residential street.
The location of the Railroad Avenue Bypass and the relocation of Highway 6/24 about 100 feet to the south have significant impacts on the development of Rifle's business district. The four lane Railroad Avenue Bypass is located as far to the west of Rifle Creek as possible without causing unnecessary relocation of residents. This is done to allow new public or private development to be located on both sides of the flood channel.
EXISTING PARKING
The Existing Parking Plan (Map 4/1-4) shows where both public and restricted parking are presently located in downtown Rifle. Over half of the public parking today is on-street parking and there is little opportunity to expand on-street parking in the future. At present about 60% of the 275 off-street parking spaces are available for public use. The Existing Parking Map shows off-street parking scattered in and around the center of the retail commercial area. Between 150 and 200 new public parking spaces are needed currently. By the year 2000, 500 to 900 new parking spaces must be added to accomodate increased commercial activity in the C.B.D. If new municipal facilities are also located downtown, another 200 to 300 spaces will be needed. A total of 1,500 parking spaces or about 860 new spaces is about the minimum amount of public parking which should be provided in the next twenty years in downtown Rifle.
13






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PROPOSED C.B.D. PARKING
Both the quantity and the location of new parking are important if Rifle is going to provide adequate parking to meet present and future needs. The proposed C.B.D. Parking Plan (Map 4/1-5) attempts to make maximum use of vacant or available land within the existing commercial district while maintaining the scale and visual character of downtown Rifle. Mid-block spaces which are now vacant, underused or used for private parking have been suggested as potential sites for public parking. These sites could add about 220 new parking spaces or roughly the amount of parking that is needed to meet current needs. Some land acquisition will be required to develop this parking.
Additional parking for the expansion of commercial activities will have to be located outside of the existing commercial center. About 600 new parking spaces can be added at the south and west sides of downtown Rifle. This peripheral parking would require both land acquisition and relocation of some businesses and residents in the flood plain and along First Street.
SECTION : OVERHANGING
PARKING
Better pedestrian links between these parking areas and retail shopping areas are important to encouraging the maximum use of this peripheral parking. If parking needs expand beyond these projections, additional parking can be created at more remote locations or by building parking structures. The proposed parking plan assumes some vertical stacking of parking where grade level changes permit a row of parking spaces to overhang parking at a lower level.
MID-BLOCK PARKING
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This is possible at the south edge of downtown Rifle and along the flood plain. (See section C-2, Drawing 4/1-7.) Some of the present existing parking has been eliminated in the Proposed Parking Plan. This is done to permit the expansion of commercial space within the commercial district.
PARKING ALTERNATIVE STUDIES
Different ways of developing parking on a specific site in the C.B.D. are explored in the Parking Alternative Studies (sheets 1-6 and 1-7). These studies are done for the now vacant site on the north side of Second Street between Railroad and East Avenues. Schemes A and B (sheet 4/1-6) use the entire site to provide either 148 parallel parking spaces or 136 diagonal parking spaces. Scheme Cl would allow commercial development facing the street and use the interior of the block for 94 spaces of parallel parking. In scheme C2, 26 more parking spaces are added by building a deck over the lower level parking. Chart 4-1 provides an analysis of the cost differences for these four parking schemes.
CHART 'I 1
Scheme Unit Cost A B Cl C2
Land Acquisition $4.00/sf 150,000 150,000 150,000 150,000
Development:
- Paving 2.00/sf 66,000 60,000 50,000 50,000
- Landscaping 2.50/sf 20,000 10,000 20,000 15,000
- Parking Deck 12.00/sf 65,000
Land Resale 5.00/sf -60,000 -60,000
Total Cost 236,000 220,000 160.000 220,000
Number of Parking Spaces 148 136 94 120
Cost/Parking Space 1,595 1,618 1,702 1,833
Of the four schemes, Scheme A is the most expensive to develop but provides more parking and is the most economical per parking space. Scheme B provides less parking at a slightly higher cost per space; however, the angle parking would be more convenient for users. Scheme Cl is the least costly alternative assuming that the developable portion of the site can be sold.
The cost per parking space is higher and this scheme provides the least amount of parking. Scheme C2 adds 26 spaces to Cl at a cost of $2,308 per space. This makes C2 parking the most expensive of the four alternatives. More than half of the scheme C2 parking is sheltered. Both schemes Cl and C2 permit the expansion of commercial activity and increase downtown parking. Both would provide additional property and sales tax revenues to the city.
It is important to consider not only the amount and cost of parking created by these alternatives but also the visual and spatial impact that the different proposals will have on future development of the C.B.D. Schemes A & B create or institutionalize the open space on 2nd Street which is out of scale with adjacent retail areas. This would make expansion of commercial activity south along Railroad Avenue less likely. Schemes Cl and C2 would allow the C.B.D. to expand in scale with existing structures while adding parking within the commercial district. Scheme Cl which has the lowest initial cost can be modified to provide additional parking by building the deck proposed in scheme C2 at a later date.
SUMMARY TRANSPORTATION PLANS
Transportation problems, issues and solutions for downtown Rifle cannot be isolated from those of the city as a whole.
The building of an in-town bypass for Railroad Avenue traffic is a prerequisite to making other needed modifications in the C.B.D. street system. Providing a better and safer system for pedestrian movement has implications beyond its recreational value. If more persons travel to the C.B.D. on foot or by bicycle to work or for shopping, fewer parking spaces will be needed and there will be less traffic congestion, noise and pollution. In building new parking areas, the effect of the parking on the scale and visual character of the C.B.C. should be considered. Fewer parking spaces at a higher cost per space may be the best option if in the process pedestrian amenities
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are created which form links between more remote parking areas and the existing commercial district. The attempt is made in this Transportation Plan to find solutions to current transportation problems that make it easier to resolve future problems facing Rifle's commercial district.
LAMP USE
LAND USE ISSUES
Whether or not Rifle will be able to avoid sprawling commercial development in the future is the key land use problem facing downtown Rifle and the city as a whole. Downtown businesses would prefer not to have a major shopping center or excessive commercial sprawl outside the C.B.D. These developments would reduce downtown sales and commercial activity. Sprawling commercial development will affect shoppers along with businesses because the variety and convenience of goods and services would be reduced in the long run if sprawl occurs. The Land Use Issues Map (map 4/2-1) provides an alternative to sprawling commercial development and overconcentration of commercial activity in the C.B.D. Convenience or neighborhood shopping centers to the north, south, east and west of the C.B.D. are proposed as a means of providing locational options to future businesses without creating commercial sprawl patterns. These centers would be relatively small and would serve neighborhood shopping needs of 3,000 to 5,000 persons. Businesses like a gas station, small grocery & drug store, laundromat, liquor store, restaurant, appliance repairs, soda fountain, branch banking, hardware and dime store could be located in these centers. Five to ten shops in a neighborhood shopping center could share parking areas and expect some walk in shoppers. Some multi-unit housing could be located near these shopping centers as well as institutions such as churches and community centers.
A second alternative for businesses and commercial activities which do not require a downtown location is also indicated on this map. Type Two commercial activities (gas stations.
auto dealers, lumberyards, warehouses, etc.) can locate to the west of the C.B.D. between Highway 6/24 and Second Street, this area would be at the bottom of a loop formed by the two highway alternatives and could serve both Rifle shoppers and people from more distant locations. A strong link with the C.B.D. is possible on Highway 6/24 and Second Street. The impact of commercial development on present residents of Rifle will be less in this area than in other parts of the city. The dotted lines on the Land Use Issues Map indicate likely convenience shopping boundaries for the C.B.D. and neighborhood shopping areas.
ZONING
Rifle's present zoning as shown on the Commercial Zoning Map (map 4/2-2) will not make matters much easier in terms of containing commercial sprawl. Almost the entire length of Railroad Avenue is bounded by commercially zoned land. Two-thirds of the zoned land in Rifle including most of its older neighborhoods have zoning that would permit some type of commercial use. Although only a small percentage of this land is likely to be used commercially, the city has little control over where commercial activity will locate. Better control will be needed in the future if commercial sprawl is to be avoided.
EXISTING C.B.D. LAND USE
A second approach to the problem of avoiding commercial sprawl is to take actions which will make downtown Rifle a more attractive location for commercial activities which need a central location and benefit from the activity generated by other businesses and institutions. The Existing Commercial District Plan (map 4/2-3) shows the present configuration of buildings and spaces and physical features in the C.B.D. The standard flood plain encompassing the west third of the district is shown on this map. The shaded buildings centered
16


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around Third Street and Railroad Avenue are the present core of downtown Rifle. The proposed center lines and rights of way for the Railroad Avenue bypass and U.S. Highway 6/24 are also shown on this map. A dominant feature of the C.B.D. at present is the amount of vacant or unbuilt land especially along Rifle Creek and at the south end of the C.B.D. Making better use of land presently in the C.B.D. will help to prevent commercial expansion into adjacent residential neighborhoods.
Rifle has many options with regard to future development of its commercial district.
The Existing Land Use Map (map 4/2-4) shows eight land use categories in and around the C.B.D. Type One commercial uses (primarily retail sales) dominate the center part of the business district. Type Two commercial uses (bulk retail and services) are principally located in the southwestern corner of the C.B.D. The northern portion of the district contains a mixture of single unit residential, commercial, office and public land uses. There is no park space or multi-unit residential as the primary use in the C.B.D. at present. Commercial and residential are mixed to the east, north and west of the C.B.D. Highways, railyards and vacant land are the predominant uses along the soutli edge of downtown Rifle.
Land use comparisons are made using land areas rather than building areas as shown in the C.B.D. Land Use Map (4/2-5). The left map, Land Use By Type, shows the distribution of Type One and Type Two land use in the C.B.D. Type One uses are those that generally need a C.B.D. location and are expected to remain there as commercial activity expands. Type Two uses are those that do not require a central location and generally require a large site with good vehicular access.
An assumption of this plan is that Type One activities will gradually expand into areas now occupied by Type Two activities. This trend should be encouraged by providing suitable sites for the relocation of both Type Two businesses and some of the residential uses now in the C.B.D. Some of the diversity of land use in downtown Rifle is shown by the map on the
right. Land Use By Category. Most land use changes will happen slowly over a period of years. By determining what changes will assist future C.B.D. development, the city and business community can encourage those patterns which are considered desirable. It will be a slow process.
The C.B.D. land use maps show the potential for commercial expansion to the west on land which is now in the standard flood plain. For this to happen, reduction of the size of the flood plain is necessary. Some flood channeling will be necessary when a bypass for Railroad Avenue is built. More extensive flood channeling than would be required for this road construction could take most or all of the C.B.D. out of the flood plain. The flood channel is a potential source of useable open space which can eventually become an important attraction for downtown Rifle. A variety of both public and private uses would be possible along the banks of a flood channel. In the development plan, mostly public uses are recommended on the flood plain sites. This is done because of Rifle's need for a larger site to accomodate present and future municipal facilities. Other activities such as a new senior center and housing or a new site for Colorado Mountain College are potential uses for sites on the west side of Rifle Creek. As with the determination of major streets issues, how the Rifle Creek flood plain will be used in the future has significant implications with regard to the growth and development of downtown Rifle.
The Commercial Activities Plan (map 4/2-6) shows a genera) pattern of land use development if street improvements, parking, flood plain channeling and municipal construction are coordinated over a period of 15 to 20 years. The Conceptual Land Use Plans (maps 4/3-1 and 4/3-2) show possible arrangements of buildings and spaces. In the Commercial Activities Plan, the intersection of Third Street and Railroad Avenue remains the center of the commercial district. If most traffic were removed from Railroad Avenue, a focal point could be created at this intersection.
17



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THIRD STREET RIFLE
Growth of the retail section of the C.B.D. is likely to be along the north-south axis. By providing better sidewalks and some pedestrian amenities along Railroad Avenue, visitors to downtown Rifle will be encouraged to use new parking facilities at First Street. Railroad Avenue could eventually be developed as a pedestrian mall between Second Street and Fourth Street. Constructing a flood channel would make both sides of Rifle Creek suitable for new buildings. Public buildings and some residential units are suggested for this part of the C.B.D. Parking to serve these activities can also be located along the flood channel. New municipal facilities are shown at the west end of Third Street on West Avenue. This facility could face the retail shopping area to the east and overlook a park in the flood plain to the west. There is room on this site to accomodate expansion of municipal facilities in the foreseeable future. '
As mentioned in the Transportation section of this plan. Highway 6/24 has been relocated about 160 feet south on First Street. This is done to make room for the parking areas along the south edge of the C.B.D. A pedestrian crossing below Highway 6/24 at Railroad Avenue would allow future remote parking to be located south of the highway. This parking will be needed eventually and elevating the highway is important to make this crossing possible.
Retail shopping at street level with offices or residential units on the upper floors is possible along the south side of Second Avenue. Buildings on this site will help provide the needed surveillance for the parking area and take advantage of the view of the Colorado River, Grand Valley and Grand Mesa to the south. These buildings would also define the southern edge of downtown Rifle. The site at the northwest corner of the intersection of West Avenue and Highway 6/24 is an excellent location for hotel facilities. A larger scale structure would be appropriate on this site because it is about 20 feet lower than most of the C.B.D. and is mostly surrounded by large open spaces. The structure shown in the Rifle Entry
18




sketch would help to mark the major entry to downtown Rifle at West Avenue. New buildings adjacent to the proposed hotel site will help create a transition between the existing scale of.buildings along Third Street and this proposed structure. This will help create a new image for Rifle and its commercial district. A hotel at this location could share the use and cost of new parking at First Street.
Gas stations and other commercial activities which need access to highways or major traffic arterials can be relocated west of the Railraod Avenue bypass with access to either the bypass, the highway, or adjacent circulator streets.
Residential activities should be considered an important component of land use in Rifle's C.B.D. People living in the commercial district will help maintain activity levels throughout daytime and evening hours. This will help to prevent the C.B.D. from becoming a dead area. At present there is no multi-unit residential as the primary land use in downtown Rifle. All of this type of activity exists on the
second level of two level structures. This mixed land use pattern should be maintained. Construction of apartments above ground level commercial enterprises should be encouraged, especially when the residential units will face onto midblock parking areas. Residential units are often converted into office space. Building residential buildings now in the C.B.D. can help overcome the present lack of demand for office space in the Rifle C.B.D. and provide flexibility for future development. Building code requirements should reflect this potential change of activity.
SUMMARY LAND USE
At present, downtown Rifle is faced with some major land use problems. If sprawling commercial growth occurs outside the C.B.D., this will dilute the resources available to the city and the ability of the business district to address these problems. The Rifle Creek flood plain now blocks expansion of the commercial district to the west. Constructing a flood
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SOUTH ENTRY RIFLE
19


channel would allow C.B.D. expansion in this direction. There is much vacant and underused land presently in the C.B.D.
These problems can be opportunities if they can be solved effectively. There is room in downtown Rifle for commercial activity to double and perhaps even quadruple as Rifle grows. The flood plain can become a valuable amenity for the city and the business community instead of a hazardous eyesore. Vacant and underused land can provide room for new parking and new businesses. Whether or not Rifle will be able to capitalize on these opportunities depends in large part on the city's ability and willingness to guide future land use in the C.B.D. Sound land use planning for the commercial district and the city as a whole can assist Rifle in obtaining the funding assistance it needs and help the city to spend these funds effectively.
PUBLIC WORKS & DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT
Most of the ideas presented in this plan involve or are directly related to public works projects. This is particularly the case for early stages of the plan. Changes in the street system and flood plain must be funded through the city. New municipal facilities will have to be built at public expense. A major assumption and reason for doing this plan is the idea that, by coordinating these public works projects, new opportunities for private investment and development will be created. As public works projects are completed, private investment in the C.B.D. should increase and eventually surpass public works spending. The city will benefit by having increased reveneus through sales and commercial property taxes. The public will benefit by having better shopping and more competition among businesses. The commercial district will benefit by having a more viable and stable economic environment. None of this will happen over night or without considerable effort and cooperation by Rifle's citizens, government and the business community.
20


SHORT RANGE CONCEPTUAL PLAN
The Short Range Conceptual Plan (map 4/3-1) shows changes in the Rifle C.B.D. that are expected to take five to fifteen years to implement. Most of the changes shown by this plan are the result of public works projects which would cost between 10 and 15 million dollars. This would amount to public works funding of roughly one million dollars per year or more than Rifle's present annual budget.
The Major Streets recommendations are shown implemented in this plan. The Rifle Creek flood channel is shown at a stage of partial development. Phase I of the municipal center is completed. Public parking is increased by over 600 spaces to a total of more than 1100 spaces. Four hundred spaces of this would be provided by the business community at a cost of approximately $650,000. Only four new commercial buildings (diagonally hatched) are shown on this plan. Some of Rifle's existing commercial buildings are likely to be renovated and reused during this time.
The pace of development in downtown Rifle is not the issue. Whether this plan is implemented in five years or twenty years depends on factors which are impossible to identify at this time. On the other hand, the order in which these public works projects are undertaken is extremely important. Much of this plan is not feasible until the Railroad Avenue bypass and at least part of the flood channel are constructed. Work on downtown Rifle's major streets, especially Second Street and Fifth Street, is an important part of the plan. These two projects establish the pattern for later development in the Rifle C.B.D. They amount to roughly half the cost of public works proposed for downtown Rifle. The construction of new municipal facilities is not as critical in terms of timing. There are many alternatives to the configuration shown by the short range plan. The proposed new municipal facilities are, however, an important part of the conceptual plan. These facilities will add activity and help to attract new commercial development toward the south-
RIFLE
MUNICIPAL CENTER
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SHORT RANGE CONCEPTUAL PLAN
3-1 RIFLE, COLORADO
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west corner of the C.B.D. which is now mostly vacant.
Private sector construction of new public parking is a key element of the short range plan. Without sufficient parking, commercial development in the C.B.D. is unlikely to keep pace with Rifle's growth. New businesses will find locations outside the C.B.D. more advantageous. The business community must be in a position to take action as opportunities arise to purchase land and build parking.
LONG RANGE CONCEPTUAL PLAN
By comparison, the Long Range Conceptual Plan (map 4/3-2) shows greater emphasis on commercial investment than on public works. New builCings are shown along almost the entire south side of Second Street. Spproximately 1,000 more public parking spaces are shown at the south end of the C.B.D. The remote parking to the south of Highway 6/24 is intended primarily for persons employed in the C.B.D. This will permit shoppers to use the parking closer to retail areas. The Long Range Plan shows between 200,000 and 300,000 square feet of built space added to the Rifle C.B.D. This doubles the existing amount of useable space in the commercial district and would constitute an investment of $12 to 15 million. A public investment of five to ten million dollars would be needed to complete various public works projects such as the flood plain park and later phases of the municipal center. The Long Range Plan will probably take 15 to 25 years to realize.
RIFLE MUNICIPAL CENTER AND FLOOD PLAIN PARK
Much of the urban design effort expended on this project focusses on the proposed Rifle municipal center. The center is envisioned as a place where the city government conducts its affairs and where public gatherings and events can take place. The site on the west side of the intersection of Third Street and West Avenue places these activities one block from the center of downtown Rifle. Schematic plans for the municipal center have been made (see plan 4/3-3) in order to establish the relationships between the center, Third Street and the flood plain. The plan indicates three phases of construction. Phase 1, which is located on the south side of Third Street, would contain municipal offices- meeting rooms and a new library. A kitchen or restaurant could also be included. Some flood channeling would be required before Phase 1 could be built. The Third Street Bridge could be retained in use until it is no longer needed when Second Street and Fifth Street are extended across Rifle Creek. A gymnasium
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and large meeting hall on the north side of Third Street would be built in Phase 2. A lobby area one level above Third Street is also included in this phase. The open passage below the lobby provider, a link between the park and the shopping district. Phase 3 would be the addition of an auditorium to the west side of the gymnasium. Parking would be on the north and south sides of the center. The plan shows municipal facilities looking out over the lowered part of the flood plain park. Pedestrian bridges and crossings at several levels link the two sides of the flood plain.
The concept for this building was a facility which could be expanded as Rifle grows. The offices, the library and meeting rooms can be expanded to the south as needs and funding dictate. The center is intended to be a focal point and gathering place in Rifle. The schematic layout for the center has been coordinated closely with the layout for the flood plain park. A series of water pools and formal spaces are shown to the south of the foot bridge. This space could be used for concerts, displays and other activities. This basin would built of hard materials to absorb the impact of flood waters and of large numbers of users. More natural landscaping composed of trees, rocks and planted areas is shown to the north of the foot bridge. It is important that the flood channel and the municipal center are designed together so that they will be complementary.
Other public facilities such as Colorado Mountain College or a seniors center could be located on the west side of the park facing the municipal center. These facilities would benefit from both the park and the central location in downtown Rifle. They would serve as a buffer between the Railroad Avenue bypass and the park.
C.B.D. SECTIONS
The scale of buildings and open spaces is an aspect of the development plan shown by the section drawings. (See sheets 4/3-4 to 4/3-6.) The drawings on sheet 4/3-4 are east-west sections between East Avenue and the proposed bypass taken at
23


1


the center lines of Fourth, Third, Second and First Streets. Shaded buildings are those in the foreground. Sheets 4/3-5 and 4/3-6 are north-south sections through the C.B.D. These sections show the relationships in scale between proposed public and private buildings and existing buildings in Rifle. Host of the proposed buildings are of a larger scale than existing buildings, especially along the western and southern edges of the commercial district. The change in scale is made for three reasons. First, the trend in Rifle is likely to be toward larger scale buildings such as Remington Square. Second, the spaces surrounding the buildings are of a larger scale than those in the original town center. Third, larger scale buildings help to define the edges of the C.B.D. Rather than maintain the existing scale of buildings in Rifle, an effort has been made to create transitions between existing and proposed parts of the plan. This is done in part by breaking up the masses and the use of sloping roofs on proposed buildings. Landscaping, especially the planting of trees along streets and in parking areas, can help maintain the continuity of scale in downtown Rifle.
SUMMARY PUBLIC WORKS
Public works projects are a major component of the Development Plan for Downtown Rifle. The intent of the plans and drawings presented here is to show some of the potential that presently exists in the commercial district. These drawings are not a projection of what Rifle will look like fifteen or twenty-five years from now. Hopefully they will provide the city and the business community with some ideas about how this part of Rifle can develop in the future. Perhaps mistakes such as putting the sewer interceptor in the flood channel can be avoided. Street improvements can be made with an eye toward future development and coordinated
with other public works projects. If land acquisition for the flood channel and the municipal center is combined, thousands of dollars in land costs can be saved. Similarly, by establishing the order and priority of public works projects in downtown Rifle, the city and business community can bring about changes which are simply not possible otherwise. Twenty-five years is a long time in terms of. city budgeting. It is a very short time in terms of city growth and development .
DEVELOPMENT PLAN SUMMARY
The total costs of the proposals shown by the conceptual plans amount to more than 30 million dollars. Is it realistic for Rifle to contemplate an expenditure of this magnitude?
In a 25 year period of time, Rifle's population is likely to exceed 10,000, about 3.5 times the present population. It could go considerably higher. Public works projects such as building a major street to relieve the traffic on Railroad Avenue and new municipal facilities are likely to happen whether or not Rifle has a development plan for the C.B.D. In the case of the flood channel, roughly two million dollars is needed to acquire land and build the channel. Over 600,000 sq.ft, of developable land would be removed from the standard flood plain as a result of its construction. Removing the present flood hazard could increase present values of flood plain property by between $1.50 and $2.00 per square foot. The increased real value of land adjacent to the flood channel would amount to
24


0*3 RIFLE, COLORADO




over one million dollars. The city could recapture some of its flood channel investment by purchasing this land now. Perhaps more important, more developable land would be added to the business district and would ease speculative pressures which are inflating C.B.D. land prices.
The added costs for public works projects proposed in the Development Plan could amount to as much as 5 million dollars over what would be spent otherwise. Assuming Rifle would have to provide these funds locally, the city would have to raise $200,000 annually over the next 25 years to implement the long range plan. Doubling the amount of retail sales in Rifle would provide more than enough revenue to meet this cost. In addition, with adequate planning Rifle is likely to be more successful in obtaining the funds needed for these projects from sources outside the city.
SOUTH E NTRY MUNICIPAL CENTER
25


PART FIVE : IMPLEMENTATION
A major purpose of this study has been to examine the interrelationships between various problems facing downtown Rifle. For example, the location and design of the bypass not only affects through traffic but also affects the layout of major streets. The traffic circulation patterns created by the bypass and major streets will affect traffic congestion and parking problems. The location of the bypass and designation of major streets can to a large extent determine future uses of the flood plain. Making better use of the flood plain is important to future commercial development in downtown Rifle. Use of the flood plain could also influence the decisions regarding new municipal facilities. Thus, decisions concerning the bypass touch in one way or another most of the problems which face downtown Rifle today. The goal of this study is to determine what these relationships are and to find the best general solutions for specific problems that minimize conflicts with related problems.
In the first four parts of this report problems and issues have been identified, alternatives have been studied and recommendations proposed. The plans and drawings in Part Four provide some details for the recommendations and show physical relationships. It will be up to Rifle's citizens and its government to coordinate the work of various public agencies and private developers so that the solution to a particular problem does not make other problems more difficult or impossible to solve. Section Five, Implementation, is intended to suggest a process for coordinating various public and private projects for downtown Rifle.
Rifle is beginning to grow rapidly and the planning for some major public works projects is imminent. The city will probably experience 50 to 100 years of normal growth in the next 15 to 20 years. Issues which must be decided in the next few years (months, in some cases) will determine what the city looks like and how well it functions for many years to
come. Time is therefore a key factor. Important decisions must be made within a very short period. This is not necessarily bad. Those who are involved in making these decisions will see their ideas and efforts become reality much sooner than under normal growth circumstances. The Plan Implementation Flow Charts (5-1 and 5-2, on following pages) provide an analysis of the interrelationships and timing of the various decisions which must be made if the basic concepts of this Development Plan are adopted. These charts are a sketch of the planning process.
CRITICAL STEPS IN DECISION MAKING PROCESS
The fact that a solution to a particular problem or issue in downtown Rifle such as locating the bypass will affect the potential for solving other problems makes coordination of the decision making process essential. Such coordination must come from citizens of Rifle who are backed by their government officials. For Rifle's citizens and the downtown business community to coordinate future projects, it is important that goals and priorities are established. What the community wants must be communicated both to the government agencies that are responsible for carrying out the work and to private developers. To do this within the constraints imposed by Rifle's rapid growth, an effective mechanism or organization which represents both business as a whole and downtown business interests is needed. This organization could be the Planning and Zoning Commission or some other group which reports to them. Broad participation is important so that a consensus for Rifle as a whole can be reached.
This report is based on the general assumption that Rifle hopes to maintain and improve the viability of its downtown commercial area. To achieve this goal, four objectives have been identified. They are listed in their (assumed) order of priority:
1) Traffic problems in downtown Rifle must be resolved.
2) Public parking must be increased and must be more convenient.
26


PLAN IMPLEMENTATION CHART 1979
1
MAJOR STREETS
HWY 13 BY-PASS
PARKING & DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT
FLOOD PLAIN DEVELOPMENT
MUNICIPAL FACILITIES
INFRASTRUCTURE
FLOOD PLAIN PARK
RELOCATION
JANUARY
MARCH
APRIL -
JUNE
JULY
SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER
DECEMBER
ADOPT MAJOR STREETS PLAN FOR RIFLE C.B.D.
-ASSUME R.R. AVE BY-PASS IS PART OF MAJOR STREETS PLAN
RESOLVE BY-PASS ISSUE
-ELECTI0N-
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WILL FUND ALT # b -ASSUME R.R. AVE BY-PASS IS BUILT BY RIFLE WITH IMPACT FUNDS ASSISTANCE
FORM COMMITTEE TO PLAN C.B.D. DEVELOPMENT AND PARKING _______________
-DETERMINE PRESENT PARKING NEEDS -STUDY METHODS FOR FUNDING NEW PARKING
DETERMINE CURRENT OWNERSHIP OF FLOOD PLAIN (F.P.) LAND
RESOLVE CITY HALL EXPANSION ISSUE
A. REMODEL EXISTING FACILITY
' OR C
3
REBUILD NEW MUNICIPAL FACILITIES ON A NEW SITE
STUDY ALIGNMENT OF PRO" POSED SEWAGE INTERCEPTOR
CONSIDER IMPACTS OF SEWAGE INTERCEPTOR & R.R. AVE BY-PASS ON FUTURE PARK IN THE FLOOD PLAIN
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ESTABLISH PRIORITIES FOR WORK ON MAJOR STREETS
BEGIN DETAILED PLANS FOR C.B.D. MAJOP STREETS (TRAFFIC loop)
PREPARE BUDGET FOR LOCAL rA DEVELOP PHASING PLAN FOR
STREET IMPROVEMENTS w MAJOR AND LOCAL STREET |
REQUEST FUNDING FOR MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS
STREET IMPROVEMENTS =rV
BEGIN ENGINEERING FOR lOUT-OF-TOWN BY-PASS
DETERMINE THE R.O.W. FOR THE R.R. AVE BY-PASS
-0
PROPOSE MECHANISM FOR DEVELOPMENT PLAN PREPARATION & IMPLEMENTATION
PREPARE AND ADOPT A PARKING PLAN ________
BEGIN LAND ACQUISITION FOR PARKING AREAS
MAKE FLOOD PLAIN STUDYS: -FEASIBILITY OF FLOOD CHANNEL
-POTENTIAL USES FOR SITES ADJACENT TO FLOOD PLAIN MUNICIPAL FACILITIES ? COLO. MTN, COLLEGE ? RESIDENTIAL PARKING ?
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BEGIN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN -LEASE TEMPORARY SPACE-BEGIN PRELIMINARY PROGRAM-1 MING & SITE EVALUATION -LEASE TEMPORARY SPACE"
1DETERMINE SEWER R.O.W.
ESTABLISH GOALS FOR Iflood PLAIN PARK
BEGIN PLANNING & ENGINEERING WORK FOR THE R.R. AVE BY-PASS
BEGIN THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS
BEGIN PARKING AREA CONSTRUCTION
INVESTIGATE POTENTIAL FUNDING SOURCES FOR F.P. DEVELOPMENT
OR
BEGIN PRELIMINARY PLANNING
PREPARE FUNDING REQUEST
COORDINATE LAND ACQUISITION FOR SEWER AND R.R, AVE BY-PASS
ESTABLISH DESIGN CRITERIA AND COST PARAMETERS FOR FLOOD PLAIN PARK________
ESTABLISH FUTURE FLOOD PLAIN BOUNDARIES
BEGIN LAND ACQUISITION AS OPPORTUNITIES ARISE
0
BEGIN ENGINEERING WORK FOR SEWER INTERCEPTOR
0
PREPAIR PRELIMINARY DESIGN FOR FLOOD PLAIN PARK
DETERMINE RELOCATION - rA CONSIDER ALT. SITES FOR r-\ BEGIN PLANNING FOR HELO- rA USE LAND BANKING FUNDS
PLANS OF C.B.D. RES!" W RESIDENTIAL S COMMERCIAL CATION OF RESIDENTIAL OR w WHERE POSSIBLE TO AC-
DENTS S BUSINESSES. RELOCATION COMMERCIAL TO BE MOVED QUIRE RELOCATION SITES
EXPLORE POTENTIAL SOURCES
OF RELOCATION FUNDING
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3) Activities which are most conveniently located in downtown Rifle and which add to its attractiveness should be kept in the Central Business District.
4) Flood plain hazard should be reduced and the present flood plain area used for future expansion of downtown Rifle.
Assuming that these objectives accurately reflect both the goals and priorities for the development of downtown Rifle, the following steps in the decision making process seem to be critical for their achievement.
1. Major Streets Plan
The major streets plan is needed immediately so that this information can be used for planning the Railroad Avenue bypass. Future intersections with the bypass must be established. The general location of a second bypass (Colorado Highway Department alternative #6) should also be determined. The major streets plan should establish priorities for highway and street construction. Phasing of street construction and maintenance should be planned and used to prepare annual budgets. Finally, the plan should establish both short term and long term traffic circulation patterns for downtown Rifle.
2. Railroad Avenue Bypass
Problems and issues regarding the location of an in-town bypass must be resolved as soon as possible. Funding requests must be submitted to obtain funds to build the bypass and related C.B.D. improvements. Whether or not an in-town bypass will be built by the Colorado Highway Department must be decided. The details of the planning and phasing of this project are important if it is to be coordinated with other proposals.
3. Open Spaces and Public Facilities
Decisions with regard to future open spaces and public facilities in downtown Rifle will affect what activities take place there and the general appearance of downtown Rifle. Future use of the Rifle Creek flood plain is of key importance and is very closely related to decisions regarding major streets, the bypass and municipal facilities. It has been recommended
that a decision be reached about future channeling of Rifle Creek in downtown Rifle at an early date. The future location of new municipal facilities will influence the channeling of Rifle Creek. Schematic plan for flood channeling and a flood plain park are presented in this study. If the park concept is adopted by the city of Rifle, the future flood channel should be designated by the city. Land acquisition for the channel should begin as funds become available.
4. Infrastructure
The location of a new sewage interceptor line is of key importance to the development of downtown Rifle. Where this line is placed will largely determine both the future of the flood plain and what types of pedestrian crossings are possible. It has been suggested that the sewer line should be located in the bypass right of way. This would permit maximum flexibility for future flood plain development. Coordination of construction for the bypass and thesewage interceptor will be necessary. The location of other infrastructure outside the downtown area, especially sewer lines, should be considered when the major streets plan is adopted.
5. Parking Problems
While the resolution of parking problems in downtown Rifle may not seem as pressing as the traffic problems, the downtown business community will need to act promptly in order to take advantage of current opportunities. Land which is now vacant and up for sale is likely to be developed in the near future. The adoption and implementation of a plan for providing public parking must be done soon if options are to remain open. Funding for the implementation of the parking plan will be largely the responsibility of the business community. However, additional sources of funding should be explored so that realistic priorities can be established.
6. Downtown Rifle Conceptual Development Plan
The five decision making steps outlined here so far involve problems with regard to transportation, parking, public
27


buildings and spaces and activities, and infrastructure. In order to coordinate and communicate the decisions for each of these problems it is suggested that a development plan be prepared for downtown-Rifle. The purpose of this plan would be to facilitate the decision process rather than to place controls on land use. The plan would act as a tool for evaluating proposals and would help guide the decisions made by the private and public sectors. This plan can be revised as decisions are made regarding Highway 13, the flood plain, municipal facilities, parking and private investment in downtown Rifle.
DOWNTOWN RIFLE PLAN IMPLEMENTATION
Addressing the problems facing Rifle as a whole and the downtown commercial area in particular is likely to be a lengthy and often frustrating process. Once a decision is reached, citizens and public officials must be convinced that the right choice has been made. The burden of doing this will fall heavily on the citizens who choose to get involved. Because time is limited due to the rapid development of downtown Rifle, it is suggested that an ongoing agency, authority or other mechanism having a permanent paid staff be established to provide the support needed by businessmen in downtown Rifle. This agency is referred to as the Downtown Rifle Development Agency (DRDA) in this report. It is suggested that DRDA could be a non-profit public corporation having a board of directors composed of citizens, businessmen and public officials, elected by the membership. This agency could be responsible for the following activities:
1) DRDA could assist downtown Rifle in efforts to secure funding for land acquisition for parking and public works by making proposals and requests to appropriate sources of funding.
2) DRDA could help establish and administer a revolving fund which would be used to implement the development objectives for downtown Rifle. Property or land could be purchased and resold to developers whose proposals support the objectives of
the conceptual development plan for downtown Rifle. DRDA could be responsible for administering and implementing the downtown Rifle parking plan.
3) DRDA could assist the Rifle Chamber of Commerce in its efforts to attract new business.
4) DRDA could aid local businesses by helping to secure grants, loans and technical assistance for expansion, remodeling and relocation.
5) DRDA could employ or contract for technical services needed to support the planning process in Rifle.
6) DRDA would be responsible for coordinating its plans and activities with other public officials such as the city manager, city planner, members of the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Mechanisms such as DRDA are typically used by cities which are much larger than Rifle. An agency of this sort would be very unusual for a city of Rifle's size. On the other hand. Rifle is faced with some unusual circumstances, namely the prospect of rapid growth. It is likely that Rifle will experience the growth of a city many times its size in the coming decade. DRDA as a private organization could perform some functions such as administering a revolving fund which are not possible through Rifle's City Planning Office or other public agencies. In addition, it is probable that the responsibilities of the Planning Office in Rifle are too broad to allow sufficient concentration on the problems facing downtown Rifle. It should be recognized that DRDA must coordinate its efforts very closely with the City Planning Office and the Planning and Zoning Commission. Members of the commission and the City Planner in particular should be representd in the agency's board of directors.
An agency such as DRDA would require adequate paid staffing to fulfill its responsibilities. Administrative expense can be expected to cost $15,000 to $20,000 per year for a period of five to ten years. This assumes that the administrative expenses of DRDA will be shared with the Rifle Chamber of
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Commerce and the local development corporation in Rifle. The cost of operating DRDA would probably have to be shared by the city of Rifle, the downtown business community, and out of grant monies which would be administered by DRDA.
The creation of DRDA is suggested as a way for businessmen and citizens to deal effectively with the problems confronting downtown Rifle in the coming months and years. A major reason for suggesting this course of action is to lighten the administrative burden on the downtown business community. Other alternatives exist. The Chamber of Commerce and the local development corporation in Rifle could assume some and perhaps all of these responsibilities.
Sorting out these options will not be easy nor is it likely to happen soon enough to influence some of the more imminent decisions. In the meantime, downtown Rifle should form an interim committee or organization to establish goals and objectives for the business community and to evaluate and advocate proposals which support those goals. Time is of the essence.
FUTURE PLANNING FOR DOWNTOWN RIFLE
It has not been possible in this study to identify and explore all of the alternatives open to downtown Rifle. The alternatives which are suggested need to be studied in more detail, especially in terms of their feasibility and costs.
The goals and objectives presented in this report are by and large based on assumptions. More coordination in Rifle is needed to determine if in fact these assumptions are correct or should be revised. As decisions are made concerning the bypass, flood plain, municipal facilities and other issues, Rifle's options will change. The process of planning does not stop when a plan is presented and adopted. While the intention of this study is not to perpetuate the planning process in Rifle, it should be clear that this report does represent the beginning of the process rather than its conclusion. It is hoped that this study will accomplish three objectives.
First, the study delineates some of the opportunities Rifle has for improving its downtown commercial district. Second, it is hoped that this study will help Rifle to determine and obtain the planning services that the city and the downtown area will need in the future. In this regard, the city is more likely to get what it wants if its requests for services are specific. Finally, it is hoped that this report will be useful to Rifle in its efforts to obtain the federal, state and local support needed to address the physical problems and issues which are caused by rapid growth.


NOTES
PART ONE
1-1 Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers; Flood Plain Information for Rifle Colorado; April, 1973, p. 21.
1-2 Schmitz, Steve; Growth Monitoring System. West Area
Council of Governments, Project Report for State Planning & Management, Region XI. December 1977
1-3 Norman, Dave; Rifle Telegram; September 27, 1978, p. 7. Rifle had 511 seniors in 1977. 107 were over 80 years
old.
1-4 Schmitz, Steve; op. cit. The rapid growth projected by the growth monitoring system began to happen in 1978.
1-5 Clarke, Thomas; Municipal Budgeting & Capital Budgeting
in Rifle Colorado 1970-1978; August, 1978, not published.
1-6 Gonzales, Kent; Business & Economy Report & Funding
Request. Prepared for West Area Council of Governments, Region XI, 1977, not published.
1-7 Deppe, Dan, City Manager; City of Rifle, 1978 Annual Budget.
1-8 Clarke, Thomas; op. cit. Also see City of Rifle, 1976 Annual Budget Capital Budget, written by Lynn Behrns.
PART TWO
2-1 Colorado Division of Highways and Federal Highway Adminis tration; Through Rifle, Draft Environmental Impact Statement; Proj. F013-1(21) April 1976.
2-2 This figure was derived by taking the percentage of traffic which would use an out-of-town bypass. See Colorado Division of Highways, Planning & Research Division; Rifle External Origin & Destination Study; Proj. F013-l(21) 1973
2-3 The effective retail space (ERS) for the Rifle C.B.D.
was determined by multiplying the total sq.ft, for each land use category by an assumed parking ratio to determine the total amount of parking needed. The total parking is reduced for vacancy and multiplied by 200 sq.ft./parking space (5 spaces/1,000 sq.ft, of retail space) to establish the ERS figure. (See appendix B.)
2-4 See Rifle Zoning Map and Ordinance and map 4/2-2, Zoning.
2-5 See Existing Commercial District map 4/2-3 and Appendix C, Land Use Analysis.
2-6 See Appendix C for detailed explanation of type comparisons .
2-7 See Land Use Issues, map 4/2-1.
2-8 Department of the Army, Sacramento Corps of Engineers;
Flood Plain Information Colorado River Rifle, Government & Hubbard Gulch Creeks; April 1973.
2-9 Behrns, Lynn, Rifle City Planner; letter to Thomas Clarke dated February 6, 1978.
2-10 Nelson, Haley, Patterson & Quirk, Inc., Engineering Consultants; Facilities Plan, City of Rifle, Colorado; October, 1976, p. 89. Alternative #3 Selected Plan.
2-11 See City of Rifle; 1976 Annual Budget Capital Planning and Programming, Part 4 (Lynn Behrns).
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APPENDIX A : DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR MAJOR STREETS IN DOWNTOWN RIFLE
The following specific recommendations are suggested as guidelines for the planning and evaluation of proposals for major street improvements including an in-town bypass in Rifle's C.B.D.
1. Coordinate right-of-way determination and Railroad Ave 3ypass design with the adopted major streets plan.
2. Design the Railroad Ave Bypass to carry all of the projected local and non-local north-south traffic which is not going to or from the C.B.D.
3. Layout major streets so that local traffic on Railroad Ave. is de-emphasized.
4. Provide sufficient points of access to downtown Rifle so that overall accessibility is improved.
5. Locate access points for the Railroad Ave. Bypass at intersections where conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles can be minimized.
6. Minimize the number of access points to the Railroad Ave. Bypass. Curb cuts should not be permitted along the bypass for private properties less than one acre in size.
7. Establish and enforce speed limits of 35 mph or lower for the Railroad Ave. Bypass in the vicinity of downtown Rifle.
8. Provide noise barriers to minimize the disruption of residential activities near the bypass.
9. Make pedestrian crossings at grade except where natural features of the land can be emphasized or incorporated to create grade separated crossings (Hubbard Gulch & Rifle Ck. at Second St.). Consider the possibilities for grade separated crossings where natural features make these pedestrian passages feasible.
10. Plan grade separated pedestrian crossings in conjunction with adjacent activities.
11. Design the Railroad Ave. Bypass as a major street to be used primarily for local traffic.
12. Minimize negative negative impacts of the Railroad Ave. Bypass of the future potential for channeling the Rifle Ck. flood plain and the development of land adjacent to the flood plain.
13. Facilitate the goals and objectives for downtown Rifle development wherever possible in the improvement of the major streets in Rifle's C.B.D.
MAJOR STREET ~ WEST AVL0
ARTLRIAL STRtELT ~ R.R AML
--------------- Sb 3 1


APPENDIX B : PARKING ANALYSIS & PROPOSAL
B-l Existing Parking Analysis
The amount of existing parking in downtown Rifle was
determined in May and June 1978 from on site observations.
Map 4/1-4 (Existing Parking) shows two principal categories
of parking : on -street and off-street. Over 99% of the 366
spaces of on-street parking is public parking. Forty three
percent of the off-street parking is restricted at present
(125 of 285 spaces). Some of the present public off-street
parking will be eliminated as C.B.D. businesses expand their
facilities. The proposed C .B.D. parking plan (Map 4/1-5)
shows potential sites for adding some on-street and off-
street parking areas in downtown Rifle
TABLE B-l : Tabulation of Existing Parking
Block No. * Public On-street Restricted pkng
Parking Public Off-street
E1-N1/N2 10 - -
E2-S1/S2 37 10 -
E2-N1/N2 30 32 -
E3-S1/S2 25 16 6
E3-N1/N2 36 - -
E4-S1/S2 18 - 12 3Pr
E4-N1/N2 27 30 4
E5-S1/S2 21 - 6
204 88 31
W1-N1/N2 0 - -
W2-S1/S2 15 - -
W2-N1/N2 23 - 28
W3-S1/S2 32 - 23
W3-N1/N2 32 - 43
W4-S1/S2 25 72 -
W4-N1/N2 31 - -
W5-S1/S2 10 - -
168 72 125
Total 372 160 125
* See Appendix C for block notation.
B-2 Estimated Parking Needs
Estimates for present and future parking needs are based on land use studies of the C.B.D. (see Appendix C). These studies indicate that there is 322,425 sq. ft. of built space in downtown Rifle at present. Over eightyfive percent of this space is being used for commercial, office and public uses. Almost thirty five percent is retail commercial space. To simplify calculations of future parking needs, parking is estimated on the basis of effective retail space (ERS).
The present ERS in Rifle is 174,930 sq. ft. and was determined by multiplying each land use category by an assumed parking ratio to estimate the total parking required. This total is then multiplied by a vacancy factor (15%) and the amount of prime retail space (200 sq. ft.) per parking space. It has been assumed that new development in Rifle will generally follow present patterns. The tabulation of the ERS for downtown Rifle is presented in Table B-2. Residential parking was not included in this tabulation.
TABLE B-2 ERS Tabulation for Rifle C.B.D.
Built space Square footage Parking Spaces Parking req,d
by category -gross space- / 1000 sq.ft.
Cl 112, , 525 5 563
C2 82, ,625 3 248
01 42, ,475 3 127
02 4 , r 900 2 10
pi 17, ,000 3 51
P2 15, ,350 2 30
274 ,875 1,029
ERS = 1,029 x 0.85 x 200 = 174, 930 sq. ft. ERS
The ERS figure for downtown Rifle indicates a need for 875 parking spaces now. There are presently only 532 public parking spaces in the C.B.D. Approximately 350 more spaces of public parking are needed. If most of the restricted
32


parking is made public, 200 additional parking spaces will be needed to meet current needs. In addition to compounding parking space shortages, restricted parking tends to distort the distribution of public parking in the C.B.D.
If the amount of commercial activity in downtown Rifle increases fifty percent by the year 2000, approximately 400 additional parking spaces should be added. New municipal facilities built in the C.B.D. would require 200 to 300 more public parking spaces. In round figures, downtown Rifle needs to add about 1,000 public parking spaces over the next 20 years to accomodate a fifty percent increase in commercial activity. Most of this new parking will have to be off-street because there is little potential for increasing on-street parking. If seventy five percent of the new parking is off-street and 200 spaces are planned for the municipal center, downtown businesses would need to provide 600 new parking spaces or 30 new spaces per year for the next twenty years. This assumes that most of the present restricted parking will become public parking. The cost per parking space will be approximately $2,300 *. A total investment of $1.4 million is needed to provide parking for fifty percent expansion of retail activity over the next 20 years. One third of this sum or about one half million dollars should be provided by the existing businesses in Rifle. This would amount to an annual expenditure of $25,000. The remaining two thirds would be provided by the new businesses locating in the C.B.D.
* Cost per parking space :
Land 375 sq. ft. at $4.00 / sq.ft.= $1,500; Paving 300 sq.ft, at $1.50 / sq.ft. = $450; Curbs and Landscaping at $150 per space; Engineering & Misc. at $200 per space.
TOTAL : $2,300 / space.
B-3 Parking Plan Implementation ;
In Section 3, Analysis & Recommendations, it was suggested that the best and probably the most economical solution to downtown Rifle's parking problems would be a cooperative effort by the business community. To do this three issues must be resolved : first, how much and where new parking should be located must be determined; second, the schedule of when new parking is to be constructed must be established; third, how the cost of new parking will be shared must be decided. The proposed parking plan indicated how much and where new parking should be built. This plan canbe modified to meet changing circumstances. The time frame for adding new parking for adding new parking will depend largely on the resources Rifle is willing to expend and how rapidily commercial activity expands. The parking plan implementation proposal focuses on the issue of how the cost of new parking will be shared by downtown businesses.
Different businesses require different amounts of parking and may provide some of their own off-street parking (which also benefits adjacent businesses that aren't providing off-street parking). It is suggested that a generalized method for calculating parking needs to be developed. The parking needs for individual businesses could be determined on the basis of the of the square footage of useable space, volume of sales and other factors which yield an accurate forcast of the business's parking needs. The amount of off-street parking provided by each business would then be subtracted from its total established need. The proportion of the cost for new parking which would be allocated to each business could be the ratio of its parking needs to the total parking shortage shortage for the C.B.D. as a whole. For example, if a business has 2,250 sq. ft. of retail area and it is determined that this business should have 5 parking spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. of sales area, 11.25 parking would be its total parking need. If this business provides four off-street public parking spaces, the business would have a net
33


I
I
I
I
I
I
deficit of 8.25 parking spaces. If this deficit is 1.0 % of the total deficit of off-street parking for the C.B.D., the business would pay 1.0% of the cost of providing new parking until adequate parking has been constructed. Assuming that 400 additional parking spaces are needed at an average cost of $2,500 per space, the business would be assessed $10,000 or $500 per year over a 20 year period. The cost of financing to spread these costs out would add to the total cost for providing additional parking. Parking meters or stickers could help to cover maintenance costs for parking.
Under this system, a new business locating in Rifle would have to either provide for all its parking needs or support cooperative efforts to provide public parking. Parking needs for new businesses should be calcalulated separately from existing businesses so that these businesses would not pay for parking needed by new businesses locating in the C.B.D.
While this proposed system for allocating parking costs is complicated and might get more complex before it suits Rifle's business community, it permits downtown Rifle to build new parking when and where it is needed and allows businesses to share the costs equitably. This seems to be the most economical and in the long run, the best way for the business community to address parking problems. This system is proposed in this report primarily to demonstrate an alternative to trying to solve parking problems by passing ordinances and parking regulations.
34