OPEN SPACE FOR SMALL COMMUNITIES,'
A Case Study of Broomfield, Colorado
Terry R. Barnhart November 1981
A thesis submitted In partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Masters Degree In Planning/Community Development.
University of Colorado at Denver College of Environmental Design
Although this report represents an individual study effort, It was only possibl with the assistance and support of many individuals and governmental agencies. The following is a Iist of the key people who offered information, advice, criticism, and technical help.
Paul Derda, Director, Broomfield Parks and Recreation Department Jay Treat, Administrative Assistant, Broomfield Parks and Recreation Department
Dennis Wigert, Broomfield Planning Director
Dave Shelley, Broomfield Planning Staff
Dan Fischer, Assistant Broomfield City Manager
Dave Roffner, Adams County Planning Staff
Barbara Bryant, Boulder County Planning Staff
John Krukoff, Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department
Ken Foelske. Jefferson County Open Space Program
August Hioco, Director, Loulsville Parks and Recreation Department
Jerry Rothyer, Director, Westminister Parks and Recreation Department
Nancy Gauss, Office of State Archaelogy/Preservation
Dan Cook, State Planning Office
Audrey Bloom, State Department of Natural Resources Bill Litchfield, State Department of Highways
Jim Westkott, Advisor, University of Colorado at Denver, College of Environmental Design
Jeff Winston, Gage Davis Associates, Inc.
Chris Cares, Gage Davis Associates, Inc.
Susan Fernie, Gage Davis Associates, Inc.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I INTRODUCTION: THE OPEN SPACE DILEMMA 1
I I THE NATURE OF OPEN SPACE 3
OPEN SPACE BY DEFINITION 3
Functions of Open Space 3
Multiple Use Aspect of Open Space 5
Permanency Aspect and Methods of Preserving Open Space 5
Open Space as a System 6
OPEN SPACE PLANNING PRINCIPLES 6
Functional Land Use 6
Integrated Land Use 7
Regional Context 7
Cooperation and Coordination 7
Ultimate Size 8
Proper Distribution 8
Citizen Input 8
OPEN SPACE STANDARDS 8
Recreation Standards 8
National Park and Recreation Association Standards 9
Others Specific Recreational Standards 11
Criticism of Standards 11
III CASE STUDY BACKGROUND 13
BROOMFI ELD, COLORADO 13
BROOMFI ELD AS A CASE STUDY 14
STUDY AREA 14
RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS OF STUDY AREA 15
Natural Environment Summary 15
Man-made Environment Summary 16
Social Environment Summary 16
IV EXISTING OPEN SPACE SYSTEM 20
BRIEF HISTORY OF OPEN SPACE WITHIN THE CITY 20
PRESENT OPEN SPACE POLICIES 30
PRESENT OPEN SPACE REGULATIONS 23
Public Use Land 23
Common Private Open Space 23
Common Private Open Space Incentives 24
Flood Plains 24
INVENTORY OF OPEN SPACE SYSTEM 24
Summary of Existing Open Space System 25
Summary of Regional Parks and Recreation Areas 27
REVIEW OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL JURISDICTIONS 29
City of Westminster 29
City of Lou IsvlIle 29
Adams County 29
Boulder County 30
Jefferson County 30
V ANALYSIS OF OPEN SPACE SYSTEM 32
METHODS OF OPEN SPACE ANALYSIS 32
PHYSICAL ANALYSIS 32
City-Wide Park and Recreation Analysis 33
District Recreation or Community Parks Analysis 35
Neighborhood Analysis 37
Revised Broomfield Park and Recreation Standards 39
Projected Parks and Recreation Areas 39
CITIZEN PERCEPTIONS OF OPEN SPACE SYSTEM 40
City-Wide Survey Results 41
Neighborhood Survey Results 46
POLICY AND REGULATION ANALYSIS 47
OPEN SPACE ANALYSIS SUMMARY 48
VI A PROPOSED OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN 51
PURPOSES OF A MASTER PLAN 51
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 51
PROPOSED OPEN SPACE PLAN CONCEPT 52
COMPONENTS OF PROPOSED MASTER PLAN 52
Community and Regional Parks 52
Neighborhood Parks and Playflelds 53
Trail System 54
Aesthetic and Environmental Corridors 55
Circulatory and Productive Areas 56
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES 59
Funding Sources 59
Other Sources 60
Acquisition and Land Control Tools 61
VII SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 63
PROBLEM STATEMENT 63
. OPEN SPACE CONCEPTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 63
NATURAL, MAN-MADE, AND SOCIAL ENVI RONMENTAL SUMMARIES 64
EXISTING OPEN SPACE SYSTEM SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS 65
Physical Analysis 65
Citizen Perceptions 66
Policy and Regulations 67
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN 67
STUDY CONCLUSIONS 68
Broomfield Case Study 68
Other Front Range Communities 69
VIII FOOTNOTES 72
X APPENDICES APPENDIX A: APPENDIX B: APPENDIX C: APPENDIX D: APPENDIX E: APPENDIX F:
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT MAN-MADE ENVIRONMENT SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT POPULATION PROJECTIONS NEIGHBORHOOD OPEN SPACE INVENTORY CITIZEN SURVEY RESULTS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
LOCATION MAP 13
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT SUMMARY 18
MAN-MADE ENVIRONMENT SUMMARY 19
FUTURE OPEN SPACE (1973) 22
EXCLUSIVE BIKE/PEDESTRIAN TRAIL MAP (1973) 22
EXISTING OPEN SPACE SYSTEM 28
SERVICE AREA ANALYSIS 38
CITIZEN SUGGESTED OPEN SPACE AREAS 42
CITIZEN SUGGESTED TRAIL LINKAGES 45
PROPOSED OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN 57
PROPOSED TRAILS PLAN
LIST OF TABLES
Tab 1 e 1: NATIONAL RECREATION AND PARKS ASSOCIATION STANDARDS 10
Table 2: RECREATIONAL FACILITY STANDARDS FOR SELECTED FACILITIES 1 1
Table 3: COMMON PRIVATE OPEN SPACE INCENTIVES 24
Table 4: SUMMARY OF OPEN SPACE WITHIN CITY LIMITS 26
Table 5: SUMMARY OF OPEN SPACE WITHIN STUDY AREA 26
Table 6: SUMMARY OF PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS WITHIN CITY 27
Tab 1 e 7: CITY-WIDE ANALYSIS OF EXISTING DEVELOPED AND FUTURE DEDICATED PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS 33
Table 8: OPEN SPACE COMPARISON OF BROOMFIELD AND SURROUNDING JURISDICTIONS 34
Tab 1 e 9: ANALYSIS OF EXISTING DEVELOPED AND FUTURE DEDICATED COMMUNITY PARK 35
Table 10: SUMMARY OF EXISTING AND FUTURE NEEDED COMMUNITY-WIDE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES (INCLUDING SCHOOLS) 36
Table 11: ANALYSIS OF EXISTING DEVELOPED AND FUTURE DEDICATED NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS 37
Table 12: DEVELOPED PARK AND RECREATION STANDARDS COMPARISON 39
Table 13: PROJECTED PARK AND RECREATION AREAS AT BUILDOUT OF STUDY AREA 40
Table 14: CITIZEN SURVEY RESPONSE SUMMARY OF NEIGHBORHOOD 41
THE OPEN SPACE DILEMMA
The concept of open space Is probably one of the most confusing and ambiguous concepts In the urban and regional planning field. The term Itself has multiple meanings and spawns different attitudes to a diverse group of actors In the community planning process.
To the land speculator, open space Implies a waste of perfectly good developable land, regardless of the physical constraints, and thus a lower return on Investment. To the land developer, to whom the speculator sells, open space Is not the highest and best use of the land and also results In lower profits. Open space Is generally a requirement for the developer In the approval and platting process with the local government and can sometimes be used as a bargaining tool to Increase density, to revise a development concept, etc.
To the decision makers and advisors of the local government, open space Is often regarded as a waste of potential tax dollars, especially from future commercial and industrial developments. Conversely, local government also views open space as a necessity, particularly In residential areas, In the form of "active" recreation areas. Thus open space Is viewed as contributing to the health, safety and welfare of the community at large.
To the environmentalists, open space Is viewed as the highest and best use of the land. After the environmentally sensitive areas are Identified and preserved as open, undeveloped areas, development can occur on the remainder of the property.
To the private citizen open space becomes Important only after the vacant lands of the community begin to undergo the transformation by the developer. The openness he probably moved to the community for originally gradually begins to disappear often to his displeasure. The private resident, however, Is usually not In support of large scale open space acquisition by the local government as he believes his taxes will Increase.
To further compound the Issue, few actors can agree upon a common definition of open space, the amount and type of open space which Is necessary for the community, or where open space should be located within the community. Further, few can agree on how open space should be acquired, developed, and maintained.
Historically, open space was not typically planned as part of the community, but rather was the residual left after the higher and better land uses were
accommodated. Thus, what open areas that did become part of the urban fabric were "left over areas, which functionally often had little use, Integrity, or Importance to the community.
In addition, the need for conscious open space planning was not practical because of the seemingly endless amounts of primarily agrtculatural open areas adjacent to and surrounding most cities and towns In the United States.
This notion of an abundance of open space areas Is rapidly changing. In 1970, It was estimated that approximately one million acres a year of agricultural lands were lost to urban sprawl.(1)* This figure Is probably higher today, and will continue to Increase In the future given existing development trends, particularly In the Rocky Mountain west.
In Colorado, the loss of the once abundant open space Is becoming more apparent each year. Since 1970, Colorado has grown to 2,888,834 people, a 30.7 percent Increase.(2) It Is projected that by the year 2000 an additional 1.5 million people will populate the state, 80 percent of which will locate along the Front Range Urban Corridor.(3) This growth will result In the need for new homes, schools, businesses, etc., thus further reducing the existing openness of the region and overloading the existing open space and recreational amenities.
With these Increasing development pressures on the small towns and communities along the Front Range, It Is becoming more Important for each community to develop a functional open space plan and Implementation program to provide for their future open space needs. It Is the premise of this dissertation that most Front Range communities are not providing open space In adequate amounts and locations to meet the existing and future needs of the community. Further, most communities have not completed a comprehensive study of open space, particularly beyond the limits of the community and have little knowledge of which lands should be retained as future open space.
This study will focus on the open space dilemma confronting most small Front Range communities through a case study of one community. As a result of the research and analysis of this case study, several conclusions and recommendations will be made on open space preservation which can possible be applied to other communities along the Front Range Urban Corridor.
The study was undertaken for several reasons. First, the study will complete the thesis requirement for the Planning/Community Development Masters Program In the College of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado at Denver.
Secondly, the study will hopefully aid the rapidly growing Broomfield community In the Inventory, evaluation and development of an open space plan and Implementation strategy.
All footnotes are numbered and Illustrated by parentheses throughout the text.
A complete listing of all footnotes occur at the end of the report, pages 72 to
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THE NATURE OF OPEN SPACE
OPEN SPACE BY DEFINITION
The open space concept Is defined In many ways throughout the literature. Most simply, open space Is land or water bodies which are open to the sky.(4) In an urban context, open space Is land which Is not used for buildings or structures. It Is also considered the "non-development of I and.(5)
These simplistic definitions, however, do not adequately or fully describe the complexity of the concept. They do not distinguish between land which Is merely vacant or undeveloped and still vulnerable to future development pressures, from land which has some "non-development" functional use with some lasting quality or permanence.
The true definition of the open space concept must therefore take Into consideration the following Important points:
open space must have some "non-development" land use function or functions;
open space must have some lasting quality or legal permanence.
In addition, open space Is often considered as an Interconnected and continuous network or system within the overall urban framework. This aspect Is not a definitional requirement but Is often an Identifying characteristic.
The following describes In greater detail the requirements and nature of the open space concept.
Functions of Paso.-Saacs
Open space, like other land uses, can be described by Its primary function Unfortunately, few open space authors are In total agreement on exactly what these functions are. Rutherford H. Platt In his The Open Space Decision Process reviews the numerous suggested open space functions and summarizes them Into five fundamental categories. These categories, which are briefly defined below, will be used throughout the remainder of this study to define open space:
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The recreation function Is probably the most thought of open space function and the easiest to quantify. In general, the recreation function Includes active play areas, such as playflelds, playgrounds, golf courses, picnic areas, hiking trails, etc. Most communities recognize this open space function and provide a range of public recreational amenities.
The environmental function is generally the next most thought of open space function. Generally included in this function are steep slopes, geologic hazard areas, flood plains, poor soils, environmentally sensitive areas, etc. Many of the high hazard areas or difficult construction areas are not disturbed due to high construction costs, but other less obvious hazard areas such as high water areas must be controlled by local or state laws.
The aesthetic function is probably the most controversial of the open space functions. It includes primarily visually sensitive areas of the landscape and is subject to the perception of the viewers. Some communities try to control the highly visual sensitive areas while others completely ignore them.
The circulation function is often not considered as an open space function, when in reality it is one of the first land uses set aside and not developed with structures. This function is primarily composed of linear corridors or highway rights of way of which only a portion are used for transporting people and goods. The remaining unused areas, usually edges, are left open and undeveloped. These areas can sometimes be quite large, especially with modern interstate highway system with the large "clover leaf" intersections. Other elements of the circulation function include railroad rights of way, airports, canal systems, etc.
The last function Includes primarily productive agricultural lands. This function Is seldom viewed as an open space function in the United States where large quantities of prime agricultural lands still remain. In other countries where agricultural lands are scarce, like Holland or Japan, the productive open space function Is considered in open space planning.
In the western United States, where most agricultural lands must be supported by water and irrigation networks, the productive open space function should take on a new meaning by Including the reservoirs and irrigation ditches and easements as productive open space functions.(6)
Not included as a separate function in the above open space functions Is the concept of urban shaping and form making. This Is a controversial topic and
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subject to a wide variety of Interpretation.
Pratt contends that urban shaping Is not an open space function of Itself.
Rather, urban form Is achieved only as a result of an aggregate pattern of developed and undeveloped spaces which are retained for more specific functional purposes, l.e. housing, business, recreation and circulation uses. If an open, undeveloped parcel Is to be used to only separate urban development, then every open parcel could be considered as contributing to the development of urban form and thus would be functional. Pratt cites an old cliche which clarifies the concept. "Form follows function; It Is not a function Itself."(7) (emphasis added)
For the purposes of this study, the urban shaping concept will not be considered as a separate open space function, but rather the end result of the other previously cited open space functions.
Multiple Use Aspect of Open Space
Open space has a unique aspect In that more than one function or use can occur on a parcel at the same time. This multiple use Is possible because of the "non development" nature of the above open space functions.
This Is a widely utilized technique. Parks (recreational function) can be located In low flood prone areas (environmental function) and serve as visual buffers (aesthetic function) between development areas with little functional confI let.
Permanency Aspect and Methods of Preserving of Open Space
For land to be considered as open space (particularly In this study), It must have some legal permanence which will protect It from future development. This Is an Important consideration and often overlooked by the general public and governmental jurisdictions. Land which Is not protected from development and reserved will ultimately succumb to the pressures (economic) of development, especially within the private sector.
The burden of preserving open space within the urbanized areas must be accepted by the local governmental Jurisdiction. Much has been written in recent years with the Increased tnterest In open space on the new legislation, programs, techniques and Incentives which have been developed to assist the local government In acquisition and control of open space. Essentially these open space acquisition and control tools can be divided Into three main categories: acquisition, regulation and taxation.(8)
A variety of governmental acquisition methods have been utilized and upheld legally for public acquisition of full or partial rights to land as long as It Is In the public's Interest. Public acquisition methods Include (partial listing): fee simple purchase, eminent domain, partial purchase with options, lease or sale arrangement, acquisition of rights, conservation easements, etc. The biggest drawback to using these methods Is the Identification of
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suitable funding sources.(9)
Local government has long been utilizing regulatory means to provide for local open areas. The land use regulatory tools most often used are zoning regulations, Including large lot zoning, cluster or density zoning, and natural resource zoning; subdivision controls, Including detailed requirements which determine the amount, location and type of land which must be dedicated for public open space; and an official map which delineate those areas Intended for future public acquisition (questionable legalIty).(10)
Taxation methods have also been utilized In preserving the existing open character of an area by providing tax Incentives Including tax exemption, preferential assessments, deferral and differential tax rates.(11)
Open Space As a System
Because of the linear nature of many of the open space functions (drainages, floodways, rights of way, trails, etc.), open space Is often viewed as a network or system. This Is an Important aspect In open space planning since open space can be considered as a "structural framework" around which other functional community land uses are developed. An Inadequately planned or poorly located open space system can result In an Imbalance between the development and "non-development" activities of the community. (12)
In addition, emphasis on the continuity and an Inter-connected open space system will greatly enhance non-vehIcular and pedestrian circulation throughout the community and aid In the overall success of the urban network for the users.
OPEN SPACE PLANNING PRINCIPLES
Planning for open spaces within the urbanized area Is becoming an Increasingly important aspect In the community planning field. To properly plan and consider open space within and around the community, several basic principles of concepts should be followed. Many of these principles may seem simplistic In nature, but all are Important to the successful development of a balanced and workable open space system for the community.
The following briefly outlines and describes these open space planning principles. They were derived from many literature sources and In many cases combine the thoughts of several authors Into one or more principles. (For a complete listing of these literature sources, refer to the Bibliography, especially Buechner, ed., Goodman, ed., McHarg, Platt, and Ward and Zlsman.)
Functional Land Use
Up until recent years, open space was not commonly thought of as a valuable and functional land use within the community. It was often considered last In the planning process after the highest and best land uses were accommodated, such as
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residential, commercial. Industrial, etc. As a result, open space was a "second class" land use with little recognized value of Its own.
This approach is no longer valid given the new importance attached to open space by society. Open space must be considered as an important and functional land use with utility of its own and on the same par with other land uses. Seme advocate the planning of the open space network first along with the transportation network, to provide a skeletal framework for the other land uses and to .Insure the continuity of the open space system throughout the community.( 13)
Integrated Land Use
Related to the above principle, open space should be integrated throughout the community with the other land uses. The most common and practical way to Integrate open space with the other land uses is through the comprehensive planning process. This Is an official document or policy used to guide all aspects of the physical growth and development of a community over time.(14)
Open space planning should be undertaken with the full knowledge of the community and its surrounding region. This Includes a complete understanding of the natural, man-made and social environments.
The natural environment is the native or natural physical conditions which man has little control over. These conditions Include topography, geology, mineral resources, soils, slope, shydrology, climate, vegetation, wildlife, etc. The visual resources of the region are often considered with the natural environment.
The man-made environment involves all of those elements, past, present, and future, which man has considerable influence over. These include historically significant areas, network configurations, land use and zoning patterns, existing community-wide plans, future growth trends, legal constraints, etc.
The social environment involves the understanding of the existing and future residents of the community. This includes an estimate of the existing and future population and housing counts, household size, age distribution, education levels, occupation and employment opportunities. Income levels, etc.
An understanding of regional environment In the above terms begin to identify the physical opportunities and constraints of the natural and manmade environments and the citizen or user characteristics, perceptions, want and needs on the open space network.(15)
Cooperation and Coordination
Key to the success of the development of an open space system Is the cooperation and coordination with other governmental entities at the local, state and federal levels. Open sp^ce networks are often mu Itl-jurisdletIona I and cross man-determined boundaries from one governmental jurisdiction to another. It is, therefore, essential that a good working relationship be established and
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maintained with other jurisdictions to effectively develop and preserve open space facilities within and around the community.(16)
The open space system must be planned for the ultimate population within a given service area. Advanced planning and projections for the ultimate community size as previously mentioned (comprehensive planning process) will result In a better understanding of what the future open space requirements will be at some specified point In time. This understanding will allow communities to acquire or reserve key open space parcels prior to the development of the surrounding properties, thus possibly saving community resources and funds.(17)
Related to the above ultimate size, the open space system must be properly distributed and located throughout the existing and ultimate community to Insure equal opportunity and accessibility to the users. This Is obviously needed for the more active recreational areas, but should also Include the passive areas as we I I.(18)
Finally, citizen Input and Involvement Is essential throughout the open space planning process. Not only can more accurate Information be obtained on the wants and needs of the open space users, but valuable citizen support and understanding can be gained for use during the Implementation phases of the process.(19)
OPEN SPACE STANDARDS
With the exception of the recreation function, little has been written concerning the recommended or Ideal amounts of open space for communltes. Ebenezer Howard, the 19th century utopian, recommended in his description of Garden City that approximately 5000 acres of perpetual "green belt" would be needed to support a population of 30,000 and a city of approximately 1000 acres In size. Howard envisioned the greenbelt would not only serve as an open space buffer between communities, but also would serve as a productive agricultural zone for the community.
Howard's recommended 5 to 1 open space ratio was never Implemented, probably because of the economic and political realities of land assemblage. Further, his concept of productive utilization of the "green belt" for the support of the 30,000 residents Is very unrealistic given today's agricultural specialization. The Garden City concept, however, was promoted widely In modified forms (most notably In England with the construction of Letchworth and Welwyn) and Is considered by many as a major contribution In the promotion of open space In the city building process. (20)
Over the years, traditional physical standards have been developed In an effort
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to quantify and compare the parks and recreational areas from one locale to another. These standards are generally expressed as "minimum" standards in terms of location (service area radius), size (acres), and use (type of recreation).
There are essentially three recognized approaches to open space and recreational standards:
User characteristics or demand projections based on determined population needs. This Is the newest of the recreational standard methods and relies on collected user data such as demographics, demand analysis, citizen participation techniques, etc. The process Is both time consuming and expensive to conduct, however, Information generated Is very useful In open space planning, especially to existing communities. This is an unrealistic method for small communities with little population or money.(22)
Area percentage method which expresses the amount of park, recreation and open space land uses as a percent of the total area of the community or jurisdiction. This method Is often used as a tool In the planning of new communities and provides a quick check of open space compared to other plan components. It, however, Is non-specific as to what recreational facilities should be Included. A commonly accepted standard Is 10 percent of the total city area devoted to public recreation and open space.(23)
Total park and recreation space based on population ratio, generally expressed In acres per 1000 people. This Is probably the most widely accepted standard In use today since It generally describes and quantifies many recreational activities found in most communities. This approach will be used throughout the remainder of this study and Is described In detail In the following section.(24)
National Park and Recreation Association Standards
The National Park and Recreation Association and Its predecessors first developed population ratio type standards In the early 1900s to assist local governments In providing adequate recreational facHites. Over the years this organization has been a leader In expanding these park and recreation standards based upon extensive research throughout the country.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) recommends that a total of 90 acres per 1000 population of park and recreational acres should be provided by state and local governments. Local government should provide 5 acres (Neighborhood and District Recreation Parks) near the users and 20 acres (Large Urban and Large Extraurban Parks) within an hours travel. Ten acres of the above 25 acres should be located within or Immediately adjacent to the city.
State government should provide the remaining 65 acres.(25) Table 1 further Illustrates the NRPA standards.
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NATIONAL RECREATION AND PARK ASSOCIATION STANDARDS
Neighborhood Recreation Parks District Recreation Parks Large Urban Parks Large Extraurban Parks State Parks
TOTAL RECREATION AREA PROVIDED BY STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
Source: National Recreation and Park Association, Washington, D.C.
The NRPA standards suggest a minimum of 10 acres of park and recreation area within or adjacent to the city per 1000 population. This recommended acreage Is divided Into three park types with the following characteristics:
Neighborhood parks require 2.5 acres per 1000 population and range In size from 5 to 20 acres. They should be easily accessible from the surrounding neighborhood with a service area of approximately one half mile. For maximum efficiency the neighborhood park should be combined with the neighborhood elementary school. Facilities should Include active playground areas for children and open "green spaces for walking, running, relaxing, etc. If possible, playflelds can be Incorporated for more active organized fleldgames. The playfleld service area, however, Is 1 1/2 miles.
District Recreation or Community Parks
These parks should serve several neighborhoods within 1 1/2 miles with Indoor and outdoor active recreational activities as well as more passive open space functions. Approximately 2.5 acres per 1000 population In parcels ranging In size from 40 to 100 acres Is required. If possible, these parks can be combined with a junior or senior high school to more effectively share the recreational facilities.
Large Urban or Regional Parks
Large urban or regional parks require 5 acres per 1000 population, half of the recommended 10 acre standard. They should be at least 100 acres In size and serve an area within an hour travel time. Facilities and activities that should be provided Include fishing, boating, camping, nature study, picnic areas, hiking trails and possibly zoos.
fl-ther Specific Recreational Standards
Other physical per capita standards are available from a variety of sources for specific recreational facilities or Improvements to parks and recreation areas. Although the primary emphasis of this study Is the overall open space network and not a recreation study, It Is Important to evaluate and understand the adequacy or Inadequacy of the major recreational facilities of the open space system. Table 2 briefly outlines many of the accepted recreational facility standards and the source agencies.
RECREATIONAL FACILITY STANDARDS FOR SELECTED FACILITIES
Fad I Ity Standard Per Capita
Pedestrian 25 miles 50,000
Bicycle 25 miles 50,000
Horse 5 miles 50,000
Softball diamonds 1 3,000
Tennis Courts 1 2,000
BasketbalI Courts 1 500
Swimming Pool 1 20,000
Outdoor Theaters 1 20,000
Golf Courses 1 25,000
Community Centers 1 25,000
*U.S.D.I., Bureau of Outdoor Recreation #*Natlonal Recreation and Park Association
Criticism of Standards
The traditional physical recreation and open space standards have been criticized for being:
Inflexible and Inapplicable for use In communities with vastly different social, economic, or physical characteristics.
Inequitable (percentage of area or service area standards) for use with communities of varying populations and densities, t.e., suburbs versus Inter-cities.
Unresponsive to citizen wants and needs (population ratio method and area percentage method), thus possibly contributing to the lack of public supported plans and Implementation funding.
Ineffective In measuring the quality of the recreational experience by the
Likewise, the above-cited user characteristics or demand projections method Is often impractical for use In many communities without experienced staff and/or planning budgets to conduct and evaluate the necessary research studies. It seems appropriate that the use of a variety of recreation and open space standards and modified public research and Inventory techniques should be utilized to develop meaningful community standards for the evaluation and planning of existing and future open space facilities. Thus, In effect, each community should develop and tailor recreation and open space standards which are best suited to their social, cultural, economic and physical conditions.
CASE STUDY BACKGROUND
The Cl+y of Broomfield, Colorado Is located within the Colorado Front Range Urban Corridor, more specifically In the northwest quadrant of the Denver metropolitan area, In portions of Adams, Boulder and Jefferson Counties as Illustrated on the following location map. The city began In the late 1950's as a "new planned community" adjacent to a small farming community by the same name In the southeast corner of Boulder County. The original plan for the Turnpike Land Company Included approximately 960 acres and was located at the only Interchange and toll booth on the Denver-BouIder Turnpike (U.S. 36) and Wadsworth Bypass
(Colorado 121). The plan was prepared by Harmon O'Donnell and Hennlnger Associates, Inc., a Denver planning consulting firm, and Included such features as a central open space system, church and school sites, a commercial and business core, and a modified grid street system which was more responsive to the rolling terrain of the area.
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Originally, the new development, Broomfield Heights, was advertised as a "bedroom community" with good proximity and access to the employment centers In the Denver and Boulder areas. Growth was slow through the late 1950's and 1960's. The city was Incorporated In 1964 and recorded a population of 7261 people in the 1970 census.
The city experienced tremendous population growth pressure In the early 1970's through numerous annexation requests. This phenomenon was typical to most suburban communities In the northern Denver metropolitan area. Arvada, Broomfield, Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster were a I I jockeying for control of surrounding agricultural lands and were encouraging urban development, particularly industrial development. Broomfield was less aggressive than its neighbor Westminster, but nevertheless almost quadrupled in area by 1974.
Today (1981), the city contains approximately 8 1/2 square miles and has an estimated population of approximately 23,000 people with an approximate density of 4.2 people per acre.
BROOMFIELD AS A CASE STUDY
The City of Broomfield was chosen for an open space study for several reasons:
The city is a small community located on the fringe of a rapidly expanding metropolitan area.
There are still large amounts of undeveloped and uncommitted open areas both within and adjacent to the city.
An open space network was first established in the city, but only continued in a piecemeal fashion as the urban area expanded, especially Into the surrounding counties leaving several breaks or gaps In the system once the developed areas were annexed.
The city Is entering into another growth cycle, especially In commercial and industrial develoment, which will In turn create future residential development pressures.
Several other nearby jurisdictions have recently completed or are completing open space and outdoor recreation studies and/or acquisitions.
Finally, the city Is just starting the process of revising its Comprehensive Plan and will need to consider open space and other related community-wide Issues.
A study area of approximately 25 square miles was established around the existing city limits through discussion with the city staff and a preliminary reconnaissance of the region. The area is bounded by the Westminster city limits to the east and south, Indiana Street and the U.S. Department of Energy's Rocky Flats Plant to the west, and the Louisville city limits and Dillon Road (West 144th Avenue) to the north.
The study area Includes portions of Adams, Boulder and Jefferson counties as well as the Jefferson County Airport, the Great Western Reservoir (a Broomfield water supply) and a portion of the Rock Creek and Big Dry Creek drainages. The area Is somewhat larger than the 1973 Broomfield Comprehensive Plan area and the Denver Regional Council of Governments DRCOG) designated Urban Service Area boundary for the City of Broomfield.
In short, the study area was established to include all those areas outside of the incorporation area, which were not claimed by other local jurisdictions, where the City of Broomfield is likely to or will want to have Influence on the development or lack of development of the land. The establishment of this study area, however, does not endorse or suggest that the City of Broomfield will expand Into any of these areas.
RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS OF STUDY AREA
To study the existing and future open space system within the Broomfield community, a complete understanding of the natural, man-made, and social environment within the study area is necessary. Research and analysis was completed on these environments as part of this study, the findings of which are summarized below. Complete data and information on each is contained within the Appendix.
Matural Environment. Summary
The natural environment of the study area offers a varying degree of development constraints and opportunities for future urban growth of the city. These development constraints and opportunities are illustrated in the three degrees of bulldabllity on the following map.
Severe or hazardous environmental constraints include potential or suspected subsidence areas as a result of earlier subsurface mining activity, steep slopes over 25 percent, and 100 year flood zones. All urban development should be avoided in these areas which generally occur in the westerly half of the study area.
Environmental management areas within the study area represent less hazardous or sensitive development zones where urban development should be limited or special management techniques utilized to mitigate environmental impacts. These areas Include known agregate deposits, suspected wildlife hunting habitat, agricultural lands, shrink-swell soil areas, and visually sensitive areas.
Development opportunity areas are those areas with no limiting development hazards or constraints. Most of the central and easterly portions of the study area can be considered in this zone.
Those areas with severe environmental constraints should be considered as open space areas and include both passive and active open space functions. Environmental management and development opportunity areas will require special open space designations before or during the development process if open space is to be retained In these areas.
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Man-made Environment Summary
The study area contains several historic sites of local Importance Including the old Broomfield townslte, Lakevlew Cemetary, remnants of Adolph Zang's Elmwood Stock Farm, and evidence of the past coal mining operations. The study area was bisected by the Cherokee Trail or the Overland Mall and Stage Route and several railroad routes which have regional or national historic significance, but little or no physical evidence remains. No known archaeloglcal sites or sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places are within the study area.
Broomfield Is served by several regional transportation networks Including automobile, rail and air. Particularly important to this study are the high number of vehicle trips which pass through the city dally on U.S. 36 (31,000 vehicles per day in 1978). Those undeveloped and visually sensitive areas along the U.S. 36 right of way play an Important role In the visual separation from the adjacent communities and the identity of the City of Broomfield to both the residents and the passing visitor.
Important too are the location and size of the transportation network configurations, much of which can be classified as open space. The airport contributes much to the openness of the study area. An Airport Influence Area is identified around the airport within which noise sensitive and incompatible land uses, primarily residential areas, should be restricted.
A limited number of bicycle and pedestrian trails exist within the study area. Boulder and Jefferson Counties and the state have proposed trail corridors within the study area as well as adjacent Jurisdictions which have existing and proposed trail corridors adjacent to the study area.
Future growth trends Indicate that commercial and industrial growth will primarily occur in a westerly direction In the city around the Jefferson County Airport and residential and support commercial will occur In a easterly and northeasterly direction from the existing urban area.
Social Environment Summary
The Broomfield area has experienced tremendous growth (185.5$) since 1970 like other northern suburbs of Denver. This growth Is the result of the attractiveness of the region and availability of good paying jobs which have been generated by several new and large industries relocating In the area.
In 1980, the city recorded a population of 20,730, with 7,233 housing units. As of January 1981 the city staff estimated this population figure Increased to approximately 22,289 people. Approximately 34,198 people can be expected if all of the existing platted lots are developed within the city and upwards to 56,000 people can be projected within the study area assuming 100 percent buildout (Appendix D).
Using the 1970 census Information with updated Information where possible, the following conclusion about the social environment can be made.
The present population of the city Is well educated and predominantly white, with
a median age of approximately 32 years old; a large portion of the population, however. Is 45 to 55 years old. The average household size Is probably slightly over 3 people per household.
Over half of the population Is part of the regional work force which Is made up of an Increased percentage of women and people who work In "blue collar" jobs. "White collar" jobs are probably still the majority of the occupations. Most people still commute outside of the city to work, but a much larger portion of the work force now works within or near to the city. The median family Income Is probably very high compared to other regional cities.
With these changes and characteristics of the social environment, there is probably a need to continue the development of parks and recreation areas at the same rate and population ratio as in the past. There should be an added emphasis of family oriented facilities, facilities for the Increasing older population as well as the traditional school recreational facilities. With the increase of city and regional jobs, more emphasis should be given to interconnecting pedestrian trails for alternative non-vehIcular circulation throughout the city.
EXISTING OPEN SPACE SYSTEM
BRIEF HISTORY OF OPEN SPACE WITHIN THE CITY
Open space has always been recognized as an Important amenity in the City of Broomfield. The original plan in 1955 for the city delineated a central open space spine along a natural drainage channel and two school/park parcels as part of a community-wide open space system.
As the city developed through the 1960's and 1970's, open space preservation continued primarily in the form of dedicated "active" park and school sites or semi-private open space areas. Unfortunately, little emphasis was placed on IlnKlng these open space parcels Into the contiguous system or network previously stated. In addition, little effort was made to retain open space corridors along the drainage ways and Irrigation ditches; thus the city has lost many potential trail corridor opportunities through several neighborhoods.
Development In more recent years has seen more of an emphasis on the development of open space systems and the dedication of "passive" or unbuildable areas for open space. Unfortunately, these areas are at the extreme ends of the city and thus are not linked to the more central recreational facilities (Community Park) of the open space network.
PRESENT OPEN SPACE POLICIES
Open space today remains a priority with the city. Several key policies and regulations are used to preserve and promote open space within the new developments of the city.
The 1973 Broomfield Comprehensive Plan establishes the open space concept under the general goals of environment and public facilities:
ENVIRONMENT: "Maintain and develop a quality environment, aesthetically pleasing with an abundance of open spacÂ£....&p.aceu" (emphasis added)
PUBLIC FACILITIES: "Adequate public facMites will be provided to meet citizen desires for service, safety, recreation, education, transportation and culture.
The character and appearance of these facilities
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will enhance the aesthetic qualities of Broomfield."
(28) (emphasis added)
Further, the 1973 Comprehensive Plan establishes the following more specific open space objectives:
"1. To enhance the community by providing significant quantities of open space throughout for permanent use and benfit by citizens of Broomfield...
2. To use the open space for multiple purposes...
3. To use open space a a means to limit land crowding..." (29)
A conceptual open space plan In the 1973 Comprehensive Plan entitled Future Open Space delineates an existing and proposed open space and parks network for the 15 square mile comprehensive plan area. This network Is primarily located along the existing drainage ways and around the several larger reservoirs as Identified In the comprehensive drainage plan creating a linear open space and park system.
Two community park sites are designated along with numerous neighborhood park sites and elementary, junior high, and senior high school locations. A recommended open space/recreation standard based upon the national recreational need standard of 10 acres per 1000 population is suggested.
In addition to the conceptual open space plan, an Exclusive BIke/Pedestrian Trail Map Is Included which Identifies major and minor route corridors. These corridors roughly correspond to the linear open space networks of the open space system as the following reproductions of the maps Illustrate.
PRESENT OPEN SPACE REGULATIONS
All of the zoning districts with the exception of 1-1 limited Industrial and I-2 general Industrial allow for open space related (schools) or public or private non-commercial recreation areas or facilities. Commercial recreation areas or facilities are only permitted In the B-1 limited business and B-2 limited business districts.
Only the R-3 medium-density residential and R-5 high-density residential districts have an open space requirement. A minimum of 40 percent of the site is required to be developed and maintained as private open space and recreational use for the residents of the project.
Most open space and recreational areas, however, are preserved through the PUD ordinance, since most vacant land within the city Is presently zoned PUD or R-PUD or since most developers of land not having a PUD zoning classification generally choose to process through the more flexible PUD ordinance. This ordinance, Article 20 Planned Unit Development, Section 6, establishes several standards for open space within the PUD development:
Piibllc. ils.e. Land
Public use land Is defined as land which is "...provided, dedicated, and deeded to the city" and "...used for public recreation and open space purposes, for the location of public facilities and for those public uses as authorized by the city counc11."(30)
A formula based on density Is used to determine the required percent of the development site to be dedicated as public use land:
Gross Density x 2 + 5 = % of public use land required
Thus, a proposed development with a gross density of 10 units per acre would be required to dedicate as public use lands 25 percent of the total development site (10 x 2 + 5 = 25 or 25*).
The ordinance further limits to 50 percent the amount of all dedicated detention ponds, required and dedicated drainage channeIs, or dedicated school site (not to exceed 5 acres) and 25 percent for all dedicated water surface areas. In lieu of dedication of land, the ordinance allows the city council the option of accepting a cash payment or dedication of an alternate land parcel or combination of both.
Common Private Open .Space
Common private open space Is open space which Is "...shared jointly with all PUD residents and ...used for recreation or visual open space relief..." and not available for use by the general public (not dedicated); and private open space which Is "...outdoor space deeded to an Individual resident of the PUD ...for recreation space, visual relief, or for similar purposes by the owner of said space." (31)
A minimum of 40 percent of the total development site Is required as common
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private open space of which 25 percent Is required In common open space and 15 percent is required In private open space. With developments of single family detached homes with minimum lot sizes of 7000 square feet, the 25 percent common open space requirement Is waived.
Common Private Open Space Incentives
To encourage the development of common private open space, Incentives are awarded to the developer if certain recreational facilities are built, reducing the open space area requirements. Thus, for each square foot of built recreational facility the common open space requirement Is reduced by a corresponding amount. Table 3 summarizes these Incentives:
COMMON PRIVATE OPEN SPACE INCENTIVES
Facility Open Space
Recreation building 1 Swimming Pool (enclosed) 1 Swimming Pool (open) 1 Tennis Court 1 Putting Greens 1 Tot lot or other Play Equipment 1
Source: City of Broomfield Zoning Ordinance No. 149, as amended.
Mobile Home Communities
Article 21 of the Zoning Ordinance establishes development standards for mobile home communities. It specifies that 15 percent of dedicated park space or equal cash in lieu of land Is required, plus an additional 30 percent Is required In common private open space as defined In Article 20.
The Zoning Ordinance further requires in Article 20, Section 6 that the minimum width of all drainage channels as defined In the 1973 Comprehensive Utility Plan be dedicated to the city. In addition. Article 30 Flood Plains further defines the flood plains within the city and provides regulations for the control of their use and occupation.
INVENTORY OF OPEN SPACE SYSTEM
An Inventory of a I I public and semi-public open space lands was completed by neighborhood for the entire city with the help of the city staff. The same neighborhood divisions were used as had previously been Identified In estimating the present and future population for the study area. In addition, other open
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space lands were Inventoried outside of the city limits but within the study area and Included In the final summary.
To simplify such a potentially complex Inventory process, the following assumptions and methods were used:
1. All open space lands were divided according to function Into three open space categories: recreational, circulatory and productive open space. The recreation, environmental and aesthetic open space functions were combined under the recreational category since these are often overlapping functions.
2. Only land with legal permanence, either public or semi-public ownership, was Included In the Inventory.
3. Schools were Included within the recreational category since they are generally large acreages of open land adjacent to other dedicated open spaces, and provide many of the "active recreational facilities for the community. For analysis purposes, schools and semi-public open space acreages were Inventories separately from dedicated public open space under the recreational category.
4. The total right of way Including the road surface of only major state and federal highways were Included In circulatory open space Inventory and not other arterial, collector and local streets.
5. Acreages figures were taken from recorded plats where possible with estimates made only where necessary.
The following summarizes the findings of the existing open space system. A complete Inventory by neighborhood for the city Is contained In Appendix E.
Summary oi Existln& Open Space System
The open space system within the city contains a total of 808.13 acres of recreational open space areas: 426.23 acres public; 259.50 acres semi-public; and 121.70 acres schools; 168.70 acres of circulatory open space areas; and 17.40 acres of productive open space areas. The combined total of open space areas within the city as defined by this study Is 994.23 acres. Table 4 summarizes these findings.
The total amount of open space within the study area, Including areas both within and outside the city limits Is 4,519.03 acres. This Includes 808.13 acres of dedicated recreational open space, 2414.40 acres of circulatory open space, and 1296.5 acres of productive open space. Table 5 summarizes these findings.
Thus, approximately 28 percent of the 25 square mile study area can be classified as having some "non-development" land use function with some lasting quality or legal permanence.
Approximately 19.4 percent of the area within the city limits can be classified as open space, based upon the definition In this study. Only 3.8 percent of the city, however, can be classified as dedicated parks and recreation areas, of
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which 2.3 percent of the city are developed areas and 1.5 percent of the city are undeveloped areas. Table 6 summarizes the dedicated park and recreation areas within the city.
SUMMARY OF OPEN SPACE WITHIN CITY LIMITS
Semi- Circu- Pro-
Neighborhood Public Public Schools lator.y duct lye TotaIs
Brandywine 19.30 2.90 5.00 9.10 0 36.30
Community Park 94.69 0 0 9.10 0 103.79
Country Club 12.70 168.00 10.40 0 3.70 194.80
Country Estates 21.22 0 8.00 0 4.10 33.32
Greenway Park 0 45.00 0 9.10 0 54.10
Lac Amora 142.07 0 9.20 4.10 0 155.37
Midway North 22.75 0 41 .80 5.80 0.60 70.95
Midway South 22.50 0 13.80 27.50 0 63.80
Miramonte 70.70 16.80 13.30 0 4.50 105.30
Westlake 15.00 26.80 20.20 0 0 62.00
Indust. Center** 6.00 0 0 97.00 4.50 107.50
Airport** Q a 7.QQ _a 7.00
TOTALS 426.93 259.50 808.13 121.70 168.70 17.40 994.23
Includes recreational, environmental and aesthetic open space functions. Does not Include areas outside of the city limits.
SUMMARY OF OPEN SPACE WITHIN STUDY AREA
Semi- Circu- Pro-
Area Public Pub I ic Schools lator.y dilative Totals
Within city 426.93 259.5 121.70 168.70 17.40 994.23
Outside of city a a Q 2245jJQ 1ZZ.9j.IQ 3524.80
TOTALS 426.93 259.50 808.13 121.70 2414.40 1296.50 4519.03
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SUMMARY OF PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS WITHIN CITY
Fact 1ity Developed Ded icated But Undeveloped Total DMlc.at.ed
Brandywine Park 11.60 0 11.60
Brandywine future park 0 7.70 7.70
Community Park 35.00 18.00 53.00
Future Highland park 0 30.00 30.00
Birch Park 0 3.20 3.20
Northmoor Park 4.50 0 4.50
Country Estates future park 0 10.00 10.00
Zangs Spur Park 6.00 5.30 11.30
N. Midway Park 14.50 0 14.50
Blue Star Mem. Park 0.75 0 0.75
Lakevlew Mem. Park 2.25 0 2.25
Kohl Park 5.00 0 5.00
S. Midway Park 15.50 0 15.50
Emerald Park 7.00 0 7.00
MIramonte Park 4.50 0 4.50
Cottonwood Park 2.80 0 2.80
W11 low Park 2.50 0 2.50
Spruce Park 3.40 0 3.40
Westlake Park 2.00 0 2.00
Westlake VIIlage Park tt -A^Q
TOTALS 117.30 78.50 195.80
Summary of Regional Parks and Recreation Areas
In addition to the above existing neighborhood parks and recreation areas within the study area, there are many other recreational areas of a regional nature which are within an hour travel time from the city. These areas provide a variety of recreational and open space experiences to the residents. Included are: Rocky Mountain National Park, Barr Lake State Park, Golden Gate State Park, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Lory State Park, Roxborough State Park, Barbour Ponds State Recreation Area, Boyd Lake State Recreation Area, Castlewood Canyon State Recreation Area, Chatfield State Recreation Area, and Cherry Creek State Recreation Area. Other areas Include numerous facilities within the nearby portions of the Roosevelt and Pike National Forests, Denver and Boulder mountain parks, and parks within the Jefferson County Open Space system.
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REVIEW OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL JURISDICTIONS
An important aspect of the Broomfield Open Space Study is to not only understand the open space issue and potential within the study area, but to also understand the existing and proposed open space networks of the surrounding communities and local county governments. This Is Important so that the Broomfield open space network can be planned In a coordinated fashion for a more efficient regional system. The following briefly summarizes the existing open space policies, plans and programs of these Jurisdictions.
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is presently completing a master plan for the parks, recreation and open space facilities within the city. A draft of the report dated May 1981 outlines In detail a complete system of parks, open spaces and recreation facilities which Is consistent with the city's growth management program.
The city was divided Into 33 geographic neighborhoods, each of which were analyzed to determine needed park and recreation facilities. Community wide open space and trail needs were assessed by larger planning areas or sub-communities made up of several geographic neighborhoods.
The Westminster plan is Important to Broomfield In that a central environmental corridor Is proposed along Big Dry Creek from Stanley Lake Including Walnut Creek due east from the Great Western Reservoir. This environmental corridor Is roughly parallel to the southern limit of the study area and will help to delineate and separate the two communities If implemented by the City of Westminster. In addition, several city parks with an Interconnecting trail system are proposed In this corridor. Future open space acquisition and trail development within the Broomfield study area should be coordinated with the adopted Westminster open space pi an.(32)
City of Louisville
The City of Louisville developed a Park and Open Space Master Plan in September 1976. The plan designates open space along the Rock Creek drainage between the two cities. A trail system Is also proposed along Rock Creek, the railroad right of way, and along an Irrigation ditch west of Stearns Lake which connects to a city-wide trail network.
The Louisville plan Is also Important to the city since It recognizes the importance of and designates much of the Rock Creek drainage as open space. The city staff should monitor and coordinate future open space acquisition and trail development within the study area with the City of Louisville so that the two systems will properly I Ink.(33)
Adams County presently does not have an open space or parks plan. An Inventory of the existing open space and recreation areas was completed In November of 1979 and an outline of a plan prepared. However, due to staff changes and budget
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I Imitations, a plan was never formulated.
According to an Adams County staff planner, the northwest corner of the county Is not a high priority area for the development of open space and recreational trails. The priority areas are further south and east with trails along Clear Creek, the South Platte River and the O'Brian Ditch. The county endorses the proposed State Trail Corridor along the Big Dry Creek, but is not prepared to develop a trail in this area. Finally, the county does not own or control any open space lands within the Broomfield Study Area.(34)
Since the early 1960's, Boulder County has been actively involved in discussions of open space planning. The Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (adopted March 22, 1978 and as amended through July 23, 1980) establishes a county open space plan and recounts the lengthy history of the evolution of the plan.
The plan delineates an open space zone In the southeast corner of the county and within the study area, roughly northeast of the city limits along the Rock Creek drainage and steep side slopes of the ridge. This zone Is described as the LoulsviIle/Lafayette/Broomfleld buffer and the south county line buffer. Trail corridors are proposed roughly parallel to the Denver-Boulder Turnpike to the northwest and Rock Creek to the west from the study area.(35)
The Rock Creek Farm was recently acquired within the designated open space area. This open space acquisition by Boulder County Includes approximately 890 acres of floodplain and hillside land within the Rock Creek drainage from roughly the Denver-Boulder Turnpike to U.S. 287. Two of the three options have been completed with the last option expected to be completed in 1982.(36)
This open space acquisition is very important to the city in that it insures that the largest and most visible portion of the Rock Creek valley will remain as open space, between the Louisville and Broomfield communities. Further, the farm has the potential of being developed into a regional park or recreational area, which would help to augment the existing and future city park and recreational facilities and would provide an adjacent regional park facility.
The city staff should monitor and encourage the development of the Rock Creek Farm. Future city park and recreational Improvements should be coordinated with and reinforce this Important county open space parcel.
Jefferson County has had an active open space program since 1972 whor voters approved a one-half percent sales tax on all retail sales. This money was to be used exclusively for planning, development of access, acquisition, maintenance and preservation of open space. An Open Space Plan and Trails Master Plan were developed for and approved by the Board of County Commissioners which Identified the open space goals and objectives of the county and the key open space parcels and trail linkages to be acquired and developed. An Open Space Fund was established to distribute the collected tax revenues for both incorporated and unincorporated open space acquisitions based on a predetermined sharing system.
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In November of 1980, the voters approved the use of the open space funds for specific built open space Improvements such as recreational facilities, recreation centers, etc.
The Jefferson County Open Space Program Is very Important to the city since It provides a ready source of funding for open space and trail acquisitions and development within the Jefferson County portion of the study area. To date the city has not made use of the Broomfield portion of the Open Space Fund; as of May 31, 1981 approx Irately $32,516 was available to the city. Additional funds could possibly be made available on a matching basis from the county.
Although no open space areas and only low priority trail corridors have been designated within the Jefferson County portion of the study area, the city should make a proposal to the Open Space Program to utilize the available funds, possibly in conjunction with the City at Westminster, before they are lost to other areas of the county.(37)
ANALYSIS OF OPEN SPACE SYSTEM
METHODS OF OPEN SPACE ANALYSIS
The Broomfield open space system can be analyzed In several ways. The system can be measured and evaluated In physical terms, size, location, service areas, etc. ana compared to various accepted and modified local standards as previously described. In addition, future open space needs can be projected using these standards based on projected future population growth.
Secondly, the open space system can be evaluated based on user Input to determine whether the open space network, more specifically the outdoor recreational facilities, meet the perceived needs of the city residents. A citizen survey was conducted as part of this study, the summarized results of which are reviewed in this section.
Finally, the policies and regulation of the city can be evaluated In terms of their effectiveness In securing, either by purchase or land dedication, the necessary open space lands to meet the existing and future needs.
The physical analysis of the adequacy of the present open space system can only be made of the developed recreational open space facilities. It Is next to impossible to "measure the adequacy of the circulatory or production open space areas since these areas vary widely from community to community and region to region. Secondly, the locational determination, size, quality, etc. for these open space areas are functions of other determinants. The open space functions which the circulatory and productive categories play In the community are only secondary to their primary functions of providing efficient transportation, landing areas, Irrigation water, etc.
The environmental and aesthetic open space areas also vary widely in size and location within the community based upon the specific needs and open space attitudes and perceptions of the community. Many environmental hazard areas are Identified and controlled by state and local laws such as subsidence areas or flood plains. Aesthetic open space areas are generally only provided If there Is a perceived need by the community or the developer. Since aesthetic open space Is most often negotiable, few areas are retained as open space purely for aesthetic reasons.
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The developed recreational open space areas by contrast can be measured for adequacy by using accepted minimum standards based upon a national average.
These national standards, however, should be tempered and possibly modified to more accurately reflect the regional and local conditions and the needs of the existing and future city population.
City-Wide Park and Recreation Analysis
Using the National Recreation and Park Associations (NRPA) standards of 5 acres per 1000 population for district (community) parks and neighborhood parks, the existing 117.3 acres of developed Broomfield facilities are slightly above average at 5.3 acres per 1000 population. The ratio is 5.6 acres per 1000 population If the 1980 census figure of 20,730 residents is used Instead of the estimated 1981 population figure of 22, 289.
Future park acreage also Is above the NRPA minimum standard (6.2 acres per 1000 population) when the built out population of the existing platted areas are compared to the total dedicated park acreage. This assumes that the approximately 78.5 acres of dedicated, but presently undeveloped park land, will be developed to meet the future demands In a timely manner. Table 7 summarizes this analysis.
ClTY-WIDE ANALYSIS OF EXISTING DEVELOPED AND FUTURE DEDICATED PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS
Acres Parks/ Ac/1000
Year Population (000) Rec. Areas Population
1980 20,730(census) 117.3 5.6
1981 22,289(estimated) 117.3 5.3
- 31,580*(projected) 195.8** 6.2
Assumes pIatted 100$ occupancy with 1981 lots only; no additional household size plattlng. at buildout of existing
**Assumes development of previously dedicated but undeveloped park and recreation areas; no additional dedicated areas.
The NRPA standard (excluding regional parks) of 5 acres per 1000 Is a minimum standard based on national averages and therefore does not necessarily reflect local or regional conditions. To place the existing Broomfield parks and recreation area population ratio In regional perspective, a similar analysis was conducted of several selected jurisdictions, primarily In the northern half of the Denver metropolitan area, as summarized In Table 8.
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OPEN SPACE COMPARISON OF BROOMFIELD AND SURROUNDING JURISDICTIONS
Jurisdiction Pop. Dev 1d Acres Undevd Ratio* Total Acres Railed Acres Ratio
Arvada 84,576 517 6.1 252 3.0 769 9.1
Brooaftold 20,730 117 5.6 310 14.9 427 20.6
Lakewood 112,848 150 1.3 2715 24.1 2865 25.4
Lafayette 8,985 17 1.9 51 5.7 68 7.6
Lou isvl1le 5,593 48 8.6 607 108.5 648 115.9
Northglenn 29,847 130 4.4 550 18.4 780 22.8
Thornton 42,240 100 2.4 200 4.7 300 7.1
Wheat Ridge 30,293 141 4.6 426 14.1 566 18.7
Westm inster 50,211 110 2.2 400 8.0 510 10.2
Population ratio measured In acres per 1000 population.
Source: Discussions with various planning and park/recreatlon staff members in the above Jurisdictions.
For consistency and comparative purposes, the 1980 census figures for the selected cities were used, including Broomfield. Acreage figures were solicited from each Jurisdiction for existing developed park and recreation areas, existing but undeveloped open space areas, and the combined total open space acreage.
The developed parks and recreation areas are the most comparable among the Jurisdlcltons and the most germane to the Broomfield analysis. Most Jurisdictions are below the NRPA minimum standard for developed neighborhood and community parks and recreation areas. No reasons for this deficiency are know, but possible reasons could Include:
the lack of adequate open space policies for securing dedicated park lands or funding for Improvements.
the abundance of other regional (federal) recreational lands and facilities that are located In the nearby mountains.
Broomfield by comparison has more developed park and recreation acreage with 5.6 acres per 1000 population than the surrounding Jurisdictions, with the exception of Louisville with 8.6 acres per 1000 population and Arvada with 6.1 acres per 1000 population. When comparing dedicated but undeveloped open space, Broomfield ranks fourth with 14.9 acres per 1000 population; Louisville has 108.5 acres per 1000 population; Lakewood has 24.1 acres per 1000 population; and Northglenn has 18.4 acres per 1000 population. These cities have very large open space areas, the majority of which are undevelopable.
Broomfield again ranks fourth In the total open space lands comparison with 20.6 acres per 1000 population for both developed and undeveloped open space. Louisville, Northglenn and Lakewood all have higher ratios.
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district Recreation or Community Parks Ana.lys.La
While the total developed parks and recreation areas are above the NRPA minimum standards, analysis of the Community Park on a city-wide basis reveals that this facility Is below the 2.5 acres per 1000 population recommended for such facilities. Presently, the Community Park has 35 acres of developed terrain for a population ratio of 1.6 acres per 1000 population. An additional 18 acres remain to be developed resulting In a slightly Improved population ratio of 1.7 acres per 1000 population using the projected 31,580 population at future buildout and assuming no future dedications. Table 9 summarizes this analysis.
ANmLYSIS of existing developed and future dedicated community park
Fad I Ity 1981 Pop DeveI'd Acres Bu 11dout Ratio Eon Total DedIcated Acres Ratio
Community Park 22,289 35.0 1.6 31,580 53.0 1.7
The Community Park Is Ideally located within the community and is within the recommended 1 1/2 mile service area radius to all of the existing neighborhoods except a portions of Lac Amora and Country Estates and most of West lake. Only trails from North and South Midway Park and Emerald Park link to the trail system of Community Park providing pedestrian and non-vehicular access to the central community facilities from other neighborhoods.
Outdoor recreation facilities for the most part are adequtely distributed throughout the city In the Community Park, the neighborhood parks, and at the various school facilities. Based on the previously described recreational facility standards, most of the recreational facilities are provided In sufficient numbers to meet the existing population needs, with the exception of bIcycle/pedestrla I trails.
Only approximately 4 to 5 miles of trails exist within the Lac Amora, North and South Midway, Community Park, and Westlake neighborhoods. Based upon the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation combined standards for pedestrian, bicycle, and horse trails, approximately 24.5 miles of trails are needed to serve the existing population and upwards to 61.2 miles for the study area at buildout.
Outdoor basketball courts are presently below the recommended standard of 1 court per 500 population. This standard, however, seems somewhat excessive. Since the other recreational facilities are adequate or above adequate, the existing 21 basketball courts are also probably adequate.
Although the recommended standard varies for picnic areas, the 4 existing picnic areas within the city are probably inadequate to meet the needs of the residents. The facilities are primarily located In the central part of the city, so additional facilities are needed throughout the other neighborhood parks.
It should be noted, however, that the demand for outdoor recreation will Increase
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with the buildout and the growth of the city. While the outdoor recreational facility demand Is presently provided for, continued expansion of the facilities will be necessary to meet the future demand. Table 10 summarizes the existing and future outdoor recreational facility analysis and projects the future facility needs for the city at butldout of the existing platted lots and at ultimate development of the study area (55,602 population).
SUMMARY OF EXISTING AND FUTURE NEEDED COMMUNITY-WIDE RECREATIONAL FACILITIES (INCLUDING SCHOOLS)
Needed Needed Future Facil. for Needed Future Fac11. for
Nelghborhood Ex IstIng 1981 Platted Study
Fact IIty Loca.ll on FflC-L 1. Facll Areas** Area***
Tral1s (miles) Basebal1 N.Midway,S.Midway, Lac Amora, Comm. Park, West 1 ake 4-5 24.5 34.7 61.2
Fields Comm.Park, Country Club Westlake, Brandywine, MIramonte, S & N Midway 18 7-8 10-11 18-19
Tennis Crts Lac Amora, Comm. Park, MIramonte, Westlake 14 11 16 28
Swlm'ng Pool Comm. Park 1 1 1-2 2
Amp I theater Comm. Park 1 1 1-2 2
Golf (holes) Country Club, Greenway Park (semi-public) 27 18 27 36
Comm. Center Comm. Park 1 1 1-2
Basketbal1 (outdoor) Comm. Park, Country Club, Westlake, Brandywine, MIramonte, N. Midway, Lac Amora, S. Midway 21 46 63 111
Play- grounds Lac Amora, N. Midway S. Midway, Comm. Park Country Club, Westlake Brandywine, MIramonte 16 varies varies varies
Picnic Areas N & S Midway, Comm. Park, Westlake 4 varies varies varies
Footbal1/ Soccer Fields N & S Midway, Comm. Park, Country Club, Westlake, MIramonte 14 varies varies varies
Assumes an estimated existing population of 22,289 Assumes a projected population of 31,580 at buildout of existing platted lots.
Assumes a projected population of 55,602 at buildout of study area.
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Most of Broomfield neighborhoods have adequate neighborhood park facilities. The overall city acreage per capita of existing developed parks and recreation areas is 3.7 acres per 1000 population. This Is 1.2 acres per 1000 population higher than the NRPA recommended minimum of 2.5 acres. The ratio Increases to 4.2 acres per 1000 population at city buildout of platted areas If the currently dedicated parklands are developed. Table 11 summarizes this analysis by neighborhood.
ANALYSIS OF EXISTING DEVELOPED AND FUTURE DEDICATED NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS AMD RECREATION AREAS
Neighborhood 1981 Devel'd Acreage Ratio* Bu i1dout Pop. Total Dedicated Acreage* Ratio1
Brandywine 1,170 11.6 9.9 2,432 19.3 7.9
Comm. Park 1,893 0 0 3,260 30.0 9.2
Country Club 1,719 4.5 2.6 4,569 7.7 1.8
Cntry Estates 44 0 0 1,244 10.0 8.0
Greenway Pk 900 0 0 2,821 0 0
Lac Amora 1,897 6.0 3.2 2,984 11.3 3.8
Midway N. 3,720 22.5 0 3,723 22.5 6.0
Midway S. 3,675 22.5 6.0 3,682 22.5 6.0
Miramonte 1,595 4.5 2.8 3,137 4.5 1.4
Westlake 5.676 10.7 1*2 -6.246 15.Q 2*4
TOTALS 22,289 82.3 3.7** 34,198 142.8 4.2**
Population ratio measured In acres per 1000 population Total ratio number is the product of the total acreage divided by population (000) and not an average of the neighborhood population ratios
Several neighborhoods, however, are below the recommended national standard. The Community Park, Country Estates, and Greenway Park neighborhoods presently do not have any developed neighborhood acreage. Both Community Park and Country Estates have large dedicated parcels and will be we I I above the minimum acreage when the areas are developed. Westlake Village Is slightly below, 1.9 acres per 1000 population, the minimum requirement, but like the above two neighborhoods has dedicated acreage to be developed which would bring it to 2.4 acres per 1000 population at buildout. Greenway Park has only semi-public open spaces and no publicly dedicated land for park development. Neighborhood park facilities for Greenway Park must be provided by the homeowners association.
At buildout of platted areas, two neighborhoods, Country Club and Mlramonte, fall below the minimum requirements, 1.8 acres per 1000 population and 1.4 acres per 1000 population respectively. Because most of the land within the Country Club neighborhood Is committed, there is little opportunity to Increase the dedicated acreage. Mlramonte by contrast has large dedicated but undeveloped acreage. The development of a portion of this acreage would provide the needed acreage.
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As illustrated on the previous map, the existing neighborhood park service areas adequately cover most of the existing developed population of the city. Four areas are not within the recommended 1/2 mile radius for a neighborhood park. These Include the western portion of Lac Amora, the eastern portion of Community Park, the new homes of Country Estates, and all of Greenway Park. No neighborhood parks are planned in either the western portion of Lac Amora or Greenway Park. Improvement of the proposed neighborhood parks in Country Estates and Community Park will improve the neighborhood park service areas in both.
BayJsed Broomfield Park and Recreation Standards
Based upon the above physical analysis of the developed and dedicated park and recreation areas of the city, it is apparent that the city-wide Broomfield facilities are well above the recommended minimum national standards. This is also true for the neighborhood facilities, but not for the district or community park facilities. Thus, it seems appropriate that revised or tailored standards which exceed the minimum national standards should be developed for the city for use In projecting future park and recreational facilities within the study area which would be more consistent with the existing city facilities. These "Broomfield standards" should more accurately reflect the local conditions and preference than the generic minimum standards developed by the NRPA.
To arrive at reasonable local standards, the existing 1981 park and recreational area population ratios were averaged with the total dedicated population ratios for the city-wide, district or community-wide, and neighborhood facilities. The resultant ratios represent a mid-point of the existing and probable future (dedicated) park and recreation facility experience which strongly favors neighborhood facilities over district or community park facilities. For simplicity and practical purposes, these ratio averages were rounded upward slightly as illustrataed In Table 12.
DEVELOPED PARK AND RECREATION AREA STANDARDS COMPARISON
NRPA 1981 Total Dedicated Average Revised Brocafleld
Ratio Ratio Ratio Ratio Ratio
City-wide 5.0 5.3 6.2 5.75 6.0
Commun1ty-WIde 2.5 1.6 1.7 1.65 2.0
Nelghborhood 2.5 3.7 4.2 3.95 4.0
Erojected Park and Recreation Areas
Using the above revised park and recreation area standards for the city and the projected ultimate population for the study area, future city-wide, district or community-wide, and neighborhood facility acreages can be projected. Subtracting the existing developed and dedicated park acreage from the projected acreage results in the additional acreage which Is needed throughout the study area at buildout. Table 13 summarizes these results.
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Based upon the projected population by neighborhood throughout the study area, the resulting needed park and recreation area for the neighborhood facilities can also be distributed by neighborhood using the same revised Broomfield standard and the recommended service area for such park and recreation facilities. The community park facility given its larger recommended service area and large parcel size requirement should be situated in only one location within the study area.
PROJECTED PARK AND RECREATION AREAS AT BUILDOUT OF STUDY AREA
Projected Revised Br'mf'Id Exist!ng Projected Dedicated Needed
Papulation Ratio Acreage Acreage Acreage
City-wi de 55,602 6.0 333.6 195.8 137.8
Community-wide 55,602 2.0 111.2 53.0 58.2
Nei ghborhood 55,602 4.0 222.4 142.8 79.6
CITIZEN PERCEPTIONS OF OPEN SPACE SYSTEM
Participation by the public In the open space study was encouraged through the use of a self-administered questionnaire. Two techniques were used to distribute the questionnaire throughout the city. First, the city was divided into 9 neighborhoods in which one block was chosen In each as the survey area. The city parks and recreation staff used a "dropoff/pickup" technique, where by the questionnaires were distributed to every household in the survey block. Counts were kept as to the number of households which completed the questinnaire, did not complete the questionnaire, or were not at home.
The second distribution technique utilized both members of the city staff and support personnel and the members of the Park and Recreation Advisory Committee to randomly distribute the questionnaires throughout the city offices or their neighborhoods, respectively, for a random city-wide distribution. These completed questionnaires were combined with the other questionnaires by neighborhood and then hand tabulated.
The combined response to the questionnaire was 49.4 percent or 133 responses out of a total of 269 surveyed households throughout the city. Table 14 Illustrates the response by neighborhood.
This survey technique resulted In an unscientific, non-parametric study, that is, a study of only a portion of the Broomfield population. Time and money was not avallabale to do either a parametric study or a statistical sample of the population.
The results of the non-parametrIc survey, however, begin to give one some Idea of how the citizens of Broomfield view open space and outdoor recreational facilities. These responses are summarized in the following narrative for the city-wide area and by neighborhood. Complete survey results are contained In
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Appendix F for further reference along with a sample of the questionnaire which was distributed.
CITIZEN SURVEY RESPONSE SUMMARY BY NEIGHBORHOOD
Nelgborhood Contacted Not At Home Refusals Responses________1
Brandywlne 14 8 1 5 35.7
Community Park 31 20 0 11 35.5
Country Club 38 11 2 25 65.8
Greenway Park 27 10 3 14 51 .9
Lac Amora* 3 0 0 3 100.0
Midway North 31 20 1 10 32.3
Midway South 56 21 3 32 57.1
Miramonte 16 11 0 5 31.3
Westlake _51 -21 __4 .52*3
TOTALS 269 122 14 133 49.4
100$ 45.4$ 5.2$ 49.4$
Includes only city staff responses, Lac Amora was not surveyed for
City Wide .Survey Results
Open Space The majority of the people surveyed In the city believed that open space contributed to the high quality of life within the City of Broomfield (88.7$) and that the city should restrict urban growth by securing or preserving open space (81.2$). When asked to name or locate those areas either within or adjacent to the city which should be preserved as open space, a mixed varied response resulted as Illustrated on the map below. There was considerable confusion In that several people thought that the existing parks and outdoor recreation areas were vulnerable to future development. This begins to confirm the fact that most people are confused as to which open space or undeveloped parcels are vulnerable and which parcels are permanent open space features of the city.
In general, those presently undeveloped parcels within the city limits were most often listed as desirable future open space parcels, especially the open fields around Community Park. Other areas listed frequently were Rock Creek northwest of Lac Amora, areas around the water tank and north of the city limits, unbulldable areas. Old Westlake (dry lake bed) and along the major highways corridors.
FOR COMPLETE LISTING OF THE Out SHOW S RESPONSE. REFER TO APPENDIX F
CITIZEN SUGGESTED OPEN SPACE AREAS
OPEN SPACE STUDY
DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION BROOMFIELD. COLORADO
Parks and Outdoor Recreation When asked to give their opinion of the existing parks and recreation areas within the city, most residents gave the facilities a favorable rating. Of the people surveyed, 81.9 percent rated the Community Park either as good (58.6$) or excellent (23.3$). The remaining facilities, neighborhood parks, playflelds, playgrounds and picnic areas were rated only as good. Only a few residents rated these facilities as excellent (3$ to 6$) while several more (16.6$ to 27$) choose not to respond.
There are probably several reasons why there seems to be such a divided opinion between the Community Park and the other neighborhood parks, playflelds, playgrounds and picnic areas. Several of the largest Indoor and outdoor recreational facilities are located at Community Park. The park Itself is located central to much of the city and Is well maintained. It Is highly visible from two major and highly traveled arterials within the city, Main Street and U.S. 287/Colorado 128 (120th Avenue).
Conversely, many neighborhood parks and outdoor recreation facilities are not centrally located, are undeveloped and/or are lacking the necessary amenities such as picnic tables, playground equipment, trees, trails, etc. As a result, the citizens are not as aware of and probably do not utilize their local neighborhood facilities, and therefore do not have the same highly favorable
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opinion as they do about Community Park. This attitude, however, seems to vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and will be further discussed later.
Over one third of the people surveyed said that they utilized the parks and outdoor recreation facilities more than once a month, with approximately 25 percent utilizing the facilities either more than once a week or more than once a year. Only 3.8 percent said that they never use the facilities. Unfortunately, the utilization question was not structured to determine the utilization rate of Community Park, the neighborhood parks, and other outdoor recreational facilities.
When asked how the parks and open space areas within and around the city should be developed and maintained, over three quarters said they preferred a combination of irrigated parks and unirrigated natural areas. All irrigated parks were preferred by 7.5 percent; all unirrigated natural areas were preferred by 4.5 percent; and 9.0 percent had no opinion.
There were a wide variety of responses when asked what improvements or additions should be made to the city parks and outdoor recreational facilities. Frequent responses included: more picnic areas (18), more pedestr lan/bicycIe trails (17) more trees/shade (8), an outdoor swimming pool (8), better upkeep/cleaner (8), more exercise/jogging paths (7), more playground equipment (7), more playgrounds, especially for younger children (6), more tennis courts (5), and handball/racquetbalI courts (5). Other less frequent suggestions included more flowers, additional playfield lights, horsetrails, horse arena, roller skating rink, and fishing pond.
Many of the above suggestions reflect a desire by the residents surveyed to have large group or family oriented recreational activities in their local neighborhood parks. This desire is consistent with the makeup of the resident population of the city as illustrated under the social environment section of this report and confirmed again by the average household size of 3.6 persons of the 133 households responses to the questionnaire.
Many of the suggested improvements or additions would be relatively easy and inexpensive to implement in the existing park system, such as more picnic equipment and areas, more pedestrian/bicycle trails, and more trees/shade.
Other suggestions are of a more capital intensive nature requiring careful evaluation.
Trail System Response to questions concerning the pedestrian/bicycle trail system were mixed and varied. When asked to rate the condition, safety, convenience, and location of the existing network, almost one third did not respond. This particularly high percent of no response is probably due to the fact that there is no completed trail network throughout the city and that most of the residents are unaware of the several small completed segments in some neighborhoods of the city.
Of those people who did respond, most rated the trails in good condition (39.8$), with 13.5 percent rating them In excellent condition and 14.3 percent rating them in fair condition. Trail safety was rated as good (39.8$) with
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only 20.3 percent rating the trail safety as fair.
Trail convenience was rated good by almost one third of the respondents (29.3$) with over twenty percent (22.6$) only rating convenience as fair. More people (11.3$) rated the trails convenience as poor than rated the trail convenience as excel lent (9.0$).
Likewise, when asked to respond to the trail location, many rated the trail location as good (30.1$) and over twenty percent (21.1$) rated the trail location as fair. Again, more people rated the trail location as poor (9.0$) than rated the trail location as excellent (7.5$).
The trail utilization question Indicated that 15.0 percent of the respondents use the city trails more than once a week and 30.1 percent of the respondents use the trails more than once a month. However, slightly more (45.9$) use the trails less frequently, more than once a year (23.3$) or never (22.6$). Only 9.0 percent had no response. This relative low trail utilization rate could possibly be contributed to the Incomplete trail network and lack of public knowledge of those trails which are presently In place.
When asked which activity centers they would likely walk or ride a bicycle to, If the trail system were safely and conveniently located (more than one answer possible), parks and outdoor recreation areas were listed the most likely (64.7$), with shopping centers (58.6$), schools (27.8$) and transit stops/Park'n Ride (25.6$) listed In that order.
When asked to suggest improved or new trail connections there was a varied response as expected. Many of the answers Indicate several common concerns of the citizen surveyed:
People want trails to be Interconnected so that they can "go somewhere.
There was a concern about safety of trail-street crossings, especially at the major streets of Midway Street, U.S.287, Colorado 128, U.S. 36 and others.
Trails located along principal streets seemed acceptable, if there was a safe separation from traffic and crossings.
The extremities of the community wanted to be linked with the more Internal community facilities such as Community Park and shopping centers.
The most often requested trail connections are Illustrated on the following map and Include Westlake to the Community Center (5), Lac Amora to North Midway Park (4), Broomfield Shopping Center to RTDs Parkn Rides (4), Ash Street to Community Center (4), ZunI Street to Main Street along 136th Avenue (3), 136th Avenue to 120th Avenue (U.S. 287) along Sheridan (3), Greenway Park to
Broomfield Plaza, and through Broomfield Country Club from Northmoor to MIramonte.
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Paying for Open Space Of the people surveyed, over eighty percent (81.2$) said they would support some type of additional tax if needed to preserve public open space for Broomfield. Of the suggested methods 45.1 percent said they would prefer sales tax, 21.8 percent bond Issue, 7.5 percent special assessment district and 6.0 percent property tax. Only 9.8 percent were opposed to public acquisition of open space and 9.0 percent did not respond.
Helpful Information Finally, the questionnaire asked several questions concerning occupation, place of work, and family size. Of those who responded, approximately twenty percent (21.1$) of the men worked in Broomfield and approximately sixty percent (58.6$) worked out of the city, primarily in Denver or the northern suburbs. Almost fifty percent (48.9$) of the women worked In Broomfield, many of whom listed housewife as their occupation. Over twenty percent (23.3$) of the women said that they worked out of the city. In both cases, there was over twenty percent who did not respond to the occupatlon/place of work questions.
The average family size of those surveyed was 3.6 persons per household. This figure Indicates that the City of Broomfield Is largely composed of family oriented households. No Information was collected on the composition of the
family units, ages, sex, education level, Income, etc.
Neighborhood Survey Results
As stated earlier, an attempt was made to survey each of the major neighborhoods of the city. Care was taken to tabulate the results on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis to help to assess the wants and needs of the residents by neighborhood. The following brief observations can be made on each of the nine surveyed neighborhoods.
Brandywine The Brandywine neighborhood was surveyed at the Cimarron mobile home community since few houses of the Brandywine development were completed. Only 35.7 percent of the surveyed househuolds responded. Further, there was a noticeable lack of interest In the survey and open space In general by the respondents with many of the questions not answered or only partially completed.
Community Park Of the 35.5 percent of the Community Park residents surveyed, there was a general feeling of Isolation from the community park and recreation areas. People felt strongly that trail corridors to Community Park and other community-wide facilities and additional developed open space areas are necessary within their neighborhood. There seemed to be a strong Interest In open space with park and outdoor recreation utilization being high. This could be due to the fact that the highest family size, 4.6 people per household, was recorded In this neighborhood.
Country Club The Country Club neighborhood had a high response rate with 65.8 percent. Many residents felt that there was a need for more developed facilities within their neighborhood and that areas north of 136th Avenue and east of Sheridan Boulevard should remain as open space. As In the Community Park neighborhood, there was some feeling of Isolation from the major community facilities. Residents wanted more trails to the shopping centers. Community Park and to other surrounding neighborhoods of the city.
Greenway Park The response from the Greenway Park neighborhood survey was 51.9 percent. Many of those surveyed Indicated a dissatisfaction because there were no public facilities within their neighborhood; only semi-public open space presently exists. Further, they felt Isolated from the nearby Community Park and the rest of the city In general because there Is no safe pedestrian crossing at U.S. 287/Colorado 128 (120th Avenue). Household size was 3.6 people per household.
Lac Amora Unfortunately, only three households were surveyed In the Lac Amora neighborhood. Of those who responded, there was a general feeling of Isolation from the nearby North Midway Park and other city neighborhoods with U.S. 287 acting as a barrier. Household size was 3.7 people per household.
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Midway North Only 32.3 percent of survey areas In the Midway North neighborhood responded. Many of the respondents wanted areas north of their neighborhood preserved as open space and a safe pedestrian linkage to the Park'n Ride facility. There was a general positive attitude toward open space but real concerns about the vehicular congestion of Midway Park. Being one of the older neighborhoods, household size was only 3.1 people per household.
Midway South -The Midway South neighborhood response was 57.1 percent. General concerns Included pedestrian crossings at streets, the lack of safe trail to the Parkn Ride, and pedestrian linkages with other neighborhoods. Like the Midway North neighborhood, a positive attitude existed concerning the neighborhood park facilities. Household size In Midway South was 3.8 people per household.
Mlramonte Only 31.3 percent of the survey area responded In the Miramonte neighborhood. Because of the low number of surveys completed (5), few comments were made concerning the attitudes toward neighborhood facilities. Household size was 3.8 people per household.
Westlake The Westlake neighborhood had a response rate of 52.8 percent.
There was a general feeling of Isolation from the rest of the city within this neighborhood also. Generally, areas to the west and north of the neighborhood were suggested as future open space areas. Many comments were made which suggested a need for more organized activities for the children. Household size for those surveyed was 3.8 people per household.
POLICY AND REGULATION ANALYSIS
Based on the foregoing physical and user analysis, the Broomfield open space system Is very adequate and, in most cases, above standard to meet the existing and future (only platted areas) needs of the city. The existing goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan, to provide an "...abundance of open space" and "...adequate public facilities" are effectively being Implemented by the city regulations, primarily the P.U.D. ordinance.
As previously discussed, the public use land formula of Article 20, Section 6, of the Zoning Ordinance requires dedicated public use land or cash in lieu of land at an Increasing proportion which Is based on gross density. This "sliding scale" formula Is somewhat unique and requires up to a maximum 55 percent of the development parcel at 25 dwelling units per acre to be dedicated to public uses Including primarily parks and recreation areas. Most communities have a fixed rate requirement (10 percent, 20 percent, etc.) or seme other more detailed open space requirements which do not necessarily distribute the open space requirement In an equitable manner. The Broomfield formula provides for open space and other public facilities based upon the anticipated need by location. Thus, those areas with higher densities and more people will have more open space and other public use facilities than those areas with lower densities.
In contrast, the common private open space requirement seems somewhat unfair and
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excessive. In addition to the varying public use land dedication requirement, the developer of multi-family projects, attached single family homes, or detached single family homes with minimum lots sizes of 7000 square feet are required to provide 40 percent of the site In common private open space for the exclusive use of the residents. This requirement makes medium or high density developments difficult If not impossible to do. A development with a gross density of 25 dwelling units per acre Is required to commit 95 percent of the development site (55 percent public use land plus 40 percent common private open space) to public or private open space, thus only leaving 5 percent of the site for development.
Given todays trends toward medium density residential development, the additional common private open space requirement when combined with the public use land requirement decreases the achIevab111ty of these projects. There should be some encouragement of developed common private open space, thus relieving some of the city responsibility to build expensive recreational facilities. The common private open space requirements should not stifle or overburden the creativity of future higher density projects.
This might be accomplished by dramatically Increasing the common private open space development incentives for built recreational facilities within the common private open space areas for the use of the project residents. New Incentives or bonuses could also be offered to developers If they Improved the public use lands or constructed to city standards and dedicated to public use recreational facilities on public use lands.
If developer Improvements are encouraged or required, however, additional performance standards should be developed to insure that all Improvements are of acceptable quality and properly designed and constructed for efficient use and easy maintenance. These should also Include landscape guidelines to ensure low maintenance and low water plant materials, compatible landscape features, functional pedestrian trails, etc.
The city policy or regulations do not address or designate open space along the major highway corridors and highly visible areas near the city. These areas lie primarily outside the city limits, but within the study area, and are very Important to the overalI city Image.
Finally, no policy or regulations exists, with the exception of 1973 Comprehensive Plan conceptual trail plan, for securing trail corridors, easements or Improvements which would link to the limited trail network within the city. Serious consideration should be given the development of and adoption of such a trail master plan and Implementation strategy to meet the pedestrian needs of the residents.
OPEN SPACE ANALYSIS SUMMARY
Based on the above research and analysis, the following summary statements and observations can be made on the Broomfield open space system:
The Broomfield open space system within the city limits contains approximately 995 acres of open space.
The recreational open space component Is the most developed network and contains approximately 808 acres of recreational, environmental and aesthetic areas.
Compared to accepted national standards (NRPA), the City of Broomfield Is slightly above (5.3 acres per 1000 population) the recommended 5 acre per 1000 population for developed neighborhood and community parks and recreation areas. The ratio Improves to 6.2 acres per 1000 population In the future If the existing dedicated but undeveloped parks and recreation areas are developed In a timely manner.
When compared to selected surrounding communities, Broomfield has the third largest open space per capita ratio for developed facilities.
On a community-wide basis, the existing Community Park Is 36 percent below the recommended national standard of 2.5 acres per 1000 population. The citizen perceptions of Community Park, however, are very high, higher than the neighborhood parks.
With the growth of the residential areas of the city to the northeast, an additional community park facility will be necessary.
Most outdoor recreational facilities are provided throughout the city In adequate amounts and locations to meet the existing needs.
Pedestrlan/bicycle trails and picnic areas, however, are deficient.
Existing neighborhood parks exceed the nationally recommended per capita standards throughout the city by 48 percent. This will Increase to 68 percent with the future development of the dedicated but undeveloped neighborhood parks.
Several neighborhoods, however, are below the recommended national standard and will remain so In the future with the buildout of the existing platted areas of the city.
Based upon the physical analysis of the open space system, a revised "Broomfield standard" for parks and recreation areas is proposed, where a total of 6.0 acres per 1000 population of city-wide facilities Is recommended, 2.0 acres per 1000 population of district or community-wide facilities, and 4.0 acres per 1000 population of neighborhood facilities.
Using the "Broomfield standard" approximately 138 additional acres of city-wide parks and recretlon facilities will be needed within the study area at buildout, Including approximately 58 acres of community-wide facilities and approximately 80 acres of neighborhood facilities.
The existing open space policy and regulations provide for adequate dedicated parks and recreation areas.
The city presently does not have an aesthetic open space policy or acquisition program to secure additional open space lands In highly visible areas.
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The majority of those citizens surveyed thought that open space contributed to the overall high quality of life within the city (88.7$) and that the city should restrict urban growth by securing or preserving open space lands (81.2$)
The majority (81.2$) of residents surveyed Indicated that they would support some type of additional tax method If needed to preserve additional public open space. Forty five percent said they would prefer an increase In the city-wide sales tax as a method of open space financing.
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A PROPOSED OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN
PURPOSES OF A MASTER PLAN
An open space master plan Is the principle document which establishes the overall community goals and objectives as well as the generalized parameters and strategy by which to implement a community-wide open space system. The plan must have some degree of flexibility to respond to future change as the result of the growth of the community. These changes and modifications should, however, remain within the scope and parameters of the master plan if a viable and efficient open space system is desired by both the leaders of the community and the users of the system.
The following is a proposed open space master plan which responds to the perceived needs and the health, safety, and welfare of the existing resident users and the anticipated future users based upon existing and projected future trends. The plan is responsive to the environmental constraints and opportunities of the region, preserving much of the existing Identity and character of the community. Finally, the plan is responsive to the man imposed policies and regulations of the region and provides a realistic and achievable approach to meet the future open space needs of the community.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The goals of the 1973 Comprehensive Plan stress the importance of providing "an abundance of open space" with "adequate public facilities" within the community to meet the needs of the citizens and to provide for a quality environment.(38)
As stated earlier, specific open space objectives include:
1. To enhance the community by providing significant quantities of open space throughout for permanent use and benefit by citizens of Broomfield...
2. To use the open space for multiple purposes...
3. To use open space as a means to limit land crowding..."(39)
Based on the research of this study, other specific objectives should be added. These Include:
4. To provide every citizen with adequate, safe and convenient neighborhood and community-wide parks and recreation areas.
5. To provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and non-motor 1 zed circulation to the parks, recreation areas, and city activity centers throughout the community by utilizing designated open space linkages.
6. To preserve and maintain the rural and open character of the community and region.
PROPOSED OPEN SPACE PLAN CONCEPT
The proposed open space master plan expands the existing open space and outdoor recreational system Into a viable and functional community-wide network of linear and nodal open spaces within and around the urban fabric. A primary pedestrian and bicycle trail loop interconnects three major communlty/reglonal open space focil with other city-wide activity centers. Secondary trail linkages from the primary loop connect to additional neighborhood parks, city activity centers and to the proposed regional open space network outside of the study area. Large open space and environmental corridors are retained primarily along the major highways to maintain and reinforce the rural and open image of the city.
MAJOR COMPONENTS OF PROPOSED MASTER PLAN
The proposed master plan Is composed of several major elements each of which is described below.
Community, and Regional Parks
Three major communlty/reglonal parks are proposed In the plan which becomes the foci I of the plan.
1. Community Park Is centrally located to the existing urban development but is presently undersized. The park facilities should be expanded eastward Into the 30 acre future park site which Is part of the Highland Park subdivision. This would provide over 80 acres for community-wide outdoor recreational and open space facilities and ease the short range community park deficit while not seriously reducing the neighborhood park and recreational facilities.
Consideration should also be given to acquiring the surface rights. If not the real property and water rights, of the adjacent Brunner Reservoir.
The addition of the lake would provide a unique public water feature which Is presently lacking In the Broomfield open space network.
2. A second community park will be needed In Adams County with the future development of the city to the northeast. Several alternative sites exist In the area.
Alternative A Is located north of the 136th Avenue and just east of the Boulder County line. This location Is presently undeveloped and Is under agricultural cultivation. A small drainageway, two Irrigation reservoirs, and a portion of the Equity Ditch are contained In the general vicinity. The site Is outside of the city limits and over one half mile from any urban development but has no existing access.
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Alternative B Is located outside of the city limits and adjacent to the Westlake subdivision in the old (dry) West Lake Reservoir. The area is of
adequate size approximately 100 acres) and has good access off Lowell
Boulevard and 136th Avenue. It was previously designated on the 1973 Comprehensive Plan as a community park site and still remains so.
The area is adjacent to three existing city parks. Willow, Spruce and Cottonwood Parks. The West Lake Reservoir Is identified in the Comprehensive Utility Plan (1973) as a major stormwater detention area.
For this reason much of the site is undevelopable, but ideal for athletic and playfields.
Alternative C Is located at the extreme northeast corner of the study area at McKay Lake, the second largest lake or reservoir within the study area.
This site has good access from DilIon Road and Zuni street but is remotely
located from any existing and probable future residential development. Further, McKay Lake is a private fishing lake, so acquisition would probably be difficult and/or expensive.
Of the three alternative community park locations, Alternative B near the Westlake neighborhood is probably the best in the short term. It is closely located to existing and likely future development areas. Much of the site will be difficult or expensive to develop given the constraints of the drainage areas. Further, the existing comprehensive plan designates it as a community park site.
In the long term. Alternative A near the Boulder County line offers the best choice. The area will be more centrally located to future urban development. Adequate acreage could be acquired at a lower cost since there is no nearby urban development and it is out of the city limits.
3. The Rock Creek Farm is a recent acquisition of the Boulder County Park and Open Space Program. As previously discussed, no firm plans have been formulated for its development. Several alternatives have been proposed including a golf course, cultural resource center, nature center, wildlife habitat, etc. Whatever the final development of the farm, the City of Broomfield will greatly benefit because of its close proximity to the future regional park facility.
Because of this close proximity and future importance to the Broomfield open space network, the Rock Creek Farm is Included in the proposed master plan as a major feature area. The city should monitor and encourage the development of the park and continue to coordinate city open space and trail development with the future regional county park facility.
Nfi.iahborhofld Parks and-Playfields
The proposed master plan illustrates numerous small neighborhood parks and playfields throughout the existing and future urban areas. These facilities are located to give maximum service area coverage of the city so that all residents are within 1/2 mile (easy walking distance) to a developed neighborhood park.
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Playfields have a larger service area, approximately 1-1/2 miles. For maximum utilization and land efficiency, these facilities are combined with neighborhood and school facilities in the master plan.
The proposed master plan illustrates several improvements and additions to the existing neighborhood park network which if implemented in the near future would benefit the existing resident population. Birch Park in the Country Club neighborhood should be improved and developed. Much of the Country Club neighborhood lacks convenient neighborhood park access; this developed existing park facility would greatly improve their accessibility.
A new neighborhood park should be developed around the old reservoir pond and Community Ditch in the center of the MIramonte neighborhood. This neighborhood also lacks a suitable neighborhood facility, particularly with the development of the RIdgeview Heights subdivision. A developed neighborhood park in this location would be centrally located to the existing and future resident, and provide an attractive neighborhood focal point or feature. Further it could easily be linked to the rest of the city-wide open space system with its location on the Community Ditch.
An additional neighborhood park should be developed around the small lake in the existing open space area at the west end of the Lac Amora subidivision. Although this neighborhood has the most open space per capita within the existing city, it lacks an accessible neighborhood park for the residents on the west side. The development of a park in this location would relate nicely to the proposed Rock Creek Farm facility and provide a major portal and linkage of the Broomfield open space systems to the regional network.
A neighborhood park site should be acquired in or near to the old Broomfield town site. This area is presently outside of the city limits and contains no developed public open space facilities. Future annexation to the city without such a facility would create a neighborhood with no public neighborhood park. In addition, a developed neighborhood park facility in this location would also serve the existing Greenway Park residents with a visible and developed neighborhood park which they presently lack.
Iral 1. System
An extensive trail system is proposed which links and connects the major parks, neighborhood recreational facilities and community activity centers into a complete city-wide network. The development of such a network will not only improve the accessibility of the existing open space and parks system, but also provide for future city-wide accessibility to the proposed regional open space and trail network in the Rock Creek and Big Dry Creek drainages.
The proposed trail system utilizes the existing and proposed open space areas along the natural drainageways and the man-made irrigation ditches; in some cases, sidewalks along exiting streets are used. A major loop trail interconnects the existing and proposed community and regional park facilities and many of the neighborhood parks and community activity centers such as the Broomfield Shopping Center and the industrial area west of U.S. 287. A series of secondary trails connect most of the other neighborhood parks and activity
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The trail system must cross many of the major highways and arterial, collector, and local streets both within and outside of the city limits. Safe and convenient crossings are essential to the success of the pedestrian and bicycle system, particularly at the busier U.S. 36, U.S. 287/Colorado 128, Midway Boulevard, Main Street, Sheridan Avenue, Lowell Boulevard, and 136th Avenue.
Where possible, all trails should cross at controlled intersections, preferably where traffic lights are used. If controlled Intersections are not present, marked crosswalks should be provided.
Because of the expense Involved, a trail crossing of U.S. 36 must utilize existing above grade bridges, an Old Wadsworth Avenue and Colorado 121 and 128, and below grade crossings, at Coal ton Drive and Rock Creek. Improved pedestrian and bicycle paths will be necessary along these roadways and crossings to make them accessible and to separate them from traffic, particularly from the Broomfield Shopping Center to the RTD Park'n Ride facility. Presently a pedestrian must crawl over several auto guard rails, climb steep unimproved trails, and carefully walk along a very narrow sidewalk adjacent to several fast-moving automobile lanes to cross the U.S. 36 overpass, a very dangerous and discouraging undertaking.
Aesthetic and Environmental Corridors
Much of the open space Illustrated on the proposed master plan Is land which contains sensitive or hazardous environmental constraints and/or is highly visible from one or more major highway corridors which bisect the community and study area. The preservation and maintenance of these aesthetic and environmental areas are Important If the rural and open nature of the community Is to be maintained.
The five areas of prime Importance Include:
1. Lands along U.S. 36 and Colorado 121 south of the city. This area contains few environmental constraints, but is the only undeveloped and open area which Is outside of the Westminster city limits that the city stl I I has an opportunity to control. The area Is the "front door" to the city travelling north from Denver. Any development of the area, regardless by whom, will forever preclude a southern buffer to the city from the potentially endless urban development along U.S. 36 from Denver.
Presently much of the land Is under cultivation (primarily to the north) which contributes to the rural character of the community. Preservation of the area In either its present condition or a natural state would provide an attractive entry feature or portal to the city.
2. Lands along U.S. 287 north of the city. Much of this area contains environmental constraints of steep slopes, land subsidence problems and flood hazards. The area Is highly visible for some distance from U.S.
287 and U.S. 36 travelling from the north. Like the above area, It provides a highly visible open portal into the city. Unfortunately, much of the land Is presently being used as a "practice ground" for off-the-
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road and four wheel drive vehicles. As a result, much of the area Is scarred with numerous erosion gullies being formed.
The area should be preserved as an aesthetic and envlornmental corridor. City ownership of the area would Insure the proper use of the land and thus the appearance of an Important entry. Further, the additional open space would reinforce and add to the Rock Creek Farm open space In the Rock Creek valley.
3. Lands along the north side of U.S. 36 west of the city. Like the areas
along U.S. 287, this area contains several environmental constraints and for the most part Is unsuitable for urban development. The area Is highly visible from U.S. 36 and Is a visual extension of the Rock Creek Farm.
The City of Louisville In Its Comprehensive Plan (1979) recognizes the environmental constraints of the area and has designated it as open space. Coordination and cooperation between the jurisdictions should occur to Insure the proper dedication or acquisition of the area between the cities.
4. Lands south at US.___36 and west of the city. This area contains some
environmental constraints and Is highly visible from U.S. 36. Land directly to the east Is planned for future business and Industrial development. Some of the area might be suitable for similar type of development, If It could be served by the utility system. However, those portions of the area which are highly visible and/or environmentally sensitive should be maintained as open space.
5. Lands around the Great Western Reservoir. Although much of this area Is only visible from U.S. 128, It surrounds the Great Western Reservoir, part of the raw water supply to the city. Control of the area by the city Is Important to insure that there is no future development around that water supply. Secondly, the preservation of the area Is compatible with and reinforces the adjacent circulatory open space of the Jefferson County Airport.
Circulatory and Productive Areas
The proposed master plan recognizes the remaining circulatory and productive open space functions. Because of the secondary open space aspects of these functions, the plan only records their existing and probable future locations. The Great Western Reservoir, Rock Creek Farm and the numerous Irrigation ditches are delineated as productive open space. The major highway rights of way and the Jefferson County Airport are delineated as circulatory open space.
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The bottom line to the success of any plan is Its successful Implementation. To Implement the proposed open space master plan a variety of fund raising techniques and strategies must be used to balance the recommended open space acquisitions and developments with the other community wants and needs.
The following summarizes several potential funding sources and strategy techniques to implement the various open space components. Since financial analysis and political input was beyond the scope and intent of this study, no implementation priorities are suggested. Additional study and evaluation by the city decision makers, city staff, and possibly outside consultants will be needed to develop a realistic phasing schedule.
A variety of funding source alternatives could be used in a creative and combined way to finance open space acquisitions and park and recreation improvments.
1. General Fund or Department of Park and Recreation Budget Given the existing budget limitations and the high inflationary costs for goods and services, only minimal improvements to the existing parks and recreation facilities can probably be made. A major shift and reappropriation would be necessary from the City Council to budget city funds for major acquisitions or improvements to the open space system.
2. State Conservation Trust This Is a potential source of future recreational development and park land monies. Recent passage of a state lottery in November 1980 general election will make money available to local governments for open space acquisition and development.
Unfortunately, the state legislature did not finalize the lottery implementation procedures. Thus, no money is available from the trust fund yet.
It has been estimated that from $5 to $15 per capital will potentially be available from this program. Broomfield could receive from $125,00 to $375,000 per year (assuming 25,000 population) for open space acquisition and/or development.(40) This program should be closely monitored by the city staff.
3. State Recreational Trails Program The "Recreational Trails System Act of 1972" was established to increase access to the state's natural resources and to increase state wide trail activity. From 1972 to 1977 over $1,000,000 was appropriated for the program. As previously stated, the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation recently completed a non-motorized plan for the State Recreational Trails Program. To implement the program, the state legislature must appropriate the necessary funding. To date, no state money has been appropriated. Further, it Is unlikely that Broomfield will be able to utilize this funding source for the proposed trail network since no priority one trails are located within the study area.(41)
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4. Jefferson County Open Space Program This is the most immediate source of some limited open space acquisition and development funding as previously mentioned. Unfortunately, the approximately $32,516 (as of May 31, 1981) can only be used In the Jefferson County portion of the study area. Additional matching funds, however, could possibly be secured from the county.(42)
The available funds could be utilized to preserve open space along the highly visible entry corridor and portal along U.S. 36 south of the Broomfield exit. Since only a small amount of money is available, creative and Innovative techniques must be utilized to maximize its effect.
5. Future Taxation Programs A variety of taxation programs and alterntives are available which are potential sources of revenue. These include sales tax, bond issue, special assessment districts, property tax, etc. techniques. To implement these revenue producing methods, voter approval is required. Thus, careful planning, information advertising, proper timing, etc. must be done to successfully pass these taxation methods.
Jefferson County and the City of Boulder are two local examples where a portion of the retail sales tax was approved by the voters for open space acquisition. In the citizen survey conducted for this study, over 80 percent of the Broomfield respondents said that they would support some type of additional tax, 45.1 percent were in favor of retail sales tax for open space acquisition and development. This local support should be explored further by the city staff.
6. Cash in Lieu of Land Option The existing PUD Regulations in the Zoning Ordinance provides for a cash in lieu option in the public use land requirements as previously discussed. Collection of the cash donations in place of the required dedicated public use land dedication would provide a limited amount of funding for dedicated city parks and recreation improvments. This method, however, should be used judiciously so that neighborhood and city-wide recreation and open space areas do not become unbalanced to meet the needs of future populations.
Some other sources are available which preserve open space lands which do not necessarily require funding for cash payments. These methods however are more long term and require a considerable amount of coordination and work.
1. Gifts and Grants Sometimes open space lands, public easements, cash contributions, etc. can be secured from private citizens, business corporations, and philanthropic foundations. The motivation for such bequests are generally substantial tax advantages, capital gains savings, estate tax benefits and reduced or eliminated property taxes.(43)
The establishment of a quasi-independent foundation by the city council is often helpful in securing these bequests by projecting a non-governmental public Image. This is often more acceptable to the donating parties.(44)
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2. Open Space Development Incentives The existing city regulatory tools could be revised to reduce the common private open space requirements In return for the development of dedicated public open space or recreational areas. This exchange could be advantageous to both the city, by not having to Install expensive recreational Improvements, and the developer, by reducing the common private open space requirement, thus Increasing the feasibility of the project.
Acquisition and Land Control Tools
The city can use a variety of techniques to provide and control open space land. The presently most utilized method Is In the regulatory category with the dedication and preservation of primarily recreational land through the public use land requirement of the PUD Zoning District.
Other acquisition and taxation techniques are available. Because of the involved and complex nature of these techniques, only a limited discussion and listing of some of the methods are highlighted below. (A complete review Is available entitled "Open Space Planning for Rural, Growth-Impacted Colorado Counties" (Masters Thesis), College of Environmental Design, University of Colorado at Denver, April 1981 by Bill Parker.)
1. Fee Simple Purchase Fee simple Is the outright purchase of a land parcel at a fair market price. It Is an expensive method which can take land off the local government taxrolIs, thus reducing the revenue generating tax base. It gives, however, the local government absolute control over the use of the property.(45)
2. Eminent Domain Eminent Domain Is a right of a government to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner.
This method Is also very expensive due to appraisal costs, legal costs, etc. It Is also a very controversial and politically sensitive method.(46)
3. Lease or Sales Agreements Lease or sales agreements Involve public acquisition of land which Is then leased or sold back to the owner or others with new restricted uses. This method requires a high capital expenditure but a potential for a return on the Investment at a later date is possible.(47)
4. Installment Purchase The Installment purchase method allows the local government to buy a parcel of land (fee simple) over a fixed period of time, thus reducing often large Initial payment. This allows the seller to reduce his capital gains and his property tax over the specified period of time.(48)
5. Conservative Easements and Acquisition of Rights These are similar methods and Involve the purchase of certain designated rights to the use of land. These methods allow the local government to restrict or control the development of the property without directly owning and maintaining the property. Unless specific easements or uses are secured with the purchase of the property rights, public access Is not Insured with these methods. Since a lower capital Investment Is often required In the purchase of the
rights, the methods are attractive to local governments.(49)
6. Transfer Development Rights The concept of transfer development rights is not widely used, but Involves the purchase of recognized development rights which can then be transfered from the land ownership to another property. While an attractive concept, difficulty arises In the establishment of a fair market value for the development rights and the carrying capacity of the land.(50)
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SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Open space Is a confusing ambiguous concept, particularly to the numerous small Colorado communities along the Front Range. These communities are faced with Increasing growth pressures as a result of widespread regional growth. It Is the premise of this dissertation that most communities are not dealing with the open space Issue In a comprehensive way and therefore are not providing open space In adequate amounts and/or locations to meet the existing or future needs of the communIty.
To prove or disprove this thesis, a case study was made of Broomfield, Colorado, a community of approximately 25,000 people In the northwest part of the Denver metropolitan area.
OPEN SPACE CONCEPTS AND CHARACTERISTICS
Open space Is defined In many ways and has multiple meanings to a wide variety of actors In the community planning process. Most simply defined, open space Is the "non-development" of land or land which Is not used for buildings. This definition does not distinguish between land which Is vacant from land which has some "non-development" functional use with lasting permanence.
Open space must have some "non-development" land use function or functions.
These functions Include: recreation, environmental, aesthetic, circulation, and production. Because of the "non-development" nature of these primary open space functions, more than one function can be assigned to a land parcel for the multiple use of that parcel.
Open space must have some lasting legal permanence to protect It from future development. Several acquisition and control tools can be used which are divided Into three main categories: acquisition, regulation, and taxation.
Open spaces are often Interconnected and form a continuous system or network throughout the urban area. Recent planned communities have considered this open space network or framework first, around which other functional land uses were planned.
Open space planning for the small community should take Into consideration
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several simple but important planning principles. These Include:
Consideration of open space as a functional land use with a utility of its own and on the same level as other land uses;
Consideration of open space as an integrated land use throughout the communlty;
Full consideration of the community and surrounding region Including an understanding of the natural, man-made and social environments;
Cooperation and coordination with other governmental entitles;
Planning or sizing the open spaces for the ultimate community size and configuration;
Proper distribution of open spaces for equal opportunity and access;
Proper citizen input and involvement in the open space planning process.
Few open space standards are available except for the recreational open space function. There are three recognized approaches to recreational open space standards: user characteristics or demand projections based on determined population needs; area percentages method which expressed open space as a percent of the community area; and total park and recreation space based upon population ratio.
Population ratio standards are available from the National Park and Recreation Association (NPRA) and are widely used minimum recreational open space standards. The NPRA standards recommend a total of 90 acres per 1000 population of park and recreational area, 5 acres provided by local government near to the users (2.5 acres for neighborhood and 2.5 acres for district recreation parks), 20 acres provided by local government within one hour travel time, and 65 acres provided by the state government. Other standards are available for specific recreational fac11ities.
Recreational standards have been criticized for being Inflexible, inapplicable and Inequitable to varying types of communities and unresponsiuve to citizen wants and needs. Each community should therefore evaluate existing standards, then. If necessary, develop and tailor recreational open space standards which are best suited to social, cultural, economic and physical conditions within the community.
NATURAL, MAN-MADE, AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT SUMMARIES
A study was made of the three environments within the Broomfield study area. Development constraints In the natural environment are generally In the western half of the study area which Is characterized by potential subsidence areas, steep slopes, and 100 year flood zones. These areas should not be developed and should be retained as open space. Most of the remaining portions of the study area are either highly suitable or moderately suitable for urban development.
Open space in these areas must be determined before or during the development
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process based upon other non-environmen+al concerns, f.e. recreational, aesthetic, circulatory, or productive open space functions.
The man-made environment within the study area contains no significant archaelogical or historic sites which should be preserved within an open space network. Several highly visible areas exist along the major highway corridors which affect the perceived image of the community by the visitor and residents. Areas adjacent to and around the Jefferson County Airport (airport influence area) contain development constraints for primarily residential development. Commercial and industrial growth is occurring around the Jefferson County Airport and west of the city while residential growth is occurring to the east and northeast in the study area. These trends are expected to continue Into the future.
The social and economic factors of the social environment indicate that the city has grown 185.5 percent since 1970. The type of citizen has remained essentially the same: white, middle to upper middle class. The median age is 32 years old with an increasing portion of the population in the 45 to 55 year old group. Average household size is slightly over 3 people per household. The majority of the work force is still considered "white collar" but an increased percentage of women and "blue collar" occupations have joined the regional work force. Job opportunities have drastically increased within the study area and surrounding region. The median income is probably higher than other regional cities. At buildout, the study area is projected to contain over 56,000 people.
These social trends indicate a need for more family oriented and elderly facilities and programs within the park and recreational system along with a greater emphasis on non-vehIcular trail network.
EXISTING OPEN SPACE SYSTEM SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS
The Broomfield open space network was analyzed in three ways: in physical terms based upon recognized national standards and revised local standards, by user perceptions, and analysis of the existing open space policies regulations.
The Broomfield area has approximately 4,500 acres of open space, as defined in this study, or 28 percent of the area within the established study area. Of this area, approximately 1000 acres or 19 percent within the city limits is classified as open space. Only 3.8 percent of the city, however, are dedicated parks and recreation areas, of which 2.3 percent or 117 acres are presently developed.
The existing city-wide Broomfield parks and recreation areas are slightly above (5.3 acres per 1000 population) the NRPA minimal standards. This ratio will improve slightly to 6.2 acres per 1000 population in the future if all of the existing dedicated park and recreation areas are developed in a timely manner with the existing platted but undeveloped residential areas within the city.
Compared to nine selected communities (primarily suburbs north of Denver), Broomfield ranks third in developed parks and open space per capita (87.6 acres per 1000 population) and fourth In total open space lands (20.6 acres per 1000
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Based on the NRPA standards for district or community parks and recreation areas, the city Is slightly below (1.6 acres per 1000 population) the recommended 2.5 acres per 1000 population. This ratio will only slightly Improve with the expansion of the existing Community Park Into the recently dedicated and adjacent area.
The Community Park facility Is Ideally centrally located to most of the community neighborhoods and within, for the most part, the recommended 1-1/2 mile service area. Portions of the western and eastern neighborhoods are too remote and not within the Community Park service area. As the city residential areas grow to the north and east, an additional community park facility will be necessary to meet the future demand.
Neighborhood parks on a city-wide basis are far above (3.7 acres per 1000 population) the recommended NRPA minimum standards of 2.5 acres per 1000 population. This ratio will Increase (4.2 acres per 1000 population) with the development of the existing dedicated park lands.
Because of the open space tradition and preference within the city and because the city Is well above the recommended minimum NRPA standards for parks and recreation areas, a "Broomfield standard" Is recommended. This revised standard proposes 6.0 acres per 1000 population for city-wide facilities with 2.0 acres recommended for district or community-wide facilities and 4.0 acres recommended for neighborhood facilities, thus maintaining the existing preference for close neighborhood facilities.
Based upon this recommended local standard, approximately 138 additional acres will be needed city-wide at buildout, approximately 58 acres for community-wide facilities and approximately 80 acres for neighborhood facilities.
Most outdoor recreational facilities are adequately distributed throughout the city, both In size and location. As the city develops In the future, these outdoor recreational facilities will need to be Increased In number proportionate to the population, demand, and locational needs.
The number of miles (4-5 miles) and location of the bicycle, pedestrian, and horse trails are far below the recommended minimum of 25 miles to serve the existing population. Upwards to 61 miles of trails will be needed to serve the projected ultimate population within the study area.
Most picnic areas are primarily located In the central part of the community and are limited In number. They should be Increased and more widely distributed throughtout the existing and future areas of the city.
fill I zsa -Periapt.Lons
As part of this open space study, a self-administered questionnaire was distributed In all neighborhoods of the city. In general, most citizens surveyed thought that open space contributed to the high quality of life within the city and thought that the city should restrict urban growth by securing and preserving
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open space. Most gave the parks and outdoor recreational areas a favorable rating with Community Park rated above the existing neighborhood parks. Several specific suggestions were made for Improvements and additions to the parks and outdoor recreational areas, among which include more picnic areas, pedestrlan/blcycle trails, and other neighborhood outdoor family oriented faclIIties.
Of the people surveyed, over 80 percent said they would support some type of additional tax If necessary to preserve public open space for the city; 45 percent said they would prefer an Increase In the sales tax.
Policy and Regulations Analysis
Open space has long been a priority and preference of the city. The existing open space and recreational goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan are effectively being Implemented by the city regulations, primarily the P.U.D. ordinance. This ordinance provides a sliding scale formula for determining the required public use land Including parks and recreation areas. This formula Is unique In that It distributes open space and other public facilities based upon density or projected future need.
In addition to the above public land requirement, developers of high to medium density projects must also provide 40 percent of their sites In common private open space for the exclusive use of the project residents. This requirement Is somewhat unfair In that It makes medium and high density developments difficult, If not impossible, to complete In the city. Consideration should be given to revising this regulation.
The city policy and regulations do not address sensitive highly visible areas outside the city limits or along the major highway corridors. Also, little emphasis or priority Is given to the development or preservation of critical trail linkages throughout the city.
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN
As a result of this case study of the Broomfield open space system, a proposed open space master plan was formulated for the city and surrounding study area. The plan Includes the following revised objectives.
Provide open space In significant quantities for the permanent use and benefit of citizens.
Use open space for multiple purposes.
Use open space to limit land crowding.
Provide every citizen with adequate, safe, and convenient neighborhood and community-wide parks and recreation areas.
Provide safe and convenient trails between parks, recreation areas, and city activity centers by utilizing open space linkages.
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Preserve and maintain rural and open character of the community and region.
Based upon the research of this study and the above-revised goals and objectives, a proposed open space master plan was developed. In concept the plan expands upon the existing open space and outdoor recreational system Into a viable and functional community-wide network of linear and nodal open spaces within and around the urban development. A primary trail system Interconnects three major communlty/reglonal open space foci I with other city-wide activity centers. Secondary trails connect other parks and activity centers to the primary loop and the proposed regional open space network outside of the study area. Large open space and environmental corridors are retained along the major highways to keep the rural and open character of the city.
Several specific alternative locations and recommendations are made for specific facility locations within the study area. These Include three alternative community park sites, several neighborhood park sites, pedestrlan/blcycle trail and highway crossing network and aesthetic and environmental corridors.
Broomfield Case Study
Contrary to the original premise of this study, the City of Broomfield Is providing open space, primarily parks and recreational open space facilities only within the city limits, In adequate amounts and locations to meet the existing and future needs of the citizens. The early developers of the community and later the Incorporated city recognized that open space has an Important functional utility and should be Integrated with other community land uses. Time has proven that the early dedicated park and recreation areas were properly distributed and sized to more than adequately serve the ultimate (bulltout) population. These early open space components today serve as the key elements In the existing open space system.
The city policies and regulations transfer and reinforce the community's open space preference. The 1973 Comprehensive Plan establishes a conceptual open space plan for a limited area which has been generally followed In recent years. The P.U.D. ordinance requires the dedication of public use land, Including open space, or cash In lieu of land at an Increasing proportion based upon gross density. This "sliding scale" formula Is somewhat unique and Is largely responsible for the above average park and recreational open space acreages within the city.
The city does not have an open space policy or program to acquire or control aesthetic open space lands outside of the city limits. In a limited way, the city has outwardly encouraged and supported Boulder County In Its acquisition of the Rock Creek Farm as part of the county open space program. Little open space cooperation and coordination has taken place with the other governmental Jurisdictions, particularly Jefferson County. The city has not taken advantage of the available funding for open space and trail acquisition and development within the adjacent Jefferson County area.
With the exception of the 1973 Comprehensive Plan and specific park and
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recreational area development, the city has done little open space planning, particularly outside of the city limits. In fact, several Important oppportunltles to control a larger territory were lost to the more aggressive surrounding communities. As a result, little opportunity exists to control some important Image-making highway corridor areas or city entry portals, particularly to the south.
Further, there has been no comprehensive study of the surrounding region to evaluate the development and open space opportunities and constraints. The city decision makers and advisors are only aware of the generalized development constraints, primarily to the west of the city limits. The city has not done a very good job in encouraging or developing an overall trail network within and between the numerous existing parks and recreation areas. Very little use has been made of the natural and manmade features, primarily the irrigation ditches, as trail corridors. This has resulted in several lost opportunities, namely, the Country Club area. This is largely due to the fact that this area was developed within the county, then annexed into the city later. However, if the city had been more conscious and aware of these linkage opportunities, it could have been more influential during the county planning and public approval process.
Finally, little or no effort has been made to Involve the public in any planning or decision-making process concerning the future policies, acquisition or dedication of open space areas within or near the city. An appointed citizen's Park and Recreation Advisory Board only provides limited citizen input on the activities and recreational programs of the parks and recreation department. The only opportunity citizens have to comment on future open space additions is during the public hearing part of the planning commission and city council review and approval process of new land subdivisions within the city.
Qihar front Range .Conmmiitl.es
The findings and conclusions of this open space case study can apply to the City of Broomfield and to other Colorado Front Range communities in several ways:
1. Regional Context Open space planning by Front Range communities should be undertaken with full knowledge of the region in which it is located. This should include a comprehensive understanding of the natural, man-made and social environments, all of which have bearing on open space and other development opportunities and constraints of the area.
This is a most Important consideration. All communities must be aware of the open space opportunities and possible limitations, outside as well as Inside the city limits, to properly plan for the future. As illustrated by this case study, Front Range communities do not plan for future open space needs, except for possibly recreation areas, beyond their current city limits.
This broad regional perspective should also include cooperation and coordination with other adjacent governmental Jurisdictions and agencies.
Open space networks are multi-jurisdictional and do not conform to man-made boundaries. Therefore, Intra-governmental cooperation and coordination Is essential to a successful regional open space network.
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2. Functional and Integrated Land Use -All communities should recognize open space as a valuable functional land use within the community and region with the same importance as all other land uses. Without this recognition, open space would be considered a "second class" land use and would likely be overlooked in the community planning and development process.
Likewise, all communities should Integrate open space throughout the community with the other land uses. This would Insure safe and convenient access and enjoyment by the largest number of citizens.
3. Open Space Evaluation and Definition All communities should Inventory and evaluate their open space systems, both within and outside of their city limits. This should include a physical inventory and evaluation of alI types of open space by their function, not just the parks and recreation areas. Physical evaluation of the open space network would require the use of accepted open space standards to determine the adequacy or inadequacy of the areas. All communities are encouraged to develop their own open space standard instead of relying on nationally recognized minimum standards. This would insure that the local conditions and customs are taken into consideration.
Also, the local policies and regulations related to open space dedication and acquisition should be analyzed to Insure that city guidelines and procedures are consistent with the open space preference of the community.
Open space evaluation and analysis Implies that the communities must have a good understanding and definition of open space. As discussed in this case study, the open space definition is ambiguous and complex. The definition should include other recognized "non-development," open space functions besides recreation, provide for multiple or overlapping functions. Insure legal permanence, and encourage a community-wide system or network.
4. Public Involvement An essential part of community open space evaluation and study is the involvement of the citizens. Communities should use a variety of techniques to solicit the perceptions of the users of the open space facilities. Because of the budget and time (manpower) limitations of this case study, only a simplified and unscientific questionnaire was used to gather user data. Other techniques to be used should include more elaborate statistical sampling, personal interviews, community or neighborhood workshops, citizen committees, etc.
The gathered information is Invaluable In determining the local open space expectations and user wants and needs for open space facilities. Additional community attitudes can be obtained which are often unknown or impossible to determine.
Most important, however, the participating citizens wilt understand the planning process better and feel more a part of the open space plan decisions and recommendations. This "ownership" feeling by the citizens Is often important to the successful Implementation of a community-wide open space plan.
5. Open Space Planning Front Range communities with outdated or no community-wide open space plans should begin the open space planning immediately. It is Important to establish a plan as early as possible to avoid losing open space opportunities. Open space acquisitions near or adjacent to existing urban development are often Impossible because of the rapidly appreciating land values.
The open space plan must accommodate the needs of the existing and the anticipated future users of the community. Thus, the open space system must be planned for the ultimate population size and the proposed facilities must be properly distributed throughout the study area to meet the anticipated community needs at buildout.
Emphasis should be given to developing feasible and achievable open space plans. A realistic perspective must be maintained throughout the process to insure that any plans are within the economic and political means of the community.
The open space plan must also retain some degree of flexibility to respond to unforeseen changes. This is an important consideration given the current uncertainties in the economy.
An implementation plan and development schedule for both the short and long term should be developed. It is important that some visible sign or action take place soon after the adoption of the plan by the community decision makers if public support Is to be maintained. Likewise, the implementation process should continue over the lifetime of the plan. As discussed earlier, several low cost dedication and acquisition tools are available to start or continue the implementation of the plan.
Finally, It Is important to test the success of the implemented plan periodically. Public Input and comment should be solicited to Insure that the open space improvements and system are meeting the original citizen and existing citizens wants and needs. Changes or deficiencies should be made in the open space plan when necessary.
In summary, open space is important to all communities, but particularly those communities experiencing fast and dramatic growth. It is important that these communities confront the open space dilemma head on with a viable open space plan which addresses alI aspects of the complex open space concept. Most Important, however, these communities need to look beyond their city boundaries and anticipate future urban development. A sound open space plan and acquisition program will Insure that the future open space needs of the community will not be neglected or overlooked when development beyond the existing city limits does occur.
(1) David A. Wallace, ed.. Metropolitan Open Space and Natural Process. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press), 1970, p.10.
(2) U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Colorado: 1980 Census of Population and Housing, (Washington: March 1981), p. 1.
(3) Colorado, Private Choices. Public Strategies: Growth. Development and Investments Colorado. 1980-2000. Volume 1: Findings^ The Blue Ribbon Pane 1, February 1980, p>2.
(4) DJIbert B. Ward and S.B. Zisman, Where Not to Build: A Guide for Open Space Planning, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Technical Bulletin I, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1968), p. 4.
(5) William I. Goodman, ed., Principles and Practice of Urban Planning. (Washington: International City Managers* Association, 1968), p. 185.
(6) Rutherford H. Platt, Ihe Open Space Decision Process.; Spatial Al location of Costs and Benefits, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), p. 53.
(7) IPJji., p. 53.
(8) Goodman, ed., p. 199.
(9) Ibid, pp. 199-201
(10) Ibid., pp. 201-204
(11) Ibid., pp. 204-205.
(12) Ward and Zisman, pp. 21-22.
(13) JM4., p. 30.
(14) Goodman, ed., p. 349.
(15) Ibid.f p. 188.
(16) Robert D. Buechner, ed., National Park Recreation .ami Â£p.eii .Space Standards, (Washington: National Recreation and Park Association, 1971), p. 10.
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(17) Ibid., p. 11.
(18) JMd.., p. 9.
(19) Ibid., pp. 9-10.
(20) Platt, p. 24.
(21) Monty Christiansen, Application of a Recreation Experience Components Concept for Comprehensive Recreation Planning. Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs, (Harrisburg: 1975), p. 3.
(22) National Recreation and Park Association, Outdoor Recreation Space Standards, (New York: 1966), pp. 10-11.
(23) Ibid., p. 6.
(24) Ibid., p. 5.
(25) Ibid., p. 5.
(26) Ibid., pp. 36-40.
(27) Christiansen, pp. 4-5.
(28) CNC/NHPO, City of Broomfield Comprehensive Master Plan. 1973, p. 3.
(29) Ibid., pp. 18-19.
(30) Broomfield, City of Broomfield Zoning Ordinance No._____149., as Amended, 1973,
(31) Ibid., p. 54.
(32) Information provided by Mr. Jerry Royther, Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Westminster, Colorado.
(33) Information provided by Mr. August Hioco, Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Louisville, Colorado.
(34) Information provided by Mr. Dave Ruffner, Staff Planner, Adams County, Colorado.
(35) Boulder County, Boulder County Comprehensive Plan Volume I, 1978, pp.
(36) Boulder County, "Initial Assessment and Management Recommendations Report (on Rock Creek Farm)," Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department, (xeroxed), February 23, 1981, p. 1.
(37) Information provided by Mr. Ken Foelske, Planning Administrator, Jefferson County Open Space Department, Jefferson County, Colorado.
(38) CNC/NHPQ, pp. 18-19.
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(40) Key and Company, City of Westminster Parks. Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (draft), (Boulder: May 1981), p. 67.
(41) EDAW, Inc. Colorado State Trails Master Plan. Executive Summary (draft),
The Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, (Fort Collins: November 15, 1980), pp. 2-4.
(42) Information provided by Mr. Ken Foelske, Planning Administrator, Jefferson County Open Space Department, Jefferson County, Colorado.
(43) Bill Parker, "Open Space Planning for Rural, Growth-Impacted Colorado Counties" (unpublished Masters Thesis, College of Environmental Design,
University of Colorado at Denver, 1980), p. 32.
(44) Key and Company, p
(45) B11 1 Parker, p. 9
(47) Ibid. , p. 10.
(48) Ibid. TD 00
(49) Ibid. , pp. 11-18.
(50) Ibid. , pp. 21-22.
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Bair, Frank E., and James A. Ruffner, ed. The Weather Almanac. New York: Book Tower, 1978.
Blandford, Chris J., and Winston, Jeff T. Open Space for Boca Raton: An Open Space and Recreation Master Plan. Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia: 1975.
Broomfield. City of Broomfield Subdivision Ordinance No.____162. as Amended.
Broomfield. City of Broomfield Zoning Ordinance No.____149. as Amended. 1973.
Broomfield, Planning Staff, Mineral Resources Element of the Broomfield Comprehensive Plan. 1975.
Boulder. City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Master Plan 1976-1991 (PrelIm1 nary Draft). 1976.
Boulder County. Boulder County Comprehensive Plan .Volume. .1.. 1978.
Boulder County. Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department. "Initial
Assessment and Management Recommendations Report (on Rock Creek Farm). February 23, 1981. (xeroxed).
Boyd, William S., and Marr, John W. Vegetation Map of the Greater Denver Area. Front Range Urban Corridor, Colorado. U.S. Department of Interior, Geological Survey. Washington: Government Printing Office,
Buechner, Robert D., ed. National Park Recreation and Open Space Standards Washington, D.C.: National Recreation and Park Association, 1971.
Christiansen, Monty, Application of a Recreation Experience Components
Concept for Comprehensive Recreation Planning. Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs, Harrisburg: 1975.
CNC/NHPQ. City of Broomfield Comprehensive Master Plan. 1973.
CNC/NHPQ. City of Broomfield Comprehensive Utility Plan. October 1973.
Colorado Division of Wildlife. Essential Habitat for Threatened or Endangered Wild 11fe In SalQradQ. Denver: 1978.
Colorado. Private ChoIcesf Public Strategies: Growth. Development and
Investments Colorado, 1980-2000. Volume I.;. fladJnas. The Blue Ribbon Panel, February 1980.
Colton, Roger B., and Lowrle, Raymond L. Map Showing Mined Areas of the
Boulder-Weld Coal Field. Colorado. U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1973.
Denver Regional Council of Governments. Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region. Denver: 1978.
EDAW, Inc. Colorado State Trails Master Plan (draft). Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Fort Collins: November 15, 1980.
Goodman, William I., ed. Principles and Practice of Urban Planning.
Washington, D.C.: International City Managers Association, 1968.
IsbIII Associates, Inc. Jefferson County Airport Master Plan Study. May 19,
Jefferson County. Jefferson County Parks and Open Space Program. "Jefferson County Open Space Non-MotorIzed Recreational Trails Plan," August 1980.
Key and Company. City of Westminster Parks. Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (draft). Boulder: May 1981.
Machette, Michael N., and Donald E. Trimble. Geologic Map of the Greater
Denver Area. Front Range Urban .Corridor, Cal.or-adfl. U.S. Department of Interior, Geologic Survey. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1979.
Marsh, William M. Environmental Analysis for Land Use and Site Planning. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1978.
McHarg, Ian L. Design with Nature. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1971.
Moreland, Donald C., and Moreland, Ronald E. Soil Survey of Boulder County Area. Colorado. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975.
Mutel, Cornelia Fleischer. From Grassland to Glacier: An Ecology of Boulder County. Colorado. Boulder: Johnson Publishing Company, 1976.
National Recreation and Park Association. Outdoor Recreation Space Standards. New York: 1966.
Parker, Bill. "Open Space Planning for Rural, Growth Impacted Colorado
Counties." Unpublished masters thesis, College of Environmental Design, University of Colorado at Denver, 1980.
Platt, Rutherford H. The Open Space Decision Process; Spatial Allocation of Costs and Benefits. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Economic Research Service. Open Space: Its Use and Preservation. Miscellaneous Publication No. 1121. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1968.
U.S.Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. So!I Survey of Adams County. Colorado. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1974.
U.S.Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. Soil Survey of
Boulder County. Colorado. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975.
U.S.Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Denver. Important Farmland Inventory: Colorado. Washington: Government Printing Office,
U.S.Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Colorado: 1980 Census of
Population and Housing. Washington: Government Printing Office, March
Spltler, Laura L., and Walter, Lou. Gem of the Mountain Valley. A History of Broomfield. Broomfield Centennial-Bicentennial Commission, 1975.
Wal lace, David A., ed. Metropolitan Open Space and Natural Process. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1970.
Ward, Dllbert B., and Zlsman, S.B. Where Not to Build: A Guide for Open Space Planning. U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Land Management, Technical Bulletin I, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1968.
Wilkinson, Bruce. "Jeffco Airport: Industrial Complex Takes Shape," The Denver Post. October 12, 1980, Section D.
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GENERAL NATURE OF THE AREA
The Broomfield study area Is located at the western edge or Colorado Piedmont section of the Great Plains physiographic province, which is characterized by rolling topography, rising gently from east to west, until It meets the Front Range section of the Southern Rocky Mountain physiographic provlnence. The area Is drained by two minor tributary streams of the South Platte River, Rock Creek and Big Dry Creek, both of which flow generally to the north and east.d)
The study area Is roughly bisected by a predominant ridge running from the southwest to the northeast. Northwest of the ridge, the land form breaks sharply toward the Rock Creek drainage forming a highly visible bluff which Is characterized by moderate to steep slopes. Southeast of the ridge, the land Is more gentle and rolling toward the more distant Big Dry Creek drainage.
Elevation change within the study area, as taken from the U.S. Geological Survey 7.5 minute Lafayette and Louisville Quadrangles (1965), Is approximately 600 feet, 5790 feet above sea level on the western boundary to 5200 feet above sea level on the eastern boundary.
Bedrock within the study area consists of layer sedimentary rocks from the Upper Cretaceous age which were deposited as sediment when the region was Invaded two or more times by an ancient sea 300 to 67 mil lion years ago. The region began to uplift approximately 67 million years ago creating the present Rocky Mountains to the west. This upheaval caused the sedimentary rocks to bend and fracture. Erosion by wind and water along with some volcanic action deposited new sediment in the valleys and plains below the mountains.
In more recent geologic history (2 to 3 mil lion years ago), glaciers from the Great Ice Age continued the erosion process and contributed additional aluvlum deposits to the area. Further wind action blew sand and loess eastward and southeastward In the region redistributing the deposits.
The study area is characterized by both sedimentary rocks and younger deposits of
alluvium materials. Remnants of the Dawson-Arapahoe formations and the Laramie Formation are located In the southwesterly portion of the study area, within the Rock Creek drainage, and other isolated areas. Loess deposits and other alluvium deposits are found primarily in the northeastern part of the study area. No geologic hazards or faults are known to exist within the study area.(2)
Mineral resources can be divided Into three groups: metallic minerals, non-metal lie minerals, and mineral fuels. Mineral resources from all three categories are found In the region, only non-metalIc metalIc minerals and mineral fuels are known to be present within the study area.(3)
Non-metal IIc Minerals
Although the study area contains amounts of aggregate deposits, most are not of suitable quality or quantity to be considered as commercial deposits. A report was prepared In 1975 for the city which Identified the commercially valuable non-metal lie mineral deposits In the Broomfield area as required by C.R.S. 1963 92-36-5 (H.B. 1529). Three types of aggregate deposits were Identified:
U2 upland deposits of marginal aggregate deposits
U4 probable but unevaluated upland aggregate resource areas
V3 valley fills fine aggregate (sand) deposits.
The valley fill, fine aggregatae deposits (V3) are located exclusively along the Dry Creek drainage. The marginal upland aggregate deposits are located In the southwest part of the study area, general ly west of Colorado 121 and U.S. 287 and south of West 120th Avenue and Colorado 128 (Jefferson County Airport). Unevaluated upland aggregate deposits are scattered In small pockets throughout the study area.(4)
Coal Is the only mineral fuel known to exist within the study area. It Is contained within the Laramie Formation, which underlays a large portion of the region. Because of the west to east sloping nature of the formation, the coal deposit depths range from the surface to as much as 500 feet deep In layers of various thIckness.(5)
There Is some question as to the commercial viability of the coal deposits of the region. No region-wide study has been completed to Indicate In detail the quantity or quality of these deposits.(6) Neither the Regional Growth and Development Plan (1978) by the DRCOG nor the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (1978 as amended 1980) Identify the coal deposits as commercial deposits, thus recommending that the deposits be preserved for future use.
Several areas In the Boulder County portion of the study area were commercially mined In the first half of the century as part of the Boulder-Weld Coalfield; most mining activity ceased after World War II. Operating mines within the study area Included the Monarch No. 2 (1947), Sunnyslde (1921), Hlway (1954), and Eversman (1930).(7)
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The threat of land subsidence exists over and near these previously mined areas of the study area. Subsidence Is "a process characterIzed by the downward displacement of surface material caused by natural phenomena such as removal of underground fluids, natural consolidation, or dissolution of underground minerals, or by man-made phenomena such as underground mining."(8) Severe damage could result to both property or human life If development were allowed within the subsidence zones. As a result, areas where subsidence Is suspected (previously mined areas) should be considered as severe geologic hazard areas.
Soils within the study area are primarily clay loams, which are grouped Into the following soil associations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service:
Sams!I-Shlngle Association: Sloping to steep, excessively drained, clayey and loamy soils formed in materials from soft shale and sandstone; on uplands.
Arvada-Nunn-Heldt Association: Nearly level, well-drained, loamy and clayey soils formed In alluvium; on terraces and fans.
Platner-Ulm Renohlll Association: Nearly level to strongly sloping, well-drained, loamy soils formed In old alluvium on interbedded shale and sandstone; on uplands.(9)
The SamslI-ShingIe Association is found In the western half of the study area within the Rock Creek drainage and includes most of the steeper slopes. This association contains approximately 35 percent SamslI soils, 25 percent Shingle soils, 5 percent Renohlll and Ulm soils and 35 percent steep Gravelly land closely intermingled with Shale outcrops. Terrace escarpments, Rough broken land, and Loamy alluvial land. Agriculture Is limited as most of the association Is used as pasture or range lands. Because of the underlaying and fractured shale and sandstone, foundation construction is difficult and care should be taken to prevent settling and fracturing of structures.
The Arvada-Nunn-Heldt association (Nunn-Heldt Association in Boulder County) Is composed of primarily Nunn soils with Arvada soils, Heldt soils, Kutch soils, Renohlll soils, and Valmont soils. This soil association Is located generally in the center one third of the study area and northwest of Rock Creek. The Nunn and Heldt soils are very suitable for dryland and Irrigation farming. The Arvada and Heldt soils have high shrink-swell potential and could cause damage to foundations, roads, and underground utilities If not properly constructed.
The Platner-Ulm-RenohlII association Is located primarily in the eastern one third of the study area In Adams County. This association Is made up of approximately 40 percent Platner soils, 30 percent Ulm soils, 20 percent Renohlll soils, and 10 percent Samsll, Shingle, and other minor soils. The Platner, Ulm, and Renohlll soils are suitable for dryland or irrigation farming. Urban development Is difficult due to the presence of shallow subsurface and fractured sandstone and shale deposits. Care In foundation construction Is necessary.
In general, the soils within the study area do not present hazardous and severe
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constraints to urban development. Because of the fractured sedimentary formation and presence of some clay loam soils with the high shrink-swell potential, suitable and appropriate construction techniques should be utilized In urban development.
Prime agricultural lands are becoming more recognized as a resource of national and state Importance with the trend toward more foreign exports of agricultural products. Colorado contains several areas which are claslfled as "prime farmlands. If Irrigated with an adequate supply of water."(10)
Many areas within the study area contain prime farmland, however, relative few areas remain free of urban development or non-confIIctIng land uses. In addition, recent urban development has disrupted many of the necessary Irrigation ditches and reservoirs which are critical to the proper utilization and management of these lands. (11)
Therefore, It can be argued that those lands classified as prime farmland (If irrigated) within the study are probably not "prime" In the same terms as other prime farmlands found elsewhere In the region and the state. Prime farmland within the study area should probably be considered as available to future urban development.
Slope is often expressed in percent which Is measured by dividing the total change In elevation of bottom to top of a slope by the ground distance covered by the slope. Consideration of slopes Is an Important aspect In land use planning In terms of environmental constraints they pose to development and the type of environmental Impact their alteration presents after their development.
In general, slopes can be classified Into four categories based upon the percent of slopes
Very steep greater than 45$
Steep 26$ to 45$
Moderate 25$ to 11$
Gentle 10$ to 0$
Urban development, primarily buildings and roads, should be confined to gentle and moderate slopes, depending upon the Intended use. Using this range (0$ to 25$) as a general guideline, all slopes steeper should be viewed as severe constraints for development. (12)
Most of the study area can be described as having gentle or moderate slopes. However, several steep slopes are present along the predominant ridge running generally from the southwest to the northeast above Rock Creek and In the vicinity of the Jefferson County airport.
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Hydrology within the study area is somewhat complex. The area contained portions of two drainage systems, both tributaries of the South Platte River which flow generally to the northeast. Rock Creek, to the northwest Is a perennial stream but often flows Intermittently in periods of drought since it does not drain a very big area. The flood threat from Rock Creek Is rather extensive within the study area.(13)
Big Dry Creek to the southeast Is a perennial stream which flows in a well defined channel. The drainage area of the Big Dry Creek Is much larger than Rock Creek, which extends west of Stanley Lake In Jefferson County. A flood study was completed in 1973 by the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District which delineates the 100 year flood plain. Only a small portion of the study area, however, is within the flood plain area. Therefore, Big Dry Creek presents little flood threat to the developed areas of the city.
A greater flood threat exists throughout the city from the numerous small "dry" drainageways which are a part of the Big Dry Creek drainage basin. These drainageways were identified In a comprehensive drainage plan as part of the Broomfield Comprehensive Utility Plan dated October 1973 by CNC/NHPQ. The plan proposes to utilize grass-lined drainageways and several existing reservoirs as flood detention areas. These reservoirs Include Broomfield, Tom Frost (Gay),
West Lake and McKay.(14)
Several irrigation ditches and reservoirs are contained within the study area. These include the Upper Church Ditch, Community Ditch, Equity Ditch, Dry Creek Valley Ditch, Calkins Ditch, Upper Church Lake, Stearns Lake, Brunner Reservoir, Broomfield Reservoir, Hu I tons Lake, NIssen Reservoir, and McKay Lake. Many of these Irrigation facilities still function, but with the decline of agriculture In the area and the Increase of urban development, many are starting to fall Into a state of disrepair. The rights of way or easements of the ditches should be preserved within the developed urban area as they present an opportunity for pedestrian and bicycle trails.
CL I MATE
The Broomfield area enjoys a mild sunny semi-arid climate which Is strongly Influenced by the Rocky Mountains. The weather in the area is Influenced by at least four different air mass sources: polar air from Canada, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, warm dry air from the southwest and Mexico, and modified air from the Pacific Ocean.(15)
Little climatological Information Is available for the City of Broomfield. Although a weather station Is located at the Jefferson County Airport within the study area, the records are not summarized and available through the State Climatological Office or the National Weather Service.(16)
The closest weather station Is located at Stapleton International Airport In Denver. Climate information from this station is probably similar to that which can be expected In the Broomfield area.
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The following briefly summarizes the major aspects of the Broomfield climate:
1. Temperature Temperature In the area Is quite often cool with potential for sudden fluctuations. Rarely do temperatures go over 100 degrees Fahrenheit In the summer. July Is the hottest month with the mean temperature 72.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the maximum temperature 86.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and the minimum temperature 58.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
January Is the coldest month with the mean temperature 30.1 degrees Fahrenheit, the maximum temperature 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and the minimum temperature 17.4 degrees Fahrenheit.(17)
2. Precipitation The area has low average precipitation and low relative humidity. Only 14.6 Inches of rain Is recorded annually with May (2.40 Inches) and April (2.01 Inches) the highest and second highest average months. January is the lowest month for precipitation with 0.48 inches.
An average of 60 inches of snow can be expected from September through May with June sometimes receiving a trace amount. March is the biggest snow month with an average of 12.7 Inches.(18)
3. Wind The mean wind speed for the area Is 9.0 mph from the south, with April (10.4 mph) being the windiest month. Areas closer to the mountains experience strong winds with the changing weather conditions. Warm, strong downslope winds during the winter months called "chlnooks" can result in rapid temperature changes.(19)
4. Growing Season The growing season of the area Is approximately 150 days with the average last frost day occurring on May 10th.(20)
Although severe weather Is not uncommon throughout the year, especially with summer thunderstorms, no one area within the study area Is known to be more susceptible to severe weather than another.
Before the settlement of the region by man, the study area was part of the plains grasslands ecosystem which was dominated by compact short grasses with scattered tall grass bunches. These grasses were green only during the warm moist spring and early summer, then became brown and dormant during the dryer part of the year.(21)
A riparian ecosystem existed along the wetter valley streams and lowlands of the region, where the only deciduous cottonwood trees of the region existed. Other native shrubs, grasses and sedges provided shelter to a variety of w11d11fe.(22)
Today little of the native vegetation Is left within the study area.
Agricultural and urban development by man has drastlcal ly changed the vegetation pattern of the area. Little specific Information Is available on the existing vegetation within the study area. However, several general vegetation zones can be identified.
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A grassland zone In the western half of the study area Is a remnant from the former grassland ecosystem. The area has been used for grazing over the year, so It Is doubtful If much of the original native grasses still remain.
A riparian zone exists along and around the numerous drainage ways, Irrigation ditches and reservoirs. This zone Is probably similar to the existing ecosystem, but heavily modified by man with the Introduction of non-native vegetation.
An agricultural zone exists primarily in the eastern half of the study area where both dryland and Irrigated cultivation occurs. Crops primarily include wheat and hay.
Finally, an urban landscape zone occupies the east central portion of the study area. This zone Is the most Impacted area with large areas of Impervious surfaces (streets, parking lots, etc.), structures and revegetation primarily with non-native plant.(23)
Since the original vegetation In virtually the whole study area has been heavily modified, there are no known sensitive vegetation zones.
Wildlife species within the study area are probably diverse and abundant, however, little Information Is available to confirm this. Just as the predominant native vegetation has changed with the coming of man Into the region, so have the native wildlife species changed.
Historically, the area was Inhabited by large herbivores (bison, pronyhorns, etc.), large carnivores (bears, wolves, etc.) and numerous rodents, birds and reptiles. With the destruction of the plains grasslands for agriculture cultivation and the Introduction of domestic grazing animals, the native species drastically were reduced and changed. Those birds and animals capable of adapting remained and new non-native species were Introduced.(24)
Review of Essential Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Wildlife In Colorado by the Colorado Division of Wildlife (1978) Indicates that there are no known threatened or endangered wildlife habitats within the study area. However, the western grasslands of the study area could possibly be considered as hunting habitat for the American Peregrine Falcon (falco peregrlnus anatum), a federal and state endangered species. Nesting eyries are suspected to exist In cliffs along the Front Range between Boulder and Golden. The birds frequently travel at least ten miles to hunt small to moderate sized birds, thus potentially Including the western half of the study area. Additional study Is necessary to determine to what extent, If any, this species utilizes portions of the study area as hunting habitat.(25)
Much of the study area Is located on a predominant ridge creating many areas which are highly visible from the primary travel corridors. Many of these highly visible areas are undeveloped and vacant which help to establish a rural, small town Image for the community to both the visitor and resident. At present, few
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of these visually sensitive areas can be classified as open space since they are vulnerable to future development. Still others are outside of the study area and under control of other adjacent jurisdictions and are out of the Influence of the city altogether. Control over the remaining highly visible and sensitive areas within the study area Is essential If future visual separation between adjacent Jurisdictions is desired.
An analysis was conducted along the four major highway, U.S. 36 (Denver-BouIder Turnpike), U.S. 287, Colorado 121, and Colorado 128 to determine those areas, both developed and undeveloped, which are highly visible. Further, emphasis was given to Identifying key portal or entry points Into the community, major distant vantage points from where the city Is first visible, and recognizable horizon features by which the city Is distinguished from others.
The Denver-BouIder Turnpike corridor Is the most traveled highway within the study area. (Refer to Appendix B for further discussion of average dally travel rates.) Several areas within the study area are visible from U.S. 36. These IncIude:
Agricultural fields and valley pasture lands on both sides of the highway from the Old Wadsworth overpass to the Broomfield exit. The agricultural fields on the northeast side of the highway provide a pleasant contrast to the city background.
Southerly and westerly si deslopes of the predominant ridge below the Lac Amora development on the northeast side of the highway.
Portions of the Rock Creek valley Including the Rock Creek Farm (Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department) and adjacent privately owned parcels on the northeast side of the highway.
Numerous small valleys and grass covered hillsides southwest of the highway.
The first predominant views of Broomfield traveling from Denver are from the City of Westminster at approximately 88th Avenue, a distance of approximately 3 miles. Traveling from Boulder, the city Is seen from the top of Davidson Mesa, a distance of over 6 miles. From both vantage points, the views quickly disappear and then reappear several times because of the hilly terrain. Traveling from Denver, an Important entry portal Is located at the top of a small hill, approximately 1000 feet before the Broomfield exit. From this point the commercial area (Broomfield Center), Industrial areas, and portions of the residential areas are clearly seen.
Approaching from Boulder, an entry portal Is approximately 2 1/2 miles from the Broomfield exit, Just as one passes the Storage Technology plant. Major portions of the Rock Creek valley, the steeper terrain below the airport, and Lac Amora are visible. However, one does not truly get an Impression of the city traveling from the northwest until the Broomfield exit. From this high point most of the city Is visible.
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U.S. 287 Is the next busiest highway which passes through the city. Traveling from the south, much of the highly visible areas are not within the study area. Those areas which are In the study area, the terrain Is relatively flat, so visibility from the highway corridor Is limited to only several hundred feet on either side.
Traveling from the north or Lafayette, the highway crosses the Rock Creek valley, then traverses up the major ridge. The northwest facing slopes of this ridge are highly visible and form a dramatic entry feature as one reaches the crest of the ridge and enters Into the city.
First views of the city from U.S. 287 occur outside of the study area from the Town of Lafayette to the north, approximately 3 miles and from the City of Westminster to the south at approximately 104th Avenue, a distance of some 5 miles. The northern views are primarily of the development along the top and flanks of the ridge, while first views from the south offer more complete views of the city.
The major entry portal on U.S. 287 occurs at the top of the ridge of the city limits where the commercial, Industrial and some residential areas are first seen In total. The agricultural fields to east of U.S. 287 and north of West 10th Avenue help to provide an attractive foreground to the city.
There seems to be no real portal or entry point from the south on U.S. 287 except from where the city Is first seen at 104th Avenue. The flat Big Dry Creek valley makes It difficult to tell when one first enters Into the city.
Colorado 121 Is the upper portion of the Wadsworth Bypass which terminates at the U.S. 287 In the city. First views of the city occur from Westminster at the top of a small hllI adjacent to the Indian Tree Golf Course, a distance of approximately 6 miles. The rolling terrain prohibit additional views until the hill at the Old Wadsworth turnoff as one enters the Walnut Creek valley. From both I coatIons, only the development built on the ridges Including the Jefferson County Airport are clearly visible. One does not clearly view the city until Just before the U.S. 128 Intersection at the airport, at a major entry portal.
Colorado 128 travels east to west through the study area and briefly combines with U.S. 287 from Federal Boulevard to the DenverBouIder Turnpike (U.S. 36).
The terrain of the eastern portion of Colorado 128, like U.S. 287, Is relatively flat, so only limited areas of the corridor along the route are visible from the highway. In the western portion, west of U.S. 36, the highway climbs along the top of the ridge north of the Jefferson County Airport. Dramatic views of the Rock Creek valley Including portions of Broomfield, the City of Louisville, the Storage Technology plant, and U.S. 36 are visible from the highway to the north.
First views of the city from the west on Colorado 128 are available from
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approximately Indiana Street. Visible are portions of Lac Amora, the Industrial areas, and the residential areas In the central part of the city. A major entry portal does not occur until Colorado 128 Intersects with Colorado 121 and U.S.
36. From this Intersection, major portions of the city are visible.
Traveling from the east, the city Is first visible at the top of the hill at the Western Electric plant within the City of Westminster, a distance of approximately 2 miles. Visible from here are portions of Westlake and the residential areas around the water tank. Further to the west about one mile, a major entry portal occurs at the top of a smalI hill above the Dry Creek drainage. From this point only the eastern portion of the city Is visible.
Distinguishing Visual Features
The City of Broomfield, like all communities, has several distinguishing visual features which makes It different from other cities In the area. Although most of these features are certainly not unique, together they give the city Its own Identlty.
Because of Broomfield's location away from the major urban centers of Boulder and Denver and Its suburbs, Broomfield can be viewed as a self-contained community, somewhat similar to many of the older rural agricultural communities of the region. Many agricultural fields still remain near and within city limits which further reinforces this rural Impression.
Since most of the urban development Is located on the southeastern flank of the predominant ridge and between two rather large creek valleys, the city Is very visible from many directions as previously discussed. This visibility combined with the relative large size of the community (23,000 population) creates a "critical mass" and a feeling of total community. This Is further reinforced with the presence of the Jefferson County Airport, the railroad tracks, shopping centers, Industrial areas and residential areas, etc., all those things which a community "should have."
Other distinguishing features Include the water towers at the Jefferson County Airport and at the northern edge of the city, the grain elevator In old Broomfield, and the numerous tree masses, particularly visible traveling from the south. All of the elements combine to establish the Identity of Broomfield, which is very different from the most Immediate city to the east and south, Westminster.
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(1) Donald C. Moreland and Ronald E. Moreland, Soil Survey of Boulder County Area. Colorado, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975), p. 82-3.
(2) Michael N. Machette and Donald E. Trimble, Geologic Map of the Greater Denver Arear Front Range Urban Corridor. Colorado. U.S. Department of Interior, Geologic Survey, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1979).
(3) Boulder County, Boulder County Comprehensive f lan..lQl.ume 1, 1978, pp. 2-11 -2-18.
(4) Broomfield, Planning Staff, Mineral Resources Element of the Broomfield Comprehensive Plan. 1975, pp. 3-5.
(5) Roger B. Colton and Raymond L. Lowrie, Map Showing Mined Areas of the Boulder-Weld Coal Field. Colorado. U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1973).
(6) Denver Regional Council of Governments, Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region. (Denver: 1978), p. V-51.
(7) Colton and Lowrie.
(8) Legal definition of subsidence from Colorado H.B. 1041, Section 106-7-103
(9) Soil information was taken from Soil Surveys of Adams County. Colorado (1974) and Boulder County Area. Colorado, prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. Similar information for Jefferson is not yet available in published form from the Soil Conservation Service.
(10) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Important Farmland Inventory. Colorado. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1980), pp. 1-6.
(11) Problems with the reliability of irrigation ditches to Boulder County's Rock Creek Farm is reported In the "Initial Assessment and Management Recommendations Report" dated February 23, 1981, prepared by the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department staff.
(12) William M. Marsh, Environmental Analysis for Land Use Planning. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1978), pp. 50-68.
(13) Boulder County, "Initial Assessment and Management Recommendations Report (on Rock Creek Farm)," Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department, February 23, 1981, pp. 36-7.
(14) CNC/NHPQ, Broomfield Comprehensive Utility Plan. October 1973, pp. 57-67.
(15) Frank E. Bair and James A. Ruffner, ed., The Weather Almanac. (New York: Book Tower, 1978), pp. 385-67.
(16) As cited by Nolan Doskin, Assistant State Climatologist, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, April 1981.
(17) Bair and Ruffner, pp. 385-87
(20) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Soil Survey of Adams Countyf Colorado, p. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1974) p. 69-70.
(21) Cornelia Fleischer MuteI, From Grassland to Glacier: An Ecology of Boulder County. Colorado. (Boulder: Johnson Publishing Company, 1976), pp. 22-26.
(22) Ibid., p. 38
(23) William S. Boyd and John W. Marr, Vegetation Map of the Greater Denver Area. Front Range Urban Corridor. Colorado. U.S. Department of Interior, Geological Survey, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1979).
(24) Mute I, pp. 28-30.
(25) Colorado Division of Wildlife, Essential Habitat for Threatened Endangered Wildlife in Colorado. (Denver: 1978), pp. 40-45.
MAN MADE ENVIRONMENT
SIGNIFICANT HISTORIC AREAS
The Broomfield area Is rich In local history given Its early agricultural beginnings and later coal mining activities. The area, however, has few known sites with regional or national historic significance and no sites listed In the National Register of Historic Places.
Regional or National Significant Sites
The Cherokee Trail, later known as the Overland Mall and Stage Route, traverses the study area from north to south roughly paralleling much of U.S. 287. The trail received Its name first In 1849 when the Cherokee Indians used this route In leaving their reservation. Later, this route became the main stage and mall route west to California from Denver via Cheyenne, Wyoming. It Is known that President Grant traveled this route during his trip west and that Mark Twain also traveled the route when appearing In Roughing lt.(1)
Two stage stations were located on the Overland Route within or near to the study areas. Churches Station or Twelve Mile House (1865-1885) was located on the George Henry Church Ranch at approximately W. 106th Avenue and Old Wadsworth Boulevard. The Sixteen Mile House was operated by Church's brother-in-law, Lafayette Miller, on what is now known a the Rock Creek Farm on U.S. 287 just north of the city. Both stations were overnight stops for the stage travelers and frelghtmen. Neither station, however. Is known to have survived.(2)
There are no known archaelogJcal sites on record with the State Office of Archaelogy/Preservatlon. Several dinosaur and other fossils have been reportedly found on the Rock Creek Farm, but none of the speciments are unique to the area.(3)
The study area Is bisected generally from the north to south by several railroad grades. The Colorado Central constructed the first line In 1873 from Cheyenne to Golden near the present day railroad tracks, linking Colorado with the Union Pacific Line. The Denver Utah and Pacific constructed a line In 1880 through what Is now Community Park. Later, In 1908, a third line, the Colorado and Southern (C&S) constructed additional tracks on the present day railroad rights
of way. The Denver and In+erurban (light rail passenger carrier) used the C&S lines to cary passengers from Boulder, Superior, Valmont, Marshall, Broomfield, and Westminster to Denver. A major Intersection cal led Burns Junction located just west of the city on U.S. 36 was where several rail lines came together.
Over time, the other rail routes were abandoned except for the C&S line. Some portions of these older grades are still visible today. In 1970 C&S merged with several other companies to form the Burlington Northern, operator of the present railroad today through the city.(4)
Local Significant Sites
The old Broomfield townslte contains most of the oldest buildings within the study area and Is located adjacent to and south of the city limits. Little Is written concerning the town's early history and the significance of the buildings, If any. The settlement served primarily as a supply and social center for the several farm and ranch families of the area with a bank, grocery, post office, lumber yard, grain elevators, and grange ha I 1.(5)
The Lakevlew Cemetery Is located at the corner of Main Street and W. 10th Avenue, approximately one mile north of the old Broomfield townslte. The cemetery was Incorporated In 1890 with the oldest grave dating from 1888. Many of the early families of the area are burled here. In 1973, the city took over the maintenance and preservation of the cemetery.(6)
Much of the study area (approximately 4000 acres) was owned by Adolph Zang whose father founded the Zang Brewery in Denver. Zang purchased the land with others In 1885 which Is occupied today by the Jefferson County Airport, the Great Western Reservoir and most of the original portions of Broomfield Heights. The Zang property was known as the Elmwood Stock Ranch or Zang's Spur and Included 2000 acres of dry land and 2000 acres In Irrigated crops.
Zang was a gentleman farmer, hiring tenant farmers and foremen to farm the property. Mr. Zang was known for his breeding of horses and agricultural experiments with fruit and nut trees. Zang died In 1916, but the ranch remained In the family until 1947. Many of the structures of the ranch can still be seen around the area Including a foreman's house on Poppy Way and the house Zang built for his daughter on U.S. 287 near Midway BouIevard.(7)
The northwest portion of the study area was part of the Boulder-Weld Coalfield which operated from the late 1800's to the 1950's. The area was Important to the
development of the region as It provided a local source of coal to the developing
homes and Industries, particularly the railroads. The nearby communities of Louisville, Lafayette, Erie and Superior were developed as a result of the mining activity.(8)
Four operating mines were located In the study area. Hlway and Eversman were located to the north near U.S. 287 and Dll Ion Road. Monarch No. 2 and
Sunnyslde were located to the northwest In the Rock Creek valley. Remnants are
visible today In both areas.
The Monarch No. 2 mine was the scene of the worst mine disaster In Boulder County on January 20, 1936. Joe Jaramlllo was killed In an explosion while
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working underground. A memorial stone was erected over the approximate spot of the disaster and Is visible today on a hill Just south of U.S. 36.(9)
The city Is conveniently connected to a good overalI regional transportation network. Access to other communities within the Denver metropolitan region Is relatively easy with the existing highway and mass transit system. Access to cerfln facilities within the Broomfield community, however, Is more difficult, particularly for the pedestrian. Several Important connecting street and non-vehIcular trails are missing from the network. The following briefly summarizes the components of the transportation network.
Streets and. Highways
Broomfield Is located on four federal or state highways. U.S. 36, a four-lane divided highway provides easy access to either Boulder or Denver, linking with 1-25, 1-76 and eventually, 1-70. U.S. 287 Is a two-lane highway which traverses the state from Kansas to Wyoming through Denver, Longmont, Loveland and Fort Collins. Colorado 121 which terminates at U.S. 287 In Broomfield extends south through Westminster, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood and Denver to Colorado 75 (County Line Road); it Is primarily a four-lane undivided highway. Colorado 128 travels from east to west through the study area between 1-25 and Colorado 93 and briefly combines with U.S. 287 through the city.
Of these four major highways, U.S. 36 averages over 31,100 vehicles per day, both east and west of the city. U.S. 287 has traffic volumes of 20,200 vehicles per day south of the city at Federal Boulevard, 15,000 vehicles per day north of the city limits and 11,500 vehicles per day at 120th Avenue. Colorado 121 south of the city has 17,000 vehicles per day. Colorado 128 has 11,500 vehicles per day east of Federal Boulevard and 4,450 west of the city limits.(10)
U.S. 287 north of the city Is probably the most dangerous section of highway wlthtn the study area given the hilly terrain and traffic volumes. In conversations with the Colorado Department of Highways, no Improvements are scheduled In the Five Year Plan for any of the state or federal highways In the study area. The Broomfield planning staff however, would like to see an additional Intersection on U.S. 36 west of the existing one to help relieve traffic pressures with the morning and evening rush hours commuting to Denver and Boulder. Colorado 128 west of Colorado 121 Is someday to be realigned slightly to the north to accommodate future expansion of facilities at the Jefferson County Airport. The schedule for these improvements Is unclear at this time.
Because of the past development and annexation patterns of the city, there are few arterial streets which connect the east and west sides of the community. Presently only 136th Avenue and U.S.287/Colorado 128 (120th Avenue) traverse the length of the city. East and West 10th Avenue and Midway Boulevard traverse only portions of the community.
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Broomfield Is part of the Regional Transportation Distrtc (RTD) which serves the Denver metropolitan area with bus service. Two systems operate within the city.
A local system provides access to most of the neighborhoods and activity centers Including the Industrial area, shopping areas, North Community College, and the RTD Park n Ride terminal. A regional system connects the community to the major RDT terminals In Boulder and Denver.
With the exception of some early morning and late afternoon express buses, all of the regional buses stop at the RTD Park n Ride terminal south and north of the U.S. 36 Intersection. Pedestrian access to these facilities Is long and difficult given the terrain and numerous major arterial highways.
The Jefferson County Airport Is located southwest of the city near the U.S. 36 Intersection. The airport was started In 1959 to serve Jefferson County; It is presently the only airport In the county. The airport has grown Into the second busiest general aviation airport In the state. Arapahoe County Airport is the largest.(H) It serves the region with an alternative to the more congested Stapleton International Airport in Denver.
The Jefferson County Airport plays an Important role In the economic and Industrial development of Broomfield and northern Jefferson County. Three Industrial park projects are underway adjacent to the airport. The Broomfield Business Center and the Rocky Mountain Energy Company have recently been annexed Into the city. The third development south of the airport In the City of Westminster is the Colorado Office Center of the Ball Corporation. Combined, these developments will provide approximately 15,000 Jobs to the area.(12)
The airport Is expected to Increase by 144 percent by 1998, with 99 percent of the activity associated with general aviation.(13) The Airport Master Plan prepared by IsbIII Asociates, Inc. In 1980 proposes several major Improvements Including the construction of two additional runways, additional Industrial park development to the west, and the realignment of Colorado 128 and Simms Street.
Of particular Importance to Broomfield Is the establishment of an Airport Influence Area around the airport. All noise sensitive and Incompatible land uses such as homes, schools, hospitals, churches, cultural centers, and places of public assembly should not be located within this area.(14)
Two railroad corridors bisect the study area, both of which are part of the Burlington Northern Railroad. The tracks run generally north to south through the study area, and roughly parallel U.S. 36 south of the city before splitting Into two separate lines In the Rock Creek valley.
Conversations with Burlington Northern Indicate that approximately six freight trains a day pass through the city. This frequency Is not expected to increase In the city.
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There is a limited network of pedestrian and bicycle trails both within and outside of the city. Approximately four to five miles of trails are controlled and maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation. These are located within the central part of the city In North and South Midway Park, Emerald Park and Community Park neighborhoods. Additional trails are incorporated within the Lac Amora and Westlake subdivision primarily within the neighborhood parks on the west and east sides of the city, respectively. An unimproved trail exists along a portion of the Community Ditch near W. 10th Avenue which is partially located within the city limits.
Many of the sidewalks within the city are too narrow to permit two people from walking side by side and are located adjacent to the curb and street. Further, pedestrian circulation Is discouraged by the lack of convenient and safe street crossings on most arterial and collector streets.
There are no developed trails outside of the city limits within the study area. Several trail corridors are proposed by several entities. The Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation recently completed a non-motor I zed plan for the Colorado State Recreational Trails Program. Three priority levels were assigned to a state-wide system of pedestrian trails. The plan proposes that only the first phase trails be funded on a 50-50 matching fund basis over a five year period. The state legislature would have to provide approximately $834,500 to the State Trails Program and the local governmental Jurisdictions with Priority One trail segments would have to fund the remaining portion. To date, no state money has been appropriate to the project.
Two Priority Three trail segments traverse the study area. The Big Dry Creek Trail roughly parallels the Big Dry Creek drainage from Stanley Lake north to the South Platte River. The BroomfieId-Lafayette Trail links to the Big Dry Creek Trail near Federal Boulevard, follows the U.S. 287 corridor through the city, and then follows the railroad right of way north to Lafayette.(15)
The Denver Regional Council of Governments'(DRCOG) In its Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region (1978) proposes a region-wide trail system which links to many of the existing trails. Four DRCOG trail segments traverse the southern portion of the study area. A trail Is proposed along the Big Dry Creek drainage utilizing the same corridor as the proposed state trail. A second trail parallels 120th Avenue (U.S. 287/Colorado 128) from Federal Boulevard and the proposed Big Dry Creek trail to the Community Park trail network. The third trail links the North Midway Park trail south along U.S. 287 to the western portion of Colorado 128 and continues west. The last trail parallels Simms Street from Colorado 128 south to Stanley Lake.(16)
As part of Its Comprehensive Plan, Boulder County has proposed one mile wide trail corridors which link to many of the county park and open space areas. Two segments of proposed trail corridors are included within the western portion of the study. One trail roughly follows the Rock Creek drainage from the Rock Creek Farm and future county park to Eldorado Canyon. The second trail corridor parallels U.S. 36 from the Rock Creek Farm northwesteriy.(17)
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Jefferson County has actively been pursuing an aggressive non-motorized trail program for a number of years. Like proposed state program, the proposed trail system is prioritized for sequential implementation. Two segments of the trail are Included in the southwestern part of the study area.
A Priority Two trail from Stanley Lake through the City of Westminster In the Walnut Creek valley Is proposed. This trail links to a Priority Three trail at Simms Street and continues north along Simms Street to the county line.(18)
Not Included as part of the study area but Important to an overall region-wide trail network are the proposed trails of the adjacent jurisdictions of Louisville and Westminster. The City of Louisville has delineated several trails adjacent to the study area In Its Park and Open Space Schematic Master Plan. These trails are located along the Rock Creek drainage, the Colorado and Southern Railroad right of way and the drainage west from Stearns Lake.(19) The City of Westminster is less specific but generally propose a trail system along the Big Dry Creek drainage from Stanley Lake northeast.(20)
LAND USE AND ZONING
Existing City Land Uses
Land uses within the city are fairly easily defined.
Low and medium density residential areas are located primarily north and east of U.S. 287 with two exceptions. The Lac Amora subdivision, north of W. 10th Avenue, Is located west of U.S. 287 while the Greenway Park subdivision, east of Main Street is located south of U.S. 287. The majority of the residential units are single family detached homes with densities In the range of 3 to 5 dwelling units per acre.
Two mobile home parks are located In Adams County near Lowell Boulevard. Four apartment or townhouse complexes with densities from 10 to 25 dwelling units per acre are located In roughly the central area of the city: near the Broomfield Center shopping center at U.S. 287 and Midway Boulevard, along U.S. 287 at Main Street, along U.S. 287 in Greenway Park, and on Sheridan Boulevard at 10th Avenue.
Business land uses are located primarily In three areas: the Broomfield Center shopping center at U.S. 287 and Midway, the Broomfield Plaza shopping center at Sheridan Boulevard and U.S. 287, and a small neighborhood shopping center at 10th Avenue and Sheridan. Several small businesses, both within and outside of the city limits, are located along U.S. 287 west of Main Street.
Industrial land uses are generally located west of U.S. 287 and U.S. 36 along or near the railroad tracks. Another small area exists along U.S. 287 at Lowell Boulevard.
The major recreational amenity, Community Park, Is located at the approximate center of the city near Main Street and U.S. 287. Numerous other small neighborhood parks, recreation facilities, and schools are located within the residential areas throughout the city.
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Several areas remain vacant and undeveloped within the city limits. In general these Include large areas around the Industrial and business areas west of U.S. 287 and U.S. 36, areas north of W. 10th Avenue, areas north and east of Main Street and U.S. 287 to Sheridan, and areas north of U.S. 287 near Lowell Boulevard.
Existing. ,Â£lt.y Zoning
The Zoning Ordinance No. 149, as amended, establishes 11 zoning districts throughout the city. Six districts establish residential uses permitted by right In densities ranging from multi acre lots (A-1 agricultural) to 20 dwelling units per acre (R-5 High Density Residential); two districts establish limited and general business uses permitted by right; and two districts establish limited and general Industrial uses permitted by right.
The last district, a PUD (Planned Unit Development) district establishes procedures, review guidelines and development standards for more flexible and Innovative planning and design of residential, commercial and Industrial development within the city. The PUD district Is a special review process and a I lows for an Increase In density up to 25 dwelling units per acre In the R-3 and R-5 residential districts. The PUD district Is designated primarily for the undeveloped areas of the city over 10 acres In size.
The following Table 1-B summarizes the zoning districts:
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COMPARISON OF ZONING DISTRICTS
Uses by Right (Partial Listing)
A-1 Agricultural District
E-1 Estate District
E-2 Estate District
R-1 Low-density Residential District
R-3 Medium-Density Residential District
R-5 High-Density Residential DIstr i ct
B-1 Limited Business District
B-2 General Business District
l-1 Limited Industrial District
1-2 General Industrial District
R-PUD PUD District B-PUD PUD District I-PUD District
One family dwelling on 5 acre minimum lot, agricultural uses, etc.
One family dwelling on 40,000 s.f. minimum lot, horses, accessory buildings, etc.
One family dwelling on 10,000 s.f. minimum lot, schools, public recreation facilities, etc.
One family dwelling on 7,000 s.f. minimum lot, schools, churches, etc.
One family dwelling, multiple family dwellings at maximum 10 units/gross acre, churches, schools, etc.
One family dwelling, multiple family dwellings at maximum 20 units/gross acre, churches, schools, etc.
Banks, churches, offices, medical facilities, parking lots, restaurants, etc.
Auto sales, banks, churches, hotels/mote Is, offices, drive-ins, etc.
Administrative facilities, experimental laboratories, manufacturing, etc.
Industrial and manufacturing uses with I imitations
Residential uses by special review Business uses by special review Industrial uses by special review
Source: City of Broomfield Zoning Ordinance No.149 as amended.
Existing Land Use and Zoning of Adjacent Counties
With the exception of areas in Boulder and Jefferson Counties around the Jefferson County Airport, all of the surrounding and adjacent lands to the city are zoned agricultural and have agricultural and/or very low residential density land uses. Sunny Slope Estates in Adams County and Walnut Creek subdivisions In Jefferson County are the most intense residential land uses near the city limits in the study area.
Lands around and Including the Jefferson County Airport are zone 1-1 or 1-3 Industrial (Jefferson County) or L.l. light Industrial (Boulder County). This zoning allows the general aviation and associated office and Industrial activities to be conducted In the area.
The Broomfield Comprehensive Plan was prepared for the city by CNC/NHPQ, an
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architectural, engineering and consulting firm from Greeley, Colorado. The study was started In August 1971 with the plan formally adopted by the Planning Commission on August 7, 1972 and approved by the City Council on January 29,
1973. Several amendments have been made to the plan since.
Summary of the Plan
The Broomfield Comprehensive Plan encompasses approximately 15 square miles Including the Incorporated area and contiguous lands In Adams, Boulder, and Jefferson Counties. This planning area was determined partly by utility consldertlons and partly by the desire of the existing rsldents for Broomfield to remain a small to mediums sized community (under 100,000 people).
Several goals and objectives were outlined In the plan, some of which Include:
Growth Is endorsed If It Is beneficial to the community;
Maintain and develop a quality environment;
Provide adequate public facilities;
Provide for a balanced and stable community economy;
Encourage a variety of social Interchange;
Provide for convenient public and private land uses;
Encourage public safety; and
Encourage coordination and communication both within the local government and with other governmental jurisdictions.
Population for the city are projected through 1990 based upon growth from 1960 to 1970 and trends In the early 1970's. The plan projects that the city will have 30,000 people In 1980 and upwards to 80,000 people ten years later. (As discussed In Appendix C, the 1980 census population count was 20,730 people.)
Water availability Is Identified In the plan as a potential limiting factor to future growth. The water system Is composed of two water sources, a city owned reservoir and commitments from the Denver Water Board. These systems combined can ultimately serve an estimated population of 37,600 persons, while the planning area given present densities could possibly reach 95,000 persons.
Several recommendations were made In an effort to establish a future water policy:
1. City provided water service outside the corporate boundaries should be given low priority;
2. The water system(s) should be expanded to accommodate future growth requIrements;
3. Annexations should occur only when water Is available to serve the new area; and
4. Annexations should first fill In the voids within the Irregular city boundary.
The plan Is further composed of several major components, each of which has a discussion of concepts and recommended specific objectives to achieve those Ideal concepts. The major components Include residential land use, commercial land use, Industrial land use, open space, transportation, civic center, and
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