Who is responsible for Park & Greenway development?
The Division of Natural Resources includes a service area called Park Development Services. This service area is responsible for all NEW park and greenway development; managing the park improvement fee that funds most park projects; and several miscellaneous projects. Currently this service area is staffed by Paula Fitzgerald, Project Manager, and Kathy Kron Project Manager.
What park types are there?
There are Community, Neighborhood & District parks in the City of Longmont. These can be found on the City of Longmont Comprehensive Plan map.
Community parks are our large, sports complex type facilities. Typically, this park type includes: lighted athletic complexes, indoor recreational facilities, sport court complexes, concession facilities, picnic areas/shelters, playgrounds, open play areas, parking lots and restrooms. They also may include off-leash dog areas and skate facilities.
Neighborhood parks are smaller parks located within specific neighborhoods. They typically include playgrounds, picnic areas/shelters, multi-use fields, sports courts, parking lots and restrooms. They may also include off-leash dog exercise areas and small skate facilities.
District parks are unique areas that focus on the attributes or special features of the area that the parks encompass. They often feature facilities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, fishing, boating, swimming and wildlife viewing. Trails, swimming areas, boat ramps, picnic areas/ shelters, playgrounds, parking lots and restrooms may also be found in this park type.
Are there standards for these park types?
Community park standards call for development of 4-1/2 acres of this park type per 1000 people in Longmont. The parks are to be sized at 50-100 acres in size typically. They should have a service area radius of 1 to 1-1/2 miles. They should also be located on or near arterial streets and either in non-residential areas, or on the edge of residential areas to minimize impact on the neighbors.
Neighborhood park standards call for development of 2-1/2 acres of this park type per 1000 residents in Longmont. These parks are to be sized at 10 to 20 acres. They should have a service area radius of 1/2 mile and generally within the boundaries of arterial streets and railroad lines. They are generally located adjacent to elementary schools and are on collector streets.
District park standards are to be sized and located as appropriate to encompass the natural feature that is its focus. Their goal is also to include sufficient area for recreational facilities so they are compatible with and protect the natural and cultural environment. They are to be accessed from arterial or collector streets where feasible.
How close are we to meeting our standards?
In 2012 there are 2.86 acres of developed Community parks per our current population of 87,461. There are 2.16 acres of developed Neighborhood parks per the current population. The City also has several acres of parkland that are currently undeveloped.
How are these parks funded?
Community and Neighborhood parks are funded by the Park Improvement Fund which is comprised of park improvement fees paid by home builders. The fee is paid at the time of application for building permits. Only new residential housing units pay this fee. A new Interim Park Fee was established in October 2012 with a sliding fee scale. Longmont's Park Improvement Fee is one of the most progressive in the state using actual costs for land, and past project costs (design and construction) as the basis for the fee. It is considered an Impact Fee, so can only be used for expansion to the existing park system.
District parks have been funded by a variety of means. Private donations, grants, general fund and Conservation Trust Fund (Colorado Lottery) have been used for existing District park projects.
What is the park fee amount?
The 2012 interim park improvement fee is $4,470 for single family detached residential, and $2,193 for other residential. This fee will be reevaluated with the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan study currently underway. For more information on this project click this link:
Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan
The 2012 park improvement fee amount prior to this interim update was $5,253 per residential dwelling unit.
How are future parks prioritized for development?
Natural Resources staff considers the City as a whole in selecting the next park for development. Rapidly developing sectors of town that have reached near build-out are weighted favorably. Location of most recent park development projects may also influence the decision - where a different part of town might be more heavily weighted. Selecting between neighborhood and community parks is also very important.
Is there a process for park development?
New techniques are used all the time, but the City is committed to a vigorous public process to hear citizen input on park development. Special invitations and notices on the City web page and news media are utilized to get the word out on upcoming development projects. Your name can be added to a mail list if you're interested in a particular park development project by emailing Paula Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org. Typically neighborhood park invitations are extended to the residential neighborhood surrounding the park, while community park design input includes the entire community. Special stakeholders are also identified, where appropriate, to include in the process. Your voice is important!
How do I find out which parks are currently being developed or planned in the future?
Check the park development web page periodically for updates. You will find links there to more specific information on the individual park projects.
What kinds of greenways are there?
The City has Primary and Secondary Greenways.
Primary Greenways are found along rivers, creeks, ditches and the perimeter of lakes. These greenways also function as wildlife corridors and storm drainage maintenance areas, often including flood plains. These greenways are designated on the Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan.
Secondary Greenways are bikeway connection links between Primary Greenways, parks, schools or residential areas. These areas are identified at the time of development.
How are greenways developed?
Primary and Secondary Greenways are designed and constructed by the adjacent development as a requirement of that development. After a one-year warranty period, the City Parks Operations Services will take Primary greenways over for on-going maintenance. Secondary greenways are maintained by either the City or the development, depending on the circumstances and as negotiated during the development process.
Greenway trails are to be 8' wide (minimum) with concrete surface. Landscaping is to include native and habitat friendly species along the ditch or waterway side of the trail and on the side of the greenway without a trail. Irrigated but drought tolerant landscaping is to be installed on the opposite side of the trail near homes and businesses.
What about the St. Vrain Greenway?
The St. Vrain Greenway is a Primary Greenway, but is developed to a higher standard. The St. Vrain Greenway has a 10' wide concrete trail with a 3' crusher fines (soft surface) path on one side through the urban and suburban portions of the community. The trail width is narrowed to 8' of concrete and 5' of crusher fines in the rural section (east of County Line Road). Additional benches, trash cans and interpretive signs are also located along this trail. Where next to a private development, the developer is responsible to design and construct the trail (or reimburse the City for existing areas) to meet Primary Greenway standards. The City pays for enhancements to the standard out of the City's Conservation Trust Fund.
Some greenways are not connected. Is anything being done to make these connections?
The City has a capital improvement project called PR-83 - Primary and Secondary Greenway Connection program. Its intent is to make connections where segments will not be completed by the adjacent private development.
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