December 6, 2010

by John Kiljan

Before its regular Monday council meeting on December 6th, the Arvada City Council held an informal discussion and study session on the latest Garrison Street concept plan. In addition to Council members and City Staff, the meeting was attended by three Apex board members and Apex’s Executive Director, Mike Miles.

Much of the conversation centered on public input into the park’s recreational features and the need to meet a Friday deadline to apply for a $500,000 grant from Jefferson County Open Space. In its grant application, the City says it will build a splash pad, playground and shelter in the park with the money.

Councilor Shelley Cook said it puts the City in an awkward spot to be applying for the grant before the planning for the park is finished. She said the bridge and park project ties into other connected projects, such as the reconstruction of Ralston Road, the urban renewal plans for the Triangle and the nearby K-8 development. She asked that the City try to resurrect the citizens’ advisory committee used for developing the last set of Triangle renewal plans and to work with the new and existing neighborhood groups, saying that these groups are the real stakeholders in these projects.

Mayor Bob Frie suggested that the City define a process for public input, and Councilor Cook said that she’d like to work with Staff to do that.

 City Manager Craig Kocian said the City regularly sets up citizens’ advisory groups to get input for its projects. He said the area around the park never had a home owners association and he had no problem with seeing an independent association set up to provide project feedback. But he wondered if there would be enough time and money to meet its expectations. Or, whether a local association could be organized soon enough for the park project.

Going around the table, several Council members said that the grant application had to go through as planned or the money would be lost, and that could set back construction by a year. They also said the reconstruction project should not be delayed by public feedback — especially the part of the project that replaces the Garrison Street bridge itself.

City staff member Vicky Reier then gave the study session presentation, which was a short summary of the presentation to be given at the community meeting scheduled for the following night. She said the project had been in planning for five years and that the two public input meetings were the only ones planned for the project. She also outlined the changes made to the original three concept plans to produce a single new concept plan that incorporates the feedback she had received from the first meeting on October 26th.

Ms Reier said that not having to redo the earthwork at a later date was key in keeping project costs down. The City would also be providing a planned construction schedule at its last community meeting. That meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm, December 7th, at the Kingdom of Glory Lutheran Church next to K-Mart. A detailed graphic of the recommended concept plan will be posted on the City’s website for comment the following day.

 Ms Cook said that she saw possibilities for further design changes in the northwest corner of the park.

Apex’s Bob Loveridge said that after the splash pad was built, people would find it “more desirable than a pool” and encouraged the public to look at the splash-pad video now available on the City’s website. He also said how happy he was to be able to work with the City on the project and predicted the public will be pleased with what they get when the project is finished.

Apex’s Jim Whitfield also said was pleased with the cooperation with the City and that he hoped to modify the planned design for the splash pad so that it could be flooded in winter and turned into an outdoor ice rink. Whether or not that kind of conversion could be done was uncertain.

More information about this project can be found at the City’s website at

http://arvada. org/parks-and-recreation/garrison-street-north-jeffco-park-renovation

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  1. John Kiljan says:

    This is an update to this CLRC News article. It is an extract of the official City Council meeting notes for December 6th published by the City of Arvada:

    2. Agenda Review:
    Councilmember Cook discussed the project area encompassing Ralston Rd, the Triangle, Garrison St., K-8 school, and said she would like to develop a means for communication and consultation with the neighborhoods and organizations around the Ralston corridor. Mr. Kocian said there has been a community input process for the Garrison Street project but it did not involve a formal citizen’s group. He said there is a group forming and the City would be happy to work with them, but given all of our constraints of time and money, it may be hard to do all of that. He said he believes that Councilmember Cook is asking if we can we try to find a way to meld this so that the value of the process is not diminished. Mayor Frie said he does not believe any council members are opposed to the process Councilmember Cook is talking about. Council agreed they did not want to have the Garrison St. project slowed down as a result of this process.

    3. Study Sessions:
    Garrison Street Concept Plan
    Vicky Reier, City Manager’s Office, reviewed with City Council the general comments from the first public meeting addressing trails, landscaping, park elements, layout and parking and facilities. She said there is a community meeting planned for tomorrow evening where the concept plans will be presented to the community. Ms. Reier reviewed the planning process, the different stages and the importance of moving forward under the current timetable. She showed a conceptual master plan and said it is a melding of the three concepts submitted by the consultant. She pointed out the features that were changed in response to the comments received and talked about the channel, the play areas, splash deck, parking and lawn areas.

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