Neighborhood Updates 6: City Plans for Apex at the Arvada Center, Skateboarders Lose a Facility, Facebook Pool Response and Food Bank Needs


 by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends, 

JULY 19TH MEETING SUMMARY

Hopefully, we’ll have more complete notes later on, but to quickly summarize, we had 32 attendees at the CLRC’s annual meeting last month, with the productive meeting running a half an hour past its scheduled end.  The hot topic of the meeting was the need for local recreation for young people in the area and a restoration of the Fisher Pool.  Guest speaker (and City Manager) Mark Deven hung in very well as he was peppered with questions and comments about community needs by the attendees.

“Swimming on the sidewalk near Olde Town”

In referring to the need for recreational facilities in the area Mr Deven  said, “We have heard you! And especially your Council member has heard you,” referring to Shelley Cook.  He complimented the attendees on their dedication to their community and talked about his hopes of getting a developer for the Triangle shopping center and identifying the monies needed to support that developer with a recreational facility and replacement pool.

AUGUST 13TH ARVADA CENTER RECREATION STUDY SESSION

Speaking of community recreation, this Monday’s City Council workshop on Apex’s plans to locate a major recreation center on the open-space land adjacent to the Arvada Center at 68th and Wadsworth should be interesting. 

In the advanced material for the workshop, the City is reporting that Apex’s Vision 2020 Committee’s recommendations for a recreation center at the Arvada Center have already been accepted by the Apex Board of Directors.  It goes on to report that the Center is now working to incorporate those recommendations into a revised Arvada Center Master Plan. 

This will be a disappointment to those hoping for more opportunities for public input before having the new recommendations accepted by the Apex Board.  Readers should expect to see more on those recommendations in future CLRC articles.  

According to the Arvada Center’s Interim Executive Director and CEO, Clark Johnson, the existing Master Plan for the Arvada Center is incompatible with Apex building a recreation center on the site.  That’s somewhat of an understatement.  The plan currently says that its top priority is, To preserve and develop the entire site of the Arvada Center as a venue for the Center’s arts and humanities programs. It would be irresponsible to devote any portion of the Center’s site to other uses . . .”

On Monday night the City Council will be asked if they are willing to support substantial modifications to the Master Plan to accommodate Apex’s recreation initiatives for that neighborhood.  It’s hoped that the planned facilities will serve the recreational needs of the neighborhoods on the east side of Wadsworth Boulevard as well.

The Monday workshop begins at 6:00 pm at City Hall in Council Chambers.  There is normally no opportunity for public participation during City Council workshops.  Nor, are the meetings televised.  However, any member of the public is invited to sit in and listen in on what is said.

MEMORIAL PARK SKATEBOARD FACILITY REMOVED

Well, not all of it, but the part that attracted its users is now history.  The concrete pads and a couple of metal platforms still remain.  Citing maintenance and safety issues, the ‘half pipe’ structures were removed by the City in the middle of last month. 

Parks director Gordon Reusink said the City just couldn’t keep up with the needed maintenance on the facility and it had to be removed.  That’s not hard to believe.  Not only did the facility look bad, but it seemed downright dangerous even for a skateboard platform.

 

I dropped by the park shortly after the half pipes had been taken out.  About a dozen young adults in their early teens were sitting around the razed site.  I asked them what had happened and why.  None of them seemed to know, or what would happen to the park in the future, if anything. 

Those young people  were gone when I stopped by again on my way home last Saturday afternoon.  The rest of the park was crowded with about 50 disc golf players and families with children, but not a skateboarder was to be seen on the remaining stripped-down facility. 

The good news is that Mr Reusink says that the City is planning to rebuild the facility.  He couldn’t provide a timeline but said that could be as soon as the end of this year.  Also being planned is more physical separation for the disc golf players using the park.  There have been many anecdotal stories of disc strikes on pedestrians, cyclists and children in the park and the City wants to move the disc golfers away from the other users in this confined area.

THE TERRIBLE TWO’S

Have we recovered from the Great Recession?  Every now and then we get a reminder that many families and individuals are still suffering.  Usually, I avoid going to the grocery store on Saturdays because of the crowds.  But at the end of last month I had to make a mid-day Saturday visit to the local King Soopers deli — only to find the store nearly empty. 

“Do I have the day of the week wrong?” I asked the server helping me.  She said it was indeed Saturday and it was always like this at the end of the month.  The staff calls it the “terrible two’s.”  Whenever a monthly weekend date is 20 or higher, the store is mostly empty.  People run out of money and simply can’t afford to buy food until their next retirement or work check comes in at the beginning of the following month. 

Sadly, business is booming at our local Arvada Community Food Bank (ACFB).  Things tend to pick up there as kids go back to school and the holiday food drives start.  Contributions have been good, but the bank is running out of room to serve those it helps. 

The ACFB community meeting room where we just held our CLRC annual meeting is often unavailable because the space is needed to sort seasonal food donations.  To find out how you can help feed your community, please visit the food bank’s website at

http://www.arvadacommunityfoodbank.org/content/2012-capital-campaign/

CHANGE IN OUR FACEBOOK IDENTITY

Facebook’s “Ralston Arvada” has become “Clrc Arvada” and is now organized by Kristine Hanson Farley.  T.O. Owens (who created Ralston Arvada) and I have never been that great at figuring out how Facebook works, and Kristine’s help is very welcome.  The name change still keeps our more than 750 Facebook friends who have been following us on this social media site.

It gets better.  Kristine is also active on the 1400-member Facebook ‘group’ called “Growing Up in Arvada” which now receives copies of our posts.  The group often has an active discussion going on about recreational needs in central Arvada.  In a recent posting calling for readers to click on the ‘Like’ icon if they wanted to see a pool return to the central Ralston Road corridor, she received 99 positive responses from Facebook friends.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE

Concerned about Apex’s plans to locate at the Arvada Center?  You can see an outline of the changes that will be needed to the Center’s Master Plan along with the plan itself in this week’s Council packet at

http://www.arvadarecords.org/councilpacket/current_week/02A. Arvada Center Master Plan and Apex 2020 Plan.PDF

The ACFB’s hoped-for expansion has a nice write up by Sarah Van Cleve.  You can read about it in the Arvada Press at this link:

http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/arvada/news/food-bank-to-expand-storage-area/article_245901de-b659-11e1-b3a9-0019bb2963f4.html

Photo credits:  Swimming on the sidewalk is courtesy of Shelley Cook.  The food bank overflow picture is courtesy of the Arvada Community Food Bank.

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community regularly posts information on its website at http://www.ralstoncommunity.org/ as it becomes available.  Or you can friend us on Facebook.  Our new name is now ‘Clrc Arvada’.

 John Kiljan, CLRC Notes: 303-423-9875 or jpkiljan@yahoo.com

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One Response to Neighborhood Updates 6: City Plans for Apex at the Arvada Center, Skateboarders Lose a Facility, Facebook Pool Response and Food Bank Needs

  1. Mike Hurd says:

    Have you room for a do anything,disgruntled,Arvada resident since 1954? I can count to three and lift heavy things.

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