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Currently, Rock Park consists of several parcels the Town has purchased over time in an effort to enhance this iconic landmark. The land that was purchased is designated as R-1 Single-Family, which would allow detached one-family dwellings, small in-home day cares, indoor and outdoor recreation, and underground public utilities, among other uses.
In May 2017, Castle Rock Parks and Recreation proposed a new zoning classification that would remove the single-family residence zoning and allow for recreation and cultural/arts facilities use. The intent of the proposed zoning classification was to have one zone designation that could cover all active parks within Town. Upon hearing public feedback, the Town is now considering a special zoning district specifically for Rock Park.
An ordinance will be presented to Town Council at its Oct. 17 meeting. The purpose is to create a new zone classification, the PL-3 District. This will officially define the park as a natural area and will align the park’s permitted uses with the activities and facilities that currently exist.
Learn more at an informational public meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7 in the Town Hall lobby, 100 N. Wilcox St. Parks and Recreation staff will be on hand to answer questions and address concerns. Please keep in mind, this new zoning classification would not change any of the park’s features – only make it easier for the Town to maintain the monument.
The PL-3 District would define the park as a natural area with the exception of the service items and features already in existence at the park. Permitted uses on the proposed PL-3 District will generally include open space; wildlife sanctuary; trails and associated service facilities such as restrooms, picnic pavilions and information kiosks; off-street parking and driveways; and temporary community events. Additionally, the PL-3 District would allow for the continued maintenance and operation of the flagpole and Star.
Other public hearing opportunities will be at the Town’s Planning Commission meeting Thursday, Sept. 28. Town Council is also scheduled to review the proposed zoning change for the first time at its Tuesday, Oct. 17 meeting. Both Town Council and Planning Commission meetings begin at 6 p.m. in Town Hall Council Chambers, 100 N. Wilcox St.
Currently, the Rock Park site is just over 62 acres and consists of eight previously separated parcels acquired as public open space between 1947 and 1991. Securing this new zoning would help officially consolidate the entire park site. This will help with maintenance for Rock Park and the Star.
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Plum Creek Golf Club Pool is a private facility. In the past, the owner has discussed possible redevelopment, but no applications have been submitted to the Town. Information about active development (and redevelopment) can be found on the Town's Development Activity Map.
This undeveloped land is part of the Town’s Mitchell Gulch Park. Someday, the Town would like to expand the park and improve this area. There are no formal plans at this time. Information about active development projects is on the Town's Development Activity Map.
The Town does not maintain, and has not improved, the rock scramble that is the ascent and descent to and from the top of Castle Rock. If you are a skilled climber or hiker, you can probably make it to the top. Climbing to the top is not generally illegal, but it is not recommended. You are responsible for your own safety and your decision to leave the trail.
The Rock has sheer walls that drop 50 feet or more, and falls have resulted in serious injuries and deaths. The climb down is more difficult than the climb up. Do not risk your life by depending on vegetation to stop a slip.
Climbers can be held responsible if hiking outside the park’s hours of dusk to dawn, if creating a dangerous condition such as kicking rocks off of the summit – even if on accident – or for requiring an emergency response.
Current zoning requires that the Rock remain in a natural condition. The Town does not have any plans to construct a staircase to the top.
The Town knows hockey and ice skating are popular in Colorado. Most ice rinks in Colorado have been built through either a public/private partnership or by a dedicated funding source, such as taxes. (Some of that is due to the cost to build and maintain them). While there has been some interest from the private sector in building a new ice rink in Castle Rock, no construction is currently planned.
One recent idea has been presented through a Preliminary Project Application. The Preliminary Project Application is not a formal application. Instead, it is a way for developers to solicit comments from Town staff regarding the required processes for a proposed project. The proposed idea would have to go through zoning, site development, construction document evaluation and erosion control processes – some of which require public hearings and neighborhood meetings.
Currently, the Downtown Development Authority has its seasonal Rink at the Rock Downtown at Fifth and Perry streets. It’s generally open each year from Starlighting in November through Presidents’ Day.
This project was proposed as a public/private partnership in 2015 between the Town of Castle Rock and Snowsports 365. At this time, the Town has not received a request from Snowsports 365 to move forward with development of facility, which is dependent on a private investment. The potential for this project still exists, but we do not have a timeframe for development.
Overall, 28 percent of Castle Rock is currently dedicated to parks and open space – either public or private. Town planners estimate that more than a third of Castle Rock’s total area will be dedicated to open space when the Town is fully built out. (View our map, which shows both current and planned parks and open space.)
Remember, what looks like open space may not be defined as open space. Some areas of Town may look like open space because there is nothing built there. In fact, many of these “open” areas of land were entitled for development in previous years – some back to the 1980s. Along with market demand, these developers are following through on the use of those entitlements.
Castle Rock is 34.31 square miles (or 21,958 acres). Here is a breakdown of parks and open space within Town:
Town-owned open space: 2,864 acres
HOA or Metro District open space: 1,444 acres
Douglas County open space: 716 acres within Town limits
Town-managed parks: 587 acres
Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course: 195 acres
Castle Rock Recreation Center: 10 acres
Private parks: 29 acres
Private recreation facilities: 68 acres
Douglas County parks within Town limits: 57 acres
Planned Town-owned parks: 252 acres
Learn about the Town’s parks and open space at CRgov.com/Parks.
In an effort to continually improve trail connectivity, as part of their development plan, Castle Rock Development Company has hired a contractor to add additional trail segments to the existing Native Legend Trail. The new trail segments are on town property but privately funded by the developer. Construction is expected to be completed this spring, which is why you see the construction fencing (orange mesh). The black tarp barriers are likely for silt fencing to prevent erosion and run-off. The blue flags mark the alignment of the trail for construction. Learn more about the trail project.
The Town maintains the Star, a flagpole and security cameras on top of Castle Rock. Skilled workers from the Fire and Parks and Recreation departments make the climb, using safety gear as necessary, to perform needed maintenance.
This central gathering place is transforming into a modern Downtown center thanks to a partnership between the Town and the Downtown Development Authority.
Construction is underway on the park, located at Second and Perry streets Downtown. Planned new amenities include a landing pavilion, splash pad, fire pits, an open lawn, a creek-side picnic area, market plaza, bridge connections to Town Hall parking, improved lighting and seating, an overlook walkway with an iconic lantern feature and a water-play area in Sellars Gulch. In addition to the new amenities, stormwater improvements along Sellars Gulch will be implemented to align with natural flood plain regulations and provide public access to the creek.
The project is expected to be completed in fall 2017. The total project cost is about $6.9 million. Get weekly updates at CRgov.com/FestivalPark. Learn more about the DDA at downtowncastlerock.com.