Parks, Rec to review Bear River park plans

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Mountain West Design Group will present options for the Bear River parcel tonight to the Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Commission.

For the past four months, the city-hired consultants have been taking public input on the proposed 18-acre park west of town where three old sewer lagoons stand.

Mountain West Design Group presented two plans to residents at a Nov. 13 meeting.

One plan realigned the river, creating a meander through the park in efforts to slow the river. The proposed curve in the river, which would return it to the course the river followed 50 years ago, would eat up about 9.5 acres and take away what some see as valuable and rare wetlands.

Along with curving the river, the plan proposed a 19,000-square-foot skate park, a Frisbee golf area, river access and a parking area with about 35 spaces.

The other plan keeps Yampa River unchanged. That plan includes a 6.15-acre undisturbed riparian wildlife area, a usable open space area about the size of a youth soccer field, a 15,000-square-foot skate park, river access and a parking area with about 35 spaces.

Throughout the meetings, neighbors expressed a strong desire to not have any part of the 18-acre park turned into ball fields.

But, the Bear River parcel was among a few sites that the city and chamber of commerce included in a proposal to Triple Crown for more ball fields.

Under a five-year contract signed in September 2002, the city said it would present a plan by Aug. 20, 2003, for adding two to four more fields that Triple Crown could use.

The Parks and Recreation Commission will view the plans tonight. The commission will then pass along its recommendation to the City Council.

Creating a master plan for the proposed park was sparked by a $16,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado. The city is contributing $26,000 to the process.

GOCo's grant stipulates that a master plan be completed before the first of the year.

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