City officials are looking at uses for Rita Valentine Park. The Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Commission has trimmed plans from a draft conceptual design for the park, which some residents protested at the commission meeting Wednesday.

Photo by Matt Stensland

City officials are looking at uses for Rita Valentine Park. The Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Commission has trimmed plans from a draft conceptual design for the park, which some residents protested at the commission meeting Wednesday.

Plans for Rita Valentine Park scaled back

Residents ask for natural preservation at Rita Valentine

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— The Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Commission trimmed the most controversial aspects from a conceptual design plan for Rita Valentine Park, which several residents protested at the commission's meeting Wednesday.

A draft conceptual design for the park between Hilltop Parkway and Anglers Drive included long-range plans for a road through the 35-acre property, a facility, a turf field, a second parking lot, a disc golf course, a picnic area, a skate park and a climbing wall.

That angered many neighboring residents and others who cherish the park in its current state, which is completely undeveloped except for trails.

"Many of us in that area find a way to use that beautiful park," said Mary Ann Cutter, who said she runs in Rita Valentine Park. "I'm amazed about what kind of activity there is throughout the day. I don't want any of you to think there's nothing going on there."

At the beginning of the hearing, most of the commissioners said they were OK with the draft plan, stressing that it was conceptual in nature. Director of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Chris Wilson said that all ideas received for the park were put into the plan but that they were still several steps removed from being funded or approved.

"It gives us opportunities for the future, but it doesn't set in stone what we're going to do," Commissioner Daniel Brabec said.

The concerned residents, however, were worried that including improvements, even of a conceptual nature, in the plan would create an expectation for their eventual development.

"It's really horrible that we're putting in all this effort to create something we don't want," Al Choy said.

In the end, commissioners unanimously voted to remove all improvements from the plan except additional trails, dog parks, the disc golf course and a buffer zone that would shield neighboring residents from activity within the park.

The conceptual plan also recommends that a neighboring 40-acre city parcel known as the M&H Property be protected as open space by ordinance.

The commission's advisory recommendation will be passed on to the Steamboat Springs City Council.

Comments

housepoor 5 years, 5 months ago

This is an asset that belongs to all Steamboat residents and should be used accordingly, not just for the benefit of a small number of adjacent homeowners. If neighbors want to keep it open space let them buy part or all of it from the city.

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livinintheboat 5 years, 5 months ago

Maybe before any money is spent planning or discussing new parks a closer look at the condition of the existing city parks is in order. The equipment and restroom facilities at parks such as little toots downtown are out dated and often non-functioning. Its embarrassing that our families and the tourist our community counts on have to use portable toilets at our busiest and most prominent parks!

Seems like someone needs to set some priorities and stop wasting money!

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greenwash 5 years, 5 months ago

Didnt they just ticket someone for helping out in Riverside Park?Mabye if others did the same that would reduce the need for all these P&R employees.I agree facilities are in poor shape and no money for maintenance or improvments YET Chris wilson wants to spend money that doesnt exist.Whos in charge here?

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