Steamboat Springs School Board grants access for bike park

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— A group proposing a bicycle park on land between Whistler Park and Walton Creek cleared a big hurdle Thursday night.

The Steamboat Springs School Board unanimously approved a temporary construction easement for the park planners. The planners requested to use a district-owned right-of-way to get equipment to the park site for construction.

Park planner Blair Seymour said the School Board’s approval of the beginner to intermediate skills park was a “good first step,” but there are several more hurdles to clear before it becomes a reality.

Because the city would assume liability of the park, the Parks and Recreation Commission would need to approve it, action that Seymour said is scheduled for September. Also next month, she said the Routt County Planning Commission would consider a conditional land-use permit.

Seymour said it’s not required, but park planners also will ask for the City Council’s blessing next month.

If approved by each group, Seymour said park planners would need a memorandum of understanding with the Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District, which owns the land where the park is proposed. She said park planners have a draft agreement with Mount Werner Water contingent on the other approvals.

The agreement would permit the operation of the park for three years.

Some Whistler Park neighbors have complained about the proposed park, saying the noise and dust associated with its construction would negatively impact their neighborhood. They also question the park’s impact on wildlife.

No one opposing the park attended Thursday’s School Board meeting.

The temporary construction easement approved by the School Board is valid up to November 2011. Although they supported the motion, some School Board members wanted that date extended. They expressed concern that the park planners wouldn’t be able to complete construction by that date.

School Board President Robin Crossan suggested requiring completion by June 30, 2012.

“If they don’t get their ducks in a row, they’ll have until next spring,” she said.

School Board member Laura Anderson, who proposed the first required completion date, said because it was a temporary construction easement, the completion date shouldn’t be extended too far in the future. If it’s not completed before November, park planners would need to seek approval again.

Seymour said the goal was to start the park’s two- or three-week construction of jumps and banked curves Oct. 1.

The Steamboat-based nonprofit Directional Development Foundation is paying for the park, Seymour said. She has said the park’s estimated cost is $17,000.

Seymour said the park was necessary for youths and adults to learn the skills necessary to use Steamboat’s more advanced bicycle terrain.

“If you look at the mountain, they put a jump line in there but there’s no place to learn that,” she said. “We need a place to teach people how to do these things. It’s a short-term effort until Howelsen (the city) or Mount Werner (Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.) realizes the need for this facility.”

Also Thursday, the School Board unanimously approved two memorandums of understanding with agencies to operate the Colorado Preschool Program. First Impressions of Routt County was appointed as the oversight agency for the program, which would be run by the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

addlip2U 3 years, 3 months ago

"Seymour said the park was necessary for youths and adults to learn the skills necessary to use Steamboat’s more advanced bicycle terrain."

Why is this a School Board issue? School Board should concentrate on the basic education of our children. Physical outdoor activities in Steamboat are in abundance already.

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JustSomeJoe 3 years, 3 months ago

here addlip, I will read the article for you and summarize, - the park requires an easement be granted on school board land. The easement on school board land has to be granted by the school board.

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Tamera Manzanares 3 years, 3 months ago

No one in Steamboat seems to have a problem learning how to ride a bike. There are plenty of places to hone skills. Let's really look at this project before transforming open, natural space with fill dirt and weeds.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe this park does not uniquely fill a need, but what in the world is wrong with some little mounds on open land which the enthusiasts will build at no cost to local government? All a bunch of NIMBYs have to say is trying to invent reasons why school district should deny access across one of their properties for construction vehicles.

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mountainmama 3 years, 3 months ago

Look at the big picture of the park. It's not about the road construction. Its about high volume use and impact to this neighborhood. This park is used by Lacrosse, soccer, rugby, hang gliders, playground use, dog walkers and just enjoying open space. Parking and traffic is another issue.

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jk 3 years, 3 months ago

What a bunch of hogwash! We can't have a disc golf course, which in no way alters the terrain, in RVP. Yet we can tear up open space for beggining bikers? I tell ya what if you want to learn how to ride the jumps on the mountain then go give them a try!! This Bike Town USA bs is getting out of hand!!

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

there is a pump track less than a mile away from whistler. our town offers THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of places to hone a bikers skills.

seems to me people have been honing their skills without this park for decades.

this is about a few people pushing their selfish agenda

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valerie jarvis 3 years, 3 months ago

I wonder how many of you know that Blair Seymour is a SSWSC mountain bike coach, I wonder how many people know that Bob Vanderbeek IS Directional Development Foundation. This has SSWSC written all over it, and bike park + SSWSC = $$$$$ for the club. No longer just winter programs, but summer programs too. Also the one neighbor that stood up at a meeting and said, "she lives here, but it will not impact her", works for SSWSC in administration, it will probably just impact her paycheck! I bet no one knows how opposed Don Valentine is to this bike park, he donated the land to the school and to the city, and this is not what he wants to happen. Maybe the Steamboat Today should call him and request an interview, he was also on Mt. Werner Water board for 30 years. Are we really going to destroy open space because SSWSC wants this, no matter the impact on neighbors, wildlife, traffic, dirt infiltration from the park, into our drinking water, and into the Yampa. Shouldn't there be some environmental studies, before you dump a bunch of dirt that close to Walton Creek???

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

VKJ...why wouldn't SSWSC just go to the already existing pump track less than a mile away and/or practice bike skills at the howelson BMX track?? or howelsen hill where they bike program meets?

what is so special about this place?

I really don't get why Whistler is so "necessary to bike skills developement" when those opportunities already exist in steamboat a thousand times over?

something is shady here.

why would Bob spend the money on this?

what is his grab in this?

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valerie jarvis 3 years, 3 months ago

1999 All very good questions on your part. I too think there is something shady about the whole deal, and it's been that way from the start. Bob Vanderbeek has 2 kids in SSWSC and ALOT of money. I can't answer to why they need more bike parks or why they hare so set on destroying this property???

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I've seen Bobs kids ride and they are way past the stage of needing a 'skills park" and they live on the other side of town.

no ...something is fishy here

so Bob wants to spend 18k on a temporary skills park? we already have thousands and thousands of acres of "places for kids to learn basic bike skills"

why?

why is whistler park soooooooooo important to tear up temporarily?

my take is they will eventually want it to be permanent and it will be the "Vanderbeek Bike Park"

they have no intention of it being temporary

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ski2 3 years, 3 months ago

Bikes riding through Lacrosse, soccer & rugby fields? How will that work?

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