Draft master plan released for expanded Red Rock Canyon

       The draft of the Red Rock Canyon Open Space master plan was posted online by City Parks staff Oct. 17.

Giant cuts from the 19th century redstone quarry can be seen in the middle of this southwest-facing file photo showing central Red Rock Canyon with Section 16 beyond it, up to the tops of the near foothills.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The 289-page illustrated document can be accessed from the city website: springsgov.com/rrc.
       City Parks staff are welcoming comments on the draft before and at its open house Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St.
       The draft release and meeting represent the next steps in a process that started last year to update the 10-year-old master plan for the 790-acre Red Rock property in concert with the recently added, neighboring Section 16 (640 acres) and White Acres (45 acres) open-space parcels.
       According to an e-mail from Sarah Bryarly of City Parks, comments before the meeting should go to her at sbryarly@springsgov.com. For those without e-mail access, her office phone is 385-6522.
       “[The] Deadline for all comments is Oct. 24th,” continues the Bryarly e-mail, which went to people who have attended previous master plan meetings. “As a participant in the public process, you're aware that the plan reflects the ideas and concerns of many people and seeks to balance a number of diverse interests.”
       Her e-mail also pledges that the city “will thoroughly review all comments and make adjustments to the draft plan as necessary. Next steps in the process include a TOPS Working Committee review of the plan, and then on to the Parks Advisory Board for review and approval.”
       The most recent master-plan meetings had provided some clues as to what was likely to be in the plan, including trail layouts and acceptable public uses.
       Two of the more high-profile proposals - piping water to permanently refill the man-made pond near the pavilion and building a visitor center in the buildable area near Highway 24 - appear in the plan but without definite plans of action.
       “Restoring water to the upper pond is a decision that requires approval by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources,” the draft plan states. “Private fund-raising efforts are proactively being considered. These efforts are outside this master plan process and have no bearing on the master plan or state jurisdictional decisions.”
       The proposal for a visitor center is listed in the draft among “future land use and site design decisions [that] will be considered with the affected stakeholders. The final designs will be presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.”

Westside Pioneer article