Updates and Announcements
  • Jonathan Ramsay asked that everyone interested in helping a refugee family fill out the survey.
  • Marlys said we have $4800 in sponsorships for ConiferFest. That’s about half of what we need to pay for the show, so please help find sponsors.
  • Janine said Charles is hosting an exchange student from Brazil. She also found another host family for several months and needs a third.
Meeting program
The planned Shadow Mountain Bike Park, Phil Bouchard
The state has more than 6,000 bike trails. He and his partner came to realize that a chairlift-access park would be unlike anything at ski areas. They seek to fill a void for Colorado’s mountain bike community.
This idea started as a concept 3 years ago. During the first years, we had so many unknowns. Recently, we applied to Jefferson County for a special use permit. It is 500 pages long. We are super thankful to organizations like yours who let us come in and explain the project.
We plan an engineered, directional trail system with a visitor’s center and a low-impact electric chairlift. We come from a tiny town that had a bike park, not unlike Staunton or Flying J. It will be professionally managed. That should reduce overcrowding on public trails. We bike in this area now. There are many more hikers and bikers on our trails. Jeffco lacks a dedicated mountain bike spot. We plan 16 miles of trail, 6-15 feet wide, not like a wide ski trail. It will have 830 feet of elevation change. The chairlift will be electric-drive and the noise level will be 70 decibels inside building, like a washing machine.
There’s a meadow, but only one section of the meadow is affected. The Stop the Bike Park sign is not on our property.  There’s a wetland we want to protect. There is a fence now, for a cattle ranch.
Q: Jeffco often requires ponds for wildfire firefighting; she asked if Jeffco is requiring one from them.
A: They haven’t mentioned it.
The State Land Board owns the 300-acre site. They generate money for their trust. They buy, sell and lease land. They do a lot of extraction and oil and gas. They were struggling with what to do with this property. Colorado State Land Trust wants it to generate money. They’ve put $17 million into Jeffco schools over the years, via revenue from leases like ours or selling land. That’s how the land trust and we got together. They were looking for something to do with this 300 acres.
Q: Is this a fit?
A: They think it is a conforming use. It is one mile as the crow flies from Staunton State Park and Flying J Open Space nearly touches it. There are state land trust parcels in Staunton.  They will mitigate the entire 300 acres for wildfire. Bicyclists are not known as a fire risk. The site has had no mitigation, and it is a disaster right now.
We plan no bar, no restaurant. Initially, there was a bar, but we dropped it when the community didn’t like it. There are lots of existing businesses who can sell to the bikers. Thousands of bikers come to this community every year and pay nothing.
Regarding traffic: We plan to manage visitation by managing parking. No more than 300 cars will be allowed. We project under 50 percent capacity on weekdays.
Vehicles on the road number about 2600 a day now; we expect to add 15%. We proposed roadway improvements to the county. We are willing to pay for this.  We are closed in the winter or for unseasonable weather.
Regarding emergency medical services: We will have our own EMS center. We will need local help from the fire department only if a person needs transportation to a hospital. We expect the park to add .12% to incidents.
In response to concerns that the bike park will pay no taxes, he said that Jeffco can impose a fee of up to 28% of lease payments. If we were paying $500,000 to the state land board in lease payments, we would pay $125,000 to Jeffco. (He didn’t say the actual amounts, or how much the fire department would receive.)
I am least concerned about big game. I worked a bit at the Evergreen Golf Course and used large mowing machines. There are lots of people, and lots of elk. It is a safe place for the elk. I am more concerned about managing the riders AND the elk, not driving away the elk.
Q: What if we need to evacuate for a wildfire that starts close by while the park is open?
A: The park won’t open for the day if there is fire nearby. If a fire starts during the day, bikers won’t be packing up a home, just putting a bike on car and get going. In the worst case, we believe it could increase evacuation time by 15 minutes.
We expect to use 500,000 gallons of water per year from a commercial well. A home uses 100,000 gallons per year. (Note: This includes outside watering.) We will have a commercial septic system.
Hours will be 9:30 or 10 to 6 or 6:30.
Q: How do you keep people from illegally accessing the park?
A: The parking reservation system will help. You can put up fences and a ton of signs. I think we will be digitally managing the boundaries. We’ll know if somebody crosses the boundary, and our staff will deal with that by limiting the pass. There will be no road access from the top of the mountain. I don’t think anyone will see the top of the chairlift from their house.
Staunton State Park has 270,000 visitors a year and it is open 24 hours a day. We may have 50,000 visitors a year.
That property is worth $20 million. It won’t stay in its current state.