Board OKs first phase of Valmont park construction
BOULDER, Colo. — After more than a decade, a plot of land Boulder voters envisioned as a park with community-wide appeal took a major step toward reality Thursday night.
The site review for the first, $4.5 million phase of the Valmont City Park was approved unanimously by the Boulder Planning Board, clearing the way for a 45-acre section of the park that will include a bike park, trails, a dog park, a “tot lot” and a disc-golf course.
“When the idea for this park first started, it was meant to be an active park that could be a place for several different activities,” said Alice Guthrie, a superintendent with Boulder Parks and Recreation. “And we really think we’ve accomplished that with this plan.”
Voters approved a tax to pay for the park in 1998.
Construction is expected to start this summer or fall on the first of three phases of Valmont City Park, which in all covers a 132-acre parcel in northeast Boulder. The first phase is expected to be finished in about a year.
The bike park — which includes several different levels and types of terrain, such as dirt tracks and a cyclocross course — is already being designed with help from the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance, which has donated $70,000 to the project.
The bike park is “the first built anywhere, that we know of,” Guthrie said.
The development of Valmont City Park has been a long and sometimes-complicated process.
Between 1999 and 2003, the parks department tried to find private or nonprofit partners to help develop the park. But after those attempts fell through, staffers went back to the drawing board.
The Valmont City Park Advisory Group was formed in 2007, and it restarted the process of trying to formulate the park.
After the group submitted a concept plan, the Planning Board made some suggestions, such as trying to reduce auto congestion and increase vegetation, and the City Council approved the concept last summer.
The parks department found much of the money to pay for the first phase of construction from the sale of two parks properties, which netted a little more than $3 million.