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  1. #1
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    Red Rocks, Section 16, White Acres Meeting - Wed, Oct 19 - CRITICAL you attend

    Wednesday, October 19 at 6:30 PM the city parks department will be holding
    its third public master planning meeting for the Section 16 - White Acres - Red
    rocks opens spaces.

    They have added this additional meeting to work on TRAILS! They were supposed to do trails last week, but pushed it off for this new meeting.

    THIS MEETING IS CRITICAL, as the PROPOSED TRAIL MAPS will be presented for
    public feedback. If you care at all about mountain biking in these areas, this
    is the meeting to attend.

    The meeting is held at the westside community center at 1628 West Bijou Street at
    6:30 PM on Wednesday, October 19.

    Bring any and all trail ideas that you might have - what is important to you? What do you want to see happen with the trails here? Come speak up and make it happen!

    Here's the thread on the last meeting to bring you up to speed...

    discussion on last week's meeting
    Last edited by manitoumtbr; 10-18-2011 at 08:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    ....
    Last edited by Curtis C; 10-11-2011 at 02:10 PM.

  3. #3
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    fixed date - thanks

    fixed date - thanks

  4. #4
    SS Chimp
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    When did it change from the 19th to the 13th?
    all single...all the time

  5. #5
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    I've lost my mind...

    For some reason I thought the meeting was this Thursday, 10/13 BUT IT'S NOT!!!

    You're right, it is on Wed, 10/19.

  6. #6
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    Friends of Red Rock Canyon just sent this around

    An additional Red Rock Canyon Open Space master plan meeting is scheduled for October 19. Like the previous two meetings, this meeting will be at 6:30 P.M. in the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou.

    This meeting will discuss TRAILS.

    The master plan team has prepared a map which includes the trail plan which the master plan team is suggesting. This high resolution single page map (4.64 MB pdf) can be downloaded at:

    http://www.springsgov.com/units/park...ap10.07.11.pdf

    Since this map does not show the topography, Friends of Red Rock Canyon has prepared a six page portfolio of maps in which the topography has been overlaid on the master plan team's map. You can download this portfolio either as a high resolution pdf (6 MB) or as a quick download pdf (3 MB).

    http://www.redrockcanyonopenspace.org/Topo_High_Res.pdf

    http://www.redrockcanyonopenspace.org/Topo_Quick.pdf

    There are links for each these downloads on our home page, Friends of Red Rock Canyon

    Hope to see you at the October 19 meeting.

  7. #7
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    bump

    bump for meeting tomorrow night...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitoumtbr View Post
    bump for meeting tomorrow night...
    Sorry I had to leave early. I spent last night in the ER and needed to get some rest.

    Hats off to Jim and Cory on representing the bikers interest. You guys put out some great ideas and I hope there is some buy in to make the pump track and new free ride areas work. You have my support 100%. Wish I had time to hear what everyone else proposed.

    So I don't know who all you other guys are but endless thanks to all who participated. Even if you only made it to one meeting. Every little bit helps. You guys rock! I owe you all a beer... or two.

    Cheers,
    UT


    BTW, if you weren't able to attend you can still email your support for the pump track, freeride, trails, etc... to Sarah Briarly with City Parks.

  9. #9
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    I thought things went well at the meeting. I had a good table with a very knowledgeable gentleman from the FoRRC group who knew a lot of the history of the trails which was interesting to hear. I think he had a good perspective of which trails should NOT be closed, and I really liked his addition of adding a trail on the west side of Section 16 that drops in from where Section 16 T's off from Palmer Trail.

    I liked that people seemed to be open to the idea of building trails that cater more to bikers, more to equestrians, and more to hikers so each group would gravitate to different trails without officially removing the multi-use access. Hopefully our inputs will be largely incorporated into the master plan.

  10. #10
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    Reminder


    November 16
    Review and respond to draft plan.
    Same place, same time if I'm not mistaken.

  11. #11
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    I heard a rumor that this meeting may get canceled. Haven't gotten a confirmation yet, however.

  12. #12
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    There should be a press release coming out on this, probably today, so stay tuned

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitoumtbr View Post
    There should be a press release coming out
    on this, probably today, so stay tuned
    City puts Red Rock / White Acres master plan on hold | Wildlife & nature

    "City parks leaders will continue to talk and meet with open space and
    regional parks volunteers, and friends and users groups, officials stated."

    "In the meantime, the planning consultant will continue to formulate the
    draft plan for the Red Rock Canyon Master Plan, using input received thus
    far from the public and others.

    Everyone will have an opportunity to view the draft plan and make
    comments and suggestions.

    Future public meetings will be held to discuss maintenance, operational
    practices, biological and cultural preservation and forest health and
    management."

    So Jim(s), correct me if I'm wrong. The hiker/friends user groups will get to
    have private meetings with the planners and city staff to complete the
    plan, while the MTB'rs, because we do not have a strong representative
    group and attended the meeting as individuals, are left out in the cold?

    If you knew something about this why didn't you speak up so we could
    do something to stop it?

    Weren't we told in the first meeting that "no user/friends group will
    have priority over individual citizens concerns" ?

    Is it any wonder that we are all so discouraged by the process? Please
    tell me we got something out of all the effort to show up and participate?

  14. #14
    3 Legged Big Top
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    City puts Red Rock / White Acres master plan on hold | Wildlife & nature



    So Jim(s), correct me if I'm wrong. The hiker/friends user groups will get to
    have private meetings with the planners and city staff to complete the
    plan, while the MTB'rs, because we do not have a strong representative
    group and attended the meeting as individuals, are left out in the cold?

    Thats the way it reads UT!

  15. #15
    I did it all for the kudo
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    City puts Red Rock / White Acres master plan on hold | Wildlife & nature

    "City parks leaders will continue to talk and meet with open space and
    regional parks volunteers, and friends and users groups, officials stated."

    "In the meantime, the planning consultant will continue to formulate the
    draft plan for the Red Rock Canyon Master Plan, using input received thus
    far from the public and others.

    Everyone will have an opportunity to view the draft plan and make
    comments and suggestions.

    Future public meetings will be held to discuss maintenance, operational
    practices, biological and cultural preservation and forest health and
    management."

    So Jim(s), correct me if I'm wrong. The hiker/friends user groups will get to
    have private meetings with the planners and city staff to complete the
    plan, while the MTB'rs, because we do not have a strong representative
    group and attended the meeting as individuals, are left out in the cold?

    If you knew something about this why didn't you speak up so we could
    do something to stop it?

    Weren't we told in the first meeting that "no user/friends group will
    have priority over individual citizens concerns" ?

    Is it any wonder that we are all so discouraged by the process? Please
    tell me we got something out of all the effort to show up and participate?
    Ok, I was trying to stay out of this, but now I'm pissed... Who do I email/call?

  16. #16
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    I asked the city (Sarah Bryarly) about this and here is her response:

    ...this is a City-wide effort and not specific to the Red Rock Canyon Master Plan. All user groups and Friends groups are encouraged to participate and add their input. The Red Rock Canyon Master Plan process will pick up right where it left off, once this separate Relationship Building process is completed. Information previously gathered from the Red Rock Canyon meetings will still help formulate the ultimate master plan.

    She also asked me to post the full text of the press release:

    The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department has elected to temporarily place the Red Rock Canyon, White Acres, Section 16 Master Plan Process on hold. The Department will resume the master plan process in 2012.

    While the master plan process is on hold, the Department will engage in a separate public process with open space and regional parks volunteer, Friends and Users groups across the community. The meetings will identify shared aspirations, goals and values of the volunteer groups and Department. The goal is to develop working agreements defining roles and responsibilities pertaining to needs of the land, needs of the volunteer groups, needs of the user groups, needs of the friends groups and needs of the Department - ultimately matching human and fiscal resources with those needs.

    In the meantime, the planning consultant will continue to formulate the draft plan for the Red Rock Canyon Master Plan. Input previously received from the public will help shape the future plan. Once the master plan process is restarted, the public will have the opportunity to view the draft plan and make comments and suggestions. There will be future public meetings on maintenance, operational practices, biological and cultural preservation and forest health and management.

    For information about the master planning process, visit the City’s website at www.springsgov.com/RRC.

    Contact Sarah Bryarly, Interim Design, Development and TOPS Manager, at (719) 385-6522 or sbryarly@springsgov.com for more information.

    So, the question is who represents the biker community? In that past that has more-or-less been Medicine Wheel. If local bikers are satisfied with that then rattle some chains in MedWheel, otherwise get some people together and ask Sarah how you can contribute.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Short Bus View Post
    Ok, I was trying to stay out of this, but now I'm pissed... Who do I email/call?
    I think we should be patient and see what the Jim(s) have to say and I need to make a few phone calls to find out what is really going on.

    My impression is that we intimidated the FORRC with our participation,
    cooperation and well thought out ideas during the master planning meetings
    and we should be viewing this as a minor victory. They really couldn't
    argue with the logic of the new riding area on 26th St, or some
    of the other great trail ideas that came out of the process.

    I'm also wondering if TOPS is not breaking a city code or state open
    meetings laws by holding these meetings without public participation
    or minutes of what is being discussed. Whatever FORRC is up to, I
    don't trust them.

    FWIW
    It's not just the MTB'rs that are pissed. Parents at my sons school are too.
    No City pools, no summer programs, no rec centers, no toilets, no water, no
    grass on the ball fields, no trash cans, the kids were only allowed to use the
    infields during baseball season, but TOPS could spend millions on Section 16 even
    though they leased it for $1/yr from the County/State, and it was already in the
    states Land Conservation Trust, so it didn't need a conservation easement
    put on it. There was no reason to buy it in the first place, unless you
    have an agenda. I hate to say it b/c I've worked with many of these
    people and I respect them a great deal, but maybe it's time for the
    TOPS board to go? They seem out of touch with what the public wants.

  18. #18
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    Slow down guys, I think you will find this to be a good development once you get some info! Sorry for a delay in me posting, but here's the scoop.

    First of all, all of the input from the Section 16 Master Planning meetings thus far is still being used and will go into the draft plan that will be published before the next Section 16meeting (once they start up again).

    The Master Planning process was put on hold because many individual issues have popped up with trail maintenance and question on what the City's "trail standards" should be. These have primarily been voiced by individual mountain bikers, so it is a response to the issues that we are seeing. Trail sanitization, placement of stairs, etc. While this is an issue that impacts all user groups, it seems to be impacting cyclists more than others.

    After the Section 16 stair placement (Section 16 Trail Luv), I met with numerous trail advocacy/building/maintenance groups and tried to brainstorm ways to ensure, moving forward, that these types of issues were avoided. So the idea of trying to get a better handle on this was the focus. While we didn't come up with anything concrete, the need for the discussion became apparent.

    A couple of weeks ago, I got a call at work from a friend of mine that was out riding in RRC on the Roundup Trail. Turns out that some work was being done to clear the vegetation back a bit from the edge of the trail, but there was also some work being done that he regarded as trail sanitization (he thought they were changing the character of the trail). I haven't seen the work myself, but that's how he felt. He went back and talked to those doing the work (Friends of RRC and City Staff) and he left with the impression, whether explicit or not, that he was being told that maybe he should go bike in Section 16 instead and that they intended to keep changing the character of the trail.

    Again, I don't know the details of the changes or if anti-bike sentiment was really what they were trying to convey, but it raised the issue again as a need to make sure all of those in the community that are doing trail advocacy/design/building/maintenance are on the same page with regards to expectations and embracing all user groups that have access to the trails.

    So, TOSC started talking about how it should be handled again (and others in the community as well) when the City decided it needed to tackle the issue itself, delaying the Section 16 process since the outcome of the "trail standards" discussion might play into the process itself.

    So, while I don't have alot of details yet, the City wants to get together all the Friends groups, trailwork groups, advocacy groups, etc. to figure out a solution to these types of issues. I don't know exactly how it will go down, but the City wants to hire a third party consultant to manage the process, just like the Section 16 process.

    Will it be entirely open to the public - I don't know. Is it a good thing - I hope so - we plan on making it so. Will mountain bikers voice be heard - most definitley - both Medicine Wheel and TOSC (and probably others) will make sure of that.

    The City is planning on presenting their ideas on this process tomorrow night at the TOSC annual meeting, which is open to the public. Please attend if you have questions or concerns. If you can't attend, I will post a summary of what the City presents. Here's the info on the meeting:

    Thursday, November 10th TOSC's Annual Membership (and friends) Meeting
    7 - 9 p.m. at the Gay & Lesbian Fund Building, 315 E Costilla. Learn the latest about the Incline, South Slope of Pikes Peak, Midland Trail, Rainbow Falls, Ute Valley Trail and more! Refreshments will be served.

  19. #19
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    Isn't TOPS and City Parks two different programs that are each funded by two different taxation's? City parks runs the rec centers, ball fields, city parks, and such, Trails and Open Space is just that. IIRC TOPS tax stated land would not be developed with rec centers, pools ETC. It would be managed as OPEN SPACE.
    Last NOV or APR yall voted to allow a small amount of TOPS funds to be used by city parks for trash removal and a few other city services.

    I could be entirely off base so feel free to correct if thats the case.

    If the minutes from the original meeting state "no user/friends group will
    have priority over individual citizens concerns" you should ask the planners to honor that by stopping all private meetings friends groups.

    If TOPS needs to put in on hold they should put the entire process on hold



    I dont live in COS or pay into the TOPS fund so I really have no voice on this. Just sharing some thoughts as an outsider.

  20. #20
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    Cyclists are well represented on the TOSC board as well (as are all user groups). I don't think that will be a problem. If you have specific concerns that you would like to be addressed, let me know and I will make sure they are heard.

    UT - regarding the purchase of Section 16, you got it wrong. The State Land Board had jacked up the lease rate dramatically to where it was gettting to be nearly impossible to continue leasing it. In addition, the TOPS funds spent on Section 16 (along with a $1 million GOCO grant) couldn't have been spent on regional parks anyway.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    Isn't TOPS and City Parks two different programs that are each funded by two different taxation's? City parks runs the rec centers, ball fields, city parks, and such, Trails and Open Space is just that. IIRC TOPS tax stated land would not be developed with rec centers, pools ETC. It would be managed as OPEN SPACE.
    Last NOV or APR yall voted to allow a small amount of TOPS funds to be used by city parks for trash removal and a few other city services.
    No you're correct Curt.

    City Parks is funded by the General Fund and TOPS is a dedicated
    OS tax.

    The issue is the percentage of TOPS funds used for maintenance.

    It's like a 94:6 split Capital:Maintenance, IIRC. Ridiculous. Even the extra
    maintenance % that was approved is a drop in the bucket compared
    to the backlog of maintenance projects. SOP is to just let facilities fall apart,
    then replace them using capital.

    When it comes to trail maintenance, the staffing level is so low that
    there is only one maintenance person per 100 miles of trail. And even
    the portion of TOPS used for maintenance doesn't even begin to take
    care of OS maintenance, so you see City Parks using General Fund to
    take care of OS (if they had money). That's why TOPS rely's on volunteers and friends
    groups to take care of trails. TOPS doesn't even pay to take care
    of the land they are buying. It's all spent on land acquisition or CIP.
    It's not stewardship. It's not what OS should be about.

    For a lot of us in town though, we're upset that the proposal to use
    dedicate TOPS revenue for the next 5 years to address the lack of
    maintenance was not supported by TOSC or the TOPS Board. It took two
    election cycles to get it passed, and by then it was too late, the damage
    to the City Parks facilities had already been done. Now General Fund has
    to be used to pay for the damage that didn't have to happen in the first
    place. It was selfish and stupid. City parks are OS too, just because
    it's used as a ball field doesn't make it any less green. We're really cheating
    our kids when we allow this type of thing to happen. That's why we're so
    mad. Our kids lost out.

    Bottom line,
    Corral Bluffs and Section 16 weren't going anywhere. They could have put
    everything on hold and kept people in jobs, but TOPS choose to buy land
    that they can't even afford to maintain and cheated our kids in the
    process.

    You should talk to Scott Abbott some time and find out what he goes through
    to take care of parks/trails. It's a nightmare that never get's better.

    Anyway, I better stop ranting about this. It just makes me so mad to
    think about it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitoumtbr View Post
    Cyclists are well represented on the TOSC board as well (as are all user groups). I don't think that will be a problem. If you have specific concerns that you would like to be addressed, let me know and I will make sure they are heard.

    UT - regarding the purchase of Section 16, you got it wrong. The State Land Board had jacked up the lease rate dramatically to where it was
    gettting to be nearly impossible to continue leasing it. In addition, the
    TOPS funds spent on Section 16 (along with a $1 million GOCO grant)
    couldn't have been spent on regional parks anyway.
    I don't know Jim... maybe you're right.
    I've held the lease in my hands though. It was $1/yr. Leased to the County and
    subleased to the City. I can't say that hasn't changed, but IIRC that was
    the case. Maybe there was an MOU I didn't know about, but the lease I
    saw was $1/yr from the County to the City.

    And of course the TOPS funds couldn't be spent on anything else, because
    when it was proposed TOSC protested and shot it down with a PR
    campaign. Now TOPS relys on volunteers to maintain everything, and
    look at where we are... it's not a good place. I just can't support TOSC
    any longer. The trust is gone. It goes beyond riding a bike. It's about
    stewardship and responsibility. I just don't see it.

    EDIT:
    State Land Board Conservation Trust Leases: Look at Page 5. El Paso County Manitou Section 16 It's not leased to the City from the State.
    http://trustlands.state.co.us/Projects/Documents/Stew%20Trust%20Designations%20(as%20of%2003-01-2010).pdf

    Also, note all those Nature Conservancy leases in El Paso County. 140,000
    Acres without public access (or by appt. only) and another 80,000 Acres
    across the county line in Pueblo County. That's State Land, leased to the
    NC, funded with a grant from the Federal Gov... with no public access,
    that's is kept hush, hush anytime OS is mentioned in this county. When is
    enough OS... enough?
    Last edited by UncleTrail; 11-09-2011 at 03:51 PM.

  23. #23
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    All,

    I have known about the change in the works just since last Friday and have spoken to several well connected people about the proposed new process. It's too early to tell what the outcome will be, but UT, you are wrong when you imply that the MTB community isn't well represented. Medicine Wheel was among the first to be called directly by Sarah to explain the change in direction.

    We have a board meeting this evening to discuss the situation, among other things, but please DON'T PANIC. MWTA is very much aware of the situation and not only are we working diligently to make sure MTBers are included, we have been explicitly invited to be a part of the process.

    I would also point out that this change in direction isn't really about bikes, per se, at all. It's a more complex issue that is the result of city cuts, underfunding, volunteer groups trying to fill the gap, and turf. It is my hope that the final outcome will actually be beneficial to all the interested parties, including MTBers.

    Keep in mind that MWTA has a member on the board of TOSC and a former Parks Advisory Board member on our own board, and I believe is generally well regarded by the land management community.

    As I said, it's too soon to tell what the final result will be, but MWTA will be there every step of the way to make sure MTB's have a say in the process.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martlet View Post
    All,

    I have known about the change in the works just since last Friday and have spoken to several well connected people about the proposed new process. It's too early to tell what the outcome will be, but UT, you are wrong when you imply that the MTB community isn't well represented. Medicine Wheel was among the first to be called directly by Sarah to explain the change in direction.
    You see, therein lies the problem. All of us who attended the meeting
    were on the same mailing list and we were under the impression that our voices
    were equal to that of MWTA, TOSC, FORRC and others, and yet no one
    bothered to contact the rest of us and let us know what was going on. We got to read it in the newspaper. Preferential treatment is being given
    to your special interest groups, and I'm a little fed up with it.

    I'm not a member of TOSC or MWTA for a reason.

    So I'm sorry guys. Your groups do not represent me, and I demand that
    the City start listening to the other people in the room.

  25. #25
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    Thanks, Martlet.
    I, for one appreciate your efforts. I have also been at every meeting so far to provide an additional voice of concern for MTBs. As for the next meeting, work may take me out of town, so I thank in advance all who continue to carry the torch.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  26. #26
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    UT I suspect the issues here are out of the board members control. TOPS was outlined and approved by voters how ever long ago that was. TOPS can't just give those moneys to the city because the city has a shortfall. Thats not what the voters approved. Could they have presented it to voters sooner? sure. Either way they do this, TOPS loses some supporters when it was approved to give money to the city. If TOPS keeps giving money to the city they are sure to face dismantling by the community.

    IMO the cities problems where primarily created by city councils of many many years. I have watched them go ahead and spend money that voters said no to (think jail house some 15 years ago). They got away with it then and have continually not listened to their voters. Now they are in a terrible situation and looking to get money from projects that wish to work within the guidelines the voters approved. If anybody is to blame for what the COS kids are missing out on its the folks in charge of the general fund for several years now. Baseball, football, and soccer fields are important to me just the same as you. There are a boatload of small neighborhood parks that get equal attention as the big parks but those are rarely used. I cant understand why folks aren't asking the city to redirect those moneys to the places where they are more beneficial.

    I am aware of the struggles the park dept is having. Three generations of my wifes family(DeMarcos) have been employed by COS park and rec. Marvin J Urban a Palmer Park Caretaker (now remembered on sign there) back around 1992 was my wifes favorite uncle. Many of our family friends were made from P&R. I hear of the struggles regularly right along with the " I seen this coming" from folks working within the program.

    No matter how you slice it, it isn't going to be easy. Do you jeopardize TOPS entirely in an attempt to help maintain city parks?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    Could they have presented it to voters sooner? sure.
    They did put it on the ballot the 1st time. 2009, 1C, def 51:49.
    It was voted down after TOSC/TOPS opposed the measure and embarked on a public PR campaign to defeat it. I remember it well. I worked
    with Dan Cleveland a lot back then.

    But the grass died, the voters wised up, and the 2nd time and there
    wasn't much TOSC could do since the dead grass was a little hard to
    ignore. 2010, 2C pass 56:44.

    So, I think we've allowed ourselves to be told that OS tax codes cannot be changed. However tax codes can be changed.
    In fact, I just found out a few minutes ago that another measure may be introduced in 2012 to change the TOPS tax permanently. Guess who? Angry soccer moms. I'm serious, and so are they.


    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    IMO the cities problems where primarily created by city councils of many many years. ISNIP I cant understand why folks aren't asking the city to redirect those moneys to the places where they are more beneficial.
    I don't disagree with any of the above. I'm all for less government.


    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    No matter how you slice it, it isn't going to be easy. Do you jeopardize TOPS entirely in an attempt to help maintain city parks?
    I have to ask, jeopardize what though?
    I've worked for golf courses with bigger budgets than many of the
    OS departments in this state. Maintenance costs easily make up
    70% of the annual budget, but TOPS spends 60% on land, 30 something
    on CIP and 6% on maintenance. It's back asswards.

    TOPS cannot maintain the land they already have. Yet as land owners
    they have a responsibility to be good stewards to the land.
    As a tax payer, I want to see that happen. Besides we need to put
    people back to work. Maintenance = jobs. That's what I'm talking about.

  28. #28
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    UT.

    If you have worked with Dan Cleveland you would know that any change in TOPS funding needs to be voted on by the people of Colorado Springs. The 94%/6% is what the people of CS voted and any change, because it would be a change in tax, has to be voted on. You can thank Doug Bruce and TABOR for that.

    "There are a boatload of small neighborhood parks that get equal attention as the big parks but those are rarely used". Curtis C This is, more than likely, agreement with the developer of the neighborhood and is more than likely in an SIMD that people pay into to maintain such things.

    Corral Bluff would have just been sold to Ultra Energy if it wasn't an OS and Manitou wasn't going to lease Section 16 to the City anymore. It had a developer looking hard and heavy at putting homes there if the City didn't work out something to buy it. So thank them when you ride, hike, or run through there.

  29. #29
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    Seen today'sGazette?

    Quotes like the executive director for TOPSC- Susan Davies- stating how she believes," Two bike tires have a greater impact than two boots" doesn't inspire confidence in the idea of all user groups working together and voices being heard equally.

    Perhaps I'm overly paranoid and just reading things into this- or I lived in Boulder during the 1980s

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    So, I think we've allowed ourselves to be told that OS tax codes cannot be changed. However tax codes can be changed.
    In fact, I just found out a few minutes ago that another measure may be introduced in 2012 to change the TOPS tax permanently. Guess who? Angry soccer moms. I'm serious, and so are they.



    .
    The dead grass is the fault of piss poor management by the city. City parks and medians is not the responsibility of TOPS.

    The above quote is the type of action that will be the death of the TOPS program and is a big problem with government. That is the type of crap that has caused the city to get where they are. This new proposal passes and a few years later you will see a movement for that tax to be eliminated and TOPS dismantled.
    The voters approved TOPS to do what the ballot said. Now people want to go change it and get that money moved into the general fund so it can pay for parks. The problem of shuffling money from specific voter approved taxes to other projects has to stop. It is creating distrust from voters for good reason

    Thats essentially why prop 103 failed. Voters remember ref C and now wonder where the hell that money is

    Once Again I dont have dime in that fund. just an outsider looking in.


    C

  31. #31
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayling View Post
    Quotes like the executive director for TOPSC- Susan Davies- stating how she believes," Two bike tires have a greater impact than two boots" doesn't inspire confidence in the idea of all user groups working together and voices being heard equally.

    Perhaps I'm overly paranoid and just reading things into this- or I lived in Boulder during the 1980s
    In some situations, two bike tires can have more impact than two boots. We need to get past from this "we don't have any impacts" mentality and work to solve problems rather than deny them.

  32. #32
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    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    In some situations, two bike tires can have more impact than two boots. We need to get past from this "we don't have any impacts" mentality and work to solve problems rather than deny them.
    I fully agree in some situations bikes can have more impact As usual, you and I are in great agreement. In fact your leadership was what lured me into SFS and trailwork. Where I have issue is with categorical statements of opinion expressed as fact. In no way was I trying to express we don't have impacts or we shouldn't work together. Statements such as hers just make it harder to work cooperatively. Rather than agreeing there are issues and seeking solutions we have to resolve issues like this. We- hikers, riders, equine, and dogs- all have an impact.

    I do find issue with the implicit assumption that boots are automatically low impact. The number of switchbacks cut by hikers, and trails cut straight up the fall line astounds me. Conversely the number of novice MTB riders who do unnecessary damage due to skidding is a public relations nightmare.

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    I just googled "trail impacts of bikes" to find we are no more destructive than hikers. We all have our opinions but talk to or read articles from experts and/or studies to get your facts.

    off soap box

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JitteryWheel View Post
    UT.

    If you have worked with Dan Cleveland you would know that any change in TOPS funding needs to be voted on by the people of Colorado Springs. The 94%/6% is what the people of CS voted and any change, because it would be a change in tax, has to be voted on. You can thank Doug Bruce and TABOR for that.

    "There are a boatload of small neighborhood parks that get equal attention as the big parks but those are rarely used". Curtis C This is, more than likely, agreement with the developer of the neighborhood and is more than likely in an SIMD that people pay into to maintain such things.

    Corral Bluff would have just been sold to Ultra Energy if it wasn't an OS and Manitou wasn't going to lease Section 16 to the City anymore. It had a developer looking hard and heavy at putting homes there if the City didn't work out something to buy it. So thank them when you ride, hike, or run through there.
    Ok I finally got a break so here you go....

    You must not have read my posts very carefully. It was voted on by the
    people of Colorado Springs. We did change it. I put the links to the 2
    votes in there. 1C didn't pass, 2C did. For 2 years an extra 10% of TOPS
    has been diverted to maintenance. It sunsets in 2012, and a group of
    people are now looking at another ballot measure for 2012 to change
    it again.

    FWIW I'm speaking up for all the staff who lost their jobs and the guys who are still
    there and working their asses off with only more work getting dumped on
    them as more layoffs occur (next year?). They can't speak up without fear of loosing
    their jobs, but they know TOPS is broke, in more ways than one. You
    cannot operate an OS dept. with a 6% maintenance budget. That is not
    stewardship, it's neglect. TOPS needs to grow up and listen to staff who
    are telling them they need more maintenance money.

    Manitou....

    Manitou doesn't own Section 16. It's State School Land Board land, owned
    by the citizens of Colorado. Section 16 was leased to the County from the state
    and the County subleased it to the City. I provided a link to that also. Section 16 was
    part of a SCLB program called the State Conservation Trust where SCLB
    land is placed into a "protected" status, the same as the Chico Basin and
    Bohart Ranches in southern El Paso County (220,000 acres total). There is
    PLENTY of protected OS in this county that the citizens don't know about.
    Land that TOPS conveniently ignores anytime a group of "active" use
    recreational groups try to do something on OS.

    Basically, everything south of Fountain going into Pueblo is either tied with
    a conservation easement, part of the state conservation trust, or it's in
    the Ft. Carson buffer area. Probably about 260,000 acres total, maybe
    more by now.

    Corral Bluffs...

    And no. Corral Bluffs(my project) wouldn't have been sold to Ultra. The
    only reason the City purchased it was b/c the county proposed purchasing
    it
    using a grant from the State Parks OHV fund to build a motorcycle park
    and TOPS has a no OHV agenda, even outside city limits.

    Jackie Hillaire(a real estate agent whose home is on the cliff at the top of
    Corral Bluffs) and Lee Milner(another real estate agent who was TOPS Chair
    at the time) formed "Save the Bluffs" and began a PR smear campaign to
    defeat the proposal. Now it's a dog park. Honestly, I fail to see the
    difference, I'm sure the raptors/wildlife don't either. So pick your poison,
    dogs/motorcycles/MTB's/ball fields, that's the reality of OS. No one has
    divs on righteousness.

    Also, Corral Bluffs sits between a landfill and a MX track, no one is
    building homes in there. There was no developer threatening to
    purchase the land. Corral Bluffs is a just another **** hole that sounds a
    lot prettier than it actually is. That's all it is. And now that CSU/Banning
    Lewis isn't building the reservoir, it's.... well it's a really dry **** hole.

    I'm not trying to be insulting b/c I don't know where you're getting your
    info, but you are way off. Please check your info sources.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    The dead grass is the fault of piss poor management by the city. City parks and medians is not the responsibility of TOPS.
    C
    Curt, that's not true. The grass is dead b/c CSU charges retail rates to
    City Parks for water. They did the same thing to the County. It's
    bankrupting the parks dept.s when 70% of your maint. budget goes to pay
    for water, and they are raising rates to pay for the SDS by over 200%.

    I converted Bear Creek Park over to non-pot b/c we were told that it would
    save us money. The break even point at the original rate of 50% of potable
    rate was a 20 years. It cost us $75K to put in 400' of non-pot irrigation
    mainline that would have only cost $2K if it was potable. That's the
    ridiculousness of CSU non-pot regs. That was on top of the $250K we
    gave to CSU to run the non-pot line to the park.

    Once we got the system installed... CSU raised the non-pot rates to
    equal potable rates. County Parks then abandoned any plans for
    converting the rest of Bear Creek Park over to non-pot. It's too
    expensive. There is no cost benefit to using non-pot.

    City Parks is in the same boat. They have spent hundreds of thousands
    of dollars converting to non-pot only to find out that CSU is now charging
    the same rate for non-pot as potable. How is that Parks fault? CSU is
    run by goons and an ignorant City Council. That's the problem.

  36. #36
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayling View Post
    I fully agree in some situations bikes can have more impact As usual, you and I are in great agreement. In fact your leadership was what lured me into SFS and trailwork. Where I have issue is with categorical statements of opinion expressed as fact. In no way was I trying to express we don't have impacts or we shouldn't work together. Statements such as hers just make it harder to work cooperatively. Rather than agreeing there are issues and seeking solutions we have to resolve issues like this. We- hikers, riders, equine, and dogs- all have an impact.

    I do find issue with the implicit assumption that boots are automatically low impact. The number of switchbacks cut by hikers, and trails cut straight up the fall line astounds me. Conversely the number of novice MTB riders who do unnecessary damage due to skidding is a public relations nightmare.

    Yep, we all have impacts, blanket statement from any side of the trail are generally not helpful no doubt. Usually they are just stated to reinforce one's rigidly held precepts. Lot's of times when I've been on the other side of the table from someone who is uncomfortable with bikes and they use the "bikes destroy trails" line I'll not only not deny bikes impacts, I'll go into the specific issues. after that I'll talk about the impacts foot traffic can have and then talk about solutions. It really disarms most of those folks when you show that you take stewardship seriously. Of course some people - and they exist in all user groups - are so wrapped up in their dogma that they see the "others" as the "enemy" and no matter what they don't budge on anything, but I think those people are a fairly small minority.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayling View Post
    Quotes like the executive director for TOPSC- Susan Davies- stating how she believes," Two bike tires have a greater impact than two boots" doesn't inspire confidence in the idea of all user groups working together and voices being heard equally.
    The Gazette lacking in investigative reporting and taking sides? Shocking. That 'paper' is about two steps away from any other rag mag. Not even touching on the absurd grammatical, spelling and other wise atrocious writing that makes it up.

    Anyone thought of going to the Indy about the various issues?


    *for the record I believe that having huge parks full of grass is an absurd waste of tax money. Grass is the single biggest waste of water in this country. Not only wasting horrid amounts of water by volume, but paying for it as well. Once water starts to become limited, which it inevitably will, this issue will get a lot more attention.

  38. #38
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    UT,

    Here's some info on the lease rates for Section 16 form TOPS WC minutes from last year:

    "This property has been managed as an open space for over 40 years; first by El Paso
    County and from 2004 to the present by the City. Lease prices have increased greatly
    during this time. The lease increased from $640 per year in 1994 to $9,600 per year in
    2004 and $40,000 per year beginning in 2005. It was anticipated that the lease would
    continue to increase to 1% annually of the appraised value of the land in subsequent
    years."

    *************
    Regarding the TOPS and the allocation of $, TOPS was never intended to be a cure all for City Parks. In fact, parks were added to it to get it to be more palatable to the voters. While it has been successful in the creation of some City Parks, you are correct that the maintenance portion for parks is not sufficient. But also remember that the maintenance $ is for only those properties/parks purchased/created through the TOPS program. Also remember that OS maintenance is virtually nil - it's the parks that require huge amounts of $ to construct/maintain.

    At the time TOPS was created, nobody anticipated the Parks depts of both County & City being decimated as they have been. While TOSC opposed what they saw as the raiding of TOPS to take the $ from TOPS and use it for all City Parks (not just those created by TOPS), this was primarily due to the fact that the amount of $ that would be taken would be a drop in the bucket and wouldn't actually fix anything. A better solution is required.

    TOSC worked quite hard for at least a year to spearhead an effort to adequately fund the Parks system - originally called the Sustainable Parks Initiative and then rebranded as Great Parks, Great Communities. Unfortunately, the political climate over the last year has made it virtually impossible to get it through a vote. The support just isn't there. Will it be revisited and taken up again by TOSC. Could be. Come to our Advocacy meetings, we had talked about it at length at every meeting for a year (and at our board meetings) - actually, it literally consumed the whole organization for that time period where it was being actively pursued.

    So, while you may not agree with how TOSC approached things, to say or think that they didn't care and weren't trying to address the issue is just plain false. A huge anount of $ and time were spent trying to come up with a solution to the County and City Parks budget woes. And most likely will be for the foreseeable future. While I'd personally like nothing more than seeing the City and County Parks budgets go back to where they used to be, the reality is that they probably never will - the reality we currently face is drastically different and volunteer groups, whether we like it or not, have to be utilized at this point. Unfortunately, that may also be an unsustainable model, but it is what we have right now.

    While I know that you recognize this, I'll still throw it out there - tthe only way to change the organizations that you don't agree with is to become involved. They can represent you, but you may have to make an effort to shape their policy through participation.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    How is that Parks fault?
    I didn't say its the Parks fault! I said "piss poor management by the city". I think you and I agree on that.

    My only mention of city parks in that, was that their grass is not the financial responsibility of TOPS.

    I wonder if this whole planning process got put on hold because the BOD got wind of the "angry soccer moms" plan to tap into their budget next year. Oh and if the "ASM" is successful there will be no money to do anything with S16 or RROS, so yes those efforts ya'll made would be lost.


    Curtis

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitoumtbr View Post
    UT,
    While I know that you recognize this, I'll still throw it out there - tthe only way to change the organizations that you don't agree with is to become involved. They can represent you, but you may have to make an effort to shape their policy through participation.
    Hey Jim, I appreciate your reply and the info and stand corrected. But
    $40K? I still don't see that as a big issue in the overall picture. I thought
    you were talking hundreds of thousands... I think my point is still valid.

    For me the issue is not just City Parks, it's also Open Space parks like Red
    Rocks, Palmer Park, N Cheyenne Canon, that need real maintenance, not
    just volunteers with hand tools. I look at these parks through a different
    set of eyes than most people. I see weeds, trash, no picnic tables, broken
    fences, etc.... so let's hire some people who know what they are doing
    and stop this nonsense that is going on right now with Section 16 Master
    Plan and the "meetings" that must take place to "work out the
    differences" between the various volunteers, friends groups, advocacy
    groups, etc... the little turf war is getting old. Change the tax code and
    hire some staff to do what these groups are bickering about. Just
    get it done...

    TOPS invested my tax dollars in property. Now they have a responsibility
    to do maintenance. Other OS dept.s can do it. We can too.
    We can also build a bike park(s), and bike trails. But someone has to take
    the lead... with our location we should lead the state in MTB
    vacation/recreation.

    Why are people driving all the way to Winter Park
    to ride when we have just as many miles of trail, and a much longer
    season here? We can do it but we have to have a vision. It would
    put people back to work. This is a travel and tourism economy
    whether we like it or not. We should embrace it and take advantage
    of it, not put up fences that tell the public to "keep out".

    Ring the Peak? Pikes Peak Multi-use Plan? What happened? this is
    what I'm talking about. No vision for our future.

    Regarding my reluctance to join your organization. We obviously have
    philosophical differences when it comes to open space management and
    I don't see TOSC/MW/TOPS changing their stance on active use recreation
    in OS parks anytime soon.

    Yes, I could join, but then I would be unable to speak out as I am now doing.

    That is why I left Open Space planning. I wanted to become more active
    in active use open space recreation advocacy in the city I love. If I am a
    member of your org I become a liability, one that must be kept quiet, just
    like when I was in Parks & OS. It would just end in hurt feelings/bruised
    egos.

    Best regards to all,
    UT

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    I didn't say its the Parks fault! I said "piss poor management by the city". I think you and I agree on that.

    My only mention of city parks in that, was that their grass is not the financial responsibility of TOPS.
    Sorry, my bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis C View Post
    I wonder if this whole planning process got put on hold because the BOD got wind of the "angry soccer moms" plan to tap into their budget next year. Oh and if the "ASM" is successful there will be no money to do anything with S16 or RROS, so yes those efforts ya'll made would be lost.
    I don't think so. I think FORRC got pissed that they weren't getting their
    way. I could be wrong though. Obviously it wouldn't be the first time.

  42. #42
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    Having asked Susan Davies about her quote, she has said that her words were taken out of context. What she actually said to the reporter was "what I had been told by parks workers – after a rainfall when the soil was muddy, the ruts created by bicycles are more difficult to remedy than footprints left by hikers. So that yes, in certain conditions, cyclists are harder on trails than hikers. And horses are hardest of all."

    Not surprising that her words were taken out of context by a reporter.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitoumtbr View Post
    UT,

    Here's some info on the lease rates for Section 16 form TOPS WC minutes from last year:

    "2004 and $40,000 per year beginning in 2005. It was anticipated that the lease would
    continue to increase to 1% annually of the appraised value of the land in subsequent
    years."
    .
    I got to thinking.
    The appraised value is $3 mil, so 1% would be $30K/yr....
    that would be less than the $40K they were paying...

  44. #44
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    Okay, so now I'm confused .. . .

    Just read today's Gazette. Article says planning was put on hold "due to conflicts among user groups." How and when were these conflicts expressed? I've been at all the meetings and they all seemed amicable with user groups peacefully coexisting, actively looking for solutions that all could live with, and generally being willing to compromise. Are these "conflicts" being expressed strictly outside the planning process, and if so why are they being heeded over the inputs of those who have actively participated in the planning process. I'm lost. Should I start developing UT's paranoia? This does seem fishy . . .

    Ironically the same edition of the gazette had a multi-page article about the Springs becoming a "Mountain Bike Mecca." The fantastic quantity, quality and diversity of trails here is a huge part of my putting down roots here, so the general concept of the article makes sense to me. Of course, the article only covers the topic in the most superficial, written-word-equivalent-of-a-30-second-sound-byte kind of way. And how can we be a MTB Mecca if there are insoluable user group conflicts?

    A few quotes from Mecca the article caught my eye:
    1. " . . . though riders wisely avoid some steep trails on eroded grainte, such as the Seven Bridges Trail in North Cheyenne Canyon . . ." I'm sure many do, but I kinda like that trail. It's certainly not extreme (going downhill). The only reason I avoid it is because it's such a popular trail with the hikers--but if I can hit it on a weekday, I will. It makes a great finish to a Pipeline/Jones Park kind of day.
    2. " . . . high speed bombing on the chutes." Of course, that's the best way to ride the chutes, but it's also a good uphill workout and with hikers, bikers, dog-walkers, trail runners and the occasional equistrian, you "bomb" at your own (and maybe other's ) risk. This type of comment will only incense those already concerned with MTBs. Thanks.
    3. "New parks built in recent years cater to mountain bikers, including Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Cheyenne Mountain State Park . . ." Really???? RRC hardly caters to MTBs with it's superhighway wide routes and some trails closed to bikes. The good bike stuff is hidden far back, which is great by me, but that hardly qualifies as catering to MTBs. Must have decided that based on the little skills park by the parking lot! About 70% of the trails at CMSP are crushed-gravel groomers fit for casual walks including baby strollers. Love the Med Wheel trail, Cougars Shadow and the upper reaches of Blackmer, but again, this hardly constitutes catering to MTBs. Not complaining, mind you; I love riding in both those places and am thankful they are part of my riding portfolio, but the characterization is not accurate.

    Curious, do reporters actually talk to real MTBers?
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman View Post
    Curious, do reporters actually talk to real MTBers?
    No. See my above comments about the Gazette. I think it's insulting to actual reporters to call the WRITERS (and that's how they are even refereed to by the Gazette), reporters.

    There's a reason the (parent company that holds) Gazette is filing for bankruptcy... well many reasons.

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