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Greeley City Council approves new parks and rec district for east Greeley

GREELEY — The Greeley City Council this week approved creation of a 128-acre parks and recreation district in east Greeley that would dramatically increase the activities available in that part of the city.

The district was approved 6-1, with Councilman Tommy Butler the dissenting vote.

Ash Park and Recreation District will be bounded on the north by the Poudre River, on the west by Ash Avenue and on the east by Birch Avenue. It’s planned to feature trails, lakes, public beaches, fishing piers, wetlands, playgrounds, parks and an amphitheater. 

“I think that would be awesome for families to have a gathering spot and be able to walk and ride their bikes over there,” Councilman Ed Clark said.

The land is owned and being developed by Richmark Cos. The district will not be allowed to issue debt and will instead be funded by oil and gas taxes and property taxes. Butler cited that aspect — the park being privately funded and maintained — as the reason for his opposition.

“When you privately fund parks, I think you lose something,” he said.

Mayor John Gates acknowledged that risk, but said he trusts Richmark to be good stewards. 

The council also approved a rezone for a 42-acre parcel in west Greeley called the Cobblestone Rezone. The vacant land is located at the southwest corner of 71st Avenue and U.S. Highway 34, just west of the St. Michaels mixed-use development.

The property was rezoned to residential high density to allow for the construction of a mix of small-lot single-family homes, townhomes and multifamily units with the aim of finally unlocking the potential of St. Michaels and bringing more housing variation to west Greeley.

“The reality is, we need all phases of housing right now,” Councilman Brett Payton said. 

On another housing front, the council approved 5-2 the service plan for Delantero Metropolitan Districts 1-10, with Butler and Councilwoman Deb DeBoutez voting against. Delantero is an 817-acre master-planned community at the southwest corner of U.S. Highway 34 and Colorado Highway 257 that will feature up to 5,481 residential units at buildout. The approved service plan has a total debt limit of $300 million and a mill levy limit of 65 mills. 

Finally, the council approved as part of the consent agenda a $2 million grant agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation for the 16th Street enhancement project.

Source: BizWest