County Offices and Courts will be closed on Monday, February 15, 2016 in observance of the President's Day Holiday. The Landfill will be open. Critical services at Larimer County are not disrupted by closures.
Chapter 1 - The Planning Process
Chapter 2 - Our Changing Society
Chapter 3 - Economic Overview
Chapter 4 - Land Use
Chapter 5 - Mobility and Circulation
Chapter 6 - Purpose and Use of the Plan
Area 1 - The North End
Chapter 7 - Action Plan
Appendix I - Summary of Interviews
Planning Area 2 - Fish Creek/Little Prospect MountainENVIRONMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS
The topography of Planning Area 2 is generally described as prominent mountains and ridges on the east and west, bisected by the fish creek drainage running from south to north. The western boundary consists of the ridge line of Prospect Mountain, which is a visually prominent mountain located centrally within the entire planning study area. The steep slopes found on Prospect Mountain present challenges to ensure sensitive development.
The eastern boundary includes a heavily wooded, mountainous ridge line which contains a number of small drainages, the central portion of the planning area consists of gentle slopes which drain into Fish Creek.
Elevations within the planning area range from 8,900 feet at the top of Prospect Mountain, and the same approximate elevation along the ridge to the east, to a low of approximately 7,500 feet at Lake Estes.
Lake Estes is a prominent landmark that creates the northern boundary of the planning area. All drainages within the study area eventually flow into Lake Estes. Fish Creek drains a relatively large basin that extends to the south and west as far as Lily Lake and Marys Lake.
Several detention areas exist within Planning Area 2, including a series of open space ponds in Carriage Hills at the southern boundary of the planning area. The drainage from the Marys Lake area, which runs from west to east and joins Fish Creek, acts as a natural open space corridor and is an important wildlife habitat.
The primary views within the planning area are divided into two main viewsheds, defined by topography. The northern half of the planning area has views toward Lake Estes and the southern portion of the planning area has outstanding views to Longs Peak and Twin Sisters.
EXISTING LAND USE SUMMARY
The majority of the Fish Creek/Little Prospect Mountain Planning Area lies within Town boundaries. The upper portion of Prospect Mountain is an enclave not within Town boundaries. The eastern boundary of the planning area is not within Town boundaries. The southern boundary of the planning area is the existing Town boundary. The 18-hole municipal golf course is in the center of the planning area.
A wide variety of land uses are found within this planning area. On an acreage basis, single-family housing encompasses the largest area.
The northwest quadrant of the planning area, which includes the area west of Highway 7 and north of the golf course, includes very diverse uses. Large-lot single-family homes can be found north of the hospital on Little Prospect Mountain. Small-lot single-family residences and multi-family development exist east and south of the hospital. In the Commanche/Dunraven area, a service/industrial area is located. South of this area, the predominant land use once again returns to single-family residences. On both sides of Highway 7 from the US 36/Highway 7 intersection to Graves Avenue, there are highway commercial uses. The Estes Park Conference Center and Bureau of Reclamation power plant are also located here.
East of Highway 7 and north of the golf course, there is a wide variety of land uses. The Stanley Park Fairgrounds is located here, along with the Reclamation Subdivision small-lot single-family residential area and the museum adjacent to US 36. Farther east is the school campus adjacent to Lake Estes. To the west is a commercial area. North of the golf course are two condominium developments, a vacant tract, and a small 10+ acre single-family subdivision. To the south in Country Club Estates is a large-lot single-family subdivision which abuts the golf course.
The southwest quadrant, which includes the land west of Highway 7 and
south and west of the golf course, consists mostly of single-family residential
development. There is also a small industrial subdivision located here.
Two main highway corridors are within the planning area. US 36 connects Estes Park to the south and east, extending to Lyons, Boulder and Denver. This is the primary route for visitors coming to Estes Park from the Boulder/Denver area. The road provides a very scenic drive as it climbs up from the Front Range to Estes Park. As the road enters Town, there is a major intersection with Highway 7, which is the second major highway located
within the planning area. US 36 then continues west, beyond the planning area, where it accesses downtown at the intersection with US 34. Local service is also provided for residents accessing the school campus and the Stanley Park area.
Highway 7 intersects US 36 in the northwest corner of the planning area, and bisects the planning area from north to south. Highway 7 serves as an arterial within the local street system. The highway serves as the primary means of north/south access. The only other continuous north/ south road is Fish Creek Road. Peak View Drive is classified as a collector road, and links the Marys Lake area with Highway 7.
Major transportation issues include providing pedestrian and bike crossings of Highway 7, providing for a better linkage from Moccasin Drive to Highway 7, realignment of some of the street intersections with Highway 7, and providing defined curb cuts on Highway 7.
Fish Creek and Fish Creek Road are important links in the trail system from the outlying residential areas to Lake Estes and the school campus. Prospect Mountain could also be a key component of a Town-wide trail system. The drainage from Marys Lake to Fish Creek is an important trail connection through town.
Redevelopment of the Stanley Park Fairgrounds could have a major impact on the overall community. It is anticipated that any redevelopment would enhance the visual appearance and be an asset to the community. Redevelopment of the Commanche/Dunraven area bears special consideration as a location for needed uses; however, as sites develop, compatibility with adjacent residential neighborhoods and accommodation uses needs to be addressed.
Widening of Highway 7 will require major reconstruction. There is currently a certain natural quality associated with Highway 7 which gives the impression of a small mountain road. This is due in part to the vegetation left intact next to the roadway, and the manner in which streets access the highway. Widening may remove vegetation, and in places require extensive earthwork. This may permanently change the character of the highway and of the Fish Creek/Little Prospect Mountain Planning Area. The Highway 7 project needs to include tree plantings and revegetation of the right-of-way.
FISH CREEK/LITTLE PROSPECT MOUNTAIN
The guidelines listed below are unique to the Fish Creek/Little Prospect Mountain area and are intended to address the various issues and concerns of the Fish Creek area which were identified throughout the future land use planning process.
FC 1. Hillside development standards and lot size standards which reflect topographic and natural features, road standards, building colors and materials are needed for the Fish Creek area and Prospect Mountain.
The Fish Creek/Little Prospect Mountain - Future Land Use area includes a variety of single-family and multi-family residential uses, generally including less dense development patterns on the steep portions of the area and more intensive single-family and multi-family development closer to the community core. This area includes the widest variety of residential land use types, ranging from affordable, small, single-family lots to large estate lots.
This area also houses several institutional uses, including:
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6-3 - Carriage Hills/Mary Lake