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 4 - Spur 66ENVIRONMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS
The topography within Planning Area 4 is a narrow river valley with steeply sloping hillsides, opening up to a wider river valley in the upper reaches of the planning area. The eastern boundary of the planning area is formed by a ridge line, and includes the top of Giantrack Mountain. It continues south to include Rams Horn Mountain and Teddy's Teeth. The southeastern corner of the planning area includes the ridge line of Lily Mountain.
The southern boundary includes Thunder Mountain and the steep mountainside which defines the end of the Aspen Brook drainage. The mountains have less vertical relief to the west. The planning area extends to the boundary of RMNP.
Elevations in this planning area range from approximately 7,650 feet above sea level at the lowest portion of the planning area, to approximately 9,700 feet at the peak of Lily Mountain.
There is a wide diversity of vegetation within the area. Along the valley bottoms, adjacent to the streams, is a riparian ecosystem. Willow, cottonwoods, and associated understory can be found here, with pine and spruce in the well drained soils. In the upper reaches of the valley, where the valley broadens, there are open meadows with groves of aspen. The aspen changes to pine, spruce and fir as the elevation increases. The north and east facing slopes are generally heavily forested, Giantrack Mountain, which faces west in the planning area, is sparsely covered with trees.
The main drainage, which is in the lower portion of the planning area, is the Big Thompson River. This river originates in RMNP. Wind River flows north and east, and also originates in RMNP. A small tributary, Aspen Brook, flows into Wind River from the southeast.
There is abundant wildlife found in the planning area. Deer, elk , bear, mountain lion, and beaver all frequent the area. With RMNP forming the west, south and a portion of the north boundary of the area, migration through the planning area is extensive.
Due to the topography within this planning area, the viewsheds are well defined, and contained to the planning area itself. There are some limited views to the west into Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Windcliff Estates area presents a strong visual intrusion from the upper areas of the planning area. Due to the steep topography and lack of vegetation, the extensive roadcuts and homes located on the hillside present a strong visual contrast to the surrounding area and are visible from within RMNP.
EXISTING LAND USE SUMMARY
Development is limited due to topographical constraints. However, existing zoning could permit very intensive uses. Along the valley bottoms, adjacent to the waterways, there are accommodation uses, limited commercial establishments, and residential development. Single-family residential development occurs in the upper sections of the planning area. Windcliff Estates is located within the planning area, along with Thunder Mountain Estates.
The most intensive land use within the planning area is YMCA of the Rockies. The facility is separated from the road, and is only visible from limited locations along the roadway. The YMCA is also an important economic component within the Estes Valley.
The Spur 66 Planning Area is bordered on the west and south by RMNP.
Development immediately adjacent to Park boundaries can affect the quality
of the Park. The National Park Service is taking an active role in planning
outside its boundaries to insure the quality of the quality of the Park
is maintained. There is a camping facility at the end of Spur 66.
Future growth and development of the YMCA property will occur. Development of this area needs to be sensitive to the surrounding property owners, as well as responding to concerns of the National Park Service.
Redevelopment of some of the uses at the entrance of the planning area will visually improve visitors' and residents' images of the entire planning area.
The guidelines listed below are unique to Spur 66 and are intended to address the various issues, of Spur 66 which were identified throughout the future land use planning process.
SP 1. Prepare a streetscape plan for Spur 66.
SP 3. Develop landscape and architectural design standards for Spur 66 which specify appropriate building materials, colors, building height, massing, bulk, site development, and landscape standards.
The Spur 66 area borders Rocky Mountain National Park and is generally composed of low density residential development and accommodation uses. Accommodation uses are generally located along the roadway. Future development will need to be sensitive to the Big Thompson River.
This area also includes the YMCA conference grounds, a unique community resource which provides a transition to Rocky Mountain National Park. The sensitive development of this area is important.
The Spur 66 planning area contains lands adjacent to the major entry to Rocky Mountain National Park. The sensitive redevelopment of this area is important to promote a transition between the Park and the Valley.
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