by Terri Wiebold & Lisa Crockett
Considered by some to be a “jewel in the crown” of the Denver Mountain park system, historic Daniels Park is slated for some upgrades over the next 10 years as part of a proposed Master Plan that Douglas County is currently evaluating.
On September 5, more than 40 residents joined at the community center to hear Douglas County Senior Development Review Engineer, Gary Walter, independent landscape architect, Dick Marshall, and Denver Parks and Recreation Senior Landscape Architect, Dick Gannon, present preliminary plans for Daniels Park.
The meeting, which laid out the proposed plan for the park through a slide presentation and a question and answer session, came on the heels of an open-house style meeting held at Timber Trail Elementary School in August.
“The August meeting didn’t really meet my needs,” said one Castle Pines North (CPN) resident. “This format was much clearer and now I feel like I know what is happening.”
The 1000-acre park is known for its dramatic views of the Rocky Mountains, historic ranch buildings, bison herd, and Tall Bull Indian Memorial Grounds. The park is of particular interest to CPN residents because it borders the CPN community to the west, and any changes made to existing roads, etc. will have a direct impact on residents.
The focus of public input on the plan thus far has been parking, improved park access, traffic flow, and park amenities such as trails, restrooms and picnic areas.
“We took public input from the August meeting and incorporated suggestions into our presentation at this meeting,” said Walter.
The existing Daniels Park Road will be realigned to the north and paved in such a way that it preserves the environment, controls the dust and surface runoff, and limits the speed on the road. Preliminary plans include a “T” intersection on each end of the road, curves that fit the natural topography of the land, and designated paved parking areas along the roadway for viewing. The road will also be paved to the south to meet up with the existing paved portion of Daniels Park Road.
“A hot topic for local residents is traffic and speeding,” said Gannon. “People think that just because you pave a road, drivers will go faster. That is just not the case.”
Pine Ridge resident Barbara Saenger has been very involved in the community-input portion of the project. Saenger met with CPN residents in August and sent suggestions and concerns to Walter as a result of that meeting.
According to Saenger, residents in the CPN community seem most interested in the proposed “roundabout” at the intersection of Castle Pines Parkway and Buffalo Trail. “The majority felt that if done properly, it [the roundabout] would be an asset,” stated Saenger in an e-mail to Walter about the community meeting. The roundabout’s size, placement, elevation, and landscaping should all be areas of attention, stated Saenger.
For now, Douglas County will continue to finalize its Master Plan and work on funding sources for the project. At the present time, the Master Plan is merely a proposal and no action will be taken until an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) is signed by both the City of Denver and Douglas County. Completion of all aspects of the plan is projected over a maximum period of 10 years. Park plans can be viewed on the Castle Pines North Master Association website: www.cpnhoa.org. For additional information, go to www.douglas.co.us/danielspark.