by Terri Wiebold
News of a potential merger between South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) and Parker Fire District (PFD) may cause additional delays for plans to build a new fire station in the Castle Pines North (CPN) community. The possibility of a merger between the two Districts opens new options for CPN.
“One possible scenario is to build the new station at the corner of Castle Pines Parkway and Monarch Boulevard,” said SMFR Assistant Chief Mike Dell’Orfano. “Having a station more centrally located will reduce response times throughout Castle Pines North.”
Prior to discussions of a potential consolidation, SMFR had plans to build fire station 43 at the northeast corner of Monarch Boulevard and Hidden Pointe Boulevard. SMFR purchased the land in February 2007, and has been negotiating with Douglas County for the past year to re-zone the land for fire department use.
In April 2007, those plans were temporarily placed on hold when an independent study by Emergency Services Consulting Incorporated recommended several operational and structural changes in the SMFR organization, including significant changes in the department’s leadership.
Following an evaluation of SMFR’s strategic plan and the allocation of resources for the entire District, the fate of fire station 43 appeared to be on the chopping block.
“Building a new station for the sake of building one is not necessarily the best plan,” said Dell’Orfano. “We need to evaluate all the District’s resources and do what is best for the entire District.”
According to Dell’Orfano, PFD has plans to build a new station right across I-25 in the new Canyons development. “It would not make sense or be cost effective to have two stations so close to each other,” he said.
The proposed new CPN station (called station 36A) would potentially sit on the CC-20 parcel at the corner of Castle Pines Parkway and Monarch Boulevard and would be located near the proposed library site.
In this scenario, SMFR would withdraw plans to build station 43 at the corner of Hidden Pointe and Monarch Boulevard and would close existing station 36 on Castle Pines Parkway near I-25.
In January 2008, Douglas County sent a letter to residents near Coyote Ridge Park making notification of a zoning change request for the plot of land (located on the northeast corner of Monarch Boulevard and Hidden Pointe Boulevard) to be zoned for fire department use. The notification also included a preliminary site plan and analysis, as well as a vicinity map and proposed project narratives. Now, the station might not come to fruition.
The CPN Master Association Design Review Committee reviewed a referral on the site and submitted recommendations on the proposed station design. Douglas County is still moving forward with its process until such time as SMFR officially requests otherwise.
More news about fire station changes for CPN will be announced in community e-mails or found at www.cpnhoa.org.