Jefferson County reacts to criticism over Crown Hill Park plans

Plans will change about 1/4 acre, county said

LAKEWOOD, Colo. - For a place so pristine, Crown Hill Park in Jefferson County, sure is making a lot of noise.

"We’re trying to save the park," Jean McClenathen informed people arriving to the park Sunday.

"This is a challenge we always have. Folks become interested when there’s some immediacy," said Jefferson County Open Space Director Tom Hoby on Tuesday.

Hoby told 7NEWS renovation plans have been in the works for five years and people have had plenty of time to weigh in.

"We did a mailing to the half-mile radius around the park.  We had an event at the park on May 1. We had a subsequent public comment period that lasted three weeks in May," Hoby said.

The county has already brought out machines and has started expanding trails. Next up, they will upgrade restrooms and put the ten existing fitness areas scattered throughout the park in one location.  Finally they plan to build three nature areas intended to get kids involved with nature. All at a price tag of $900,000 funded by a voter-approved half-cent sales tax.

Plans have fallen under criticism from residents who said they weren’t properly notified and worry the renovation will ruin the open space park.

7NEWS asked Hoby to respond to people who have criticized putting nature areas in the middle of nature.

"It's the whole thing of what we’re up against.  What we’re up against is screens, things that captivate kids.  If we can give mom and dad a chance of getting their kids out there because there’s something interesting, then we’re making a dent," said Hoby.

As for concerns it'll ruin open space, Hoby said it will not.

"Crown Hill Park is about the equivalent of 1,000 residential lots, these improvements would be one residential lot."

That's about one-quarter acre of the 240 acre park.

Hoby told 7NEWS there has been a lot of support for the renovation.  7NEWS asked if the county would reconsider its plans if they continue to get pushback from residents.

"If we get a broad representation of folks saying, you know what, we could pass on the nature places, then, we’ll reevaluate it," Hoby responded.

The renovation is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

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