Castle Rock to buy land for planned park

Remediation is first step for site near Plum Creek Golf Course

Posted 11/21/19
The Town of Castle Rock will buy property near the Plum Creek Golf Course in order to remediate the land and one day develop a neighborhood park. Town council approved purchasing roughly 7.6 acres …

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Castle Rock to buy land for planned park

Remediation is first step for site near Plum Creek Golf Course

Posted

The Town of Castle Rock will buy property near the Plum Creek Golf Course in order to remediate the land and one day develop a neighborhood park.

Town council approved purchasing roughly 7.6 acres from SW Greens Plum Creek LLC for $525,000 at its Nov. 5 meeting. The site has tennis courts and a pool that are not functional. Town staff plan to restore the property and replace it with a neighborhood park. Removing the pool and courts will cost approximately $150,000, staff said.

Director of Parks and Recreation Jeff Brauer said the property is well-positioned for a neighborhood park. The town wants park sites to be within a half-mile walking distance of the residents who will use them. The Plum Creek property meets that standard, he said.

The town and the seller both had the property appraised. Kilty and Company conducted the appraisal for the town and valued the land at slightly more than $400,000. The seller's appraisal was in the high $800,000s. Negotiations arrived at the selling price of $525,000.

Purchasing the land and remediating it will be paid for using the town's cash in lieu fund. The fund comprises cash-in-lieu payments from developers who do not have property they are required to give under the town's park land dedication requirements.

Councilmembers unanimously approved the deal but not before asking if the town was getting a good deal and if it should be responsible for cleaning up the site.

Councilmember James Townsend said he was struggling to justify the numbers but Town Manager David Corliss and Brauer assured him staff was comfortable with the purchase agreement. Corliss noted the site has off-street parking, enough space for a park and vistas of The Rock landmark.

“Staff believes this is an appropriate deal. This is a good deal. This is an opportunity,” Corliss said. “We don't get very many opportunities in a developed neighborhood.”

Councilmember Caryn Johnson asked if the purchase should be prioritized over park sites that need improvements. Mayor Pro Tem Jason Bower said he would “probably rather hold the property owner accountable for this property” by having them remediate it.

“It's dirty, it's blighted, it looks ragged and they should clean it up,” he said.

He was willing to approve the deal because the last citizen survey indicated residents want the town to obtain more open space and parks and take on such projects, he said. Councilmember Jess Loban said he also struggled with paying for the cleanup but said staff did due diligence in negotiating the price to under half of where the offer began.

“Credit to our town staff and to the property owner doing the negotiation,” he said. “We've come to an agreeable decision here.”

Councilmember George Teal, who represents the Plum Creek area, said the property has been a concern for constituents for years and thanked councilmembers for considering the issue.

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