Lone Tree City Council approved the final site plan of the 80-acre Lone Tree Regional Park, located east of I-25 and south of RidgeGate Parkway, during the June 20 regular meeting.
“We’re really creating a really unique identifier for the community,” said Austin Good, Lone Tree’s assistant city manager.
The park will be Lone Tree’s first regional park, and it will be located southeast of the RidgeGate Parkway and Peoria Street intersection. It is a collaborative effort by the City of Lone Tree and South Suburban Parks and Recreation. The board of directors for South Suburban Parks and Recreation previously approved the final site plan on June 8.
The main concept for the plan, developed by landscape architect The Architerra Group, is called “The Braid.” The plan includes a variety of amenities such as a dog park, festival terrace, multi-level playground and walking paths that feature a variety of spaces, called activity rooms, that can accommodate different uses such as community gardens and community art walks.
The 80-acre park is part of the large RidgeGate East development on the east side of I-25 and RidgeGate Parkway, which involves also building a 400-acre Lone Tree City Center, commercial districts, schools and three residential villages.
“It’s 80 acres — pretty substantial, [and] going to be a really big investment for the city, South Suburban and the whole community,” Good said.
“And so, we’re likely going to have to break it into multiple phases, and this next phase of design development is where we’re going to be able to dive in to figure out what the priorities are for the front end, what might be able to wait for a phase two, and then, of course, identifying project funding partners,” he continued.
During a study session on June 7, Good said phase one of the project is estimated to cost about $25 million. During the session, Mayor Jackie Millet said she is hopeful Douglas County will consider investing in the park, as it will be a regional amenity.
South Suburban Parks and Recreation has budgeted $300,000 this calendar year for design development, Good said.
The city is working within its internal departments to prioritize next steps, such as looking at traffic flow and parking lot sizes, as well as coordinating more with the infrastructure development, he said.
Millet told Good it is important that pathways for pedestrians and bikers be considered in the making of the park, saying she wants to make sure residents in nearby neighborhoods can walk into the park, that the park is connected to the existing trail system and there is a direct path for pedestrians and bikers from the west to east side.
“The importance of connections cannot be overstated, and making sure we have those before everything gets built up around it, I think, is essential,” she said. “Let’s preserve those connections now while we can.”
According to the resolution for the regional park site plan, the project is years away, but it’s been valuable to do planning work now so the park can integrate with the development of Lyric, a new neighborhood development by Shea Homes that is part of RidgeGate East, as well as the drainage project happening along Happy Canyon Creek.
To help keep the community updated on the park’s progress, the city has created a webpage, CityofLoneTree.com/RegionalPark. Good said the webpage can help residents understand the planning and development process, the design elements of the park and the project's next steps.
“We’re also thinking this [webpage] is going to be a really great spot for when folks are looking to actually buy homes in the neighborhood that’s next to the park. We want to make sure that they know what they’re moving in next to,” Good said, adding there will be some lit fields in the park that not everyone may want in their backyard. “And so it’s really, really important for us to make sure that we’re communicating that upfront.”
Currently, South Suburban Parks and Recreation is doing a public outreach campaign for its overall master plan, and the regional park is included in that.
When talking about the city's public outreach process, Good said, “We’re probably gonna kick into even more overdrive to make sure that we’re doing a good job being stewards of putting this plan into action and making sure that it’s something that the community wants."
Those interested in learning more about the project or who want to leave a question or comment about the project can visit the project’s webpage: cityoflonetree.com/regionalpark.