After the July issue was printed, the mayor’s office, on July 2, sent a clarification about a sports complex in Stapleton. The contents of that letter is printed below this article.
The northernmost part of Stapleton, referred to as Section 10, is a one square mile area that will have about 2,000 single family homes and, in addition, some multi-family units. But at this stage the focus is more on infrastructure and land use concepts.
For years it has been expected that Stapleton land would be used for a regional park, adding much needed sports fields in Denver. However, Deirdre Oss, Senior City Planner, stated that the planning department determined that being so close to Dick’s sporting goods, and being in the middle of a residential area did not make the open space area north of 56th Ave. conducive to a sports complex. She said fields will likely be built south of the high school fields, but there may not be as many originally planned. She added that the open space in Section 10 will be “programmable” and can be used for informal soccer games and other activities.
The June 26 public meeting was the only public meeting required by the city for this GDP. For those concerned about this or any other issues in the plan, the public has two weeks to respond (by July 10). The GDP can be viewed at DenverGov.org > Stapleton Section 10.
Planning for drainage is a high priority for Section 10. The water in this area flows north, so a detention pond is planned in the northwest corner. After the land is developed, though there will be more storm water runoff, the water cannot flow into the Rocky Mountain Arsenal at a rate any greater than it has historically from the undeveloped land. The north-south open space, about the width of Westerly Creek, will be central to that drainage system. The two “fingers” of open space, which are wider than Greenway park, connect the central open space to the perimeter.
Connectivity to main streets and access are also considered at this stage of planning. 56th Ave. will be a six-lane road from Quebec to Peña Blvd with three main north-south roads that connect to it in Section 10: Central Park Blvd., Dallas St. and Havana. A narrow open space area is planned for pedestrian (and likely bike) access along 56th and along the east and north borders with the Arsenal. That open space, along a perimeter road also provides a firebreak between Stapleton and the Arsenal.
Although timing may not end up exactly as projected, Forest City submitted a schedule that the western portion, north to south, including most of the drainage, would be built first, in 2015-16, with three more constructions phases, working on the eastern portion from south to north and finishing the last phase in 2018-19.
July 2 letter from the office of Mayor Michael Hancock:
Unfortunately, there has been some incorrect information regarding the sports complex that was proposed to be located in Section 10 of the Stapleton development.
Please let me reassure you that the city will build a sports complex in this part of the Stapleton neighborhood. Early plans for the complex called for it to be located north of 56th Ave., within a series of parks/open space that are being developed. After looking closely at those plans and discussing them with the community, including the Stapleton Citizens Advisory Board (Parks Advisory Group) and the Stapleton Development Corporation, it was decided that the build-out of the sports complex would have less of any adverse impact on the residential neighborhood in Section 10 if it were located to the south of 56th Ave.
With that suggestion in mind, the planners began to evaluate a location to the south of 56th. What they found was an incredible opportunity to use the location of the Stapleton High School, currently under construction, as the anchor for the planned Stapleton Sports Complex.
By planning the sports complex in this location, the adverse impact on the immediate neighborhood in Section 10 from lighted ball fields and parked cars is severely reduced or eliminated. As the high school is built out, fields for football, baseball and softball are part of the current plans. Those fields will serve as an anchor to the additional sports fields that the city will work to have built as sources of funding for the complex become available. This location also includes space for off-street parking and is adjacent to a large commercial warehouse, where noise and lights from evening activities won’t be mere steps from residents’ homes.
What has yet to be determined is what amenities will be delivered at the site. In addition, back on the north side of 56th Ave., where future parks/open space are currently being planned, Denver Parks and Recreation will also determine if it is appropriate to add more multi-use sports fields within those parks that can be permitted for daytime activities. I can assure you that we will absolutely involve the community as we move forward with the planning process and need to make more specific decisions about the facility.
We agree that Section 10 is an important part of the Stapleton neighborhood and we share your commitment to the benefits the Stapleton Sports Complex will bring to the community.