Fraser looks to public for Fraser River Corridor planning
The town of Fraser held an open house to discuss the Fraser River Corridor Master Plan at The Foundry Cinema & Bowl Friday Night, inviting residents to stop in and express their thoughts on the future of the Cozen’s Ranch Open Space.
Residents were treated to free cocktails and appetizers as they walked around discussing their vision for the plan with Fraser officials and the Master Plan Team. Numerous informational boards were placed around the entranceway, where visitors could place stickers next to their favorite ideas, and write comments and suggestions.
“This is a great turnout to understand what the public wants,” said Scott Schreiber, water resources engineer for Wright Water Engineers, part of the design group helping with the plan. “We’re seeing diverse views across a various range of demographics. And it’s really great to see everybody come out.”
The plan will create a community driven vision for the open space, about 120-acres of open space between the Safeway in Fraser, down to the Rendezvous Trail System.
The meetings represents the beginning of several public outreach events Fraser will utilize to develop a public consensus on the best use for the space. Earlier last week Fraser had several strategic planning sessions with THK to help introduce residents to the project, and meet those involved.
The town of Fraser received a $65,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, GOCO, to help created the plan. About a month and a half ago Fraser entered into an agreement with THK Associates Inc., Grand Environmental and Matrix design Group to assist.
“Any projects that come out of this are going to be vetted through the public process,” said Brandon Parsons, design lead for THK. “We need to let the public determine what those projects are. We’re going to talk to the town and see what projects develop through the process, then we’re going to work with them to go after grant funding.”
THK is a landscape architecture and planning firm that helped develop the Clear Creek Greenway Master Plan, the Fountain Creek River Corridor Master plan and the South Platte River Greenway Master Plan.
As the process is still early, no specific projects have yet been determined as priorities, though several ideas and options were shared at the meeting. Among the most popular topics of conversation were increased trail connectivity, increased trail and river connectivity, and ecological preservation of the land.
“River access would be my main thing,” said Fraser resident Tim Hubbard. “I think it’s a great asset to the community of Fraser and to be able to take advantage of the river a little more easily I think would be fantastic.”
Others voiced that they would like to see more recreational structures such as playgrounds, stages or bike parks added in the area.
“I would like to see a children’s natural play area,” said resident Mary Sangster. “And we talked about possibly finding a space with a berm where people would sit on the slope of the berm and have a stage area below where we could do our Fraser Concerts. And it the winter it could be used for sledding.”
The development of the master plan will go through April 2018, and Fraser will be coming out with an online survey for residents in October. First drafts of the plan are expected early next year.
Fraser Town Manager Jeff Durbin said that the town intends to come through on their promises, joking that if residents want a Ferris wheel they’ll get one.
“What this plan comes out with as far as recommendations, we’ll deliver,” said Durbin.
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