Crown Hill Mesa to get its park this year

       Development planning is getting underway for a five-acre park that sat vacant for five years off Lower Gold Camp Road while the Crown Hill Mesa subdivision was built up around it.
       Colorado Springs Parks Development Manager Chris Lieber said this week that a meeting has been set up with Crown Hill residents April 19 to begin the “public master plan process” that will ultimately decide what should go into what's known as Gold Camp Park. “The goal is to complete it this year,” he added.
       The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the community meeting room at the new Colorado Springs Police Gold Hill Substation, 955 W. Moreno Ave.
       About $3 million became available to City Parks in February as a result of a favorable ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court on the voter-approved extension of the city's Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) sales tax. Fortuitously, a neighborhood petition for Gold Camp Park was presented to City Council at the same meeting in March where City Parks officials were talking to council about what to do with the money.
       “I think everybody in the subdivision signed the petition for the park,” commented Joann Helenberg. She and her husband, Chuck, are the developers of the 76-acre Crown Hill Mesa - platted for 317 homes, of which nearly 300 are built - and also live there.
       The city estimates the cost to develop the park at $600,000. The site is about 1/3 mile east of 21st Street on Lower Gold Camp Road.
       City Parks' recommendations to council had included pursuing the purchase of 640-acre Section 16 (south of Red Rock Canyon) as open space, but for the year 2006 council directed Parks to focus on the development of several long-awaited neighborhood parks, including Gold Camp. (The city has a grant to continue leasing Section 16 through 2010, if need be.)
       City Parks will “put together a concept plan for the park and present this at the meeting,” Lieber said. “We'll ask for comments and work with the neighborhood to meet their needs.”
       Helenberg said she did not know of any major neighborhood desire for the park, other than once having heard a suggestion for a baseball diamond and grass. Under city development rules, the Helenbergs had been required to donate the five acres for the park. The original plan had called for the city to develop Gold Camp Park in 2004, but until the recent Supreme Court TOPS ruling and the council decision the city had claimed it did not have the money, she said.

Westside Pioneer article