Friday, May 02, 2008

Corral Bluffs Motorcycle Park idea killed

Yep, it's true. Due in part largely to an organized group of non-motorized opponents, the El Paso County Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to nix the idea of a county-funded, privately managed dirt bike park. Here's the story.

5 comments:

Dr. B said...

That is great news! I'm surprised the county did something FOR the environment. Kudos to them.

Portly Elementary School Kid said...

Rats!

zen said...

I've written about it in other places & I'll write about it here... Why don't they build an offroad park in the buffer zone east of Fort Carson? Its a huge swath of land that was purchased to prevent developers from building homes in an area that otherwise is subject to noise and nuisance from base operations.

There'e nothing out there - no homes, no businesses. It's probably the perfect place for this kind of thing. If it will reduce offroading in the forests I'm all for it.

Dr. B said...

@zen - I completely agree, that land is going to sit unused, why not use it for something.

John said...

Thank you for reporting on this in a data driven manner. There are a few items I would like to comment on as I attended all of the public meeings.

First, thank you for the suggestion, we will consider the Fort Carson site as a part of the steering committee to determine a new location. We really do appreciate constructive suggestions.

I am disturbed by the use of the word "environmentalist" to describe the opposition to the park in the Gazette article. I consider myself an environmentalist and do not agree that because I also recreate on a motorcycle that I am automaticly anti-environment. Offroad motorcyclists have no interest in riding in flat, barren, non-scenic areas. I have spent many hours and hundreds of dollars working to maintain multi-use trails so that hikers and mountain bikers can also continue to enjoy them. In the future, I hope to see the words environmentalist and anti-access separated, there is a differnece.

Some other facts...many of the opponents supported an interpretive park, which would have a much higher impact on the land and natural assets of the Case property. Consider that a single track trail is 18 to 24 inches wide and a walking trial is 4-6 FEET wide. Also consider that the "environmentalist" opponents also quoted the fact that the property is zoned for 5 acre home development, which would have an even higher impact. The real environmental assesment determined that the property is not suitable for DEVELOPMENT! It did not single out motorcycle recreation (see below quote)

Part of the BoCC Recommendations

"Without mitigation, ground disturbance associated with development within the Case Property will undoubtedly result in the destruction of scientifically significant fossils."

I believe the main item of contention was with two groups, the most important group being the neighbors. Motorcycles are starting to self police for sound and if I were a neighbor, this would have been my main concerns. I also believe that a new site can be found where sound education and mitigation can be accomplished. The second group are those that enjoy a fight and have a problem with motorcyclists in general. As I left the first meeting, I said to a woman "drive safely". Her response was "you mean, don't hit a biker, right". I was left speachless. Note that this woman lived off of Uintah and 19th st, nowhere near the proposed site.

Also note that the individual who led the charge for the opposition is a realtor. He may have truely good intentions, but consider the conflict of interest if the Case property is instead developed into high dollar homes. This property also neighbors the Banning-Lewis Ranch property of equally or greater high dollar homes. Is building more homes friendly to the environment?

I do not credit the opposion for killing this project. I do credit them for spinning many facts and data from the USFS and other sources to unrealisticaly and unfairly characterize supporters and motorcyclists. The false photoshoped images on the internet and countless reaons found to avoid a park was stunning. It's always easier to tear something down than to be a part of creating balanced, realistic solutions.

I do credit Tim Wolken and the Parks Dept for doing their job and gacefully taking an amazing amount of fire from a well funded group that didn't represent the demographic of the County. If you were at the meetings, you would understand what I mean.

Lastly, I ask dr. b to expand on his comment "I'm surprised the county did something FOR the environment." I may not be aware of certain housing developments that are/were not environmentally friendly, but I am aware of Red Rocks Canyon, the Paint Mines and other local parks that serve MOST of the public recreation and "open space" needs.

I look forward to moving forward with responsible and reasonable people from every side of the issue and help to diminish or eliminate the extreme prejudice motorcyclists have faced for too long.