JCOS announces Kittredge Park boundary settlement

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/4/23

Now that a lawsuit over property rights at Kittredge Park has been settled, it’s time to move forward, honor private property lines, be respectful and heal the community, officials told a group at a meeting to announce the next steps.

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JCOS announces Kittredge Park boundary settlement

Posted

Now that a lawsuit over property rights at Kittredge Park has been settled, it’s time to move forward, honor private property lines, be respectful and heal the community, officials told a group at a meeting to announce the next steps.

“We worked very hard with both parties to figure out something that made sense in terms of providing access to the creek that many of you have enjoyed for many decades,” Tom Hoby, director of Jeffco Open Space, said at a meeting May 3 at the Buchanan Park Recreation Center. JCOS owns the park property.

The Evergreen Park & Recreation District, which operates the park, is hosting one of its Ever-Clean days at the park on June 29, and in addition to the regular park cleanup, district officials are asking volunteers to help build a crusher fine trail on the south side of the park for visitors to access Bear Creek.

Hoby said he hopes the trail will be ADA accessible, though it still needs to be determined whether that will be feasible.

“It’s a beautiful park, and we want everyone to use this amazing park in our community,” said Cory Vander Veen, EPRD’s executive director.

The settlement ends about 20 months of controversy after Taralyn Romero purchased a home in Kittredge that overlooks Bear Creek. She enforced her rights as the owner of the property on the north side of the creek. Park visitors had not known that area was private property.

While Romero did not speak at the May 3 meeting, she did write a comment on the Kittredge Community Connection Facebook page: “I hope many will find the settlement to be a win-win-win: for the community, for property rights and for nature.”

Terms of the settlement

According to Jeffco Open Space, the settlement provides permanent public access to Bear Creek from Kittredge Park, establishes boundaries for both public and private land that will be delineated with fencing, and provides the property owner with a $250,000 settlement from Jeffco Open Space that is paid by a fund created from sales-tax revenue.

According to the agreement, temporary fencing will be installed by May 10, the property survey will be completed by June 23 and permanent boundary fencing with signs indicating where the private property is will be installed by July 26.

Hoby said it was important for visitors to adhere to park rules and regulations; stay on public land; practice good stewardship by not digging along the creek, disturbing vegetation or altering the creek; and keep the park a peaceful setting by limiting noise.

“Helping with the noise will make the experience more peaceful for park visitors,” Hoby said. “It’s what we would expect from everyone who visits the park whether a local or from outside the area.”

The fencing and trail

Two fences will be erected: one to delineate the private property and the other to keep visitors from leaving the trail and damaging vegetation. The trail will form a loop from south of the playground area to the creek, and a fence will be inside the loop.

Hoby explained that a privacy fence could not be erected because the creek is in the floodplain, so the Army Corps of Engineers regulates fencing. Instead, it will be an open-strand fence.

Evergreen Park & Recreation will be responsible for maintaining both fences.

A log that visitors step over to get to the creek will be moved so it is parallel to the private-property fencing to help ensure visitors know that the area west of it is private property and a couple of sitting boulders will be placed near the creek, Hoby said.

“It’s important people rotate through there so many park visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the area by the creek,” Hoby said. “We encourage people to not squat. Instead, we hope they enjoy the area with their friends and move on.”

Kittredge Park, Taralyn Romero, Jeffco Open Space, Evergreen Park & Recreation District

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