Greg and Pam Gundlach: Center concerns
The recent initiative by the Citizens for a Recreation Center to locate up to a 95,000 square foot recreation center in the Rita Valentine Park (Curci-Turner) raises a number of concerns.
While we acknowledge the group’s views regarding the need for a recreation center, we find it objectionable that any consideration would be given to its placement within Rita Valentine Park. These objections derive from our understanding of the specific wishes of Ms. Rita Valentine, the community’s expressed desire for open space, the overall cost and financial burden to the community, the resulting impact on existing city recreational facilities, the potential existence of other more desirable locations and the adverse impact any recreation center would have on the residential communities adjacent to Rita Valentine Park.
In particular, we understand it was the expressed desire of Ms. Rita Valentine to see the park be open space, and this has been previously communicated to the Steamboat Springs City Council. We understand further that throughout the years the need for and desire to preserve open space has been repeatedly and strongly expressed by the community on numerous occasions including through formal studies and surveys. Still further, the goal of preserving open space has been specifically prioritized over other usages including recreational facilities of the type proposed.
We also understand that beyond the proposed cost and the financial burden and future expenditure constraints that such debt would create for the Steamboat Springs community, it has been shown that the creation of a new recreational center would result in the split usage of the existing recreational facility with the further result of redundant usage, potentially surplus capacity and additional costs to the community.
Finally, we understand it is not even clear that the proposed site is actually the most desirable location (i.e., central and easily accessed) for a public recreational center intended to serve the entire Steamboat Springs community.
For these reasons and concerns regarding the commercial use of property adjacent to a low intensity residential area including the increased traffic congestion and increased noise and light pollution likely to result together with the potential derivative costs of reduced property values, we find the current proposal objectionable.
Greg and Pam Gundlach
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