With COVID-19 having brought public meetings in Golden to halt for the foreseeable future, city officials are emphasizing online participation as the city proceeds with the next phase of the Heart of …
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With COVID-19 having brought public meetings in Golden to halt for the foreseeable future, city officials are emphasizing online participation as the city proceeds with the next phase of the Heart of Golden project.
On March 11, just days before city buildings were closed to the public, the city held the first of two planned public refining workshops. At that workshop, members of the MIG INC. urban planning firm hired by the city to lead the planning phase of the Heart of Golden project presented three concepts for a reconstructed and revitalized Clear Creek corridor. Attendees then participated in several activities that allowed to provide feedback on the proposed plans.
MORE: View the city's website for updates and to take feedback surveys
MIG Director of Planning and Design Jay Renkins began the meeting by outlining the current state of the corridor and what resident feedback suggested were its main existing flaws. Those flaws include underutilization of land on the southeast side of the corridor near Coors Brewery due to the number of surface parking lots located there, parks that have surpassed their capacity to hold events and recreation and an overall feeling of disconnectedness within the corridor.
“Right now it doesn’t really feel like a single corridor it feels like a series of places or experiences that are disconnected,” Renkins said.
Renkins then presented the three concepts, which he said were compiled based on over 4,000 comments received by the city from people about what they would like to see the corridor look like going forward. Each of the concepts includes a city hall, a fire station, a parking garage, a library, a museum, a performing arts facility and a visitor’s center as well as spaces for recreation and events. However, they vary in the degree to whether they call for existing facilities to be utilized or reconstructed.
“The idea is what we tried to do is pick up on the key themes of the priorities that were expressed by the community and we tried to package those into different concepts where those elements work together,” Renkins said at the meeting. “What we would like you to do is focusing less on saying which option is your favorite and more so on what are the important elements that you like about each one or maybe there is something missing.”
The first concept, which MIG INC. dubbed “civic campus plus cultural core” calls for the corridor to be divided into two general sections. A `cultural core” consisting of the existing library and a new amphitheater, performing arts center, restaurant and visitor’s center would be located on the northwest side of the corridor between Lions Park and Washington Street.
The central park of the corridor would remain mostly unchanged while a city hall building with a police station, a fire station and a large parking garage would be constructed on the southeast side of the corridor, east of Vanover Park. A new open space connecting to Vanover Park would also be constructed on the far east side.
The second concept is dubbed the “eastern intensity plus central parks” proposal. That plan calls for a variety of public buildings to be constructed on the southeast side of the corridor, including a new city hall, library, performing arts building amphitheater. That would allow the west side of the corridor to be devoted to park and recreation-type spaces.
The third concept is called the “civic anchors plus distinct destinations” plan. It calls for a continuous green corridor along the creek with a central arts and education hub consisting of a library and performing arts center with a large green space in-between on the northwest side and the city hall and other civic buildings on the southeast side.
The second refining stage meeting scheduled for April 8 has been canceled in light of COVID-19 and will be rescheduled to a later date. The city has posted information about the three concepts, including the presentation from the March meeting, and is asking residents to provide feedback via two online surveys.
“All of the information is there and everything that was presented and that you need to do to provide comments is there so please do because I imagine it will be a number of weeks before we get to be together for (Heart of Golden)” Mayor Laura Weinberg said during the city council meeting on March 19.
At that meeting, City Manager Jason Slowinski also said the city will likely need to revise the timeline for the Heart of Golden process due to COVID-19, which is stipulated in the city’s contract with MIG INC.
“We will have to take a look at this closer and just make sure we are on the same page we are as move forward and if we need to take additional time,” Slowinski said.
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