An application will be submitted to create a new zone district for the purpose of updating the zoning classification in Rock Park. Currently, there are no proposed changes for the property. The purposes of this application are to:
- Create a new PL-3 Zone District;
- Consolidate zoning areas within the property;
- Align permitted park uses with the activities and facilities that currently exist.
Rock Park is presently zoned as a Single-Family Residence District (R-1). The primary use within the R-1 District is detached single-family residential dwellings on minimum 9,000 square foot lots. Based upon community feedback to consider a new zone district for Rock Park, the Parks and Recreation Department will hold a neighborhood meeting to discuss a proposed PL-3 zone district and the rezoning of Rock Park pending Council approval.
The proposed classification. PL-3, will define the park as a natural area and will more appropriately conform to the current permitted uses and limitations within Rock Park. Neither existing zone districts, PL-1 nor PL-2, accurately define or allow for the current uses at the park.
|Existing zoning||Proposed zoning|
|Rock Park is presently zoned as a Single-Family Residence District (R-1).|
Permitted uses include:
• One-family dwellings, detached
• Small in-home day care subject to State licensing requirements
• Indoor and outdoor recreation
• Underground public utilities
• Various accessory uses including but not limited to satellite dish antennas, solar energy collection, the parking of private vehicles, keeping of household pets, garage and yard sales and home occupations
|The proposed zone classification for Rock Park is PL-3 District.|
Permitted uses will include:
• Open space and wildlife sanctuary
• Trails and associated service facilities such as restrooms, picnic pavilions and information kiosks
• The star and flagpole located at Rock Park and their related maintenance
• Off-street parking and driveways
• Temporary community events sponsored by the Town of Castle Rock
• Various accessory uses including rock stabilization, rock fall mitigation, public utilities such as water, storm water, electric and similar uses but excluding commercial communication towers and facilities
An informational public meeting was held on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Residents can review the information that was presented at the meeting.
A public hearing for creating the PL-3 District will be held through the Town’s Planning Commission meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28. Town Council is scheduled to perform a first reading of the ordinance approving the new district at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17. A second reading is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. Meetings will be held in the Town Council Chambers Room at Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St., Castle Rock. Time is approximate. Meeting agendas can be viewed online at CRgov.com.
Provided the new zone district is approved, a public hearing for the rezoning application is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11 at the Town’s Planning Commission meeting. Town Council is scheduled to perform a first reading of the ordinance approving the change in zoning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6. A second reading is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20. Meetings will be held in the Town Council Chambers Room at Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St., Castle Rock. Time is approximate.
Copies of the application materials are available for inspection at the Castle Rock Development Services Department, located in Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St., Castle Rock, Colorado, 80104, during regular business hours. Please address any questions to Kathy Marx, Town of Castle Rock Development Services Senior Planner, kmarx@CRgov.com, 720-788-2205.
The current Rock Park site of 62.3 acres consists of eight previously separate parcels, acquired as public open space between 1947 and 1991. The prominent Rock received its Castle Rock name in 1859 from David Kellogg, a gold seeker, due to its resemblance to a castle.
The Town of Castle Rock was settled and grew around the Rock from its early settlement days in the 1870s, beginning with the Craig and Gould addition in 1874. The area on the south side of the base was claimed and platted by Philip Wilcox in 1871, but the top of the Rock was originally claimed in 1875 by one of the first European settlers to Castle Rock, William Cantril. The land patent was transferred to Daniel Fitch in 1890, then George Stewart purchased it in 1922, and he retained ownership until his death in 1943. At one time, George Stewart owned part, if not all, of what is now Rock Park and other areas in Castle Rock. In 1947, George Stewart’s heirs deeded the Town 20 acres north of the Rock, and in 1953 they conveyed the top of the Rock to the Town.
In 1957, a trustee conveyed the lots surrounding the top of The Rock. In 1987, the Town acquired approximately 24.4 acres north of the Rock from Columbia Savings & Loan by waiving development fees for 14 single-family home lots. Shortly afterwards, that agreement was extended to include 3.6 acres on the east side for $123,000 (compensation for tap fees from the originally proposed 14 homes). There are two platted tracts on the east side of the park that were acquired by the Town through plat dedications in 1977 and 1991 and a small strip acquired in 1978 from an access easement.
Becoming a park
The acquisition of the 24.4-acre and 3.6-acre parcels in 1987 to create this public open space parcel was partly encouraged by two local residents, Paul Hill and John Emerson, along with other residents and the Town Board of Trustees. Paul Hill was an adjacent landowner and John Emerson was an active volunteer community member. Both individuals were also instrumental in the creation of a special advisory committee in 1988, the Rock Park Committee, which developed funding methods to manage the park and supervised the initial planning and management of the site and its trails.
In recognition of Paul and John’s service and dedication to Rock Park, the two main trails on the property were renamed in their honor.
Part of the evolution of Rock Park includes the creation an all-volunteer group that dedicated themselves to the care, upkeep and improvement of Rock Park. Initially maintained by the Castle Rock Ministerial Alliance, the Keepers of the Rock was founded on July 12, 2004, by project leader Harry Shea.
The Keepers of the Rock now works in partnership with the Town's Teen Court program as a way for first-time juvenile offenders to give back to their community through service. This partnership and the volunteer efforts at Rock Park were recently featured the Summer 2016 issue of American Trails Magazine.