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Jeffco Open Space Documents

PLAN Jeffco provides an important citizen education function keeping you informed of what is going on in your Open Space Program.


September 26, 1972

1972 Open Space Resolution

PLAN Jeffco - 1972 Open Space Resolution

In a landmark initiative, PLAN Jeffco members drafted and successfully campaigned for the 'Open Space Resolution' that established a ½ cent open space tax & resulted in the formation of the Jefferson County Open Space Program.

For four decades, this tax has funded the award winning Jefferson County Open Space Program and has also provided open space funds to cities and recreational districts. The Resolution provided for funds to be used only for open space purposes. It also established the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) which oversees the Program and makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC).

Read the document:   1972 Open Space Resolution »


September 29, 1980

1980 Amendment to the Open Space Resolution

When three county ballot resolutions again threatened the Open Space Program, PLAN Jeffco successfully campaigned to prevent open space funds from being used to build a jail or to reduce the county’s share of the open space tax. Voters approved Open Space funds to be used for recreational capital improvements. PLAN Jeffco officers were sued by the county over its opposition. But PLAN Jeffco prevailed.

Read the document:   1980 Amendment to the Open Space Resolution »


May 12, 1987

Jefferson County Open Space Ad Hoc Committee Report

"The Jefferson County Open Space Program is developing and growing from a beginning that was modest but held great promise. The Open Space Ad Hoc Committee, representing many diverse interests, reached unanimous agreement that the County's Open Space Program in general is an excellent program which is striving to meet the County's Open Space needs. Although the program has weaknesses and growing pains, the Committee believes that the overall strengths of the program outweigh its weaknesses, and that our recommendations, if adopted and implemented, will provide solutions to the present problems and guidance for a mature continuing program within the constraints of the present Open Space Resolution. Since the voters have shown overwhelming support for the program in three elections, the Committee has concluded ..." read more »

Read the document:   1987 Jefferson County Open Space Ad Hoc Committee Report »

October 1, 1987

Resolution #52-87, Amendment to the Policies & Procedures Manual Depicting Adoption of Portions of the Ad Hoc Report

"The Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee recommends that the Board of County Commissioners approve the following additions and/or amendments to the Open Space Policies and Procedures as set forth in this Resolution and incorporate such in the Open Space Policies and Procedures ..." read more »

Read the document:   1987 Resolution #52-87, Amendment to the Policies & Procedures Manual Depicting Adoption of Portions of the Ad Hoc Report »

October 26, 1987

Resolution #CC87-882, Ratification and Approval of Amendment to the Open Space Advisory Committee's By-Laws and Policies and Procedures and Authorization for Incorporation in the County Policies and Procedures Manual

This BCC Resolution officially ratified and approved the recommendations of the Open Space Advisory Committee regarding the Ad-Hoc Committee report of 1987.

"The Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners of the County of Jefferson, State of Colorado, hereby and herewith ratifies and approves the additions and amendments to the Open Space Advisory Committee' s By-Laws and Policies and Procedures as set forth in Exhibit A and authorizes its incorporation as amended in the County Policies and Procedures Manual ..." read more »

Read the document:   1987 Resolution #CC87-882, Amendment to the Policies & Procedures Manual Depicting Adoption of Portions of the Ad Hoc Report »


November 12, 1998

1998 Resolution regarding Open Space Policies and Procedures

This is the 1998 Board of County Commissioners Resolution CC98-665 that amended, among other provisions, the Priorities that had been in the Open Space Policies since adoption of the Policies and Procedures Resolution CC87-882 of 1987.

"The purpose of the Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee (the Committee") is to make recommendations to the County regarding selection, development, maintenance, preservation and use of open space land in accordance with the responsibilities of the Advisory Committee as set forth in Board of County Commissioner's Resolution No. CC86-1 10, through the Jefferson County Open Space Program, and to establish priorities therefore. The Committee may, by separate and additional resolution, recommend to the Board of County Commissioners such rules and tegulations as may be required to implement the Jefferson County Open Space Program in the best interest and preservation of the public peace, health, safety, morals, and welfare of the citizens of Jefferson County. All rules and regulations are ..." read more »

Read the document:   1998 Resolution regarding Open Space Policies and Procedures »


August 2010

Read the

Open Space Proposed 2011 Budget (& the Five-Year Budgeting Strategy)


February 2013

Open Space Budget for 2013

Sales tax revenue for 2013 is projected at 4% more than the actual revenue in 2011. The operating budget remains the same as 2012, plus small increases in cost allocations for County provided services. The budgeting for acquisitions was reduced by $1,000,000 and transferred to development to be used as matching funds for the GOCO Clear Creek grant. The acquisition budget also is reduced by $1,000,000 in 2014 and 2015, in order to have the match for the GOCO grant. Development budgets, other than the Clear Creek trail, were reduced to $340,000 in 2013, $240,000 in 2014, and $200,000 in 2015. Obviously if the sales tax revenue increases by more than the anticipated annual 2%, more will be available for either acquisitions or development. The acquisitions budget for each of these three years is $2.2 million.

Line items in the budget include:

Bond Service $12.94 million

Operations $10.52 million

Acquisitions $2.2 million

Leases $0.06 million

Grants $1.22 million

Development $1.74 million

(Clear Creek $1.4 million)

(Misc $0.34 million)

Total $28.88 million

Note that the only major development planned in 2013 relates to the Clear Creek Trail. Some 2012 projects will be completed in 2013 using funds budgeted in 2012. These include natural surface trail from Reynolds Park to the Colorado Trail; a restroom at the Elk Meadow Dog Off-Leash Park; trailhead, parking lot, and restroom at the Quaker Street entry to South Table Mountain; complete improvements at Crown Hill; trailhead, parking lot, and restroom at Apex; restrooms at Matthews Winters, Mt Falcon west, and Windy Saddle; and water well at the White Ranch campground.

The bond payments will remain at $13 million through 2019, in 2020 about $6 million more becomes available. JCOS has a goal is to find $5 million in grants to supplement the budget during the next three years.


April 8, 2014

Open Space Local Grants

On February 11, the Board of County Commissioners approved the 2014 Local Grants as recommended by the Open Space Advisory Committee. Funds for the grants come from the County share of Lottery proceeds and Open Space Sales Tax Funds. Non-profits, recreation districts, and cities are eligible to apply for grants. Grants from the lottery proceeds must be used on publicly owned lands. Approximately $1.2 million are available for these annual grants.

Grants to non-profits included:

Beaver Ranch Community, $10,125 for improvements to the caretaker residence at Conifer Community Park (Beaver Ranch.) The improvements include insulation, some mold remediation, kitchen renovation with new appliances, and a new water heater.

Evergreen Audubon Society, $5,475 for a sign at the entrance to Evergreen Lake Park, two mural panels, and two new exhibits.

Grants to Park & Recreation Districts and Cities included:

Apex Park & Rec. Dist., $225,000 to partially fund 8 pickle ball courts, restrooms, and shelters at the Simms Street Center ( at 82nd).

Columbine Knolls Rec Dist., $11,375 to partially fund improvements at Marker Park including new swing set, Freenote outdoor instruments, and a separate water line to the restrooms.

Evergreen Park & Rec Dist., $79,000 to partially fund replacement and expansion of the boardwalk along the lake and to hard surface the trail to the Nature Center.

Foothills Park & Rec Dist., $100,000 to partially fund replacement of the playground at the Ridge Recreation Center.

Ken-Caryl Ranch Metro Dist., $42,733 to partially fund replacement of the playground at the Community Park.

South Suburban Park & Rec Dist., $6,125 to partially fund a port-o-let enclosure at TrailMark Park.

City of Arvada, $55,000 to partially fund development of Griffith-Station Community Park, 52nd & Carr.

City of Golden, $223,788 to partially fund a trail along 44th Avenue between Golden and Salvia Street.

City of Lakewood, $100,000 to assist in remediation to Bear Creek Lake Park from the 2013 flood damage.

Five weeks after the Advisory Committee had recommended the Master Plan on January 9, a group from the "development community" expressed concerns to the Commissioners and testified at the February 11 Commissioner meeting where approval of the Master Plan was scheduled. The expressed concern was that they had not had time to review the maps. The Commissioners then delayed approval until they could convey specific concerns to Open Space. They were then invited by Tom Hoby to meet personally and that was declined. Tom then requested that they have comments to Open Space by February 24, prior to the March 6, OSAC meeting. The comments were received February 27.

One of the concerns was that some of the balloons surrounding areas containing rare plants and wildlife could be interpreted that all of the land within the balloon was potential for acquisition by Open Space. As such could impact property values and would be considered during rezoning. In actuality, the balloons were from the biodiversity study done by Natural Heritage Program at CSU and are used so that the exact location of the rare plant or wildlife is not shown. Also the Open Space Master Plan is never considered during a rezoning application.

A second concern was the ability of a land owner who did not want Open Space to consider their property, to have the Master Plan maps show exclusions. Open Space has had a policy since the 2008 Master Plan than any landowner could request that their property not be considered. Until this February, no land owner had requested exclusion. A statement to this effect is included in the 2014 Master Plan text. Since the maps are conceptual, staff and OSAC felt that showing these exclusions on a map would serve no purpose.

At the March 6, OSAC meeting language was added to the Master Plan explaining that the maps contained information relative to all of Jefferson County and that the Open Space Acquisition Criteria focus on land that usually is different than lands suitable for commercial and residential development.

At the Board of County Commissioners on March 18, one of the developers testified that there should be no policy of exclusion, and thanked Open Space for the language that they developed to meet his concerns. The person who asked to have his lands excluded thanked Open Space for agreeing to exclude his lands and to show this on the maps when they are finalized. The Commissioners then approved the Master Plan as presented by Open Space.


January 2015

2015 Open Space Goals

At the beginning of each year the Open Space staff prepares a list of projects to be addressed during the year. These projects are in addition to the normal daily routines and potential acquisition projects. This year there are 97 projects listed, with 55 to be completed by the end of the year. Following is a list of the major projects anticipated to be completed by the end of 2015.


Develop standardized elements for trailhead design

Implement new designs for trail switchbacks

Develop and implement a trail rating system

Prepare 8 regional maps - similar to the existing Bear Creek Regional Map

Continue enhancing the website

Develop system-wide sign standards

Open Space Building

Major rehabilitation of building parking areas

Apex Park

Realign Pick N Sledge and Poco Calle trails

Complete the reconstruction of the East Trailhead

Clear Creek Canyon Park

Complete the design of the two sections of the Peaks to Plains Trail East of Mayhem Gulch

Complete design of a trail section utilizing the Welch Ditch flume at the mouth of Clear Creek

Complete construction of the first two sections of the Peaks to Plains Trail - County line to Mayhem Gulch

Crown Hill Park

Replace signs to match present sign standards

Remove and replace restroom, new kiosk, and trail realignment

Deer Creek Region

Establish Conservation Network for this County area

Deer Creek/Hildebrand Parks

Develop design for trail connecting Deer Creek and Hildebrand Parks through Lockheed Martin easement

Elk Meadow

Additional trailhead design

Determine how to resolve the groundwater problem impacting the Pioneer Trail

Construct a loop trail within the North area

Hildebrand Ranch Park

Maintenance on permeable pavers in parking lot

Repair of Old Time Ditch

Hiwan Homestead Museum

Repair all roofs

Lair o the Bear Park

Replacement of Dipper Bridge

Matthews Winters Park

Develop a new trailhead design

Complete restroom upgrades

Complete trail connection to I-70 right-of-way

Mt. Falcon

Redesign of the West Trailhead

Relocate West Trailhead restroom

North Table Mountain Park

Realignment of Mesa Top Trail

Complete modifications to the West Trailhead parking – fewer horse trailer spaces

Implement prairie dog management on colony below the West Slope of North Table

Reconstruct trail from Perry Trailhead to the climbing area

Pine Valley

Weatherproofing the exterior of the Baehrden Lodge

South Table Mountain

Review park plans and complete design plans for Quaker Street access

Improve some of the trail surfaces with aggregate

South Valley

Repair asphalt trail by chip sealing

White Ranch

Realignment and repair of Mustang Trail

Realignment and repair of Rawhide Trail

January 2015

Local Grants

The Open Space Department budgets $1.2 million each year for local grants plus an amount of the lottery funds that come to Jefferson County. This year the County Commissioners authorized OSAC to distribute $450 thousand of the County's share of the lottery funds.

On December 4th, 2 cities, 5 districts, and 3 non-profits presented their requests for Grants to OSAC. OSAC and JCOS staff reviewed the grants and on January 8th OSAC approved Grants totaling $1,750,030. Funds for the awards over and above the amount available this year are coming from Grant funds that were not expended in previous years.

The preliminary grants as approved by OSAC are listed below. The County Commissioners will consider the Grants at a meeting early in February and make the official awards.

Arvada - $140,000 for improving the Van Bibber trail as it passes through the Stenger-Lutz athletic fields along 58th Avenue, west of Kipling.

Lakewood - $435,000 for the first phase of redeveloping Carmody Park, south of Jewell along Old Kipling.

Evergreen P&R - $40,000 to cost share with CDOT on replacing the bridge over Bear Creek into Evergreen Lake Park.

Foothills P&R - $1,000,000 to replace the irrigation system at Clement Park and begin a major renovation of some of the facilities at the park. (Note that Open Space developed this park 30 years ago, before leasing it to Foothills.)

Ken-Caryl Metro - $54,280 for installation of a playground and paths at the Community Center in the Hogback Valley.

Normandy Estates Metro - $8,750 for repairs to the tennis courts and seating for the courts and an adjacent playground off Coal Mine west of Sheridan.

Beaver Ranch - $20,000 for a master plan for the ultimate development of Beaver Ranch Park southwest of Conifer.

Evergreen Audubon - $11,000 for exhibit signage and landscaping modifications at the shelter at Evergreen Lake, which is used as a nature center in the summers.

Prospect P&R - $15,750 for outdoor fitness stations at Applewood Park, on 18th West of Youngfield.

Friends of Dinosaur Ridge - $6,000 for an entry sign on the west side of Dinosaur Ridge.

February 2015

Director's Report

JCOS Director's Report

JCOS Organization Structure

JCOS 10-Year Conservation Trust Fund Summary