Show/Hide

Important Updates:

The city has launched a beta to preview its new website and gather feedback. | More Info

Show/Hide

The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • Parks and Recreation
  • Recreation Guide
  • Parks and Recreation Master Plan
  • Parks
  • Plans and Reports
  • Forestry and Horticulture
  • Recreation Programs
  • Recreation Facilities

Boulder Reservoir South Shore Capital Strategy and Concept Plan

South Shore Capital Strategy and Concept Plan

The City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department (BPR) completed the Boulder Reservoir Master Plan (BRMP) in 2012. The intent of the BRMP was to establish the long-range vision, goals and objectives for the BPR-managed land and activities at Boulder Reservoir. One of the key objectives from the BRMP was to develop a site management plan for each of the four management areas that make up the 1109-acre reservoir. The 76-acre South Shore Management Area (South Shore) was prioritized because it is a popular fee-based facility with aging infrastructure.

The site management plan for the South Shore will be addressed in two phases. The Capital Strategy and Concept Plan (CSCP) is the first phase which will address sustainable physical improvements for short and long-term prioritization capital funding. The second phase, the South Shore Management Plan, will address management, programming and partnership from an operational perspective.

The CSCP achieves understanding of current deficiencies, defining a strategy to address those issues and establishing a clear budget and prioritization necessary to maintain the community expectation of high-level service, accounting for aging infrastructure and facilities, as well as planning for increasing visitation.

Process
A. Data Collection & Research 
B. Access & Circulation Analysis
C. Site & Facility Analysis 
D. Robust Community Engagement and Analysis
E. Define Goals & Improvement Categories
F. Make & Prioritize Recommendations
​G. Develop Concept Plans
H. Estimate Capital Costs

Tools were developed from the process to demonstrate and communicate the process and logic for the outcomes of the CSCP. The tools provide opportunities to discuss future community support, fundraising efforts and potential partnerships necessary to achieve future action and vision alternatives. In addition, the tools will inform Phase II for analysis of future operation needs based on larger facilities and more users.

Tools
A. Improvement Category Charts with Goals and Recommendations

1. Access & Circulation 
2. Maintenance & Operations 
3. Facilities & Boating Activities
4. Adaptable Community Space, Events & Programs
​5. Education & Interpretation
6. Environmental Control and Sustainability

B. Concept Plans to Visually Represent the Goals and Recommendations

• Fiscally Constrained Plan
• Action Plan 
• Vision Plan
 • Complete Implementation Plan
• Trail Plan

C. Cost Estimate

• Capital cost estimates for recommendations under each improvement category sorted by funding alternative (Fiscally Constrained, Action and Vision)

The CSCP wraps up with an economic analysis of operational research findings, overview of financial projections and management recommendations captured throughout the process to support Phase II for the completion of the Site Management Plan for the South Shore.

March 2020 Update:

The DRAFT Boulder Reservoir South Shore Capital Strategy and Concept Plan (CSCP) pdf was reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) in February as a discussion item pdf, and will be presented again to the board on April 27 as an action item for a request of acceptance. Monthly PRAB meetings  are always open to the public with memos posted online the Wednesday before each meeting. The community is welcome to provide comment at the beginning of each PRAB meeting.

With acceptance of this plan by the PRAB, staff commits that it will be used to steward the future of the Boulder Reservoir. The capital recommendations for the site’s long-term maintenance, modernization or enhanced service will be considered as part of the larger departmental capital planning process and will be funded in alignment with the City of Boulder’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) guiding principles and as dollars are available.

Visit the Visitor Services Center (VSC) page for new renderings of the building shown at the public meeting.

Please see the tabs below for previously provided information on the project.

February 2020 Update

Staff will present the DRAFT Boulder Reservoir South Shore Capital Strategy and Concept Plan (CSCP) pdf ​ to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) on Feb. 24, 2020. The draft plan will be open for discussion with the board at this meeting. Monthly PRAB meetings are always open to the public with memos posted online the Wednesday before each meeting. The community is welcome to provide comment at the beginning of each PRAB meeting.

Based on the outcomes of the discussion item on Feb. 24, staff will return to PRAB with a request for acceptance of the CSCP on March 23.

With acceptance of this plan by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB), staff commit that it will be used to steward the future of the Boulder Reservoir. The capital recommendations for the site’s long-term maintenance, modernization or enhanced service will be considered as part of the larger departmental capital planning process and will be funded in alignment with the City of Boulder’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) guiding principles and as dollars are available.

February 2019 Update

Thank you to the community members who were able to join staff at the public meeting on January 31. For those community members unable to attend the public meeting, the presentation boards are available for review. A comment period was open until February 18. At that time, staff closed the comment period to summarize the feedback to finalize a preferred site plan in 3 models. Those models are fiscally constrained, action and vision.

Public Meeting Presentation Boards

Background

  • In 2012, Boulder Parks and Recreation (BPR) developed the Boulder Reservoir Master Plan which in turn recommended development of detailed management plans for the entire reservoir area.

  • The South Shore was prioritized as the first management area of the overall management plan due to heavy use and its position as the center of recreation and event activity at the reservoir. The other west, north and east shore management areas will be covered in a subsequent related management plan expected to begin in 2020.

  • In 2014, an in-depth facilities analysis was undertaken in preparation for the site and management plans. The need for critical and timely infrastructure work was identified.

  • Several critical infrastructure projects, such as new water/sewer lines on the South Shore and Feeder Canal Bridge on the North Shore, were identified and repaired or improved.

  • In 2016, design of a new Visitor Services Center began in coordination of the South Shore Site and Management Plan. The existing Visitor Services Center had system deficiencies that reached or surpassed their expected life cycle and required significant repair, rehabilitation or replacement.

  • In 2017, the South Shore Site and Management Plan was put on hold to focus time, energy and funding on development of the new Visitor Services Center

Funding

The Parks and Recreation Department’s annual Capital Investment Program identified the South Shore Site Management Plan for funding. The plan is intended to build on the previous community outreach from the Boulder Reservoir Master Plan and will also form the basis for future site and management plans for the upcoming west, north and east shore management areas.

Process Overview

  • Work on the South Shore Site and Management Plan commenced during summer 2017, was put on hold in 2018 to focus on the Visitor Services Center and is now anticipated to be completed by late spring 2019. 

  • The project began by building on comments and feedback received during the initial 2014 planning effort. A series of public, stakeholder and city staff interviews, meetings and open houses were held to collect additional feedback on current reservoir operations, operational needs, and public amenities desired in the reservoir’s future in 2017.

  • Ideas for the South Shore’s future will be explored and incorporated into a conceptual site plan for the South Shore. The concept plan will be presented to the public in 3 phases; fiscally constrained, action and vision.

  • The concept site plan elements balance the community desires with business and financial feasibility studies to ensure that site elements proposed are also financially viable. The conceptual site plan will be presented to the public for additional review and comment in early 2019.

  • Approval of the final plan is made in the public forum of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB). PRAB meets on the 4th Monday of every month and are always open to the public. PRAB offers advice and consultation to City Council and city departments on the acquisition, construction and maintenance of city park properties.

Public Participation and Project Timeline

There will be at many opportunities throughout the planning process where staff will solicit feedback and participation. The project will also be presented at several Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meetings, which are always open to the public. 

Plan Development - 2017

The project began with schedule and scope development by staff and consultants. Stakeholder and public meetings were held to inform and engage the community in valuable conversations. The ideas generated during the community conversations were vetted for feasibility and overall community needs. Public participation opportunities included:

June 26:   Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting – Project Introduction and Online Public Feedback Survey

July 5 :  Stakeholder meeting for reservoir-based camps, clubs and vendors

July 1 :  Public Open House at the East Boulder Community Center

July 23:   Public Open House at the Boulder Reservoir

Aug. 28:   Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting – Project Update

Sept. 25 :  Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting – Summary of public, staff and stakeholder engagement efforts to date

Project Put on Hold - 2018

The South Shore Site and Management Plan was put on a temporary hold in 2018 to focus resources on design and development of the new Visitor Services Center.

Facility assessments of the existing Visitor Services Center showed that while some system deficiencies could be addressed through maintenance or minor repairs, others had reached or surpassed their expected life cycle and required significant repair, rehabilitation or replacement. Maintenance issues were affecting the operation of the facility and diminished the opportunities for quality visitor experiences at the reservoir.

An extensive conceptual and public engagement process yielded a final concept for the replacement of the existing Visitor Services Center. The new facility will replace the existing building providing an enhanced guest experience as well as improved functionality for reservoir operations.

Site Plan Review - 2019

As the development of the Visitor Services Center wrapped up at the end of 2018, staff and consultants revitalized the Site and Management plan beginning with a review of previous work and then continued to develop the project. Using the community feedback received during 2017, known site constraints, estimated costs and long-term feasibility analyses, staff and consultants developed a proposed site plan that demonstrates 3 phases of development consisting of Fiscally Constrained, Action and Vision as defined in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Upcoming community engagement provide the community with the opportunity to provide comments with regards to adjustments of the site plan prior to a final recommendation. Public participation opportunities will include:

Jan. 31: Open house

Feb.1-18: Online comment period  

Final Approval - Q2 2019

Recommendation of the final plan is made in the public forum of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB). PRAB meets on the 4th Monday of every month and is always open to the public. PRAB offers advice and consultation to City Council and city departments on the acquisition, construction and maintenance of city park property. Public participation opportunities will include:

April/May:  Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meetings

Back to Boulder Reservoir Planning and Updates