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The Town of Estes Park held a public meeting May 11 to provide a forum for community members to weigh in on the developing stormwater master plan. The plan, currently in early development, will identify problem drainage areas and lay out a path for the Town to complete future drainage improvement projects. Anderson Consulting Engineers provided an overview presentation at the meeting and were then available to discuss areas of drainage concerns presented on maps of the Estes Valley watersheds.
The Town of Estes Park's stormwater master plan will identify problem drainage areas and lay out a path for the Town to complete future drainage improvement projects. This plan is a significant first step toward a safer and more sustainable Estes Park. It has been a critical need for Estes Park for many years, and this was never more evident than during the 2013 flood. Many of Estes Park’s existing drainage channels, inlets, culverts and ponds were inadequate to convey the flows that resulted from that rainfall event. The Town suffered significant damage from which it is taking years to recover.
The Plan will be a dynamic document that employs the latest techniques and will provide approaches to encourage continual advances in best management practices when implementing projects and programs. This Plan will be designed to provide, to the extent possible, adaptable solutions to stormwater management that can respond with flexibility to changing conditions, while keeping environmentally sustainable principles in mind and using evidence-based and technologically sound principles. The Plan will directly enhance the existing Estes Valley Development Code regarding future developments by providing a more comprehensive, aerially extensive analysis of stormwater management.
The Estes Valley Development Code Boundary (Project Area) is approximately 33 square miles and encompasses the Upper Big Thompson River Basin. The Town of Estes Park is the only municipality within the Project Area.
This Plan will address runoff from existing and future development areas and shall provide a minor drainage system capable of handling at leas the 10-year flows, and major drainage system designed to convey a 100-year storm runoff event for road crossings on the primary drainage ways within the Project Area. It will provide recommendations for improvements to the existing drainage ways to accommodate both existing and future conditions. The Plan will also include an evaluation of those portions of the Estes Valley within the proposed Project Area, and make recommendations for necessary drainage facilities to correct existing deficiencies, and serve as a guide for private and public improvements in the future.
The Town does not currently have any stormwater development impact or maintenance fees in place to collect funds needed for capital improvements or storm drainage maintenance. A plan is urgently needed to quantify the magnitude of the stormwater drainage problems, identify needed improvements and costs, and propose an implementation schedule. Options to fund the needed work will also be explored, including a feasibility study on implementation of a Stormwater Utility.