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Gardens on Spring Creek drives discussion at City Council

City councilors sit in city hall with a sign that says city of Fort collins.
The Fort Collins City Council listens to citizens’ concerns Tuesday, Sept 19. (AJ Frankson | Collegian)

Fort Collins City Council covered and discussed a broad range of topics during Tuesday night’s meeting, including property annexations, intersection improvement and off-site construction staging permits. Of the 16 topics, the Gardens on Spring Creek modification project was the most discussed.

The Gardens on Spring Creek project consists of expanding the current garden by removing the western sound wall and current override sound system and appropriating $2,431,000 for construction of the Gardens on Spring Creek facility.

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Michelle Provaznik, the manager of Gardens on Spring Creek, began the discussion by delivering a presentation.

“Thirty years ago, the idea for a botanic garden in Fort Collins emerged from our founder, Jim Clark,” Provaznik said. “And, 20 years ago, our master plan was developed. We’re here tonight to talk about completing the master plan of the Gardens on Spring Creek, and both those plans include a great lawn, foothills and prairie gardens, and a xeriscape demonstration garden.”

Provaznik descirbed the amount of work that had gone into moving the project along within the past three years, detailing public meetings and follow-ups with planning and zoning before the project was eventually approved in 2016.

The Fort Collins community raised $2 million dollars for the project in 2017, but it was not enough to completely move the project along. The main purpose for discussing the project at the City Council meeting was to appropriate the donated funds as well as additional funds.

“As a part of this effort, we have asked for the removal of the western sound wall as well as the sound override system, but to continue to report back to council after the first year of operations,” Provaznik said.

With the request to remove the sound wall and sound override system and with live band performances, members of the public questioned how well compliance with the local sound ordinance would be met.

Barbara Albert voiced her concerns about the potential noise intensity.

“This project is easy to love if you do not live next to it,” Albert said. “The gardens have provided sound mitigation for every property except for ours. When you took away a wall and the sound override system last month, you did not replace it with any other mitigation. You will break code on my property.”

Noise compliance is one issue members of the Gardens on Spring Creek will have to pay close attention to, since there is no way of telling how intense the noise from concerts will be for people living in the area until concerts begin.

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Collegian news reporter Matt Bailey can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @matnes1999.

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