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Red Feather Lakes Planning Advisory Committee 8/24/23

by Nanci Wendland

Meeting Summary:

Mark Peterson with Larimer County Transportation conducted a traffic study over the July 4, 2023, weekend and presented some of his results. Holiday weekends always see increased traffic. This raised questions about safety, signage, and evacuation routes from some of the members.

A discussion among commission members addressed the fact that Red Feather Lakes is an unincorporated part of Larimer County with no sales or tourism tax revenue to support the town’s needs such as improving tourism experiences, and maintaining the numerous lakes and open spaces all residents and non-residents enjoy.

Meeting agenda

Meeting Notes:

No Public Comments

Communication Items

  1. Committee member Ryan McAdams spoke with the RFL Library regarding the possibility of renovating the indoor library public restrooms with an outdoor entrance for public visitors to use during off-hours. The library declined based on lack of staff to maintain. This was an idea discussed at the June 22, 2023, RFLPAC meeting.

  2. Tracy Hicks, Staff Liaison to the committee, resigned her post. The committee will open a candidate search to fill her position.

Discussion Items:

Mark Peterson with Larimer County Transportation handed out printed chart results of a traffic study conducted around town over the July 4, 2023, weekend. Holiday weekends always see increased traffic. Some of the committee members would like to see off-Holiday traffic studies. All town residents are aware of increased traffic during the July 4 weekend. Janice Weixelman, Chair, asked what the traffic data could do for them. The discussion raised questions about safety, signage, and lack of signage for evacuation routes.

The group discussed that speed is always a factor on mountain roads with approximately 15% of traffic exceeding the speed limit. Of the estimated 460 rural crashes per year, most of them are drivers going off the road. Some suggestions were additional signage as a reminder to slow down, putting up guardrails on accident-prone curves, and increase patrol over holiday weekends and/or periods of high-volume traffic for festivals and other public gatherings. According to Mark Peterson, RFL would need a federal grant to study this further. He will look into this.

Weixelman also mentioned that there is no signage around town with evacuation routes in case of fire or floods. The committee will request assistance from the Larimer County Emergency Director.

The members of the committee started expressing their frustration with the lack of support from Larimer County. Commissioner John Kefalas is the Larimer County Liaison for the committee. The group planned to put together a list of town needs that could use resources and financial help from the County, such as:

  1. Lakes have become non-resident dumping grounds. It can be costly to clean up and take everything to the dump.

  2. RFL doesn’t have the financial resources for the public restrooms they want to have near recreation spaces around town and camp areas.

  3. Increased Officer patrols on holiday weekends and during town festivities.

  4. RFL has no local medical facilities for summer and winter recreators.

Ryan McAdams commented about how Red Feather Lakes should be considered open space and Larimer County should help build the necessary infrastructure to handle the out-of-town/out-of-state tourists. “Why buy more land for open space? Use Red Feather Lakes.”

Chair Weixelman said, “Red Feather Lakes is the gateway to the National Forest. People are encouraged to get outdoors, and they built a nice highway to get people up here. It’s time for Larimer County to invest in Red Feather Lakes.”

Talks are ongoing between Commissioner John Kefalas, Liaison and UCHealth and Poudre Valley Hospital to put medical services in the community, possibly using the local church space.

The County’s Master Plan review was briefly discussed. Both RFL and LaPorte are encouraged to make a wish list and bring all budgets current. It was decided the committee will review and redline the document before the next meeting on Sept. 28.

The meeting adjourned at 3:38 p.m.

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