Rocklin moved forward with plans to start designing an adventure park in the abandoned quarry at Quarry Park, but some residents are concerned about what development could mean for Quarry Park’s natural resources.
Multiple speakers at Rocklin City Council Tuesday called for an environmental impact report
Rocklin City Council approved an agreement Tuesday for Legacy Family Adventures, the company which would operate the park, to design 30 percent of the adventure park. Plans included a zip line down the seven-story quarry, rock climbing facilities on the quarry’s cliff face and creating high rope courses in the park.
“The first phase, the initial design, will take a few months and could take longer,” said Michael Young, a city of Rocklin spokesman. “But if everything goes right, the park could be built by the spring of 2018.”
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However, some community members did not feel that the “adventure park” concept would do justice to the history of mining in the community, but could create environmental concerns for the area and nearby residents. Multiple speakers at Rocklin City Council Tuesday called for an environmental impact report.
Rocklin Adventures, the current name for the adventure park concept, would be the second recent development in Quarry Park: The city built an amphitheater in Quarry Park and hosted its first concert series last year. Adding an adventure park is one strategy to bring more activity to the city’s Quarry District, where the park is located, City Manager Rick Horst said.
This is a way we can attract visitors and invest in the community at the same time
Michael Young, a city of Rocklin spokesman
“(The adventure park concept) could also be a catalyst for commerce and development in the Quarry District, bringing revenue to local businesses and growing the tax base to sustain the high quality of life residents deserve,” Horst said.
Paul Ruhkala, a Rocklin resident whose house neighbors Quarry Park, said he is concerned about the new development in the park – specifically, the proposed construction of a 200-space parking lot to go along with Rocklin Adventures. The property that the parking lot would be built on was purchased by the city for low-income park development, oak tree preservation and a new fire station land acquisition: Neither the parking lot nor adventure park address any of these issues.
“I would like to slow this project down and do a proper environmental impact report,” Ruhkala said at the council meeting Tuesday. “Communication is a key and my neighbors and I weren’t contacted about the parking lot prior to seeing it on the City Council agenda. We hope to have better communication with the city in the future.”
After approving the initial design plans, the city would then release the plans to outside contractors to design the remainder of the park, and assess building costs before starting construction. Rocklin is contracting with Legacy Family Adventures for the initial design and later management of the adventure park but would pay for the construction, which was estimated to cost $3.25 million by the city. The city would be paid back for construction with interest over 10 years, Young said.
In addition to paying back the city for construction costs and operating the adventure park itself, LFA will be required to purchase commercial liability insurance when the park opens. LFA also signed an indemnity agreement with the city, which protects the city from liability stemming from incidents that may happen at the park. Visitors will have to sign a waiver that would prevent attendees from making claims against the city.
People would still have access to public areas of the park.
“By spending money now, we’re investing in a great recreational opportunity and providing Rocklin a new tax revenue source,” Young said. “This is a way we can attract visitors and invest in the community at the same time.”
The city also plans to replace the aging Fire Station 1 adjacent to Quarry Park and repurpose the buildings to fit with park activities and commerce in the area, according to a news release.