Lakewood City Council unanimously votes to fight proposed Bear Creek Lake Park reservoir expansion

The Lakewood City Council unanimously approved a proclamation supporting Save Bear Creek Lake Park Monday night and urged the Army Corps of Engineers to consider alternatives to a project under consideration that could radically alter the park if approved.

In a council room packed with Save Bear Creek Lake Park supporters, the city’s proclamation voiced “strong support” for the opposition group’s efforts and asked that “substantial weight be given to the alternatives identified by Save Bear Creek Lake Park that will provide same level of water storage to the state but would have significantly reduced impacts.”

RELATED: Popular Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood could be radically altered by water project

With support from the Colorado Water Conservation board, the Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a feasibility study to determine whether the storage capacity of Bear Creek Lake should be expanded from 2,000 acre feet of water to 20,000 acre feet to help meet the state’s water needs. The corps owns the land, which Lakewood leases for recreational purposes.

“Given the topography of the park and the relatively shallow basin,” the proclamation says, “such an expansion of Bear Creek Lake would dramatically alter Bear Creek Lake Park by drowning a significant portion of the current recreational and riparian areas.”

The corps is required to consider public opinion before moving forward, and opponents of the project are hopeful that the city’s support will help their cause.

“I see this proclamation as an essential aid station five miles into a marathon,” said Save Bear Creek Lake Park founder Katie Gill. “We have a ways to go yet, but this proclamation brings us closer to the finish.”

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