Friday, January 12, 2018

Deed restriction may prohibit child care as potential use for soon-to-be vacated Senior Center


Senior Center

(Estes Park News) - As Senior Services transitions to the new Estes Valley Community Center in February, the Town Board will review various community proposals for the use of the Town's soon-to-be vacated Senior Center building at 220 Fourth St. At its Jan. 9 meeting, the Town Attorney informed the board of his opinion that the building cannot be used as a child care facility, one of a few potential proposals, due to a deed restriction on the property.

Stanley Park, the location of the Events Complex, Museum and Senior Center was donated to the Town by F.O. Stanley with a deed restriction prohibiting the Town from transferring ownership of the property and restricting its use to "Public Recreation and Entertainment" purposes. Any violation of the deed restriction, including any use that does not meet these guidelines, triggers a reversal of ownership of the entire property to the heirs of F.O. Stanley.

It is the legal opinion of the Town Attorney that child care does not fulfill the guidelines in the deed restriction, and placing a child care operation in the building would pose a significant risk of the Town losing ownership of the entire site. The Town Board must consider this advice as it hears proposals for use of the facility.

The Town Board will hear proposals building at its Jan. 23 study session, and the topic is tentatively scheduled for consideration at its Feb. 13 regular meeting. Final meeting details are posted to www.estes.org/boardsandmeetings as they become available.

Town Administrator Frank Lancaster expressed disappointment that the deed restriction may affect proposals for use of the facility. He commented, "The Town considers the lack of child care, particularly for children less than 2 years of age, an extremely serious issue in the community and will continue to cooperate to find reasonable solutions to the problem." The child care issue is a focus area identified in the Town Board's 2018 Strategic Plan (www.estes.org/strategicplan).