Open Space Program History and Facts
In 1985, when development pressures were increasing, Westminster passed its first open space sales tax, making Westminster the second city in Colorado, after Boulder, to establish an open space program funded by municipal sales tax.
Since 1985, the 0.25 percent (2.5 cents on a $10 purchase) sales tax has been extended by voters three times: once in 1989, with half of sales tax revenues dedicated to parks and recreation improvements, again in 1996 when the citizens also authorized the city to issue $26 million of bonds to fund additional open space purchases, recreation facility construction and park development and most recently, in 2006 when voters approved an additional bond sale of up to $20 million.
These past 30 years, the city has taken giant steps to preserve the natural lands in the community and construct recreational amenities. Open space has been acquired to protect view corridors, provide buffers between development zones, protect sensitive wildlife habitat, preserve rural landscapes, protect creek and irrigation canal corridors, and for use as trail corridors and passive recreational opportunities. Regional, community and neighborhood parks are accessible in all neighborhoods for our citizens.
The City of Westminster Open Space Program has preserved approximately 3,092 acres of natural open space throughout the city (about 14.3 percent of the city's land area), including the preservation of major creek corridors such as Big Dry Creek, Walnut Creek and Little Dry Creek. These are linear corridors that stretch for miles. In the Big Dry Creek corridor alone, the city has acquired 982 acres of open space. In total, the city and its neighboring jurisdictions are preserving more than 16,000 acres in Boulder, Broomfield and Jefferson counties to our west.
The city has also preserved large expanses of land in the magnificent Standley Lake Regional Park and the Westminster Hills Open Space area. Other significant open space areas are the lakes and ponds conserved at Ketner Lake Open Space, Hidden Lake Open Space, McKay Lake Open Space, Margaret’s Pond and Vogel Pond, to name a few.