Highlands Ranch Metro District > Highlands Ranch Senior Center

Highlands Ranch Senior Center Planning

Beginning in 2017 the Metro District Board of Directors identified their priority to build a Senior Center to serve the needs of the community’s growing senior population and for the Metro District to take the lead in developing such a facility in partnership with other local agencies. The proposed facility would expand services and programs for seniors and their families including socialization opportunities; health, wellness, fitness and recreation opportunities; lifelong learning opportunities; and social services including information, resources and referrals.

  • Concept plans for the Senior Center have been developed.
  • The center is anticipated to be an approximate 30,000-square-foot facility; including a 20,000 square-foot senior center and 10,000 square feet designated for use by Douglas County Human Services.
  • Based on the concept plan the center’s footprint would also include parking (approximately 244 spaces) and approximately 10,000 square feet of outdoor activity space for outdoor games such as bocce ball, gardening, outdoor seating, etc. Once final design is completed, these numbers could change.
  • The Metro District would own and operate the facility.

For More Information

Project Background

Summary of Public Involvement

Next Steps

How to Get Involved

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Documentation

Contact Us

Project Background

In 2017 the Metro District conducted a feasibility study to determine the needs and services of the Highlands Ranch senior population and how best to provide these services.In January 2018 the Metro District began evaluating a variety of options for a facility, including:

  1. Studied the feasibility of expanding an existing HRCA recreation center and determined there is not enough land available adjacent to the recreation centers.
  2. Studied feasibility of leasing space for an interim facility. The Metro District Board determined they wanted to pursue construction of a standalone facility as no suitable space was available for an interim facility.
  3. Studied feasibility of partnering with Shea Properties in which Shea would build affordable senior rental housing located in the same building as the Senior Center. The Metro District would build the Senior Center on a site Shea Properties owns in Town Center. Due to the board’s concern about the lack of sufficient parking at this site, the Metro District decided not to pursue this option.
  4. Studied 23 sites in the community, and in September 2019 staff made a recommendation to pursue building the Senior Center on the Highlands Ranch Parkway site on property owned by the Metro District. The board agreed the Highlands Ranch Parkway site would be their first choice and directed staff to move forward with Douglas County Planning to discuss traffic planning and needs.

May 2020 – Project Postponed

The Metro District Board of Directors, at their May 20, 2020 meeting decided to postpone further action on the Senior Center. Staff presented an updated long-range revenue forecast projecting a significant drop in property tax revenue of 12% – 23% in 2022 driven by economic impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Property tax revenue is the primary source of revenue for Metro District operations. The Colorado Constitution requires review and possible adjustment of the residential assessment rate at the same time properties are reassessed, every two years. The next reassessment will apply to property taxes collected in 2022. The state is projecting an 18% reduction in the residential assessment rate from 7.15% to 5.88%. If the residential assessment rate drops, it will reduce the amount of property tax the Metro District will collect in 2022 and into the future.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the Metro District was in the process of continuing the site evaluation for the Highlands Ranch Parkway location and an associated public outreach process. At the May 20 board of directors meeting board members directed staff to look for possible interim options.

Discussions surrounding the future Senior Center will resume after the Metro District knows the results of the 2020 property tax reassessment and the new residential assessment rate, which are expected in early 2021.

Summary of Public Involvement

Since the beginning of this project in 2017 members of the public have attended Metro District Board meetings to provide input.

From September 2019 – October 19, 2019 the Metro District received public input and written comment, pertaining to the site evaluation report from more than 240 individuals. Staff solicited public comment via eMessenger electronic newsletters, Nextdoor, Facebook, an article in the Highlands Ranch Herald newspaper and through a comments form on our website.

The majority of respondents (124) favored the site on Highlands Ranch Parkway due to the central location, visibility, proximity to bus routes, shopping, restaurants and medical services.

In December 2019 the Metro District engaged National Research Center to conduct a community survey covering a broad range of topics. 3,500 surveys were sent to randomly selected registered voters in the community. The survey included questions about the many services the Metro District provides, including a set of questions to gauge public support for the proposed Senior Center. There was broad support for building a stand-alone Senior Center. The full survey is available to read by clicking here.

From March 31 – May 27, 2020 the Metro District received emails and comments at board meetings from approximately 91 individuals regarding the proposed site on Highlands Ranch Parkway. Of the emails received 89 expressed concerns about the site and opposition to this location. Two of the emails expressed support for the Senior Center at this site. All of these emails and comments have been shared with the board of directors, the project team and are part of the record for the project.

Next Steps

As of May 20, 2020 the board has directed staff to look for possible interim options. Some of the options for an interim facility might include leasing space or completing the interior renovation of the Fly’n B House at Fly’n B Park. Staff will further research these and other options and report back to the board.

When the board resumes discussions about the Senior Center they may choose to conduct further evaluation of the proposed site on Highlands Ranch Parkway which would include:

      1. Solicitation and gathering of additional input from the neighborhoods located adjacent to the proposed site.
      2. Engaging the services of a civil engineering firm to conduct further analysis of the site. The intent of this phase of planning is to prepare up to three different alternatives for locating the proposed 30,000-square-foot facility with the associated improvements. Site planning will consider grading, utilities, access to Highlands Ranch Parkway, building footprint and elevations, site circulation, parking, outdoor activity space, pedestrian access, landscaping, drainage and stormwater requirements.

Staff would then share this information with the Metro District board as they deliberate a final decision regarding the feasibility of this site for the Senior Center.

How to Get Involved

Subscribe to monthly eNewsletters. Send an email to info@highlandsranch.org to sign up.

Attend a board meeting. The public is encouraged to attend Metro District board meetings. Please click here for dates, times and the meeting location.

Submit your thoughts, idea or concerns in writing to Carrie Ward, Director of Parks, Recreation and Open Space at cward@highlandsranch.org.

Additional Documentation

Contact Us

Carolyn Peters, Recreation Supervisor

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