Neighbors Resent Colorado Campground’s Growth
The Larimer County commissioners chose to meet campers’ demand for more sites at Horsetooth Reservoir over nearby residents’ worries about ruined views.
The elected board voted Tuesday (Aug. 16) to allow the Department of Natural Resources to build a nine-site loop just across from the South Bay Campground at Horsetooth Reservoir near Fort Collins, Colo., the Loveland Reporter-Herald reported.
All three commissioners acknowledged the concerns of neighbors — added noise, ruined views and overcrowding — but said the campsites are managed well and will be buffered with trees and landscaping.
“There’s a huge demand for sites,” said Commissioner Steve Johnson, who lives near the county property. “It’s their park, too.”
The South Bay Campground already has 72 campsites, and the new loop would expand camping south toward County Road 38E with nine new sites. They would provide full hook-ups for large recreational vehicles.
Those nine more would just further overcrowd and already overcrowded area, said Brent Acott, whose home overlooks the new campground.
“I think it’s just saturated,” said Acott. “I would like to see no more campsites. Keep it exclusive for the campers and residents.”
County staff viewed the proposed camping area from Acott’s porch and from other concerned residents’ homes. While two of the nine sites could be visible, Natural Resources Director Gary Buffington assured residents and elected officials that they would plant trees in specially chosen sites to create a buffer.
The project will cost $240,000. Half of that, Buffington said, will come from the Bureau of Reclamation, which owns the reservoir, and the other half from a combination of grants and county money that can only be spent on parks and natural areas.
The county will apply next week for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant that, if approved, will cover at least $60,000 of the price.
Once built, the new sites are expected to bring in another $50,000 per year in fees.