City council meets to discuss potential development plans for Burkey Park

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT News)-- The future of Burkey Park is now in the city’s hands; and residents who live nearby are sharing concerns.

“Now they’re going to sell Burkey Park and fund another park that isn’t in our neighborhood that isn’t going to benefit our kids as much,” says neighborhood resident, Mary Combs.

On Wednesday the city met with neighbors to discuss what could be the home for future housing units.

“We hope that we can come to a zoning decision that respects the neighborhood around it,” said Grand Junction Mayor, Rick Taggart.

The city is trying to rezone Burkey Park to contain over 100 housing units.

“We have quarter acre lots, which is R-4. So we’re trying to convince them. We know that they’re going to put houses on this piece of property but we don’t want multi-family houses,” says Combs.

Neighbors nearby say adding this many houses, is simply too many: “It wasn’t very fair because we didn’t get to vote on it because we don’t live in the city limits,” says Combs.

This property was originally donated to the city by the Burkey family, and was intended to be used as a park.

“We have a limited budget when it comes to developing future parks. And in this particular case Matchett Park, which is right down the street, is 200 acres,” says Mayor Taggart.

Although the city struck a deal with the family. If Burkey Park were to be sold, proceeds from the sale will go towards an investment in Matchett Park, and will name the major pavilion after the Burkey family.

“The city said they would never make this into a park and it was always just going to be an empty lot. So that’s why the Burkey family said ok to it. And now they’re going to get a little plaque at Matchett Park that says ‘Burkey family’,” says Combs.

The city is hoping to reach an agreement, aiming to include all parties at hand: “If council approves a zoning ordinance tonight, I would expect we could be ready to put it on the market probably within 30-60 days,” says Mayor Taggart.

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