Present Land Use

Current land use at the site is varied and complex. In general, the major uses of the range are listed below:

  • The Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners (SLB) manages approximately 37 square miles of the site for the State of Colorado. The SLB currently leases its lands for oil and gas production, concrete and asphalt pavement recycling, a concrete batch plant, mining (sand and gravel extraction), grazing, wheat farming, and recreation (model airplanes, gliders, hunting, and horseback riding).
  • Numerous recreational facilities exist on the range, including the Aurora Reservoir Park and Recreation Area. The city of Aurora owns this area, which includes an 840-acre reservoir. Other recreational facilities on the FLBGR include the Arapahoe Park Racetrack, the Arapahoe Hunt Club, and three model airplane clubs.
  • Housing developments are scattered throughout the FLBGR, with the most densely populated areas being concentrated in the eastern portion of the range.
  • The Lowry Landfill is located on the northwest portion of the site. The city and county of Denver operated the landfill from 1966 to 1980. In 1984, portions of the landfill were declared a Superfund Site. The Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site (DADS) is located just north of the Lowry Landfill and is a current major regional solid waste landfill. The DADS and Lowry Landfill areas are not included in the ordnance response activities for the FLBGR.
  • The city of Aurora also owns a conservation area, the Plains Conservation Center (PCC), on the far northwestern corner of the range. The PCC includes approximately 1,920 acres.
  • Other commercial development at the range mainly consists of manufacturing and oil and gas wells.

The remainder of the range is predominantly undeveloped and is used for cattle grazing, farming, recreation, and associated support activities.

Future Land Use

In 1999, the E-470 corridor, which borders the western edge of the range, opened. The E-470 interstate provides a direct route from the Denver International Airport to the southern side of Denver. The new interstate also provides convenient access to all of eastern Denver. The opening of this corridor has spurred the attention of land developers interested in residential and commercial development of the range. High-density residential developments are currently under construction on, and adjacent to, the southwestern portion of the site. An estimated total of 7,340 residences and seven schools are planned for this area. In order to accelerate development, a number of these developers are performing private munitions response activities. Based on this current activity, and future land use plans of the city of Aurora and Arapahoe County , it is anticipated that the range will be used for residential and commercial development, community parks, recreation areas, public facilities, and open space in the very near future.

Additionally, the mission of the SLB is to manage state-owned land primarily to generate revenue for public education. An article in the Denver Post described the FLBGR as “nearly one-third the size of Denver, the parcel may be the largest developable piece of land abutting any metro area in the country” (Denver Post, 2000). Hence, local and national developers are approaching the SLB about purchasing its piece of the range for considerable sums. It is anticipated that development of the SLB portion of the range could occur relatively rapidly in the coming years.

Proposed land use within the FLBGR, click image to view larger image.


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