Photo by Ron Ruhoff
Frequently Asked Questions
Acronyms & Definitions
Activity Center • The Evergreen Area Community Plan has identified six activity centers: El Rancho, Bergen Park, North Evergreen, Downtown Evergreen, Kittredge, and Marshdale. An activity center provides retail shops, offices, light industrial, housing, and cultural and recreational facilities in one concentrated area. These uses often depend on one another for viability. They should be encouraged to share parking, access roads, buildings, and customers. Each center has distinct boundaries to avoid the proliferation of higher intensity development, to minimize strip development, and to prevent intrusion into residential neighborhoods.
DEED • Downtown Evergreen Economic District (a committee of the Evergreen Downtown Business Association)
EDBA • Evergreen Downtown Business Association (a membership organization for downtown businesses to hold events and accomplish common goals)
EED • Evergreen Economic District (the evolution of DEED, formed when projects were proposed for more than just downtown)
ELF • Evergreen Legacy Fund (an entity formed to collect funds from businesses and donations from both businesses and individuals)
ELID • Evergreen Local Improvement District (the legal districting mechanism approved by the Jefferson County Commissioners officially recognizing the Evergreen Legacy Fund and authorizing the county to work in partnership with the Evergreen Legacy Fund)
EPRD • Evergreen Park and Recreation District
Evergreen Area Community Plan • A 100-page document adopted by Jefferson County pertaining to future development of the Evergreen area. The plan addresses such things as Air, Odor, Noise & Light; Hazards; Historic, Archaeological & Paleontological Resources; Housing; Open Space, Trails & Recreation; Public Facilities, Services & Utilities; Retail, Office, Light Industrial & Activity Centers; Transportation; Visual Resources; Water Quality, Water Quality & Sanitation; Wildlife. The process to create a plan began in 1987 and has been updated each decade ever since. Evergreen Area Community Plan
GOCO • Great Outdoors Colorado (a grant-making body partnering with governmental bodies and distributing lottery funds for approved outdoor restoration and recreational projects throughout Colorado)TAP • Technical Advisory Panel (a group of qualified and unbiased professionals selected by the Urban Land Institute of Colorado to offer their expertise as volunteers at the local level)
JEFFCO • Jefferson County government
How is the money collected?
There is no cost to the business owner. Businesses can opt to become a 1% Donor by adding 1% to every restaurant check, cash register receipt, or invoice issued. Business owners send in checks monthly, quarterly, or annually. It's voluntary participation.
Businesses and individuals can make one-time or regular donations by voluntarily sending in checks.
Bequests to the Evergreen Legacy Fund (ELF) are happily accepted through the Evergreen Legacy Fund Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization under the regulations of the IRS.
It's voluntary participation at two levels – the business owner and the end customer.
How is the money used?
Evergreen Legacy Fund (ELF) will provide the necessary “seed money” to apply for grants identified by Jefferson County to pay for the approved projects. With the money collected by ELF, projects such as the Evergreen Lake connector trail and the development of the Evergreen Trails Master Plan were made possible as well as providing matching funds for the North Lake Trail reconstruction and Leadership Evergreen’s new drinking fountain downtown.
In addition to the projects that are under the jurisdiction of the Evergreen Local Improvement District (ELID), the board of directors of ELF can decide to fund infrastructure projects that are not on the approved project list.
Who holds the funds?
Funds collected are held by the Evergreen Legacy Fund (ELF) in interest-bearing bank accounts until needed to help fund a project.
How are the projects decided?
Who decides how the money is used?
After considerable input from the Evergreen community, a local advisory committee made recommendations to Jefferson County for projects it would like to see completed. Working together with County staff, the list was narrowed down to consider the following:
- Must be a needed safety improvement
- Will aid in the connectivity of the Evergreen community
- Must be within the existing Jefferson County right-of-way
- Must be something Jeffco has the means to execute: e.g., Jeffco can pave roads and build sidewalks, but can’t build restrooms or bury powerlines
Many of the projects, for example, were derived from the Evergreen Trails Master Plan developed in 2015 by the Evergreen Economic District with extensive community input regarding safety and connectivity. Jefferson County determines what projects on the Evergreen Legacy Fund wish-list can be completed and sets the timeline for these projects. And after completion, the ELID maintains these improvements. The Evergreen Legacy Fund (ELF) is the funding mechanism for raising money within Evergreen to provide seed money to apply for grants to fund these improvements
Employees within the Transportation & Engineering Department at Jefferson County ultimately trimmed the request list down to 17 projects they felt were within their purview and doable within a 10-year period. To qualify, projects needed to be linked to roads and rights-of-way controlled by the County as opposed to the State of Colorado.
Are we getting public restrooms?
Jefferson County has statutory authority, expertise, and equipment to design, construct and maintain transportation projects, but not public restrooms. If Legacy Fund revenues permit, public restrooms could become a possibility, funded outside the Local Improvement District with seed money from the Legacy Fund to qualify for grants from other sources.
Would there be more parking?
Both parking and public restrooms require property and entitlements. Because Evergreen’s activity centers are generally private property, these types of endeavors would also require an acquisition of some kind or a partnership with a private property owner. We have tried both countless times.
Who implements the projects?
The Jefferson County Transportation and Engineering Department implements the projects based on a schedule pre-determined when they will be doing other projects in a particular area.
How long will it take for these projects to be completed?
The timeline for Jeffco to complete the projects will span for approximately 10 years.
How is Jefferson County involved?
Why is there a need for a Local Improvement District?
What is the relationship between the Legacy Fund and the Local Improvement District?
The Evergreen Local Improvement District (ELID) is the legal districting mechanism allowed by Colorado state statutes to enable Jefferson County to execute the specific projects within a specific boundary with a specific funding source. No new entity has been created.
Jeffco determines what projects on the Evergreen Legacy Fund wishlist can be completed and fixes the timeline for those projects. And, after completion, the ELID maintains those improvements. The Evergreen Legacy Fund (ELF) is the funding mechanism for raising money within Evergreen to provide seed money to apply for grants to fund those improvements.
Weren’t these projects already Jefferson County’s responsibility?
No. Neither Jefferson County nor CDOT have any responsibility to do these projects due to the fact that Evergreen is not Incorporated and therefore, the Rural Design Guide forms the basis of the design standards. The Rural Design Guideline does not require sidewalks or even shoulders.
Why doesn’t Evergreen just incorporate (become a town)?
Right now, Evergreen has multiple agencies and special districts serving our community in most of the areas a town government would otherwise manage: emergency response, public schools, parks and recreation, water and sewer, public art, and public transportation. The Evergreen Local Improvement District identifies specific infrastructure projects and uses the Evergreen Legacy Fund revenue to build them.
For more information about the ins and outs of Evergreen incorporation, we recommend reviewing an excellent article by Linda Kirkpatrick on the subject here.
How can I get involved?
- Become a 1% donor, a business donor, or an individual donor. Click here to join.
Work with your attorney or financial advisor to name the Evergreen Legacy Fund Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a recipient in your will to help ensure the character of Evergreen is preserved. Evergreen Legacy Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
When you patronize a business, ask if they are a member of the Evergreen Legacy Fund and suggest they become one because it’s an effort you support.
Who is behind all this?
Longtime community leaders of Evergreen comprise the board of directors of the Evergreen Legacy Fund Foundation. Click here to see a list of the nine people on the board and take a few minutes to read their long list of accomplishments to make the community a better place over the past several decades.
How did this Local Improvement District come about?
The process began in July of 2017 and was completed by affirmative vote of the County Commissioners on October 27, 2020
How did you decide on the boundaries of the Local Improvement District?
The boundaries of the ELID envelop the County-approved Activity Centers highlighted in the Evergreen Area Community Plan. These Centers are the areas with the highest use and, therefore, infrastructure needs. These areas entirely fall within the Evergreen Metropolitan District and West Jefferson County Metropolitan District. Their combined areas were used to draw the ELID’s boundaries.
What is the relationship between the Legacy Fund and the Local Improvement District?
The Evergreen Local Improvement District (ELID) is the governmental vehicle within Jefferson County that establishes the projects to be completed and fixes the timeline for those projects. And, after completion, the ELID maintains those improvements. The Evergreen Legacy Fund (ELF) is the funding mechanism for raising money within Evergreen to provide seed money to apply for grants to fund those improvements.