To Ark Valley Voice:
Chaffee County citizens have spoken loud and clear – we do not want to lose our open rural landscapes to suburban sprawl! We do not want U.S. 285 lined with subdivisions for wealthy vacation homeowners and affluent retirees. We do not want six stoplights between BV and Poncha Springs. We do not want to be the Roaring Fork Valley or Summit County. The Centerville subdivision application is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Chaffee County citizens say they want.
Chaffee County voted to tax themselves in Ballot Measure 1A to help maintain our open spaces. We want our ranch lands so much we actually raised our taxes!
Envision proved that our open rural spaces are hugely important to Chaffee County residents. The earlier Citizen’s Land Use Roundtable Recommendations were unanimously adopted to save Chaffee County’s rural character and concentrate residential growth around our municipalities. In the Citizen’s Roundtable, one of our ranchers said it so eloquently: ”Towns should look like towns and country should look like country!”
Data proves that rural subdivisions cost the county more than they contribute in tax revenue. Rural subdivisions require extra services for road maintenance, snow removal, fire protection, emergency services, school buses, etc, etc. Why should Chaffee taxpayers subsidize a wealthy rural development that no one wants?
If the Centerville subdivision application is approved, many more ranch subdivisions will be inevitable. This development would be the beginning of the end of Chaffee County’s ranching culture and the rural qualities we all love.
The immediate solution is a county moratorium on new major subdivisions of more than 10 units that are more than 3 miles from municipalities until the County Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Code are updated. Our 20-year-old Comprehensive Plan is disastrously out of date and must be rewritten to reflect our county’s current values; then the Land Use Plan must be revised to be consistent with the Comp Plan. Only then will Chaffee County be ready to evaluate a major new subdivision application.
Katherine & Michael McCoy