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Dear Editor:

I write to express my deep concern regarding the proposed Centerville Ranch major subdivision under consideration by the Chaffee County Board of Commissioners (BoCC).

Joining with 1,500 of us as leaders and participants in the Envision Chaffee County effort, commissioners repeatedly heard of residents’ desire to have development concentrated around cities and towns and not sprawled across rural areas.

The effort culminated in the development of proposition 1A, in which we voted to be taxed to support the goals defined by Envision Chaffee County. Stated clearly in Vision Four of the Community Action Plan; “We have sustainable agriculture, beautiful rural landscapes and development focused in and around towns. “

As proposed, the Centerville Subdivision will force the citizens of Chaffee County to pay for increases in costs of county services which will not be offset by property and other taxes paid by homeowners in the Centerville subdivision. (Attached supporting documentation – Colorado State Cooperative Extension)

Chaffee County citizens will be subsidizing high end, second homeowners unlikely to contribute much to our economy and civic life at the expense of needed services such as schools, affordable housing, public health and safety.

In addition, we will pay intangible costs in degradation to our quality of life caused by increased traffic congestion on U.S. 285, air pollution, threats to our aquifer, loss of open views and scenic byway, noise and light pollution.

As proposed, this subdivision will cut the heart out of our beautiful county. It will create the very thing that was opposed by Envision Chaffee County; as stated again and again in over 7,000 of hours of volunteer, community effort.

In my opinion, the developer seems determined to ram the project through the approval process in advance of the updated comprehensive plan and subsequent revision of the land use code.

It is for this reason that the BoCC is being asked to place a temporary moratorium on major subdivisions, like the Centerville subdivision, until the new comprehensive plan and updates to the land use code can be finalized.

Rural Land Use and Your Taxes: The Fiscal Impact of Rural Residential Development in Colorado

Cost of Community Services (COCS) studies are a case study approach used to determine the fiscal contribution of existing local land uses.

JoAnne Allen