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I read with disappointment this week several letters to the editor whose authors felt the need to diminish Envision.

It is true that Envision does not carry the force of law, but it does carry the force of the community. Dismissing the work as “a survey and opinions” slights the now several thousand citizens who have engaged to create solutions to the important landscape challenges our community faces.

Something special is happening with Envision that people across the west are noticing: Engagement of now 2,000-plus engaged citizens and over 100 organizations, the passage of the cutting-edge 1A ballot measure, a new Chaffee County Community Foundation and over $1 million in grant money and technical support coming to Chaffee.

Ranchers, agency leaders, Realtors, new and longtime residents, conservationists, economic development experts and many others are all listening to each other, being thoughtful about the future and crafting common ground solutions to the very real challenges presented by rapid growth. We are tapping the strength of the community, the very thing that makes Chaffee County such a special place – the people here!

Let us continue listening to each other. Let’s work as a community to craft a “Now THIS is Colorado” Land Use Code that respects private property rights and helps create our shared vision of the future – a future with working rural lands, development incentivized to be in and around towns, housing attainability, a community better prepared for wildfire, a community working together. Let’s craft a code that considers lessons learned from other communities as well as new ideas, that considers growth and the community we want to have in the future.

We can do better as a community than easy put-downs. Let’s challenge ourselves to keep working together to find win-win solutions and to make them happen. Stay engaged friends, we are a community that can do this!

Cindy Williams
Envision Chaffee County Co-Lead