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Dear Editor,

I have been distressed by reading some comments concerning the work being done on the future Comprehensive Plan for Chaffee County.  The suggestions that the data is incomplete or that not every voice was heard or the plan is being rushed are simply not true.

Three years ago I was a Chaffee County Planning Commissioner.  Early in my term, it was very clear that we needed a new Comprehensive Plan.  Fortunately County Commissioners Baker and Felt realized that also and they pushed the Planning Commission forward.  About that same time, Envision Chaffee County was formed to look at issues facing Chaffee County and the Comprehensive plan was one of those issues in the forefront.  Several thousand residents gave input to the Envision process with several hundred more doing the hard work.  I was one of those citizens.

Out of that process was the start of the Comprehensive plan.  Once again hundreds of citizens were engaged and gave input.  The consultants for the plan collected data, tons of data, which looked at the county from every possible angle.  Once the data was analyzed and the citizen input taken in to account, the consultants came once again to the citizens with their findings.  They held meetings from one end of the county to the other getting still more input.  The consultants took that input and came back with revised plans and another round of public meetings.  In the end, hundreds of citizens attended those meetings and gave their opinions.  I was at those meetings and was heartened by how many citizens were engaged in the process.  Their voices were clear.

The Comprehensive Plan is now in the hands of the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) and the Chaffee Planning Commission.  Once again they are holding meetings to fine-tune the new plan to make it a complete reflection of what the citizens, all the citizens, of Chaffee County desire from their new plan.

At some point, you have to draft and finalize the plan.  We are at that point now.    It is not rushed, it is not lacking in data and every citizen was given ample opportunity to speak.  It is time to finish the plan.
Doug Welch

Nathrop, Colorado