I am writing in support of the new Chaffee County Comprehensive Plan draft and in gratitude for Commissioner Keith Baker’s leadership. 

While it is not final, the plan has been in the works for months, and is being executed by capable and experienced people with the input of literally hundreds of citizens.

Residents of Chaffee County recognize that there will be inevitable growth. But residents want that growth to be managed so we don’t lose the essence of what we have now, what attracted people here, and for long-term residents who have been and contributed to the county over the years ... a continuation of what is Chaffee County. 

I have resided here over 25 years and have been involved in land use and other relevant issues, including sustainability.  I continue to be concerned that the basic nature of this place be preserved and that new development takes place in our towns and rural land remains open.

The new comp plan addresses this particular issue of residential and commercial sprawl, and many other key issues as well. 

I urge our county government to proceed with the process of fine tuning and passing this draft, which recommends lowering the permitted density of residential homes in rural areas of the county and with increases in our towns.

Undoubtedly, there will be objections to this part of the plan, as developers fear that real estate sales will be limited.  If they want unrestricted growth and development, they could easily find that in Denver or Colorado Springs. 

The reality is that the county does not attract people who share the developers’ goal. 

Why would someone from a large city move here only to find the same suburban sprawl they left behind, rather than the ranching and small community environment of Chaffee County? That makes no sense whatsoever.

The new comp plan draft addresses this. The consultants and citizens working on it are competent, knowlegeable and professional.  They should proceed.

The threat of sprawl is my greatest concern.  If Chaffee County’s majority is influenced by a few naysayers and disgruntled developers with personal agendas, the future for those of us who love Chaffee County’s rural character is extremely grim.

Conrad Nelson

Buena Vista

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