The population of Chaffee County is projected to increase by 33% by 2035! Let’s plan for it.

Revising a County Comprehensive Plan is a lot of work involving concerned citizens (like you), County Planning Commissioners, Board of County Commissioners (with Keith Baker as the BOCC liaison to the Planning Commissioners and consultants), county agencies, municipalities and county staff and officials, school children and staff, business people, ranchers, developers, architects, engineers, wildlife and water experts, farmers, nonprofits, the consultants, and anyone who stepped up to engage over these months (and years – the Round Table years ago and Envision Chaffee County recently, which laid the foundation for future planning).

Input has been voiced across the county and clearly continues to be solicited from all stakeholders and anyone willing to step up (see Together Chaffee for the demographics).

Thanks to all who provided expertise, guiding questions, and thoughtful suggestions for protecting the people, the health, the place, the environment and the culture of Chaffee County.

There has been expressed concern about maintaining the unique distinctions between municipalities, to uplift our ranching history, to keep rural and urban distinct, and to protect the resources we share by being good stewards, attentive listeners, and respectful collaborators.

There are still more opportunities to learn and respond:

• Virtual meeting: Sept. 17, 5:30 p.m.

Details: The BOCC and Planning Commissioners invite ALL to participate. The comprehensive plan and land use plan establish a “vision” for the future.

• Outdoor follow ups in BV and Salida about the above virtual meeting.

Details: facebook.comtogetherchaffeecounty

• Write our Chaffee County Planning Manager, Jon Roorda, with your input.

Chaffee citizens have been saying these common themes for almost half a century:

• Support the continuation of ag businesses

• Focus development in and around existing communities

It has been expressed and recorded in:

• Comprehensive Plan of Chaffee County, Yguado Assoc., April 1971

• Chaffee County Comprehensive Plan, Consensus Planning, Inc., March 2000

• Consensus Associates, (Chadwick meetings), April, 2006

• Chaffee County Citizen’s Land Use Roundtable Recommendations, Nov. 17, 2008

• The current draft of the Chaffee County Comprehensive Plan

When naysayers who didn’t take the time to engage all along the way criticize at the end of a long thoughtful process, it’s a real shame. It happened during the creation of our 2000 Plan which ended up taking 14 years and resolutions by two different Boards of County Commission directing the Planning Commission to revise the land use code before the 2000 Comprehensive Plan was reflected in revisions to the Land Use Code – Jan. 14, 2014. Delays cost our county money and bad decisions without current guidelines.

Let’s make a plan in THIS lifetime because growth is unprecedented and affecting us now.

Thanks to all who are pouring out many hours of valuable time, contributing countless volumes of research pertinent to the plan and for sharing thoughtful well-formed ideas to mindfully help our communities have a tool that is ready to guide and help us face the ongoing growth of Chaffee County with wisdom.

Jacey Doumas

Buena Vista

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