Economy topic of growth forum

Third and final public discussion set for tonight


— The Community Alliance of Yampa Valley tonight wraps up three public forums to explore the idea of a county growth cap with a panel discussion on economics.

Tonight's forum includes representatives from government and businesses of three communities in Colorado that have established growth limits. Panel members will discuss the mechanisms used to slow growth and the effects that had on their economies and businesses.

Community Alliance member Stuart Orzach said the two previous forums were a great success. He said he thought the group was able to pull representatives from each segment of the community, something that has been difficult to do in other public meetings.

"We've had excellent ideas and questions," he said.

The first forum, in September, had about 120 people in the audience, and last week's forum had about 150 people attend, Orzach said.

"That's incredible. It's hard to get 50 people to go to a public meeting," he said.

The Community Alliance was formed in June of last year to address growth issues in the Yampa Valley. It is a nonprofit organization that has accumulated 100 members paying fees.

One of the group's focuses is to have a growth limit implemented in Routt County, not unlike the limits Aspen and Boulder have in place.

There isn't a clear timeframe on when the group would like to achieve that goal.

"We are going to work as hard as we can to develop a proposal," Orzach said.

Maintaining affordable housing while implementing a growth limit is a primary concern for the Community Alliance, he added.

The third and final forum is at 7 p.m. today at Olympian Hall. Panel members also will be available for comment from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Tuesday at Olympian Hall. Coffee will be served.


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