Letter: Protect scenic views

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I wish to weigh-in on Skyline Development Vista Preservation in South Routt County. The way we see it in South Routt, skylines are only a part of the factors in the overall picture involving extended mitigation measures to development of the remaining pristine vistas here. Indeed, these vistas begin at the ridgeline (rather than end there) and encompass all open space as well as view impacts within several square miles of accessible roadways. As we all know, such eyesores belong to the owners of those truly ugly colored homesite structures sticking out that are totally out of character and inappropriate to the surrounding area. You know the ones we mean: Those ubiquitous trophy homes whose self-centered, clueless and disrespectful owners demand clear views outward but could care less about what their reflected image looks like to others (other than "big").
The potential decimation of our skyline and open space that constitute the vistas in South Routt, or anywhere else for that matter, is no different for example than the introduction of the AIDS virus to the immune system of healthy people. Without regulations or vaccinations, both the tasteless individuals and viruses will eventually destroy the ecosystem and the rustic nature of South Routt.
This means we need to address both sides of this coin, because once another clueless idiot slips through the cracks or loopholes, you have just sacrificed that pristine vista in that part of the country forever.
You, as a commissioner, have a fiduciary duty to the landscape as well as the landowner! Does anyone really "own" the land? Aren't they really the entrusted stewards of their generation charged with the duty and responsibility to preserve and sustain the landscape for the next ones to come? Are the commissioners going to let some wacko "land terrorist" do whatever they want in the name of freedom of this or that, thereby ruining it for the rest of us? Have you forgotten what Lincoln once said: that government is of the people, for the people, as well as by the people notwithstanding those who don't like government or people?
The way I see it, you inherited no mandate to represent those vociferous few who demand freedom of expression to build to their distasteful delight at great cost to the prevailing pristine vistas in South Routt County. We in Stagecoach are even more sensitive to this issue than those in/around Steamboat. One can already see the South Shore Subdivision developing into an ugly overrun hillside not unlike proper landscape mitigation regulations in the skyline regulations, aka SKYLINE VISTA REGULATIONS. These vistas in Stagecoach are likewise destined to become the extended harsh footprints of corridor "strip" development in Routt County's future; and history will point the finger at you and the other commissioners, Nancy, for not stopping it in it tracks in time. Let the Planning Commission do its job! Hold onto the leash but give it some slack.
When I was on the Stagecoach POA Board in the '70s and '80s, we were very concerned even with new road cuts into the area that impacted Stagecoach vistas around the proposed reservoir and state park. We told John Fetcher that our continued support for the project was contingent upon his ensuring that fresh roads would be bermed with trees and vegetation to occlude the ugly campers using these roads to the state park. He complied.
But when I reminded you in writing prior to working on the Stagecoach Master Plan to include this very same mitigation measure alongside existing roadways in the plan, you totally ignored it!
You need to wake up and smell the landscape. A wait-and-see approach will not work anymore. You need to preserve what is often taken for granted each day by including landscaping mitigation measures in with the new skyline vista regulations for particularly sensitive areas of barren open space as in South and West Routt County. Ignore it again now at your risk, the risk of breaching a trusted fiduciary duty to keep open space truly open and to mitigate those encroaching footprints of the only animal that destroys habitat rather than preserves it.
The fate of South Routt is in your hands, and we all are willing to support your efforts to the extent you keep faith with your constituents and work to preserve the vistas which are our very heritage in this county. We would expect no less.
Russell N. Dashow
President, Bushy Creek
Associates Inc.

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