FIGHTING FOR RIGHTSThe following letter of opinion is that of the writer and several close associates and certainly does have the chance of being the opinion of many. Be as that may, where there is smoke there is fire and many of us are really getting sick and tired of losing our property rights and remember when you have to ask for a permit to do anything on your land or property then you don't have that right or you wouldn't be asking for it. For 150 years we and our forefathers have protected and regulated and maintained the riverbeds on the land they bordered and passed over.

We have lost that right to a government agency who knows little what they are doing. In like manner we have lost control of stream banks and waterways on our own land. If you have a piece of land you cannot build on it until you get a permit and once you have a home on it, your children cannot live next to you.

They have taken our gold and silver and there is only one thing of value left and that is land, and if you have to have a permit to use the land, then you have lost that also.

People don't stop to think or understand that the world planners together with the money interest are at the bottom of it all Communism does not permit private property rights and that's what made America great.

As a matter of fact, the federal government owns a good third of the land surface of the United States, the government owns 40 percent of Colorado and a like amount of Routt County, get out there and look at them. You are supposed to have an interest in them and you are not stealing any part of them, but when you take deeded private property without pay you're stealing even if you wear a mask of planning and zoning. The county commissioners have got a good reason to take some time to consider because there may be more than this so-called handful out there. House Bill 1041, Senate Bill 35 and the enabling act that went with it may someday tell the damage that this legislation has done and whose administration was at the bottom of it all.

We need the call of the United States Marine Corps song: "God give us men, stouthearted men that will fight for the rights that they adore."

John E. Sandelin

Steamboat Springs

AFFORDABLE HOUSINGIn response to your "Our View" article regarding the new West End Village, I was disturbed to read your opinion on the issue of deed restrictions. I am a strong supporter of affordable housing and am glad to hear that progress is finally being made with West End Village, but not having deed restrictions on these properties is both shortsighted and unfair.

Not imposing selling restrictions on these owners sets us up for the inevitable, which is that one day every single house in this subdivision will change hands at market prices, rendering it no longer affordable. Then we will have to go back to the drawing board and spend the years and resources to locate and purchase property for the next affordable housing subdivision, continuing in this cycle until there is no more available land.

Do we want a short-term solution or a long-term solution to what promises to be an eternal problem?

Also, the direct beneficiaries of affordable housing, the new homeowners, know as well as anyone how important this issue is. Do they want to make a few dollars at the expense of the next person not being able to have the affordable home opportunity that they had? That would seem unfair.

Furthermore, a lack of deed restrictions is unfair to whomever subsidizes this effort, whether it is taxpayers, grant money or any other source. It is not right that someone could purchase a home at below market prices because of, let's say, taxpayer money, and then in one year or 10 years profit significantly. An owner profiting in this situation seems to be against the spirit of what we are trying to achieve. If anyone should profit, perhaps it should be whoever subsidizes the project.

Finally, a new affordable housing homeowner will most likely be purchasing his or her new home at a price that, were the property free to fluctuate in the open market, will never be seen again. Therefore, there is really no downside risk for the new homeowner.

Suppose taxpayers were to help pay for an affordable housing project in which there were no deed restrictions.

Most of us property owners (taxpayers) are taking on risk by paying market rates as there is a chance that our property values could decrease significantly were there to be a 1990s Japan-style meltdown or any other unlikely yet possible crisis.

It would be unfair that those that would be subsidizing affordable housing have downside risk while those that receive affordable housing have no downside risk and are free to profit at their first whim.

Those that do not take on the risk should not be the ones to profit.

I ask you to reconsider your stance on deed restrictions as we need to create a long-term solution to the affordable housing problem, and one that is fair for whomever pays for it.

Neill Redfern

Steamboat Springs

MAKING LAMB RUNIt is ironic that while Colorado is mourning the loss of Gov. John Love at the very same time we are celebrating the XIX Winter Olympic flame crossing our state.

Thirty years ago, Gov. Love led Colorado's successful bid for the 1976 Winter Olympic Games, but gubernatorial candidate Dick Lamb, with misguided reasons and for personal political gain, deliberately extinguished the XII Winter Olympic flame in Denver, Steamboat Springs and Vail.

Gov. Lamb should have been made to carry the Olympic flame for Salt Lake City across the entire state of Colorado, and perhaps then he might have come to appreciate the true Olympic spirit and finally understand the Olympic motto of "Swifter, Higher, Stronger."

Merrill Hastings



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