Todd Hagenbuch: Role confusion

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In a recent letter to the editor written by Steve Lewis concerning the city's recent enactment of a moratorium on historic structure alteration and demolition, the implication was made that Historic Routt County is the primary driving force behind the new ordinance. Because this information is inaccurate, it is necessary to clear up any confusion and misconceptions about HRC's role in this process.

HRC is a local nonprofit organization with the mission to "preserve and promote the heritage and historic character of Routt County communities and rural areas through the built environment." In existence for over 10 years, the group has had incredible success working with willing landowners to document properties, rehabilitate structures, and help nominate properties to the Routt County, state, and national historic registers. We have helped people from Toponas to Hayden with projects aimed at keeping our community character intact, and we are very proud of our accomplishments.

HRC is not the same group as Partners in Preservation, the ad-hoc group that was formed in an effort to begin a conversation with the city about the preservation of community character, including the preservation of historic buildings within the city's boundaries. A number of HRC members, including some of our board members, have chosen to participate in this group, as they are individuals concerned with the preservation of our community. Multiple members of the Partners in Preservation group serve on various boards and commissions for other organizations within in our community. One cannot reasonably assume that since these people are participating in the discussion that they are representing their organizations, just as one cannot presume that one member of the Planning Commission represents the view of the entire Planning Commission.

As the City Council takes time during this temporary moratorium to bring its historic preservation ordinance in line with those of our neighboring mountain resort communities, HRC encourages people who feel strongly about this issue to become involved in the discussion. HRC believes that a reasonable, comprehensive ordinance is achievable through dialogue, education and communication. Along with our members and staff, Historic Routt County looks forward to the discussion, and we look forward to helping create a solution.

Todd Hagenbuch

Executive director,

Historic Routt County

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