Omar M. Campbell: Growth management

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I have had calls lately from folks wondering why I have written no letters to the editor lately. Shoveling snow day after day is one reason; a general malaise at the gloomy weather, old age and the state of our town and nation are probably others.

At any rate, a call Sunday has motivated me to comment on the latest city issue - to adopt a growth management plan called Concurrent Management. A much better and more descriptive title would be Common-sense Growth Control. It seems to boil down to considering the adequacy of the infrastructure to support growth. This would have been a foreign concept to past city councils, whose attitude was simply to approve every development and damn the consequences.

For example: Traffic and parking infrastructure has been overloaded for years. We passed the CDOT "comfort level" several years ago. Yet the problem was ignored in the lust for growth and ringing cash-registers. Chamber-dominated City Councils rubber-stamped everything presented, their common motto being "Grow or Die. Perish."

An article in the Pilot some time ago quoted council and its attorney as saying they had no choice but to approve proposals as long as they met codes. What about the old precept of public health, safety, welfare and convenience? But then money and "prosperity" are the important things, as they always have been.

In my opinion, our local economy reached a sustainable level years ago. Yet the local Chamber members are never satisfied. I am sure all 8,000-plus Chamber Resort Associations would agree, as would their national office.

I agree that a strong local economy is essential to our well-being. We need the money turning over for our survival. But when is enough, enough?

I am hoping the current council adopts concurrency planning, declares a moratorium on growth (as Snowmass did recently) and then has the political will to take it seriously. A good place to start would be with the atrocious Steamboat 700 proposal. Instead, council appears to be fast-tracking the planning process to annexation and trying to promote remodeling U.S. Highway 40 - with our highway tax funds, naturally - to accommodate 700 LLC.

Does the recent increase in utility rates portend expansion of the sewage plant to accommodate anticipated growth?

In light of the long-term drought, global warming, downstream commitment calls, etc., will there be enough water to supply further wholesale growth? Might we taxpayers end up buying very expensive water rights from ranchers to make up for the current foolishness of uncontrolled growth?

I have had no feedback at all from elected officials on my proposal to put the 700 LLC annexation up to a countywide vote.

Omar M. Campbell

Steamboat Springs

Comments

colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Omar. This would be a very good time for the citizens of Steamboat to take a long hard look at where Steamboat is going and if they want to continue to be dominated by the Chamber Resort Assc. Remember Steamboat has a Home Rule Charter.

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elkeye 6 years, 7 months ago

Omar:

Why are you interested in a countywide vote?

Why not focus on a citywide vote and/or referendum on the 700 LLC annexation?

The residents of the City of Steamboat Springs (not the seven members on the City Council) should have the final vote on the proposed annexation of the seven hundred acres known as the "Steamboat 700" (or any portion thereof).

Does anyone seriously believe that "at least 20% affordable housing" will persuade the voters of the City of Steamboat Springs to destroy their quality of life and/or pay for any of the off-site infrastructure costs that will be required because of the proposed "Steamboat 700" development?

If the city is fast-tracking the planning process (without fully addressing all of the off-site infrastructure needs and costs in the pre-annexation agreement), the faster the voters of the City of Steamboat Springs can overturn any annexation ordinance the City Council may pass.

The "R-E-F-E-R-E-N-D-U-M" process is probably the only way the residents of Steamboat Springs will have for a vote on the proposed annexation.

I am not holding my breath that the City Council will put the proposed annexation of the "Steamboat 700" up to a vote of the residents of Steamboat Springs before passing an annexation ordinance for the seven hundred acres (or any part thereof)!

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another_local 6 years, 7 months ago

Tell me something Omar, do you think that the last council (Brenner, Anderson et al) was "chamber dominated"? If you do, I think your ability to understand local politics is questionable.

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the_one_and_only 6 years, 6 months ago

with the groth of steamboat springs i was woundering if the people of the town would push to get a city bus that is free. out to silver spur haritige park and steamboat 2 ive lived here for 14 years and im 18 now and i walk in to town every day and i hadly get picked up and i dont realy look for rides on nice days but when its cold out side id like it but it never happens witch is why i feel we need a bus to go out that way. and i dont wanna spend $1.50 daily just to get a ride from steamboat 2 to the court house or in to town.

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