Steamboat Springs The design-planning process and recent conceptual plan for Rita Valentine Park by Chris Wilson, Director of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services for the city of Steamboat Springs, disregards several important facts:
- As interpreted by family members and recognized by Steamboat Springs City Council resolution, it was determined that the land donated by Curci/Turner should be preserved as open space and park land based on Ms. Rita Valentine's legacy and commitment to conservancy.
- When asked to provide input to a development plan, community members have on multiple occasions formally expressed their strong desire that Rita Valentine Park be left alone as unimproved trails for public use and that it remain open space.
- The need for and desire to preserve open space has been repeatedly and strongly expressed throughout the years by the community of Steamboat through formal studies and surveys.
- The goal of preserving open space has been specifically prioritized by community members over other usages including those proposed in the conceptual plan.
These facts deserve more serious consideration than they have been given to date. Their disregard raises significant questions about those responsible for the conceptual plan and planning process. This disregard jeopardizes citizens' confidence in the plan, the planning process and the officials involved.
The legacy and commitment to conservancy by Ms. Rita Valentine should be honored. To do otherwise is irresponsible and imperils future gifts of property to the city.
Rita Valentine Park should be permanently protected as open space by ordinance as recommended for other property in the conceptual plan.
Greg and Pam Gundlach