Boris Tabakoff: A travesty

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I wish to inform the readers of the Pilot & Today of a travesty in progress.

When confronted with a project which runs absolutely counter to years of planning for a viable and environmentally sensitive development of Routt County, most of us would question the need and rationale for such a project. A development of 372 units on 252 lots, which will put up to 1,600 individuals on property which, in large part, is currently zoned as Agriculture/Forestry, with one access onto a designated "remote" road, Routt County Road 16, would seem outrageous.

The Song Mountain development adjacent to C.R. 16, which takes you up Lynx Pass, is before the Routt County commissioners and is exactly the project I described above. Even though one of the commissioners provided a thoughtful and well-informed set of concerns about the Song Mountain Development being in conflict with the Routt County Master Plan which protects the county's agricultural lands and wildlife areas, on Aug. 25 the county commissioners hurriedly brought the zoning change request (A/F to PUD) to a vote and with a vote of 2-1 approved this zoning change. This action further propels the Song Mountain Development plans for a high-density human population in the middle of wildlife habitat.

As one listened to the innuendo at the Aug. 25 meeting, one was struck by the unsubstantiated, and in some ways ridiculous, promises being made by the developers to secure their goals. For instance, the developers stated, and put in writing, that the development will be 85 percent "natural or undisturbed area." Interestingly, this area is generated in large part by counting every square foot outside the footprint of the proposed buildings. Such space would be privately owned and unlikely to be undisturbed or open to the public.

The developers also touted the wildlife corridors (for elk, etc.), which they plan for this development. Somehow, the danger of their plans for transecting these corridors with paved roads carrying substantial traffic within this "planned community" has escaped the notice of the developers and commissioners. Vehicle/animal collisions can be deadly, not only for the animals, but also for the vehicle's occupants.

A multitude of additional "promises" were made by the developers ranging from contributions in financing or "in kind" for schools, water and sewer systems, firehouse and "improvement" of C.R. 16 to carry up to 1,000 more vehicles on a daily basis.

What was absent from this litany of promises was how much and when. What was stated loud and clear by the developers, was "let us begin, and we will work the details out later." Sad to say it is often left to the taxpayers of Routt County to work out and pay for such details.

I have taken an advertisement in the real estate section of today's Pilot & Today to publish the details of what I heard and saw at the meeting of the county commissioners, because of the limits on the length of Letters to the Editor. I hope that you will seek out and read the facts and opinions included in the advertisement. What I really hope is that you will do all you can to prevent this travesty from going further and be vigilant for and resistant to other activities, which cheapen and diminish the beauty of our environment.

Boris Tabakoff

Comments

greenwash 5 years, 3 months ago

who is buying in Stagecoach anyway?SB 700 will put all this to rest if approved.

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Chuck McConnell 5 years, 3 months ago

Wow Boris, you just joined the "now that I'm here lets keep all those others out" club. I saw this in Alaska and now here.

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dave fisher 5 years, 3 months ago

so the county commssioners voted 2-1 in favor of the zoning change- i'm wondering if one of the "yes" voting commissioners was the one who voted against moving forward with right-of-way acquisition along C.R. 14?

i honestly hope that is not the case.

the outlying areas of the county have become (and will continue to be) the default "affordable" housing solution for middle Routt. a corresponding investment in our county's transportation infrastructure needs to be made... now. before this proposal moves another inch forward, there needs to be a substantial and meaningful effort made to improve C.R. 14 to accomodate the enormous traffic volume that it now carries. and i'm not talking about pasting on another thick layer of the brutal chip-n-seal, either.

chuck; i have to disagree with you. i believe Boris has brought up several legitimate points of concern. the proposed development is adjacent to critical wildlife habitat and wilderness areas. of course, this is probably not of much concern to those folks in or from Alaska- a state that allows "sportsmen" to shoot wildlife from low-flying aircraft.

welcome to Colorado, bro. we do things a bit differently here.

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Chuck McConnell 5 years, 3 months ago

dave,

I entered the public school system here in Colorado in 1949 amigo. That humble start catapulted me through an MS in Chemical Engineering so your denegration, I believe, is unwarranted. For the record, I do not believe shooting wildlife from aircraft should be allowed.

On point, however, saving the "smelt" in California's food growing valley is costing the US its food supply. Isn't is just possible that these mini-scale, populist environmental disingenuous protestations ostensibly aimed at a green movement are counter-intuitive?

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dave fisher 5 years, 3 months ago

chuck; at least we agree on one thing, then. i will also agree that your education began long before i was born- which no doubt makes you older, and perhaps, arguably, wiser than i. don't take it so personally, chuck. i didn't "denegrate" your education or life experience. i do disagree with some of the wildlife "management" practices implemented in the state of Alaska, however. my point being that the perspective of Alaska residents concerning matters of the enviroment is probably substatially different than the perspective of Colorado residents. apples and oranges. what Boris said in his letter did not convey to me the old "i got mine, now slam the door on the rest of 'em" attitude, but that seems to be what you picked up. developers will tell the people everything that they believe the people want to hear in order to move their projects forward. Boris called b.s. on this one and good for him for doing so. the developers want to dig now and solve the problems later, something i believe to be bad policy, just like Boris does. i believe that the policy should be thoughtful and measured up front, not impulsive and reactionary further down the road when the problems are many times more difficult to solve.

saving the "smelt" in California's food growing valley is not what is costing the U.S. its food supply (if in fact the U.S. is producing less food). what is costing the U.S. its food supply production in that region is suburban sprawl spilling onto and consuming vast tracts of the world's most productive crop land. attempting to place blame on a "smelt" is little more than a mini-scale populist anti-enviromental disingenuous protestation also known as a "red herring" ostensibly aimed at discrediting the "green movement". now that is what i would call counter-intuitive.

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Chuck McConnell 5 years, 3 months ago

dave,

A couple of points taken -- well said. From your reaction to my posting I believe you must think my ideas smelt fishy (pun intended).

I guess I will always have a problem, however, with people's attitude of trying to deny all urban growth or "sprawl" as you characterized it. Where should the growing population live? Developers tend to plan new projects in places where people desire to live. That is what is called freedom. Specifically, a family can choose to live in Steamboat when the green movementers (new word) would likely have them living in the middle of the desert in Nevada.

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