Omar M. Campbell: Public vote on TDR?

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Transfer of Development Rights is the latest growth issue to confront our community. Indeed, it is of import equal to the recent Steamboat 700 affair, and perhaps more so. Ben Beall’s letter to the editor in the March 24 Steamboat Today lays it out quite well, and Jack White in his March 31 letter to the editor appropriately asks for more time for community understanding and input.

In a nutshell, the intent of TDR is to move county development adjacent to the city in 5-acre lots. As I see it, the net effect on the city would be to create more traffic congestion, impact on city services and amenities, etc.

This issue is a thorny one. On the one hand, the county goal of preventing 35-acre development on more remote agricultural areas of the county is desirable. On the other hand, 5-acre tracts crowding some peripheral locations adjacent to the city is not.

I have an idea, recently tested in the Steamboat 700 growth referendum. Why not allow a city/county public vote on the matter? Scheduling such a vote for the Nov. 2 midterm election would cost practically nothing, and we the people would have six months to wrap our minds around the complicated issue. The outcome would be a county-wide plebiscite on slower, more controlled county growth, as was the Steamboat 700 referendum for the city.

I for one do not trust these momentous decisions to two-person (county commission) and four-person (City Council) majorities of local government. As I see it, the majority attitude for growth has not changed since the last city election.

Omar M. Campbell

Steamboat Springs

Comments

trump_suit 4 years ago

Omar would want a public vote on whether or not we should have spring this year. What do we hold the elections of public officials for?

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jk 4 years ago

Trump, I think as the 700 issue has proven the election of our public officials, and their political agendas, does not always reflect the will of the people! This is unfortunate, but true in this day and age, as our governing body seems to have lost its way.

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

I do not believe it is appropriate for a public vote on the concept of TDR. There might be parcels in which it is truly appropriate and the proposed project is widely considered to be wonderful.

I think it would be fair to have a public vote on a specific project.

BTW, I suggest that 5 acre parcels immediately adjacent to the city provide minimal public benefit. The public benefits should be more than preserving some remote parcel.

The manner in which the 5 acre parcels are developed should also provide public benefit. It would be far nicer if we were to do what Frankfurt Germany region did which was to put public trails on ag/forest property (yes, that impairs ag) to provide a wheel and spoke public trail system. Ie. trails heading away from city center towards truly rural area, that connect to trails that ring the city.

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Clearsky 4 years ago

I agree- Let the voters decide rather than 3 people who are supposed to represent the 10,000 people affected by their decision. We all rave about Democracy. Let Democracy be effective. Who's going to really remember all these agreements in the future. Obviously Humble Ranch is a prime example.

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