Thursday, October 7, 2010
For more information about the Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley, call Rich Levy at 970-846-3638 or Tim Rowse at 970-819-8780. The group has a website.
Steamboat Springs The Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley has added new board members and plans to increase its marketing in coming weeks in an effort to boost membership.
Rich Levy, a member of the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and vice president of the Community Alliance’s board of directors, said board members added in recent weeks include Cathy Neelan, Tim Rowse, Rodger Steen and Paul Stettner. The board also includes President Jack White, Steve Aigner and John Whittum.
Rowse said the Community Alliance has about 200 members but has a goal of reaching 500 members in the weeks ahead through increased marketing and outreach.
The group’s annual New Pioneers event, which recognizes those who contribute to sustainable development and environmental stewardship, is Nov. 20.
Earlier this year, Rowse was the primary spokesman for the Let’s Vote campaign, which successfully opposed the Steamboat 700 annexation rejected by city voters in March.
Rowse said his joining of the Community Alliance board is not an effort to incorporate Let’s Vote into the group, but rather a personal effort to help the Community Alliance promote its goals.
“We have rewritten our mission and vision and rededicated the organization to educating the public about important local issues,” Rowse wrote in an e-mail this week. “All the refocus came out of the 700 vote. The realization was that there needs to be a local organization … watching local issues, educating the public about the issue at hand and bringing voter feedback to public officials when necessary.”
To that end, Rowse said, the Community Alliance’s mission has been stripped to six words: “community issues, community voice, community action.”
The group’s former mission, posted on its yampavalley.info website, reads:
“The mission of the Community Alliance is to help preserve the natural environment of the Yampa Valley, enhance the quality of human life, retain the unique character of our community and to build a sustainable society in harmony with nature. We serve as a catalyst to empower individuals through collective action to address economic and social trends that endanger the quality of life and the natural environment in the Yampa Valley.”
The Community Alliance has been vocal in recent conversations about transfer of development rights proposals, which have been the subject of public meetings across the county. The Routt County Board of Commissioners has sought public input on potential TDR regulations.
TDR proposals would allow landowners and developers to shift development potential away from rural areas to parcels closer to the county’s municipalities, where 5-acre building lots might be approved.
In a letter published in the Sept. 19 Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Community Alliance board promoted tighter regulations on “sending” and “receiving” areas, or where development rights are shifted from and to, respectively.
“We recommend that TDR regulations establish specific criteria that receiving areas must meet with respect to housing density, water and sanitation standards, affordable housing and mitigation for increased traffic,” the letter said.
Those talking points bear similarities to the public debate about Steamboat 700, which proposed commercial development and about 2,000 homes throughout 20 to 30 years on a 487-acre site just west of current city limits.
A year ago, Rowse helped lead the successful petition drive that put Steamboat 700 to a public vote.
He said Thursday that the Community Alliance could use Let’s Vote databases when working to boost membership.
“It only makes sense to look for members in the folks who signed the petitions,” he said.