Bob Woodmansee: Selective listening
November 30, 2016
Commissioner Hermacinski's interpretation of "citizen-initiated change" is a very interesting example of selective listening (letter to the editor in the Nov. 29 issue of Steamboat Today). She identified one individual who made a suggestion and then cites "a lot of citizen input."
She didn't mention much of the input was by prominent community members who were adamantly opposed the changes in the Routt County zoning resolutions and saw the changes as violations of the Routt County master plan. She didn't mention that supportive input at one of the initial work sessions of the Planning Commission was a response to an email from herself to friends and supporters seeking backup for her ideas about secondary dwelling units.
At following work sessions and hearings before the Planning Commission, no one supporting the concept appeared, only folks opposed to the proposal spoke. A common refrain heard from planning commissioners was "where are the people who want these changes? They aren't here."
The county commissioners took it upon themselves to change regulations that were the product of serious community involvement in which stakeholders argued, negotiated, and yes, compromised to achieve a community vision for the future of Routt County.
That vision may be outdated, it may not be. The only way to adequately determine if the RCMP and RCZRs are outdated is to initiate a new community-based planning process in which community stakeholders engage each other, face-to-face in a facilitated process while vetting each paragraph of the RCMP and RCZRs.
If revisions are needed, do it then in a fully open and transparent process. Revisions shouldn't be done by governmental fiat.