Omar M. Campbell: Public vote on TDR?
April 4, 2010
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