Input guiding 2030 | SteamboatToday.com

Input guiding 2030

Community group in midst of next project phase

Zach Fridell

Vision 2030’s plan is coming into focus.

Almost 100 residents were at Steamboat Springs High School on Monday night to participate in the next phase of a process that eventually will lead to a final recommendations report scheduled for release in March.

Vision 2030 is a local group dedicated, according to its Web site, to defining the future of the Yampa River Valley and updating the Vision 2020 Report from 1994. The hope is that Vision 2030’s work will help “guide future decisions.”

The group released an interim report in August that included input from 1,500 Routt County residents. Two major issues raised by participants was preserving community character and managing growth. In the current round of gatherings, organizers plan to zero in on more specific direction from the community in terms of accomplishing those two issues.

During Monday’s three-hour meeting, Vision 2030 leaders quizzed participants about a range of issues. The community members answered 58 questions using wireless touch pads, providing direct input to the organizers.

Among other things, those in attendance said they were willing to give money to support elder care, with more than 80 percent saying they would be willing to give $50 or more per year toward helping elderly residents of Routt County remain in their homes.

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Vision 2030 project manager Tammie Delaney said many of Monday’s answers were expected – a large number of the respondents supported things like a balance of growth and preservation of the county’s character – but several responses caught her a little by surprise.

“I’m continually encouraged by the support for special things, like elder care and youth care,” Delaney said.

Focus group chairman Jim Fulks said support for paying for community projects through taxes was unusually high, based on previous surveys.

“In other surveys we’ve done, this community has not been as upfront about saying that they are willing to put their money where their mouth is,” he said.

The group also was self-selected and older than average Steamboat Springs residents, so Fulks said the next step will be to use targeted surveys for all demographics in the community.

The attendees at Monday’s meeting, based on their responses tallied on the touch pads, tended to be between 50 and 70 years old and live in two-person households. Outdoor recreation plans ranked the highest among “community character” platform goals, with 58 percent of respondents listing it as one of the top three priorities. Master plan standards and the creation of a community report card followed.

In managing growth, the other major platform of 2030, the ability to live and work locally ranked highest, with 49 percent of the group ranking it as one of the top three priorities. Ensuring paced housing development and a pedestrian and bike-friendly town tied for second.

The results from this meeting, along with other responses from local groups and community gatherings, will be used to write the final community planning report.

Vision 2030’s community gatherings conclude with a meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight at South Routt Elementary School in Yampa, and one from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall in Hayden.

The full results from this latest round of community gatherings will be released after the Nov. 17 meeting.

– To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208

or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com