Visualizing Routt County’s future | SteamboatToday.com

Visualizing Routt County’s future

Vision 2030 meetings to clarify goals, priorities for next 20 years

Margaret Hair

Preserving community character and managing the impacts of growth have been two of the areas the Vision 2030 group has been focusing on. In a series of meetings this month, Vision 2030 will clarify its goals and priorities for the next 20 years. For more, see story on page 12.

— After a year of collecting ideas from Routt County residents about how they would like to see the area develop in the next two decades, Vision 2030 is starting to hone in on a plan.

In a series of meetings at locations throughout the county in November, those working on the project will present pointed questions about what citizens want and what they are willing to give in order to get it, said Kathy Stokes, Vision 2030 co-chair.

“Our earlier meetings last year were trying to solicit people’s thoughts and ideas,” Stokes said. “Now we’re basically going back to people and saying, ‘This is what we heard you say, and based on that, we have questions.'”

Preserving community character and managing growth came forward as two major issues in Vision 2030’s interim report, issued in August. In November’s meetings, project organizers hope to take those values and pick out specific issues to be addressed as the group works toward its mission of using a collaborative citizens’ effort to help the future of the Yampa Valley and update 1994’s Vision 2020 Report of Recommendations.

“A lot of the questions are, in what ways would you like to see our community character maintained, and in what ways would you like to see growth managed so it does retain our community character,” Stokes said. Citizens will vote anonymously on those questions by keypad at the meetings, which also will include computer-generated 3-D mockups of different scenarios of development.

Stokes said Vision 2030 organizers hope to come away from the meetings with “a very clear understanding of the steps that people would like to see taken to preserve community character and manage growth” as the project moves toward writing a recommendations report, due out in spring 2009.

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Tammie Delaney, project manager for Vision 2030, said 1,500 Routt County residents contributed to the project’s first round of community meetings and focus groups. She hopes similarly high participation in the next round of meetings will help Vision 2030 put those citizens’ comments into action. That might mean asking some tough questions and looking for clearly defined answers, she said.

“That’s a huge difference between what might be nice and what needs to be followed, and we’re asking how much flexibility there should be,” Delaney said, explaining sacrifices might have to be made to preserve the Western heritage and small-town feel so highly valued in previous Vision 2030 research.

“It’s all nice until you realize it sometimes hurts. So we want to see, what is the willingness to get there?” Delaney said. After clarifying what is valued most in the November meetings, Vision 2030 will release a list of recommendations in March 2009, outlining desired outcomes and how to get to them.

“The whole premise is, how do we set ourselves up so that no matter what, in the next 20 years we have strong enough communities that we can really withstand anything,” Delaney said. “So that, boom or bust, we can keep those things that are really important to us.”

– To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail mhair@steamboatpilot.com.

If you go

What: Vision 2030 November meetings

When: 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday (North Routt), Nov. 10 (Steamboat Springs), Nov. 11 (South Routt), and Nov. 17 (West Routt)

Where: Moonhill Schoolhouse (Nov. 6), Steamboat Springs High School (Nov. 10), South Routt Elementary School (Nov. 11) and Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall (Nov. 17)

For more information: Call Tammie Delaney at 846-1404. Find Vision 2030’s interim report, a collection of the project’s research and findings from the past year, at http://vision2030…