Ben Beall: Another vision to consider
There is another vision that needs consideration in regards to the county commissioners’ approval of countywide secondary units in rural Routt County.
First, I worked on trying to bring affordable housing to our community for eight years as county commissioner and recently served on the entry level housing work group of the Community Housing Initiative.
Secondary dwelling units built miles away from services or urban centers do not fit any definition of affordable housing. As a contractor for over 25 years, the costs of building detached units, as approved, with foundations, wells and septic systems will not be affordable for our service working families.
The Board of County Commissioners has been unwilling to work with the city of Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Stagecoach or Oak Creek to subsidize affordable housing. Instead of announcing that they have done something for affordable housing, the commissioners should step up to the table and work with the other elected officials to find a solution to affordable housing.
A glaring fault in Commissioner Hermacinski’s letter and the Pilot/Today editorial is the condemnation of the Routt County Planning Commission for protecting the long-standing vision of the citizens of Routt County. Routt County was farsighted, starting over 20 years ago, to create a vision that has set the importance of open lands and our agricultural heritage as cornerstones of Routt County’s land use policy.
This vision is not only the cornerstone for the preservation of our rural lands but also of our quality of life — the “why” we live here and the “why” our tourism economy thrives.
If the commissioners think this vision is so outdated, they should have been able to convince the planning commissioners, representatives of the citizens of Routt County, that there is a need to update the master plan. When this happens, I will volunteer to help in any way possible to update the Routt County land use vision for directing development to the designated growth centers and protecting our rural lands.
Former Routt County commissioner
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