Participants have lit up Georgetown
We would like to send a shout out to all the folks and businesses that participated in the Georgetown Holiday Decorating Contest this year! Thank you! We are especially appreciative of the following Georgetown businesses and citizens who made the Holiday Decorating Contest so successful in 2010. Many, many thanks to the following folks: Dragonfly Glassworks, Buckskin Trading Co., Raven Hill Mining Co. Restaurant, Ed’s 1859 Café, Georgetown Loop Railroad, The Georgetown Rock Shop and Carol Curran, who generated these wonderful prizes for our winners.
With many winners and honorable mentions lighting up Georgetown, we are ready for this holiday season. Thank you for your participation and happy holidays.
Georgetown Parks &
Thanks for support, help
Friends of Charlie’s Place would like to thank everyone for supporting our chestnut roast at the Christmas Market in Georgetown. This fun fund-raiser helped us raise about $1,500 for our medical fund for the animals at Charlie’s Place, the Clear Creek/Gilpin County shelter. Our wonderful volunteers were there for two weekends in the cold selling chestnuts and getting in the holiday spirit.
Thanks, also, to those of you who helped us raise $250 at the Idaho Springs Christmas Mart and to the volunteers who staffed that booth. Thanks to our community of supporters for all of your assistance in 2010.
With your support, not one shelter animal has had to go without needed medical support. We wish you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful new year.
Friends of Charlie’s Place
Growth planning should
be done the rural way
Pandora’s box was recently reopened with Jerry Fabyanic’s article “The war between growth and preservation” and with his radio show hosting the Clear Creek Economic Development Corp., speaking on the county’s economic decline.
I have been reading the book “Rural Environmental Planning for Sustainable Communities” by Frederic O. Sergant, and it covers many of the problems our county is now experiencing. I realize that knowledge doesn’t just come from books, but it is a way to get the basics down.
Several things I have learned is there is a big fat difference between rural environmental planning and urban-city planning. In urban planning, it assumes growth is inescapable and increasing the tax base is the No. 1 goal.
In urban planning, it is the municipal bodies and planners that set the public goals, but interestingly it is the citizens who are asked to take the lead in determining public goals in rural areas.
Unlike urban models that concentrate on projections of population, job growth and housing needs, rural planning also identifies lands for natural resource uses, environmental conservation, historic preservation and recreational uses.
In urban planning, whatever is left after all needs are identified is then set aside for open space. In rural planning, it is done exactly the opposite.
First, lands to support recreation, wildlife, soil and water conservation, and natural area ridgelines, wetlands, floodplains and riparian areas are identified.
Land left over is then used for residential, commercial and industrial development. Instead of draining and filling a marsh or wetland for a commercial site, for example, it is protected and is kept as a flood plain and wildlife corridor.
Attracting industries to local areas was once thought of as a way to bring income to the municipalities. However, with new industry comes the need for new infrastructure in which the majority of costs go directly to the local taxpayers.
The Budweiser plant in Fort Collins is a prime example of this. The city thought it would give locals the jobs. Instead, not only did they have to build the infrastructure to support the plant and new homes for the employees, but the plant brought in people from out of state to fill those jobs.
If you review the recent county citizen survey that was done, it stated citizens, “strongly favored protection of the air, water, natural habitats, open lands and overall scenic beauty in the county at the same time protecting the small town character.”
They were mindful that sustainable mountain life requires functional infrastructure and adequate funding. They stated, “New development must not disrupt the qualities of life that attracted them here: the environment, rural character, and recreation. Not only should new development avoid harming the natural environment, but it must be fiscally sustainable and provide adequate roadways, water and waste water treatment systems.”
A majority of citizens indicated that they would prefer open space to protect lands otherwise developed for commercial or residential in areas such as Floyd Hill, Empire, Dumont, Bakersville, Lawson and Downieville.
As far as growth goes, residents felt that population growth was about right but do want more job and retail growth. In unincorporated areas, population growth was too fast. For future growth desires, citizens wanted job and retail growth, but they wanted the population growth to remain the same.
It sounds to me that we do know what our goals are, and we aren’t that far off from how rural planning should be executed. The citizens should be spearheading the topic, not outsiders or officials who have their own agendas.
I wonder if anyone knows that one of the spokesmen for the CCEDC doesn’t even reside in our county. He owns property in the county, and he has been pushing for development in the Floyd Hill area for years. We must be careful who we allow to influence our opinions on this issue.
I see many possibilities for our county, but we have the difficult task of building the economy one job at a time as opposed to how we have in the past.
But in the long run it will be more sustainable.
Thanks for well wishes
There is no place like home. Thank you to those who wished me well while I was in San Diego. It’s great to be home. Thank you.
Louise L. Cannady