Heeney plans for future growth
HEENEY – The community of Heeney forged ahead Tuesday in devising a plan for future growth in the small community, despite some early resistance from some of its residents.The county planning department is in the midst of updating the Lower Blue master plan and, along with that, the Heeney/Green Mountain subbasin plan, which hasn’t been updated since 1988.Heeney is a community of about 75 full-time residents that sits on Green Mountain Reservoir near the Grand County line.The idea of the subbasin plan is to address things such as how the community will grow in the future and the need for new infrastructure or capital improvements.A questionnaire handed out by the planning department at an August open house culled remarks such as “No changes whatsoever to the Heeney plan are needed,” “Leave the area alone,” and “Keep it peaceful, we don’t want more commercial recreation as it is adequate now.”At a second open house Tuesday evening at Heeney’s new fire station and community building, most of the approximately 20 people in attendance were open to learning about some of the options on the table.The first discussion revolved around expanding the planning boundary from the 1988 lines, which only include the developed area on County Road 30 between Waterview Homesites and Willow Hill Subdivision.The county suggested expanding that area to include the circumference of Green Mountain Reservoir, taking in about 20 more private properties.The benefit to a larger area would allow Heeney residents a stronger voice in growth and management issues around the reservoir, said long range planner John Roberts.After some discussion, all of the hands in the room raised in agreement for the extended area.”I think it’d be crazy not to have the plan encompass the entire reservoir,” said resident Jack Taylor. “If we have (the smaller map), we’ve got a bunch of other folks telling us what they want to see happen in our community.”The other big task Tuesday was to decide land-use designations for properties inside the new boundary lines.Heeney only utilizes three land-use designations – residential, commercial and community facility. Updating the plan allows residents to assign a myriad of the county’s 52 designations to properties inside the expanded boundary.Much of the conversation revolved around the marina area, which is situated on County Road 30 and offers boat access to the reservoir. One of the county’s proposed land-use maps suggested giving the current marina a recreational/public facility designation, which would allow for the addition of support and recreational facilities.George Langdon, a homeowner in Heeney for 37 years, said the marina began as a boat launch paid for by a group of locals and will never have the capacity to be a first-class operation.”You have every size of boat in the world coming through town and the streets are not designed for it,” Langdon said. “It’s nothing but a hazard. It ruins the integrity of the whole town.”Langdon suggested moving the marina to another area of the reservoir that could support a full-fledged facility.Other options are to leave the marina under the White River National Forest category, which is how it is currently recognized.An impromptu straw vote showed that about half the room disliked the current marina setup, while the other half was fine with it.The group decided to delay further discussion on the future of the marina until the next meeting.The goal is to adopt the subbasin plan in February.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 229, or at email@example.com
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