Let’s discourage endless retail
December 19, 2005
I would like to congratulate the Frisco Town Council on their decision to put Home Depot up to a vote. While a majority of the council members clearly were in favor of the Big Box, they were gracious enough to let the residents of Frisco make that decision.However, many more residents of Summit County would have been affected by that development than just the approximately 2000 eligible voters in Frisco. I strongly encourage the Frisco Town Council, as well as the other town councils and Board of County Commissioners, to take advantage of this moment in time to pursue revenue structures which will discourage, rather than encourage, endless retail development in Summit County.This can be accomplished by establishing some sort of revenue sharing among the municipalities. It can be accomplished by incorporating the city and county. It can be accomplished by emphasizing revenue sources other than sales tax. And, it can be done while maintaining the unique character of each of the towns.Yes, I know that the voters of Silverthorne rejected a property tax a few years ago, which prompted the Silverthorne Town Council to seek out Target as a revenue source. And perhaps having a competitor to Wal-Mart is not a bad thing.However, the various towns in Summit County do not live in a vacuum. Approximately 60 percent of the residents of Summit County don’t even live within the boundaries of any town. Furthermore, many residents live in one town and work in another.Everyone wants a healthy economy and adequate government services. But I would bet that most of us also cherish the privilege of living in a community that is relatively free of sprawl, traffic jams and the other ills of urban life.It will take courage and vision on the part of our elected officials to start moving in this direction. I can think of no better time to start than in the wake of the divisive Home Depot election.