Non-natural materials look good and promote fire safety |

Non-natural materials look good and promote fire safety

I am a condominium owner in Breckenridge and a resident of Morrison. Recently, I have been exposed to the ways of Breckenridge when it relates to remodeling and renovations of buildings within the town. I have to say that the planning commission is doing a fantastic job of keeping the look and history of our town alive and well. That is what draws people to this great place and it seems to only get better over time.In looking at past decisions of the commission, I think it may be a time to rethink and possibly change some of the rules. I would suggest that the commission not look so negatively at the use of “non-natural” building materials. There are many great manmade products out there that have the look and texture of the natural materials that they replace. They last much longer and require much less maintenance than the natural materials that they replace. This means several things. The structures that use these products will look better much longer. They will not require the frequent painting and staining that the natural materials require which exposes our community to the hazardous materials used during repainting and restaining.They are a good choice for the environment since some of these materials are made of or include a portion of post-consumer waste. Another important factor is the excellent fire rating of these products. As a structure and wildland firefighter, I have seen the results of fire when natural versus non-natural materials are used. Natural materials burn like the forest from which they came. If you look around Breckenridge and Summit County as a whole, you will notice that our forest is thick and dying. The county is making great efforts to mitigate the fire danger, but in reality, fires are inevitable. With this in mind I think it would be wise to give the town’s structures a fighting chance. Allowing the use of non-natural materials could mean the difference between repairing and completely starting over after a fire. This could mean a lot to the look and history of our town.

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