Summit County tightens natural naming policy |

Summit County tightens natural naming policy

BRECKENRIDGE – In an attempt to avoid naming features after individuals, Summit County commissioners approved a policy Tuesday setting criteria for the naming of open space and trails.

The policy allows land parcels to be named for people who made important financial or land contributions to the county for the purchase of open space.

Property can also be named for the county’s early or long-term settlers, developers of the land or people who are primarily responsible for protecting the parcel.

Basic criteria for naming country properties existed prior to Tuesday, but the policy clears up the rules and acknowledges that, generally, open space names should be inspired by geography, history, defining natural or geological features or common-use identifications and not people involved with the land parcel.

The county often fields requests to name natural features after individuals, and commissioners said there were simply too many people who could be honored through open space names.

“It really comes down to so many people doing amazing things,” County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “We have a lot of people doing (community service) kind of things that aren’t directly related to land that deserve recognition too.”

Under the policy, commissioners will consider smaller tributes, such as trees or benches, to honor individuals who have “contributed significantly to the open space effort.”

The guidelines direct that the bench or tribute item be put on or near the property the person helped to protect and the Open Space Advisory Council approve the placement.

The policy also requires the person requesting the memorial to pay for its installation and upkeep.

Commissioners said they wanted to receive requests for open space names first and reserved the right to make exceptions to the policy guidelines on naming.

“The request needs to start with the BOCC,” Commissioner Thomas Davidson said. “In the situation where somebody wants a parcel of land named after somebody the request needs to start with (the commissioners) and not the (open space council).”

Names for natural features have to be unique and, generally, should not be changed.

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