Zoning designed to create balance | SummitDaily.com

Zoning designed to create balance

Bonnie Brown, Silverthorne

Silverthorne residents will vote Dec. 9 whether to rezone the Smith Ranch property from the current agricultural zoning to commercial.

A variety of zoning exists to create balance in a community so we do not feel like we are living in one continuous commercial corridor.

Granted the proposed strip mall would only take 11 acres. But developing that front parcel acreage means people passing by will lose all the viewing benefits of the remaining land.

Like much of the ranchland and undeveloped land around the state, this privately owned agricultural land provides natural beauty and breathing space in between our homes and business areas. Travelers on Highway 9 have enjoyed this meadow for decades and, if it remains zoned agricultural, would continue to marvel at the view.

When the Seminole Land Holding Co. purchased the land with its agricultural zoning status, it gambled that the property would be rezoned and generate a larger profit.

The landowners do have the right to develop the ranch according to the guidelines of agricultural zoning, one homesite on 20 acres.

With agricultural zoning development, we would escape shopping center lights, semi-trucks making deliveries, an additional stop light and increased traffic congestion and noise.

Pathways for the elk and grazing area for the horses would remain. The fox, raccoons, porcupines, skunks, and beavers would not be forced to evacuate.

Unlike Target, Safeway has made no application to the town. Rather Denver developer Brad Kornfield proposes a “shopping center” with a 58,000-square-foot grocery store, possibly Safeway, 18,000 square feet of attached retail, and 18,000 square feet of individual stores.

Safeway may lease the space from Kornfield. If Kornfield-Kozlosky Properties sound familiar, it developed Summit Place Shopping Center, which now has many vacancies. Do we truly want history to repeat itself at the other end of town?

Before we pave another piece of land to increase town revenues, the town needs to work at filling the vacancies within the business district. Vote no to rezoning Dec. 9.

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