Letter to the editor: County is set on extinguishing open space at all costs

Angela Poon

Forever is a long time, and some say it doesn’t exist. If forever doesn’t exist, why does the county use it? True, a marriage doesn’t last until the end of time, but it can last as long as the two parties involved still exist. Easily longer than 22 years.

Bill’s Ranch has seen change. Many people built their homes when it was surrounded by national forest. When the land trade was made and development of the County Commons began in this forest, the Fiester Preserve was created as a buffer between the County Commons and Bill’s Ranch. Scott Vargo tells this to the Summit Daily News. The value of this buffer still exists. With the County Commons constantly expanding, the need to conserve it is higher than ever.

Yes, there could be a land swap, but since we’ve now been told that perpetuity doesn’t exist, that land would only be undeveloped until they decide to develop it. And with housing on part of the preserve, they would argue that it’s even less valuable as conservation.

I’m concerned that there’s a threat to use eminent domain on a piece of open space (open space that the voters voted for, and now their tax dollars will be used to fight both sides to extinguish it) when other options exist. There’s a great piece of land between the hospital and library, remodel the current senior center to include housing (brilliant idea since there’s a remodel planned), the old Silverthorne elementary, and what about the 45 acres the county purchased for almost $2 million along the Dam Road specifically for housing? Why has no mention been made of this? Other options exist, but the county is set on extinguishing open space at all costs, against the wishes of voters, and refuses to consider them.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.