Letter to the editor: Senior housing does not rise to level of eminent domain
I read with interest the Summit Daily News article from Dec. 22 regarding the Summit Board of County Commissioners’ desire to remove a conservation easement on a piece of property (Fiester Preserve) that commissioners believe should be used for senior housing and/or adult assisted living. I struggle with this proposition because my understanding that the removal of a conservation easement by eminent domain requires the governing body to explain to the public the need for this condemnation and that the new use of the land in question will be for the public not a developer. The board of commissioners have not done this.
In my opinion, the “need” for senior housing and/or assisted living is an ill-considered and an inappropriate use of governmental support. As a 69-year-old who loves living here but sleeps with the aid of an oxygen concentrator, I believe that seniors self select when it is time to move to more habitable climes. As an aside, several years ago, I did an informal survey of my then 28 dental patients over the age of 75, and in a three-year period, 25 of them relocated to a less harsh environment.
In a community with much higher priorities — like workforce housing, affordable child care, livable wages, mental health and substance abuse issues — I don’t see the need for this rare precedent of an eminent domain condemnation of a conservation easement.
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