Save Mid Valley

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     “Smart Land Use Will Protect the Valley We Love”

The Roaring Fork Valley is a special place, which is why we live, work and play here.  Over-development, urban sprawl and traffic are concerns we all share.  Growth pressures are undeniably due to the beauty that surrounds us.  The Valley has some capacity to share its beauty, but growth has a price and must be smartly planned to protect the quality of life we love.

Save Mid Valley, is a group of concerned citizens who have created a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the landscapes and lifestyles that we all came to this Valley to enjoy.  Its mission is to ensure that land use decisions are done transparently, and with appropriate process and input from all of us.  This has not always been the case.

HISTORY  Last year, the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County went through a long process of consideration of a development application for the property that is called "The Tree Farm". That's the parcel of land across Highway 82 from Willits that contains the water ski lake. The application was for a massive development containing 135,000 square feet of commercial space plus 340 residences (mostly multifamily). If you're having difficulty picturing the size of that development, it is as much as has already been built in Willits. There can be no question but that a development of this size will have a major impact on the lives of all of us who are already living in the Mid Valley and the entire region. Traffic alone, which is close to gridlock at certain times of the day at the existing Mid Valley intersections, will be severely challenged.

The Roaring Fork Regional Planning Commission, made up of residents of our community appointed by the County Commissioners to review these local land use applications, recommended unanimously to the Board of County Commissioners to reject this application.  The BOCC disregarded the RFRPC recommendation, approving the application as submitted. This means that if nothing is done, the landowner is free to submit final plans and documentation and move forward with the development.

ACTION AND GOAL  Our concern is that the voice of Mid Valley citizens was ignored and over-ruled by officials who do not live here, and that the process was flawed. Our only alternative as a community at this point was to file an appeal in the Courts, challenging the BOCC on the basis of a flawed process for its approval of the Tree Farm.  Save Mid Valley has begun the legal work to over turn the approval decision on a pro bono basis, however there are upcoming hard costs that require cash.  We want this important land use decision reviewed again…. only this time in compliance with all the rules. 

WHY FUNDING IS NEEDED  The appeal has been filed and is proceeding through the Courts.   We have been provided with pro bono legal counsel to carry our case through the Courts, but there are still a number of hurdles that have to be crossed, including financial hurdles. The appeal we filed must be based upon the Court's review of the public record that was amassed in the hearings before the BOCC. Since we are the appealing party, it is our obligation to pay the court reporters the cost of transcribing the audiotapes of those BOCC hearings for the Court to review. The County has estimated that the cost of that transcription will be in the neighborhood of $5000.00.  Those transcripts should be completed by about the middle of March, 2018, at which time we will be required to pay the cost.  It is imperative to our case that we raise sufficient funds to pay those transcription costs.

Please help us by donating to Save Mid Valley on the link.  Protection of transparent and appropriate process will yield smart land use decisions, but unfortunately these protections aren’t free--Together we can protect the Valley we love.



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Jacque Carpenter Whitsitt
Basalt, CO

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