As residents south of Pagosa Springs on the Upper Blanco Basin Road, my wife and I moved here to get away from pollution, noise, crime, traffic and other unpleasant, dangerous aspects of urban living. We enjoy the quiet, wildlife and living with nature.
A group of developers bought the Square Top Ranch above us to develop it, a move that eventually would destroy the pristine beauty of the Upper Blanco. Basically outsiders with no deep appreciation for the area or knowledge of living in snow country in harmony with nature, they simply are motivated by money.
Their firm, RPI Consulting, held a meeting in May 2007 with the Archuleta County Planning Commission to try to pass a plan to build 325 homes on the ranch. One of the largest turnouts in the history of the commission attended. They were sent back to the drawing board in spite of dangling the carrot of all the money theyd infuse into the community.
A new meeting is scheduled for March 30 to propose a revised plan for 225 homes, still in opposition to the County Master Plan. They sent a letter to local builders and contractors to come support them, asking for only friendly people to attend. Residents of the Upper Blanco were not invited. The consulting firms paper The Economic Effects & Public Sector Cost-Benefit Study shows so-called positive reasons to go ahead with the plan. No detrimental effects are addressed.
Besides water issues, which are of paramount concern, what about the effects of a large septic system needed to accommodate these homes? Of traffic and noise during construction and afterward? On wildlife migration? On the many hunters whose favorite spot is near that ranch and who spend a tremendous amount of money locally?
Developers need to stick to the truth instead of twisting things to suit their greed. There are far too few places left on this planet where mans footprint hasnt ruined things forever.
I would hope a little bit of sanity will prevail and that this project once again is sent back to the drawing board.
Richard Wooldridge, Pagosa Springs