Keep the Pronghorn roaming freely in our neighborhood
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PLANNING & ZONING STATEMENT: “Planning Staff work closely with other county departments, including Road and Bridge, Building Safety, and Environmental Health, to assist landowners in using their property, and to enforce the adopted Land Use Regulations to protect surrounding property owners from incompatible land uses.”
Residents living on or near County Road 190 West chose to move to this location for its rural peace and beauty, away from the commercial activities of the City of Salida. We are unified in our opposition to this proposal for the following reasons:
To avoid a change in zoning, the applicant has proposed an eco-friendly, benevolent land use called “agritourism,” whereas in practice, the applicant will develop a commercial campground and high-density cabin rental operation on land poorly suited for agriculture. This application violates the stated mission of the Planning and Zoning Commission “to protect surrounding property owners from incompatible land uses”.
A commercial campground and rental cabins, and rafting & outfitter post is an “out of character change: to existing land use along Country Road 190.
Proposed activities will dramatically increase traffic along Country Road 190; a quiet, half-paved, half-dirt road in poor condition with a notorious “blind hill” traffic hazard.
Increased traffic will accelerate the rate of road deterioration and will create a risk to pedestrians, pets, cyclists and wildlife.
To avoid expected congestion at the intersection of CR190W and Highwa 291, or by following online navigation services, some of the traffic leaving the property will elect to drive down private roads through the Las Colinas sub-division as a short cut, affecting private roads paid for and maintained by the Las Colinas Property Owners Association.
The water needed for proposed activities will further stress the local aquifer through increased pumping, lowering the water table and increasing the potential for nearby wells to be pumped dry.
Planned camp fires will increase the wildfire risk and simultaneously deteriorate the air quality around nearby homes.
Activities at the site will inevitably increase noise and light pollution.
There exists the potential for the land to be resold to a larger corporate campground in the future (e.g., KOA, Jellystone).
The broader community of Chaffee County is equally opposed to this development for the following reasons:
This development will set a precedent that rural land along the Arkansas River in Chaffee County may be developed into commercial applications, like campgrounds and rental cabins, with no limit having been established on the maximum number of such enterprises which the river corridor can sustain before the character of the county is irreversibly impaired.
Owing to an undersized wastewater system relative to projected wastewater production, activities are likely to deteriorate the water quality of the Arkansas River especially during peak season (low flow conditions).
Fish populations will likely drop due to the degradation of water quality and the disturbance of the riparian zone.
The development will remove a critical habitat for pronghorn sheep (antelope).
The development will degrade the viewshed along the Scenic Byway
This will be the first commercial land use along the Arkansas River between Fisherman’s Bridge and Big Bend; unfettered commercial growth along this section of the river will forever change the experience of boaters and anglers.
The County’s 1040 review found “no impacts,” but concerns raised by Colorado Parks and Wildlife were not explicitly addressed. A rigorous annual 1041 review would absolutely not be enough to alleviate the community’s concerns. .
Additional expenses required to maintain County Road 190 W will be the responsibility of county tax payers and not the creator of the additional expenses, Aspire Tours.
As a landowner and/or resident of Chaffee County, we urge the Planning Commission to reject the proposed land use change.