I became especially concerned with the dramatic increase in mining when I heard a visitor say, “It looks like a cancer that is spreading.”
I didn’t like hearing that about my community. I thought surely the Strategic Master Plan for Park County, updated in 2016, has a better vision for us.
Indeed, it is a well researched document 116 pages long. A great deal of time and money was spent getting input from citizens, businesses and organizations in the county.
Here are some highlights. It is repeated throughout the document that the main reasons residents live in Park County are its scenic quality, rural character, natural beauty and maintaining these attributes is a priority.
Goal number four states, “Ensuring future development fits with the surroundings and does not impact scenic corridors, is one of the best ways to protect the natural beauty and scenic quality of the county.”
Goal 4.1, Strategy C states the need to mitigate the visual impact of future development and avoid impacts on streams and riparian environments.
Goal number five quotes, “The Land and Water Trust Fund have started to focus more attention and resources towards corridor restoration and water quality.”
Goal 5.3, Strategy C was to inventory how the water quality in our county has been affected by mining operations. (I am still waiting for a response from the county commissioners to find out if this has been done.)
Goal number seven refers to supporting a healthy economy and ensuring a sustainable future while still maintaining the integrity and rural nature of Park County.
So, when mining company High Speed Aggregate, Inc. wanted to rezone approximately 28 acres of zoned residential (mainly forested, off of Colorado Highway 9 and the Middle Fork of the South Platte River), I thought surely the board of county commissioners will state that this is not in compliance with our vision. Surely.