Keep OURay Alpine Wild

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Dear Supporter of Keep OURay Alpine Wild,

Thank you for signing onto the Citizen’s Letter in support of smart alpine building regulations in the Alpine Zone in Ouray County. The Ouray County Planning Commission has completed a draft proposal for such regulations and now moves to a public hearing on Tuesday July 19 7:00pm at the 4-H Center. This hearing will determine the proposed regulations that will be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The BOCC will then schedule their own public hearing (probably in August) when a final decision will be made.

It is crucial that supporters of high country protection come to both hearings prepared to testify in support of strong regulations. Your testimony need not be extremely detailed, just heartfelt in opposing high density residential development in our county’s incredible high country. Mining claim owners who want to build residences in the high alpine country will likely show up in numbers and be quite vociferous. We need to match their numbers and energy. Don’t assume that your presence doesn’t matter – it’s ESSENTIAL!.

Here are a couple of key points that you may want to touch upon in your testimony:

  • Any development in the alpine tundra ecosystem is unacceptable both visually and ecologically.
  • Tourism is the cornerstone of our economy and the high country is the unique asset that brings tourists to our county. Marring our alpine vistas with significant development would jeopardize that tourist draw, especially since our neighboring counties have enacted strong regulations.
  • In some areas, the proposed 5 acre minimum parcel size could result in the kind of density present in Log Hill Village but with less tree cover. Perhaps we should be advocating for a larger minimum (maybe 10+ acres).
  • Pay close attention to the square footage allowance and the bonus allowances and decide how you feel about those numbers. (24.3 D2 & D3 in the proposed regs)

You can read the entire Planning Commission’s Draft – Clean Version of Section 24 proposal by clicking here. (Scroll through to about page 16 or 17.) Here are some highlights that are included in the Planning Commission’s draft proposal to the BOCC:

  • No residential building in the delicate tundra ecosystem.
  • Minimum parcel size is 5 acres above 9500ft.
  • Maximum height of 25 ft.
  • Maximum residence size is 1000 sq ft with the possibility of increasing the size up to 2500ft by meeting certain criteria. ie: An additional 500 square feet of floor area may be allowed for each development right retired in perpetuity on a contiguous developable(5 acres or more) parcel(s) in the High Alpine Area.
  • There is no guarantee of public services, emergency services or any county services to these isolated areas.
  • No accessory dwelling units are allowed.
  • Mining is a use by right and will be preserved with this proposal.
  • Restates that access to existing public trails must not be obstructed.
  • The PC proposal is as stringent as San Juan County and San Miguel regulations.

Thank you for your support and time,

Roze Evans on behalf of the Keep OURay Alpine Wild campaign

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