Letter: Stop pushing for financial gain as the principal motivation of confluence’s development
There needs to be a public vote on what the City wants to do with the publicly-owned land at the confluence of the Colorado and the Roaring Fork rivers. This is borne out by the proliferation of letters to the editor from residents questioning the current efforts and misguided requests for proposals from private developers. This is not a zero-sum game; however, the community stands to lose if it waits much longer to express its feelings on the proposed commercialization of this area.
The confluence is far too constrained to be a dense urbanized place. There is a better opportunity for mixed-use commercial, housing and transit hubs on the north side of the Colorado River. The confluence can support some additional housing adjoining the historic downtown core. The rail corridor needs to be protected and extended west and across the river to a future transit hub next to I-70 in the West Glenwood Urban Renewal project area.
The confluence needs to be protected from tail pipes belching CO2 today and too many electric cars and maybe driverless cars and trucks in the future. Today its preservation is in jeopardy by current efforts to engage a “Master Developer.” The current situation is the standard review-and-comment approach by the City that has created distrust, frustration, and mistakes. More of the same is on the horizon if we don’t pay attention. What is needed is a “less is more” approach to reclaiming the area more respectful of its location and to climate change, preservation of the residential character of the neighborhood, schools with a park and the nearby open space with more trees the primary goal. Do you want the confluence land area to be consumed by private development?
The public participation to foster good public/ private partnership is lacking. It is an absurd calculation to rely on private development to solve our problems. The slogan “Take a Minute” as it applies to the City’s planning efforts for the confluence means slow down and stop pushing for financial gain as the principal motivation of its development.
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