Letter: The character of our town is at stake
Picture No. 1: From the trunk of their sedan an older couple pulls out a walker, the best way to navigate the aisles of City Market. Sure there are fewer groceries now, but the baby food aisle has been replaced with stacks of Ensure, now in strawberry and chocolate.
Picture No. 2: The Crystal River is empty of water for many summer weeks, and levels in The Roaring Fork and Colorado River are dangerously low.
Picture No. 3: Starting at 3 p.m. traffic on Highway 82 is backed up from Walmart turn off all the way through town as workers make their way home. They disappear well West of here.
In response to the Post Independent article (“Housing needs vs. neighborhood concerns,” April 9) I could envision what our town will look like in a few years unless we make some serious plans for housing to encourage workers and young people to stay and thrive. The need for affordable housing comes in conflict with needs to maintain “the character of the neighborhood.” While understandable, this conflict is short-sighted. It is up to the county commissioners to confront the elephant in the living room of our critical shortage of affordable housing. Roaring Fork School District Re-1 deserves credit for building teacher housing in response to high teacher turn over stemming in part from a lack of affordable housing. But where do firemen, police, hospital workers and elderly live? The proposed tiny house development offers another smart approach to an increasingly grave worker housing shortage. But commissioners are in a bind, do they alienate all the naysayers, or do they address the affordable housing shortage head on? No matter how it falls, the character of our town, not just a neighborhood, is at stake. Picture # 2 could be seen last summer; Picture # 3 was clear yesterday; will Picture #1 be our tomorrow?
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