Monday letters: Ascendigo, Hershey
Development option worse
(This letter was originally addressed to the Garfield County commissioners.)
Ascendigo Autism services is proposing to develop a property on Missouri Heights for a permanent program and housing facility. That property is a beautiful and desirable location and is destined for development. As it is platted now, it will have more square feet in single-family homes, leading to traffic equal or greater than this facility might create.
Outdoor lighting from residential development is sure to exceed Ascendigo’s proposed lighting. Ascendigo’s proposal is the best option for that property.
The buildings will be energy efficient, going beyond required codes, and the project will be an environmentally exemplary development, because they have already committed to working toward net-zero buildings.
Another positive aspect is that those buildings will be grouped together, leaving a large portion of the land undeveloped to continue to keep open space for wildlife. The proposed small pond should be attractive and beneficial to birds and other animals.
This project will also be an example for other facilities that may be developed around the region, state or country that will offer programs and life-development skills to people with autism. Ascendigo is one of the leading programs in the country, and this is another step in continuous innovation for which the organization is known.
I encourage support for Ascendigo’s proposal to develop this property for those reasons.
If not there, where?
Interesting opinion that Karen Moculeski, president of Keep Missouri Heights Rural, submitted in response to Andrea Chacos’ column. Karen’s concern for autistic recreation is commendable; however, there are no positive suggestions for alternative sites. It’s all defensive, and here too, no alternatives, no hard facts.
If weighed side by side according to the 2030 master plan, how would Ascendigo Ranch compare to the developed use of the land as low-density housing? If the collective impact would exceed Ascendigo’s, it could, by her definitions, preclude proposed future build-out.
Unfortunately, her concerns don’t seem sincere because they’re one-sided. Sure, wildfires, winding roads can be considered, but water cannot be made readily available if it’s not on-site. It begs the question if water would be available to future housing.
The bottom line, if people are not receptive, facts don’t matter. This is the issue that looms the largest. Sound familiar?
A few things occurred to me while reading Tony Hershey’s “counterpoint” in the May 12 edition.
I understand that spending money on a community survey seems frivolous to Mr. Hershey, but to those of us not gifted with omniscience, it seems like the most objective way to determine the citizens’ priorities.
If fixing potholes and basic infrastructure are Mr. Hershey’s top priorities, I don’t understand why he voted in favor of spending $6 million on a tunnel to preserve a runway used by only a handful of Glenwood Springs residents, while at the same time he voted against the entire 2021 streets maintenance budget.
Mr. Hershey says he’s very much against frivolous “beautification” projects, yet, as I recall, he voted in favor of spending $800,000 to landscape the new exit 116 roundabout. I, for one, would be curious to know whether this was a higher priority to Glenwood Springs residents than funding the Parks Department or keeping the Rec Center open, both of which Mr. Hershey has opposed.
I would be interested in hearing Mr. Hershey’s explanation for how the votes he’s taken fit into his stated priorities.
Personally, I’m experiencing some cognitive dissonance trying to make sense of them.
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