Gabriel Foundation should stay " with some soundproofing | AspenTimes.com

Gabriel Foundation should stay " with some soundproofing

It’s tempting to dismiss the complaints of the Gabriel Foundation’s neighbors as more whining NIMBYism ” until you’ve had your skull cleaved in two by the squawk of an equatorial parrot.

The Roaring Fork Valley is full of individuals who, after spending millions on their piece of Rocky Mountain splendor, feel that all life around them should cease (with the possible exception of passing elk). When we first heard about the uproar in Emma over the noisy residents of this parrot refuge, we drew quick conclusions based on the not-in-my-back-yard stereotype.

After sending a couple of reporters out to the site, we’re not so sure.

But first a word on the Foundation itself. The Gabriel Foundation is an organization with the laudable mission of caring for abandoned and injured creatures. Though most valley residents will never require a sanctuary for their tropical bird, the Foundation provides a truly unique service that has earned it widespread respect beyond our valley’s borders. It’s one of those organizations that makes this a vital and interesting place to live.

So while we empathize with the neighbors, most of whom predate the Foundation’s arrival in Emma, we also hope the Gabriel Foundation can stay.

The fact that a parrot sanctuary doesn’t conform to local government’s agricultural zone district is, if not irrelevant, just so much red tape. We’re also skeptical about one neighbor’s complaint that her property isn’t selling because of the squawking parrots.

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This is a situation in need of some neighborly common sense and good will. The Roaring Fork Planning Commission has already decided ” wisely ” to study noise levels in the neighborhood and postpone any decisions until May. We hope, in the end, that government officials will grant the Foundation a special-use permit to continue its work, and that the Foundation will take all reasonable, neighborly steps to reduce its ear-splitting impacts.

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