Appreciative of Grace Church
We have been watching the recent flurry of articles and letters regarding the recent approval (finally) of the Grace Church development application by the Pitkin County commissioners. Now for a bit of a history lesson for all.
Several years ago, we wanted to put up three houses on our land, one in each corner by the home supply ditch and one near the divide welding lot close to Sopris Creek. This would have made it possible for each of our children to have their own home in the community where they had grown up. Each house would have used about three-quarters of an acre and the remaining acreage would have been forever preserved as open space.
Originally, we were told by county officials that once the long term lease was approved for the downvalley facility for the Road and Bridge Department, used only on the corner of our property at Emma Road and Sopris Creek Road, they (the county) would make sure that we were able to do the additional subdivision. After the lease was approved, we attempted to contact the same county officials but all we could ever get out of them was “Oh, that parcel is AF10 zoning, which means that you can only have one house per 10 acres and since there are only 18 acres there you can only have the one house that currently exists.” Later, we were told by other officials that they would let us subdivide the parcel into four lots as long as we placed those additional lots into the employee housing lottery system and our children were of course welcome to enter the lottery but would stand the same chance as any other employee in the county of getting one of those units. This would have defeated our whole purpose of establishing the lots in the first place.
After discussing this situation among our family members, we made the very difficult decision to list our property for sale and begin the process of moving from the home that our children had grown up in and where we had fully intended to live out our final years. At the time we sold to Grace Church, there were two offers on the table. One was from the church and the other was from an entity that wished to put in a project that would have been automatically allowed under the existing land use code but would have greatly increased the DAILY traffic on Emma Road.
We chose the church because of the lower impact that would result to the community even though it was allowed only through special use review. Also, we were very impressed with all the work that Grace Church already had put in to make as low an impact as possible on the community. They even went as far as to design the church itself to be similar to the original barn that sat on the property when we purchased it in 1962.
As it stands now, we thank God every day that He brought Grace Church to us and hope to see the final result standing tall in the Emma Community in the very near future.
John and Elizabeth Gredig
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