Consult the master plan
Dear Editor:Basalt’s Town Council is considering a proposal by the Roaring Fork Club to add nine holes of golf and dozens of high-end homes on current agricultural land – land comprising one of three remaining ranches that surround Basalt. This decision will test whether our elected officials represent the will of its citizens and uphold what’s articulated in the Basalt Master Plan.Basalt’s master plan embodies the community’s vision for future development. In its own words, this plan “reflects a final product of a process that involved numerous debates regarding issues of growth, housing affordability, development impacts, community balance (jobs vs. residence), recreation and environmental protection, and social capital.” A central element of this plan is delineating an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) beyond which the town will not consider development. Again, to quote our plan, “the first component of the town’s strategy for future land use is that unless a property is specifically identified with a future land use designation on the Future Land Use Map, the long-term use of that property is the existing use.” Much of the Roaring Fork Club’s proposed development takes place on agricultural land outside of the UGB. Therefore, before considering the proposal’s details, the Town Council must first ask whether it is within the Urban Growth Boundary. Clearly, the answer is no.Regrettably, most of the public input and council member comment at Tuesday evening’s Town Council meeting focused nearly entirely on details of the plan or its generic benefits without first addressing this underlying issue of appropriateness as measured by the master plan. The current Roaring Fork Club expansion plan may have some merit, but it is fundamentally out of alignment with our community’s vision. Therefore, the Town Council should deny this proposal and thus maintain the integrity of the master plan.David CramerBasalt
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