Open space vs. community need |

Open space vs. community need

Mike Blair

Dear Editor:”Building ghost towns with million dollar views” by Auden Schendler (Aspen Times Weekly, March 5) stated very well some other aspects to tying up land around communities (or elsewhere) just for the sake of open space; I add here some other applicable observations.It Is not demonstrated that a great majority of the population wants just any lands tied up for no other use. Relatively small interest groups curtail needed expansion opportunities for communities. The open spaces obtained are not necessarily in relation to a community land-use or comprehensive plan. Large open spaces cause growth of communities to leap frog (sprawl!) over, and inefficient expansion of public services. Ranch lands-open spaces, too, often become mismanaged wastelands (à la Boulder).Establishment of large open-space lands in constrained areas causes extraordinary increase in price of land and rents. There becomes less room for such things as affordable housing. Acquisition of open-space land need not lock out all uses; some development of acquired land could/should be used for work-force affordable housing, or such public use as fire stations, schools, recreation facilities, etc.Acquisitions of open-space lands cannot stop growth as is intended, but it will make it more expensive for real people to live here. It could be well justified to require these open-space acquisition groups to help offset the increased costs of, and their limiting of, land for otherwise real needed uses in the communities.Mike BlairGlenwood Springs

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