Just say no to Ascendigo proposal | AspenTimes.com

Just say no to Ascendigo proposal

Ascendigo is a well-respected nonprofit organization in the Roaring Fork Valley. The autistic children they provide services for, and their selfless staff deserve a place to call home.

Unfortunately, their vision for Ascendigo Ranch in Missouri Heights is simply not compatible with the current zoning regulations and the limited natural resources in the area. For most people, their investment in their home is among the largest that they will make and, therefore, knowing with a high degree of certainty what types of land uses could be imposed in their neighborhood is critical to sound decision-making.

A requirement for compatibility of land use assures landowners that the risk of adverse effects due to future development is minimal. Requiring compatibility is a way to offer predictability to landowners about the future land development in their neighborhood.

Ascendigo Ranch has filed a 700-plus page, convoluted, “limited impact” review application with Garfield County, which can be found in its entirety on the county planning department’s website. According to the exhibits filed with this application, their idea of “limited impact” includes almost 50,000 square feet of new structure, including a 14,000-square-foot, 50-foot high activity center. Their peak months of operation will consist of more than 100 people daily, on site. There will be numerous vehicles coming and going throughout the day, at least tripling the local traffic volume. Plans also include almost 100 parking spaces. The camp will have multiple daily deliveries, camper day trips, etc.

Also proposed is a 1- to 2-acre pond for aquatic activities. They also have committed to offering year-round programming and have reserved the right to offer the property to outside organizations for other uses as they see fit.

This type of heavy commercial use is not compatible with the rural residential zoning of Missouri Heights, as outlined in Garfield County’s growth plan. Ascendigo is an admirable organization, but we must say no to Ascendigo in Missouri Heights.

Kirk Hartley