Valid reasons to reject Ascendigo proposal
The Ascendigo hearing was a detailed (and at times exhausting) consideration of complex issues. The Garfield County commissioners should be commended for their patience and comprehensive review of the applicant’s position and the views of many of the more than 620 neighbors who oppose it.
While the public hearing has concluded, and the board must deliberate before ruling, I’d like to repeat what the commissioners said at the end of the proceedings: They are free to reopen the public hearing for further clarity, and I encourage them to do that. Since Ascendigo’s consultants challenged the opposition’s claims on water and traffic and if those challenges are wrong, and a decision to approve is made based on them, there could be serious consequences.
Wouldn’t it be best for the county and its residents to preserve our most precious resource — water? There is strong evidence to suggest that Ascendigo will use much more water than a 15-home subdivision built over a decade. If the commissioners approve the Ascendigo project, it would send the message that environmental sustainability and preserving water is not an important objective.
If county planning staff is recommending 35 conditions that will put restrictions on this camp, won’t that ultimately have detrimental consequences for the camp? How can a camp function if noise level is restricted to residential limits and traffic is capped at 210 vehicle trips per day (tripling the traffic there now?) Don’t these “conditions” just prove that this use of the land is not compatible, hence it should be denied? How will restrictions be monitored and enforced? And what happens if Ascendigo violates them? What’s the consequence? By then it’s too late to go backwards.
Don Flaks begged the commissioners to visit Harmony Lane and nearby subdivisions to experience the quiet there before they make a determination that could forever change the character of Missouri Heights. I hope they do that before such a critical decision is made that, if approved, will hurt hundreds of their constituents. While if denied, would hurt no one. Ascendigo will continue to operate. They would have to find another location for their camp.
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