20 Under 40: Alex Taft is Grand County’s development guy
Alex Taft has become the man to go to when someone has questions about subdividing land or planning a housing development in Grand County.
Robert Davis, director of Community Development for the county, said that Taft has become the office expert on Colorado laws and regulations regarding subdivision, zoning and water.
“He presents information well, and I see him as being a leader in Grand County,” Davis said in Taft’s nomination.
Citizens often seek Taft’s expertise on these complicated topics in a growing community, and he always gives clients his full attention as he helps them through the process.
What made you choose to live and work in Grand County?
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It happened sort of by accident, really. My wife went to high school here, and she wanted to move back up to the mountains. I was looking for jobs and came across the opportunity in Grand County.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years, I think I still see myself in the planning field, either as a senior planner or director of some department. At this point, I’m not sure if that will be in Grand County or even Colorado, just wherever it happens to take me.
What kind of future do you see for your industry in the high country?
I think there are always problems with land use and development, especially in these rural counties as we see growth in Colorado. They’re going to go through significant change. I think it’s import to be able to navigate that and maintain character.
How has COVID-19 changed the way your industry does business?
I would say that the pace of things has changed a little bit, but we’re still doing the same work.
If there were one thing you could change, what would it be and why?
One significant thing that would make a difference in Grand County would be having more affordable housing or rental housing choices. That way we can have the additional staff I think everybody struggles with.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend a lot of my spare time working on our house and in our yard attempting to grow somewhat of a garden — which is difficult in the High Country. Time away from home is spent hiking, mountain biking or skiing.
What advice or encouragement would you offer a young professional trying to make it in the county?
I would say that perseverance is key in making it in Grand County. I think if you figure out what you want to do, put your head down and get into it, then that will help you thrive.
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