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Stop moaning about development and get involved

To the Editor:

Many are bemoaning the changes taking place in the meadows belonging to Grand Park south of Fraser. As a life-time resident of our valley, I have often joined these voices ” going back to efforts in the early 1980s to zone these meadows as open space.

But through many long community negotiations during the past 30 years, the meadows were sold and platted (with some preservation included), and now are headed toward (and being) developed.

I discussed the loss of these open spaces with a friend from Steamboat this past fall.

Steve Meyer, the father of a pair of young children and proud owner of his first home, said it was difficult to get a start in Steamboat. He noted most of the open meadows around town had been preserved as open space, at a real cost to families like his.

Large tracts of open space were lovely to look at from the tiny rentals many families continued to occupy long past the time they should have been buying their first homes.

My two sons are rapidly approaching adulthood. I hope they might find a niche in the Valley we call home. I hope I might enjoy their rise through the ranks of life in our community.

I have spent some time on the slopes Clark Lipscomb hopes to build into a second tubing hill. Certainly we would all love to operate without competition, but it is everyone’s right to identify a need in our town and work to fill it. If Grand Park wants to build a second tubing hill, this is certainly their right ” just as much as it was the right of more ski lodges to build back in 1946 after my family opened the third such operation in the Valley.

Looking across Grand Park’s meadows toward Mill Avenue at the south edge of Fraser, I begin to wonder what is wrong with the town expanding southward. Perhaps there would be a lot in the new subdivision for one or both of my sons. Perhaps there would be a lot for the new town resident who might bring great ideas for making our community a better place to live.

Mr. Lipscomb has been kind enough to spend almost four hours with me this fall, mainly discussing hosting a temporary home for the re-establishment of a 60-year-old tradition in Winter Park ” Nordic ski jumping. The hill is small, so we will continue to search for a permanent home ” but at least (thanks to Grand Park) we can start our kids jumping again this winter.

These conversations have been far-reaching. It was a pleasure to hear his thoughts on golfing. From water shortages to algae blooms in Grand Lake, the continued proliferation of golf courses posses a great threat to our mountain home.

Grand Park has not made the final decision, but they are working toward a diversified recreation base which does not include golfing. Trails, tubing hills, sledding areas, a community recreation center and cross country ski trails are all ways they hope to attract real estate buyers without having to promise them nitrate-boosted greens outside their patio doors. We should welcome this type of thinking.

I would encourage less moaning about on-coming development, and more involvement. Jump in with both feet; help build our community as it changes. Shape our community so it becomes a place you ” and your children ” wish to blossom in.

Do a little nay-saying, but follow up with ideas and then with action.

Andrew Miller

Fraser


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