Letter: Fraser won’t accept loss of open space
W.T.F. Welcome to Fraser, a local acronym now playing as a new reality TV show of how the Crown Jewel of the Fraser Valley, 466 acres of open space, was stolen through greed, deception and incompetence.
It all started innocently enough with a new expensive buck rail fence surrounding the meadow and then the cows showed up. Not a few cows, almost 200 cows. If there had been a few cows, the heist of the open space would not have been discovered until years from now when the development in the meadow would have begun.
The caper began to unravel when a group of concerned citizens started to question how the property they had purchased adjacent to what they thought was deeded open space suddenly became a cattle ranch. In doing their research, they uncovered a Conservation Easement that was filed by Grand Park Development, LLC on March 4, 2020 at the Grand County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
Here are the Cliff Notes I’ve put together for this tragic drama:
1. The Grand Park developer executed a land grab in Cozens Meadow with no public hearing and without the required approval of the town attorney.
2. The 466 acres of conservation/open space land set aside by the original 2003 annexation agreement for Grand Park has been given away to the developer to do whatever he chooses to do. This land has historically been used and enjoyed by the residents of the Fraser Valley.
3. The developer quickly fenced off Cozens Meadow and put almost 200 head of cattle on the land, making it useless for any sort of recreation. I believe it is clear his next step is to fill the entirety of the former conservation/open space area with densely packed housing.
4. When the mayor signed the questionable revision of the original conservation easements, he in effect gave away — for no consideration — a valuable asset belonging to the Town of Fraser and all the residents in the Fraser Valley.
As concerned citizens of the Fraser Valley, I encourage you to attend the next meeting of the Fraser Town Board at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Fraser Town Hall. Due to COVID, we will be gathering in the Town Park so wear a mask, warm clothing and bring a chair. In-person comments will be taken one at a time so come prepared to voice your opinion. Now is the time to let Grand Park and the Town of Fraser know that we are mad as h— and not going to take it anymore.
Thank you for your support.
— Peggy Smith, former mayor of Fraser
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