Printed letters, March 17, 213
Referred Measure A is a question of assigning appropriate zoning to land. The ballot question is burdened with language referring to trail easements that are irrelevant to the real issue at hand.
The Grand Valley Master Trail Plan designates that the city will require any entity that develops along the river to allow for a trail easement, so Brady Trucking will not be adding anything that isn’t already required.
However, that’s not really the issue. The issue is zoning. Not jobs, not trails. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about zoning an area that was required to be rezoned when it was adopted from the county into the city.
It is an area that is no longer on the outskirts of town, where industry development first occurred due to access to the water. This land is now in the middle of town. It’s in the middle of parks, adjacent to homes and on the banks of a major waterway in a floodplain. We know better than to apply Industrial 1 zoning in such an area.
I am asking you to honor the citizens who have fought so hard to clean up this mess. Honor the organizations that have fought to improve the ecosystem. Honor your children and protect this invaluable feature that breathes life into most of the southwestern United States.
The Chamber of Commerce and a trucking company from Utah are blurring the real issue. I am asking the citizens to take control of their fate and vote “No” on Referred Measure A. The issue will go back to the planners and a lesser-intensity zoning will be suggested, as it was in the first place.
I urge you to ask everyone you know to vote “No.” Actively seek out people to vote “No.” Otherwise, the land will be zoned Industrial 1.
When that land eventually changes hands, that zoning will remain with the land, not the company.
Industry, recreation can indeed exist side by side
I am a longtime Grand Junction area native who enjoys the experience of the river trail. I also work in an industry that provided part of the right of way for the trail.
Not only is this type of industry participation essential to constructing these high-quality trails in a timely fashion and at a reasonable budget, but also oversight by multiple state and county agencies ensures that industry will have minimal impact on the environment.
These agencies include, but are not limited to, the Colorado Division of Public Health and Environment, state Air and Water Quality divisions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others.
Such oversight ensures that industry and recreation can and do co-exist, with little or no complaint from either side over the last several years. Brady Trucking is simply seeking to join an existing neighborhood of multiple employers demonstrating compatible use.
Our community has a history of supporting property rights and jobs. It is frightening that there is even a question that Brady Trucking could both lose those rights and not be able to provide jobs — jobs that are sorely needed given the disparate economic impacts we have experienced due to the Great Recession.
A “No” vote on Referred Measure A is a vote against jobs, property rights and cooperative, environmentally friendly expansion of the river trail system. I believe the level heads of our community will prevail and vote “Yes,” to the benefit of us all.
Here are some reasons to reject Referred Measure A
Referred Measure A is a zoning issue only. Here are some reasons to vote “No” on Referred Measure A:
1. Voting “No” ensures the continuation of the riverfront vision of more than 25 years, and a $100 million investment by this community.
2. Voting “No” means this community rejects spot zoning, which is a dangerous and unintelligent practice in any community.
3. Voting “No” ensures spot zoning will not be tied to this property forever.
4. Voting “No” ensures that Brady, a hard-working and responsible business, can sell or trade the land.
5. Voting “No” means the community understands that the Chamber of Commerce has muddied the issue with its skewed statements about lost jobs.
6. Voting “No” means there is no chance in the future the property will be under any legal or other constraints, so this issue will be put to rest forever.
7. Voting “No” ensures that the City Council knows the community wants to support Brady through a buyout and/or trade, so the company can expand into an appropriate property next door to its present business building in the Indian Industrial area.
8. Voting “No” effectively tells city leaders the riverfront is for the community and the natural capital that generates sustainable employment and a clean environment.
9. Voting “No” speaks volumes to our beloved Colorado River, lifeline of our lives and the future of the Grand Valley.
BENITA PHILLIPS, President
Western Colorado Congress
of Mesa County
Industry can operate near river responsibly
I am normally not the type of person who writes letters to the editor, but after seeing the letter from David Cale, I felt compelled to respond. Encouraging people to vote “No” on Referred Measure A based on the premise that industry cannot co-exist close to the river is just plain wrong.
We have plenty of examples of responsible employers in this community, from United Companies to CoorsTek, Mays Concrete to Action Publishing, that provide good-paying jobs while also allowing citizens to access a riverfront experience. Does Cale propose to go after these employers and their employees next?
A simple call to the Grand Junction Planning Department would have provided Cale with factual information about how future users of the Brady Trucking site would be required to submit a site plan for approval to the city, just as Brady did. A simple check with the 521 Drainage Authority would reveal the kinds of clean-up measures that would need to be employed for any discharge of water into the Colorado River.
It also goes without saying that the 50-foot easement goes with the property, regardless of ownership and that the 25 feet of additional landscaping would be required of future owners, as it has been of Brady.
The reality is that we can have both jobs and trails as Brady Trucking contends, which is why I encourage people to base their decisions on facts and vote “Yes” for Referred Measure A.
Wait for two years to vote on override
The March 10 edition of The Daily Sentinel provided a great deal of information regarding Referred Measure B. I was undecided until I read the various opinions. I have concluded that Measure B should be defeated.
The issue that bothers me the most is why this issue is on the 2013 ballot when no money will be available for the road projects until 2016 or later.
Jim Doody admits that all TABOR excesses are spoken for until 2015. Does that not mean that the first-time money would be available for road projects is 2016? We will have another election in April 2015. If the voters approve a TABOR override in 2015, there will be at least nine more months before any money would be available to spend on road projects.
Many things can change in two years. There will be changes in the people serving on the council, and our priorities may change. In 2015 we will know more than we know now. Waiting until we have this knowledge will improve the quality of the decision.
Since the argument presented by Doody is obviously faulty, there must be another reason for this rush. Could it be that Doody and other council members are letting their egos get in the way of sound decision-making?