Printed letters, March 27, 2013

It’s a bit hard to express my frustration and disappointment with The Daily Sentinel’s editorial on March 20. While I am a subscriber, I don’t subscribe to the editorial’s analogy that, if we hope to become more prosperous here, we need to become more like Denver and the Front Range.

The editorial cleverly left out the pollution, traffic congestion, confusion, crime, violence, gangs etc. that make Denver such a desirable place to live.

The Sentinel was correct, though, in pointing out that we pay a price for living here. We are the red-headed stepchild of the Front Range, fighting over the scraps and the bones left for us. We have fairly clean air, clean water and beauty around us that one can’t put a price on. We have a close-knit community, small-town atmosphere, all the things that we seem to hold so dear. And yet, given any opportunity to sacrifice it for the almighty dollar, accommodate some group’s ego or satisfy an insatiable greed, we’ll endanger it every time. Staying vigilant against this is the price we pay.

Throughout human history it has always taken the pain, suffering and loss of something we once held so dear for us to realize what we surrendered. So, perhaps the Sentinel editors and seemingly everyone else are right.

After all, our airport just couldn’t function without a name change, although it did so for 75 years. Our college couldn’t be located without a name change, when it functioned for decades without one. Our monument lacks attendance revenue, although last year’s numbers were up from any previous year. We still need an unnecessary change to a park.

And, of course, North Avenue just has to become a boulevard or else. The only remaining thing is to change the capital seat from Denver to here and change our name to Denver West.

Then and only then, according to the Sentinel, can we hope to aspire to the greatness of the Front Range.

Glad I, as a native-born Coloradan, live here instead.

DUANE HARRIS

Grand Junction

Follow Comprehensive Plan 
in deciding on Measure A

As a professional planner who works with private developers and the zoning and development code, I want to discuss the real issues of Referred Measure A.

The Comprehensive Plan is our “zoning constitution.” It is the guiding document for all zoning decisions. If the project is in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan, the developer can have confidence that it will be approved.

The Comprehensive Plan has some fundamental goals, including:

Goal 3: The Comprehensive Plan will create ordered and balanced growth. Is it ordered and balanced to put a very low-intensity use next to one of the highest-intensity uses?

Goal 7: New development adjacent to existing development (of a different density/unit type/land use type) should transition itself by incorporating appropriate buffering. Is it possible to transition the second highest intensity of uses to the lowest in 50 feet?

Goal 8: Create attractive public spaces and enhance the visual appeal of the community through quality development. Can Eagle Rim and Las Colonias be visually appealing with trucks beside them?

Goal 10: Develop a system of regional, neighborhood and community parks protecting open space corridors for recreation, transportation and environmental purposes. Is the intended purpose of these parks being protected? Imagine parking 40 semis in Canyonview Park’s parking lot. Would your experience be diminished?

I am sure both sides of this issue are passionate about our community. But decisions like this must be decided logically and without passion distorting reason. That is why we have the Comprehensive Plan.

There are no “bad guys” in this matter, only the question of whether the project fits the Zoning and Development Code and Comprehensive Plan.

JEFFERY FLEMING

Grand Junction

 

Many misunderstand issues 
regarding Brady Trucking

As the president and owner of Brady Trucking, I read with great interest the recent article and some of the comments about the history and proposed use of our property.

I was particularly surprised by the comments of City Councilor Bennett Boeschenstein regarding the previous zoning of our site. As a previous planner with local governments, he should know that the rendering plant site was zoned heavy industrial when we purchased it, not residential or industrial office, as he is quoted as saying.

Bill Haggerty said having diesel trucks in a floodplain doesn’t make any sense. Yes, it does make sense, since those trucks can be moved out of harm’s way if the waters rise. The same cannot be said for a restaurant, a coffee shop or other residential or commercial developments proponents of mixed-use zoning would like to see on the site.

Haggerty also said industry should not be expanded on the other side of the path. Right now there is no path and there won’t be one until we transfer a permanent easement to the city at no cost to the taxpayers. If this path did exist now, it would be next to the remnants of a rendering plant, had not we used private funds to clean it up.

This was not pristine open space prior to our purchase. The “other side of the path” will see more than 25 feet of landscaping and will look actually better than many places along the trail system that have been developed with the help of companies like ours.

I agree with Boeschenstein that the taxpayers’ dollars need to be protected. But so do the dollars of job creators such as my company.

It has always been our goal to be good neighbors. We provide jobs, pay taxes and contribute to things like school activities, the county fair, athletics and several other worthy causes. I ensure our people go out of their way to be good stewards of the resources around us.

I take great pride in the fact that this month the Oil and Gas Awards named our company the 2012 Rocky Mountain Trucking Company of the Year. This award was achieved in large part because of our efforts toward both safety and the environment.

We would appreciate a “Yes” vote on Referred Measure A.

LARRY BRADY

Vernal, Utah

 

Noble an independent thinker, 
not tied to interest groups

Bob Noble is a candidate for City Council worthy of serious consideration. He has pledged to further economic development, enhance our current transportation systems and work on keeping Grand Junction a livable and safe community.

I like Noble because he is an independent thinker. When he is asked a question about an issue, he researches and ponders it prior to rendering his opinion. No doubt this comes from Noble’s investigative background.

His opponent, who has testified at the last two City Council meetings, identifies himself as a spokesperson for the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. I would rather vote for a candidate who is not beholden to any particular interest group. That’s why I am voting for Bob Noble for City Council.

ELIZABETH ROWAN

Grand Junction

 

Chamber oversteps its bounds 
as a business organization

Over my career, my job took me to many communities around the country while I climbed the ladder of corporate advancement. I don’t recall in any of those communities where the Chamber of Commerce wasn’t considered a partner for good works in the advancement of the community. Only in this, the community of my retirement, is the chamber operated as an adversary of its customers.

The United States Chamber of Commerce is notorious for its adversarial position relative to policies good for its citizens. Our local chamber seems to have determined that the U.S. Chamber is its model, and it follows in lockstep.

I think Diane Schwenke has finally overstepped her position in forthrightly stating that she and the chamber are the partisan spokespeople for members of our local business community.

Do we really need a council packed with chamber members to ensure that the will of the people is secondary to the will of local businessmen who, particularly in recent years, have shown distaste for their very customers?

Is that how our private enterprise market system is supposed to work? Businessmen and women need a stacked deck to survive and prosper? Quality of life here is measured by the contentment and satisfaction of the business community?

JOHN BORGEN

Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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Duane Harris, Thanks for your letter.  I find it funny when the newcomers move into their new homes, the first thing they do is build a 6 foot fence, blocking their beautiful views. What are they trying to fence out? Or in? We never used to build such high fences.
S.A.

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