A View Regarding Town Revenue Vs. Families & Children
After attending the Town Board meeting on June 10th I feel the need to alert the families and other concerned residents of the Estes Valley about the outrageous decision the Town Trustees made regarding the proposed Sapling Green development. Please check out the Town’s website for the details (estesnet.com/comdev/CurrentRequests) pertaining to this project.
In short, the Estes Valley Planning Commission approved this project 6 -0 on April 15th, the town planning department and staff highly recommended the Sapling Green plan. The innovative concept of turning an acre of commercially zoned property into a multi-use residential development which included a much needed preschool along with attainable housing units was denied 3-2 after the vote among the Town Board of Trustees.
How many times have we heard that the Estes Valley needs affordable housing for teachers, town employees, nurses, etc…? And how much money and time was spent by the Town studying childcare needs, quality early childhood education and other preschool issues? This case is a perfect example of the Town saying one thing and doing another. The Trustees were presented with a viable developmental plan which addressed two of the issues in retaining families within the Estes Valley and then voted it down due to the impact of rezoning commercial land into residential use and losing the ever precious tax base for the town! Maybe I misunderstood the reasoning for their decision, but in my opinion, l don’t think the trustees are fully aware of the message they have sent to the families and community by the action they took on June 10th. There was one other hurdle pertaining to the Sapling Green development, (liquor licensing to adjacent property owners) but it was not insurmountable according to the Town Attorney and others. Evidently, every voice of support (EVICS, Families for Estes, Lifelong Learning of Estes Valley School, the Housing Authority, neighbors, etc…) for this development “fell upon deaf ears” and made absolutely no difference to those Trustees worried about the rezoning and a possible loss of projected town revenue generated from this EMPTY commercial lot!
I would like thank all those who supported this project and attended the Planning Commission and Town Board meetings. And a big THANK YOU to Steve and Amy Lane and Basis Architecture who gave their heart and soul in their noble attempt to improve the lives of those who desire to raise their families in our community. I don’t know if the families of young children will ever have an opportunity like this again… there has got to be an answer to the lack of early childhood education in the Estes Valley. Hopefully something comparable will transpire which will benefit these children in the near future.
Sincerely, Lisa Mechem
President of Lifelong Learning of Estes Valley Christian Preschool