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ARD Celebrating 25th Anniversary

Special by Elaine Downing

Twenty five years ago, in 1984, several locals gathered and discussed their concerns as well as hopes for the future of Estes Park and formed the Association for Responsible Development (ARD). Among the founders were Rowland Retrum, Enda Mills Kiley, Tom Watts, Seymour Graham, Helen Hondius and Louise Lindsey, just to name a few of these forward thinking citizens. A Celebration and Fundraiser to honor the organization, its founders and past members will be held on April 30th at Cheese from 5-7 p.m. See details below to make your reservations.

The groups’ original premise, “to preserve the unique mountain character of the Estes Valley and maintain a sustainable community” remains the same. In the 1980s the group was concerned with how increased development in the valley would impact our open space, density, view corridors, and wild life. At that time, there were difficulties with zoning and conforming to the standards of the Master Plan, much like conflicts arising from some development projects today.  The group supported the town’s original Master Plan and sought to preserve the lower growth density standards it provided.

Today, ARD has significantly grown from those original members, however; it continues to perform the same watch dog function and to look for ways to support smart development. The issues of using the remaining land wisely, preserving open space and protecting wildlife in the best and most responsible way are still major concerns for the current members of ARD.

Over the past twenty five years, there were plans that could have negatively impacted our town such as the IMAX theater which was to be located next to Bond Park. The lovely Knoll-Willows open space was another one of the town sites that was at one time designated for a strip mall development. The drive to save the Knoll-Willows land was spearheaded by Bob Hampton along with concerned citizens from the valley who advocated for preserving this site with its incredible views and historic cabin for open space.  In addition, ARD has recognized the efforts of good planning and growth over the years with awards. ARD recognized Gary Nordic for platting and developing the Reserve with a generous allowance of open space which accommodates an elk migration route. ARD awarded the Twisted Pine Fur & Leather Co. on West Moraine recognition for an attractive building on a limited lot. Also, the sons of Hazel Blair Hart were honored for deeding the one acre lot on the corner or Highway 7 and Community drive to the Town for open space.

These are just a few examples of ARD’s actions during many years of active work to preserve the character of Estes Park.

Please join us in celebrating ARD’s 25th Anniversary Fundraiser and Membership drive. It will be held, on April 30th at Cheese, 330 East Elkhorn Avenue from 5 to 7 p.m. Wine samples, appetizers and cake will be provided, with a cash bar for full glasses of wine. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by sending a check for, $20 for singles and $35 per couple, by April 24th  ($40 at the door), to ARD, PO Box 3882, Estes Park, CO 80517 or contact for reservations.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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