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Are Friends Of Lot 4 Really Friends Of Open Space?

To The Editor:

Please consider why I believe the Friends of Lot 4 Conservation Easement initiative works against our chances to set aside quality Open Space in Estes Park.

Our town already paid $1.1 million to purchase Lot 4, which is zoned for commercial use. When developed, at least 30% must already be dedicated to open space and the citizens must already vote to approve any sale.

The Assoc. for Responsible Development (ARD) document of 4/2013 lists town properties (such as along the River Walk and Fish Hatchery Road) as priorities for Open Space designation… Lot 4 is not on that list. Nor do the stated priorities of the Land Trust (EVLT) seem to include Lot 4. It costs money just to obtain a conservation easement, and then what about the maintenance cost and liability issues? Town funds are limited and why should we risk jeopardizing more important areas for true Open Space by focusing on a vacant commercial lot behind Safeway?

I feel this upcoming election is being falsely portrayed as a choice between the EPMC/Anschutz Wellness Center or Open Space. Personally, I am in favor of the Wellness Center and Open Spaces.

But I will most definitely vote against the Friends of Lot 4 initiative. Making Lot 4 a Conservation Easement is unnecessary. It would cost the town money and cost us our right to vote for a choice in the future. Why would any Open Space advocate vote to obligate the town to use up money and resources on this vacant commercial lot behind Safeway, when other properties have been given higher priority?

Howard Lauren

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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