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Eliminating area planning committees is a bad idea

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Dear Editor:

In response to KVNF's interview with three planning commission members on the Draft Master Plan (May 1, 2018): There are five planning districts and three commissioner districts in Delta County. There used to be at least one member from each of the five planning districts on the planning commission. The county commissioners decided to increase the PC to the maximum size allowed by state law, which is nine. And in an effort to equal out representation countywide, they wrote a new regulation and submitted it to the PC stating that there would be three representatives from each of the three commissioner districts, and that the change would happen by attrition, as members were term limited out. The PC approved this regulation without much discussion.

Some of us APC members were present at that meeting and we failed to weigh in. It is easy to use hindsight and see that this was a bad plan. We should have asked that representation be based on the five planning districts instead of the three commissioner districts. Commissioner District 3 (represented by Mark Roeber) has three planning districts: Crawford Area, Upper North Fork Area, and Leroux Creek Area (Hotchkiss area). Currently the three PC representatives from Commissioner District 3 are: two from Rogers Mesa and one from Crawford. So yes, while what the interviewees said is true, that the larger North Fork area has equal representation on the PC, it is ALSO true that the Upper North Fork no longer has representation on the PC.

The new regulation could easily be changed and we could come up with any number of workable plans if we cared to put our minds and creativity to the task. The simplest could be that the three reps from commissioner District 3 must consist of one person from each of the three planning districts. At a recent PC meeting chairman Bob Stechert stated that one of the first things the PC must address after voting to approve the new MP, is to discuss the future of the five area planning committees. I fear that two options will be presented in this discussion: Completely eliminating the APCs, or putting out a call to get greater participation in the five county APCs, and if we fail to get enough response for a quorum on each, then proceed to eliminate them. I personally feel that, based on the wide diversity of the communities in our county, eliminating the APCs is a bad idea. And, as we implement land use regulations, it will be especially important that the Upper North Fork be part of the discussion.

Elisa Greco
Leroux Creek Area Planning Committee

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