May 1, 1996

Southern Weld seeks good life

COMMENTARY

Southern Weld County has some curious ideas.

Some people in that sparsely populated region have come to the conclusion that economic development and growth might be good for their

communities. The litany is heard from Fort Lupton to Platteville, from Frederick to Firestone, but seems to stop cold at the area’s western boundary,

Interstate 25, and the increasingly slow-growth communities beyond.

Growth brings not only people but also higher tax revenues and improved infrastructure such as roads and water. And, yes, even small towns might

like a golf course or two.

It seems strange to hear communities crying out for growth. So often, anti-growth sentiments drive the debate of a region, as areas that have

experienced rapid influx of population and residents reject that growth as economies improve. Many Colorado communities have forgotten what it was

like to barely scrape by, to drive on dirt roads, to tap inferior water, to have residents drive long distances just to find a low-paying job.

Southern Weld hasn’t forgotten. Many of those conditions still exist there, and community leaders have opted for growth, while trying to preserve a

delicate balance. They want to maintain small-town atmospheres while attracting those elements that make for more-livable communities. No one, not

civic leaders, not developers, not residents, wants all of the communities in southern Weld County become one mass of development.

One civic leader speaks of finding a “magic number,” at which time his constituents will know they’ve had enough. The problem, as he’s sure to find

out, is that that number is different for different people. That’s why the communities of Souther Weld must plan now to avoid the growth battles that

have plagued other communities.

While no one wants Southern Weld’s towns to grow together, that doesn’t mean they have to be ripped apart.

COMMENTARY

Southern Weld County has some curious ideas.

Some people in that sparsely populated region have come to the conclusion that economic development and growth might be good for their

communities. The litany is heard from Fort Lupton to Platteville, from Frederick to Firestone, but seems to stop cold at the area’s western boundary,

Interstate 25, and the increasingly slow-growth communities beyond.

Growth brings not only people but also higher tax revenues and improved infrastructure such as roads and water. And, yes, even small towns might

like a golf course or two.

It seems strange to hear communities crying out for growth. So often,…

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