Public input needed on master plan now

To the Editor:

I'm glad to see the Moffat County Master Plan making the front page and an editorial.

We need a strong, clear, master plan now. Ten years from today we will only regret not doing it now. A weak plan without clear objectives benefits neither the county, nor the city.

Do we back Bush in the war? He says now. Others say wait. Wait until it gets worse. But, delaying only makes the inherent problems more difficult to solve.

With planning ahead, if you put it off, you are sure to get less of what you really want from the city and the county. The desired custom and culture goes down the tubes before the highest bidder.

Already 50 percent of the private land in Moffat County is owned by individuals and corporations outside of the county. Maybe we are further down the helpless tube than we think.

Is it possible for us to wake up? Of the nearly 14,000 county residents, only 54 filled out questionnaires to give guidance for our new master plan. If you add up the number of county commissioners, land use board members, planning commission members and the city council and its planning commission, you get more than half of the 54.

Please, residents of Moffat County, get involved.

I wish to address one issue in this letter because I think in 10 years it will be too late. It is the wheat industry in Moffat County.

Former Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson, at the now-famous Tuesday meeting, also said that "urban development should be kept off the best wheat and range land."

I agree! But, unless we plan now and put some specifics in it without many off ramps, we will not get it! Housing is and will continue to go on the best agricultural land.

Today we have the tools to redirect this haphazard change. I am referring to the designation of the best lands by use of soil maps, transferable development rights and formation of voluntary landowner groups (an example being the Malpai group). Do we have the guts to push for these things in the master plan or do we fill it with maybes?

Finally, do the wheat farmers really want their industry saved? Do they want to pass on family farms or are they secret land speculators in hiding? Or not so much in hiding?

Do they want the master plan, an advisory document, to push this? They, the current wheat farmers, need to speak out clearly now.

The same principal goes for ranchers.

Send a letter or call the county commissioners or the county planning commission responsible for the rural part of the master plan.

Please.

Robert Grubb,

Member of the master plan

steering committee

Commenting has been disabled for this item.