The process of planning

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Moffat County is in the process of creating a master plan and is working with the cities of Craig, Dinosaur, Meeker and Hamilton so the plan conforms to what those cities are already implementing.

The plan will determine growth patterns, zoning and land use across the county.

It will affect everyone, yet many of the people this process will affect are not vocalizing their ideas, their values or their concerns.

Of the nearly 13,000 Moffat County residents this plan will affect, 40 attended the last public meeting held to discuss it. Most were ranchers and rural landowners. Each had a say on what direction this plan will lead the county and helped outline the issues the plan will address.

Nearly half of those in attendance were high school students who also put their two cents in.

That's not enough.

When talking where this county is moving over the next 20 years, more residents should be involved so the plan reflects a majority -- not just a small group whose vested, personal interests may not be an indication of the county-at-large.

Do you want the view out your window to be a neighbor's property littered with cars and junk? Do you want it to be an industrial park? Do you want to live next door to open space, agricultural land or a housing development?

Without participating, the choice you'd least likely be willing to face might be the one that's chosen.

There has been a large effort on the part of the county to ensure public participation in this process.

Don't be a person who jumps into the fray after the plan has been adopted and argue that you didn't have a say.

A plan is just a tool. It does not set policy, but it does direct those who make that policy.

The next public meeting to discuss the master plan will be at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Moffat County Courthouse annex.

If you want to be a part of directing the future of Moffat County, be there.

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