In the past few decades, it's been fashionable for cities and municipalities to produce master plans. On Oct. 12, Rangely's government voted unanimously to approve a comprehensive plan. The plan incorporates strategies for growth and economic development for the next 20 years.
Typically, these plans would be for about 10 years. Rangely's plan is unique because it set future goals and objectives for everything including housing and transportation for a longer time line. The plan is a conceptual way of promoting growth and maintaining the features and values that define the community.
Mayor Ann Brady is extremely pleased with the work done on the plan and is excited about using it as a starting place for the future.
"It addresses nearly every aspect of our community and gives the town strategies to work with," Brady said. "It is not exactly what everybody wanted, but it is workable."
Brady said because Rangely is almost entirely dependent on energy, the town needs to look seriously at ways to increase economic development in other directions, too.
"We have to actively seek ways to grow Rangely, and this is the first step," she said.
Key issues of housing, transportation, capital facilities, the environment, community, human development and recreational opportunities are addressed in the plan.
Exploring and enhancing recreational opportunities is a natural direction for Rangely to look at because of the amount of public lands in and around the region. There are more than 1 million acres of Bureau of Land Management ground accessible to the public, including Dinosaur National Monument.
One proposal included in the plan is an off-road vehicle park. The area would include a motocross track, a track for all-terrain vehicles and a rock crawling track for extreme jeep enthusiasts. The plan also includes tracks for adventure-seekers with all levels of expertise.
Within the area designated for the Off Highway Vehicle Park, there are a number of rock shelves that lend themselves to rock crawling. This off-road sport involves using stock and modified four-wheel vehicles to climb over challenging rock formations. The types of rocks within the area are of particular interest to enthusiasts.
Rangely's economic development manager Jeff Devere said having a park like this would be a huge boon for the town.
"These people travel all over to test their skills. Having a park here is certainly worth looking into," he said.
Devere cautioned the public that a project like this takes time and money to develop.
"It will take a lot of cooperation," Devere said. "And a lot of buy-in from the community."
Built into the plan is a job-responsibility component, which delegates duties to town staff and the council.
"Every year, the town board must look at the plan to see if we have obtained our goals," Brady said.
She said the plan provides plenty of checks and balances, as well as some leeway for change.