Residents identify needs during master plan discussion
Water, agricultural preservation, infrastructure listed as priorities
Local residents are most concerned about water availability, the preservation of agriculture, the increasing amount of 35-acre lots being split into smaller parcels and making sure developers do their part to pay for the infrastructure of new areas being developed.
Those were the main topics identified by about 40 people who attended the first community meeting in which input was sought on the Moffat County/City of Craig Joint Master Plan that will be developed in coming months.
Representatives from MJ Landers & Associates of Fort Collins, who were hired by the city and county to manage the project, conducted the public meeting Wednesday night at the Craig City Council Chambers.
“I thought it was a very good turn out and we received some good public input,” said Martin Landers of MJ Landers & Associates. “We were able to build upon a number of issues that have already been identified.”
An open discussion was held during the first part of the meeting, and later residents were asked to identify issues they saw as most important in seven different areas.
Those areas included:
Environment and natural resources
Economic development and tourism
Each person in attendance was asked to mark a board indicating the issues they saw as most important in each of those seven areas.
Some of the key issues identified included a need to continually assess the availability of water as the community continues to develop and a need to preserve agricultural land.
A total of 13 people indicated that they thought it was important that developers help to pay for infrastructure costs involved in new developments.
Several votes were also cast indicating a need for more recreation opportunities in Craig, mainly a recreation facility.
Those votes were due to a group of about 10 Moffat County High School students who attended the meeting for extra credit in their American Government class, and expressed what they saw as a need for more activities for youth in the community.
A local 15-member steering committee has been created to work with MJ Landers & Associates through the different phases of the plan.
Committee member Lloyd Rollins was one of several who attended the meeting Wednesday.
“We are here to help coordinate and identify those issues important in developing a master plan,” he said after the two-hour meeting.
Rollins agreed with Landers that he thought the meeting was beneficial.
“We’re looking for input in these community meetings to help us identify what’s important,” he said. “It helps us as a steering committee when people speak up like they did tonight. We get an idea of what’s really important. We came up with ideas in our steering committee meetings, but 15 people in a room can only come up with so many things.”
It’s important that a new master plan be developed that is current and that can be used, unlike the last one that was done in 1982, Rollins said.
“A lot of people believe the old master plan was a document that was just put on the shelf,” he said. “We want this to be a better document that can be used.”
While the meeting was beneficial, Landers said, it is still too early to identify the areas of most concern that must be addressed in the plan.
“It’s too early to tell yet,” he said. “That’s the process of what we’re going through right now.”
A public meeting will also be held in Maybell tonight, and additional meetings will also be held in Dinosaur, Browns Park and Hamilton in coming weeks, said Moffat County Planning Director Sue Graler.
Follow-up meetings will be held in December once the plan begins to be drafted.
The goal is to have a new plan in place by early next year, Landers said.
“The city and county will adopt this at some point next year and those will be the rules of the road,” he said.
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