Oops .. did Boulder County Really Just Admit That????

17 Dec

A resident of unincorporated Boulder County comments on the December 14th meeting” 

On Dec. 14th at the Boulder County Courthouse, anxious citizens gathered to share their thoughts with the three County Commissioners and select members of the Planning Commission Board. In a meeting lasting 3 hours, about 26 people stood up to give impressive public testimony to the commissioners on where they think the regulations are broken and where they think the County should leave well enough alone.

The Main Issue:
There is a renaissance of agriculture in Boulder County. People have a renewed interest in eating local and visiting the places where their food is grown. This movement, accompanied by farm dinners and hands-on events, are sweeping the country. Citizens of Boulder County believe that a place such as Boulder, with the County’s deep seeded agricultural history, should be a forerunner for this movement. Even the County’s called upon expert confirmed that there is a surge in small farming interest and beginning farmers are aspiring for a 10 acre or less agricultural opportunity.

At this public hearing, small farmers are asking for the County’s support in allowing them multiple streams of revenue…events, tours, farm stands. Currently, the Land Use Code is so confusing and so overly restrictive, it confuses and limits small farmers who are trying to make it financially on just their crop production, and are turning away interested people that are craving the farm experience.

Did The County Just Admit to That?
Toward the end of the session, Abby Shannon, the Land Use Planner, stated her concerns to the panel about how the County will support an infrastructure of taking people from the city centers back into the county when the County has worked very hard over the last decade to move everyone out of the rural areas and into the city center.  This speaks directly to the perceived plot of the County to drive out its Unincorporated Boulder County (rural) residents by restricting their freedoms and making life difficult and unreasonable for them.  I guess it takes the charge out of a conspiracy theory when they openly admit to their plan.

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2 Responses to “Oops .. did Boulder County Really Just Admit That????”

  1. Eva Kosinski December 17, 2011 at 9:38 AM #

    While Boulder County planners love to tell folks we’re at the forefront of planning, they are, in fact, just trying to emulate places like Portland, where you have to own 80 acres and make $80,000 from ag every few years, and everyone else is forced into tiny urban homes, some as small as 400 sq. feet. If folks want small places and urban transit, they should have the right to CHOOSE, rather than be *forced* by planners who often wouldn’t think of living in urban environments themselves, to do so. If folks want small farms the single fastest way to get to that would be for the Commissioners to back off on their insistence that large land owners *cannot* subdivide their land, and allow (which they don’t now) those farmers who lease, to “lease to own” — if they can hang in there enough years to get the mortgage paid, then they deserve to own the land — and the conditions of sale could be to not sell to developers when and if they decide to sell. (personally I think even that is overly controlling, but we have to start somewhere). Farming is a tough business, especially the labor-intensive organic farming that customers in this county prefer..

    Zoning issues that keep folks from having farm stands are elitist aesthetics issues — eating and buying local make much more sense, and that’s an area where we actually *can* lead rather than just be followers of “Smart Growth” and “Slow Growth” plans that date back to the 70s. For more of what we’re stuck with now, read “The Best Laid Plans” by Randal O’Toole. Many folks just hear the words “open space” and will accept anything that comes with it. But some of what comes with it is really ugly.

  2. FreedomFarmer December 31, 2012 at 10:16 AM #

    I am outraged as the County Commisioners plan to adopt the new amendments to the Boulder County Land Use Code with hundreds of on-warranted, un-needed stricter controls on what few rights we have left, Very sneaky of them to hold the meetings aound the holidays. We should all be ending letters, peaking at the meetings and trying to keep the few freedoms we still have left! Beware!

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