“Town vs Village at Wolf Creek,” originally appeared on pagosa.com, Dec. 22, 2004

“Therefore, be it resolved by the Town Council of the Town of Pagosa Springs that until our stated concerns are satisfied, we cannot endorse the Village at Wolf Creek, as approved by the Mineral County Commissioners in Resolution No. 2004-23.”

Mayor Ross Aragon called the meeting to order. Stan Holt made the motion, Tony Simmons seconded, and the Town Council voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2004 -15, opposing the Village at Wolf Creek. The applause from the dozen or more supporters of the resolution clapped and cheered for a minute or more. Elapsed time: about three minutes.

The Pagosa Springs Town Council convened at 12 noon Tuesday for a special work session, with the specific intention of dealing with the Village resolution, which had already been discussed at previous Council meetings but had not yet been passed. With the deadline for public comment on the Village’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement fast approaching, the Council apparently decided that a swift action was appropriate.

Students For Change, a group of politically active Pagosa Springs high school students including Randi Anderson, Jesse Morris, Michael Spitler, Tim McAlister, and Cela White, which had requested this special session at the regular Town Council meeting on Dec. 6, appeared especially gratified by the Council’s action.

The approved resolution acknowledges that the Home Rule Charter of Pagosa Springs is “intended to safeguard the well-being of all inhabitants of the Town and to maintain a community that sustains livability and places the highest value on the good of the entire community, and sets forth a framework for the future growth and development of the Town while protecting its unique identity and future economic vitality.” The resolution acknowledges that many challenges and issues associated with growth are prevalent in adjoining communities and suggests working together to ensure that each unique community is developed with the utmost care, diligence and respect for citizens, visitors and the environment.

The resolution specifically addresses some of the socioeconomic impacts identified in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and points to areas that the Council felt were not addressed fully. These include:

* The impact on available work force within the Region of Influence (ROI) and the need for additional outside workers resulting in an increased population.

* The impact on affordable housing availability within the ROI for additional workers of the development and need for more long and short-term housing overall.

* The impact on the Pagosa Springs School District from increased student population, caused by an increase in the workforce, which will result in the need for more teachers and space.

* The impact to public sector agencies such as fire, police, hospital and emergency services within the ROI and outside of the Village.

* The impact to the local economic tax base resulting from potential decline of business in the lodging, dining and retail sectors due to development of the Village.

* The impact on associated transit elements, such as ground and air transportation to and from the development for employees and visitors.

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