Letters to the Editor

From the week of November 16, 2000

Keep building bigger and wider highways, and the concrete jungle will spread. If anything, the people had better wake up and make sure they understand that "this growth thing" will only get worse before it gets better. People can't let the sleeping legislators lie. Now is the time for concerned citizens who want growth dealt with responsibly to make sure the legislature hears their concerns and deals with them -- or Amendment 24 will come again, and next time it willpass.

W. Petersen
Westminster

Power to the people:The primary function of capitalism and private property is to maintain the wealth and power of the upper classes. If the spread of democratic principle to the common people interferes with the primary function, then of course the people lose.

Amendment 24, the growth-control initiative, made the capitalist upper class and their politician boot-lickers tremble. With such huge amounts of money at stake, real estate developers and their ilk could not allow land-control decisions to be transferred to the masses.

Memorize this! The interests of the elite upper class (capitalism) and the interests of the working class (democracy) are forever opposed to each other. Capitalists and workers are not brothers, and they are not partners. They're enemies!

John Cassella
Denver

Sprawl for one, and one for sprawl: Calhoun's denigration of the opponents of Amendment 24 shows her total lack of understanding of the purpose and goals of the proposition and its backers. The environmental movement has found that protracted study is an excellent way to stop all progress. Most "studies" proceed interminably. Their goal is not to "predict and control the effects of future development"; their goal is to delay and stop whatever "development" they disagree with.

As I asked one of the signature-collectors when signatures were being solicited at our local grocery store, "Who do you think lives in that sprawl?" Her answer: "People who just moved here." When I asked if she thought her own house was an example of sprawl to those who were here before, she left. For the record, she was in her twenties, so at 56, I'm pretty sure I was here before she was.

Every one of those homes belongs to a homeowner. The answer isn't to limit development. The answer is to limit people. The signature-collector's parents obviously didn't care about that.

The measure's sponsor, John Fielder, is almost pathetically classic in his attempt to "lock the door behind him." The state definitely has natural beauty. It had a lot more before he got here. Fielder has proven himself to be the cabin boy on the Good Ship "I've Got Mine." It's fairly obvious that he has grown up rich, spoiled and self-centered without having to suffer the inconvenience of considering others. His flip comment that "owners of mountain property will see their property values fall" was made with full knowledge that owners of homes in Genesee and Breckenridge will see their values skyrocket. His own property would fare quite well, thank you very much.

He is right when he says that courts have allowed local jurisdictions to limit what people can do on their own land. And he is right that the courts provide redress against excessive restrictions. Being wealthy, he doesn't realize or doesn't care that most people, right or wrong, do not have the resources to sue local jurisdictions to redress wrongs. Property owners in Boulder County can tell you what happens when the petty bureaucrats within a local jurisdiction decide to run roughshod over property rights. Developers didn't defeat proposition 24; voters did. And they will again. Being an owner of several properties (all within Colorado city boundaries), I can promise you that my retirement will fare much better if the voters ever do pass such a proposition. And those voters will finance it.

Maybe for the next go-round, Patricia could do a little more research and show a little less mindless acceptance of the "pure" motives of some petty politician -- as Fielder has become.

Sam Domenico
Golden

This bill's come due: Thanks for the final comments on 24. For future reference, 24 was the idea of a group of land planners, local officials and environmentalists. I came on board at the tail end of its crafting, then took the bull by the horns. I thought my visibility from the Jackson re-photography project would make me a good spokesperson, and the group agreed. Coincidentally, I had been speaking about growth management in general for the past year while promoting the Jackson project.

For your information, a broad group of individuals, many of whom had worked to write Bryan Sullivant's Responsible Growth Act (dead on arrival but a good bill) last year, convened last Thursday at the Colorado Forum to begin the process of finding a legislative solution. There is much common ground, and numerous tenets have been placed on the table already that have the makings of a recipe for a good bill. Though 24 failed, it seems to have made an impact on many folks and created a sense of urgency. Thank goodness, because I had so much fun this past year promoting 24 that I and others wouldn't mind testing the patience of voters in 2002 with something more palatable if the legislature, the governor and the developers don't act next year.

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