Commissioners should learn about TDRs

The Dolores river valley is a unique and special place to live, made especially so by the Dolores River. The Dolores River not only provides clean water for drinking, agriculture and other human uses, it also offers high-quality recreational opportunities, such as boating and fishing. Landowners, local citizens, and visitors alike value this irreplaceable resource as was expressed at the Board of County Commissioners recent public hearing.

The Dolores Water Conservancy District, and former county commissioners also expressed support for the Dolores River Valley Plan as it was written and reviewed by the County Planning Commission. The commissioners were asked by these constituencies to keep the Dolores River Valley Plan intact because it protects water quality, as well as private property rights through voluntary transferable development rights.

It was perplexing to witness the commissioners ignore the collaborative work and collective opinion of elected leaders, working groups, and citizens by voting directly after the hearing to remove Chapter 8 from the County Land Use Code. As explained at the public hearing, transferable development rights allow private landowners to sell development rights to other interested individuals. This offers options for landowners and safeguards local water quality by keeping the density of development in check.

We at Dolores River Boating Advocates were dismayed to see the blatant and brazen disregard of such a thoroughly vetted effort, which benefits the region by protecting water quality and landowner rights, particularly when the commissioners indicated that they did not understand transferable development rights. We strongly suggest that the commissioners educate themselves about the advantages of transferable development rights, as well as reconsider their decision to eliminate Chapter 8 from the County Land Use code.

Wade Hanson, president, Dolores River Boating Advocates