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Deny ‘giant RV development’

County planners encouraged a giant Animas Valley tourist RV development beside the river at Trimble Lane. Fast-tracked as a “Low Intensity Minor Project,” it includes 137 spaces for up to 45-foot RVs, plus 140 wheeled cabins. It boasted keeping an existing established “river access,” as if it were a new public benefit, but the plan eliminates it.

One-hundred thirty-seven large motorhomes and towed RVs driven by tourists unfamiliar with Durango will cause constant traffic obstructions everywhere. The Highway 550 light to Trimble Shopping Center, Hermosa, Durango Hot Springs, our historic railroad an Dalton Ranch homes will be frequently gridlocked.

Alternatives, County Roads 203 and 250, are narrow two-lane roads popular with bikers, schoolkids, dog walkers and joggers, with hundreds of driveways, and no shoulders or walkways.

Many motorhomes don’t tow cars and will drive into Durango, blocking downtown traffic, while hunting for nonexistent parking.

Worst, this development would be a horrific fire risk. U.S. Fire Administration reports 4,200 RV fires a year, saying that fire is the most common cause of RV loss today. It reported 2018 to 2020 RV fires “caused 15 deaths and $60,300,000 in property loss.”

RVs have a deadly combination of gas, propane and sparking batteries. A fire among close-packed RVs will result in nightmare RV and Dalton Ranch emergency evacuations. Blocked firefighting access could result in multiple deaths.

Last but not least: The final end of homeowner fire insurance availability in much of the Durango area, and potential huge lawsuits against our county.

This nightmare project could well hurt us all. It must be denied.

Albert Durand