A couple of months ago, reader Ann Emigh offered her adroit critique (March 4, “Just say ‘No’ to developing Hillcrest Golf Course”) on discussions to develop Hillcrest Golf Course.
It's as if the Planning Commission plans to turn Durango into a landing zone for those retirees with saddlebags full of cash. We are still in a drought on the entire Western Slope. Where will the water supply come from to support one new community after another? More massive development also means more traffic. Will developers guarantee sizable contributions for new schools, public parks, roads and road improvements, more city-owned snow plows, expansion of fire and police services?
There’s an old canard about how the additional property taxes and sales taxes will easily pay for the cost of more infrastructure. City councils and planning boards fall for it every time. It never has and never will.
Of course, developers and builders want that golf course. Open land is the opiate of developers' fortunes. Still, I’m all for more jobs. Custom homes built in onesies and twosies are traditional in Durango. But large-scale development cannot be supported or sustained.
Fact: Durango is not known for high wages. Which brings us to today's story about how Durango's middle-class home buyers are priced out. But, hey! They can commute from Cortez, Dolores or Pagosa Springs, right? Let’s just rename Durango “Telluride South.”