Guest editorial: Treasure development wouldn’t impact community? That’s an ironic notion | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: Treasure development wouldn’t impact community? That’s an ironic notion

Linda McReynolds
Old Town

I read with interest the article in last week's Park Record concerning Mr. Jeff Weissman's opposition to the ballot measure to purchase the Treasure Hill property. He said the Treasure Hill development "isn't going to impact me and my neighbors on a daily basis."

I chuckled at the irony. Has no one told Mr. Weissman that his Aspen Springs home enjoys its lovely setting and gorgeous views because we citizens helped purchase and protect the open space around it? First the Osguthorpe Dairy Farm, then the hillside acreage across and along S.R. 224. Then the purchase and/or conservation of the Frank Richards' horse farm and the Huntsman property along McLeod Creek. Try to visualize subdivision after subdivision on these lands, Mr. Weissman, to appreciate what we did for the betterment and beautification of our community even though it didn't really impact many of us personally on a daily basis.

Mr. Weissman also may not be aware that we residents of this one zip code have participated in a number of Community Vision Workshops where the whole town met and brainstormed and collectively decided open space purchasing was one of our top priorities. An additional top priority was protecting the character, funkiness and vibrancy of our community and Old Town.

Most of our citizens, including those in Deer Valley, Aerie, Prospector, Park Meadows, Thaynes and yes, even Aspen Springs, cherish our rich history and our charming Old Town — one of the largest communities of turn-of-the-century mining era buildings in the West and a nationally designated Historic District. Most consider and value Main Street as the heart of our community and partake of its activities, shops, galleries and dining often. As I write this, I hear preparation for today's ever-popular community-oriented Miners Day Parade and festivities.

Just as importantly, poll after poll show our visitors rank our Historic Old Town as a major draw when they are choosing their ski vacation location. Let's never forget these visitors provide us with the incredible lifestyle we all enjoy and must never take for granted.

A development the size and scope of the proposed Treasure Hill project would forever negatively affect and visually destroy what we have all agreed is important to us. Picture the giant Montage up there! Picture thousands of trucks on our roads, years of construction, even more traffic nightmares than now. Picture a mountain destroyed as it is scraped and excavated to build incompatible high-rise buildings looming above the town.

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I think almost all of us agree we don't regret one dime we have overwhelmingly voted to spend on open space over the years. We warmly welcome Mr. Weissman and all who have moved here to enjoy the community we have worked so hard to protect and beautify. I'm confident all of us, 40-year residents like me and newer residents like Mr. Weissman, will forever be grateful we protected this centerpiece hillside too.