Mark Your Calendars; Let’s Not Consult Ourselves To Death

~ by Rick Langenberg ~

Cripple Creek/Victor residents, community leaders, casino employees, nonprofit folks: Now is the time to listen, speak out and make necessary changes. And yes, hear what expert consultants say, but remember their words and stats are not cemented in gold.

Sept. 25 is the D-day for the Cripple Creek/Victor big housing summit, when out-of-town consultants will present definite recommendations for the area’s housing woes, along with a detailed analysis of our housing needs. It will occur at the Pioneer Room of Bronco Billy’s, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Much is at stake for the region.

Whatever course is taken, don’t follow in the footsteps of Woodland Park and their continual Not In My Backyard fights, assortment of six conflicting groups and a vacant downtown commercial hub since the beginning of mankind.  That may be the example of what not to follow.

No, the Creek and Victor area doesn’t need six hour-plus meetings over results that are pretty apparent at the get-go. For details, just check out the latest protest saga over Woodland’s tiny home project in the Tamarac subdivision. Rumors are brewing that this could become a new melodrama show played at the Butte Theater

The south part of Teller, though, has an advantage in that most folks want affordable or workforce housing, and aren’t going to reduce themselves to these nonsense fights.

Still, some are worried about the use of consultants to compile the recommendations. Teller County is a consultant study paradise. I am willing to bet our fine abode has invested $50 million-plus into various studies over the last two or three decades.

And little tangible results have occurred from these studies. The most prolific examples dealt with a highway bypass,  a YMCA center, downtown development efforts, and  of course, housing.

Previous housing studies have demonstrated an acute crisis, but these results have been met with deaf ears. Why were they even done in the first place, if no action would occur?

The highway bypass situation was a story in itself, with the city of Woodland Park originally hiring a group led by a brave wiz from Denver who got lost skiing with a cadre of friends, sparking a miraculous rescue operation aired on national television. Believe it or not, they all were saved, despite their stupid decision to pursue a skiing trek against all odds.

But Woodland Park only hired the best back then. Regardless of this bizarre consultant-hiring decision, the city came up with a valid bypass plan. But it just gathered dust, leading to the traffic quagmire we are now experiencing. Enough said on that issue.

Now, it’s time for southern Teller to take the high road and put these housing findings into action.

Don’t miss this meeting. But remember, don’t follow the actions of Woodland Park.