I am writing to express my concerns with what I see to be a troubling trend in Park County. We are seeing more and more of our productive agricultural land being bought up and …
I am writing to express my concerns with what I see to be a troubling trend in Park County. We are seeing more and more of our productive agricultural land being bought up and developed into subdivisions of housing. This is troubling to me.
Agriculture is the backbone of this area. I know and believe that a landowner has the right to sell their land, but at what expense to the farmers of Park County?
The canal systems in the area only service a certain portion of the land which makes up, I believe, 17% of the county. The Heart Mountain Canal services 39,000 irrigated acres of farmland. In the last two years, 1,200 of those acres have been sacrificed to subdivisions, with many more proposed and in planning for the future. One in particular, the Buck Creek Subdivision, is in the spotlight.
I am opposed to this subdivision for a few reasons.
First, it hurts the operations of a local farm.
Second, the developer stands to make millions on the project. The Park County commissioners have postponed making a decision on this particular subdivision because of the opposition to it. If approved by commissioners, what precedent does this set for future development of productive agricultural lands? How quickly will they disappear? How many of the developers will be local, or will the money leave the area?
Third, we have a county land use plan. I would encourage people to become familiar with it. It is outdated and really doesn’t have any teeth, but it was written by the people of Park County. It clearly says that unproductive lands should be developed before productive ag lands and that current subdivisions should be filled before developing more. It is a land use plan to protect our ag lands, but it is being ignored. A new plan is going to be in the works and I encourage any and all who have an interest in our land use plan to become involved in the development of that plan.
I am aware of another subdivision in the county that is zoned for 5-acre lots or larger, but planning and zoning has approved the plan with 2-acre lots. Every one of these new lots will need wells and septic systems. With less and less flood irrigation, what strain does this put on neighboring wells that are already there?
With more and more of our crop land being turned into housing, the price of that land is driven up, making it not an option for the farmer to buy it and make a profit. This eventually makes an impact on all of us when we look at the prices on the shelves at the grocery store.
We need our ag land. It is what makes our area survive and thrive. We can’t go get more of it. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
Please, people, if you love our agricultural community and way of life, put a stop to the development of productive ag land. Write or call the county commissioners TODAY and let them know how you feel. Let’s not set the precedent that greed comes before our way of life and livelihoods. Once it’s gone, we can’t get it back; there are no do-overs here.
Develop in the non-productive hills or the alkaline flatlands. Look at the Rolling Hills Subdivision off of Road 2AB. There is a prime example of the land we should be developing instead of our farm land.