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Schaffer's Crossing Development

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Sunday, July 6th, the folks in Glenelk hosted a meeting to discuss and strategize actions for Ron Lewis's development planned for Shaffer's Crossing. At that meeting, news on the Will 'O Wisp (WOW) development also came out.

The Dunwoodys of Woodside (the community in Park County where developers are planning on diverting water from Elk Creek for Tanglewood, the WOW expansion) reported they had won a summary judgement in water court; the judgement held that the Tanglewood developers did NOT own the rights to 1 cubic-foot-per-second of water from Elk Creek as claimed. This puts a major crimp in the developers plans to divert water. Dunwoodys also reported there would be a Park County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting to review status of the water application on Thursday, July 10th in Fairplay. The Dunwoodys are hoping for another large turnout of concerned citizens at the BOCC meeting.

The Glenelk meeting on the Shaffer's Crossing development was attended by approximately 70 to 100 people from both sides of US285, including Ron Lewis! To his credit, Mr Lewis answered questions from the sometimes angry attendees for 30 to 45 minutes, after that period, Mr Lewis was asked to leave so the residents could discuss objectives, strategies, and tactics in fighting the proposed development. Some samples from the Q&A session:
- Question: How can we stop your development? Answer: I have investments worth $12 million in the development, buy me out or find me a buyer. (A Jeffco purchase of the land for an open space park was discussed and set aside as Jeffco is not interested)
- Question: I'm concerned your 70 wells will lower the water table and dry up my well. Answer: Since water has always been such a critical resource, Colorado has a whole judicial system to manage the allocation of surface (streams) and ground (wells) water to balance the rights of claimants. The water court has approved my applications for wells and allocation of water rights. (When this person continued to worry about her well, Mr Lewis replied, "You own your land and put a well in, perhaps at the detriment of someone else's well, are you saying I don't have the same right as you to put a well in on land I own?"
- Question: If the Bailey-to-Conifer pipeline were put in would you use it as a source of water rather than drill wells and divert Elk Creek water? Answer: Yes, this is an alternative.

Janice Holcolm, Bona Jordan and Jim Hartman of Sphinx Park also attended the meeting if you would like to check with them regarding their recollections and perceptions. (There may have been other SP'ers there I didn't see.)

In the (sometimes raucous) discussions following Mr Lewis's departure, the concensus was that we need to make our opinions known to Jefferson County including large turnouts at any meeting at Jefferson County and generating a letter-writing campaign to County Commissioners to keep our concerns in front of them. Also there was general agreement we may need to hire an attorney to advise us in how to deal with the development with both Jeffco and the water court processes.

A sign-in sheet and two petitions were available to sign for attendees (petitions (1) against a condemnation request made by Mr Lewis and (2) soliciting Jeffco to stick to zoning spelled out in the County Comprehensive Plan and not approve any more dense re-zoning request from Mr Lewis). The sign-in sheet is to begin to collect and grow the names, addresses and email addresses of interested citizens. A leadership committee was formed to help name and focus the activity indicating how each of you can participate; Janice Holcolm of Sphinx Park volunteered to be one of the leadership committee members. We will post information we receive on the Sphinx Park web site and use this email distribution process for Sphinx Park residents if the yet-to-be-named effort elects to use HOA lists rather than detailed email lists.

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