Top 10 Impacts

1. Compliance:  Lack of compliance with: The Animas Valley District Plan which states, “discourage land uses that would negatively impact surrounding property owners and the natural environment.”  The Animas Valley Land Use Plan (incorporated into our County Land Use Code), a purpose for which was “preventing high density housing development and maintaining the traditional rural quality of the area.”  The Animas Valley River Corridor, which has a purpose of “limiting the intensity and proximity of development near the river”.  This parcel, until/if the new flood plain is approved, partially lies within the River Corridor, and must abide by its rules, including “uses shall be designed to reflect the rural and scenic quality of the Animas Valley”.

2.  Density:  This is a high-density 277-unit Tiny Home and RV development which has 9.1 sites per acre.  That density is grossly higher than the surrounding area average density of about 1 home per acre.  This development is like dropping a new city into the Valley and seriously changing the density without the infrastructure to support it.   The density is not compatible with the location. 

3. Traffic:  Roberts’ development will significantly increase the amount of traffic on Trimble Lane (CR 252), CR250 and Hwy550 with large RVs, many with towed vehicles/trailers and more cars.  There are already dangerous conditions on Trimble Lane and CR250, with narrow roads and no sidewalks for pedestrians or bike lanes for cyclists.  The increase in traffic will become an even more unacceptable safety concern.  Roberts’ claims there will be no significant impact for traffic on Trimble Lane – we disagree. 

4. Sanitation: Hermosa Sanitation is our only sewage facility for the Valley.  It was built for residential use. RVs not only have a per/day usage, they often arrive with their tanks at least partially full and also dump that.  This large commercial development and its high sewer demands may speed up the need for Hermosa Sanitation to build a new “mechanical facility” at a cost of millions of dollars.  $$$$$

5.  Fire: Fire is a serious safety issue, well-known to our area.  What happens when we next need to evacuate?  Trimble Lane cannot handle the traffic load in an evacuation from existing residents; imagine adding a lot of large RVs and many more cars into that chaos!  And there is only one way out of South Dalton Ranch, which has over 100 homes. That one way out leads to Trimble Lane, which already will have a higher traffic load due to the addition of Dalton West. This is a nightmare scenario to contemplate.  Per Shawna Legarza, Emergency Manager for La Plata County “Our Valley is at high fire risk”.  According to County Commissioner Marsha Porter-Norton, “the Animas Valley District is the district most affected by wildfire in our County.”

6.  Wildlife:  The Valley is home to herds of elk and deer; black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and many other animals in addition to 125+ species of birds and waterfowl.  Disrupted migration/travel routes, traffic, noise and light pollution will have huge impacts on our precious and irreplaceable wildlife.  The potential for bad human/wildlife interactions will be greatly increased.

7.  Night Sky:  RVs and Tiny Homes, with their many windows and exterior and decorative lights, will negatively affect our night sky.  Also, many luxury RVs have exterior large-screen TVs.  The Animas Valley currently has some wonderful night skies; the light pollution from this development will greatly diminish those skies.  

8. “Park-model cabins” are simply manufactured homes on wheels; wide Tiny Homes: They necessitate a special permit and special towing vehicles to travel on roads.  It is pure fiction that they are an “RV”.  Roberts states that he intends to eventually have more cabins than RV sites and rent these cabins out for up to 6 months at a time.  Year-round.  RV Parks in La Plata County only allow stays of up to 60 days. This proposal IS a high-density development and in La Plata County those are traditionally handled utilizing a Major Land Use Permit heard by the Board of County Commissioners. 

9. Water: This property has no significant water rights and currently has a 2” commercial tap and ¾” residential tap.  Per the Animas Water Company (AWC), upgrading of these tap sizes may be required, especially to cover fire suppression requirements.  Future periods of prolonged drought are predicted and will further stress this diminishing resource.  Just because the capacity may be there now doesn’t mean this non-necessary development should be allocated a huge amount of water now and forever.  Goal 5 of the Animas Valley District Plan states that the County should “Promote growth to not exceed existing infrastructure.”

10. Soundscapes: On average, cars moving 30 MPH produce sound levels ranging from 33 to 69 decibels.  The World Health organization has now stated “traffic noise is as harmful as air pollution”.  And, at an average of 3 people/unit, the 831+ people in these cabins and RVs will be here to have fun.  That can get noisy….