It seems there is something peculiar going on here with regard to the 180′ cell tower application process in Huerfano County.
First the P&Z Commission decides the cell tower issue is significant enough for a public hearing (good move) and schedules a time and place to accomodate what they think will be a number of interested voters. Next the Public Hearing is held at the community center. A large gathering of folks show up and 30 or so wish to speak to you about the issue – as far as I can tell, most of those were in opposition. As the hearing proceeds, the applicant makes a procedural error. So the public hearing is cancelled, and P&Z members are to re-visit the situation at the next Tuesday meeting. Well enough, due process must continue.
In the interim there is no change in the application nor in the opposition to it EXCEPT that the Trustees of the Town of La Veta writes a letter to the P&Z UNANIMOUSLY OPPOSING THE 180′ MONOPOLE. A strong statement from the town most affected by their decision.
At the scheduled meeting, the P&Z takes an about-face and changes its mind about whether a public hearing is necessary. Nothing circumstantial had changed – same application, same public opposition, same voters want to speak out in favor of a better solution AND in addition the opposition to this cell tower by the Town of La Veta. Why did the P&Z close the doors on the whole in-person public process – instead making a weak justification about "no statutory requirement for having a public hearing on CUPs" taking written statements instead. If they felt the 180′ cell tower issue was important enough to hold a public hearing about the first time, what changed? Why wasn′t it important the following week? And public officials must always take written input in my opinion. That′s no substitute for an in-person forum. There′s too much inconsistency here. First it′s important then it′s not. What′s happening here?
This application is way too public and communal an issue to be decided among a few officials without direct public input. We′re talking about the best way to get improved community cell service to La Veta/Cuchara without scarring our primary natural and cultural resource – our tourist economy draw. If the general public′s outcry is not enough to warrant a public forum on this matter, surely the Town of La Veta′s unanimous opposition should be. The P&Z is considering violating the Land Use Guide (which we have agreed is in place to protect our scenic corridor resource) and won′t allow county residents to address this violation in a public way. There is something wrong here. Who is being served here – the public? It doesn′t look like it to me.
I ask you to join me in requesting that the P&Z Commission at least hold a public hearing on this 180′ cell tower application. Write a note,letter, email today (email:firstname.lastname@example.org). We certainly have a right to voice our opinions face to face with our elected/appointed officials at any time but most especially when such a significant scar will be inflicted on our heartland and not even provide a good solution for improved cell service. We′re losing out here in many ways, and they need to hear from us.