An exercise in cynicism |

An exercise in cynicism

Don Rogers

The latest Eagle County comprehensive plan is a piece of work. A lot of earnest thinking, to be sure – 183 pages worth. Heart-felt, no doubt. But ultimately empty.A handful of citizens participates in the process. A staffer or two writes most of it. The document is approved. By a planning commission. By the county commissioners. And then …, well, it’s pretty much ignored. A handful of years later, it’s dismissed as hopelessly old. No leader is held to it. And few – if any – follow it. Frankly, the whole comprehensive plan thing is a pretty cynical exercise.Land laid out for preservation winds up developed. Lately, an overpriced parcel purchased for preservation makes a lasting mockery of all those pretty words about developing community centers and preserving the outlying hinterlands. “Smart growth.” Yeah, right.Plans are only so good as they are followed. Plans ignored are unworthy of the effort that went into building them.The latest follows what would be closest to Democratic Party principles, which makes sense with a 2-1 majority of Democrats. But this plan has already been compromised by a whim. If land-use philosophizing is so easily dismissed in practice, what of the rest of the document? If the politicians would like such exercises to be taken seriously, maybe they could actually follow what they’ve created.Vail, Colorado

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