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Resort merchants want help with rent

Allen Best

TELLURIDE ” Merchants distressed about rising rents in Telluride are appealing to town officials to tip the playing field their way, perhaps by creating deed-restricted commercial space or restricting existing commercial space to current uses.

Telluride Mayor John Pryor is reluctant to directly assume the task of managing the economy, but the idea is being reviewed in a town planning effort.

While mandating “affordable retailing” is a new frontier, city and county governments have long engaged in attempting to manage their economies.



Transportation ” from subsidized direct flight programs to subsidized parking garages, are the most obvious example ” but similar initiatives are marketing programs and affordable housing.

Agencies want mandated fire protection



CRESTED BUTTE ” Representatives from both the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado State Forest Service are pushing Gunnison County to mandate homeowners in the so-called urban-wildlands interface to create defensible space.

“If we ever had a fire, we’d have trouble saving a single house,” said Jerry Chonka, the U.S. government’s fire management officer in the Gunnison Ranger District.

County regulations urge landowners outside of cities and towns to thin trees and in other ways reduce the threat from wildland fires to their homes.



But Byran Ayers, from the state’s Forest Service, thinks the county should make it mandatory. “The only way you’re going to get people to thin trees is to require it,” he said.

He reported that perhaps six counties in Colorado have already done so.

Future of park debated

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – Aping what is going on in Banff National Park, the idea of a building limit inside Grand Teton National Park is quickly gaining support among both park officials and boosters.

“I think that is a goal that we could strive for,” said Mary Gibson Scott, the park superintendent.

The idea, which was proposed at the Power of Place Conference in Jackson, would set a standard of no net gain of impervious surfaces.

Though most speakers were hopeful while looking into the future, David Wendt had a stern warming.

“By 2025, it’s possible that as a result of climate change, we’ll measure snowpack in the mountains not in feet but in inches,” said Wendt, president of the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs.

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