Jan 282011
 

As you might recall from my prior post, some local developers seeking to build two dams to make a reservoir on the Penley Ranch, a property that borders our neighborhood. Many of my neighbors are adamantly opposed to that project. After seeing the presentations offered at the Douglas County Planning Meeting in mid-December, I decided that the project was fully within the rights of the owners of that property.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the follow-up meetings in mid-January, when I might have been able to speak my opinion to the Planning Commission. However, a friend volunteered to do so for me, and here’s the statement of mine that he read:

26 December 2010

Dear Members of the Douglas County Planning Commission,

We are residents of Indian Creek Ranch. Unlike many of our neighbors, we support the right of the owners of the Penley Ranch to develop their property. We support the building the proposed dams and reservoir, if that’s what they choose.

The reason that we support the developers is simple: property rights. Property rights say that what’s yours is yours and that what’s mine is mine. Property rights protect every person from undue interference in his affairs by others. Property rights enable every person to live his own life, using the resources he’s earned as he sees fit.

The owners of the Penley Ranch deserve to have their property rights respected and protected–just as we do. As far as we can tell, the proposed project would not violate anyone’s rights by imposing a tort or taking land by eminent domain. Of course, some neighbors might not be happy about the proposed project. But the Penley Ranch is the property of its owners, not of anyone in Indian Creek Ranch, and we ought to respect the rights of those owners.

For those reasons, we urge Douglas County to approve this project. In addition, we urge our neighbors to reconsider their opposition. We urge them to uphold the principle of property rights. Remember, the Penley Ranch will be developed–somehow, someday. Indian Creek Ranch can work with the developer now to make the project a win-win for everyone–or we can find ourselves living next to a landfill in ten years. Let’s choose our course wisely.

Sincerely,

Diana Hsieh, Ph.D and Paul Hsieh, MD
[Address omitted]
Douglas County

Unfortunately, the Planning Commission caved to the public pressure by recommending against the project. The debate now moves to the Douglas County Commissioners. Unfortunately, they moved the date of that meeting to an evening when I already have settled plans, so I don’t imagine that I’ll be able to torture myself by attending. However, I’ve updated and submitted the above letter as follows:

27 January 2011

Dear Douglas County Commissioners,

We are residents of Indian Creek Ranch. We support the right of the owners of the Penley Ranch to develop their property. We support the building the proposed dams and reservoir, if that’s what the owners choose.

We support this project based on the principle of property rights. Property rights protect every person from undue interference in his affairs by others, including interference from neighbors and government. Property rights make civilized society and economic growth possible, including the development of much-needed water storage resources.

The owners of the Penley Ranch deserve to have their property rights respected and protected–just like everyone else. As far as we can see, the proposed project would not violate anyone’s rights by imposing a tort or taking land by eminent domain.

Of course, some of our neighbors are quite unhappy about the proposed project. But the Penley Ranch is the property of its owners, not of anyone in Indian Creek Ranch. To deny this project due to public pressure would be to violate the rights of the property owners. That would be a grave moral wrong.

Hence, we urge Douglas County to approve this project.

Sincerely,

Diana Hsieh, Ph.D and Paul Hsieh, MD
[address omitted]
Douglas County

That will form part of the record, even though I cannot attend to read it myself. If you live in Colorado, you’re more than welcome to write a letter too. You can write in support of property rights, as well as the development of much-needed water storage resources in Colorado. Please send any such letters to the following address:

Curt Weitkunat, Chief Planner
Douglas County Planning Services
100 Third Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104
cweitkun@douglas.co.us

E-mail is fine, but please send them by Thursday, February 3rd. Also, be sure to include your address.

   
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