It appears that the most recent letter to the editor by Bill Bennett et al was primarily designed to discredit the Ridgway Ouray Community Council rather than to correct any alleged misrepresentations. In fact, I am the president of ROCC and the person who gave the presentation concerning the number of mining claims in the south end of the County. I personally spent hours in the Ouray County Assessor's office obtaining the assessment information concerning mining claims.
The map which I displayed at the hearing and the slide which I showed during my presentation accurately states that the information was obtained from the Ouray County Assessor's office.
I made no distinction between patented or non-patented mining claims and clearly stated that my information dealt with assessed mining claims.
I was careful to understate the number of assessed mining claims and out of respect for a time limit did not include the following which was on the slide and on the map displayed at the front of the room. The following information may be helpful to the reader. Under the proposed changes to Section 9 any residential structure within a mile and a half of the proposed view corridors would be subject to visual impact regulations (whether built on a mining claim or not). There are approximately: 65 Assessed Mining Claims that are less than 1 acre; 295 Assessed Mining Claims that are less than 5 acres; 599 Assessed Mining Claims that are between 5 and 10 acres; 352 Assessed Mining Claims that are more than 10 acres and two Assessed Mining Claims which meet the existing 35 acre requirement.
My remarks were intended to emphasize the importance of Visual Impact Regulations for this highly sensitive area. At this writing SR550 is the only view corridor in the south end of the County. I sincerely believe that if, in fact, both those who support and those who oppose the Planning Commission's Proposed Revisions to Section 9, want what is best for the County and that which best protects our amazing landscape, then the Board of County Commissioners must seriously consider extending the visual impact protection to this area.
I agree with the sentiment in Mr. Bennett's letter. Facts matter.
– Jennifer Parker, President, Ridgway Ouray Community Council