I am a fifth generation Larimer County native, one generation removed from the cattle business. I am concerned about Berthoud’s unneeded Growth Management Area (GMA) expansions and annexations outside of existing GMA boundaries. Berthoud’s current GMA is over 24,000 acres in size. Berthoud currently has 10,712 lots in some type of planning review (enough for a population of well over 30,000 people). The current GMA is large enough to make Berthoud similar in population size to Fort Collins.
Fifty years from now our citizens will not be wishing for more subdivisions, or retail development but we will be wishing we had more agricultural lands and open space. The Town’s citizens have a vision of Berthoud that maintains our rural heritage. Even the Town’s official Vision Statement (adopted May of 1994) includes the following sentence: “A town that works together to control its own destiny by being proactive in planning for future growth while preserving and enhancing its rural character.”
All past Berthoud GMA expansions have been done with the goal of blocking another more aggressive city or town from expanding into what logically should be Berthoud’s area of influence. There is no risk of any City or Town expanding their GMA to Berthoud’s western boundary. Larimer County has a Rural Land Use System in place that allows Conservation Developments (clustered homes with preserved agricultural land) that is an ideal mechanism for landowners who want to develop while preserving agricultural land. The Town of Berthoud has no similar mechanism. Landowners that become part of Berthoud’s expanding GMA will lose the opportunity for Conservation Developments.
I encourage you to vote to protect farmland and our agricultural heritage. Berthoud has expansive areas for future growth within our already huge GMA. Vote No on question 241 (a no vote will repeal the Hayworth Annexation), Vote Yes on ballot question 242 (require voter approval of any annexations outside of the current 24,000 acre GMA).