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Planning commissioners respond to NF concerns

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After thanking the public for their comments concerning the Master Plan on May 9, planning commission chair Bob Stechert invited comments from planning commission members.

Steve Schrock, District 1, said the public's comments will be considered in adopting the Master Plan. He said some residents of the county do support oil and gas development.

"There will be no official polls, no votes by the population," Schrock said. "The people on this commission represent all the people of the county, a broad population base throughout the county."

Layne Brones, District 2, said that in all the meetings the planning commission has held, there was not as much opposition to oil and gas as there was that night from the North Fork. "We represent the whole county, not part of the county, and must listen to all the people," Brones said.

Angela Mackey, District l, said she was glad those attending tonight shared their concerns. "The planning commission must represent the entire county in connection with oil and gas," she said. The Master Plan is advisory, a living document, and will be reviewed and changed as needs arise, Mackey noted. She asked people to stop being afraid of regulation, assured those present that no one on the planning commission has turned a deaf ear, and assured them the planning commission will continue to protect the county in a logical way.

Stechert, District 3, stated the process concerning the Master Plan is required by state law, and the planning commission has followed the requirements of that state law. Regulation is possible, he said.

Stechert suggested those with strong concerns about oil and gas join the oil and gas working group undertaking that subject.

Tony Prendergast, District 3, thanked commenters for their thoughtful concerns, and commended them for how much they care.

In conjunction with his fellow planning commission members, he noted they will be realistic and judicious concerning oil and gas. He believes consulting the Gunnison County strategic plan regarding oil and gas will be helpful to him.

Prendergast said, "The Master Plan won't be a perfect document, but it will be a living document that can be amended over time."

Tate Locke, District 2, noted that everyone wants protections for their personal concerns -- agriculture, water, air, personal property. Protections for those rights are strong throughout the Master Plan, he said. He encouraged those concerned about specific rights to join one of the three working groups being formed.

Kim Shay, District 3, said she has always represented the North Fork Valley, along with Bob Stechert and Angela Mackey, as well as representing the entire county.

She said, "We will work out solutions we can all work with. We appreciate all your comments and appreciate your help."

Steve Shea, District 1, said, "I took all your comments to heart. I hear your concerns and hope we represent you well."

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master plan, Planning Commission
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