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Ghosts I

To the Editor:

Kudos to John Hazlehurst for his informative and nostalgic article on endangered historic buildings and neighborhoods of Colorado Springs ("Ghosts of Colorado Springs Past," Dec. 16).

-- Jack Hettinger
Colorado Springs


Ghosts II

To the Editor:

As a current Colorado College student, I wished to bring up a few points in relation to your article on historic preservation in Colorado Springs, and specifically the sections concerning CC.

I feel deeply that historic buildings need to be preserved, and I hope that older architecture will continue to co-exist with more modern buildings in Colorado Springs. But I also can see a fundamental difficulty that our college faces when it comes to preservation. Yes, CC owns a number of historic buildings which are now used as student housing. I live in one -- Ticknor Hall -- which while never a private home, is certainly historic. I have also had the privilege of residing in Haskell House, on the corner of Uintah and Cascade.

Certainly it cannot be denied that using these houses as multiple-resident student dorms allows their condition to deteriorate. However, your article also makes clear how unacceptable it would be for Colorado College to tear down these houses in order to erect more modern student housing. Thus, a fundamental contradiction which is certainly what David Lord was addressing when he said, "We have to use them for what we have to use them for."

CC students like myself must live somewhere, and the two most practical choices both have less than salutary effects for historic preservation. I myself am pleased that CC chooses the less destructive method, which is to use these buildings as student housing.

Additionally, your discussion of the demolition work which proceeded the new wave of on-campus building seemed somewhat skewed. While this has certainly altered the character of the neighborhood, you concentrated on what CC had demolished or moved (and I believe more houses were moved than out and out destroyed). Max Kade house, Mullett House, Hamlin House and other buildings were left standing on their original sites despite being in the construction area, thus preserving these historic buildings.

While I agree that the Western Ridge project has had negative effects on the historic Northside neighborhood, it was not a total destruction. CC is, I feel, honestly trying to balance the needs of a growing liberal arts college and a historic neighborhood.

-- Darcie Hutchison
Colorado College (Class of '01)


We need the UN now

To the Editor:

The 20th century has been the most violent in human history. More people have died in wars and genocides than ever before. As the century draws to a close, many of us will be out celebrating a new millennium, making our resolutions and looking forward to a new start. We now live in an increasingly global world, and as technologies such as the Internet bring us closer and closer together, it is time for each of us to make a resolution in regard to our global community.

After World War II, the Allied powers created the United Nations to "save future generations from the scourge of war." At the time, the power of the UN was restricted for reasons related to the Cold War, which was beginning at that time. As a result, the UN has only been marginally effective in fulfilling its purpose.

A recent Harris poll (#67, Nov. 12) demonstrates that American citizens want the United States to play a leading role in preventing and responding to humanitarian crises through a cooperative international effort. Furthermore, another recent poll by the University of Maryland (www.pipa.org) found that 73 percent agreed (44 percent strongly) with the statement, "I regard myself as a citizen of the world as well as a citizen of the United States."

However, our representatives do not recognize this public opinion. Our Congress owes more than a billion dollars to the United Nations, it has rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, it refuses to even consider the Women's Rights Treaty, and it has slashed aid to other countries.

As the millennium draws closer, we must exercise our democratic power and let our representatives know we want a strengthened UN. It is time to make a New Year's resolution by pledging our allegiance with our brothers and sisters on Earth and working toward real global stability for the good of all humanity.

-- Laura McGaughey
Denver


Smart growth requires some

serious thinking

To the Editor:

After following the Smart Growth discussions over the past three years, I was genuinely pleased to read "Owens unveils his plan to handle state's growth," an Associated Press article in the Nov. 30 Gazette, concerning Governor Owens' proposed plan.

I am familiar with Senator Sullivant's plan, but I feel it places too many unrealistic demands on local government as well as property owners. I strongly believe the Governor's plan is much more in tune with local growth concerns and empowers people and government with the tools and direction to make a difference. Once it becomes law, we must work with our own municipalities and county-elected officials to define how the law will be enacted in El Paso County.

I propose a two-part solution. First, it would sever the taxpayers' interest to streamline the planning process. I've spoken with many Colorado Springs property owners adding onto their homes or buildings. Always they are held up for six months or more because of city red tape. County property owners can do it much quicker and for much less because the process is not as bogged down. The same situation can only be true for developers, and we begin to see the makings of urban sprawl.

Streamlining the process requires the city to reevaluate their process and improve its ability to respond. Without the city making such changes, we must expect new government restrictions in other government jurisdictions such as the county. This would be a disaster and would undermine our demands for less government and fewer taxes. Yet, the hallmarks are on the wall. Recently, the county opened discussions to adopt some City of Colorado Springs' planning reviews.

The second proposed solution is to consider the fiscal impact of development on taxpayers. The county did this about 20 years ago and stopped in the early 1980s. The analysis evaluates the long-term tax revenue or deficit resulting from a development. These taxes pay for expected government services. If there is a deficit, the taxpayers may be unknowingly subsidizing services provided elsewhere. When this happens, we hear the city cry for more taxes. We have proof that this is true with the Metex district, Aries Land fiasco, and with Colorado Springs being the foreclosure capital in the late 1980s.

However, government should never tell business how to satisfy the market. To solve this conflict, I suggest the impact analysis be used in combination with market analysis to decide, for instance, what portions of a development are built first and last. I am convinced that if we had been using this approach all along, we would never need to raise taxes again and would always be able to satisfy community expected needs and wants.

-- Kit Roup,
American Institute of Certified Planners
Colorado Springs

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