The county growth and development office is soliciting ideas for a "vision" of how citizens would like to see the county develop, especially over the next 20 years.
The next few months will be the best time to call or mail your input into that office.
And we want to help out. We'd like our readers to send us ideas as well, no matter how screwy they may sound, about things the county should consider for the future. Send them to: Vision; c/o The Mountain Home News; P.O. Box 1330; Mountain Home, ID 83647.
We'll collect the ideas we get and pass them on to the county.
The field is wide open. Consider, for example, the people of Las Cruces, N.M. Twenty years ago I doubt anybody there considered they'd have a private spaceport in their back yard. I'll bet their comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances didn't even consider the concept. But that's the sort of screwy idea we'd like to seek. Stretch your mind. And let us know if you think it's a good idea or a bad one for the county.
There's a lot of things to think about. Do we want to see, for example, historic preservation district's created, and if so, where?
What new transportation corridors might we want? What restrictions do we want to place on power lines? How about water diversion systems?
Do we want residential growth to be "open" with large lot areas in the county, or do we want to "cluster" development as a means of preserving natural habitat?
How much emphasis, and where, should we put on wildlife habitat preservation?
Should wind farms be allowed anywhere? Do we want to see a county filled with them? How about solar power fields, or receiver fields for "beamed" solar energy from space?
What areas should be set aside for recreational use?
Since all ag and grazing land potentially can be turned into some other type of land use (it is sort of the "base" for future growth) are there any areas that we want to put an emphasis on preserving for at least the next 20 years, and how restrictive do we want to make that preservation?
Growth and Development Director Brent Butler wants people to haul out their crystal balls and look forward, even beyond the 20 years of his Vision 2030 project, but out to even 100 years. Consider, for example, that when Elmore Medical Center was built, it was at the edge of town. Now, 50 years later, it is in the middle of it. So keep that in mind when you start thinking about your vision for the future. Industrial and manufacturing development that goes in at the edge of town today will be in the middle of it 50 years from now.
Doing some forward thinking is not only fun (stretch your mind), but can have major implications for the world our children and grandchildren grow up in. Every idea will be considered. So get involved now in the vision quest for our county's future. Don't leave it just to government officials, because frankly, there are better minds out there. Be one.
If you get involved now, your vision may be the key one that leads us to the future we all want.
-- Kelly Everitt