This just keeps getting deeper and deeper. Like unwinding a crime before it happens. And that’s what it is – a crime. Take our water. Take our land. Take our way of life. For profit.
Walton Group bought a couple parcels of land less than two years ago right here in Colorado. Lochbuie in Weld County as a matter of fact. But what they did there was/is backwards to what they usually do – and it effects us. They usually buy AG land, use their strength to bully small town and county boards to flip the property zoning, then sell it off to developers for profit. In these acquisitions, they bought out the developers and their special districts in the middle of the developers developing their developments (say that 3 times fast). Here’s a few articles:
It appears they bought both of the developments AFTER other developers went through zoning, planning, and county commissioners. After OTHER developers flipped the county regulators. Even bought it AFTER ground was broke and homes were being built.
And here’s their (consolidated name) project now:
That’s quite a bit to take in, but it gets worse. Do any of these names ring a bell around here? Good God almighty, look at some of the Weld County Special Districts Board Members and their attorney!
More importantly, look at the dates. Those Silver Peaks & Altamira developments along with their special districts were all put together, started developing, then were sold off to the Walton Group. And now Walton can put their new federally registered patent, “A Walton Community” logo to work:
Is that what is happening here in Elbert County? It is not a reach whatsoever to speculate this is exactly what is happening here. Walk this through:
Attorney Dianne Miller puts together the Independence Special Districts with taxing and eminent domain powers, all 6 of them – check.
Developer Tim Craft brings the dead Bandera project back to life for Bluegreen Investments, and with a lot of money (who’s money?) and time, gets it approved by Elbert County Commissions. Zoning, Planning and the 3 Member County Commissioners all in his pocket – check
Walton Group raises over 9 Million dollars from their Asian partners for special warranty deeds on land they own abutting Independence. $9,000,000.00 raised and counting (that doesn’t even include any of their money) for a lousy 320 acres of AG land? – check
Walton applies for a change in zoning (out of AG) to Elbert County for their 320 acre parcel abutting Independence, a change NOBODY at the county says they know anything about (I have the emails), but yet what is this “confidential” document? Oh, let’s speculate, “Description: Received correspondence from new owner re AG. Uploaded docs and notified Bart Chambers.”
So who’s lying?
Somewhere down the line Walton annexes, buys or takes over (they’ve done all three previously) Independence and bam, we have 2,500+ homes with 7,500 or so new neighbors. And where do you get the water, the resources, to satisfy the needs of 7,500 people? The ingress/egress roads for 30,000 daily vehicle ins and outs that aren’t even in Elbert County. You think our wells here in Elbert County can supply 100% of the water required for this monstrosity? Not a chance, and they know it. I say slay it before it grows.
We got lucky here. I didn’t know about Bandera in 2009, didn’t care, didn’t live here yet.
I didn’t even know about Independence until just a few months ago, and I’ve been an Elbert County citizen and property owner for over 5 years. Seems most people ’round here (me included) mind their own business and don’t get too involved with county matters, just the way country life should be, right? Pretty much easy prey to be taken advantage of by greedy developers and crooked government officials. Hell, half the county doesn’t have reliable cell phone service. Rural.
But now I know.
And I’ll post everywhere, anywhere I can so you’ll know too. I’ll call the old posse and park a hundred Harley’s in front of the County Commissioners to get their attention. I’ll knock on your door, wake you up at 8 AM to get the facts of the matter out. I’ll write posts like these, give you the facts, quote articles, public resources, assessors info, etc. so you can determine what it is they’re doing to our “rural and western” way of life.
Is this what Elbert county residents want? Construction dust and noise for decades? Impossible access along Hilltop and Delbert Roads? Stinky sewer plants for 10,000 folks? To have developers come in here with high density cluster homes and take what’s ours?
Are we going to let this sneak by again, or are we gonna’ take a stand? Reasonable growth is Elbert County is expected, but OVERDEVELOPMENT and taking our water, our resources isn’t.
Listen, I know this is a lot to read. Maybe too much so. But sooner or later you have to make a choice. Stand or fall. Let your commissioners, planning commission members and zoning department know your thoughts. Don’t sit there on your ass and let this freight train run you over – again.
Leave that 320 acres zoned AG, AG. There’s no law that says it must change. There’s no law that says big money wins. There’s no law that says you cannot deny their request. There’s no law that says it’s OK to steal our water, clog our roads (that we don’t fix now) or get bent over a barrel by a few greedy clowns in new cowboy boots. This is rural Elbert County. Growth is coming, but there’s no law that says it can’t be smart growth. There’s no law that says our County Commissioners are not supposed to protect the citizens of Elbert County either.
Here’s your Elbert County Commissioners email addresses:
Coming soon, Part III – that sneaky little multi-million gallon drinking water storage tank that’s connected to Rueter-Hess Reservoir on Singing Hills Road that will feed the machine. Remember pipelines run both ways. Water in, water out. Stay tuned, they broke ground and today there’s excavation and backhoe equipment there. Check back when you can.
Wayne Ordakowski, a concerned RURAL Elbert County Citizen