Smart Growth

Smart Growth is purposeful growth.  It is an enhancement and continuation of our community.  Castle Rock needs growth, it’s part of the 20-year forecasting, it enhances our Town and it brings positive attention. 

But Smart Growth is not “anything goes”.  Smart Growth is not retail without primary employment to support the community. Smart Growth is about balanced growth across all of Castle Rock

This is my approach should I receive your support.  Zoning and Site Development Plan (SDP) review needs to happen earlier with boards and citizen outreach.  Boards and Council should be empowered to have a stronger conversation with developers earlier in the process.  New development needs to enhance Castle Rock as a whole.  Outlying areas that refuse to annex because of our design guidelines should not be eligible for town service partnerships, including water and sewer services.  We need to be a leader of Douglas County policy and not an enabler of bad policy.

Town incentives and special accommodations need to be reserved for Primary Employers, not for additional retail. This allows us to focus on bringing jobs to town that allow people to live, work and shop all in Castle Rock.  Retail is welcome, but we should focus our limited resources on the positive impact of more people around that are able to spend money, not to offer the same few people more choices on where to shop.

Smart Water

Castle Rock residents and developers need to understand that Castle Rock growth means that we need to treat water as a rare and precious commodity.  We feel the pain when we see our water bills.  Castle Rock Water has been planning for the growing expense of water.  Rates and fee increases are real but low and steady and grow at a forecasted and predictable rate.  Denver Water saw a 25-35% increase in 2016 for some of their customers.

We should put a larger emphasis on the variable portion of the bill so that residents have more control over their expenses based on their personal conservation efforts.  The highest tier of watering surcharges should be increased dramatically to highlight the danger that can happen when members of the community do not recognize the importance of the common shared resource.

Long-term infrastructure and design within Castle Rock Water are sound, with purchasing of additional supplies, increased renewable water capacity and supply, and cutting-edge storage solutions that are being explored.

Commercial and residential irrigation continues to be the largest use of water.  Steps have recently been taken to curb the planting of water-intensive lawns in new developments, but the town needs to push further to reduce high water landscaping for all new construction, and to create appropriate incentive programs so existing homeowners can affordably but quickly embrace low water use options, returning even more control of the water bills to the users.  The Town needs to aggressively partner with HOA’s to update requirements that are appropriate to Castle Rocks needs as a community.

Smart Community

The only way to accomplish these goals is to work together as a Smart and unified community.  My stance on unaffiliated and non-partisan is critical to the accomplishment of this goal.  The tribalism that divides the community against itself, instead of unifying around our shared concerns is disruptive and unwelcome.  Differences of opinions, priorities, and approaches are welcome and important to truly solve our problems.

To accomplish this we need strong but respectful voices on Council, and a skilled and accomplished mediator to lead the conversation.  We need a council which can disagree, but remain professional and focused on solving problems.  We need council members who are not only willing but able to work with those with whom they disagree.  Silent participation, absent members, and conflicts of interest all show that our leaders have their priorities elsewhere. 

Castle Rock derives the majority of it’s revenue from Sales Tax.  Developer Fees/Impact Fees Water Rates all generate revenue for Enterprise Funds which can only be used to support those specific activities.  To better capitalize on our Sales Tax base, we need to create Primary Employment opportunities in Town.  Primary Employment increases wages, increases spending, furthers a sense of community, and reduces congestion.  This area is where Castle Rock has fallen the most behind other growing areas of Colorado and it leaves us the most vulnerable.

One way to attract Primary Employers, and to minimize congestion is to explore the opportunities of municipal broadband.  Municipal Broadband can offer a robust platform that makes the city a desirable location for Primary Employers, for residents with telecommuting capabilities, and educational institutions.  It can be a self sustaining enterprise fund, requiring zero tax dollars, and promoting competition in this field.  This has been an exceptional positive move for over 100 municipalities and Counties within Colorado.  This also creates more partnerships within the County and the State.

Castle Rock is a great community. To move forward and guide the change we need and want, we need to be active and informed.  We need to realize that all the residents have the same concerns, and our discussion is about how to best address those concerns. 

Let’s Get Smart

Getting smart isn’t about any one of us, it’s about ALL of us. Getting Smart isn’t about talking, it’s about listening.  Getting Smart means working towards outcomes that address the issue.  Getting Smart is about being honest and transparent with ourselves and our neighbors, and acknowledging that not every decision is going to make everyone happy.

Purposeful, honest, accountable and transparent government working for its citizens is the answer. I listen. I hear what you have said, and I hope to show you that my voice is your voice.