The 7-member County Development Review Committee (CDRC) this afternoon approved the Tierra Bello Subdivision proposal by a vote of 6:1. There was no public discussion of the development, but the report I sent you earlier was distributed to the committee members, who recessed their meeting for a few minutes to read it carefully.
In my opinion, the vote did not indicate strong support by the CDRC for Tierra Bello, but rather the belief that the committee had no legal basis on which to oppose the project. The CDRC staff had already reviewed the Tierra Bello proposal and had recommended passage, on the grounds that it did not violate any county code requirements.The issue of water availability was off the table, since the Eldorado Water and Santitation District had already issued a legally binding water permit to the developer. Thus, confronted with a staff recommendation and unable to consider the global issue of water availability, the committee members, in my opinion, had little choice but to approve the project.
Interestingly, in the discussion among the committee members, it became clear that they fully understood that the County Commissioners, whom they advise, have the latitude to consider broad issues of water, neighborhood impact, etc., of the development, and are not at all obligated to support the CDRC recommendation. Despite the vote, I came away from the meeting heartened that these larger county development issues will very much be on the minds of the County Commissioners when they take up the Tierro Bello proposal at their May meeting. Thus, if you are concerned about water issues in the community (and I hope you are), it is very important to make your opinions known in the next few weeks. I'll send around a memo in the next couple of weeks with specific suggestions, but in the meantime I hope you will inform yourself on the issues.