The discussion whether Ascendigo is a worthy cause or not is a moot point. Any organization that is helping the needy in whatever capacity is doing a good job.
What is questionable is that Ascendigo is planning to drop a commercial-like undertaking in the middle of a residential neighbourhood in Missouri Heights. They try to do this under the umbrella of being an educational facility. In reality they don’t even see themselves as an educational institution. They are planning fundraisers, renting out the facility to other causes, hosting 100-people dinner receptions, physical therapy etc etc. That looks to me like a commercial project with a camp on the side. None of which is educational with a curriculum as set out in the Garfield County Land Use Code as "activities associated with an academic institution.”
The traffic generated by such a commercial project will peak at 450 vehicle movements per day. This is as per their land use change application. One has to consider these are Ascendigo numbers which are held as low as possible. This does not include any further development that is sure to come if this is approved on the 126-acre property. The land will be used to the maximum extent possible once approved.
The site is set right at the ridge in Missouri Heights that drops down to the Highway 82 corridor. A wildfire that races up the hillside can reach the “camp” in minutes. With only one egress out of their property evacuation would be challenging under the best of circumstances. Water use for a proposed pond and a 100 strong staff and users will put extreme strain on already limited water supply.
The proposed land use change is completely ignoring the vision set out in the 2030 Garfield County Master Plan. I can only hope that our rights are not ignored by the Garfield County BOCC. This application does not meet the current applicable standards nor the future visions for the county and needs to be denied.
Missouri Heights/ Switzerland