There have been numerous letters in recent weeks by residents opposing the Ascendigo Ranch proposal — a 45,500-square-foot-plus facility to be built in Missouri Heights. As a 32-year resident of Missouri Heights, I can tell you that this nonprofit but commercial-like camp facility does not belong here. We are a rural/agricultural area located in a high desert. We are prone to drought and high winds. My opposition is neither greed nor NIMBYism. It is about having adequate water to weather the droughts, fight the wildfires and protect my property’s value.
We are in a drought now. Current conditions resemble some of the driest years on record such as 2002, 2012, 2013 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. It is astounding to me that Ascendigo wants to put 100 people on site 24/7 throughout the summer and possibly into the fall. When I think about 100 people flushing toilets, cooking, bathing and doing laundry, I shudder. In addition, they want to have a 1-2 acre pond (read lake) for water sports for their campers. Such a goal is unfathomable to anyone who lives up here.
Ascendigo is not the first business to try to build in Missouri Heights. If this proposal is approved, more will come. I know it is tempting. Missouri Heights is beautiful and quiet. But the infrastructure of Missouri Heights is not conducive to the high traffic, increased water consumption and wildfire risks that come with commercial development.