Telluride: A National Historic District: The National Park That Never Was

I wonder when the Heritage Festival will start showcasing Telluride’s “real estate boom” as a significant part of the town’s historical record?

Perhaps in addition to demonstrations on mining, stage coach rides, livestock, etc., one day there’ll be booths with old realtors telling their tales of how it was just one giant unspoken relay race which had an effect on many aspects of life in and around town. “We used to be on all the governing boards, had columns or regular commentaries running in the papers, of course the dark smokey rooms where winks and nods with our favored politicians ruled the day.” Of course it wasn’t all serious business, “Most of us had given each other fun nicknames – the tourists really fell for some of those”.

Getting back to the present day here and now, where self-interests are a thing of the past: I do believe we ought to always provide a consistent and fair playing field when it comes to private property rights. It affords all of us the same set of rules to provide a general set of parameters for what is allowed and what is not.

Most zoning has some mechanism to allow for change; typically, either procedural or by variance. This is not a new concept by any means and most property owners should be aware of this fact.

The way I see it, a National Historic District is based upon a set of facts with respect to the past … which can be a bit fuzzy given we’re talking about a time period which wasn’t necessarily recorded meticulously – let alone having every square foot YouTube’d.

If a set of facts is proven wrong, then it’s necessary to update one’s factual repository and adjust accordingly. Why should a NHD be based upon fiction simply because private property stakeholders didn’t perform due diligence with respect to their subject property? If a property is next to an avalanche path – and was purchased based upon information contained in past avalanche studies – and new technology provides a more accurate model which causes changes with respect to the existing mapping, one can’t simply ignore the new (and possibly more accurate) information.

I guess some fictions are more benign than others, but the point being that we ought not cling to a slice in time provided there’s a fair way to move forward. Perhaps a third independent study via mediation could provide support or refutation of exiting claims. Grandfathering for existing owners until transfer of property could also be another pathway. There are lots of creative solutions other than embracing what might be a fiction.

Oh, what about those night flights?