With the Town of Mountain Village purchasing a 37-acre parcel in Norwood, those on Wright’s Mesa are learning that a proposed 70- to-100-unit subdivision is the plan for the property, with Mountain Village officials aiming for annexation into the town after the New Year.
Some people in Norwood are opposed to the development for various reasons.
Some have been voicing their fears about water. Drought continues in western Colorado, and folks that purchased raw water taps are already concerned they’re not getting their money’s worth out of their buy-in into the new irrigation system.
Still, the Norwood Water Commission has stated that the town is running at half capacity and can sell additional housing taps.
Others, though, worry about the disappearance of empty fields and the sprouting up of new homes that will clutter the landscape.
Bob Grossman and Creighton Wood have other fears. As founding members of Norwood’s Dark Sky Group, they’ve done a lot of legwork to preserve Norwood’s dark night skies, something they’ve claimed is a precious resource. The local area is listed as a certified Dark Sky Community and holds distinction as one of the darkest places on Earth.
They worry the new development could potentially double the size of Norwood and create light pollution. While they’ve worked to establish land-use code amendments in both the Town of Norwood and San Miguel County, they wonder about building density and exterior lighting. They also want to make sure the codes they’ve established remain enforced.
“There is a serious concern for exterior lighting and adherence to (either town or county) code,” Grossman told The Norwood Post.
Wood said the dark skies are just one aspect that could be affected. He’s concerned for infrastructure, and the impacts to roads, traffic, energy, water and more.
Grossman added more law enforcement will needed by adding that many more families in town so quickly.
Grossman lived in Boulder for 35 years. He watched change come quickly — so much that he once became lost in his own town due to changing landmarks and the rise of so many new apartment buildings. He saw the same thing happen in Fort Collins before that.
Grossman added that it would be sad if Norwood succumbed to being a bedroom community for Mountain Village.
While people in town question the future of the 37-acre parcel, how it will unfold and what it means for Norwood, one elder might surprise the community with his response.
Raymond “Mex” Snyder, lifetime resident of Wright’s Mesa and owner and founder of Mex & Sons Cattle Company, said change is inevitable.
Snyder, who is a former San Miguel County commissioner, said like it or not development is something that is going to happen in Norwood.
“With people coming in like they are, one way or the other it’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s just the main thing is that we guide it properly and try to please as many people as we can and that everything is done right.”
Snyder said he knows Norwood is a special little place. He’s been lucky enough to spend his whole life on the mesa and raise his family there.
He added it’s getting harder every year to be a rancher and that he understands why landowners sometimes have to sell.