The new year is here, and in the tradition of a fresh start with the fresh year, we asked readers to share their ideas for the changes they wanted to see in Pagosa Springs during 2022. This is a continuation from last week.
Amy Rivera wrote: “Limit STR permits, solutions for affordable housing, cease the use of lodger’s taxes to market the town (think spending for housing to support what we have created). Locals cannot go out to eat when they are (also) on a holiday break. We stay home to avoid the rush. Grocery stores take a hit, etc.”
Tammy Boen agreed: “Amy Rivera AMEN!!!! So many of our people have been forced out of homes they’ve been in for years.”
Jeanelle Marie Wychesit wrote: “Also the only vacation rental limits that will work is limiting to one, maybe two properties per owner/business. I’m sick of seeing 3-7 owned by one or two people. It’s simply unethical.”
Cindy McCormick wrote: “The state of Hawaii has some pretty tough rules. If you buy a property there you may or may not be able to use it for a vacation rental. It all has to do with zoning. I do think limitations on how many vacation rentals there are is important for any community.”
Stacey Zwirn wrote: “While there are a few plus things that need to be addressed and taken care of, I believe the lack of affordable housing should be top priority.
“We need affordable housing so our community can back to some normalcy. Folks need places to live that won’t take more than 30% of their income.
“This will help our local businesses by bringing in employees, as folks will have a place to live that is affordable.
“Businesses being at full staffing allows them to keep their doors open for more regular hours. In return people can spend more right in our community.
“The money that is generated right here in our community can then help the other issues we experience.”
Rodriguez Rocio wants: “More affordable long term rentals…”
Brenda Smith added: “Limit STRs in County like they did in town.”
Karen Gerardi Evans also suggested: “More affordable long term rentals for those who don’t qualify for any of the income based housing.”
Eddie Patton also wrote: “Affordable Housing.”
Mary Tighe wrote: “Housing is key for community development, together with staff training.”
Charles Gundry added: “The county should enact a 15/hr minimum wage.”
Mary Tighe added: “Basic elements of education, road quality, internet and latest tech to attract and keep new business.”
Cheri Newton wants: “A roller skating rink and I’ll leave y’all alone.”
Leslie Hutchison Walker shared: “I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again…a roundabout at the city market/N.Pagosa/shell station intersection. Also, an easier way in and out of Walmart. And a splash pad park for kids. I think that’s it….Oh and better drivers would be nice too.”
Beth Ford Ross commented: “Leslie…why that exit out of City Market has not been fixed is beyond me. It’s also a horrible place to come out onto North Pagosa. A round about would fix the problem…or cause worse problems since some people can’t do roundabouts.”
Suanne Freitag McLellan wants: “A real traffic circle at the North Pagosa intersection by the Buck stops Here and the road to the City Market Shopping Center.”
Deborah Silva Tammen added: “Paved roads in Piedra Estates.”
Darryl Zito wrote: “Turning lanes on 160 towards aspensprings, trails, bluewindmill, etc.”
Susan Niemiec McAdams added: “If like to see the county and Cdot work together to fix our roads. Especially fix the intersection of 160 and N. Pagosa and finish the job they started several years ago, and finish repaving Piedra Road along Pagosa Lake!”
Valerie Bosch Blackketter added: “I would like a bypass so it wouldn’t take a half hour to 45 minutes to get through town.”
Jeff Crayton responded to Blackketter: “That’s never going to happen. A bypass thru any small town is a city killer and the beginning of it’s demise. Weve done that all over this country and proven that it’s an economic killer.”
Suzan Christie Gallegos wrote: “Can we have better communication and better Wi-Fi systems implemented for our community and county wide folks?? Seems when tourism is in full swing we all suffer from little or no good service, and maybe put some fiber optics down Hwy 151, asked for a new line to put security cameras and was denied and told not enough pegs?? What does this mean to me when I don’t have enough internet service to run a security service for our own property, paying an over priced service which we don’t have.”
Linda Lutomski noted: “Cell service and land lines are unreliable. We are growing quickly and it is a safety concern. During tourist times, we don’t have enough bandwidth to pay our bills.”
Phyllis Brooks Webb wants: “More fresh food restruants open. Something like James Ranch or Sunnyside Farms type place. Also xcountry ski loop at Yamaguchi Park again.”
Lynn Sauer Robinson added: “A salad bar restaurant.”
Di AL wrote: “I would LOVE to see a healthy Mediterranean restaurant in town.”
Gena Renée Mathews wants: “More indoor recreation venues (kid-friendly).”
Jan Pullen wrote: “A drivers license office would be helpful.”
Rich Slosh wants: “Our own Health department.”
Fran Lohr would like to see: “1 government for county and city.”
Briana Kees wrote: “To have ‘local’ people be nice to the tourists and the new people that have moved in… REGARDLESS of the state they come from. This ‘Us vs. Them’ is just not right.”
Diane Maun wrote: “Covid stopped in it’s tracks and we can return to a normal life!”
Jan Harms summed it up well: “That we can share the peace & love of Christmas year around in our wonderful little town we all call home.”
Space doesn’t allow for us to print every idea that we received.
One thing’s for certain: We have a lot to look forward to in 2022. Let’s all do our part and resolve to get involved to make our community better.
Terri Lynn Oldham House