environmental design ..\AURARIA LIBRARY
Thirty Miles Out
Mary Alice Rothweiler
1190 A7S 1982
PA r\ /
THE SMALL TOWNS AND RURAL AREAS WITHIN THE SIX-COUNTY DENVER METROPOLITAN REGION
Mary Alice Rothweiler Studio 3 Thesis Spring 1982
COLORADO PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT REGIONS
THE SMALL TOWNS AND RURAL AREAS WITHIN THE SIX-COUNTY DENVER
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Problem Statement 1
Section II Background
Chapter 1 - Frontiers and Farmers 7
Chapter 1 Footnotes 12
Chapter 2 - Hometowns to Townhouses 13
Chapter 2 Summary 22
Chapter 2 Footnotes 23
Chapter 3 - Thirty Miles Out 25
Chapter 3 Footnotes 31
Chapter 1| - Images 33
Chapter ij. Summary 37
Chapter 1| Footnotes 3&
Chapter 5 - Colorado lj.1
Adams County lj.7
ArapaJhoe County 50
Boulder County 52
Denver County Sk-
Douglas County 5&
Jefferson County 59
Chapter 5 Footnotes 61
Chapter 6 - Selected Community Studies 63
Castle Rock 73
Georgetown ~ 77
Boulder County 81
Chapter 6 Summary 92
Chapter 6 Footnotes 93
Section III The Community Development Process Chapter 7 - Community Development 96
Chapter 7 Footnotes 107
Chapter 8 - Adapting the Community Development
Process to Local Business Development^
Step 1 - Organization 110
Step 2 - Research 112
Step 3 Goal Setting 11
Step Analyze Alternatives 11lf.
Step 5 " Taking Action 119
Step 6 - Evaluation 119
Chapter 8 Footnotes 121
Section IV Summary and Recommendations Chapter 9 Summary and Recommendations 1214.
Rural Zoning 127
Multi-Jurisdictional Planning 129
Chapter 9 Footnotes 133
Section V Appendix
Selecting a Planning Consultant, by
Bob Giltner 139
Colorado Territory i860 Census Returns II4.3
List of Illustrations
Colorado Planning and Management Regions map Distribution of Population in 1930 Total United States Population 1900 and 1960 A Farm Trend: Fewer Men, Greater Yield Population Change in Metro and Nonmetro Counties Colorado Counties, 1873 Colorado's Urban and Rural Population Colorado Census in Groups of Places According to Size: 1900 to 1950 Population Patterns Adams County
Patterns Arapahoe County Patterns Boulder County Patterns- Denver County Patterns Douglas County Patterns Jefferson County
Forecast, City of Brighton
- Castle Rock
- Louisville, Lafayette, Lyons, Nederland
Live Free in Boulder County"
Map of Boulder County
The Community Development Process
Notions About Community Planning
Planning for Small Cities
DRC0G Historical Development map
National Highway System maps
72 76 80 82 85
"There may very well be possibilities for a resurgence of life in the economically by-passed small towns of America."
"Ko dramatic violence is being done to rural Americ It is withering away because it has little function
in modern life." Robert B. Riley
Section I: INTRODUCTION
Ever since the first United States Census in 1790, American urban areas and their surrounding suburbs have grown at a faster rate than rural areas. The only exception until recently was a brief "back to the land" movement during the depression of the 1930s. However, evident in the 1970 and subsequent tallies, a shift has occurred in this pattern of growth and settlement. In the 1970 and 1980 census statistics, the growth rate of rural counties exceeds that of metropolitan counties.
This growth of rural population is among the nonfarm residents of small cities and towns in rural areas, rather than among people employed or living on productive farms. Those farm populations continue to decline.
This study focusses on the small towns and rural areas which share counties with metropolitan areas. More specifically, it concentrates on the six county area which composes the membership of the Denver Regional Council of Governments.
The rural areas and small towns in these counties have diverse histories, growth patterns, and present needs. What they have in common is their proximity to the metropolitan area and the prospect of impacts from the projected growth of population. Another feature common to these communities is the need for an organized approach to economic development. The final portion of this thesis proposes a community development process for economic planning.
Urban problems which led to the outmigration have been discussed thoroughly by sociologists, but are touched on only briefly in this study. The same is true of the remote and totally agricultural isolated rural areas and
See front map, page v.
small towns. The rural areas within metropolitan counties have received little attention. Perhaps the assumption is made that these areas will become urban in time as well. County governments which oversee a population of 27,000 urban and 2,300 rural dwellers will logically spend more effort on the urban portion. The small towns exhibit conflicting attitudes of feeling neglected and wishing to be left alone.
Mr. William Johnston, of Denver Regional Council of Governments has stated that there are three kinds of small towns in this region towns that are growing, towns which are expending all their energies in staying exactly the same, and those which are losing ground and can be expected to disappear.
This study explores the potential of the communities of the rural areas of Colorado Planning Region 3 and suggests an approach to reach that potential. The challenge to concentrate on economic development was too strong to resist. Colorado's office of Commerce and Development has been asking some"experts"for recommendations to small towns wanting to do business vitalization projects. One response from all has been to keep the planners out of it! Douglas County courthouse keeps the two divided Planning on the lower level and Economic Development on second floor. A strong belief that the two should be not only compatible but cooperative has led to the proposed economic development process.
United States Census Bureau statistic have provided the data for growth figures, which in turn indicate trends.
Literature reviewed included history of American population movements and of American rural areas and cities.
Colorado history was found not only in libraries and the Heritage center, but in county historical societies, local museums, road signs, and local residents. A mutual friend introduced Mr. Erl Ellis, retired attorney and historian, who is publishing a book about Colorado counties. Mr. Ellis kindly granted access to the map plates prepared for his book, as well as his overwhelming collection of Colorado maps and books.
Perhaps the most pleasant part of this thesis preparation has been spent in the communities of these six counties -taking pictures, reading newspaper files, and talking to people; town planners, county planners, agricultural agents, museum attendants, commissioners, store keepers, businessmen, and local residents on the streets and in stores.
Most residents of the small towns and rural areas of the region have positive ideas about the future they want to materialize in their home towns.
Section II explores the historical movement of the American population from rural to urban centers, and the current return to the countryside. The historical settlement of communities tells us not only who moved where and why, but also what attitudes were carried along, and what expectations. History also indicates why some communities make good neighbors to their new residents, and why others maintain a "Keep Out" attitude. With statistics and maps, emphasis narrows to the patterns in Colorado and Planning Region J>. Case studies of Brighton, Bennett, Castle Rock, Georgetown, and Boulder County narrow the study still further.
Section III explains a process for community development and adapts the process specifically to economic development. Joe Krehbiel, of the Colorado Department of Commerce and Development, is preparing a guidebook for Colorado's small towns for economic development. This section was intended to become part of that guidebook. Therefore, it was written for an audience which does not already have some educational background in Community Development.
Section IV recommends two additional tools to augment the Community Development process, rural zoning and multi-jurisdictional planning. Because of the diverse nature of the communities, no attempt is made to recommend a specific planning tool or action as "best". Rather, the recommendation is for a process by which the people of the communities can decide for themselves which they prefer. The section also includes a summary of the thesis.
Section V is the Appendix. In addition to the Bibliography the Appendix contains some maps which are pertinent to the study, but are not essential to the narrative flow. Copies of the first census of Colorado, made in i860, are in the Appendix, as is an article written by Bob Giltner of THK for this study.
Section II. BACKGROUND
Frontiers and Farmers
"...life was lived out in the soft light of a tree-shaded street on a summer afternoon, to the soft clip-clop of horses, the drone of the bees and cicadas, the clink of ice in the lemonade pitcher, the creak of the porch swing..."
Chapter 1 Frontiers and Farmers
As the nation expanded west after the Civil War, no part of America, no matter how wild or rugged, escaped the attention of fortune hunters and exploiters. While farmers and cattlemen spread through the valleys and across the open plains, lumbermen and miners pushed into the less accessible areas.
The country was in a frenzy of gold and silver rushes until the 1880s. To supply the diggings, merchants, farmers and professional people followed the miners, and soon dotted the west with population centers.
Popular notions of the Far West of the middle 1880s are romanticized images of mining camps and cattle kingdoms.
Into a relatively short period of time were capsuled the noisy, boisterous frontier scenes which have been depicted in movies longer than they actually lasted.
The lusty, brawling days of the western frontier might have gone on longer had it not been for frontiers of technology that were being conquered in the east. The change agents which wrote a finish to frontier life were the Virginia Reaper, the railroad, and the automobile.
The Virginia Reaper
Cyrus McCormick sold his first reaper in I8I4.I; in 1856 he sold 23,000. The reaper could do more work than what had been accomplished by hand labor, starting the trend away from the labor intensive character of farming. With machines which could cover more land than field workers, the average size of midwestern farms increased. Farms had found machines, and they were changing the land use patterns of rural America.
On May 11, 1869, the Golden Spike was driven at Promontory, Utah, and the nation was joined coast to coast by the railroad. In the Midwest, the towns had preceeded the railroads,
but in the West, the railroads preceeded the towns. Railroad companies became, in reality, land companies. There was a surplus of railroad miles over population to serve, so the earnings from western lines were low. The obvious answer to the directors was to bring people. Thus the railroad played a major role in the settlement of the West Groups of settlers were organized, towns were laid out, and the people came.
The people who came to settle the High Plains area did not find the frontier to be what they had expected. To the women, prairie plains towns were a dull, monotonous hardship. The 98th parallel seemed to be the dividing line between good farm land and poor soil; between rain and no rain. Hostile environmental factors discouraged but did not drive away settlers. They endured vicissitudes of ade quate rain and drought, high winds, frigid winters, hot summers, plagues of insects, shallow soil, matted grass, and the lack of trees. What they could not tolerate was the loneliness the human need for neighbors and a sense of community.
People relied on the railroads to bring more people. The trains coming into settlements brought not only new neighbors; they brought contact with the East. The train schedule offered opportunities for social contact. V/hen the train came, whole communities gathered at the depots, and "that lordly man, the engineer, condescended to chat with loungers at the depot, giving them a hint of what life was like in the great world outside.
The Tin Lizzy
Henry Ford produced a car designated as the Model T in 1908. By 1913 the Ford plant was making 1000 cars a day, "and by providing more or less instant transportation for the mass of American people, they were transforming a
horse-and-buggy land of isolated villages into a mobile, modern nation.3
At the beginning of the twentieth century rural America lived in its unhurried world of the small town, the country store, the one-room schoolhouse, the muddy roads, the horse and buggy. It seemed the world as they knew it would go on forever. But suddenly along country roads appeared rural mailboxes and telephone wires and King road drags and gasoline buggies, and shortly, in less than a lifetime, old agrarian America, known and revered from the foundation of the Republic, was gone.,,i+
The transition from frontier to a network of communities happened very quickly. By 1900 just about every seventh American lived in a city of more than 290,000, and every twelfth American lived in New York, Philadelphia, or Chicago.3 The new cities were everywhere, deriving their powers from their strategic location on the paths of traffic of raw materials from forests, mines ana farms to factories and then to markets.
The last decade of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century were known as America's "Age of Confidence". In the stable towns across the land, "life was lived out in the soft light of a tree-shaded street on a summer afternoon, to the soft clip-clop of horses, the drone of the bees and cicadas, the clink of ice in the lemonade pitcher, the creak of the porch swing a time of pause and prosperity." 6
By 191^ the nation was moving rapidly from the horse and buggy era into the auto age. That year there were 1,711>339 cars registered in the United States.? The conditions of the rural roads, however, were atrocious. There were
oceans of mud, snowbanks, chuckholes, and pools of water to keep the motorist at home.
The Rural Free Delivery had been a link tying together many otherwise isolated rural areas. When R. F. D. deliverymen used horses to make their rounds, the stations were about thirteen miles apart. Small communities often developed around these stations, as they became gathering places for people waiting for their mail. With the advent of the motor car, the R.F.D. closed many of the intermediary stations. The deliverymen could theoretically cover twice the former distance in the cars. However, they were actually able to use their autos less than half the time because of the bad roads.
Roads were originally the responsibility of local governments. The farmers were often able to work out some of their taxes by improving the road which served their property. The "King road drag" was a device frequently used by the farmers when they repaired the roads. It was a split log fastened in two places, one about 3 feet ahead of the other. Pulled over a muddy road just after a rainfall, it smoothed the road and rounded it toward the center in such a way as to drain more easily.
Farmers and local governments alike paid an enormous price in poor country roads. Those roads meant poor country schools and churches, sporadic attendance at community gatherings, isolated farm families, and financial losses in getting crops to market on time.
In 1916, Congress passed a bill to improve the roads, with cooperative maintenance responsibilites between the states and the national government. Maps depicting the growth of the nation's highways are on pa&es 1 ^61 ip9.
From 1850 to 1900, America had expanded its frontiers from coast to coast, and its technology from horse to huge machines. Noone could have imagined then the great changes technology still had in store for the future.
Frederick Jackson Turner read a paper at the time of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, bemoaning the fact that an era lasting four centuries had closed because there was no longer a frontier. He proclaimed "to the frontier, the American intellect owes its striking characteristics... coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness; that practical, inventive turn of mind...that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism... and withal that buoyancy and exuberance that comes with freedom.
What of the small towns by 1900? This was certainly a point of their finest time, particularly in the agricultural areas of the country. Those small towns near the larger cities were not threatened by any great expansion of the city into their functions yet. The cities provided the markets for farm produce and were the site of industries which utilized the raw materials of mines. Chapter 2 follows the rapid growth of the metropolitan areas, and the decline of many rural ones.
1. - The Pioneer Spirit. American Heritage Publishing
Co., Inc. New York. 1959. p.301
2. Ibid. p. 293
3. - This Fabulous Century. Time-Life Books, Inc. New York. 1969. Vol. 2, p.86
Fuller, Wayne E. R.F.D. The Changing Face of Rural America. Indiana University Press. Bloomington.196^. p. xi
5. Weisberger, Bernard A. Reaching for Empire. Time, Inc.
New York. 196/f. p.33
6. Lingemen, Richard. Small Town America G. P. Putnam's
Sons. New York. 1980. p.258
7. Fuller op. cit. p.Uf2
8. The Pioneer Spirit, p.347
Hometowns to Townhouses
"At the outgoing of the old and the incoming of the new century you begin the last session of the Fifty-sixth Congress with evidences on every hand of individual and national prosperity and with proof of the growing strength and increasing power for good of Republican institutions."
President William McKinley, December 3> 1900
People 'Per Square !Mile Less than 2. ExOlTl t
STATES BY POPULATION rcoimuL
TOTAL UNITED STATES
URBAN (2500 or more)
Per cent RURAL Per cent
Native bom white Foreign bom white Negro
American Indian Oriental
STATES BY POPULATION
i'V 1900 1960
31 Colorado 539.700 1.753.947 33
* r > -e 32 Florida 528.542 4.951.660 10
33 Washington 518,103 2353214 23
34 Rhode Island 428,556 859.488 39
r 35 Oregon 413,536 1,768.687 32
36 New Hampshire 411,588 606.921 46
37 South Dakota 401.570 680.514 41
38 Oklahoma Terr. 398,331
1900 1960 39 Indian Terr. 392.060
40 Vermont 343.641 389381 48
76.094,000 179,323,000 41 North Dakota 319.146 632.446 45
30,160.000 113,056,000 42 Dist. of Columbia 278,718 763.956 40
40% 63% 43 Utah 276.749 890.627 38
45,835.000 66,267,000 44 Montana 243.329 674,767 42
60% 37% 45 New Mexico Terr. 195,310 951.023 37
46 Delaware 184.735 446292 47
56.595.000 149.544.000 47 Idaho 161.772 667.191 43
10,214.000 9.294.000 48 Hawaii Terr. 154.001 632.772 44
8.834.000 18.849.000 49 Arizona Ten-. 122,931 1,302.161 35
237.000 547.000 50 Wyoming 92.531 330.066 49
114.000 709,000 51 Alaska Terr. 63,592 226.167 51
52 Nevada 42.335 285.278 50
1 New York 7.268.894 16,782304 1
2 Pennsylvania 6.302.115 11319,366 3
3 Illinois 4.821.550 10,081,158 4
4 Ohio 4,157,545 9,706,397 5
5 Missouri 3.106,665 4,319,813 13
6 Texas 3.048,710 9379,677 6
7 Massachusetts 2,805.346 5.148,578 9
8 Indiana 2,516.462 4,662,498 11
9 Michigan 2.420.982 7,823,194 7
10 Iowa 2331.853 2.757,537 24
11 Georgia 2316.331 3,943,116 16
12 Kentucky 2,147,174 3.038,156 22
13 Wisconsin 2.069,012 3,951,777 15
14 Tennessee 2.020.616 3,567,089 17
15 North Carolina 1.893,810 4,556,155 12
16 New Jersey 1.883,669 6,066.782 8
17 Virginia 1.854.184 3,966,949 14
18 Alabama 1.828.697 3.266.740 19
19 Minnesota 1,751,394 3,413,864 18
20 Mississippi 1,551,270 2.178.141 29
21 California 1.485.053 15,717.204 2
22 Kansas 1.470.495 2,178.611 28
23 Louisiana 1,381.625 3.257,022 20
24 South Carolina 1340.316 2,382.594 26
25 Arkansas 1.311.564 1.786372 31
26 Maryland . 1.188.044 3.100,689 21
27 Nebraska 1,066300 1,411.330 34
28 West Virginia 958.800 1.860.421 30
29 Connecticut 908,420 2.535334 25
30 Maine 694.466 969365 36
* Joined to become Oklahtrma state 1907 *Became state after 1910
Immigration 1900 1960
TOTAL ALL NATIONS 448,572 265.398
Italy 100,135 14.933
Russia and Baltic States 90.787 ' 4328
Ireland (Northern & Eire) N 35,730 8.967
Scandinavia 31.151 6.379
Germany 18.507 31.768
Great Britain 12.509 23.363
Romania 6.459 993
Portugal 4334 6.968
Greece 3,771 I nr Luries part or all of Austria. Hungary, CzechasuymJna. Poland 3.797
Japan 12.635 5.471
China 1347 3 681
Chapter 2 Hometowns to Townhouses
The urban population expanded rapidly in the early 1900s. Most of the growth of the city populations came not from the rural population but from an increase in the birth rate and from repeated waves of immigrants. Nevertheless, better jobs and better educational opportunities were luring rural residents, particularly the young, to the cities. The drain of country youth worried many observers and government officials. Theodore Roosevelt established the Country Life Commission, which published in 1909...our civilization rests at bottom on the wholesomeness, the attractiveness, and the completeness, as well as the prosperity of life in the country."
In spite of efforts to enhance the view of farm life, more and more people were moving to the cities. Although the small towner observed the city with distaste and bemused superiority, their upwardly mobile children were fleeing to the cities in ever greater numbers. By 1900, ij.0% or 30,160,000 people lived in urban areas. (United States Census Bureau defines urban as those places having 2500 or more residents.) There were l|-5>835000 rural residents.^ Times were changing. Factory employment, almost all in urban areas, was already over six million by 1900 and climbing fast.
City dwellers, especially farmers' sons who had left the land, developed a keen nostalgia for country life. At a distance it seemed golden, virtuous, and free. The belief was general that food was not all the farms produced, they also produced the nation's best people.
Currier and Ives painÂ£irg s depicting a simpler, rural way
of life hung in the parlors of city houses. William Allen White, publisher of the Emporia (Kansas) Gazette, built his whole career around the advocacy of small town virtues.
"...In the country town we gain in contact with our neighbors. We know people by the score, by the hundred...Our affairs become common with one another, our joys mutual, and even our sorrows are shared...It all makes life plea-santly livable." White deliberately epitomized the smiling, neighborly, small-town, middle-class America-the America of Norman Rockwells Saturday Evening Post covers. With other Populists, he believed that the possession of wealth was a sign and reward of natural virtue. He equated conservative republicanism with old-fashioned, sturdy country Americanism.
The rural towns of America survived the 1930s Depression somewhat better than the cities. There was a brief "back to the land" movement among those who had left the rural scene for promise of better life in the cities. Even so, there were many unemployed farmhands and foreclosed farmers among the army of drifters.
At the same time, better roads and more automobiles brought country and village closer to each other and to the city. Country people came to town at least once a week instead of once a month. Consumer goods and modern services were available on a more widespread basis. Through improved communication systems, national advertising increased the demands from the rural populations for an increased share of material goods.
"The modern world clashed with the most deeply held smalltown values: individualism, self-reliance and cooperation with ones neighbors, a high valuation of tradition, suspicion of new ways and of strangers, ties to place and
insularity, general continuity through the family."3
The prosperity of the 1920s largely bypassed industrial workers and farmers, resulting in an unequal distribution of the national income. Herbert Hoover's administrative policies did nothing to help the family farms. His ideal of "rugged individualism" was pretty much the same thing as "iaissez faire". The Hoover administration resisted every proposal for government regulation of agriculture, but saw no contradiction in providing some indirect assistance to big business. Through tariff protection for manufacturing, the government manipulated fiscal policy in favor of individual enterprise rather than the public.
When Franklin Roosevelt became president, he embarked on a program of massive support for agriculture. According to Roosevelt, "the American farmer, living on his own land, remains our ideal of self-reliance and spiritual balance -the source from which the reservoirs of the nations strength are constantly renewed."^
Some of the relief programs instigated by the "New Deal" to aid agriculture are:
Civilian Conservation Corps CCC reforestation, erosion and flood control, construction of forest roads.
Federal Emergency Relief Administration direct aid for
the unemployed through grants to the states.
* Civilian Works Administration work-relief through public jobs. Known as the "leaf-raking" agency, it was liquidated in 193^1*
* Works Progress Administration WPA built 650,000 miles of roads, 35*000 schoolhouses and other public
buildings, tennis courts, swimming pools, golf courses and recreation centers. WPA arts workers wrote state guidebooks and plays and painted murals on the walls of public buildings.
Through these programs, there were 7,000,000 individuals or families on the government payrolls. Still, unemployment stood at 8,000,000 in 19^4-1
The Roosevelt administration organized the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the original purpose of which was to raise agricultural prices and maintain them through restriction in the production of staple crops. The AAA also proposed to help conserve natural resources through crop rotation and other measures. Marginal land was taken out of production and AAA officials encouraged planting of soil-building legumes. Six million farmers participated in the AAA. Farm income doubled, debt was reduced 25%, bankruptcies among farm families declined over 70 By the end of the 1930s agricultural aid had become an accepted responsibility of government.
Better cultivation of the land actually resulted in greater than ever crop production. While rural residents clung to their old pioneer myths of equality, self-sufficiency and independence, their real-life world was increasingly one of dependence. In spite of the federal programs, machines and improved agricultural techniques were eliminating the farm hand and the small farmer. For the thousands of farm families who left their home acres to find new work, it was small consolation that Americas farm problem was one of plenty rather than scarcity.
The Truman presidential policies continued massive price support programs. Eisenhower's Secretary of Agriculture
A FARM TREND: FEWER MEN, GREATER YIELD
From 1949 to I960 production rose almost one-third (center of chart) while the number of farm workers (bottom of chart) fell off by about the same amount. Total productivity per man hour (top of chart) more than doubled. The result: an emptying countryside and a vast glut of many farm products.
Source: The Great Age of Change. Life Magazine.
decided to lower price supports, restrict credit, and curtail the Rural Electrification program. Market prices still dropped, resulting in new subsidies. The small farmer got the message from government "Get big or get out. "
Although the farm population decreased by nearly seven million in the 1950s, output grew so remarkably that production vastly outstripped demand. Agriculture was suffering from headlong scientific progress.
Wheat production Wheat acreage Agricultural workers Number of farms
16.9 bu/acre 70.3 million 8.6 million 6 million
51.9 million 5.7 million
3.9 million ^
In the period between 191+0 and 1965, twenty million people left the land. Six million of these people were drawn off the farm by the lure of jobs in urban defense industries, and by the military in the war years. The remaining fourteen million left when they became unemployed as industrialization of agriculture spread.7
Meanwhile, those who were still living in the small towns found they had to make adjustments as well. Dividing lines between urban and rural life-styles had nearly disappeared. In a contradiction of stereotypes, urbanization of villages was viewed conventionally as "progress", while migrations to cities were seen primarily as causing social problems. The small towners had to cope with a disappearance of their traditions. Until the rural revolution, there were often great changes, but they took place against a never changing backdrop of familiarity, and the focus on the rural community remained. "Korse-drawn iron plows could
be substituted for oxen and wooden ones; corn and potatoes could make possible greater production of livestock; forests were turned into fields...but the village community retained a degree of autonomy. Gasoline-powered tractors, artificial fertilizers, the use of modern hospitals and schools permit no autonomy for the contemporary village."8 Summary
The massive rural-to-urban migration continued through the 1960s. Across the nation, non-metropolitan counties lost
3 million people through outmigration in the 1960s alone.
That loss was noticable in some of Colorados small towns even within the metropolitan region. Georgetowns population, for instance was 391 in 19^4-0, 329 in 1950, and 307 in 1960. There was no mining activity, and no reason for expansion of the population in Georgetown.
The agriculturally based communities which survived the outmigration of farm people were ready by 1970 to welcome proposals which would mean growth and additional income. The next chapter describes the changes which did come, and discuss how the communities in the Denver Metropolitan region have dealt with those changes.
FOOTNOTES Chapter 2
1. United States Census Bureau Data.
2. Davis, Kenneth S. "The Sage of Emporia". American
Heritage. October/November 1979. p.82
3. Lingeman. op.cit. p.l|38
L|.. Dulles, Foster Rhea. The United States Since 1865.
The University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor, 1959. p. 387.
5. Ibid. p. 368.
6. Leuchtenburg, William E. and the Editors of Life.
The Great Age of Change. Time, Incorporated. New York, 1961|. p. 121.
7. Heskin, Allan David. "Crisis and Response: A Historical
Perspective on Advicacy Planning". Journal of the American Planning Association. Volume i|6, Number 1. p.5^
8. Halpern, Joel M. The Changing Village Community. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1987. p. 109.
9. - The Yearbook of Agriculture. United States Department of Agriculture. 1978. p.xxxv.
Thirty Miles Out /
Chapter 3 Thirty Miles Out
Since the beginning of the settlement of America, the population of urban areas grew while large numbers of people left the farms and small towns. Since 1970, this migration trend has seemed to reverse.
Nonmetropolitan counties in America grew in population from 1970 to 1973 by lj..2%, as compared with a growth of 2.9% in metropolitan counties. Of the nonmetropolitan counties, those adjacent to metropolitan areas grew by ij.,7%. Even non-adjacent counties grew by ^ (See p.26)
It is too early yet to tell if the turnaround of migration
is a real trend, or a pause in urbanization. The best available data indicates that it is a trend, and will likely
continue into the 1990s or beyond. Comparable trends are also being observed in other industrialized nations of the world. Most particularly, the changes indicate movement from the major cities into the outer fringes of the metropolitan areas.
The change also reflects a drying-up of the pool of rural-to-urban migrants. Farm population is only 3*6% of the national population. Only about half the persons employed on farms are employed solely or primarily in agriculture. There simply aren't many farmers left to migrate to the cities.
Many factors have contributed to the growth of non-metropolitan towns. One has been the increased affluence which allows retirees to live where they choose. These retirees choose to live in warm climates, and frequently in small towns, where they perceive their fixed incomes will go
Population Change in Metro and Nonmetro Counties
Standard metropolitan statistical areas with one million or more residents. Counties adjacent to standard metropolitan statistical areas as defined in 1974. Source: U S Bureau of the Census.
farther than in the cities. Industries have decentralized their operations, locating where they see the advantages of cheap land, cheap labor, and cheap utilities.
The result is an increase in job opportunities. "Although agriculture is still the dominant influence in many rural economies, overall, employment in manufacturing, trade,
and professional services now exceed direct agricultural 2
Two-thirds of the new growth is adjacent to or within commuting distance of metropolitan areas. Areas which have beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, and stress-free way of life have special appeal to retirees and vacationers. Those include Florida, California, Arizona, New Hampshire, Maine, and the northern Great Lakes regions.
Rural counties in the coal field areas of Montana, Wyoming and Appalachia experienced growth as a result of pressure for development of the resource. Populations have followed the move of small industries to rural areas, as in the Ozarks. Other counties registering new populations are some non-metropolitan counties with major state colleges or other government financed institutional complexes.
Not all rural parts of the country are growing as a result of the change in migration patterns. Parts of Mississippi and other southern states where rural poverty levels continue are still experiencing loss of population. The same is true of wholly rural counties in the northern states where winter weather is severe.
The pattern of migration shows in the income of the people living in the small towns. In the village community of the 1970s, government payments for social security, agricultural conservation, civil service retirement, and
military discharge pay is equal to one-fourth the agricultural sales.
Life Magazine in 1970 conducted a poll of American people, asking where they would most like to live. The majority of respondents said they would like to live about thirty miles away from a large city in a small town, in a single family home with a front yard and a back yard. Developers read the news and rushed to provide the new "American Dream" home. These new subdivisions frequently mushroomed outside the planning jurisdiction of incorporated towns, where land was cheaper and regulations less rigidly enforced. The "thirty-mile-outers" moved into communities which often provided no urban services.
At first, the country atmosphere served to meet the desires of the new residents. But after a few years of bad roads, unreliable water supplies, no law enforcement or fire protection, and poor schools, they began to demand more sophisticated provision of services from the towns. The urban flight transplanted urban problems to the small towns, although not on an urban scale.
The migration to small towns was augmented not by what is ahead but by what was left behind. Disillusionment with cities and suburbs, inability to find a sense of "community" within the city, and a feeling of isolation led people to seek a more congenial lifestyle in the country. Survivors of the 1960s upheavals were in the front of the back-to-the-land movement.
In the small towns, such rapid growth was traumatic. New kinds of people in the towns caused some conflicts between
themselves and the long-time residents. The new people fit into four general categories: 1) a new class of affluent, middle-class, college educated, 2) the retired, seeking a safe and cheaper life, 3) technocrats, and [(.) "hippies". Strangely, the hippies fit into the small towns with less disruption than the other groups. They were not trying to be involved with the community, and they shared much the same land ethic as the established residents. The middle-class and working class "roiled the previously placid waters"^ of local government. Younger and healthier retirees than the nation had known in former years wanted to get involved in the community and pushed to Get Things Done. They became divisive elements in local politics.
Rapid growth sent local land prices skyrocketing, so that many of the low income rural people could not afford to stay in their homes. Costs of government increased as well with the demands from the new townspeople. The small towns did not have the resources to cope with the growth.
The Carter Administration established a "Small Community and Rural Development Policy" aimed at helping small towns. The policy was directed to specific issues, such as housing, water and sewer facilities, health services, and economic development.
Small towns, whether rural or adjacent to metropolitan areas, now face the demands of new populations without the federal assistance programs they were just learning to use. The "New Federalism of the Reagan administration supposes that the state governments and local structures will have sufficient funds to handle the challenge.
The dilemma of the newly enlarged towns may end in their salvation or their destruction. "Country people are forced to move into the city. City people move to the countryside. They are not the same kind of people. In this exchange we lose country people, we lose community, and we lose land. And we also lose 'inner city', which is abandoned to those who cannot perform efficiently either in the city or the country."^-
The choice between futures for the small towns can be the choice of the people who live there. The next chapter discusses the attitudes of the country people and the city people who have moved to the country, and the expectations of all of them. The attitudes indicate whether the people will care enough to explore the political possibilities open to small towns within metropolitan counties.
Chapter 3 Footnotes
1.. Schwarzweller, Harry K. "Migration and the Rural Scene". Rubai Sociology. Volume Ljl(. Humber 1,
Spring 1979. p.13
2. Carter Administration "Small Community and Rural Development Policy". p. 2
3. Lingeman, Richard. op. cit. p.i-j-ij-9
14.. Berry, Wendell. The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. Sierra Club Books. San Francisco, 1977* P* 6if.
"Oh wad some power the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us!"
To a Louse, Stanza 8
Chapter !(.. Images
The front page of this report bears two quotations, both from the book Changing Rural Landscapes, edited by Ervin and Margaret Zube.
"...There may very well be possibilities for a resurgence of life in the economically by-passed small towns of
America" from an article by Albert Solnit.
"No dramatic violence is being done to rural America. It is withering away because it has little function in modern life." a quote from Robert B. Riley.
Some literature points out dreary isolation as a prime factor in migrations from towns and farms to the big city.
Other authors express the belief that the isolation of big city life has brought about the trend to return to the country. Both views are phrased in strong emotional terms. It seems a valid "sidetracking" in this study, therefore, to explore the emotions and attitudes surrounding rural life in America.
Accompanying the recent trend to live in small towns is a nostalgia which "reflects a yearning embedded in even the most confirmed city dweller: a desire to return to a simpler, less hectic time, which for better or worse is most likely to be found in our small towns and countryside." The new members of the small communities are not all embittered social dropouts. Many are very average people who see in the country a possibility for a better life for themselves and their families.
Religion, homogeneity and isolation helped give the traditional small town its much-admired qualities of stability f security and a sense of belonging. Ironically, the negative aspects of the small community come from the same characteristics .
Isolation is a source of discontent with rural life and with city life. Individuals are isolated within huge gatherings of people with whom they do not communicate. The farms and small towns are isolated by distance. Isolation is necessary for the maintenance of a traditional village because it prevents the intrusion of values or expectations that the village cannot accommodate. Isolation also has the effect of drawing a community closer together due to a powerful sense of belonging to the group. A common side effect of isolation is hostility to outsiders.
Sociologist Roland Warren has defined five functions of "community
1. Socialization the community instills its values in its members.
2. Economic welfare the community members must have a means of making a living.
3. Social participation companionship.
I4 Social control a way to enforce the values of the community.
5. Mutual support community members together handle tasks which are too large for a single person.
People who failed to find a sense of community in the big cities are turning toward the small towns. They will not likely find the small towns to be what they expect. "To some, the intimate communities of small towns are warm and homely well-springs of all that is good in the human spirit; to others, they are sterile backwaters that civilization has passed by."
Lack of opportunity to participate is often cited as a factor of discontent inthe cities. In a metropolitan area, participation is frequently in local politics, or in neighborhood committees. At such gatherings, there are enough
people that it is hard to feel a sense of individual potency.
In a small town, participation is not only a privilege it is a duty.
A high degree of conformity is required, and is natural to a small town, as most residents have nearly identical lifestyles. Most rural towns have a single Economic base, and nearly everyone in town is connected with that base in some way. Yet one of the problems of city society is perceived as increasing uniformity and conformity. Phrases such as "white collar class", "man in the grey flannel suit", "organization man", and "lonely crowd" became symbols of the malaise of mid-centry society in the United States.
Small-towners see themselves as open, friendly, independent, and nurturing. In the attempt to maintain this picture of themselves, they become overprotective of small town ways and less open to outsiders. They see the influx of "city people" as a threat to their established traditions. The small town's intimacy, social cohesion and security are both a blessing and a curse. They can be very oppressive.
Why do people leave the cities for the lure of the countryside? Because of street crimes, overcrowded schools, pollution, traffic jams, and the high cost of living. William Kaysing wrote a book intended to be a primer for a return to the country.
"Can you stand more smog, more traffic, more congestion, and more of what makes life chaotic and unhealthy? If you can't take it any longer, then you are ready for the many benefits of country life:
1. You will be surrounded by fresh air, pure water, greenness.
2. It costs less to live lower taxes, lower rent or payments.
"3. Furnishings can be less expensive.... i|. Clothing costs are less. You can wear informal, leisure garb...
5. You can build your own home or add on to an existing one. Restrictions on architecture and building codes are more lenient in the country.
6. Since electric power is available in almost all rural areas, you can enjoy any city conveniences you want....
7. Buying by mail makes living in the boondocks as convenient as city life."
Mr. Kaysing's points indicate an almost total lack of under standing about life in rural towns. The only item on which he may be correct is the lack of strict controls on building regulations. That had always been supposed to be one of the evils of urban areas. Now, however, rural commission ers are beginning to see that such controls are essential to keeping orderly growth in their counties. Communities that survived the rural revolution had to cope with the changes that produced a shift toward urbanization. Land use controls are part of the changes. "The lines between rural and urban life,between country bumpkin and city slicker, have faded with education, television, high-speed highways, and air travel."'*
Recreation in the cities is very different from that in the country. City recreation centers around commercial, spectator activities. People in rural towns play games, attendparties, take part in lodge activities and church functions, go to the county fair, listen to the town band concert, or sing in a barbershop quartet. The urban public spends billions of dollars a year on the amusement industry to compensate for the rigors of'-an urban setting. When a city person plans for recreation in the country, he plans to be alone. Country people gather together for recreation. Catering to the recreation demands of the big city residents has become a big new source of income for the small towfts.
The Small Town Institute publishes a magazine entitled "Small Town". In each issue is printed the editorial policy statement that "...focuses on a belief that small countryside communities, built to human scale by the people who live there, are ultimately the places which will survive the growing problems which mega-culture has imposed on our lives in this century."
Throughout the history of this country, people have migrated to cities to better themselves, to find gainful employment, to make contact with all sorts of different people, and to profit from that contact. Now many are moving again to the countryside where they hope to regain a sense of community. The beliefs they take with them will determine how they react to the next change in migration patterns.
Census data in the next chapter on Colorado, and the following chapter, echo the nation's migration trends. Denver shares the problems of other metropolitan areas, the outmigration, and the grpwth of the small towns thirty miles out.
Chapter ij. Footnotes
1. - National Geographic Society. Life in Rural America.
2. - The Community. Time-Life Books. New York, J\97b. p.27.
3. Ibid, p.1+9
1|. Kaysing, William. How to Live in the New America. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1972. p.l+.
5. -National Geographic Society. Op. Cit. p.18.
CHAPTER 5 COLORADO
"Of the one hundred thousand who headed for 'Jefferson' with 'Pike's Peak or Bust' on their Conestogas, many hundred wagons returned east with their sides painted 'Busted,by God'",.
Poster Rhea Dulles
Chapter 5 Colorado
Colorado's history of settlement began with the first strike of gold in 1858. Following the miners came pro-visioners, professional people, and farmers to support the growing communities of miners. Denver's population never was rural in nature, having existed from the very beginning as a way station and supply center.
Colorado's mining towns "waxed and waned and waxed again in'rhythm with new improvements in mining techniques,
capital infusions, and demands for new kinds of ore." Drawn by the lure of easy wealth, prospectors and miners came from every walk of life. There were "seasoned frontiersmen and young graduates of eastern colleges, southern planters and emigrants from New England, reckless
adventurers and staid townsmen, good men and bad."
Most miners came here from the California gold fields.
They had had experience with the lawlessness of the early settlements there, and brought with them some desire for stability and order.There was comparatively little crime in the gold camps. The shadier types were drawn to the wide-open quarters of Denver, where more money was to be made with less effort than that required of a miner. However, Denver became 'citified' very early in its history, and the bad element that came in from the gold fields was dealt with by the People's Government.
Historically, frontiersmen had mistrusted government as an entity outside themselves. As the conquest of the continent neared completion, they began to demand that gov-
ernment become a direct agency of the people not only for their protection, but to guide the development of their future.
As soon as possible, the mining communities set up formal governments, and asked the United States to establish a territory, and ultimately grant admission to the Union as a state. The growing towns attracted traders, bankers, and ranchers who settled the nearby countryside. Each group of settlers came to exploit a different type of natural resource and each clustered into 8 unique kind of settlement .
The development of agriculture in Colorado began with the
1859 gold rush, as farmers moved in to supply the needed
food products. The industrialization of agriculture had
already begun by the time settlement occurred in Colorado.
Fs-rmers were cutting hay with mowing machines in Clear
Creek Valley in i860. The first thresher arrivedin Colo's
rado in 1861, and threshers with steam engines by 1892.
Some of the early colonies in Colorado were dedicated to farming. Typical of these was the Union Colony, which founded the town of Greeley. These colonists were vegetable farmers, who irrigated the fields and started the farming which still has Weld County listed among the top agricultural producers in the nation.
Colorado's prairies had remained virtually unsettled until after the start of the gold rush in 1858. A stage route to the Rockies was established in 1859. Early Colorado
maps showed the stage stops across the state. As white settlers came into the territory, Indian uprisings became increasingly frequent. Fort Latham, Fort Collins, and Fort Morgan were erected to provide protection from the Indians.
The arrival of the railroads in Colorado changed the maps. The first trains did not come into Denver because of the difficult terrain to the west of the city. The Union Pacific Railroad layed tracks across the northern part of the state, bringing a flood of new communities. The Lincoln Land Company built towns along the Burlington line. Small towns instigated by the Missouri Pacific were named in alphabetical order; i.e. Arden, Brandon, Chivington, Diston, Eads, Fergus, Galatea, Haswell, Inman, Joliet, and Kilburn. Many of these towns were begun in the good weather period of the 1880s. The drought of the 1890s drove the .settlers away, leaving the towns empty. Wagons which had headed west optimistically with "Pike's Peak or Bust" painted on the side, headed back East by the hundreds, now reading "Busted, By God".
"From the time of Bent's Fort in the 1830s until the building boom of the 1970s, more than fourteen hundred places appeared on the maps of the Colorado prairie.
Today only a few hundred are left."^ The six counties of this study represent a great variety of pioneer experiences .
The United States Census Bureau defines a rural place as that which has less than 2500 people. Therefore, some towns which are really very small are called urban. Only since 1950 has the census given numbers for intermediate sized towns. The chart entitled "Colorado's Urban and Rural Population" shows the expansion of the urban popu-
lation and relative decline of the rural population. Actually, the number of rural residents has stayed nearly the same since 1930. It is the ratio which has changed dramatically.
The following figures about the agricultural part of the metropolitan counties of the Denver region are taken from County and City Data Books.
County Adams Arapahoe Boulder Douglas Jefferson
Total Ag. Acres 1959 653 513 287 359 2i+1
196/; 685 502 277 31*6 198
(thousand) Ag. Acres 1972 (K) 816 1;18 173 291; 177
Ag. Acres 1975 (K) 802 1;16 123 273 87
No. farms 1961; 668 239 513 191; 2i;3
No. farms 1972 915 321 6U3 290 1;79
No. farms 1975 760 278 563 250 2/;8
No. under 10 acres'61; Ik 30 53 7 89
Under 10 ac. 1972 120 i+6 81 10 131
Under 10 ac. 1975 93 32 hQ 10 76
Over 1000 Ac. 1961; 191 1 26 k2 86 52
Over 1000 Ac. 1972 192 108 38 71 M
Over 1000 Ac. 1975 188 88 22 65 23
The Historical Development map prepared by DRCOG, which is included in the Appendix, expresses the recent growth of these counties.
COLORADO'S URBAN and RURAL
Source: Census Bureau, U. S.Dept.of Commerce
6-8 ' COLORADO
Tabic 3POPULATION IN GROUPS OF PLACES ACCORDING TO SIZE: 1900 TO 1950- Con.
flutter* and rlea* of plant New urlran Ok! urb.n IP* ltM U26 1911 l*9i
Urban territory _ Ul.SU Tit. Ut 5W.7I* 5U,*M 151,91 462,1*2 7*4, Ml
Place* of 2.500 or more 773.047 7M. lew m. 7,46 519, KM 453. 259 402, tfj 900.651
Places ufZftO.OUO to 500.000 415. 786 415. 786 322. 412 287. *61 256, 491
Plana of inn.ono t 230.000 212 3*1 121 859
Plum of 50.000 U> lno.noo *. f J r.v. 03. 5H5 52. 152 50,09ft
Places of 23.000 to 50.000 ; 45. 472 45. 472 36. 789 33.237 73. 155 7U, 825 t 28. 157
Pbur* of W.ist) to 25.000 .. H0.2S8 no. Â£ 66,906 56 *94 32, 870 10.204 43,687
Places nf 5.000 to 10.000 . 72. 254 72. 254 61.727 00.916 34.7*8 52 558 11.496
Places of I.S00 to 5,000 56, 662 52. 454 50, 760 30,878 55. M5 55,224 44 4ft3
R feral territory 4U.771 U6,1M UJ.M0 111, 909 4**, 771 SM.U2 rt,t
Pht*on.nooii.s _ 70, 67,71* 70. 1S7 0" s* ML 036 .39.270 13. i94
Place* under 1.000 61. se3 61,733 66. 142 Go. 839 .59,068 57. on 42 .
Other rural territory t 301. 193 433. 700 39V 211 394.244 371,267 530, 075 *1961
Cera* la tire rsren&juy:
415 7Xft 41V 786 322 412 2*7 861 2V 491
Piters of inn.non or more .. 415, 786 415. 786 322.412 2*7. 861 256. <91 SIX. XH1 123.859
PUass of 50,.*i> or more 479. 471 479. 471 374. 674 MT. W57 2Vl 491 213 381 1.83, K5P
Plaeea of 23.000 or more .. ML SO 524. 943 411.363 .471, 194 329 M6 2*4. 2j6 162. 016
Places of 10.000 or more 635. 231 63V 231 478, ** 428. (X8 362 516 594. 410 aui. Tax
Places of ft.nno or more 707.485 707, 4Aft 539. 99T 4X9.004 397. 2*4 346. Sr* S17. 198
Placet of 2.500 or more .. 773,047 759.939 590, 756 319, KM 4.43. 250 402 1W 960,651
PEBCENT Or TOTAL POPULATION '
Urbea territory M.7 57.4 (II 30.3 46.2 10.3 42. S
Places of 2.500 or more M< 3 * .57.4 52 6 50. 2 48 2 50 3 48.1
Places of 250.000 to ftOO.ttW 31. 4 31. 4 28 7 27. 8 77 3
Places of 10Q.fr* to 250.000 r: 26 7 24.8
Flare? of 50.000 to MO.fr*) 4. Â§ 4 8 4 6 4 8 3 3
cf ift mn to 60,000 8 4 7 8 8 5 S
Places of IO.uOO U. 25.(0) 8 3 8.3 60 5 5 3 5 1.3 6 1
Places of 5.U*) to 10.000 5:5 5.5 5 ft 5 9 3 7 6. ft 2 1
Places of 2.500 to ft.000 4 9 4 n 4ft 3.0 6 0 6.9 6 1
Sara! territory 37.3 4LI 47.4 49.* 51.8 42.7 51.7
riaces of 1.00ft to 2.500 ... S J 5.1 ft 2 5 9 6 0 4 9 12
Placet under 1.000 - < 7 4 8 5 9 5.9 ft 7 7 2 7.9
Other rural territory 27.3 32.7 35. 3 28 1 3V 5 37.6 re
C aa a la; !* a ^ rear r:
31. 4 31 4 28 7 27 8 27. S
Places of 100 ngO or more 31 4 31 4 as. 7 r 8 77 3 26 7 24.8
Placet of 50.000 or more 36 2 S6. 2 U 3 32 6 r s 36.7 54 8
Places of 25,000 or more S9 6 39 6 36 6 35 8 8ft 1 85 6 30.0
Placet of 10.000 or more 47,9 4- 9 42 ft 41.3 38 6 8V 8 18. 1
Places of ft .tO or more "J 4 53 4 48 1 47 2 42 3 43 4 40 2
Placet of 2.500 or more 58 3 67.4 .42 6 50.2 48 3 50 3 41 J
Table 4.POPULATION OF CITIES OF 10,000 OR MORE FROM EARLIEST CENSUS TO 1950
[M Inui si*n (- ) denote* decreaae]
City and census year Popula- tion Increase over pre-. erd Inf census City and emeu* \emr 1 P u Po|ula- tion 1 ncremse over j>rp-ce*liuf centua City and ornsua year Pujxjia- tH>n Increase over pre-oedmy census
Number Percent Sum ler Percent Number Percent
Aarvra: Dearer Con. Greeley:
I960 U, 421 7 981 232 3 1910. . 213 3M1 79 522 59 4 1VO 20, 354 4. 360 S7.3
1940 3 437 1.142 49 8 1900 13ft. V.9 27. 140 25 4 1940 15.995 X.TW3 31 1
1930 - 29ft 1.312 1X3 5 H9i. 713 lkJC 1Z 2i3 1. 245 li. 4
1920 983 904 44 8 1880 y<. h29 648 7 1 19* 10, at* Z 779 34 0
1910 679 477 236 1 1870 ... 4. 759 10 0 2 1910 K 179 ft. 166 170 6
1*0 . 2u2 1 WfJ . 4. 749 1930 viva 528 26 3
1890 2.W5 1.098 84 7
BuakUr: ZmÂ£H v : , peso 1, 297 817 170. 2
950 19 990 0*1 54. 3 ly.o . 7 '-89 74 3 480
1940 12.958 1.73.' 15 S 1940 9.680 1.700 21 3
19:8) 11. 223 217 2 0 1930 7. PH0 3. t'24 83.2 Paebta:
ivgri . li. JU6 1, 467 1ft 4 l srju 1,373 46 0 1950 63. 085 11. 323 21 1
1910 9. 599 3.5X9 55. 1 1910 2. 9S3 1940 5Z 152 Z(W6 V 1
1900 V IftO 2. 820 84.7 1630 50. 096 7. 0*6 IBs*
1*90 2. *30 2n! X 5 1920 43,060 1. 308 XI
ivr 2. 009 3 7* 794 8 1950 .. 14 937 2. ftsfi 21 6 1810 41.747 IV 590 48.3
1870 343 1940. 12. 251 7K2 6 6 1900 2V 1*7 V -*> 14.7
I !' . 11. 489 17M 31.2 1800 K558 21,341 3 4
Criorad* Vl-r*: * 1920 ... K 755 645 6 G 3, 217
19.V). .. 4ft, 472 V 583 23 6 1910 8. 210 V 157 158.9
1940 .Vs 7K9 3. 5ft2 10.7 1910. 8. 063 1. 042 51.8 Trinidad:
1930 Vi. 237 v m 10 4 18-JO 2, U11 Hft6 48 1 ) 930 .. iz y* -1.01* -7.7
lvon 30,106 1.027 3 5 1830. . 1. vyj 1940 1J 2*23 1. 491 13 7
1910 ?9. 078 7.993 37 9 1930 11.7742 *M M
1 son 21.1*6 9,945 89 3 Craad Jaarttea: 1W0 10.906 7W e. t
\*A) 11. 140 V 914 )fi3 6 1950 2 026 16 2 1910 in 2>4 C ft-ftC m a
\A 4. 226 ) 940 12. 47V X 232 21 a 1900. ft, 345 - int -12
t iwr 10. 247 l.RM IK. 3 1890 V 523 l* 1
r^ircr: I*9J0 S. '*6 911 11.7 IXXO Z 236 1.054 296. 1
1950 4; 5. raft. 29 0 662
1940 322. 4)2 34. ftftl no 1900 .. 3. 503 1.473 72 6 |
1590 2X7. 861 31. 370 12 S D90 2.030
192U 256.491 43 110 .a ! I
' Returned in 1900 a* Fklrtier town in Arapahoe County only.
* ColoMo City and Colorado Sprints rity consolidated between 1010 and 1930. combined population, 13,411 In 1910, 23,9W in 1900, 12.92* in 1*90, 4,ft71 in 13*0
* Corre ted ft*ur*; *x elusive of poinilatiou (2.643) of certain territory outside of city limits.
Adams County was organized in 1902, taking land from Arapahoe County. Brighton has always been the county seat. Adams County encompasses 1251 square miles 18 miles north to south and 73 miles west to east. The eastern part of the county is arid land, devoted to dry land and wheat farming.
The Platte River Basin in the western part is largely irrigated land and was traditionally the location of many farms. The residents who both live and work in western Adams County are engaged mostly in trade and commerce. Adams County's metropolitan area also serves as 'bedroom" to many people who work in Denver.
Jon Colt, long range planner for Adams County, says that most of their planning time and energies are taken up by the western, metropolitan portion. 1980 Census Bureau report shows that of the county's 2[|_59i|i(- residents, 10,[(.25 are rural. Mr. Colt feels the county's membership in the Denver Regional Council of Governments is valuable to him and to the county. He participates in council meetings, and takes advantage of the opportunity to talk to others on an informal basis at the meeting. Quite frequently he is the only person at a meeting who represents any rural land, so that portion of the counties does not receive much attention.
Adams County is in the process of completing a Comprehensive Land Use Plan. A Dlanning intern has been assigned to assist Eennett and the unincorporated community of Strasburg. Because Strasburg is unincorporated, Adams County has spent more time and money there than in Bennett. The county has built a new social services building and highway vehicle
building in Strasburg. Bennett hasnt the money for new buildings. Mr. Colt says they Adams County planners hope to do a study of the two towns to determine if there is any advantage to a small town in incorporating.
The "Population Patterns Adams County on the following p8ge shows the growth of Adams County from a total population of 8,892 in 1910 to 2/4.5,9kl in 1980.
Total Population Urban Population Rural Population
Data Source: United States Census Bureau
Arapahoe was the first designated county in the state. It was originally a territorial county.
In 1858, gold was discovered just west of present Englewood, where Dry Creek flows into the South Platte River.
By 1859 there was a stage coach route all the way through Arapahoe County from Deer Trail to Denver. The Kansas Pacific Railway completed its rail line i|0 miles east of Denver in 1870. The eastern part of the county, which went as far east as the territorial boundary, was home to many large and famous cattle ranches.
The population chart shows the population of Arapahoe County just since 1910. That is because Denver County and Adams County were part of Arapahoe County until then, making population figures before that time misleading.
Arapahoe County experienced its first spurt of urban growth after World War II. The towns of Littleton and Aurora grew rapidly with Denver and in response to some defense-related industries. A new community, Smoky Hill, has been proposed for development, continuing the rapid growth of the metropolitan area to the southeast. Projections are that Smoky Hill will some day include some retail and office buildings, but that it will be a "bedroom" community for many years yet.
Arapahoe County's Comprehensive Plan covers only the western portion of the county. Planning for the eastern portion is limited to a zoning ordinance. Mr. Phil Seibert, planner, says that his staff has not been able to get out into the rural areas yet, but they hope to do so next year. Small towns in the rural eastern part of the county include Deer Trail, Byers, and Peoria. A small part of Strasburg is also in Arapahoe County.
X '~'|^UJLC3 I/O. Vil
Boulder County was organized in 1861. It is one of only three counties in the state whose boundaries have never been changed. The other two are Clear Creek and Gilpin.
Farm income was important to Boulder County until very recently. Crops were hay, corn, barley, sugar beets and wheat. Equally important agricultural products were poultry and poultry products, and dairy products. In 1960, there were 990 farms in the county. City andCounty Data Books show the decline of agriculture in Boulder County, with the total number down to 583 farms in 1975* with an average of 218 acres per farm.
The first settlers in Boulder County were gold hunters. Colorado's first school house was built in Boulder in i860. The town of Boulder incorporated on November i|_,
Mineral resources of Boulder County are gold, silver, lead, copper, and red sandstone. During World War II, Nederland mines produced quantities of tungsten. The major mining activity in the county by 19&3 was fluorspar.
More description of Boulder County is in the next chapter.
The population chart shows the very rapid growth of Boulder County since the mid-1950s.
Population (in thousands)
Data Source: " Total Population
United States Census Bureau
----- Urban Population
The city of Denver was established in 1861. It was incorporated as the City and County of Denver in 1902. Until then, Denver was a part of Arapahoe County.
Populations in the early census tabulations showed Gilpin
County had the most people 6,8i|.7 in 1850 and the same
number reported again in 1866. Arapahoe County, which
included Denver, had L|.,1l|_5 people. The Appendix contains a copy of the first census report made for Colorado.
The 1870 census reported that the Denver Division of Arapahoe County had a population of I4., 759. By then, Arapahoe County had the largest population. Selected occupational information for the 1870 census indicated 6,I|-32 persons engaged in Agriculture, 3>625 i-n Professional and Personal Services, 2,815 in Trade and Transportation, and ij.,681 in Manufacturing and Mining.
The official Colorado total population for the 1870 census was 39,861).. By 1873> when application was made for statehood, the population for Arapahoe County was listed at 25,000. The number for Denver City was 20,000. The claim was made that Denver's population had increased an average of 3000 people a month since the previous August.
Denver's population in 1980 was i|.92,365* That is a decrease from the 1970 count of 51U678.
Population (in thousands)
Data Source: United States Census Bureau
Total Population All urban
No rural population since formation of City & County of Denver in 1902
Douglas County has remained the most rural of the counties which comprise the Planning Region. In view of the growth in the metropolitan counties to the north and Colorado Springs to the south, Douglas County's slow growth is something of a puzzle. Research indicates three reasons. There was no large gold strike in the creeks and mountains of western Douglas County. The soil is poor, and not suitable for small irrigated farms. Land ownership patterns have stayed the same since the beginning of settlement in the county large blocks of acres per owner. Ranches in Douglas County average 1,09il acres each.
The mountain land in the western part of the county lies mainly in the Pike National Forest. The forest offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation fishing, camping, picnicking, and big game hunting.
Industries within the county are the DuPont plant at Louviers, Douglas Mines and Quarries at Castle Rock, and the Frink Creamery at Larkspur.
Deborah Schulz is a planner for Douglas County. She says the county is in the process of getting citizen input for their comprehensive plan. Because of the expected very large growth at Highlands Ranch and the new plans for Castle Rock, the planning department has projected population figures for the county larger than those used by DRCOG. The projections are being printed and will soon be available to the public. Douglas County expects to be the fastest growing county in the state in the 1980s.
Douglas County does not offer planning assistance to incorporated towns. Ms. Schulz had two suggestions for an incorporated town within the county wishing to start a planning process. First is to hire a consultant, and the county can give names of consultants used by other communities within the county. A second method is to petition the county commissioners to direct the county planning staff to work with the town. If the commissioners approve the petition, the staff will provide the same services available to the unincorporated towns.
Douglas Countys Population Patterns chart gives graphic evidence of the long period of rural nature, and the rapid change to urbanization.
Total Population Urban Population -
Data Source: United States Census Bureau
Jefferson County was organized in 1861 by act of Territorial Legislature. It was named for Thomas Jefferson. Be-for the state was named Colorado, the entire state was referred to as Jefferson. Before white settlers came to the territory, South Table Mountain in Jefferson County was an Indian signal fire station.
The western two-thirds of the county is mountain and foothill. The eastern third is prairie. The County plans for the two distinctly different areas in separate sections.
Prospectors found gold in Gregory Gulch in 1859. There were many other mining camps in the mountainous part of the county. Prospectors' Trail winds for 150 miles through the mountain parks system. Golden was the first established community and served as the capitol of the territory from 1862 to 1867.
Eighty per cent of the county's people live in the plains area of the land, which is an extension of the Denver Metropolitan Region. That area was once a farming area, growing grains, vegetables, small fruits, corn, and onions. There was an attempt at one time to grow orchards of pears and apples, but the winters were too severe.
Ms. Peter Murphy, Jefferson County planner, says the county is in 'the process of completing a new comprehensive plan.
The first phase, a policy plan covering environmental issues, is finished. Phase 2 under way will cover new issues f such as noise pollution and some Kevin Lynch siting suggestions. The third section is to explore some possible alternative futures for the county.
Jefferson County's population has grown from Q,U30 in 1890 to 371,753 in 1980, as shown on the following chart.
i li LI
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it-* It It
ll ll ll
kf ll I'
m Jfi '
i II //
// ll If
W f It 1
ll / 7
K 11 f.
#7 // ll
// // 1 /
f / */- /
0 19c io 191 o 19; >0 19. io 191 +0 19! ?0 19< ^0 19 70 198
Data Source: United States Census Bureau
1. Lingeman, Richard. Op. Cit. p. 207.
2. Dulles, Foster Rhea. op. cit. p.37
3. McComb, David. Agricultural Technology and Society in Colorado. National Endowment for the Humanities. Boulder, 1981. p. 9.
l+. Shaffer, Ray. A Guide to Places on the Colorado Prairie 151+0-1975* Pruett Publishing Company. Boulder, 1978.
5. United States Census Bureau data.
Bennett Brighton Castle Rock Georgetown Boulder County
Chapter 6 Selected Community Studies
The communities of Bennett, Brighton, Castle Rock, and Georgetown and the whole of Boulder County were selected for closer study as being representative of the rural areas and small towns in the metropolitan region. Bennett was chosen because it is on the prairie, and because it is just now experiencing some "bedroom community" growth. Furthermore, the Adams County Planning Board has made a decision to place a county airport facility between the town of Watkins and Bennett, perhaps hoping to influence the eventual decision of the placement of the metropolitan area international airport. It is interesting to study the structure of Bennett now, because if the airport is located there, Bennett will cease to exist as it now is.
Brighton was chosen because it, more than any other town in these counties,retains some of the agricultural flavor which was once so important near the Platte valley north of Denver.
Castle Rock, like the rest of Douglas County, failed to gain in population at the same rate as did the cities to the north. It is now poised on the brink of an explosion for which it is planning with glee.
Georgetown, while not in the six counties of this study, does pay dues as a municipality to Denver Regional Council of Governments. The history of Georgetown is the history of Colorado mining activity, and its future is that of Colorados mountain communities.
Boulder County is studied as a whole because it is the only one of these counties which has completed its planning as a whole. The county planners were aware that the growth in rural areas as well as in the incorporated towns was changing the nature of all the communities, and determined to plan future growth in a unified effort.
Bennett was established in the 1870s near the site of the Kiowa stage station. The Bennett post office was established in 1887 and was named after a Denver postmaster,
H. P. Bennett. A town plat was filed for Bennett on May 8, 1911 by the Eastern Colorado Development Company. However, the Union Pacific Railroad had made Bennett a well-established community for many years prior to the filingof the plat."'
The first population statistics noted for Bennett by the United States Census Bureau are for 1930. The
191+0 199 decrease of 5%
1950 272 increase of 36.6%
1960 287 increase of 5.5%
1970 613 increase of113.5%
1980 914-2 increase of 53.6%
Bennett citizens are proud of the history of their town in Colorado's history. They maintain the "Comanche Crossing Historical Museum". On the museum grounds is the Wolf Creek School building, which was built in 1901).. The crossing had been an important stage stop, and ford of Kiowa Creek. The Kansas Pacific Railroad completed its rail line to Denver on August 15> 1870, with the last piece of rail put down east of Bennett.
Until the recent growth, most of Bennett's residents had been involved in agriculture. The increase in population after 1960 reflects the growth in the metropolitan region. Most of the new residents work in the Denver area.
State Highway goes through Bennett and forms a main street. A few businessssline the street, and trucks and cars use the highway for parking when visiting the business. Most of the traditional part of Bennett lies to the north of the Highway. Recently, a tract of land to the south of the road was purchased and a large housing development was constructed. Mr. Dean Damon, superintendent of schools and Chairman of the Bennett planning board estimates that 95% of the purchasers of those houses are new residents, who use Bennett ss a bedroom community. The company which built the houses, Hoya, also planned a shopping center near the subdivision.
It is Mr. Damon's understanding that the Hoya company has gone out of business and will be in bankruptcy soon. Noone expects that the shopping center will be built.
Bennett residents are aware of the strategic location of their town in relationahip to airport plans. The Adams County commissioners have proposed to build an airport for the county on land between Watkins and Bennett. One of the sites under consideration for replacement of Stapleton International is slightly farther east than .the proposed Adams County Airport. Mr. Jon Colt, long range planner for Adams County, gave the impression that the county feels putting their own airport in that location will influence the planning for Staple-ton. Eennett is likely to be changed by either airport project. If Stapleton is to move east, and is planned with three approach runways as is now suggested, Bennett stands to be inundated by the growth of related service facilities. Mr. Damon states that the county airport would be compatible with the Bennett plans for its own future.
An issue which the citizens of Bennett are watching very anxiously is the proposal to put a hazardous waste dump on the very eastern edge of Adams County. Trucks carrying the waste would travel on State Highway 36, right through the town. The impression in Bennett is that the county commissioners are dedicated to the dump as an additional source of income to the county. Bennett and Strasburg people feel it is one more example of the preference of county government for the urban area, and insensitivity to the rural areas.
Bennett Planning Commission is currently surveying the community to determine what sort of future is desired. Mr.
Damon went first to DRCOG for advice and help in completing their plan. Adams County had prepared a comprehensive plan for Bennett in 1973* but it was not approved by the people. DRCOG referred Mr. Damon to the county planning office, which responded to his request, as a new county comprehensive plan is also under way. Karen Stephens, a student intern, was assigned to work with the town. Colorado Municipal League provided sample ordinances to serve as guidelines for the town. Bennett did not contact the Colorado Department of Local Government for assistance. Bennett has recently hired a circuit rider manager/planner whom they will share with two other small towns. Their circuit rider started work in mid-April. She is Ann Jones, who was formerly at the Colorado Office of Energy Conservation.
It seems that Bennett has the motivation and the leadership necessary to undertake some community development action.
There is not much money now, but economic development will be taking place very quickly. Bennett is wise to utilize outside resources like DRCOG and the county planners to make decisions before the changes create major crises.
Year: 1930 19^0 1950 1960 1970 1980
Data Source: United Stated Census Bureau
The site now occupied by the town of Brighton was the
location of Hughes stage station in the 1860s. When rail
replaced stagecoach travel, Hughes stage stop became
Hughes Depot. Daniel Carmichael filed a plat for the
town on February 19> 1881, naming it Brighton for the
name of Mrs. Carmichaels home in Massachusetts.
When Adams County was organized in 1902, Brighton was named the county seat. It has been a trade center for the rich agricultural valley ever since its first existence. The Kuner Canning factory was built there in 1889, and the Great Western Sugar factory in 1917* Brighton is no longer the important rail stop for passengers it once was, and the depot is not used by the railroad. Brighton has a daily newspaper, the Brighton Blade, established in 1903. Its "ears" still carry the symbol of a windmill, which gave the paper its name.
Brighton populations have been counted by the United States Census Bureau since 1890.
1900 366 increase of
1910 850 it it
1920 2715 ft it
1930 339U if n
1940 U029 it it
1950 i+336 increase of
1960 7055 n it
1970 8309 it it
1980 12773 increase of
53.7% (chart p.71 )
Brightons projections for population are shown on page 72.
The population fluctuations reflect the vagaries of agricultural production and processing in the area. Adams Countys average size of farm is misleading, because the farms in the eastern part of the county are very large, those along the Platte River generally small. The 1977 County and City Data Book lists 93 farms in Adams County under 10 acres, 188 of 1000 acres or more. Nearly all the 93 smaller farms are located near Brighton. Many farmers who used to bring their produce to the station in Brighton now sell their vegetables at roadside stands and directly from their farms.
Brighton residents feel that the Adams County government concentrates most of its efforts in the more populated part of the county, to the detriment of Brighton. Many new subdivisions have been approved by the county on prime farmland near Brighton. These subdivisions have appeared in piecemeal fashion, and not according to any plan for long range growth. According to people who live in Brighton, the new residents are frequently misled by the developers that services will be provided to them by the town. Frequently, the new settlers are not good neighbors in the farm country. Complaints are that the new people let their dogs (and sometimes children) chase the livestock of the neighboring farms. They also try to stop crop spraying, which the farmers have been doing for years.
Two years ago the town completed an economic development project. A survey was made, using a sales leakage survey form supplied by the State Department of Commerce and Development. The survey indicated that the townspeople would most likely support an additional restaurant, and wanted more recreational facilities. As a result, a new recreation center has been built, and classes are also offered in a junior high school. The Hughes Depot build-
ing has been remodeled and now houses a restaurant. One of the stores which had been empty on the main business street for a long time is now a "Family Entertainment" center. Rob Walsh, former city planner, says that an electronic game center is not what he would have chosen for the site, but it is doing a good business.
Brighton is big enough to attract new residents for its own sake. Not many of the new people are commuters. There are several employers there, although most of them are tied to agriculture. There are large greenhouses north of town where carnations are grown. Farm implement dealers have found it profitable to remain in Brighton. Smaller towns have frequently lost the local dealers, because they tend to go where the banking institutions are.
It seems inevitable that Brighton will continue to grow as long as the Front Range Communities are growing. In order to have some say about the nature of the growth, Brighton needs better access to the county's long range planning. Now is a good time to request that access, as Adams County is preparing a new comprehensive plan.
Population (in thousands)
Data Source: United States Census Bureau
CITY OF BRIGHTON, COLORADO POPULATION FORECAST
SOURCE: Historical U.S. Bureau of the Census
Forecast Brighton Planning Division
Castle Rock began as a post office station on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in 1871 When Douglas County was organized, Franktown was the county seat. However, the seat was moved to Castle Rock in 187I+, when the plat was filed for the town. The reason given for moving the county seat was that Castle Rock was serviced by a railroad and Franktown was not.
Castle Rock first appeared in the United States Consus
count in 1880, with a population of 88.
1890 6 01+
1910 365 increase Of 20%
1920 1+61 increase of 26.3%
1930 1+78 tt 1? 3.6%
19i;0 58o it ?! 21.3%
1950 71+1 ?! 1! 27.7%
1960 1152 it ?! 55.1+%
1970 1531 ?! ?! 32.8%
1980 3921 ?! ?! 156.1%
The Douglas County Highway Department has recently concluded
an origin/aestination study of highway users, and learned that the majority of new people living in Castle Rock are
commuting to work in the Denver Area.
The current master plan of Castle Rock project a population of 30,000 by the year 1995* A new plan sets that figure at 1f0,000. Castle Rocks city limits will acconi' modate that many people without large annexations. The limits do not go very far west beyond the highway, but they stretch a long distance into the hills to the east of the current settlement area.
One of the first steps of the growth process is to start in the summer, 1982. Approval has been obtained to rezone 3600 square acres which lie between the southern part of the town and the highway. The new zoning will allow the construction of twenty thousand Single Family and Multi Family dwelling units. They will be placed around a golf course, which will be the first part built.
A single developer owns almost all the rest of the undeveloped land within the city limits. Working with the Castle Rock planner, thecompanyplans to develop the town in pod-like modules, each having a commercial core and school. Junior high and senior high schools will be placed as required to serve more than one pod. The pods will develop from the existing service area outward, without the leapfrogging effect seen in many areas. If development occurs outside the city limits and desires annexation, the town will take the water rights of the new area before annexation. Tim DeWitt, Castle Rock planner, says this requirement places the developer at risk in outlying subdivisions.
Castle Rock is situated above a large aquifer, and does not expect any difficulty in providing water within the city limits. The new plans specify a dual line water system, including reuse of waste water.
Transportation will be by rapid fixed rail within the town. The intention is to place the rail line within the pods so that there will be maximum use of pedestrian and bike paths in the residential areas. The terminal will be near the present site of the county couthouse.
The present business district has a major problem with traffic circulation. When the light rail terminal is there, cars will not be allowed access to the main street, but will use parking lots nearby. The main street will become a pedestrian mall, with specialty shops in the stores. A large commercial area with major department stores will be north of the present settlement, near the new Douglas County High School. Mr. DeWitt hopes to attract an arm of a major university to locate on land to the north of the high school and new business district. Mr. DeWitt has not yet discussed the plans with the downtown businessmen's association.
Mr. DeWitt is excited at the prospect for growth in Castle Rock. He says it may be the last place in the country with the opportunity to plan a new town from the start. It is, admittedly, much easier when working with one developer than if several were involved. The company working with Castle Rock paid the city the money needed to redo the master plan and get the structures in place to go ahead with their development.
>0 1690 1900 1910 1920 1930 191(0 1950 1960 1970 1980
a Source: United States Census Bureau
The city of Georgetown was established under territorial rules and regulations, as it was established before the county was formed. Georgetown is named for George Griffith, one of the brothers who were succesful in the early search for wealth in Colorados mountains. When Clear Creek County was organized, Georgetown was named its county seat. The county seat was moved to Idaho Springs, then returned to Georgetown. The county Court House at Georgetown was built in 1869.
When mining towns were built, most buildings were unimaginative square blocks. False fronts were attached to the squares to give more of an image of "town-ness". Residential architecture was imported from the Eastern states. Because Georgetown had a large early population of wealthy people, their permanent homes reflected Eastern culture. "The genteel Victorian spirit in morals as well as architecture reached a kind of apotheosis in Georgetown,
Colorado, one of the handsomest of all mining towns."
The Colonial Dames of Colorado has maintained many of Georgetown's home, which are of historic interest to visitors .
Georgetown capitalizes on its historic interest, as the town relies heavily on the tourist industry for income.
Mike Moore, Mayor of Georgetown, runs a business in Georgetown's business district in addition to his governmental duties. He is among long-term residents of the town who tire of being subjected to tourist curiosity, but recognize it is necessary for economic survival.
Georgetown was one of the first members of the Denver Regional Council of Governments to take advantage of the circuit rider city manager system. Robert Clifton left his position at Metropolitan State University to take that position, and he says he is now addicted to it.
Georgetown was listed in the 1870 United States Census
Bureau survey with 802 residents.
1880 3291* increase of 310.7%
1690 2156 decrease of 31*. 5%
1900 11*18 decrease of 31*. 2%
1910 950 11 IT 33 %
1920 703 11 It 26 %
1930 303 n II 56.8%
191*0 391 increase Of 29 %
1950 329 decrease 11 15.8%
I960 307 11 II 6.6%
1970 51*2 increase of 76.5%
1980 830 increase of 53.1%
The new resident in Georgetown were attracted by the town's smallness and unique character. These new people bring with them some money and some sophistication. They want the town to remain unchanged, but they would like some more urban benefits. Mr. Clifton mentioned gravel roads and free-roaming dogs as two items frequently criticized. New comers are also likely to impose upon themselves as well as the rest of the town more restrictions than the life-long residents like. An example is a restriction on building materials considered suitable.
Physically, there is no room for Georgetown to grow much. The town has nearly filled the buildable space between the highway and the mountainsides and the lake. Moreover, the townspeople dont want Georgetown to change its character. Nevertheless, Mr. Clifton sees an ,lunbe-lievably bright future" for Georgetown. He sees a need for facilities which could accommodate the Loveland Basin Ski area, which does not have a lodge. Georgetown could be further involved in developing the loop railroad for tourists. Mr. Clifton feels Georgetown is ideally located to provide places for retreats, conferences, and workshops which have become a way of life in the business community. It is the right distance from Denver to provide distance for such meetings, and yet be close enough to drive quickly. There is also the possibility of some kind of convention center and hotel, perhaps with a golf course by the lake.
These innovations would bring desired dollars to the economy of Georgetown, without adding new populations which would change the nature of the town.
BOULDER COUNTY ,
Boulder County was organized in 1861, as a territorial county. It was an inportant agricultural county until the tremendous population growth in the county after the Second World War. Mining was also important to Boulder County, where there have been mined deposits of gold, silver, lead, copper, tungsten, and fluorspar. The red sandstone used in the buildings of the University of Colorado is mined locally. The town of Lyons was first established around the extraction of that resource.
Boulder was founded in 1858 and was first called Boulder City. The town was named county seat when the county was organized. Both city and county were named for the many boulders in the vicinity. The construction of the Colorado University was begun in Boulder in 1875> before the territory became a state. Boulders population was recorded as 3000 in 1880, so it has never been considered rural.
1980 78685 (chart p.82)
Broomfield began as a stop on the Denver, Utah, and Pacific
railroad. The Adolph J. Zang Investment Company filed a plat for the town in 1923 naming it after the broom corn in the nearby fields. Broomfield did not incorporate until 1961, when the rapid growth provided the impetus. Broomfield is located in Boulder, Jefferson, and Adams counties.
ion (in thousands)
80 18 \w~rq 00 1
Source: United States Census Bureau
Eldorado Springs was named for the hot springs in the area. For many years it was the site of summer homes only. The recreational facility at the Eldorado Springs swimming pool attracted vacationers. In recent years there has been some migration of full-time residents who commute to jobs in the Denver-Boulder region.
Lafayette began as a coal-mining community and was named after Lafayette Miller on whose land coal was found in 1881).. The Denver, Marshall and Boulder railroad was built to Lafayette in 1888. Lafayette remained a rural community until 1980, when the rapid growth of Boulder spilled into the surrounding towns.
Longmont was founded by the Chicago-Colorado Colony. A plat was filed by a member of the colony in 1872, naming the town for Long's Peak. The purpose of the colony was agriculture. The Great Western Sugar Company built a factory at Longmont in 1903. Longmont is in the center of richfarm soil, and it remained an agricultural center with steady growth until the 1980s. At that time some industries chose to locate in Longmont, partially because of its proximity to the well-educated labor pool from the University of Colorado.
1890 1 900
1910 1920 1930 1 9i+0 1950 1980 1970 1980
1892 1815 181+2 2052 2090 2812 31+98 8989
The rapid growth of population in Longmont has changed the character of the town. The downtown business district has completed a revitalization program which has kept it alive and attracts shoppers. There are also shopping centers outside the downtown business district which compete for trade. Many long-time residents of the Longmont area are concerned at the loss of excellent agricultural land to houses 8nd highways.
United States Census Bureau population figures for Longmont
Louisville was named for Louis Nawatny, who led the first coal boring expedition in 1877* He filed a town plat for Louisville in 1878. The town remained small, largely a colony of Italian aescendents, until the recent growth period in the county. Louisville has had an aggressive growth policy, which has not always been consistent with the county land use goals. Residential and commercial building on mined land has caused some problems for residents inthe area. 1+50 residents are listed in the 1880 census for Louisville. Figures of population do not appear in Census Bureau statistics again until 1910.
The chart on page 87 shows the relative population changes in Lafayette, Louisville, Nederland, and Lyons.
Source: United States Census Bureau
Lyons was named for the family who developed the red sandstone quarry near the town. A town plat was filed for Lyons in 1882 by the Evans Townsite and Quarry Company. Lyons now has the added attraction of the recreational approach to Estes Park. Lyons' growth is limited by its physical setting in a narrow canyon. The tendency is for the town to stretch out along the highway. Lyons has taken advantage of the planning services available through the Center for Community Development and Design, for some long range goal setting, and recreation plan.
Lyons' population growth is shown in the census figures:
Nederland is a mountain area community whose fortunes have gone up and down with the demand for its resources. Recently, Nederland has become the center of settlement as a bedroom community. The town has attempted to get an economic development program going. The most recent attempt got slowed down, and a new committee has formed to carry on the project. Nederland must solve water and sewage problems before it can support much population.
571* 5kl 632 783 817 6 5k 689
1900 not shown
The Boulder County Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1978. The plan calls for a continuirg process of updating, and the most current amendments were added in 1980. Now the plan is being reviewed to keep it current with what is actually happening in the county. The individual towns within the county were included, in the process of doing the plan, because, "the municipal comprehensive plans, as they relate specifically to the declared municipal planning areas should be recognized by Boulder County as
statements of urban interest and desires of the affected municipalities to be considered in the development, amendment, and implementation of the Coulder County Comprehensive
Plan and in all land use matters in the planning areas".
The stated purpose of the plan is to guide and accomplish "a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the County..." Public involvement was solicited at every stage of developing the plan.
One of the factors presenting most difficulty in preparing the plan was residential density. The Planning Commission determined that a ratio of one dwelling unit to five acres was not a realistic density for non-urban areas within the county. A desire was expressed that people would chose to live within already established urban service areas. However, many people preferred to live farther away from town. Indeed, the town of Boulder discouraged new residents, so people coming into the area looked farther away for their homes. A state standard of one dwelling unit per 35 acres was adopted, with reservations. The plan established a "residential use transfer "system, to be reviewed early during the implementation of the plan.
The comprehensive plan further states that "To accomplish a cooperative and coordinated land use planning effort among the Subregion's municipalities, it is herein the policy of Boulder County to enter into intergovernmental contracts with the municipalities for the purpose of implementing the land use proposals and policies of the jointly adopted municipal comprehensive plans." There are two municipalities which have not yet come into agreement with the county on the land use policies. These are Louisville and Erie. Barbara Bryan, Boulder County Planner, expects agreement to be reached soon with these.
The Boulder County Comprehensive Plan has carefully considered the physical characteristics of the county in preparing the goals. Land areas not suitable for housing have been mapped. A comprehensive transportation plan is part of the total. The transportation plan map is on page 91.
A drive through the formerly agricultural part of Boulder County quickly shows that the growth of residential areas into the rural countryside was not stopped as a result of the plan. However, the goals of the plan remain valid, ana may prove more effective in the future. Many of the people who moved to Boulder in the 1950s and 1960s did so because the town was not then metropolitan and had charms as a college town of identifiable community personality. How that Boulder has grown so large, many of those same people are moving out farther. One of the desires of the Boulder County planners is to direct those people toward areas designated for residential growth instead of scattering throughout the countryside.
Boulder County is perceived as a very desirable place to live. With high demand, there is no place to live "FREE" in Boulder County.
The six counties of this study are in the center of the growth projected for the thirteen counties involved in the Front Range Project. The question addressed by that project is "How can we accommodate another million and a quarter people by the year 2000 while maintaining and enhancing our quality of life?". The growth of all communities within the area is inevitable. How the communities will meet the growth is uncertain.
Bennett is a very small town which may become only a little larger or very much larger, depending upon decisions made about the future growth of Denver, and particularly about Stapleton Airport. Brighton stands to lose its distinctive agricultural orientation with new urban-type subdivisions springing up around the edges of town. Castle Rock will grow to a city of over 100,000 people in less than twenty years if current plans come to fruition. There seems to be an attitude in Castle Rock that it is now their turn to grow and noone from a higher government level has the right to dictate how that growth will be controlled. That the dictates of an "outside" developer are not being questioned does not appear contradictory to local planners. Georgetown can become a convention center and recreation facility, or it may be a quaint village stop for tourists on their way to glossier resort communities farther west.
Whatever direction these towns hope for, the time for decision-making is now. The next section describes a community development process for making the decisions, followed by additional recommendations.
Chapter 6 Footnotes
1. Shaffer, Ray. Op. Cit. Information about each of the plains communities comes from this reference.
2. Lingeman, Richard. Op. cit. p. 210
3. Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. Boulder County Planning Commission. 1978.