Citation
Colorado's Front Range

Material Information

Title:
Colorado's Front Range an exploration of land use problems and strategies to prepare for its future
Creator:
Gardner, Robert B
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vii, 97 leaves : ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Land use -- Planning -- Front Range (Colo. and Wyo.) ( lcsh )
Land use -- Planning ( fast )
United States -- Front Range ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 95-96).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Planning and Community Development, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
submitted by Robert B. Gardner.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
15535010 ( OCLC )
ocm15535010
Classification:
LD1190.A78 1986 .G37 ( lcc )

Full Text
r£X-
COLORADOS FRONT RANGE
AN EXPLORATION OF LAND USE PROBLEMS AND STRATEGIES TO PREPARE FOR ITS FUTURE
ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN AURARIA LIBRARY
Masters Thesis
College of Design and Planning University of Colorado at Denver Robert B. Gardner
*


This thesis for the Master of Planning and Community Development degree by Robert B. Gardner has been approved for the Department of
Planning and Community Development
by
Date Due
Date


COLORADO'S FRONT RANGE
An Exploration of Land Use Problems and Strategies to Prepare for Its Future
Submitted by: Robert B. Gardner
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Planning and Community Development University of Colorado at Denver Professor Dan Schler, Thesis Advisor September, 1986


Preface
This work concentrates on a key problem, the lack of centralized land use controls for Colorado's front range corridor. Specifically, this is a paper which examines several land use problems particular to the front range corridor that demand greater state involvement in land use planning, with a focus on the variety of attempts to legislate regional land use planning mechanisms, and on the problems of implementing land use controls. As such, it discusses some of the political, organizational, social, and economic constraints that centralized land use controls must address. I have also provided a general overview of how environmental conditions along the front range have deteriorated due to the absence of a unified regional governing body and why I believe that the state legislature is largely to blame for this deterioration.
Included in this study is a brief section about land use options taken from other states that have successfully developed models to deal with their unique land use problems. Two scenarios describing future land use


iii
conditions along the front range corridor are presented. The first scenario represents the status quo position, if regional planning continues to be performed on a decentralized basis. The second scenario models itself after a pro-active state approach in solving land use problems on a regional level. It concludes with a preferred option program that envisions coordinated state and local land use controls.
This thesis is addressed to anyone who wishes to know what Colorado has actually done about land use control to date. It allows legislators to reflect on the merits of regional planning in order that they may avoid the pitfalls their predecessors have encountered. My preferred option program should offer reassurance to local governmental officials that greater state involvement in land use controls will not mean an end to their roles.
Many people encouraged me in this endeavor, particularly the members of my thesis committee: Professors Dan Schler, Committee Chair, and Dave Hill, and State Economic Analyst Dick Gebhart; their useful insights and helpful criticism helped make this thesis possible.


iv
I am grateful to Deborah Dabkowski for spending many hours typing the draft of this study, and to Ann Sprague for her unswerving support over the years. Finally, I wish especially to thank my wife Ann who contributed many hours of her time in editing this document and to our son Galen to whose future I am dedicating this work.


ii
1
5
10
11
13
13
15
16
16
18
19
20
23
23
24
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION..........................
Genesis...............................
Sequence of Discussion................
Thesis Statement......................
DETERIORING ENVIRONMENTAL AND LAND USE CONDITIONS............................
Introduction..........................
Rocky Mountain Arsenal Land...........
Rocky Flats...........................
Deteriorating Highway Network.........
Air Quality Problems..................
The State's Role......................
Conclusion............................
SOME ATTEMPTS TO PLAN FOR FRONT RANGE FUTURES...............................
Introduction..........................
Local Area Attempts...................


vi
CHAPTER
Early Federal Attempts and Failures..... 25
Legislative History..................... 27
The Governor's Front Range Commissions:
1979-1981............................... 32
Conclusion.............................. 34
IV ORGANIZATIONAL AND STRUCTURAL IMPEDIMENTS
TO CHANGE............................... 35
Introduction............................ 35
The Governance Maze..................... 3 6
Local Reorganization Attempts........... 3 8
Metropolitan Impediments................ 39
Local Impediments to Change............. 42
Conclusion.............................. 44
V FRONT RANGE REGIONAL GOVERNANCE: OPTIONS 45
Introduction................................. 45
Substate Regional Structures............ 4 6
The Preferred Option.................... 50
Conclusion.............................. 58
VI FRONT RANGE FUTURES...................... 60
Introduction................................. 60
Setting the Stage....................... 61
Front Range One.............................. 65
Glimpse of the Future........................ 69
Front Range Two......................... 75


vii
CHAPTER
Conclusion.................................... 80
VII RECOMMENDED ACTIONS..................... 82
Introduction.................................. 82
Recommendations............................... 83
Establish a Front Range Planning Council 84
Strengthen County Government............ 8 6
Functional Responsibilities and
Implementation Powers Needed........... 86
Financing Mechanisms of the FRPC.......... 87
Other Critical Areas that Need State
Intervention............................... 89
Conclusion.................................... 90
FOOTNOTES.............................................. 92
BIBLIOGRAPHY........................................... 95


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
There is no exaggeration that can do justice to how fast the future is coming at this state. We have a million and a quarter peoplemaybe more heading here in the next 20 years.
Governor Richard D. Lamm Front Range Futures. 1980
In Colorado, controls over the use of land have been exercised at the local levelor not at all. The role of planning at the local government level in Colorado is well defined and its practice is widely accepted.
Planning at the state and regional level however is different. Its role is neither well defined nor has it been well received. In Colorado, the search for an appropriate organizational framework to support the concept of regional planning has spanned some 47 years.
Many of these plans called for the modernization of antiquated governmental structure, while others have promulgated the merits of consolidating certain units of government. Over the years, these courageous attempts by futuristic thinking individuals and groups have been accompanied by persistent rhetoric demanding a


2
fundamental justification for regional approaches to planning. Certainly the almost daily media coverage of a litany of environmental degradations occurring to many areas of the front range should serve to illustrate why organizational change in the present system of fragmented local jurisdictions and their inability to adequately handle regional problems is so vitally needed.
The Colorado state government is the obvious source of the police power, which is the constitutional basis for land use regulations, although in the past it has delegated most of its land use powers to local governmental bodies. Typically, Colorado's General Assembly passes legislation that regulates local planning, zoning, and subdivision controls, establishes environmental and health standards, and decides how land may be assessed and taxed. The state, then, is the only strong general purpose government above the county level. Many land use controversies are spilling over municipal and county boundaries across the front range, yet the state legislators remain reluctant to become directly involved in resolving these regional problems.
This work focuses on a key problem, the lack of centralized land use controls for Colorado's front range corridor. It examines why greater state involvement in


3
land use planning is needed, particularly along the front range, in light of the tremendous urban growth that is projected to occur within the next twenty years. This study is a careful look at past growth demands that brought forth these current conditions, and it includes a discussion of some of the political, organizational, social, and economic constraints with which centralized land use control must contend.
This introductory chapter goes on to explain why I pursued an education in planning and community development and why I chose to write about regional governance. Later in this chapter I will define the front range corridor region, regional planning, and explain why a regional approach is needed to mitigate the impacts of growth on a regional scale. Chapter II examines a multitude of deteriorating environmental and land use conditions that currently beset the front range corridor as land has been converted from one use to another.
Chapters III and IV discuss the historical and political context in which land use laws and government structure in Colorado have evolved. Further, these two chapters analyze attempts at regional planning and the previous attempts by individuals and groups to reform


state land use laws. The many factors and constraints which have thus far prevented front range regional planning from taking place are explored.
Chapter V explores front range regional governance options that various states have taken in establishing state land use controls. It looks at how control is exercised in other states and the relevance of these policies to Colorado's unique situation. Finally, it presents my recommendationthe preferred governance option.
Chapter VI begins by presenting a zero option scenario, whereby the state continues in its do-nothing stance in regard to regional problems, and a proactive regional approach which necessitates a high level of state intervention in handling regional problems before they reach crisis proportions. Both of these scenarios attempt to describe conditions along the front range 20 years from now. The second scenario is called Front Range Two which focuses on the coordination of state and local land use controls if certain organizational constraints are lifted by state legislated actions.
Chapter VII concludes with the recommended courses of action that need to be taken by the legislature over


5
time to implement my preferred option plan and why I believe my plan will work.
Genesis
On an evening in the fall of 1978, a public forum was held to discuss the merits of a citizen initiated moderate growth referendum for the City of Fort Collins. Issues surrounding the referendum measure had been hotly debated in front of city council members and referendum initiators. Proponents postulated the many benefits of orderly growth, while those opposed espoused the inherent dangers of meddling with a free market system.
Impressed by the plausible arguments presented by both sides, I attended several more hearings. Debates between opponents and proponents became more frequent and, on the eve of election day, culminated in a live radio broadcast debate between the referendum committee chairman and the former director of city planning who had become, during the interim, a consultant to the opposition.
The radio debate was a classic between the grassroots organizer and the silver-tongued consultant. The committee chairman did a commendable job of communicating why he personally supported the referendum measure.


6
Clearly, however, the expert testimony given by the consultant won the debate. The enormity of this man's planning knowledge and information, coupled with his ability to concisely convey his "facts" to the listening radio audience, helped bring about the defeat of the moderate growth measure.
In retrospect, debating members of the referendum committee possessed little general or specific knowledge pertaining to the planning arena. This observation was repeatedly borne out during the public forum debates. Motivated by the measure's resounding defeat at the polls and my own lack of planning knowledge, I embarked on a personal quest to acquire a formal education in the field of community and urban planning.
Once immersed in the planning program at the University of Colorado, Denver, I began developing a cognizance of why Colorado must plan comprehensively for its future. Perhaps the single and most powerful reason why I chose to prepare this thesis was my participation in a growth management course offered by the university.
I co-authored a growth management report on Douglas County, glimpsing first-hand the tremendous impact that unchecked growth in just one front range county could have on an entire region.


7
I became determined to focus my energies on acquiring an understanding of the State of Colorado's seeming abdication of its responsibility and authority in the planning of future growth of the Front Range region, thus providing me with my thesis topic.
Colorado's settlement history and the way this state's economy has developed has been determined largely by the availability of water resources. The Great Plains province, where the thirteen front range counties that make up the front range corridor are located, share a semiarid climate. All depend upon water flowing from the Rocky Mountains to support urban and suburban life, industries, and irrigated farming operations.
Furthermore, because of the proximity of the mountains and this influence on early migratory patterns and early economic needs, population and industrial activity is located primarily in this eastern part of the state. Most of this growth and development has occurred between the foothills of Fort Collins in the north to the City of Pueblo in the south. Colorado's front range region encompasses
9,000 square miles of foothills and plains, running along a north-south corridor 180 miles long and 50 miles wide. Sharing that space are 13 counties Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Clear Creek, Denver,


8
Douglas, El Paso, Gilpin, Jefferson, Larimer,
Pueblo, Teller and Weld. Included also, are 19 of Colorado's 20 largest cities.
Over 86 percent of the state's population and more than
75% of its industries are located here.
These thirteen counties share a single
transportation network, common interurban relationships,
common economic ties, and their cities and suburbs
develop in the same low density patterns. Except for the
few individual differences that separate each Standard
Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) from one another,
these areas are homogeneous in many ways, thus they can
operationally be viewed as a "region" for study and
planning purposes. Regional planning then should provide
a basis for coordinating public and private decisions on
a scale larger than individual local jurisdictions.
Although it is clear now to the reader why these thirteen
counties should be considered a region, the absence of a
centralized regional governmental body has let local
governments meet critical needs, albeit regional ones, by
allowing the formation of a wide variety of public
benefit and single-function corporations.
Such agencies as housing finance authorities, urban development corporations, transportation authorities, reclamation authorities, airport authorities, water, solid waste and hazardous waste commissions and various councils of governments, special districts and school districts have all been


9
formed to deal piece-meal with regional concerns in
a haphazard and largely uncoordinated fashion.
A regional front range approach is needed for the following reasons:
1. The magnitude of growth-related problems affecting the front range will far exceed current governmental structure and form. As example, efficient transportation throughout the front range has already become a regional issue.
2. The primary and secondary regional impacts of constructing what may become the busiest international airport in the nation, just north of Denver in Adams County.
3. Housing patterns throughout the front range will affect the entire region's quantity and quality of housing, health services, open space land, water supply, business locations, employment, and transportation networks.
4. Serious service breakdown of local governments such as power and water shortages, increased water pollution, transportation tie-ups, and the disposal of hazardous waste materials will occur more frequently.
The present system of incremental review of planning and service delivery will not be adequate to meet future
needs.


10
5. The present complex and overlapping myriad of existing agencies involved in planning will bear little relationship to future regional needs and will be unable to provide functional services at a regional level.
6. There are no constitutional or legislative provisions which can insure that the plans and activities of public authorities, counties, municipalities and special districts are not competing or conflicting. Just as there is no mechanism to insure that these plans fit into a program of development reflective of front range needs.
7. The front range needs a mechanism with broad authority to weigh alternatives, review suggested programs and courses of action, to establish priorities, and to act.
8. Annexation conflicts between jurisdictions will continue to generate uncoordinated growth patterns across the region.
Sequence of Discussion
This thesis attempts to accomplish the following six
obj ectives:


11
1. Examine why a multitude of deteriorating environmental and land use conditions currently beset the front range region.
2. Discuss the historical and political context in which land use laws and government structure in Colorado have evolved.
3. Analyze attempts at regional planning and the previous attempts by individuals and groups to reform state land use laws.
4. Explore the many factors and constraints which have thus far prevented front range regional planning from taking place.
5. Examine the options that other states have developed in establishing state land use controls and look at their ability to become integrated in Colorado.
6. Recommend certain plausible courses of action that need to be mandated by the legislature over time and defend my plan's merits.
Thesis Statement
Colorado land use laws have made a travesty of legitimate regional planning legislation and they have effectively emasculated the state government's ability to steward the front range region. Existing state land use


12
laws are inadequate to handle urban problems on a regional scale. The state legislature has yet to pass any legislation directed to the formation of a regional organization with sufficient powers to implement needed state-wide land use controls. The failure of the state legislature to reform antiquated state land use laws has significantly contributed to deteriorating environmental and land use conditions along the front range.


CHAPTER II
DETERIORING ENVIRONMENTAL AND LAND USE CONDITIONS
Probably the most significant failure of Colorado state government during the past two decades has been its inabilityand, too often, its unwillingnessto prepare for growth and adequately cope with its consequences.
Carl Miller Denver Post. 1986
Introduction
Over the years, the public has become more knowledgeable about the workings of natural ecological systems. The public has learned that changes in land
me citizens or coioraao's iront range are only now becoming fully aware of the environmental damage caused by the absence of a regional regulating body to oversee the region's land uses. Some of these include the contamination of land and water by operators of federal defense projects, congested highway travel, a backlog of


14
highway maintenance projects, and the region's everpresent brown cloud. Some of these cases have brought immediate and obvious environmental devastation to certain areas of the front range, while the effects of others point out the steady damage the environment sustains over time, caused by the once seemingly innocuous pattern of urban development.
For example, as commercial strips, shopping malls, industrial parks, and subdivisions are built on the urban fringe of our cities, the resulting traffic they generate pollutes the very air we breathe. As more prime agricultural land becomes converted to urban use, farmers begin to move to less fertile lands, requiring them to use ever-increasing amounts of chemical fertilizers and virulent pesticides to produce the same amount of food, which pollutes the water we drink and poisons the food we eat. The state and others have assumed now for years that the basic nature of this land, encompassing vast numbers of acres, could never be threatened by development.
If the state continues on its present course of indifference in mitigating these impacts, then the region may be faced with wholesale and irrevocable changes to its entire ecology. What follows is a brief enumeration


15
of the aforementioned environmental and land use failures that currently beset the front range.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal Land
This land, adjacent to Stapleton International Airport, was at one time used by the U.S. Army in the development and manufacturing of highly toxic nerve gas weapons for the Department of Defense. Numerous feasibility studies concerning the future expansion of Stapleton Airport touted the economic merits of incorporating this land into its future plans. Over the years, federal spokespersons had assured the state that the operations of this nerve gas plant posed little threat to the land's environment.
For years the state, although cognizant of the very hazardous nature of the products being produced at this site, never performed any soil contamination tests of its own. However, when the soil was finally tested for contaminants, the results revealed the presence of very high levels of hazardous chemicals. The concentration and toxicity level of these chemicals was found to be so great that the estimate to decontaminate this land was put at well over "$300 million and the detox process would take a minimum of 20 years to complete."
Shortly


16
after these findings were advanced to the public, plans to expand Stapleton's operations onto the arsenal site had to be scrapped.
Rocky Plats
Another federally owned project is operated by the Rockwell International Corporation which produces plutonium components for nuclear weapons. Recently, state health officials warned that "contaminated ground water from the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant may be flowing toward drinking sources for more than 150,000 people in four suburban communities." Threatened are the water sources that supply Broomfield, Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster. Contamination tests conducted by the state health department showed high concentrations of three known carcinogens and one chemical that damages the human nervous system. According to one health official, the plant operators "have known about ground
water contamination of this nature since the 1960s, but
. . 5
that sampling for chemicals began only last year."
Deteriorating Highway Network
"By the year 2000, the vehicle miles traveled on the region's state highways and regional thoroughfares are


17
expected to double." This increase in highway usage will create intolerable vehicle congestion, intensify critical air quality problems, curtail regional economic growth, and will degrade the present quality of life for its future population.
The segment of 1-25 south of County Line Road is purported to increase from the 1981-82 volume of 36,600 vehicles per day to a year 2000 volume of between 122,000 to 139,000 vehicles per day.
Further, if growth does occur in Douglas and Arapahoe
Counties as is now being projected, then the width of I-
25 between Castle Rock and Denver will have to be doubled
to safely handle moving this number of vehicles. Also if
these same projections hold true, the "Valley Highway
Q
through Denver will need to become 14 lanes wide."
Financing the region's future transportation needs
will prove to be an expensive endeavor.
A 1984 DRCOG highway financing study, projects a total need of $4.1 billion to meet the region's highway needs by the year 2000. However, existing documentation shows a $1.6 billion shortfall o| possible revenues needed to complete the work.
The possibility of regional gridlock occurring between
Douglas County and Denver in the immediate future could
be realized soon.


18
Air Quality Problems
Under
'the Clear Air Act of 1969, the daily standard for the emission of carbon monoxide set for the Denver metropolitan area is 1,100 tons. [In 1985,] the Denver metro area had 40 days on which the carbon monoxide standards was exceeded. [By the end of 1987,] the Health Department projects that 2,000 tons of carbon monoxide per day will be spewed into the air.
According to state health officials, this inability to meet the air quality standard may mean the loss to the metro area of
up to $300 million in [federal] highway and sewer grants by 1987. The carbon monoxide problem is so bad [say state officials], that Denver will-fail to meet the [1987] deadline even if the state1
continues to do everything it can now, short of
legislating mandatory no-drive days. By the year 2000,
another 1.1 million vehicles will be traveling the
highways of the front range, nearly a 70 percent increase
in less than 20 years.
These facts underscore the need for the development of a front range mass transportation system. However, the political leaders in the metro area and the elected RTD board members are sharply divided on this issue.
Some advocate improving the existing RTD system, others want bus lanes along 1-25, while still others prefer to focus on the clean-up of stationary sources of


19
pollutants. In any event, if current pollution levels run unchecked, by the year 2000, 3,400 tons of carbon monoxide will be spewing into the region's air.
The State's Role
The sovereign position enjoyed by the state in the substate political system places the burden of responsibility on the state to act on the question of a regional system of governance; local governments are but "creatures of the state." Problems that are regional by nature, which encompass many jurisdictional boundaries, can best be solved by direct state government action. Relative to other governmental programs, services and powers, the state can take action, wher,e needed, to improve upon the capacity of local governments to solve problems and provide services both econmically and efficiently.
The state's constitutional and legislative provisions have in the past constituted the framework within which the present conditions of the front range have grown. State law has been, at times, the facilitating agent responsible for the diffused and layered organization of local governments, for their


20
mismatched fiscal capacity, and for their inability to cooperate in matters of mutual interest.
Conclusion
This chapter has shown some of the ways that the front range has been physically impacted by a myriad of uncoordinated land use decisions occurring in the absence of a regional overseeing body. The quality of the air, water, and land resources is changing rapidly before our eyes. Air quality is declining as more man-made airborne wastes are discharged into the atmosphere. Land and water resources are being transformed by the very ways in which we are developing and using them.
The state's past failure to understand the far-reaching impact of these changes to our environment has led both federal and local governments, private entrepreneurs, and most of the general public largely to ignore the problem of environmental quality or, at best, to assign it a low priority. Consequently, the legislature has been complacent to respond to local injuries to the environment, viewing them as incidental penalties for "progress." Good environmental quality has therefore been considered for some time as only a fringe


21
benefit whose maintenance is desirable, if convenient, and if it poses no threat to development.


Front Range
Population Change 1970-1985
County Total Change Percent Change Annual Average Change Average Rate of Change
Adams 90,678 48.8 6,045 3.25
Arapahoe 109,448 41.7 7,296 2.78
Boulder 78,756 59.7 5,250 3.98
Clear Creek 2,906 60.3 194 4.02
Denver (3,767) (.007) (251)
Douglas 28,350 337.2 1,890 22.48
El Paso 132,774 56.3 8,852 3.75
Gilpin 1,489 117 99 7.8
Jefferson 179,740 76.4 11,983 5.09
Larimer 80,380 89.4 536 5.96
Pueblo 8,784 . 074 586 . 004
Teller 7,308 220 487 14.67
Weld 47,266 52.9 3,151 3.53
Front Range Total 764,112 46,118 5.9
Richard Lyn, Colorado Division of Local Government, August 29, 1986


CHAPTER III
SOME ATTEMPTS TO PLAN FOR FRONT RANGE FUTURES
No one should under-estimate the enormity of political opposition to regionalism. Much public education is needed to bring together the cities, counties, and towns of the region on matters of their mutual concern.
Costihgan and Lehman
New Strategies for Regional Cooperation
1973
Introduction
The problems which accompany rapid growth in Colorado have developed on a regional scale without any effective state or regional mechanisms to handle them. Having looked at some of the more pervasive land use failures in Chapter II, one would necessarily conclude that in Colorado the concept of legitimate regional planning has yet to be applied in finding solutions to regional problems facing localities today. Many attempts to enable the land to accommodate the region's growth by planning for its inevitable development have, over the years, been either ignored or legislatively emasculated by the General Assembly. This chapter examines the many


24
attempts by various individuals and groups to prepare the front range to cope with urbanized growth and the legislature's failure to respond adequately.
Local Area Attempts
As early as 1939, Denver and its surrounding
counties joined together and formed the Upper Platte
Regional Planning Commission. This commission was the
first attempt to plan for an area's needs by local
governments actively seeking collective solutions to
urban problems that were rapidly outstripping individual
initiatives. This group eventually gave way to the
Tri-County Planning Commission in 1944, after several counties dropped out of the original group, leaving an association between Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson Counties. When the metro population soared past the 750,000 mark in 1955, the tri-county group was then joined by the city and county of Denver to form the Inter-County Regional Planning Commission (ICRPC) which Boulder County joined in 1966.
The membership of this group was composed of citizens' representatives from each member unit, rather than elected officials. Thus, the concept of "regionalism" among front range counties was established many years ago, and long before the federal government instituted the A-95 Review Process.


25
Early Federal Attempts and Failures
The federal government has been responsible for population movements and development patterns that have caused the fiscal resources of some areas to become mismatched with others. During the last 40 years, the federal highway, mortgage insurance, rural electric associations, waste water treatment, and water supply programs have directly caused new growth to expand outwardly away from the central cities, which in turn has had a debilitating effect on the citys economic health and vitality.
Once the federal government realized that its
programs were indeed culpable, its attempts to facilitate
solutions to regional problems created additional
problems and actually exascerbated the situation.
In 1968, convinced of the importance of area-wide planning, the federal government made such planning a precondition for the receipt by local governments of federal aid by implementating the A-95 Review Process. Unfortunately, these new requirements have produced a fractionated unifunctional approach to planning on the regional level, thereby making the development and implementation of comprehensive plans more difficult.
In recognition of the fiscal problems of many local governments, Congress enacted a general revenue sharing program and a special revenue sharing program for community development. Since these programs contained no conditions requiring interlocal cooperation, these programs also supported the continuation of the existing


26
fragmented system of regional governance1yhich
impedes solutions to area-wide problems.
A third major action initiated by Congress in response to growing regional problems involved the partial preemption of responsibility for solving environmental problemsair, noise, and water pollution. Instead of assuming full responsibility for pollution abatement, the federal government instead adopted minimum standards and allowed states to continue to regulate sources of pollution, with the exception of emissions from 1967 and newer motor vehicles, provided that "state standards were at least as stringent as federal standards and were enforced." The failure of a state to develop acceptable standards or to enforce acceptable standards could lead to direct federal assumption of regulatory responsibility for pollution abatement in that state.
Partial preemption of regulatory responsibility by
the federal government has stimulated state and local
government action to ease environmental pollution. This
partial approach, however, has not been successful as
evidenced by the fact that "most of the Nation's 247 air
quality control regions, by 1975 remained in violation of
15
the Clean Air Amendments of 1970." Colorado's front range has always been in violation of federal air quality standards at some time or another. The compliance


27
standard has thus far never been met and two time extensions have been granted to Colorado since 1977, while yet another deadline looms just around the corner in 1987.
Legislative History
Concerned about the impact of rapid changes in land use throughout the state, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Land Use Acts of 1970, 1971, and 1972. The Land Use Act of 1970 authorized the formation of a statewide Land Use Commission (LUC) to provide leadership and to coordinate the development of a state-wide land use plan and management system. Unfortunately, the state LUC was never given the operating authority it needed to succeed but, instead, was overrun by a full-scale political assault on the legislature by local governments afraid of losing local control.
A provision of the 1971 land use legislation mandated the establishment of a Planning Commission in each county. In 1972, "Senate Bill 35 [gave] local officials the tools to ensure orderly growth,"16 by requiring that planning commissions be formed in each county and that the county commissioners must adopt and enforce the state's subdivision regulations. Had the


28
original draft of this bill become law, then it would
have provided the state with what it really needed,
state-wide land use regulations, a vehicle by which it
could positively influence state-wide land usages. This
opportunity was missed by the general assembly and
"because of the political clout the county commissioners
17
have in the Colorado general assembly" the essential portions of the original draft providing the "teeth" were deleted. Indeed, if the legislature had not striken the wordsdistrict planning commission, regional planning commission, and Colorado land use commission, throughout the original draft document, then perhaps the patterns and problems of urban development today could have been dealt with most effectively. In the end, the subdivision review procedures of S.B. 35 that amended Chapter 6 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, placing the final approval of subdivisions in the hands of the county commissioners, dealt a death blow to any rational means toward organizing state-wide and administered land use laws.
In 1974, House Bill 1041, entitled the "Model Land Use Regulations," was enacted into law. While this law emphasizes state input into local plan making, the state has virtually no power to impose state-wide interests on the local authorities. As part of their comprehensive


29
plans, local governments may designate "areas and activities of state interest." These cover the usual array of critical areas and key public facilities, but do not cover large private developments. The state may only suggest to the local authorities that specific areas or activities be designated, but the local governments are free to disregard the state's recommendations. Even after designation, activities and areas of state interest are regulated by local government. Here, the state through its LUC, wrote a planning document that could have had a tremendous impact on guiding future urban development patterns in a logical, consistent, and sensitive manner across the front range, but again the political powers and pressures of local governments significantly changed the original draft. What a tragedy for the urban areas of the front range.
Legislation addressing the authorization of regional service authorities (RSA's) was passed in 1972 as the
. 19 .
Service Authority ActCRS 7-32-1972. This legislation was yet another attempt by the state to both recognize and then, at the same time, to deny the functional need for some type of regional structure in certain areas of the state, particularly along the front range.


30
For example, the statute provides for a transfer of responsibility from special districts to the RSA without holding an election. However, such a transfer may only be initiated by resolution adopted by a majority of members of the special districts' governing board. Realistically, no board is going to vote itself out of existence.
Again, once an RSA has been formed, it is given comprehensive planning responsibilities and it is required to develop a comprehensive guide for the entire service authority area. The RSA board is also given the power by state statute to review all comprehensive plans affecting the development of the service area. So far so good; however, its power to review proposed developments is then limited to informing of non-compliance by this same statute. This one-step forward, two-step backwards approach is indicative of all the statutes concerned with urban growth issues that involve any constructive and comprehensive attempts to deal with regional problems.
A more compelling approach to coordinating services among substate governmental bodies is the usage of intergovernmental agreements (IGA's) which are mutually agreed to by two or more cooperating entities.


31
Two articles of the Colorado statues which relate directly to intergovernmental cooperation are 29-1-201 et seq., concerning Intergovernmental Relationships, and 29-20-101 et seq., entitled the Local-Government Land Use Control Enabling Act of 1974.
Agreements or contracts of this nature between units of government seem innocuous enough at the outset. In fact, the many advantages of a service agreement contract include:
1. Lower costs and higher efficiency derived from consolidating operations;
2. Operating facilities at full capacity;
3. A reduction in the duplication of governmental operations;
4. A larger service unit is potentially better equipped to improve methods of service.
The single most powerful disadvantage to this
approach is that IGA's perpetuate the typically
fragmented structure of local government within the
region in that they are not comprehensive in either focus
or application, often having evolved to address only
"special problems." Interlocal cooperation can provide
an effective solution in dealing with many urban problems
that are beyond the individual capacity and expertise of
local entities; however, agreements of this nature
between local governmental bodies are only useful in
dealing with interlocal problems. They are not powerful


32
enough to deal effectively with urban problems on a regional scale, ones that encompass many governmental bodies, like the region's brown cloud or polluted water tables.
The Governor's Front Range Commissions: 1979-1981
In an effort to evaluate the future facing Colorado's front range, Governor Lamm appointed a Commission in 1979 to study Front Range Futures. The commission's report entitled "Front Range Conference II," was an exhaustive study of the consequences of front range growth and offered numerous recommendations on how to handle them. Another group called the "Governor's Blue Ribbon Committee" focused the attention of its study, called "Private Choices-Public Strategies" on projecting-out some of those possible consequences through the year 2001. In 1981, "both reports were transmitted to the 53rd General Assembly for deliberation."22
The Front Range Conference II report made seven recommendations "to deal with rapid growth, inefficient
service delivery, [and] the lack of communication between
. , 2 3
various governmental units ." These
recommendations are summarized as follows:


33
1. A Front Range overseeing agency must be established to manage front range growth and development.
2. That all Special Districts periodically prove their "viability of purpose."
3. That a Regional Service Authority be established for Metro Denver to provide certain large scale services.
4. That certain amendments be made to existing intergovernmental agreement statues.
5. A provision must exist in the statutes to allow the formulation of an urban county.
6. That a tax-sharing or equity program to encompass the front range taxing jurisdictions be made.
The Governor's Blue Ribbon Committee uncovered many
fascinating, yet at the same time frightening, facets of
future life along the front range, including:
The need for 700,000 new homes, apartments, and other dwellings on top of the 827,000 already in the region.
The disappearance of nearly 300,000 acres of farmland underneath the foundations of houses, stores and other new buildings.
The doubling of airline traffic and the tripling of passenger load at Stapleton International Airport.
The exhaustion of all sand and gravel deposits within a 15-mile radius of metropolitan Denver, without considering the new airport's needs.
The region's growth will be fueled by 170 new residents per day, 100 of them from out-of-state.


34
These documents clearly point out why continuing economic development and population growth along the front range will have a substantial impact on its land and its overall environment for years to come. So far, these documents and their findings have largely been ignored by the legislature and their predictions have fallen on deaf ears.
Conclusion
Bonafide state land use controls do not yet exist in Colorado. The state has passed weak-minded land use legislation bent on voluntary cooperation which may in the long run prove less than satisfactory as a means in resolving impending regional crises. Despite the mounting evidence of how the growing pressure of population will severely impact the public and private resources of the region, rapid and uncoordinated development continues to flourish along the front range.


CHAPTER IV
ORGANIZATIONAL AND STRUCTURAL IMPEDIMENTS TO CHANGE
The human mind must always be stretched to think in comprehensive ways. Within the realm of urban and regional planning this is much easier to do when one only has to think in terms of a neighborhood or a small town.
Robert G. Healy
Land Use and the States. 1976
Introduction
With so many people now residing in urbanized areas
along the front range, the problem of thinking all at
once about coordinating over "600 separate taxing . . . . 25
jurisdictions," becomes a mind-boggling task. Yet, the land use actions taken by even one front range city may seriously affect many others, and what all the governmental units do separately may well have a negative and cumulative effect on the land, creating problems that no one of these units alone can adequately handle.
This chapter explores the effect that the maze of governmental bodies at the state and local level has on front range land use planning. As well, it sheds some light on metropolitan area problems that inhibit the formation of regional organizations. It also discusses


the governmental units operating within the land use planning arena and examines their spheres of influence affecting the establishment of a regional form of government encompassing the front range. As such, it illustrates Colorados structurally fragmented approach to land use planning.
The Governance Maze
Today, over 600 separate taxing jurisdictions exist in the front range region for its almost 2.8 million residents. By the year 2000, the number of these taxing jurisdictions could well exceed 800. Clearly, the sheer number of these many layers of government with their associated boundaries necessarily compounds the complexities involved in deriving solutions to modern-day problems.
Historically, the entire state was divided into 63
counties to serve the purposes of the state,
County governments were originally created as strictly an administrative arm of the state and were designed simply to keep the peace, to collect taxes and record deeds. Individual cities and special districts were created to serve the dispersed, but growing, urban settlements.
As mentioned earlier, the sovereign position of the state makes it the sole general purpose government above county government.


37
The structure of these local governments was developed at a time in Colorado's history when rural settlements dotted the front range. At that time state statutes prohibited county government from setting up separate taxing areas to provide needed urban services.
At first glance this restriction seems harmless enough until one considers the cyclical effect it has had in contributing to the proliferation of local governmental bodies in the face of continuous urban growth.
Because counties could not provide urban services, literally hundreds of special districts were eventually created to meet these needs. In addition, city and town incorporations mushroomed to provide these services as is their right to do under the Colorado constitution. In some cases incorporation was done to avoid being annexed into metropolitan centers, such as Denver. Suburban annexations to the metropolitan centers up and down the front range were being instigated by property owners and developers alike, who were eager to obtain cheaper and quicker city water and sewerage services. Otherwise, they would have had to be supplied by the formation of special service districts and at a higher initial cost.
Thus, historic circumstances, the proliferation of special districts, plus more than a century of growth


38
have made Colorado's front range governmental organization inordinately complex. This organizational complexity of the front range region's governmental structureespecially the absence of a dominant state land use policy with teeth in ithas made the handling of regional problems particularly difficult. And so it goes with the conduct of regional planning or the construction of needed regional facilities.
Local Reorganization Attempts
Many attempts to achieve governmental reorganization
by creating some kind of general purpose or multipurpose
government or by consolidation have all met with failure.
Since 1902, when the City and County of Denver were
consolidated, no reorganization proposals have ever
reached the constitutional amendment stage. Various
proposals involving governmental reorganization to meet
the then present problems of urban growth were known as:
the Simpson Plan, the Shoemaker Plan, the Byrne Plan, the Johnson Plan, and the Sandquist Plan, all were turned back by the state legislature. The Urban County proposal, purposed by the Governor's Local Affairs Study Commission in 1964, also^ailed to be adopted by the state general assembly.
Obviously, the existing local governments,
particularly the counties, must view such restructuring


39
attempts as threatening to their very existence.
Moreover, resistance from the private sector and special district interests has also been keen, especially from groups with established working agreements more interested in protecting their parochial interests from the uncertainties of change. The current system represents to them a complicated balance of power and authority, whereby any deliberate disruption to the system, no matter how small or slow in developing, will cause these organizations great harm. Nevertheless, these groups must realize that the problems which accompany urban growth will inevitably cause change to occur in the very way they will conduct their business in the future, but that these will be forced and unplanned changes.
Metropolitan Impediments
One of the more perplexing problems confronting the front range is the evermore rapidly changing character of our society. Former farm areas around this region's larger cities have become densely populated suburban and industrial districts. The influx of new populations to urban fringe areas causes existing services to be expanded, often times exceeding service delivery


40
capacity. When this happens, new physical facilities must be constructed, often leading to the formation of special districts to provide these new services. As a result, the residents of these urbanized areas become divided politically by arbitrarily set jurisdictional boundaries, even though they share the same geographical area and are united economically.
Metropolitan areas, where rapid urbanization most often occurs at the urban fringe, are where most of the provision of new services takes place. The increasing urban pattern of more people choosing to live and work in these suburban areas has caused more people to settle outside of established city boundaries. The driving motivation behind this suburban exodus is the desire among these people to avoid or escape the oppressiveness of compacted city life, coupled with the promise of grand suburban living.
Cities are also losing population to the suburbs for a more compelling reasonthe development of giant housing subdivisions. The most noted of these are either under constriction or are on the drawing board for the strip between Denver's southern border and the Colorado Springs area. "More than 128 proposed new developments are planned for this southeast corridor of the front


41
OQ ...
range." Unfortunately, from a planning view point no common link has been established between them.
The City and County of Denver, on the other hand, is
unable to absorb new citizens due to the difficulty it
has with annexing unincorporated land areas, such that
the fragmentation of government is encouraged. The
"Poundstone II Amendment" of 1980 essentially prohibits
Colorado municipalities from annexing any land outside of
their present boundaries. This annexation limitation has
led Denver to gamble its economic future on the
benevolence of the state general assembly and Adams
county voters, who ultimately will decide whether Denver
will get to build its new airport facilities on Adams
county land or not. "This amendment was the result of
action taken in an annexation dispute in the Colorado 2 9
Springs area." While this action has contributed to a greater sense of local identity, it has nevertheless separated the local governments and their citizens from resolving problems that negatively affect other jurisdictions. These differences have only been exacerbated and have so far blocked any serious attempt toward the development of a regional perspective.


42
Local Impediments to Change
The public, in its collective and infinite wisdom, relies on local government to assert its interest in regulating the private and public use of land. Increasingly, public disappointment with the way their elected representatives are dealing with land use issues is growing. Public dissatisfaction with existing governmental structures has, in some instances, lead citizen groups to initiate land use referendums.
There is also a pervasive feeling that the local control of land use through local zoning regulations has been a failure. Zoning has succeeded only in preserving existing neighborhoods from non-residential uses. On the urban fringe, it has done little to change the land use outcomes by strong market forces that can dramatically change land use patterns. Thus, local government zoning often reflects inadequately the infrastructural and societal needs of the larger regional community.
Subdivision controls by themselves have done little more than to assure that new streets and utilities will be of minimum quality and will tie in with existing networks. Subdivision regulations do not control either the location or timing of residential development, nor do they protect the environment. They simply provide


43
generic development specifications and regulations pertaining to the built environment and as such are site specific by nature. Subdivisions in their own right, create artificial boundaries which further separates an homogeneous population into a politically heterogeneous mix causing area or regional planning to become more difficult if not outright impossible to achieve.
Local governments, in trying to increase their tax revenues, promote the development of new shopping centers, office and industrial parks. This individual race for tax rateables among jurisdictions is becoming increasingly competitive in front range communities.
Many local officials are suddenly finding themselves faced with a local tax base which is neither broad enough, nor adequate to provide uninterrupted services to their communities. This competition among communities has lead to the present unequal tax base situation now occurring which has resulted in a wide variation in the provision of local services across the region.
The significance of this imbalanced tax base situation among front range governments to the region is two-fold. Programs and projects which are developed to deal with problems on a regional scale will be very costly and in all probability taxes and user fees will


44
have to be levied to finance these activities. If taxes and user fees are significantly raised across the board regardless of a community's financial means, then the communities who cannot afford to pay these fees wind up subsidizing the growth of other communities who can. But if just a few jurisdictions are called upon to solve problems on a regional scale, then the burden of taxes upon these bodies may ultimately lead to the rateables pulling out and relocating in lower taxing jurisdictions. This further compounds this complex situation where communities will continue to be forced to compete among themselves.
Conclusions
State laws continue to be largely responsible for much of the diffused and layered patterns of local government for their fiscal inequities and for their inability to cooperate on matters of mutual interest.
The many problems of urban growth spillover into many jurisdictions and become more complex where various communities are competing among themselves. Because there is no administrative arm of the state overseeing regional concerns, a management vacuum has been created in almost every urban area of the front range.


CHAPTER V
FRONT RANGE REGIONAL GOVERNANCE: OPTIONS
Failure to deal with certain functions and responsibilities on an area-wide basis can result in ineffective control, badly planned and mislocated development, and overlapping and duplication.
Governor's Local Affairs Study Commission Denver. 1966
Introduction
This chapter begins with an examination of several predominant options to regional government structure now operating at the substate level across the country. This overview provides a description of each type and a brief analysis of their applicability to the front range. Finally, their structures will be weighed against their potential to become both integrated and institutionalized within Colorado's governmental organizations.
The remainder of this chapter focuses on my preferred option, of how I believe the numerous governmental bodies operating within the front range should be organized.


46
Substate Regional Structures
A multitude of regional planning institutions exist
at various levels of government. Several approaches to
regional planning at the substate level will be examined
here. The first is the consolidation of city and county
governments, or the one-tier approach.
Typically, city-county consolidation proposals
feature the merger of the major city, or all cities in a
metropolitan region, with the county government.
Examples of this approach include Baton Rouge, Louisiana;
Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee; and Honolulu,
Hawaii. The complete consolidation of all local
governments in the large metropolitan areas in Colorado
is not only impracticable for obvious political reasons, but
it is also inadvisable. "With its 9,000 square miles of
area and its anticipated population of 3.8 million 30 ,
people," the front range region is both too large and the structures of county government too weak for this particular reorganizational approach to succeed.
Individual city-county consolidation conceivably could produce a stronger local level of government, but it is debatable whether or not it would champion solutions to regional problems. Certain useful concepts, however,


47
employed in the consolidation of the Baton Rouge and Nashville areas have been gleaned for use in my model.
A variation of the one-tier structure type leads to the second approach which strengthens the structure of existing urban counties by expanding the county's service responsibility and by increasing their tax-raising abilities. Los Angeles County, well-known for its Lakewood Plan, exemplifies this urban county approach. Under this plan, Los Angeles County provides both contracted services to municipalities and urban type services to its unincorporated areas. This obviates the need for incorporation, and precludes the formation of additional special districts to provide basic services. The time when this approach could have been incorporated into Colorado's major metropolitan areas has long since past; however, this remains a viable approach to newly emerging free-standing urban centers as a means to control future political fragmentation.
A third type of substate regional planning is a system that is comprised of a two-tiered structure of government. Essentially this approach represents the establishment of a federated area-wide government which is given the responsibility for several area-wide functions formerly vested in the area's cities and


48
counties. The result is a two-tiered government with the municipalities performing only predetermined services of a local nature. The logic of this approach is that cities have two different needs: one for jurisdictions large enough to cope with problems that pervade an entire region and the other for jurisdictions (like municipalities and towns) small enough to allow active citizen participation. Approaches of this type include Toronto's federation and Miami's comprehensive urban county structure.
The fourth structure type, the creation of a distinct regional government, is by far the most comprehensive and integrated approach yet mentioned in the management of a region.
A regional government once established either by the electorate or the state legislature becomes an independent legal entity with its own financial resources. It is governed by a board representing the entire* region, and it serves multiple purposes.
The only two examples in the nation are Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. This approach is perhaps the least flexible and is the least politically viable alternative for the front range.
The fifth and perhaps the most popular approach is the Councils of Government (COGs). They afford maximum flexibility and can be installed with a minimum of


49
disturbance to existing governmental bodies if so
desired. They can also be assigned as few or as many
functions as circumstances require, and their service
areas can readily be designated to fit any area of need.
The voluntary nature of COGs is perhaps its greatest
weakness, though, as "COGs suffer all the disadvantages
of the United Nations, including the inability (at times)
.32
to rise above narrow self-interest."
A sixth and final approach to substate regional
planning takes the form of single-purpose regional
districts and regional service authorities (RSAs). Like
COGs, both of these structures are off-shoots of the two-
tier regional government approach. A special purpose
district handles only one function, such as providing
public transportation, for an entire urban area.
Colorado's Regional Transportation District or RTD, is
one such example of a single-purpose regional district
serving an entire urban area. Separate regional
districts allow regional problems to be dealt with on a
regional scale. However, the very formation of these
districts delays any attempt at coordinating
comprehensive solutions to regional problems. RSA's are
area-wide multi-service special districts that have broad powers to perform urban services and functions. The Authority does not eliminate


50
existing governmental units, i^t only functions on matters of region-wide scope.
To date no RSA's have been formed in Colorado, although
this is largely due to the various restrictions on their
formation as contained in their enabling legislation and
the political posturing of local governments afraid for
their position of authority and control.
The Preferred Option
Many studies dealing with the future problems of
growth occurring along the front range have been
conducted over the years. A plethora of information
supportive of regional planning approaches already exists
and is readily available.
What remains is the yet unmet need to develop a
front range plan of governance that is both structurally
feasible and politically acceptable in light of the
complex demographic, social, and governmental composition
of the entire front range area. I emphasize both
feasible and acceptable because
Colorado has had a long history of political and governmental squabbling and infighting over future planning and land use programs. Previous attempts to use governmental and legislative methods to achieve workable long range plans have failed.
Feasible, means determining which services could best be
provided within a front range jurisdiction, what they


0
51
would cost, and how they would ultimately be financed.
However these mechanisms would be developed, their
success depends upon operating in conjunction with all
existing front range bodies of government. Acceptable
implies that particular attention must be paid to the
political relationships between the counties and all
other governmental units. There already exists much
political reluctance to the creation of a regional
governing agency. "Lamm, who has tried for years as a
legislator, and as governor, to begin developing plans
for Colorado's expected growth, has met many frustrations
35
and found few successes."
The front range needs a system of regional governance that adequately recognizes the inherent and conflicting forces of both centralization and decentralization within the 13 front range counties. It is essential that the state strongly exert its constitutional and legislative powers to achieve a meaningful restructuring effort. The regional governance plan I am proposing advocates the formation of a modified, multifunctional and two-tiered front range governance body. This entity is capable of providing the regional leadership and management the front range needs collectively to handle its future destiny.


52
I advocate that a regional branch of state government, called the Front Range Planning Council (FRPC), be established by the legislature to prepare and administer regional conservation and development plans and programs. As such, it oversees obsolete governmental institutions by providing a jurisdiction of sufficient size, while encompassing a large enough fiscal base to both effect and support change on a regional scale. The geographic area and the functions of the FRPC are primarily focused on the thirteen front range counties, although their realm of influence may become as broad as the regional needs that must be met.
A comprehensive, yet flexible, front range land use plan is prepared and updated annually. Newly emerging land use problems of a regional scale, changing values, and new approaches to regional solutions are recognized and incorporated into a regional action plan and implemented as front range policy. This plan serves the region as a contemporary plan for action.
This concept of establishing a two-tiered front range regional government represents the most democratic and feasible method of accomplishing regional objectives without totally disrupting the existing governmental organizations.


53
A multipurpose agency of this type can bring under one policy-making roof all the decisions currently being made by independent bodiesor not at all which affect the physical^ social, economic, and environmental conditions"1
throughout the front range.
Organization and Structure
As previously mentioned, the legislature establishes the FRPC which encompasses the 13 front range counties and assigns the council the responsibility and authority for preparing and carrying out a regional comprehensive plan. Such a system would permit a legitimate sharing of power over front range functions between a large governmental unit, e.g. a Front Range Planning Council, and all other smaller units of government. Elements of all the Departments of State are combined under the FRPC. This assures that all costs and benefits associated with alternative courses of action are considered in the formation of policy decisions. It replaces the uncoordinated and competitive programs of single-purpose agencies.
Under this plan the Front Range Planning Council works with the region's public authorities as they prepare their part of the regional development program. The council also absorbs the budgetary responsibility for


54
the entire region. It becomes the grantee and administrator of all federal and state grants earmarked for the region. Under the direction of the general assembly, the council in effect becomes the sole cognizant agency charged with both planning for and implementing the region's land use controls.
Under this system, the region's existing Councils of Government would become the FRPC's technical planning arm representing their particular area's problems as well.
As such, the councils would be required to review and approve local development plans for compliance purposes before they are ultimately submitted to the FRPC. The councils, in effect, would become agents of the FRPC.
This regional conservation and development plan, along with its associated development programs, are quite different from the typical concept of "land use planning." This particular plan covers the full spectrum of social, economic, and environmental concerns, and is intended to have major impact on the problems that will befall the front range. Problems relating to employment, housing, education and health, transportation and recreation, preservation of critical areas, fiscal equality, as well as conservation come under the plan's preview.


55
The full responsibility for carrying out the regional programs rests entirely upon the council. However, the council depends upon strong local governments which are fully committed to sound local planning and administration of their plans. Front range counties are strengthened by a legislative act establishing them as municipalities under the eyes of the state. Subsequently, there is no area of the region which is not under some form of municipal government, thus enabling counties both to control annexation actions and to also become eligible for state and federal municipal aid.
The region's open land is protected from speculative pressures for development by taxing land on its zoning classification, not on its potential for future development, unless the land has been so designated by the council. This will encourage appropriate development to take place within urban areas. Additionally, a critical development timetable provision allows for the automatic recension of former council approval and its zoning classification if development fails to commence within a specific time.


56
Powers and Functions
While regional problems necessarily demand regional solutions, it is not always clear where a local problem ends and a regional one begins. The provision of most services encompasses a wide latitude in delivery and operational needs that span both great and small geographical service areas. The following services on a regional scale would be incorporated within the region's development plan and operating scope of the FRPC:
1. Air Pollution Controls
2. Solid Wastes
3. Water Supply
4. Sewerage
5. Airports
6. Large-Scale Developments
7. Ground Transportation
8. Storm and Flood Controls
A regional governance body of this type charged with carrying out such a broad range of responsibilities and services must have certain implementation powers at its disposal. To be effective, the FRPC should be able to influence the location, timing, and extent of development by private interests and public agencies, and be able to secure sites for its own facilities and operations. Authority is also needed by the FRPC to acquire, reserve and dispose of land, to give this body the greatest latitude in controlling development. Thus, the achievement of regional development goals would require


57
the strong exercise of the police power and the power of eminent domain. Both of these powers must be vested to the FRPC by the Colorado General Assembly.
In some instances, the FRPC may need alternative powers to implement regional plans when land acquisition is fiscally, legally, or politically impracticable. Flexibility is needed in dealing with special situations of these types. Among the possible alternative powers are acquisition by less-than-fee simple interest and options. As a last resort, the FRPC should be able to enforce coordination among the region's governments and require consolidation of service delivery providers on a case by case basis.
Financing
In order for the FRPC to implement regional land use controls, adequate financial resources are essential.
Some possibilities include:
1. Earmarking a percentage of the state income tax roles for FRPC purposes.
2. Levy taxes or service charges on jurisdictions who derive benefits from the FRPC.
3. Create a regional tax in addition to state taxes for such things as gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol; or like


RTD, add this additional tax to current general sales taxes.
Because the FRPC is engaged in planning and longterm implementation, it must be given absolute control over the issuance of all the region's general obligation and industrial revenue bonding activity.
It is essential that the FRPC administer its own funds, regardless of their source, so that it influences local government priorities in directly accomplishing its regional goals. In essence, it is a "carrot-and-stick" approach with respect to aligning local government support for its programs. For example, the FRPC could provide equalization payments to local governments who contribute to the spillover costs of regional problems or programs, or to withhold grants in cases where local governments fail to comply with its programs.
Conclusion
The very forms of government that need to coexist in the front range today cannot remain organized as they were originally in Colorado's early rural period. These governmental structures, by their very nature, cannot hope to cope with the large and often complex problems of modern day urbanization, particularly within a regional


59
context. My preferred option plan proposes a recombination of available regional governance mechanisms to enable the front range to deal with regional problems. This plan should not, however, be misconstrued as a panacea for all regional ills.


CHAPTER VI
FRONT RANGE FUTURES
Present and prospective problems cannot be met by local governments or communities in isolation from each other.
National Commission on Urban Problems 1969
Introduction
The single-purpose approach taken by front range governmental bodies in coping with land use problems necessarily limits the consideration of the relationships between problems. Frequently, this myopic practice leads to a governmental environment that fosters both a crisis mentality and approach to planning. This fragmented way of dealing with problems of this nature obviates a rational means to plan comprehensively for future growth for the front range.
An alternative method for dealing constructively with major land use problems is to examine them to identify common relationships and underlying causes. Only once these interrelated relationships and causes have been


61
uncovered can constructive governmental policy be directed toward correcting underlying causes. It is a misuse of the state's enormous resources to continue merely to treat the symptoms of regional growth.
Two scenarios focusing on planning for the future of Colorado's front range are presented in this chapter. Both options outline the constraints and opportunities that exist in dealing with the most serious problems facing the front range by the year 2000.
These constraints and opportunities underscore the need for effective governmental intervention in order to minimize the negative effects that future growth may bring, while exploiting the region's opportunities.
Setting the Stage
The first scenario is titled Front Range One, and predicts the future conditions along the front range if present public policy continues to deal individually and separately with regional land use issues. It is an accounting of what the front range might become if the state continues to rely on other public governmental bodies to fulfill its planning responsibilies. This scenario predicts numerous disruptions occurring to the


62
region's land and its built environment. It presents few opportunities.
The second scenario, titled Front Range Two, offers a "what-if" model for change. It describes how a truly comprehensive front range planning effort can systematically and constructively ensure a healthy front range future. Front Range Two prescribes a tempering of disruptions of the region's land and its man-made environment by offering a balanced and workable governmental structure (see Chapter V for complete detail) to effect future change. It presents many opportunities for the region while enhancing its environment.
Certain undercurrents of change or focus will be exerted on any particular model that attempts to describe how the future may look. My predictions are predicated upon the constraints from Chapter I which exist now and are as follows:
1. The magnitude of growth-related problems affecting the front range will far exceed current governmental structure and form.
2. The primary and secondary impacts of constructing a new Stapleton Airport will be staggering to the region.


63
3. Housing patterns throughout the front range will affect the entire region's quantity and quality of housing, health services, open space land, water supply, business locations, employment, and transportation networks.
4. Serious service breakdown of local governments, such as power and water shortages, increased water pollution, transportation tie-ups, and the disposal of hazardous waste materials, will occur more frequently.
The present system of incremental review of planning and service delivery will not be adequate to meet future needs.
5. The present complex and overlapping myriad of existing agencies involved in planning will bear little relationship to future regional needs and will be unable to provide functional services at a regional level.
6. There are no constitutional or legislative provisions which can ensure that the plans and activities of public authorities, counties, municipalities and special districts are not competing or conflicting, just as there is no mechanism to ensure that these plans fit into a program of development reflective of front range needs.
7. The front range needs a mechanism with broad authority to weigh alternatives, review suggested


64
programs and courses of action to establish priorities and to act.
8. Annexation conflicts between jurisdictions will
continue to generate uncoordinated growth patterns across
, , . 37
the region.
To this list I will add the following:
The federal government will end its funding of local government assistance.
Local governments will become increasingly fiscally dependent upon State resources; alternative revenue sources will be developed.
Numerous sub-state governmental bodies will consolidate to deal with area or regional problems.
Adequate water supply in a semi-arid climate will remain a problem.
Colorado's future economy will continue to depend heavily upon high-tech development.
The pursuit of leisure activities by tourists and Coloradoans in Colorado will esculate the premature development of its lands, particularly along the front range.
Tax and zoning policies that encourage land speculation will not change.


65
Jurisdictional battles between various local governments will continue.
North-south transportation demands will increase substantially.
Front Range One
The Front Range One scenario is likely to occur if the present methods employed by state and local governmental bodies, with regard to planning for the future of the front range, continue. If the present ways of problem solving and policy making are continued, then the consequences to the front range will logically follow the prediction of conditions as found in Front Range One. It is an image of today's policies reflected as future trends.
In Front Range One, the constraints and major disruptions will continue to be dealt with on a crisis-by-crisis basis. Policy makers will continue to espouse rhetoric directed toward assuaging public fears and concerns over degenerating environmental conditions. However, no responsive and integrated framework will exist for making critical public policy. Government agencies and private interest groups will continue to formulate policies to suit their individual and


66
particular needs, regardless of the general public interest. More frequently, policies and programs will directly conflict with each other and the impact of one on another will be self-servingly ignored by the decision makers.
Government Structure
The structure of governmental bodies along the
front range will remain essentially the same as in the
1980s. New and additional bureaucratic agencies will be
formed by the general assembly in response to emerging
disruptions of services and environmental concerns. The
pattern of jurisdictional overlap, of agencies working at
cross-purposes without any explicit system of priorities,
continues in spite of many efforts to transform related
governmental functions into major agencies. As the
"First Year Report" from the "Colorado Front Range
Project" states: "Colorado (has) had a long history of
political and governmental squabbling and infighting over
future planning and land use programs. Previous attempts
to use governmental and legislative methods to achieve
3 8
workable long-range plans (have) failed."


67
Single-Interest Approach
Single-interest and single purpose state agencies will continue to hold court over the planning, budgeting and programming of the state government. Coordination of state agencies will consist mainly of resolving major disagreements through ad hoc policy compromises. Singlepurpose state regulatory agencies and/or commissions will be formed to deal with specific threatened areas of the region and its resources.
In reality, most of these agencies lack both the authority or funds to implement programs within their operating areas. Others will be "captured by the very groups they were once created to regulate.
The governor's budget is submitted annually to the Colorado legislature. The budgeting system itself encourages uncoordinated, single-agency planning and programming. Each affected agency appeals to its own "establishment" in the legislature, which in turn brings pressure to bear on the governor and his staff to affect budget changes in their favor.
A Region Divided
Front range regional government will be characterized by the proliferation of single-purpose agencies charged with regulating a burgeoning number of


68
single issue problems. Tentative moves toward unifying single-purpose bureaucracies into a comprehensively functioning administration will not be realized.
Voluntary associations representing local governments like Councils of Governments, while performing a semblance of regional planning, will be unable to expect local compliance from their membership to effect a comprehensive regional plan for the entire front range.
Cities, municipalities, counties, and special districts will continue to maintain their powers and individual function while making major land use and development decisions including those affecting urban settlement patterns. Cities and municipalities will continue to subvert, by annexation, the counties futile attempts at comprehensive planning at the substate level. Locally, private speculators and developers will circumvent local ordinances and standards by securing variances and zoning changes from pliable local officials, who are over-zealous in acquiring rateables.
Expenditures of tax revenues in Front Range One become primarily devoted to the maintenance of infrastructure projects, e.g. highways, and water projects, largely due to the sharp curtailment of Federal Revenue Sharing programs. Tax policies will not serve as


69
positive instruments in controlling development, rather, they encourage wasteful patterns of growth. The tax advantages for capital gains on land speculation will continue to result in the premature development of the region largely for personal gain. The rateables race among cities and municipalities will intensify, prompting a give-away of prime agricultural and scenic lands.
Glimpse of the Future
In general, the economic policies of Front Range One necessarily make heavy demands on the region's natural resources. This section outlines the general conditions of the region and its land and structures if typical urban problems are dealt with in typical fashion.
Water: Supply and Treatment
The Colorado Water Congress (CWC) continues to assume its responsibility to provide water and to at least match or encourage growth and development. As the cost of water rights rises in response to increased demand, agriculture will not be able to compete with manufacturing, industry, and energy sectors.
Some mountain valleys become reservoir sites,
inundating much land in the process. In an effort to


70
control water pollution, the state's water quality administration denies sewer hookups to overburdened treatment systems. Nevertheless, the front range aquafers become increasingly contaminated and their levels continue to drop at an alarming rate, causing once irrigated farming areas to revert back to producing dryland crops.
Agricultural Lands
The state continues to confer tax benefits to owners
of agricultural land who agree to keep their land in
agricultural use. Concurrently, major statewide public
works programs, coupled with fiscal and tax policies,
continue to encourage the urbanization of farmlands.
Along with a population that has grown towards 3.5 million, cities and municipalities have spread out and have joined together north to south, taking over an equivalent to a 10-mile wide |£rip stretching from Denver to Colorado Springs.
The once agricultural character of many areas in the
front range disappears completely.
Open Space and Wilderness Areas
Commissions to protect open space are established in large urban regions, but they cannot stop urban sprawl because they lack the funds and authority to set aside large tracts of threatened lands. The federal


71
government, bowing to the pressure of a resurgent "Sage Brush Rebellion" and a nation-wide cry to reduce the "National Debt," sells or leases much of its land holdings to the state. The state in turn leases most of this land to public authorities and special interest groups to bolster its budget. Subdivision development in mountain and rural areas increases, causing widespread soil erosion and stream pollution. Wilderness areas established under federal regulations are endangered by increased public use.
Air Quality
Compliance with air quality standards are forestalled by cities, municipalities, and private industries who complain about the economic hardships of meeting air quality standards. Alternatives to the automobile and woodburning stoves, two of the chief sources of air pollution along the front range, are steadily, but slowly, pursued by government. A slight reduction in pollution levels within the region will be realized, with tougher enforcement of state and federal pollution standards. But the overall improvement gained from reduced pollution per vehicle is lost due to the increase in the sheer numbers of vehicles and inadequate controls over major stationary sources of pollution.


72
Transportation
Federal highway construction funding ceases to exist. Some new funds, although miniscule, become available from existing sources. Some highways start charging toll-user fees. Special bus lanes and an expanded Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus service is offered between metropolitan centers.
However, automobile transport prevails. People continue to rely primarily on the automobile because they live so far away from employment centers and because no real disincentives exist to sway their decision to drive.
By the year 2000, there are approximately 2.4 million automobiles and trucks traveling the front range.
Traffic congestion increases even with the completion of E and W-470. Downtown cores become inaccessible and there is paralyzing local street congestion in urban centers where parking is both expensive and inadequate.
"1-25 from Douglas County to the Brighton exit has been
. . 40
widened to 8 lanes at an exorbitant cost." The Valley
highway itself has been widened to 14 lanes to
accommodate heavy commuter traffic.


73
Solid Waste
Regional disposal districts are created to handle municipal waste. Disposal is often by landfill in distant locations. Hazardous wastes are disposed of in remote areas of the region despite protests from farmers. The transportation costs of solid wastes soars. More and
c
more agricultural lands become transformed into land fill facilities. Local solid waste handling transfer facilities become commonplace throughout the region.
Housing
The affordable housing needs of a rapidly growing front range population will not be met. The federal vouchering system which provides rent subsides to low-income families will become woefully underfunded, and subsidized construction of low-income housing will cease. The cost of housing will increase dramatically, largely due to a lack of certain economies of scale among uncoordinated governmental entities charged with providing public services. Tap fees for water and sewer hookups (if available) will be ever-increasing as large-scale developments compete for, while simultaneously depleting, the state's finite water supply.
In an effort to supply affordable housing, huge manufactured housing parks will have been developed


74
within urban fringe areas of the region. And despite all
the piece-meal efforts made by the state and local
governments incrementally to control the region's growth,
urban sprawl continues along the front range. In
. 41
essence, "the front range becomes Los Angelesized." Summary
The future outlook of conditions along the front range predicted under the Front Range One scenario is indeed bleak. These conditions resulted from the continued devolution of power and authority by the state to other public authorities and private interests. The consequences of the State paying little attention to forethought and planning to accommodate growth along the front range is clear. Yet it is not too late for the State to take certain constructive action now to ensure its front range future. While the Front Range One scenario takes the single-purpose approach to problemsolving, the Front Range Two plan looks to the causes of these problems and suggests options or courses of action that the State may take in mitigating their effects.


75
Front Range Two
In Front Range Two, future major disruptions and problems are constructively and comprehensively dealt with before they evolve into crisis states. Conflicting single purpose agencies, policies and programs are replaced by a single coordinating agency, called the Front Range Planning Council (FRPC), which directs its resources toward achieving the resolution of problems confronting the front range in the near future. It avoids the increasing problems and frustrations of Front Range One by adopting a wide ranging, front range plan for the future which institutes fundamental changes to government structure and policy far more responsive to the needs of the region. The FRPC's settlement policy mandates that urban development take place- either in existing urban areas or in future free-standing urban centers.
Some of the previously mentioned constraints in this chapter have been lifted due to the FRPC's ability and authority to plan for and implement regional land use controls. A list of those constraints mitigated by the formation of the FRPC follows:
1. Decentralized land use decisions.
2. Out-moded governmental structures.


76
3. Uncoordinated housing development patterns.
4. Incremental planning and provision of services.
5. Complex overlapping of a myriad of planning agencies.
6. Competing and conflicting public authorities.
7. The absence of a regional review authority with full implementation powers.
The region, as we shall see, is now equipped with an organization to manage a plethora of special interests and problems and thus can embrace its future destiny. This section illustrates the major successes the front range region may enjoy in providing solutions to problems hitherto judged insurmountable. It is a futuristic view of how a planned front range region may yet develop.
Water: Supply and Treatment
The operation of all front range water supply, storage, and treatment projects are administered and permits are let by the FRPC. This regionalization of water supply allows for its logical and efficient distribution.
Because development is concentrated within urban areas, services such as water supply and waste disposal facilities are not developed into every corner of the


77
region, thus significantly reducing the negative effects that encroaching urban sprawl has on most agricultural lands once threatened by the proliferation of uncoordinated water development projects throughout the region. Finally, development within the region becomes orderly, as the siting of development projects occur where existing water supplies have been both planned for and built.
Agriculture
Although the total acreage of agricultural lands continues to be reduced, the remaining aggregate of lands under production becomes stabilized. Permanent agricultural use establishes growth parameters around urban centers. Land speculation is lessened by a combination of state policies and laws that eliminate the long-term capital gains tax benefit. The concentrated urban development that has taken place has curtailed urban sprawl. Irrigation farming continues as an important front range industry and the agricultural character of many areas is retained.
Open Space and Wilderness Areas
The urban sprawl of new development at the urban center fringe is further attenuated by the permanent


78
designation of agricultural land uses and open space in strategic locations. An open space-wilderness land bank is established by the state to fund land banking projects. Land areas of critical concern to the state and local governments are designated for less than fee simple acquisition. The Colorado Lottery becomes the prime financing instrument of the land bank, as do direct user fees where appropriate. The state establishes critical land criteria, designates such land and prohibits all development except for recreational usage. The region wisely manages its wilderness areas.
Air Quality
The front range achieves compliance with federal and state air quality standards by establishing regulations that control emissions from each standing source. Most importantly, the FRPC controls the number and location of the sources themselves within the region, such as industries, freeways, power plants, commercial and residential developments. A light rail system connects the major urban centers along the north-south transportation corridor.


79
Transportation
Public transportation forms the skeleton of the urbanized areas in the region. A front range transportation system becomes an integral part of the regional development plan. The full coverage aspect of the regional transportation system has changed commuting patterns and overall highway usage is reduced.
Solid Waste
The systematic collection and disposal of solid wastes are also part of the region's development plan. Waste facilities are no longer mere land fill operations. Instead, they have evolved into sophisticated recycling and redistribution centers that no longer foul the land as much. Local governments or private companies operate these facilities. Surplus power generated from these waste centers is sold to the Public Service Company.
Most hazardous wastes are disposed of by burning these wastes in extremely high temperature incinerators, substantially reducing the overall number and size of chemical waste ponds.


80
Housing
Front range regional plans and development programs are firmly grounded on concentrating urban development in and around existing urbanized areas. The FRPC reviews all proposed residential developments of sufficient size to ensure that low-income housing needs are met. In addition, maximum travel criterias are established by the council, using various modes of transportation, so that any resident in the proposed development would have easy access to essential community services, thus ensuring a relatively high degree of accessability of the project's future residents to the community's ammenities as well.
Conclusions
The foregoing examples of Front Range Two show what the future image of life along the front range may become if the state plans now for the region's future needs.
The opportunities which can bring this picture of vigorous, yet restrained, growth to the front range are available now. The state may take advantage of these opportunities even though many impediments to achieving these desirable ends exist today. The next step from here in accommodating the inevitable forces of growth that will irrevocably change the living conditions along


81
the front range for generations to come is for the legislature to transform the current governance system itself to ensure the region's brightest future.


CHAPTER VII
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS Introduction
The preceding chapters of this study have documented the inadequacies of existing state land use laws to handle problems that stem from rapid regional growth occurring within the front range. This work has provided several examples of deteriorating environmental and land use conditions that have served to underscore why reform of state land use laws are necessary. It has also examined the political, organizational, social, and economic impediments and other constraints that will likely inhibit any reform process. Also examined is the issue of why the formation of a fully functioning Front Range Planning Council is vitally necessary to coordinate the myriad of governmental bodies involved in land use decisions.
The first chapter summarizes my proposed actions that would provide a regional governance framework that comprehensively deals with land use development issues and decisions encompassing regional growth problems. It


83
would be naive to think, however, that these recommended actions taken in their entirety could be instituted overnight, especially in light of past governmental reform failures. Obviously creating and nurturing the kind of political climate necesasry to allow the formation of a front range land use governing body is critical, yet mobilizing sufficient political support to effect a regional approach to regional land use decisions may be impossible to achieve without viable state government involvement.
Recommendations
Establish a regional governance body to deal with regional problems. It is not always clear where a local problem ends and a regional one begins. However, when the effects of development spillover jurisdictional boundaries and when local interests diverge, then problems of this nature become larger than the powers that local governments are equipped with. As pointed out in Chapter II, local land use controls cannot effectively deal with regional land use concerns and problems, rather regional problems demand regional approaches to achieve solutions.


84
Establish a Front Range Planning Council
I advocate that a regional branch of state government, called the Front Range Planning Council (FRPC), be established by the legislature to prepare and administer regional conservation and development plans and programs. As such, it oversees obsolete governmental institutions by providing a jurisdiction of sufficient size, while encompassing a large enough fiscal base, to both effect and support change on a regional scale. The geographic area and the functions of the FRPC are primarily focused on the thirteen front range counties although their realm of influence may become as broad as the regional needs that must be met.
Local governments have little incentive to pursue regional land use goals. Often they monopolize the benefits of development in exploiting tax rateables, while sharing the costs with the rest of society. Myopic ends of this sort need to be ameliorated within a regional governance context which is capable of providing the regional leadership and management the front range needs to collectively handle its future destiny.
Under this plan the Front Range Planning Council works with the region's public authorites as they prepare their part of a regional development program.


85
The region's existing Councils of Government become the FRPC's technical planning arm representing their particular area's problems as well. As such, the councils would be required to review and approve local development plans for compliance purposes before they are ultimately submitted to the FRPC. The councils in effect would become agents of the FRPC.
This concept of establishing a two-tiered front range regional government represents the most democratic and feasible method of accomplishing regional objectives without totally disrupting the existing governmental organizations.
The Front Range Planning Council would be an elected, multipurpose regional government, not merely composed of local government officials who would be most responsive to their individual local constituencies' needs.
Such a system would permit a legitimate sharing of power over front range functions between a large governmental unit, i.e. a Front Range Planning Council and all other smaller units of government. This assures that all costs and benefits associated with alternative courses of action are considered in the formation of policy decisions. It replaces the uncoordinated and


86
competitive programs of single-purpose centralized and nonelective agencies involved in land use decisions.
Strengthen County Government
The full responsibility for carrying out the regional programs rests entirely upon the council. However, the council depends upon strong local governments which are fully committed to sound local planning and administration of their plans. Front range counties are strengthened by a legislative act establishing them as municipalities under the eyes of the state. Subsequently, there is no area of the region which is not under some form of municipal government, thus enabling counties to control annexation actions, to make them easier if warranted, and to also become eligible for state and federal municipal aid.
Functional Responsibilities and Implementation Powers Needed
The following services on a regional scale would be incorporated within the region's development plan and operating scope of the FRPC:
1. Air Pollution Controls
2. Solid Wastes
3. Water Supply
4. Sewerage


87
5. Airports
6. Large-Scale Developments
7. Ground Transportation
8. Storm and Flood Controls
A regional governance body of this type charged with carrying out such a broad range of responsibilities and service must have certain implementation powers at its disposal. The FRPC to be effective should be able to influence the location, timing, and extent of development by private interests and public agencies, as well as to secure sites for its own facilities and operations. Authority is also needed by the FRPC to acquire, reserve and dispose of land, to give this body the greatest latitude in controlling development. Thus, the achievement of regional development goals would require the strong exercise of the police power and the power of eminent domain. Presently existing regional mechanisms are devoid of legitimate implementation powers.
Financing Mechanisms of the FRPC
/
In order for the FRPC to implement regional land use controls adequate financial resources are essential.
Some possibilities include:
1. Earmarking a percentage of the state income tax revenues for FRPC purposes.


88
2. Levy taxes or service charges on jurisdictions who derive benefits from the FRPC.
3. Create a regional tax in addition to state taxes for such things as gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol; or like RTD, add this additional tax to current general sales taxes.
Because the FRPC is engaged in planning and longterm implementation, it must be given absolute control over the issuance of all the region's general obligation and industrial revenue bonding activity.
It is essential that the FRPC administer its own funds, regardless of source, so that it directly influences local government priorities in accomplishing its regional goals. In essence, it is a "carrot-and-stick" approach with respect to aligning local government support for its programs. For example, the FRPC could provide equalization payments to local governments who contribute to the spillover costs of regional problems or programs, or to withhold grants in cases where local governments fail to comply with its programs.


89
Other Critical Areas that Need State Intervention
Certainly there exist many strong agruments that esponse the merits of keeping the control over the majority of land use decisions with local government. State government can and should strengthen local efforts by providing more financial support, by increasing the state planning staff and sharing its technical expertise, and by publishing long-range plans for state-wide investment. But there are a number of major decisions in which the state must intervene to protect non-local interests that are not within the FRPC's purview:
1. Areas of critical state concernlands that have scenic, historic, or environmental value of more than local concern.
2. Developments of regional benefitprojects, including power plants, landfills, and low-income housing, that are typically shunned by localities but produce significant benefits for the larger areasi.e. the LULUs of the Commerce City area.
3. Unregulated areasplaces where local or state government has yet to institute environmental or land use controls. State intervention should be temporary unless long-term environmental problems are evident, i.e. Rocky Flats and Rocky Mountain Arsenal land.


90
4. Developments affecting or affected by major state investmentsthe state should use its power to further the aims of local government, except when there are spillovers to other jurisdictions or to the investments themselves.
State intervention should be limited to the minimum needed to protect all nonlocal interests. In some cases the state should be willing to provide for a state appeal of regional or local decisions; this will ensure that the decision process is accessible to its citizenry and so that local officials and developers alike become educated as to the nonlocal interests that their decisions affect.
Conclusion
Continuing economic development and population growth in Colorado is having a substantial impact on its land and the general quality of the environment in which we live. The brunt of this rapid change is and will continue to be most noticeable in the ever-growing urbanization along the front range corridor. Ever increasing demands on the provision of public services, deteriorating of air and water quality, increased vehicle traffic and other negative externalities of growth are indicators of the growing pressure of population on


91
public and private resources of the region. Development in many communities is frequently done without coordinated public planning and adequate public services.
The very forms of government that need to coexist in the front range were originally organized by the state to deal with service provision problems and to provide certain services at a time in Colorado's rural history. These same governmental structures cannot hope to cope with the large and often complex problems of modern-day urbanization. Under the current operating system, certain services of a regional concern can only be provided on a fragmented basis if at all by local jurisdictions.
Today, the opportunity still exists for Colorado to begin planning for the inevitable full-scale development of its front range corridor. Although, like a bridesmaid, problems indigenious to the front range cannot be kept waiting for solutions forever. Rather, the state legislature must begin to evolve itself into an action orientated governmental body, ready to provide the leadership and legislation necessary to guide the front range through the turbulent times of unprecedented growth
that lies ahead.


FOOTNOTES
'"Colorado Front Range Project, Front Range Futures; "First Year Report," 1980, p. 2.
2
Robert G. Healy, Land Use and the States (Washington: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976),
p. 4.
3
Gray, Frank B., Stapleton Airport Project Planner, Speaking to Members of the Longmont Downtown Developoment Authority, March 1986.
4
Jones, Daniel P., "Suburban Committee Threatened by Flats' Pollution," The Denver Post. January 17, 1986.
5Ibid.
6Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), "Initial Resolutions Proposed for Consideration by the 1985 Congress of Local Governments," Denver, August 1985,
p. 2.
7Ibid.
Q
Engdahl, Todd, "Front Range Prospects by 2000 Fascinating, Frightening," The Denver Post. June 8, 1980.
9
DRCOG, loc. cit.
'"Jones, Daniel P., "Air Foul-up May Cost City $300 Million," The Denver Post. February 9, 1986.
12
Hodges, Sherry, "Growth Sparked DRCOG Formation," The Denver Post. February 6, 1978.
13 , . ,
Zimmerman, Joseph F., Professor of Political Science, Speaking to the 83rd National Conference on Government; "Substate Regional Governance: the Intergovernmental Dimension," November 15, 1977, p. 32.


93
14Ibid., p. 33 15 j
Jones, Daniel P., loc. cit.
16Colorado Land Use Commission, A Handbook on Senate Bill 35. Denver, June, 1972.
17
Morehead, John, "Role m County Governments Being Questioned in Colo.," The Denver Post. May 29, 1974.
18
Colorado Land Use Commission, House Bill 1041. Denver, April, 1974.
19
Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG),
"An Analysis of the Colorado Service Authority Act of 1972," Denver, May 1972.
20
Colorado Front Range Project, Front Range Futures; "Report to Front Range Conference," October 1981, p. 129.
21Ibid., p. 130.
22 ...
The Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel, Private Choices,
Public Strategies; "Volume 1: Findings," Transmittal
Letter, February, 1981.
2 3
Report to Front Range Conference, op. cit., p.
155.
25 ,
Colorado Front Range Project, op. cit., p. 155.
2 6
Morehead, loc. cit.
27
Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), "Governmental Organization for Areawide Denver SMSA," Denver, December 1969, p. 23.
2 8
Delsohn, Gary, "L. A. of the Rockies/Sprawl Creating Metroplex Along 1-25," The Denver Post. May 17, 1985.
29
Schol, Brad L., "Annexation Low in Colorado: Is It a Detriment to Planning?" Masters Thesis, University of Colorado at Denver, 1986, p. 3-16.


94
30
3 .
Front Range Futures, First Year Report, op. cit.,
31 ... DRCOG, "Governmental Organization for Areawide
Denver SMSA," loc. cit., p. 38.
32 .
Zimmerman, Joseph F., Professor of Political Science, Speaking to the 64th Annual Governmental Research Association Conference; "The Metropolitan Governance Maze in the United States," August 21, 1978.
33
Ibid.
34
Colorado Front Range Project: First Year Report, op. cit., p. 2.
35
Ibid.
3 6
Edward N. Costikyan and Maxwell Lehman, New Strategies for Regional Cooperation (Praeger Publishers, 1973), p. 10.
37
Schol, Brad L., loc. cit.
3 8
Colorado Front Range Project: First Year Report, op. cit., p. 1.
39
Ibid., p. 3.
40
John Johnson, Douglas County Planner, Interview. April 4, 1985.
41
Delsohn, Gary, "L. A. of the Rockies/Sprawl Creating 'metroplex' along 1-25," The Denver Post. May 17, 1985.


BIBLIOGRAPHY
Bermingham, John R. Colorado: Options for the Future. Denver, November 18, 1974.
Colorado Department of Health. "Annual Report of Vital Statistics." Denver, 1981.
Colorado Environmental Commission. Colorado: Options for the Future. Denver, March 1972.
Colorado Front Range Project: First Year Report; Front Range Futures. How Coloradoans Looked Into Their Future. What They Found, and What They Decided to Do About It. Denver, 1981.
Colorado Front Range Project; Front Range Futures.
"Program to the Year 2000." Denver, October 1981.
Colorado Land Use Commission. A Handbook on Senate Bill 35. Denver, June 1972.
Colorado Land Use Commission. House Bill 1041. Denver, April 1974.
Costikyan, Edward N., Lehman, Maxwell. "New Strategies
for Regional Cooperation: A Model for the Tri-State New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Area." New York,
NY: Praeger Publishers.
Delsohn, Gary. "L.A. of the Rockies/Sprawl Creating
'Metroplex' Along 1-25." The Denver Post. May 17, 1985.
Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). "An
Approach to Regional Services." Denver, May 1972.
Denver Regional Council of Government (DRCOG). "Directions for the '80s." Denver, March 1981.
Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). "DRCOG Population and Employment Forecasts Distributed." Denver, February 1986.
Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). "Governmental Organization for Areawide Services: Denver SMSA." Denver, December 1969.


96
Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). "Initial Resolutions Proposed for Consideration by the 1985 Congress of Local Goverments." Denver, August 21, 1985.
Engdahl, Todd. "Front Range Prospects by 2000 Fascinating, Frightening." The Denver Post. June 8, 1980.
Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel. "Private Choices, Public Strategies: Growth, Development, and Investments:
Colorado, 1981-2001." Vol. I, Denver, February 1981.
Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel. "Private Choices, Public Strategies: Growth, Development, and Investments: Colorado, 1981-2001." Vol. II, Denver, February 1981.
Healy, Robert G. "Land Use and the States." Washington D.C.: John Hopkins University Press, 1976.
Hodges, Sherry. "Growth Sparked DRCOG Formation." The Denver Post. February 6, 1978.
Johnson, John, Douglas County Planner. Interview. April 4, 1985, Castle Rock, Colorado.
Jones, Daniel P. "Air Foul-up May Cost City $300 Million." The Denver Post. February 9, 1986.
Lim, Gill C. Regional Planning: Evolution. Crisis and Prospects. Totowa, New Jersey: Allanheld, Osmun & Co., 1983.
Lenowis, R. Robert, Allensworth, Don T. The Politics of Land Use: Planning, Zoning, and the Private Developer. New York, NY: Praeger Publishers, 1973.
Morehead, John. "Role in County Governments Being Questioned in Colo." The Denver Post. May 29, 1974.
Nathan, Harriet, Scott Stanley; editors. "Toward a Bay Area Regional Organization." U. of C., Berkeley: Institute of Governmental Studies, 1968.


Ht
97
Sbragin, Alberta M., editor. The Municipal Money Chase: The Politics of Local Government Finance. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1983.
Schol, Brad L. "Annexation Law in Colorado: Is it a
Detriment to Planning?" Masters Thesis, University of Colorado at Denver, July 1986.
So, Frank S., Hand, Irving, McDowell, Bruce D. The Practice of State and Regional Planning. Chicago, Illinois: American Planning Association, 1986.
Ubbelohde, Carl W., editor. Contemporary Colorado.
Boulder, Colorado: University of Colorado, 1968.
Zimmerman, Joseph F. "Substrate Regional Governance:
The Intergovernmental Dimension." Paper presented at the 83rd National Conference on Government, Denver, November 15, 1977.
Zimmerman, Joseph F. "The Metropolitan Governance Maze in the United States." Paper presented at the 64th Annual Governmental Research Association Conference, Toronto, Canada, August 21, 1978.