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 August 13, 1999

Editorial Let’s renew Poudre

It could still all fall apart.|But we’re encouraged by discussions being held by the business and development community with environmental activists over the future of the Poudre River corridor in north Fort Collins.|Business and environmental leaders have been striving to find common ground for a plan that could transform the downtown and river areas, essentially extending downtown to the river itself.
Already, despite some on both sides who want more, more, more, the sides have found a surprising number of things on which they can agree. What might result is a plan envisioning extensive development along the south side of the river, with less development to the north.
The idea is to devise a plan that allows responsible development by property owners but which also preserves the river’s vital role as a channel for wildlife migration.
Some environmentalists are pushing for a plan that would allow no development whatsoever in the 100-year flood plain, with some even attempting to extend that prohibition to the 500-year floodplain. Additionally, some on the development side would push for development on both sides of the river, with minimal restriction.
Happily, cooler heads on the business and environmental scene have so far prevailed, and the sides are not as far apart as some might have expected. It likely doesn’t hurt that one developer pushing for responsible development of the Poudre corridor is Bill Neal, who is well-regarded in the environmental community and within city government. It hurts even less that his new partner on the river plan is former Fort Collins mayor Ann Azari.
In the end, should extremists be held at bay, it looks like the business and environmental communities might just work out a compromise that will be acceptable to the majorities of both sides.
We say let’s make it happen. The river serves not only as a vital environmental component of Fort Collins but also could serve as an incredible enhancement to the ambiance of a greater downtown and entryway to the city.
We can have it both ways.

It could still all fall apart.|But we’re encouraged by discussions being held by the business and development community with environmental activists over the future of the Poudre River corridor in north Fort Collins.|Business and environmental leaders have been striving to find common ground for a plan that could transform the downtown and river areas, essentially extending downtown to the river itself.
Already, despite some on both sides who want more, more, more, the sides have found a surprising number of things on which they can agree. What might result is a plan envisioning extensive development along the south side of…

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