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Park County voters mobilize to preserve county's growth policy they say is threatened by Referendum 1

The referendum would abolish Park County's 2017 growth policy during a time when the county is experiencing extreme growth.
Posted at 8:35 PM, Mar 05, 2024

LIVINGSTON — "No on Referendum 1" is a movement in Park County where residents are mobilizing to fight uncontrolled growth at the ballot box.

"As I talk to my neighbors, there is a lot of anxiety surrounding the uncertainty of the growth that is headed our way and how it is going to impact our livelihoods," says Jen Vermillion.

Vermillion is one of many concerned residents who showed up on Tuesday to oppose Referendum 1, an initiative that would abolish Park County’s growth policy.

"Increased traffic and demand on our already limited water resources are already impacting how many of us operate. We need the growth policy," says Vermillion.

A growth policy is a non-regulatory road map that county commissions often use to determine subdivisions and guide how a county grows.

Vermillion says, "Referendum 1 would take this road map away. It would open up Park County to a development free-for-all. It would take away our power to protect our livelihood, our open space, and our future."

Vermillion also says misinformation about the growth policy was spread to residents.

"They were led to believe that it threatens their property rights and that it leads directly to zoning and regulation. They were not told how the growth policy can help protect ag land, help protect open space, and help protect the quality and quantity of water."

In addition to land concerns, Park County estimates that 20% of all grant applications in the past 15 years, equaling $10 million, would not have been successful without a growth policy in place.

"Looking at these signs, it says ‘Locals for Local Control’. We want to have a voice. And our own future," says Livingston resident Rick Wollum.

For more information about "No on Referendum 1," visit the group's website.