In support of the covenants

Dear Editor:
We are submitting this letter in support of the Crested Butte South POA Board upholding and enforcing our community’s covenants as they are currently written:
Perhaps it’s an honest misunderstanding or simply a misinterpretation, but I’d like to set the record straight concerning a Crested Butte South survey taken in 2009. In this opinion poll (which can be seen on-line or at the Crested Butte South POA office), changing the covenants was not rated as a high priority among the majority of people who live in Crested Butte South; rather, changing covenants was considered a very low priority. No; don’t say that isn’t true because the facts are readily available. Weed control was far more important than changing the covenants, as was improving Crested Butte South’s amenities. So let’s put the misinformation to rest once and for all.
Another fact: the majority of people owning property in Crested Butte South don’t want to turn our community into a RV and trailer park. In fact, the attitude of the majority is quite the opposite: we want the POA Board to fully embrace and enforce our existing covenants. That’s because we need to improve our community’s amenities, not denigrate them. The 2009 POA Survey showed Crested Butte South property owners wanted parks, pedestrian and bike paths, gardens, trees, and a general clean-up of the community; and definitely don’t want to nurture a plethora of RVs and trailers.



Our covenants were one of the reasons why many of us bought into this community. There aren’t a great many of them, but those covenants we do have are intended to help our community blend in with the beauty and open space around us, give us the opportunity to recreate, and also respect the rights of our neighbors. No one can fairly or realistically claim that RVs or trailers blend in with the natural beauty of our surrounding mountains and open space; nor does their presence respect the rights of the majority who don’t wish to have them strewn around the community. This is a “stick-built,” residential home development, not the Crested Butte South RV and Trailer Park.
And that’s why it’s so incomprehensible why a small group of people are insistent on turning Crested Butte South into just that. Like the rest of us, this small minority were quite aware of our covenants before they purchased property here. Crested Butte South’s covenants have been in effect for 30 years or more; so the fact of not allowing RVs and trailers is not sudden and unexpected. These covenants are necessary to provide a foundation for constructive growth and neighborly respect. They are fundamental to sustaining a viable community. Without them, this community would be little more here than a Wild West settlement; and we all know what happened to most of them—they became ghost towns!
So just who would benefit from a proposed change in the RV/trailer covenant? And how do driveways full of RVs and trailers and RVs improve our community? How does such unsightly clutter preserve property values? The answers: the proposed changes would benefit very few; and, our property values would decline even further than they already have.
RVs and trailers may be one person’s fun, but they are an eyesore, a detriment, a steel-and-aluminum blight to another. People without them don’t bother anyone. People who filled their drives and yards with them impinge upon the rights of others. This isn’t a revelation; that’s why Crested Butte South’s covenants have disallowed them since the community’s inception. The developers of Crested Butte South showed a definite foresight when they wrote our covenants. They exhibited a fundamental respect for every property owner. Now this small minority want to change our covenants to benefit the few.
And what about RVs and trailers related to property values? Every real estate agent will tell youwhen you’re trying to sell your property that they are a definite detriment. So, while this country’s current economic strife has, on average, lowered property values by at least twenty-five percent, it seems rather ludicrous for us to lower them again by opening up the miasma of Crested Butte South as an RV and trailer park. How many property owners in this community are already mud-bog-deep in an upside-down mortgage? Let’s make their situation worse by allowing RVs and trailers everywhere. And, in the meantime, what else can we do to damage our real estate investments?
And then there’s the management headache to consider. Do we allow just two-wheeled flat-bed trailers for snowmobiles or do we permit 18-wheeler trucks? Is an RV a 1960s Volkwagen bus or a Prevost Conversion Coach (which, for those of you who are not aware, is larger than a RTA bus)? And what about slide-outs on RVs: how big can they be; how far can they extend; can they have patios, conservatories, or workshops in them? And what about multi-deck trailers: can they have two, three, four levels, maybe more? And then there are boats: do we allow just pontoons or would 50-foot yachts be okay? What about the QE II? And why then have just one RV: why not have two, three, maybe even four? And just what about double-decker London bus (my personal preference): can I have just one or perhaps an entire fleet? Is all this ludicrous? You bet it is. But it will come if the covenants are changed.
So give the people who originally wrote and implemented our covenants some credit: they had the foresight, the respect for neighbors, and the sense to see that Crested Butte South isn’t a RV and Trailer park; rather, it’s a community intended for permanent homes—a place where the surrounding mountains are part of yards, not graphics on the side of someone’s RV.
What’s even more perplexing is why RV and trailer owners don’t store their recreational vehicles inside fully enclosed garages or on appropriate off-site storage areas, such as those provided in Riverland. Why aren’t these considered viable solutions to the problem? It seems rather simple as nearly every home in Crested Butte South has at least one garage. Put the RV or trailer in there, close the door, and keep everyone happy. I’m baffled why we have to change our rules to accommodate the toys of this small minority? What’s more, why are they so insistent on shifting the burden of their RVs and trailers onto the rest of the community instead taking care of the problem at their own expense?
We have to remember that a community shares mutually beneficial resources, such as water and treatment facilities, roads and utilities, parks, open space, view corridors, etc. RVs and trailers are not mutually beneficial amenities; and therefore, as a community we are not obligated, nor should we be expected, to take on the burden – visually, environmentally, financially or otherwise – of storing RVs and trailers when the few residents who have them aren’t using them.
So please, take your trailers and RVs and go recreate; but don’t make the rest of Crested Butte South responsible for the unsightly, detrimental storage of these things. In other words, put your toys away like the rest of us.

Respectfully submitted,
Brian and Jackie Levine

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