I wanted to discuss something that is not sexy… something that is not usually super interesting… but something that is incredibly controversial and affects our lives every day. I want to talk about zoning.

This week in unincorporated Weld County outside of Johnstown, our precious agricultural land was voted 4-0 by our county commissioners to be rezoned as heavy industrial. To make this clear, if you think of refineries, heavy manufacturing, virtually no limit on noise, and very little regulation on odor.

There are businesses that will no longer be able to exist in this area due to this change in designation.

There are homes and communities that will lose property value. There are people in the community who will suffer due to this change, and unfortunately because the meeting was at 10am on a Wednesday during a pandemic it was difficult to attend this meeting for many community members.

I submitted a public comment, as did many of my friends, but the comments were not read out loud and were only added to a folder for the commissioners to consider. In my experience, if a decision has already been made, these meetings are only a rubber stamp and the letters and public comment are likely not even read. Like I said in my public comment; the heart and soul of Weld County is the agricultural lands that we live on, and to change the designation from agricultural to heavy industrial to favor a special interest is disgusting.

It is not good for jobs because it pushes businesses away, it is not good for development because it will deter builders from building new homes, and it destroys our beautiful farm country. Shame on the commissioners for this decision.

-Holly A. Herson
Candidate for House District 48