Conclusions & Connections

Since the publication of the Vision 2020 report in 1994, the Yampa Valley has experienced unprecedented growth. In the face of this expansion, we risk losing, or forever altering, those attributes from which our heart and soul are derived.

A primary theme in the Vision 2030 report is “Sense of Community.” The importance and relevance of our community character remains integral to our region today and is considered the highest valued aspect that residents want to maintain. It is not an exaggeration to say our community character is, indeed, our “heart and soul.” It is the essence of our special place that, if lost, will never be recovered.

Over the past two years, the Vision 2030 Citizens Committee learned repeatedly how important our community character is to residents of Routt County. It encompasses family friendliness (all ages from infants to seniors), our Western heritage (historic buildings and our agricultural values and open space), and a sense of community (knowing each other and taking care of one another). We also learned that each of these components of community character is supported by “managing our growth,” described as the pace and placement of new development, paying close attention to the affordability of living in our region, economic sustainability and transportation systems.

If we nurture our community character as we grow, and recognize its importance to our decision making process, we will begin to understand and realize the benefits to every sector of our valley, including ranching, tourism and being one of the best places in the nation to live. We cannot afford to take for granted our open space, ranches, access to outdoor recreation and high quality of life where we know our neighbors and have a high level of trust and respect for one another. These attributes can be nurtured and retained for our future. Our heart and soul benefits not only residents of the Yampa Valley, but visitors and everyone who works here and makes our community a special place.

Based on what we heard about the desired outcomes during the Vision 2030 process, we encourage a process of policy- and decision making that is based on community character. Each and every proposed policy and decision should be weighed against its impact and potential consequences to our community character – our heart and soul. If the net result is a diminishment of this core asset, we should question the wisdom of adopting or approving.

Vision 2030 is an innovative, values-based approach to community decision – making. Incremental decisions that are based on core values are initially less tangible than readily understood traditional methods such as tax revenues. The Vision 2030 process of exploring what people value most and how to ensure these values are retained for our future, helps us understand that community character, heritage, family-friendliness, sense of community and commitment to our environment are central components of our heart and soul. Measurements such as keypad polling helped quantify these often intangible values to make the approach objective and ultimately effective.

All the recommendations in this Vision 2030 report are important, yet we heard that those that help enhance community character and are accomplished through managing growth are of highest priority. As decisions are made within our community, understanding our core values will enable us to determine if we are achieving the desired outcomes of our actions. If Routt County in 2030 is to retain the essence of our heart and soul, we must make decisions that retain the community character we value.

The following data and information were gathered over the course of the Vision 2030 project and may be viewed on the project website at

  • Vision 2020 Review Meeting Notes
  • Vision 2020 Summary Reports
  • Vision 2030 Survey Responses – Master Data Sheet
  • Vision 2030 November 2007 Gathering Results
  • Vision 2030 November 2008 Gathering Results
  • Vision 2030 Citizen’s Committee Meeting Minutes
  • Vision 2030 Stewardship Committee