Introduction — High-density development in the Conifer/South Evergreen community has unique challenges: 1) the extreme danger from wildfires in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) is exacerbated by the effects of high-density construction, the danger of wind-blown ember-created cascading fires, and the effects resulting form inadequate fire-fighting crews, equipment, water available for firefighting, site ingress/egress routes, and infrastructure; 2) since our drinking water comes exclusively from scarce groundwater withdrawn from the local fractured bedrock aquifer, supplies must be sustainable even during long-term drought conditions; 3) due to the effects on local groundwater when improperly treated wastewater is discharged into the environment, only the most advanced wastewater treatment technologies must be utilized; 4) the general lack of medical care facilities, especially for urgent or emergency care; and 5) adding to peak traffic congestion conditions creates an unsafe and unfriendly environment. Land use/development regulations and processes at all levels of Jefferson County government do not reflect the needs of our mountain communities.
Traffic Safety — As anyone who has driven along route between Morisson and Pine Junction then on to Bailey, traffic congestion along the U.S.-285 corridor has been problematic for some time. Additionally, peak travel times during holiday weekends frequently produce stop-and-go conditions while travel during bad-weather conditions can be extremely hazardous. Moreover, surface road access throughout the community is limited to only a few, generally poor options for crossing U.S.-285; severe congestion during morning and evening peak travel times; and only extremely harzardous options for walking, running, or cycling. Unfortunately, Jefferson County government has, for some time, ignored the vital public safety needs of the community by refusing to even consider vital road construction and improvement projects.
Medical Care — U.S.-285 corridor communities medical care needs are served by a single primary care medical office facility, Conifer Medical Center, which makes every effort to maintain a census of up to five medical doctors plus a number of physican assistants/nurse practitioners. Importantly, there are no emergency care facilities in close proximity so community residents must telephone 911 for EMS/paramedic service and transport by Elk Creek FPD to the nearest available emergency department in Littleton or Lakewood, some 20 – 30 minutes away. Unfortunately, if Elk Creek FPD has an overlapping call situation, mutual-aid EMS/paramedic services may need to be called upon, potentially delaying needed lifesaving efforts.