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Much Ado About Telluride's Pearl Property

Telluride's Pearl Property, a large slice of open space at the entrance to town that borders the recently-opened roundabout, is the subject of two simultaneous ballot measures that are both being postponed until their legal language can agree with each other. The first measure, which is proposed by the town, seeks to split the 7.3 acre property into two parcels. The biggest slice, at 5.8 acres, would be preserved as open space, while the smaller 1.5 acres, currently in use as a paved RV lot, would be marked for future public use, with some suggesting it as the site for a new medical center.

The second, proposed by a local non-profit called Telluride Grown, seeks rezoning of the northernmost acre and a half of the property for agricultural use. Telluride Grown seeks to build several greenhouses and use aquaponics to grow produce and raise fish, and wants a 33-year lease from the town to do so. The organization has high hopes that the flat location and good sun exposure would allow growing more food locally and would cut down on the 17-30% of the town's CO2 emissions the organization calculates is dedicated to trucking in food, and that the highly-visible lot at the entrance to town would be great for broadcasting the town's efforts to become more sustainable to both residents and visitors. The organization faces some opposition from residents concerned about waste from the fish farm and having taxpayers be on the hook if the operation fails.

Both measures must make the ballot before September 6th to be valid. What do you think - do we need more innovative organizations growing food locally in mountain towns year-round?
· Town holds off on Pearl Property ballot measure vote [Telluride Daily Planet]