Chaffee United
Chaffee United is a volunteer based community group interested in promoting a more civil and informed dialogue about the future of Chaffee County and its communities and increasing capacity for participation in local decision making. Chaffee United was created to address the lack of an available community resource where residents could learn about important local issues. 

Building a stronger community through shared learning, civic dialogue, and collaboration.
Why It Matters

For nearly three decades, the West has the most rapidly growing region in the U.S. People are drawn from other parts of the country to our wide open spaces, incredible natural resources, recreation opportunities, and high quality of life. Chaffee County is not immune from that trend. Chaffee County, Salida, Poncha Springs, and Buena Vista are each experiencing sustained rates of growth. While the Great Recession significantly slowed the pace of change, it certainly did not stop it. In 2016, the pace of new housing development and the sale of homes has picked back up.

The changes that come with growth can bring be both positive and negative. On the one hand, our local economies are doing better with the development of new businesses, addition of new jobs, and increased local revenue from sales tax. On the other hand, our growing popularity has pushed up the costs of housing and this is making it hard for many Ark Valley residents to not only thrive, but simply to survive.

Population change can also bring changes to the social fabric that holds a community together. New faces can bring great new ideas and energy. But we can also profoundly feel the effects of differing levels of understanding of local history, emergence of new values, and significant shifts in once well-established social dynamics. If not dealt with proactively, this can result in feelings of resentment, an old timer/newcomer or us/them divide, and increased tensions in local politics. 

We have a choice. We can become the victims of this change or we can direct the change to be consistent with our community’s shared values and ensure we are creating the type of community we all want. One that is friendly, a great place for families, provides economic opportunities for all, and supports for the high quality of life that is what we all treasure about living in the Rockies.
What We Do
Chaffee United aims to build the capacity of our community to more effectively deal with challenging community issues by:
  • Hosting educational forums.
  • Supporting informed and civil dialogue.
  • Fostering greater regional collaboration.
  • Promoting policy decisions that enhance the quality of life for all our valley’s residents.

Access information about best practices, reports, studies, and background materials to become more informed about key issues.
Participate in community discussion to share concerns and develop collaborative solutions to local challenges. 

Join your neighbors in taking action to influence local leaders to make wise decisions about the future our our Valley.
Join Us!
Sign up here to be added to an email distribution list or to submit a comment.
You can also follow us on Facebook.
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