Call it "Realtorville'

  Dear HCN,

In driving around the West for the past five weeks we largely confirmed the picture you described in "Grappling with Growth," Sept. 9, of pell-mell, frantic growth and the growing gap between obvious wealth and poverty. Not only are the monster "homes' ugly and in bad taste, but they are usually located on bluffs, mesa, mountains and waterfronts where they dominate the landscape. Mega-dollars in your face.

Telluride manages to capture the worst of everything, partly because it has such a stunning location. Looking at the small phone book (Montrose, et al) we counted nearly 100 realty firms - 22 in Telluride - and 108 attorneys. Walking the main street of Telluride, we thought it should be renamed Realtor Row, or the town just called Realtorville.

Your special issue did not point out one aspect of the problem: not only is the West growing, but many people believe they need at least two residences, their "home" and their "retreat," with the retreats being larger than the average home of 20 years ago. This tends to double the population, traffic, land, and services impact. Each family often has two or three vehicles. You publish a fine paper, although it should be retitled the High Country Blues.

Bob Keller

Bellingham, Washington

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