Ridgway-Ouray Community Council

WCC’s Ouray County Chapter:
Ridgway-Ouray Community Council

rocc-logo-flatThe Ridgway Ouray Community Council (ROCC) is a nonprofit community organization whose mission is to build, nourish and protect the healthy spirit of our community.  ROCC is dedicated to quality of life issues that will help shape the future of Ouray County.

Current Campaigns

Affordable Housing: By working on an affordable housing campaign, ROCC members want to make sure that people who work in Ouray County can afford to live in Ouray County, and that Ouray County remains a diverse and inclusive community.

ROCC’s short-term objective is to change/update city and county codes to be more affordable housing friendly. A longer-term objective is to secure public funding for a professionally-staffed Ouray County Housing Authority. <<Read more>>

Clean and Renewable Energy: In addition to building local support for Colorado’s C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program, ROCC members are also responding to the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles among both local residents and tourists to the area. Together with the Town of Ridgway and San Miguel Power Association, ROCC’s Clean Energy Committee helped submit a grant application to the Colorado Energy Office to fund an electric vehicle charging station.

San Juan Mountains Wilderness Bill: The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act seeks to protect 61,000 acres of gorgeous and unique high elevation lands in southwestern Colorado. The Act would create additions to existing wilderness areas and protect some of the last remaining large tracks of undisturbed wild land in three counties. This bill has been introduced several times in Congress but has failed to gain support for Representative Scott Tipton. WCC continues to work with our partners to get this bill across the finish line. <<Read more>>

Recent Activities

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ROCC helped pack the hearing on high alpine zoning regs.

High Alpine Zoning: After a six-month moratorium on residential building above 9,500 feet and several public hearing continuations, the Ouray County Commissioners adopted new regulations for the county’s High Alpine Zone on Oct. 19, 2016.

ROCC was instrumental in organizing hundreds of citizens in support of strong building regulations on patented mining claims in Ouray County’s fragile alpine environment. The Keep OURay Alpine Wild campaign worked to ensure that there will be no residential building in the tundra ecosystem and that all residential building above 9,480 feet will be on parcels of 35 acres or greater.

Affordable Housing: Fifty community members packed Ridgway Town Hall on Sept. 19 for a forum on affordable housing co-hosted by ROCC and the Ouray County Housing Authority. Moderated by ROCC member Dick Gingery, the forum included a panel of local elected officials, business and industry representatives, and local housing expert Shirley Diaz. The panel and audience members had a rich discussion about the importance of solving the affordable housing crisis in Ouray County. Lots of creative solutions were surfaced, but one of the main outcomes was agreement on the need to provide the housing authority with a source of funding.

Encouraged by the response, ROCC members are looking forward to continued work with the community in 2017 to make sure that people who work in Ouray County can afford to live there and that Ouray County remains a diverse and inclusive community.

Clean Energy: In 2016 ROCC worked as part of a stakeholder team to replace most the fluorescent lighting in Ridgway’s two schools with more energy-efficient LEDs. A little more than four months after installation, results show an average savings of $1200 per month on electric bills, which has successfully offset the school district’s investment. Other financial support for the LEDs was generously contributed by ROCC and San Miguel Power Association.

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ROCC members canvassed in Ouray County, urging their neighbors to support Amendment 70. The successful ballot measure will now raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12/hr by 2020.

History and Accomplishments

  • Instrumental in initiating curbside recycling in Ridgway
  • Spearheaded a movement that promotes the expansion of the Mount Sneffels Wilderness Area
  • Helped preserve the Dallas trail for non-motorized use by coordinating a coalition of involved parties in revisions to the Forest Service management plan
  • Partnered in the creation of a watershed plan for the Uncompahgre River Basin
  • Helped establish a Dark Sky Ordinance in Ouray County
  • Promoted Colorado’s new air pollution rules for the oil and gas industry
    In 1998 ROCC won the Governor’s Smart Growth and Development Award for its series of growth forums
  • ROCC launched an ultimately successful two-year campaign resulting in Ouray County approving oil and gas regulations for its Land Use Code in early 2007.

See a more detailed history of ROCC on its website.