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Memories of the Decade: Chocolate Drop Mountain development scars landscape

As I tried to think about the event or series of events that were significant in the past decade, I tried to think of what had a lasting impact on the life of the County and its people. Several things came to mind, but the Chocolate Drop Mountain development seemed to fit the criterion particularly well.

Without commenting on the merits of the planning and approval process, it is abundantly clear that this development has left a physical scar on our landscape. It has also left a scar on our reputation as Columbus and, in many peoples perception, as Polk County, not to speak of the reputation of the developer.

Strangely enough, however, the less obvious, and perhaps the more significant impact has been a positive one, albeit at great unwanted cost. Chocolate Drop Mountain has become a mantra for what should not happen. And, thanks to concerted efforts by such organizations as Save Our Slopes, farm organizations, the Polk County Visioning Committee and the erstwhile Columbus Planning Board, Columbus and Polk County have developed ordinances and plans to protect the green, rural and small town character of our County. We have some distance to go. But we have made a good start.

Editors Note: The TDB has asked for area residents memories of the most significant events and people of the decade just now passing, the 00s. If you would like to share your thoughts on the decades most memorable events, please send them to jbyrd@tryondailybulletin.com attn: Memories.