County caters to country folk through web

New webpage addresses rural residents’ concerns

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A new page on the Douglas County website has designs on becoming a one-stop shop for rural residents and those considering moving into the area.

“The goal was really to provide a warehouse of information for people moving to the rural areas,” said Douglas County planning supervisor Jeanette Bare. “It is a much different lifestyle for people coming from urban environments.”

The project began with the initiation of a 30-person rural framework committee appointed by the Board of County Commissioners in 2009, made up mostly of rural residents as well as some developer consultants. According to Bare, the committee examined a broad range of topics of importance to those who live in the country.

“These are actual stakeholders in the rural community,” she said. “I don’t want to imply that the website is their resulting document, but it was the beginning of the discussion in terms of what does it mean to live in rural Douglas County, what are the challenges and issues they face, and what are the values of rural living.”

According to Bare, the county often gets calls and receives visitors seeking information on a wide range of topics including land management, water rights, septic systems, animal regulations, wildfire mitigation and more. The site hits on all those items with user-friendly links that guide people to documents, agencies and service providers.

“The website is a guide to help residents make good decisions and be good stewards of the land,” said Commissioner Roger Partridge. “I live in rural Douglas County and I certainly appreciate it. It presents a better idea of what rural living truly is.”

Partridge said the best thing about the site is that its contents were initiated by people who live in the rural sections of the county and that it was not just developed by the planning department.

“Douglas County presents residents with the unique ability to live in the country, but still work in the city,” he said. “But because we have such close country living, we want the residents to be as well informed as possible and give them a guide. A lot of people didn’t grow up rural but have chosen to move to rural areas later in life.

“It’s all we can do to give them that information they need ahead of time and make country living as nice as possible for them. The site is very comprehensive. We’ve touched on numerous topics that will come up, many times from residents.”

To visit the site, please go to www.douglas.co.us/planning/rural

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