Town Manager's Corner
I was recently asked by a few students at Eagle Valley High School, “Why did the Town of Gypsum “choose” Subway over some other fast food establishment?” I saw other inquiries on social media from adults basically wondering the same thing. I thought perhaps it would be helpful to briefly explain the process. Local governments like Town of Gypsum have no authority to “choose” which businesses locate in their community. The Town merely provides zoning ordinances that specify which areas can be used for residential, commercial or other purposes. The goal with zoning is to promote compatible land uses that limit adverse impacts on individual property owners.
We also enforce building codes to ensure buildings meet basic life safety requirements and we do establish parking requirements, landscape requirements and tap fees for water and waste water usage. That’s essentially where our jurisdiction stops. We don’t get to choose who comes in and who doesn’t. This is the wisdom of a free society which allows market forces and individual choices to decide where value exists and investments should be made. There are only two types of businesses that municipalities have greater control over—those liquor and marijuana establishments—and that authority is established by state law.
Gypsum will from time to time seek out new businesses to help improve overall quality of life, provide local jobs for residents and increase sales tax collections, but each individual business ultimately makes the final decision. Most all businesses, from small fast food eateries to industrial manufacturing, will take into account many factors before they make a decision to locate to any community. Some of the noteworthy evaluation criteria might include: traffic patterns, strength of the local workforce, ease of process of getting a new business opened, tax structure, parking requirements, adequate housing for the workforce and access to strong reliable broadband services. Once a company has determined that a community fits their unique criteria, they will then make contact with the Town of Gypsum with either an idea of where to locate, or a specific site if they’ve identified one already. In the case of Subway, the owner evaluated the market and decided that a location across from Eagle Valley High School and a high-traffic intersection just might be a wise idea.
In a future conversation, I will outline the Town’s efforts in future business recruitment and marketing through our contract with the Retail Coach. In the meantime, we encourage you to frequent one of our local food establishments. Strong participatory numbers will always help sustain existing businesses and provide support for new opportunities.
Jeff Shroll, Gypsum Town Manager