The Emma area is located between Basalt and El Jebel and was settled in the 1800's as agricultural / ranching land. Over the past 40 years, the area has gradually transitioned to residential uses, including small subdivisions with single family lots ranging from 1 acre to over 35 acres in size. In 1994, the Basalt Bypass was created for Highway 82, running through Emma, bringing traffic closer to the area and adding to the pressure for higher density development. Meanwhile, the Pitkin County Comprehensive Plan developed in 1997 recognized the importance of preserving the open space and rural character of the Emma area.
Renewed Pressure for Change
Responding to renewed pressure for change, the Emma Caucus was formed in 2005 under the Pitkin County Home Rule Charter to:
Better inform and educate residents about pending land use applications and other trends affecting the area
Provide a forum for discussion and response
Empower residents by creating a recognized entity with a collective voice to speak to the county on issues of importance