Don’t duck the rope | AspenTimes.com

Don’t duck the rope

Dear Editor:

Recently, the Aspen Daily News reported that the board of county commissioners wants to be able to exempt themselves from portions of the code which don’t work well for public projects.

I think this is a mistake and is not a benefit to the public. It is, I think, similar to the Bush administration’s attempt to overhaul the Endangered Species Act to facilitate development. The New York Times refers to this effort as “self-consultation.”

For years, Aspen and Pitkin County have been difficult places to do business. The standards and review requirements have been burdensome, but in the long run probably beneficial. Recently, it took us a year to split one lot into two. The North 40 took almost four years and a high cost to get approved. Even though it was a 100 percent R.O. lot project, utilizing no public funds, there were multiple reviews, requirements and extractions.

So, why shouldn’t the imposer of all these rules be required to abide by them as well? After all, the purpose is to benefit the public. Does the public benefit when public projects such as the airport or the hospital don’t have to abide by employee-housing requirements like everyone else? Do we, the public, benefit if the city violates the 200 foot Highway 82 setback for the cross country-junior golf center or if the county violates their own sign code? I think not.

All this is especially true, if government is going to step outside the historical role of “incentivising” and “disincentivising” and go into the business of business itself. The time has come, I believe, for government to exceed their own regulations and thus set examples ” not look for ways around them.

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John McBride

Aspen

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