Lift 1A proposal doesn’t work
December 15, 2008
The proposed 1A development as it now stands, is wrong for South Aspen Street, takes the town in the wrong direction, and will alter the landscape of Aspen irrevocably. It is inconsistent with the Aspen Area Community Plan (AACP) in terms of design, height and mass. The Lodge does not meet criteria that would make it a viable lovely part of South Aspen Street. How did it get to be bigger that the one rejected by council originally? Who thought that up? It is enormous.
The AACP states that “good design must be in keeping with the character of the town.” This is not. The Lift One Lodge (on the East side of Aspen Street) has better scale and possibility. However, the perception I and others have is that Mr. Daniels will turn it into an exclusive club. Aspen does not need more timeshares with only high-end rooms. We need small lodges in keeping with the historic nature of that hill, as so eloquently stated by Councilman Steve Skadron at the 10-hour meeting on Dec. 8. We need a gradation of room pricing. They missed a great opportunity. The infrastructure of Aspen will not be able to handle this and stay healthy.
I think the task force was an experiment which came to the wrong conclusions; in science when that happens, one designs a new experiment, asks new questions. Further, the task force was supposed to be an advisory board ” not a final deal breaker committee. Its members certainly do not generally reflect my views based on the perception I had at the recent meetings; they sound like a lobbying group for the developers. I empathize that “a lot of time was spent on this,” but that is really not the primary concern, nor should it be. I am reminded of the old saying: “A lot of activity and not much accomplishment.”
I find it amazing that when developers talk about the great, environmentally correct buildings they will build, they never voluntarily mention the enormous amount of carbon-based pollution it will cause to achieve their lofty goals or how to mitigate that. Some 1,300 diesel and auto trips a day into a narrow canyon, while this is under way. All I can say is, think twice Aspen while there is still time.
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