Protect Basalt’s charm | AspenTimes.com

Protect Basalt’s charm

It is clear that growth will be a major, if not the major issue, in the upcoming Basalt election.

None of the candidates, including me, is either for no growth or for completely unlimited growth. The question is how much growth.

Undoubtedly commercial growth is needed for a viable economy. What citizens need to understand is that a great deal of such growth has already been approved, including hundreds of thousands of square feet in Willits, another building along Midland Avenue in the Riverwalk development and a small building in the Riverside Plaza development (between Community Bank and the riverside building).

All of this could be built now. Clearly, Willits and the others, which all have had approvals for years, have not been built because of the slow economy rather than because of anything the town has done.

The River Master Plan Implementation Committee, which I serve on and fully support, has also gone on record as favoring commercial development on the current site of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park. Incidentally, that committee is also working on simplifying the approval process to make it less onerous.

In addition to commercial development, past councils have also approved hundreds of residential units which will be built as the economy permits.

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It is clear to me that we need to act now to prevent every last foot of land in our three-mile area from being developed. Basalt is currently growing at twice the rate envisioned in the Master Plan. This is too much. We need to protect the very land, beauty and charm that are ultimately the foundation of our economy.

Through this election the citizens of Basalt can send a message. If they want to limit growth and protect our historic small town, they should vote for me for Mayor.

Anne Freedman

Basalt Town Council

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