Ordinance continues to influence decisions | AspenTimes.com

Ordinance continues to influence decisions

The top terminal of the proposed Pandora chairlift would be on Richmond Ridge, south of the top terminal of the Silver Queen Gondola.
Aspen Times file

Twenty-five years after it was passed, Pitkin County’s Rural and Remote zoning ordinance remains a pivotal part of development concerns in the Aspen area.

The restrictive ordinance was one of the main reasons the Aspen Skiing Co. chose to split off its plans to expand skiing into the Pandora’s area of Aspen Mountain from the general mountain master plan that was eventually approved by commissioners last month.

During discussion about Pandora’s, where Skico is lobbying to rezone 132 acres from Rural and Remote to the far less restrictive SKI-REC designation, Pitkin County Commissioner Steve Child said in June that his concerns about undermining Rural and Remote led him to vote against moving the application forward.

“It really boils down to upzoning the Rural and Remote zoning,” Child said at the time. “We’re setting a precedent to get rid of Rural and Remote zoning for high intensity development from expanding the ski area.”

If Pitkin County allows Skico to rezone the expansion area, what’s to stop other business owners from asking for the same thing, Child said.

“They could say, ‘You did it for the ski company, why don’t you let us do it also?’” Child said. “So that’s my fear.”

The issue remains undecided as Skico officials have not yet said when they plan to bring the issue back before the county board.


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