A common sense violation | AspenTimes.com

A common sense violation

Dear Editor:The widely respected Aspen Community Plan addresses the community’s philosophy and intent of Aspen’s historic preservation by stating that, “While the overall goal of protecting individual historic sites or the historic character of a larger area are foremost, the preservation process must be one of reason and balance, predictability, and economic fairness.”Emergency Ordinance 30, enacted without public input or a thoughtful, transparent process, violates and denigrates every important principle in that philosophy. The overnight deletion of the notification requirements, the contemplation of involuntary designation without economic fairness, and the extreme subjectivity of the criteria for 30- to 50-year-old properties undercut every founding principle expressed.In its stated vision, the plan says that “people should take precedence over buildings and institutions.” As well said by a citizen at the Aug. 14 council work session, it appears that council has decided to overturn this fundamental vision and place far more importance on a few questionable houses than on the people who live in them.Quoting from the vision expressed in that plan, “Historic preservation is important, but it must not attempt to replace common sense with rigid and restricting regulations.” If anything ever violated common sense, it is the governance process and effect of Ordinance 30, which requires government permission to make the slightest exterior change to your home if any part of it is over 30 years old.If you feel that city government should return to the principles of Historic Preservation and respect for Aspen’s citizens as expressed in the Community Plan, please attend the next City Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 27, at 5 p.m. to express those views to City Council.Marilyn MarksAspen