A personality conflict | AspenTimes.com

A personality conflict

Dear Editor:Before “infill building,” otherwise known as “fill ‘er up every open space you can,” was approved by a former City Council, it was really easy to tell the locals from the visitors. Visitors would gasp, ooh and aah as they walked around town mesmerized in the natural beauty of the breathtaking mountain views, blue skies and open space Aspen had become famous for.Now it seems more locals are oohing and aahing and gasping for air as “protected view planes,” beautiful sunsets and open spaces are being filled up with concrete buildings taller than City Hall and as wide as a city block.The City Council by a 4 to 1 vote took the high road and declared a moratorium on building when it became apparent to council and the community what was being approved under “infill” was not in sync with the city’s or communities goals nor its existing land use laws. Mayor Klanderud was the lone vote against the moratorium and all in favor of infill.The city then hired a land use consultant, Clarion Associates, to do a job and sort out the mess created by “infill.” Yet when the findings were being presented, Chris Bendon, Director of Community Development, who favors infill, interrupted the consultant, interjected his own analysis of the hired expert’s analysis which then prompted the consultant to suddenly terminate his work with the city. Rightfully so. The expert hired was hired to do a job, not play a game.When asked about the sudden split, Chris Bendon commented “Personalities didn’t quite mesh together.” I respect Chris. But when did personalities enter into the job of performing a land use analysis? JE De Vilbiss is correct when he said he wants experts involved in drafting the language of any code changes.How do we think we got into this “infill” mess anyway? Obviously the homework was not done before the “infill” “fill ‘er up” was approved. Now when the experts are giving us the analysis results, someone wants to alter or change those results. The land use consultants should be asked to come back and finish their analysis without any doctoring or interference.Toni KronbergAspen