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A unique project

Dear Editor:As a resident of Ute Avenue, living directly across the street from the Aspen Club, I would like to publicly voice my support for its redevelopment. Instead of having large, mostly unused homes in view out my living room window, I’d rather see the club operating in a viable and meaningful way. One thing in life that is constant is change, and we cannot prevent it from happening. Michael Fox and his team have sought to incorporate thoughtful and sustainable design and construction elements into the Aspen Club’s proposed redevelopment. Keeping the Canary Initiative and Aspen Area Community Plan in mind, ownership of the club should be commended and rewarded for thinking long-term about the changes they wish to make. The successful reduction of the club’s current carbon footprint would be a model for future, similar projects in the Roaring Fork Valley. Council has directly asked for many considerations, among them traffic mitigation, and the club’s project team members have worked hard to meet its criterion, and that of the neighborhood.There is obviously a question in the minds of those opposing the project as to whether the Aspen Club represents a benefit to the community rather than just its members. I believe Michael and his staff are above reproach when it comes to their generosity in making the club available for organizations such as the Cancer Survivor Center and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We are all aware of how hard nonprofit organizations struggle in the current economic climate, and for these two very important groups to operate without rent means that they can focus their resources on helping individuals, and less on their overhead. As well, offering Project Graduation the facility for the party our high schools seniors wait for all year means that while the students are celebrating their achievement, their parents can sleep that night knowing they are in a safe environment.In addition to the above examples, the Aspen Club offers assistance to many other nonprofits, including the Chris Klug Foundation, Aspen Education Foundation, Aspen TREE, Shining Stars, Aspen Youth Experience, Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, Neighbor to Neighbor and Challenge Aspen. Were the club unable to provide tangible help in the future it would be a true loss to these organizations, and to the scores of individuals and families that benefit from their support.I urge City Council to grant the Aspen Club approval for this unique project. They are an important community institution, good neighbors, and contribute to the quality of life we are so blessed to have in Aspen.Gina PoglianoAspen


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