An intended consequence, a shameful legacy
(Re: “Downtown deals aplenty,” Feb. 29)…
When City Hall encouraged the elimination of locally serving businesses in Aspen (Klanderud’s infill legislation/legacy) by quadrupling the value of commercial property with the swipe of a pen it should serve as no surprise today that commercial property is being sold to make way for new tenants with higher rents. The Klanderud infill legislation/legacy reduced the mitigation required of landlords while simultaneously increasing the FAR permitted. Now landlords (and the tax assessor and collector) realize that property has quadrupled in value because of this legacy, so it is unlikely any retailer or restaurateur will remain in business for long.
Recently, city planner Ben Gagnon noted the impacts of Klanderud’s Infill legislation/legacy stating “First it’s the drug stores. Then it’s the doctors’ offices, and the next thing you know, it’s City Market saying we can make (tens of millions) to get out of town.” ” Aspen Daily News, Jan. 17.
Prior to the infill legislation, the Infill Advisory Group “found that the city requires more from a developer than can physically be provided on most properties ” especially considering the size limits on buildings established in the 1970s”. The result from the 1970s to 2002? Very little commercial development and places like Cooper Street, the Red Onion, La Cocina, the Limelite Lodge, Stage 3 Theaters, the Chart House, the laundry mat, Explore Bookstore, drug stores, doctors’ offices and even City Market continued to serve locals. However, those businesses that serve locals would soon be legislated out of town with infill zoning changes.
Now Boogies? Well not quite, because Boogie is a local owner that wants a place to hang out. Congratulations to Boogie for rejecting an unsolicited bid to displace him.
If you are surprised at the intended consequences of the 2005 zoning incentives please ask your elected officials to work on reversing the legacy left by a prior administration. Maybe, just maybe, this shameful legacy can be reversed before we lose our doctors’ offices and grocery stores.
The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a limited-liability company has proper standing to sue the city of Aspen over its affordable-housing fees.