Aspen Area Community Plan critics out for themselves
The Aspen Business Luncheon concerning the Aspen Area Community Plan appropriately should have been held in a dining car as it was just a railroad job.
It was understandable that the tone was to protect one’s personal financial interest rather than considering the overall community needs and values.
It was like a typical Rovian tactic of distorted facts to promote fear.
The conclusion I drew was that it was the purposes of many to turn a vision plan, a guide to our future, into their personal business plan directed at their bottom line.
What was never mentioned is that Aspen is a bowl surrounded by public land and therefore we cannot expand laterally. Therefore we must consider growth management because we have reached and sometimes exceeded our carrying capacity:
• To protect our air, we had to restrict our wood burning fireplaces.
• To protect our potable water, one summer we had volunteer rationing.
• We have exceeded the capacity of Highway 82 and have a big traffic jam.
• Because of development, we’re spending to control our storm water.
• Our landfill is getting filled.
• Our sanitary sewer plant may not have the needed capacity for growth.
• Our fish could be at risk.
More projects need more employees; this means more housing or more traffic into town. More housing strains our carrying capacity. More traffic requires more traffic control, creates more air pollution, and longer waits. More projects increase the need for even more people to service them. A snowballing effect.
Because of these constraints, we must have growth management. The AACP addresses this problem. To be a sustainable community it must be more difficult to build new things that will jeopardize our way of life and the carrying capacity. New capacity needed to deal with excessive growth (development) will be undesirable and very expensive. Why should the tax base be burdened to pay for expanding our infrastructure to accommodate a developer? The developers that strain our carrying capacity must be required to mitigate their own impacts.
This is what the AACP addresses.
Remember: When Tom Peirce ran for office, his slogan was: “Making Aspen better, not bigger.” A great legacy.
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