Aspen briefs: Public input sought on proposed summer plans for downtown and Marolt Open Space changes

Staff reports

Public input needed for summer vitality COVID-19 plans

The city of Aspen is seeking public input on how to activate the downtown core to create vitality this summer. Public input will help inform recommendations brought to Aspen City Council on March 22.

This effort is similar to the community engagement last spring, which contributed to the activation of downtown sidewalks and parking spaces for safe, extended downtown vitality.

These efforts included temporary modifications to processes as the city sought to mitigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, invigorate economic recovery, and create more diversity downtown for businesses, residents and visitors, according to a news release from the city.

Officials are evaluating lessons learned in 2020 to develop the activation plan for summer 2021.

“Last year, everything related to COVID-19 was unknown and new, and we asked for input to help businesses recover the lost capacity inside by extending commercial activities outside, into the public right-of-way,” said Pete Rice, engineering division manager. “This year, we’re building off lessons learned, but we still need to hear from our community about what worked or didn’t.”

The community is encouraged to learn more about the project and participate in the community survey at

The community survey is open for submissions until 5 p.m. March 12 to expedite the planning process. On the project webpage, users can also submit comments, ask questions, see a project timeline, and learn more about the initiative.

Marolt Open Space changes need public review

Aspen’s parks and open space department wants public input on the Marolt Open Space draft management plan.

The public can learn more about recommended management policies and actions and offer narrative opinions at

The Marolt Open Space management plan is updated every decade. The ongoing goals are to protect, restore, and preserve the qualities of the Marolt Open Space in the spirit of the acquisition of the property, and in reflection of the values and needs of the natural and human communities that depend upon this space, according to a city press release.

In 2019 the draft management plan was developed based on past plans and via public comments, open house feedback, online engagement, existing conditions, input from city staff and Open Space and Trails board members, and stakeholder comments.

Recommended management actions in the draft are divided into seven sections which include: maintenance, natural resources, historical resources, recreation and trails, interpretation and education, agriculture, Aspen community garden and special events.

The Aspen Community Voice page offers links to recommended management actions for all seven categories along with the entire draft management plan and a variety of photos.

Aspen Community Voice will be open for input on these projects through March.

Community input will be integrated into the final plan, which will be presented to the open space board for adoption during its regularly scheduled June meeting.