Aspen moving to annex BMC West property | AspenTimes.com
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Aspen moving to annex BMC West property

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad The Aspen Times
ALL |

ASPEN – The BMC West property near the Aspen Business Center, purchased by the city of Aspen in December 2007 for $18.25 million, moved another step closer to annexation following a public hearing Monday.

In December, the Aspen City Council approved a draft resolution to bring the property, part of unincorporated Pitkin County, into the city’s fold after deciding that it complied with certain state laws regarding annexation. As part of the city’s approval process, a public hearing was scheduled for Monday to determine whether the annexation resolution follows other state laws.

Those state statutes deal with various eligibility requirements and limitations for annexations. Though technically a public hearing was held, there was no discussion of annexation among council members during Monday’s meeting – nor did anyone from the public provide a comment when given the chance.

Instead, City Attorney John Worcester read a list of prepared questions and posed them to designated city employees who answered “yes” after each one. Then the council voted 5-0 to support the resolution.

The annexation won’t become official until the council approves an ordinance on the issue. No meeting date has been set for consideration of such an ordinance.

The purchase of the former BMC West lumberyard property was criticized by many in the community around the time of the purchase in 2007, and also during the 2009 mayor’s race, when challengers pointed out that Mayor Mick Ireland supported the acquisition. An appraisal in early 2009 showed that the 4.74-acre parcel was worth $1.45 million less than what the city paid for it.

One observer with knowledge of ABC property sales noted that a certain parcel sold in 2007 for $30 per square foot, while BMC West land was purchased at more than $90 a square foot.

However, city officials have said the purchase of BMC West land opens up access to adjoining property owned by the city, giving it greater value. The land lies near Burlingame Ranch affordable-housing property. Future plans for the site may include construction of affordable-housing units.

asalvail@aspentimes.com


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