Aspen’s Lift 1A master plan delayed |

Aspen’s Lift 1A master plan delayed

Carolyn Sackariason
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Less than a month into the master planning process for the base of Aspen Mountain, the city is starting over.

City officials will begin again, accepting applications from interested residents to serve on the Lift One Task Force. The applications were available earlier this month and the deadline was supposed to be Friday, March 14.

But now it’s unclear when the deadline will be or when the City Council will choose task force members so it can move forward with mapping out the future of Ajax’s west side, at the base of Lift 1A.

At the prompting of City Councilman Jack Johnson, the City Council on Tuesday decided the rules were too strict for potential task force members, specifically that attendance at all meetings are mandatory and there can be no “stand-ins,” proxies, or proxy voting of any kind.

“It just seems to be stupid ” to be blunt,” Johnson said, adding with those rules and weekly meetings, the task force will be designed for failure.

Mayor Mick Ireland agreed and said the rules were “heavy.” Some people might not have applied simply because of the stringent attendance rules, he added.

The council directed staff to re-post the application on the city website and omit the requirement that meeting attendance is mandatory. The notice for applications will have to be re-noticed in newspapers as well.

The council agreed to a more lenient attendance rule ” if a task force member misses three consecutive meetings, the individual will be dropped from the group.

The task force will set its own schedule and determine when and how often it should meet. Meetings are currently scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday, April 1 through Sept. 1.

Officials and land owners hope to finish the master plan by the end of the year.

“This process is about determining a long-term vision for the neighborhood that we can be proud of,” said Chris Bendon, city director of community development. “Our hope is to achieve, to the best extent possible, the goals of all involved.”

The task force is part of what’s known as the COWOP process (Convenience and Welfare of the Public). The same process was used to plan Obermeyer Place near Rio Grande Park.

The Aspen City Council will consider a roster of 22 task force members, including a handful of city officials, area landowners, neighbors and affected parties.

Over the years, city officials have looked at the neighborhood in piecemeal fashion, taking it one development application at a time. It’s hoped the area will become a well-functioning “second portal” to Aspen’s flagship mountain.

To apply to serve on the task force, visit the Web at, or call 429-2751.


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