Aspens parking is scarce enough |

Aspens parking is scarce enough

Chances are youve made a trip to City Market in Aspen to pick up some groceries, only to be so frustrated by the lack of parking you beeline it for the other supermarket.Sure, Clarks Markets inventory is lower and its prices are higher than its Cooper Avenue counterpart. But sometimes shopping there is simply more convenient than jockeying for parking spots while trying to avoid running over a pedestrian at the City Market lot.Now, as if the Aspen commodity known as parking were not scarce enough, some developers are trying to make it even more scarce.On March 18, Puppy Smith LLC, which owns the Clarks Market building, will go before the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission seeking conceptual approval for a 25,988-square-foot building, which would be used for commercial, free-market residential and affordable housing purposes.The building would take up nearly half of the 112 current spaces on the parking lot. The development includes subgrade parking spaces to be used by those new residents and current tenants of the proposed housing units above Clarks Market. Even so, that has nothing to do with local shoppers who depend on parking a car at Clarks so they can drive home a heavy load of groceries.Combine this with the citys plan to eliminate free two-hour parking in residential streets located three blocks off of the downtown core (in all directions), and parking in Aspen could become even more of a nightmare. Then again, theres always the City Market in Basalt, which would mean burning more gas and putting more traffic on Highway 82. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, we encourage concerned residents to attend public meetings regarding the proposal, and try to convince both P&Z and the developer that this is one project, at least on its face, that will erode our quality of life.