Basalt candidates Q&A: growth boundary | AspenTimes.com
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Basalt candidates Q&A: growth boundary

Aspen, CO Colorado

Should Basalt have a rigid urban growth boundary, which defines where the town should grow, or should it be flexible? Garret BrandtThe urban growth boundary (UGB) is necessary to delineate a plan for growth, and help to establish a vision for Basalt. But a government should not be limited in the tools available to it to maximize the public benefits that can be derived from development. The Planning and Zoning Commission recognized this when it adopted the updated master plan and allowed for flexibility in the UGB, if the right conditions were met to provide housing for residents in our mobile home parks. An expansion in the UGB merely for the convenience of a developer that happens to own property adjacent to town should be discouraged at this time. Brian DillardI think my prior P&Z vote and stance on this issue is solid. Flexibility is the solution. All you want is the option for conversation as Basalt’s needs become more apparent. I ,too, think that we have a lot of build out left in our boundary that we should complete/redevelop, i.e., the Clarks Market Center. However, here we find ourselves in the perfect quandary; if we left the conversation door open to flexibility we would have many more options with regard to the Mobile Home Park purchase. A vote for flexibility did not and does not mean we allow build out to occur unless it was in Basalt’s best interest; each specific case is different. Basalt’s needs are ever evolving, so how can we even pretend to know what is to come? Flexibility offered future conversation, as those needs were more clear.Pete McBrideCan a boundary be flexible? Right now, it can in Basalt if a project is deemed extraordinary. The problem is we havent defined extraordinary. Every developer believes his or her project to be special as they should. So I believe it is important to define what constitutes extraordinary. That said, I also believe if we are to have a boundary, then we should focus our efforts inside the UGB until we have exhausted and explored all our options to meet our housing and growth demands. I think there are still options to resolve many of Basalts growth issues within the current boundary. I dont think previous councils have tapped the wealth of bright minds, nor explored the potential of private sector and non-profit partnerships to remedy its needs. As I have seen in this valley and throughout the world covering stories on similar issues, once a place commits to sprawl, it never goes back. Once our options have been fully explored and utilized within Basalt, then I would consider revisiting the urban growth boundary to see how it can be improved.Katie SchwoererFlexible boundary is an oxymoron. The urban growth boundary defines where it is appropriate for the town to grow and develop. A distinct growth boundary ensures greenbelts, prevents sprawl and creates a compact, walkable urban center. Basalt residents have stated that their three top priorities for the town are, in order, preservation of small-town character, preservation of a rural buffer and environmental quality. The communitys vision is best assured if the parameters of growth are clearly demarcated and respected. The current growth boundary provides sufficient opportunities for further development within the lifetime of the current master plan. For example, four projects currently in the review process could provide approximately 100 units of affordable housing within the growth boundary, and other untapped areas within the UGB will allow for much more. The existing growth boundary challenges the development community to help us meet our goals, and thus ensures that these goals will always be at the forefront of the councils business.Rick StevensThe UGB only defines growth within the area of the UGB it has virtually no impact on other jurisdictions or their land-use planning. There will come a time when meaningful intergovernmental agreements will be in place in the mean time do not count on the UGB to prevent or even manage growth outside that perimeter. Without consideration of flexibility we leave ourselves at the mercy of adjoining counties and developers. The pent up demand for housing in both counties will cause them to look anywhere and everywhere for solutions.Jacque WhitsittThe town should respect the urban growth boundary that our citizens helped define. However, having said that, I disagree with the current boundary and think the citizens should review it sooner rather than later. I believe the boundary should have included the area near the high school. Where most of us grew up, schools are part of neighborhoods rather than satellites apart from the community. Since we have no control regarding where schools are built because they are exempt from most regulations, it is incumbent on the community to allow housing development to follow the schools. Finally, I was against including Ace Lane in the urban growth boundary. This area could bring 400-500 more residential units plus additional commercial, which will undoubtedly exacerbate an already urban and scary traffic situation in the midvalley. This inclusion in our town growth fails to support a walkable small-town, neighborhood schools, and the general small-town feel that the rest of Basalt exemplifies.

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